As a mom of 2 very active boys, ages 3 and 8, we are always on the lookout for fun and free things to do. We love to check out the Zoo Atlanta DVD from our local library and use the accompanying free passes, we have enjoyed countless fun trips to the Georgia Aquarium, and we dig the dinosaurs at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History. But, with these fun trips, come the “are we there yets,” gassing up the car, and lunches out. Then, one day it hit me, why are we spending our time driving around from place to place putting miles on the car and gas in the tank listening to whining and complaining? As a native of Cherokee County, we have plenty to do right here at home! Museums, outdoor activities, animals and more are right here where Metro Meets the Mountains.
Elm Street is downtown Woodstock’s thriving arts center, offering performances, instruction and exhibits year round. You’ll find live plays and musicals, camps and classes in drama, art and music as well as concerts, recitals, pageants, art exhibits, the iThink Improv Troupe and much more.
Location: 8534 Main St, Woodstock
Truck & Tap starts with the love of food trucks, add a great selection of craft beers and thoughtfully selected wines, place it in rustic modern setting with outdoor seating and you’ve got Truck & Tap! Head inside for great local craft brew selections, and the pick a great meal from the rotating food trucks. See the website for a schedule. This is GREAT for kids, with outdoor seating! Our family visits almost every Sunday afternoon!
Location:8640 Main Street, Woodstock
Hours:Monday-Thursday: 11AM-10PM; Friday: 11AM-11PM; Saturday: 10AM-11PM; Sunday: 10AM-10PM
Step back in time and visit this Wild West Town with more than 100 Miniature Farm Animals to pet and feed. Take a walking tour and visit a real pioneer village that includes a bank, saloon, jail and trading post with snacks and souvenirs. As you tour the Town, you’ll be able to meet the miniature cows, sheep, horses, and donkeys. Explore the Mine Shaft where the miniature goats live and check out the old school house where miniature chickens and turkeys roost. Don’t forget the mini potbellied pigs in back of the school house. Last but not least, head over to the Livery Stable where the kids can take a pony ride.
Location: 171 Tanglewood Drive, Canton
Hours: Open year around (except holidays) Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays 10 AM to 2PM, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 AM to 5 PM. Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Admission: $10, ages 1 and up
Enjoy a visit to the Bennett History Museum and Appalachian Settlers Village, with exhibits focusing on the history and art of the Southeastern Indians and European settlers. The Rogers Gallery of Contemporary Indian Art includes a collection of paintings, sculptures and creative works. Tools of the Trade is an astonishing exhibit of thousands of tools dating back to the 17th century. Be sure to check out Warluskee’s Corner, a comfortable and child friendly place for parents to stop and talk to children about the history of Georgia’s first people complete with children’s books, hand puppets, and hands on activities
Location: Reinhardt University Campus, 7300 Reinhardt University Circle, Waleska
Hours: Tuesday-Friday, 9-4, Saturday 10-5, Sunday 1-5. Closed on Mondays and major holidays
Admission: $6 adults, $4 children
The Valley is one of the largest playgrounds in Georgia. With a rock climbing wall, interconnected play areas, this playground will provide hours of tiring fun for all ages. Swings and slides abound and there is a separate play area just for little ones, too.
Location: 250 Brooke Blvd, Woodstock
Home to one of the Metro’s most popular fall activities, Cagle’s Dairy has more to offer than just the annual Corn Maze. Farm Fresh Ag-Venture farm tours run April through July and include ducks, goat, herding dogs, hayrides, and dairy cow milking demonstrations and even tours of the milk processing plant combine for a fun day on the farm! Don’t forget to work off the last bit of energy on the Jumpee pillow!
Location: 355 Stringer Road, Canton
Hours: 10-4, on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of each month, Ag-venture farm tours at 10am by reservation!
Admission: $7, ages 2 and up
Celebrate warmer temperatures with a splash at the Splash Pad at Cline Park in Waleska. The park opened in 2012 and features three 10- to 12-foot fountains, eight water jets that shoot up from the cement base and other kid-friendly water features. Sit back and relax or chase the kids through the sprinklers to cool off. Cline Park also offers a playground and walking track.
Location: 704 Bartow St, Waleska
Hours: 10-6 daily, Memorial Day through Labor Day
Stop and take a minute to think about what is around you. Load up the car and be a tourist in your own city and county. Make a list of all the fun spots to visit and learn more about where you live. As a native of Cherokee County, I enjoy re-visiting locales with my sons and learning about new ones, too. I hope that you will do the same!
Tara Nalley is a mom to 2 sons, Logan, 8, and Cooper, 3 and a wife to her high school sweetheart, Shane, whom she has been married to for 16 years. She is a pharmacist by trade but also very involved in PTA at Logan’s school, Macedonia Elem., where her brother and she went as well as her parents and grandmother. Logan races quarter midgets and she is involved in fundraising with NGQMA. She is a frugal Mom always looking for a good deal and the “go to” person among friends and family when they are searching for a deal, coupon, or free and/or cheap activity.
This was originally posted on Atlanta With Kid, which is now 365 Atlanta Family.