Fun Family Fall Activities

October 16th, 2013 | By By Shelby Robison, No Comments

student in the UGA Health Promotion & Behavior program


As you open your door to leave for the day, a brisk wind hits your face. You look around your yard and see vibrant colors – red, yellow, and orange throughout the treetops. You glance to your neighbor who is raking leaves, and the crisp sound of the leaves crunching against each other is another friendly reminder that fall is here.

Fall can be a busy time for many families. School has begun for children, which means a lot of time may be spent working on homework, driving to extracurricular activities, and attending meetings. Although the fall season can be busy, it is important to remember that staying physically active is an essential aspect for living a healthy life. Participating in physical activity as a family can be a fun way to get everyone moving! This fall, take advantage of staying active in this lively season with the following ideas of how to spend time with your family and to create new family traditions.

Washington Farms

At home in Watkinsville, Washington Farms offers traditional pumpkin-picking straight off of the vine. Enjoy pumpkins of all shapes and sizes! Start a family tradition and have a pumpkin-carving contest when you get home! Don’t forget to save your pumpkin seeds. Wash the seeds, let them dry overnight, and bake them the next day at 250 degrees for an hour to enjoy a fun and healthy homemade snack.

In addition to picking pumpkins, don’t forget to get lost in the corn maze, tour the farm on the hay ride, sit in the giant rocking chair, pet a goat at the petting zoo, rope a steer, and even load mini pumpkins for the pumpkin slingshot! These are only a few of the family activities Washington Farms has available this fall. Find out more about what Washington Farms has to offer at


Kayaking can be a great opportunity for families to enjoy the dynamic fall scenery, and Big Dogs on the River offers a chance to explore the Middle Oconee River. After your kayaking adventure you may work up an appetite, so don’t forget to bring a cooler with some chicken and fresh vegetables for the grilling area. On selected weekends, live music is played in the pavilion area. There is also a chance for your family to get a game of volleyball or horseshoes going. Check out for more details.

If your family wants to stray a little farther from Athens, the Broad River Outpost offers kayak tours for the family. On your tour, enjoy viewing the scenic sections of the river, which include high bluffs and cliffs, a hardwood forest, and beautiful wildflowers. There is also an onsite restaurant and a free campsite with complimentary hot showers! For more information go to

Sandy Creek Park

Sandy Creek is located on Lake Chapman, just outside of Athens. This 782-acre park offers a variety of recreational activities that can be fun for the whole family – even your dog or horse!


For a fun-filled day, pack some lunches and enjoy eating them at one of the onsite picnic areas. Bring your fishing rods and cast your nets at the fishing pier. Don’t forget to wear good walking shoes so your family can enjoy the beautiful trails along the lake. And if you are up for some competition, challenge yourselves to a game of disc golf, basketball, volleyball, or tennis.

For an overnight adventure, pack up your camping tents for a fun trip on one of the camping sites at the park. Don’t forget to bring graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate for s’mores, and have all members of your family think of other fun campsite foods to have on the open fire. For more information about Sandy Creek check out

Sunburst Stables

If your family wants to take a road trip this fall, head on over to Sunburst Stables located in Clarkesville, a little more than an hour from Athens.

Embrace the beautiful mountains of North Georgia with a two-hour horseback trail ride that is suitable for the whole family. The rides at Sunset Stables are guided and allow families to explore trails leading into the Chattahoochee National Forest. On the ride, your family can also choose to stop at a miniature animal farm! Adults are able to fish while children can visit the donkeys, Zebu (miniature cows), pot-bellied pigs, rabbits, and even a ferret!

Plan to stay overnight in one of the upgraded cabins that Sunset Stables offers, and don’t forget to head over to the zip lining tour! This is a great opportunity for a family adventure. Learn more at

Amicalola Falls

Just over an hour from Athens in the beautiful North Georgia Mountains is Amicalola Falls, a 729-foot cascade that can be viewed from the bottom up as you hike up its side. The hike is a challenging trail with staircases, and if you make it all the way, you can join the park’s Canyon Climbers Club! Another 8.5-mile trail leads from the park to Springer Mountain, which is the southern end of the Appalachian Trail. At the base of the falls is a family-friendly park, with spots for fishing, picnicking, playing Frisbee, and more.

More information on Amicalola Falls, visit

Apple Festival 

From October 12 to October 20 (check for specific dates and times), you and your family can take in the festivities during the 42nd year of the Georgia Apple Festival in Ellijay. More than 300 vendors will be onsite with handmade, handcrafted items, as well as craft demonstrations. There is a parade and antique car show, and it all happens at the Ellijay Lions Club Fairgrounds. Parking is free (with a $2 donation suggested), admission for children 10 and under is free, and adult admission is only $5. (Please note that guide dogs are the only pets/animals allowed in the festival area; limited kennel facilities are available.)

Check or call 706-636-4500 for details. The festival is weekends only between October 12 and 20, so be sure you confirm hours of operation before you head to Ellijay.

Embrace the opportunities this season for fun family fall activities! Take the challenge to step out of your family’s comfort zone and experience the activities this season has to offer. Being outside as a family is a great way to enjoy the fresh autumn air and to stay active together! Whether you are looking for a more relaxed activity or some adventure, this season has it all, and right here in the Athens area!

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