Cheap Things to Do in Northeast Georgia Mountains With Kids
Tour the Northeast Georgia Mountains, picnic basket in tow, with your children. There are many things to do and see here that will not break the piggy bank.
The Northeast Georgia Mountains region takes you high up into the state. Just about an hour’s drive north of metro Atlanta, you can reach Georgia’s highest peak at Brasstown Bald, eat fudge in the Bavarian village of Helen, or water ski on Lake Hiawassee. Between all these natural sightseeing, water rafting, and mountain views, modern kids can get bored. Here are some Northeast Georgia Mountain treasures you will not want to miss on outings with the kids, and they won’t break the bank either. Most are absolutely free or have a minimal charge.
Baby Land General Hospital in Cleveland, Georgia
Near the Helen, Georgia Bavarian Village is the town of Cleveland, Georgia. One of White County’s major claims to fame is the Baby Land General Hospital. This is where the Cabbage Patch Kids came to be, and they are still made on the premises. They are born in the hospital section that you will watch on the tour, and you can adopt one. The place has nurses and doctors and is a ton of fun. The tour is free, but be prepared. Your kids will probably want to adopt one and you may want to adopt one, as well. They are moderate to high priced. If you can say no then this will be a free, grand time.
Baby Land General Hospital, 300 NOK Drive; Cleveland, GA; 706-865-2171;
Fancy Feather Farms in Royston, Georgia
Head over to Royston and see a real working farm. This is an ideal place to take kids who normally reside in a city or suburban type atmosphere. You can see emus, goats, cows and more. Collect eggs, feed livestock, or pick some vegetables. It is suggested that you call before you go so you can have the undivided attention of the farm.
Fancy Feather Farms, 3571 Bowman Highway, Royston, GA; 706-246-0214; FancyFeatherFarms.com
Mayfield Dairy Farms in Braselton, Georgia
Mayfield is the premier brand of milk and ice cream products in the South. Here you can watch a film and then don a cap and see how Mayfield Milk goes from the farm to the supermarket. Afterward, buy some ice cream and enjoy it while sitting on the front porch in rocking chairs.
Mayfield Dairy Farms, 1160 Broadway Avenue, Braselton, GA; 888-298-0396; MayfieldDairy.com
Blue Ridge District of the Chattahoochee National Forest in Blairsville, Georgia
This district, located in the northern central portion of Georgia has waterfalls and the highest point in Georgia at Brasstown Bald. Having visited this high point with kids several times, this is a perennial favorite activity. The air temperature actually drops anywhere from 15 to 20 degrees upon the ascent of the mountain. You drive halfway up to a visitor center, and then you can hike the rest of the way up or take a shuttle for a nominal fee. Don’t expect to visit after mid-November until the spring, however. Winter visits Brasstown Bald early in North Georgia, making it treacherous and making one wonder how Native Americans survived winters there.
Chattahoochee Forest-Blue Ridge District, 1881 Highway 515, Blairsville, GA; 706-745-6928; Fs.Fed.Us/conf
Solar System Walking Tour in Gainesville, Georgia
In the small city of Gainesville is an activity science-minded kids will love. It also will take them around the beloved Gainesville Square that was nearly completely destroyed in the 1930s by the fifth deadliest tornado in United States history. The Gainesville community quickly rebuilt with the assistance and sincere support of then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt. This 1.8-mile model walking tour begins at the sun at the corner of Spring Street and Bradford Street of Gainesville Square. There are many quaint shops and eateries along the way.
Walking Tour of our Solar System, Downtown Gainesville, GA; 770-536-5209; NorthGeorgiaAstronomers.org
Navigating the Northeast Georgia Mountains on a Budget
The Northeast Georgia Mountains spreads over a vast area full of walking and hiking trails. Most of the Chattahoochee Forest is contained within this region. Family activities do not have to cost a fortune here. Pack some coolers with all the picnic fixings and head out. Everywhere you go, there are ample opportunities to pull off for picnics in the small towns that dot the landscape. There are often picnic tables beside streams and creeks. Most of the roads that tour through the area are state highways and are very curvy and hilly. Take your time, and be aware that these roads, particularly following Christmas until mid-March or so can become quickly icy and very treacherous with even the slightest winter precipitation.
The benefit of this however is that even in the hot Georgia springs and summers, the mountain air is a little cooler and breezier. In the autumn, and especially in October, the air is brisk and the days are usually bright and clear with little rainfall. This is a popular time for fall harvests every weekend across the area and the fall color show is brilliant.