Rolling the Dice and Clinking the Ice

Saturday, September 22, 2012

My Top 5 Autumn Activities

Ahh Fall... brings about cooler weather, football, festivals, 'warm the soul' kind of food such as chili, and the aroma of those cinnamon brooms you buy at the grocery store fills the air. Of course, it helps that everyone is a little giddy knowing that the holidays are right around the corner which means a much needed break and more time spent with family and friends is on the way.

Who doesn't love Fall? It's my favorite time of the year!

Below is my Awesome Autumn Activities List and despite my cheesy title, I think you'll find this list is a 'cornucopia' of fun Fall things to do if living in the state of Georgia. ;) OK, that whole sentence was cheesy, but I just couldn't help myself. Anyway, I drafted an activities list for summertime (see that post here) and thought I'd do something similar for the cooler months. I hope you enjoy! :)

There are many great pumpkin patches to visit in Georgia, but this one has been around since I was a kid and it's my favorite for a number of reasons. One being that it's set in such a pretty location, the North Georgia Mountains. You have to drive over an hour to get there from Atlanta, but it's worth the trek because you really feel like you're out in the country, and you are! The mountains surround you as you walk through hoards of gourds. Ha! Seriously, there are thousands of these big, orange fruits sitting around - yes, pumpkins are actually classified as a fruit and not a vegetable. Burt's pumpkins really are beautiful. They come in all different sizes too, some of their big boys are around 150 lbs! Once you pick out your pumpkin and load it on to your wheelbarrow, you can buy some pumpkin baked goodies, take a hayride, purchase some indian corn, or bale of hay for your Fall decorations... what ever tickles your fancy. We took my daughter last year when she was around 9 or 10 months old and now that she's walking I can't wait to take her back!

Ellijay, located in the Appalachian Mountains, is the Apple Capital of Georgia and this year their festival is October 13 – 14 and October 20 – 21. Admissions is $5 and kids under 10 are free. There are 7 orchards to visit with over 12 varieties of apples to choose from. Their apple season begins around the end of August and goes through December, and they claim the cold nights in the North Georgia Mountains gives way to the tastiest and juiciest apples around. In fact, their site states that the University of Georgia did a taste test study and found that consumers overwhelming preferred Georgia apples over Washington state apples. The festival also has an exhibition area where over 300 vendors are ready to sell you fresh jams, pony rides, handmade quilts and pottery, yard art, jewelery, BBQ sandwiches and a whole lot more. It's been years since I've traveled to Ellijay for an apple, but I'd like to go back this season and let my little girl run through the orchards. And who knows, maybe I'll bake my first apple pie!

Beautiful Ellijay :)

Apple bread, yum!

So, I've lived in Georgia all my life and must admit I've never been to Helen's Octoberfest. While I would prefer a trip to Germany to experience the real thing, my husband tells me our budget is better suited for Helen considering the drive from Atlanta is just under 2 hours versus a flight across the Atlantic. Helen is a quaint little town nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains on the Chattahoochee River, but the unique trait about this place is that it emulates an Alpine village. Helen's Octoberfest is celebrated every weekend in October where you'll find the locals dressed in traditional German attire parading the streets. One can stuff their face with Bavarian favorites such as wurst, schnitzel and brats and wash them down with a German beer... or two, or three. ;)

This is more for my daughter than for me... and there is no way any of us are getting on one of those rickety rides, not even the Ferris wheel. Sorry, I just don't trust them, but the funnel cakes are definitely calling my name! I could eat 10 of those right now! While there are probably plenty of fairs going on closer to where I currently live, I think I'll go back to my home town of Cumming, Georgia. That would be the nostalgic thing to do, plus it's hardly an hour's drive and they have really nice fairgrounds. They also have lots of farm animals which both myself and my daughter will get a kick out of seeing. I'm a huge animal lover and can already tell this gene was passed on to my little girl. If I could live on a farm (in Atlanta, of course) then I would in a heartbeat, unfortunately an acre in our price range is hard to come by in this city much less the amount of acreage we would need to raise some livestock. Oh well, you can't always have the best of both worlds in one! ;)

Arena where they put on concerts

Halloween Block Party

This one is a must considering it will take place only steps from my front door... not only that, but it's sure to be a good time! My dear friends and neighbors, E-Beth and Kris, are hosting a Halloween gathering and they really get into this spooky holiday. Kris goes all out and transforms his house into a haunted one. He is hysterical, just like a big kid! There will be a jack-o-lantern carving contest, bobbing for apples, kids parading in their costumes and some good home cooked food! Can't wait to celebrate this holiday with my neighbors!

Here's to a fabulous Fall!


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