Cost: Free for egg hunts; $5 for unlimited rides and inflatables
Times: 10 am to 5 pm, usually the last Saturday before Easter. In 2014, it’s on April 19.
Location: Sprayberry High School football field, 2525 Sandy Plains Road, Marietta, GA 30066
Kelly’s Comments: The Community Egg Drop has gotten bigger and bigger each year (last year’s attendance topped 22,000!). With hunts organized by age group, and a helicopter that flies over and drops thousands of eggs from the sky, toddlers through elementary-aged children are sure to be impressed. Hey, it’s pretty cool for the adults too (we all wish we were the ones in the helicopter, right!?). Besides the great grab bags, which usually include coupons and freebies from local merchants, there are a variety of inflatables, slides, carnival-style games, and door prizes. Enjoy free pictures and high-fives with the Easter Bunny, the Chik-Fil-A Cow and the Zaxby’s Chicken.
Times: Usually mid-September. The 2013 parade is on 9/21 at 10 am.
Location: Parade travels one mile south from Princeton Lakes Drive to Fountains of Olde Towne Shopping Center, 736 Johnson Ferry Road, Marietta, GA 30068
Kelly’s Comments: Read more about the 2013 parade at the following link: http://www.eastcobber.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/2013-Media-Kit_ParadeFestival.pdf. The parade features local school children (and teachers), marching bands, civic organizations, businesses, and East Cobb houses of worship. There’s plenty of candy thrown to onlookers!
Image courtesy of northgeorgiastatefair.com
Cost: Varies, depending on what you want to do. General admission: Adults, $7; 10 and under, Free; Parking, $3.
Times: Varies by day. See http://northgeorgiastatefair.com/Directions/directions.html
Location: Jim Miller Park, 2245 Callaway Road, Marietta, GA 30008
Seasonal: In 2013, the Fair is open September 19-29.
Kelly’s Comments: I haven’t always been an Atlanta girl, you know…I grew up in the country. Thus, I have a soft spot in my heart for good ol’ fashioned country fairs. The North Georgia State Fair is a great example of such a venue, although admittedly it isn’t as good in the livestock category as other, more rural fairs (such as the Coosa Valley Fair in Rome). On Family Day (9/21) kids and adults can enjoy free admission and rides for an hour. Bring cans for MUST Ministries on select days and receive free or discounted admission. Each night, the 7,500-seat arena has free concerts, pageants, or other events. There are rides for every age level, even the wee ones. Do I smell funnel cake?
Image courtesy of zooatlanta.org
Cost: Ages 12 and up, $21.99; Ages 3-11, $16.99; Ages 2 and under, Free. Discounts for seniors, military, and students.
Times: Weekdays, 9:30 am to 5:30 pm; Weekends, 9:30 am to 6:30 pm
Location: Zoo Atlanta, 800 Cherokee Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30315
Kelly’s Comments: Monkeys…naked mole rats…warthogs…these are all words we use to describe our own children. Of course, one can venture to Zoo Atlanta to see the real creatures, too! As a teacher, I like the zoo because it offers two free Educator Days per year (usually in March and September). In addition to the fun animal exhibits, many of which are in the shade, there are two playgrounds, a kiddie train, a petting zoo, and enough animal-themed crap in the gift shop to make your kids wild with excitement (who doesn’t need gorilla-shaped lip gloss?). Come early or on a weekday to beat the crowds. Snag a coupon for $3 off in various Atlanta-themed magazines around town.
Website: http://www.bigcreekgreenway.com/ or http://www.alpharetta.ga.us/index.php?p=136
Times: Open daily from dawn to dusk
Locations: There are several trail access points; the closest to East Cobb is at 6800 North Point Parkway, Alpharetta, GA 30022
Kelly’s Comments: I’ve passed this woodsy biking/hiking trail for years and finally rode on it this morning. I’m now mad at myself that I’ve wasted all this time before going! It’s gorgeous! It’s very shady, quiet, and serene (Did I mention that I saw 5 deer this morning?), but not so much that one feels unsafe. The trails are paved, wide, and flat, which is unusual in Georgia. This makes it great for kids (or for parents pulling their 3-year-olds in a trailer behind the bike.). There are a couple of bathroom stops along the way and also a cool little free bike repair kiosk. The Fulton part of the trail is about 8 miles long. I didn’t even begin to explore the mountain bike trails (with a 3-year-old? Bwahahaha!) or the pedestrian-only paths, so I look forward to learning more about the Greenway in the years to come.
Cost: Approximately $100-$120 per season (price includes uniform)
Times: The 10-15 games are usually played on Saturdays, and practices are once or twice a week
Location: Terrell Mill Park, 480 Terrell Mill Rd, Marietta, GA 30067
Seasonal: Leagues are offered in spring and fall
Kelly’s Comments: I grew up playing softball (although admittedly not fast-pitch), so I’m excited to start my daughter in this league in the near future. I don’t know much about it just yet, but judging from the website, there are usually 2-4 teams per age bracket. Age categories include 6 and under (uses a tee if necessary), 8 and under (coach pitch), 10 and under (hybrid player/coach pitch), 12 and under, and 13+.
Photo courtesy of Fred Paynter
Cost: Roswell residents, $3; Non-residents, $4.50; Under age 2, free
Times: Tuesday through Friday, 1 pm to 5:15 pm and 7:30 pm to 9:30 pm; Saturday and Sunday, 1 pm to 7 pm. Hours vary when school is in session; check website for details.
Location: Roswell Area Park Pool, 10495 Woodstock Road, Roswell, GA 30075
Seasonal: As an outdoor facility, the pool is generally open Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Kelly’s Comments: An “Old Roswell” mainstay, the Roswell Area Park Pool has been around a long time. It has three distinct parts: a shallow end (where my 6-year-old can stand up, yay!), lap lanes, and a deeper end with low and medium diving boards. Ankle biters age 4 and under can enjoy a kiddie pool, complete with water mushroom. An on-site snack stand will fuel you with all the junk food your heart desires. There are lounge chairs and umbrellas available, and there is a nice grassy lawn area upon which to put down a beach towel and ponder the meaning of life (or watch your children try to dunk each other). Youth can take lessons or join the associated swim team.