Staycation in Atlanta for Fall Break
Fall. Crisp and crunchy leaves are on the ground. Majestic shades of orange, yellow, and red light are fill the trees. A cool breeze gives you a goose bump or two. You might need a jacket to take the edge off. The sun is beginning to set earlier, and before we know it, it will be dark by 6 pm.`
Fall Trees in Atlanta
Then there’s fall in Georgia. We are lucky to get the pretty leaves (they’re prettier the farther north you go). I always question whether the leaves on the ground in my yard in September are actually fall leaves, or just from drought and excessive summer heat. You can forget that “cool breeze” until closer to October, when we will (hopefully) get cool on the occasional morning in September. But the heat and lack of crispness to the air doesn’t stop fall from happening. Apple Orchards are in full swing, pumpkin patches will open in just a few weeks, and Halloween and Thanksgiving decor is everywhere you turn (and Holiday Decor for the past 3 months in some stores).
Fall Festivals, Plaid, and Coffee Drinks
I love fall. ALL things fall. The younger crowd would call me “basic” with my #PSL and plaid button down. Really though, who doesn’t love a good Pumpkin Spice Latte, and a cozy blanket scarf? First of all, SEC football is back, which means banter among colleagues and friends, friendly (and not so friendly) rivalries, and tailgates galore. There’s just something about fall that makes you anticipate the holidays. Fall Festivals and events always fill my non-football days, but you might find me at every single one of them. Of course, in Georgia, you might be super sweaty in your boots and new scarf, but it’s fall, so you do you. Enjoy every minute of it, because before we know it, it will be Snowmaggedon Part 12, and none of us will be prepared for it.
With all things Fall comes Fall Break for Cobb County Schools. It seems like we started school yesterday, and here we are arriving at a week of Fall Break. Have you thought about Fall Break yet? Cobb County Schools are out from September 24-28. If you’re staying in town, don’t have children, or commute to work, you’re just excited about lesser amount of traffic on 75 South. For those with families, many of you probably have plans to visit Seaside, Hilton Head, or some of the other popular beach destinations. Many of you, however will stay home, but it doesn’t have to be a week of sleeping late and binging on Netflix (although I wouldn’t mind at least a day or two of it). Atlanta Metro has a ton going on in September, and the North Georgia Mountains are just a day trip away.
I gathered some of the best things to do in our area during Fall Break and some of these are good throughout the fall. Check out the list, make some plans, and if you’re a working parent, take a day or two off and enjoy something fun with the family. Don’t forget to grab a Pumpkin Spice Latte on your way out to your destination. If it’s still good and toasty outside, just crank on the AC and make believe the crisp fall air has arrived.
Ponce City Market in Midtown, Atlanta
Saturday, September 22
Free museum day- sponsored by the Smithsonian
Free Museum Day is sponsored by Smithsonian and includes Museums all over the US. You can type in your zip code to find out which ones near you are participating. A Free Museum Day ticket gets you and another person in free.
Some of my favorites on the list: Booth Western Art Museum, Delta Flight Museum, Southeastern Railway Museum, The Root House Museum, and Bulloch Hall
This event is hosted by the Atlanta History Center and is fun for all ages. This year’s festival focuses on barbecue traditions of Native Americans, African Americans, and European Americans.
September 22 is one of four free admission days for National Parks. On a beautiful fall day, the Chattahoochee is one of the most peaceful spots you may find in the metro area.
Atlanta United FC- Soccer Game
Atlanta United Game plays the Real Salt Lake at 7pm. If you haven’t been to a game, you are missing out. The energy in the crowd is an unforgettable experience. Atlanta really got this one right with Atlanta United. In my opinion, it’s a must-do.
This walking parade starts at 8pm on the Beltline at Eastside Trail and ends at Piedmont Park. The sight of the lanterns is absolutely breathtaking and drew a crowd of 70,000 people last year. You must have a lantern to walk.
Click here to see pictures from last year and get instructions on how to create a lantern.
During the week: September 24-28
AAUW Bookfair is a used book sale is at Perimeter Mall from Tuesday to Sunday. For avid readers, this sale looks to be a must-do. The history of the sale dates back to 1960.
Travel inside the perimeter to try something new to eat during Inman Park’s Restaurant Week. 15 different restaurants are participating from September 24-30. Each restaurant has a $20, $30, and $40 menu option. Two of my personal favorites on this list are Bartaco or Bar Mercado.
Fall is the perfect time to visit the Zoo
There’s no special deal for Zoo Atlanta happening, but it’s a great option for a day during Fall Break. Weekdays are less crowded and with cooler temperatures, you’re likely to see more animals being active in their habitats.
Downtown Ellijay, GA.
Apple Picking in Ellijay
Head to North Georgia for the day to go apple picking. If you venture towards Ellijay, stop in their quaint downtown for lunch.
This apple orchard is one of my favorites for kids. With a petting zoo, huge slides and play areas, tractor rides, and a maze, there is plenty to do besides pick apples. If it’s still warm outside, there are plenty of shaded areas, including a large building for shopping, sampling, and eating meals.
Mercier has been in operation since 1943 and is on it’s fourth generation, celebrating 70 years of healthy harvest. It opens daily from 7am to 6pm. While there, try the cider.
B.J. Reece has a reputation of simply being one of the best. It’s great for field trips and has many options for kids. Cow milking, hayrides, pillow jumping, and more, B.J. Reece has special weekend packages for families to enjoy the many activities available. So, if you go on a weekend, plan to arrive early before the crowds.
Chattanooga, TN has some beautiful scenery during the fall. For that reason, day trips can make you feel like you “got away” even if it’s just for the day. Downtown Chattanooga is walking friendly, with many options for food. The aquarium is always a hit, and when the weather is nice, you can walk the pedestrian bridge over the river. Lookout Mountain, Rock City, and See Ruby Falls are all tourist destinations that are fun for kids, and great during the week, rather than with the weekend crowds.
Have a great fall break! Above all, even if it still feels a little warm out, try getting into the fall spirit with some family fun.