North Georgia State Fair

Image courtesy of www.northgeorgiastatefair.com

Image courtesy of northgeorgiastatefair.com

Website: http://www.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?

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White Water

Image courtesy of www.sixflags.com

Image courtesy of http://www.sixflags.com

Websitehttp://www.sixflags.com/whiteWater/index.aspx

Cost: Adults, $40 ($30 advance online); Children under 48″, $30; Children 2 and under, free; Parking, $15. Save 5% if paying with a Discover Card.

Times: Generally 10:30 am to 7 pm; starts closing at 6 pm toward end of season

Location: Six Flags White Water, 250 Cobb Parkway #100, Marietta, GA 30062

Seasonal: Open Memorial Day to Labor Day (weekends only after local schools start back in the fall)

Kelly’s Comments: I would generally recommend White Water for older kids, probably around age 7 and up. It really depends on how adventurous your children are and how much they like the water. The park is too expensive for the age 3-6 set to just splash around in a few areas. On the other hand, if you have little tots who’d be free anyway, and you want to use White Water as a swim membership of sorts, buying a season pass for yourself actually may not be a bad deal. Regardless, White Water is a really fun, really large water park, especially for the ‘tween and teen set. Lockers are available on-site (for a fee, of course) to hold all your gear. I recommend wearing water shoes, especially for the little kids, to avoid falls (and the resulting meltdown [“But I must have a Buzz Lightyear band-aid!!”] that is sure to follow).

Stone Mountain Park

Website: http://www.stonemountainpark.com/

Cost: Adults, $28; Kids 3 and up, $22; Under 3, Free; $10 to park. Annual parking passes and mountain memberships available.

Times: Varies; Park opens at 6 am, but most attractions start running around 10 am. Park officially closes at midnight, generally after the laser show.

Location: Stone Mountain Park, 1000 Robert E. Lee Blvd., Stone Mountain, GA 30083

Kelly’s Comments: Stone Mountain has a variety of things to do for kids of all ages. My kids, who are 3 and 6, enjoy the cable car to the top of the mountain, the petting zoo at the antebellum plantation, the train, and the new butterfly house. Older kids will like the miniature golf course, the Sky Hike ropes course, Geyser Towers (a sort of ropes course over a spraying geyser thingy), hiking up the 1.3-mile trail to the top of the rock, and the laser show at 9:30 pm. Want to avoid bankrupting yourself while going here? The second week of June each year is Educator Appreciation Week. Teachers, homeschoolers, and PTSA Members get one free admission and a coupon for up to six $20 admissions. Today, my family of four saved $40 with this deal. Check out http://www.stonemountainpark.com/events/Educator-Appreciation-Week.aspx. Pack a lunch and plenty of bottled water to spare yourself the park’s inflated prices and buckets of unhealthy fried food.