It’s Fall Ya’ll! Looking for the best-of-the-best things to do in the Fall in Atlanta and all of Georgia? The weather is just perfect, the leaves are putting on a show, Halloween fun abounds, the holiday season is coming…Here are dozens of my favorite ways to celebrate this time of year in and around Atlanta, and throughout Georgia.
Georgia Apple Festival – The biggest event of the year is the Georgia Apple Festival Arts & Crafts Show in Ellijay. The Georgia Apple Festival has grown from humble beginnings to be one of the largest and most well-attended festivals in Georgia, and worthy of your bucket list.
The Apple Festival features handmade, handcrafted arts and crafts, live entertainment, beauty pageant, car show, parade, delicious treats from fried Oreos to gyros. Of course they also have amazing Ellijay apples along with apple pies, caramel apple slices, apple bread, apple cider donuts, apple cider and so much more! Mmmm, I can just taste the warm fried pies!
Live demonstrations include metal forging, basket weaving, and chainsaw carving, along with many other artisans making their crafts. The Apple Festival is held the 2nd and 3rd full weekends in October at the Lions Club Fairgrounds.
Arabia Mountain – The yellow daisy is a rare flower, which only grows within a 60-mile radius of the mountain. You’d never guess they are rare, though, because of how prolifically they grow here in fall. Be sure to hike the mountain in October to enjoy their beauty.
Atlanta History Center – Apple picking Enjoy Historic Halloween at this month’s Magic Monday. Wear a costume for games, a parade, trick-or-treating around the museum, and more. My son won the costume contest last year…who will the winner be this year?
Atlanta World Kite Festival – Head to Piedmont Park for kite flying, demos, food, face painting, Chinese dance performances by Shen Yun, and much more. This is a free event. There will be kites for sale, and a kids fun zone.
Bike the Beltline – Enjoy the cooler weather by biking the Beltline. See the art installations from this year’s Art on the Beltline. No bike? No problem! They guys at Atlanta Beltline Bicycle are amazing! You can rent trailers, tandums…we even rented a surrey!
Blood Mountain – One of my favorite hikes in Georgia, and the best view of fall color in the mountains. Don’t let another fall go by without climbing this mountain!
Blue Ridge Scenic Railway – The fall foliage tour during the month of October is the most popular excursion, with two trips running most every day.
Build a bonfire – Build a fire outdoors (or in the fireplace.) Tell stories, roast marshmallows, turn off the cell phones, and enjoy one another.
Camp! – Fall is the ideal time of year for camping. Build a fire, watch the stars, collect colorful leaves, and spend time together as a family. The link takes you to our list of the 52 best camping spots in North Georgia.
CNC Halloween Hikes – Wear your costumes for a short hike around Chattahoochee Nature Center. Meet nature-costumed characters on the hike, participate in the drum circle and bonfire, create Halloween nature crafts, and more. We love it every year!
Corn Maze – My oldest loves a great corn maze. Uncle Shucks is one of our favorites! Head there in the afternoon for younger kids, or try a haunted maze a night for the older ones.
Cozy Up At A Bookstore – When the weather outside is frightful, head indoors with a good book. We love hanging out at book stores, exploring new titles and games, and people watching. Little Shop of Stories is a favorite.
Day Out with Thomas – For two weekends, families can take a 25-minute ride with Thomas on the SAM Shortline out of Cordele. Character photos, storytelling, mini-golf and more will keep them busy all day.
Fall Colors River Tour – The Chattahoochee Nature Center offers an amazing fall colors tour via canoe. The water, leaf colors, and stone cliffs along the river are breathtaking. I did the tour as a date night with hubby, but kids 6 and older are welcome.
Fall Festivals – Nothing says fall quite like an Atlanta festival. Pick from over 50 in and around Atlanta.
Fernbank Museum – Kids will enjoy Fernbank’s BOO-seum Trick-or-Treat. Follow the screams (of delight) to a day of frightening-ly fun Halloween-themed activities including treats for kids in costume, games, music and more.
Football – Fall equals football in this household. Catch a Georgia or Falcons game, cheer on your nearest highschool football game, or host a backyard game of your own! What the perfect time to visit the new College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.
Friday Night Hike at Dunwoody Nature Center – Enjoy a rare chance to walk the trails of DNC at night, communing with the nocturnal creatures. Followed by cocoa, stargazing, and a warming fire. See calendar for more details.
Fright Fest at Six Flags – Not just for adults in the evening, there is fun for the little kids during the day. Dress up your kiddos and come ride the rides….try trick-or-treating in the children’s area, too.
Georgia State Park Fall Events – There are full moon hikes, haunted tours, leaf identification hikes, astronomy paddles, fall craft festivals, wagon rides, candlelight tours, hoedowns, and more happening at your closest Georgia State Park.
Haunted House – If you have older kids who are dying for a walk through a haunted house, try these kid friendly options around Atlanta.
Hike the Scenic Route – Fall is the season for hiking. Find a waterfall or climb a mountain peak for the best view of the changing leaves. This link takes you to 52 of our best destination hikes.
Historic Banning Mills – This is a great place to see the colors change! Take on the world’s largest zip line, go horseback riding, stay at the lodge, try kayaking, and so so so much more!
Indoor Herb Garden – Prepare for the coming cold weather by building an indoor herb garden for your kitchen. The kids can help plant seeds or pot seedlings.
Len Foote – There is no better way to celebrate fall than to hike to Len Foote. Hurry fast – bunks go early for the best leaf peep dates.
Treetop Quest Dunwoody – Soar through the trees while the leaves are putting on a show!
Labyrith of Rome – The Labyrinth of Rome was created as an adaptive reuse of what originally was an amphitheater built by the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s. Upon finding the nearest Labyrinth to be 50 miles away, the late Ed Baker worked with local government to establish this corner of Rome’s historic Jackson Hill. It contains 5,490 bricks (laid end-to-end, over a kilometer) weighing a total of 24,705 pounds.
Little Five Points Halloween Parade – There is live music and great food all day on the 18th, but the kids will love the parade most of all, which starts at 4pm. This is THE best parade in Atlanta!
Make Your Halloween Costume – Building and creating our kid’s Halloween costumes together as a family has been an annual tradition. We’ve used cardboard, aluminum foil, chicken wire, paper mache, and much more. Don’t take the easy way out this year – make one together.
Oakland Cemetery – For the older crowd, if you’re looking to tie together Halloween and an educational (but fun) journey, try the Halloween Tour at Oakland. Bring a flashlight to visit the cemetery after dark! Reserve your space online.
Pine Mountain Gold Museum – Ride the Gold Mine Ghost Train. On the 18th visitors can enjoy the scavenger hunt, panning for gems, a train ride, balloon art, lunch, and other exciting activities.
Plant Bulbs – Begonia, crocus, dahlia, iris, daffodil, and tulips are just a sampling of the bulbs to be planted this fall. Time to pull out the old clothes and let the little ones get muddy!
Pumpkin Picking – Don’t forget to pick out the perfect pumpkin for your fall porch display.
Fly Fishing 101 – Learn fly-fishing basics in one of Ovis’s FREE Fly Fishing 101 classes. Perfect for beginners of all ages, the Fly Fishing 101 course includes free lessons on fly casting and outfit rigging.
Scarecrows in the Garden – This is THE reason I started buying a season pass to Atlanta Botanical Gardens. The scarecrows will blow your mind. Goblins in the Garden (for kiddos) is Oct 19, and there is fun for the whole family with kid-friendly programming Saturdays and Sundays 10am – 4pm.
Start a Nature Journal – Fall is a great time to begin nature journaling together as a family. Write about what you see, smell, hear, and feel on the trails. Draw pictures, collect leaves and moss…whatever makes you happy. We use the Outdoor Hour Challenge each week, but even something simple can be fun.
Sunflowers – One of our favorite things to do is head to Dawsonville for pictures in the sunflower field.
The Headless Horseman of Silly Hollow at CPA – Back for an encore run, the Frogtown Mountain Puppeteers bring their unique brand of hip humor to the famous Washington Irving short story. In this comedic version, schoolteacher Ichabod Crane helps the Headless Horseman find a new head and a spookier image. Meanwhile, a jealous Brom Bones tries to run Ichabod out of town as they both vie for the affection of Katrina Van Tassel. In the end the Horseman saves the day and everyone lives happily ever after!
The Rock Ranch – Every Saturday until November 15th is Fall Family Fun Day. Enjoy lumberjacks, cowboys, hot air balloons, pumpkin destruction, and a number of other special days at The Rock Ranch.
Visit a Birdfeed Store – Don’t forget to stock up for your feathery friends this winter. We use fall to assess the current state of our feeders, clean them, and stock up on food for winter. The boys always love a field trip to the bird-feed store, with pretty cages, windchimes, bird-watching accessories, and such.
Disclosure: We are happy to partner with the Gilmer County CVB on this post. We love visiting this North Georgia region and hope you will too.