FIVE OUT-OF-THE-ORDINARY DAY TRIPS YOUR KIDS WILL FLIP FOR

Head south to Milledgeville for a day of fun paddling on the Oconee River.

STORY: Sue Rodman

When lazy summer days at the pool start to get a little old, it’s time to plan a fun day trip with the kids. There’s no shortage of museums and attractions in Atlanta, but why not break out of the norm and plan something a little offbeat? Here are five unique Georgia adventures, all within two hours of Buckhead.

The man who created Sleepy Hollow’s fanciful fairy houses is a former Disney Imagineer.

Explore a fairy garden.

There are playhouses, and then there are the lifesize fairy cottages hand built by Art Millican Jr. and showcased at his 2,500-square-foot studio, Sleepy Hollow, in Blairsville. Millican is a former Disney Imagineer and model-maker, and that whimsical, artistic background shows through in his work. In addition to the full-size cottages you can play in, Millican also makes birdhouses and fairy doors you can purchase at the store adjacent to his workshop.

Explore the legend of Sasquatch at Expedition: Bigfoot!

Search for Bigfoot.

Are you a believer? After visiting Expedition: Bigfoot! near Ellijay, you just might be. This quirky, well-done museum combines movies, audio stories and displays to tell the tale of Bigfoot, or Sasquatch, the hairy, upright-walking ape that legend has it terrorizes the wilderness. But don’t worry, the museum is more fun than scary. There’s even a plaster cast of Bigfoot’s bottom.

Tour a farm.

Show the kids where their food comes from with a farm tour. Rock House Creamery near Madison has been a working dairy since 1940. In addition to touring the creamery to see how milk is processed and cheese is made, youngsters can meet the cows and visit the vegetable gardens. Top off the experience with samples of freshly made milk and cheeses such as cheddar and tomme. The kids will love hearing how the cheese curds squeak when they bite them, and also making mustaches with the premium chocolate milk.

Sample fresh chocolate milk and more at the Rock House Creamery working dairy farm.

Bask on the beach.

Atlanta may be a landlocked city, but Robin Lake Beach at Callaway Resort & Gardens is only an hour from Buckhead and has enough activities to keep the kids busy all day long. The little ones may be happy building sandcastles on the shoreline, but the older kids will likely crave the challenge of Aqua Island, an inflatable obstacle course in the middle of the lake. There’s also waterskiing, tubing and lots of beachside activities, including giant chess and checkers, mini-golf, table tennis and shuffleboard, that are fun for kids of all ages.

Paddle the river.

Get everyone outside to experience nature by way of kayak or canoe. Mac’s Yaks Kayak Rental in Milledgeville can set you up for a day on the water. The Oconee River runs near town, and because its shoreline remains largely undeveloped, you’re likely to see native plants, animals and birds. For those who prefer dry land, the Oconee River Greenway Park has trails along the river made for walking, biking or pushing strollers. Plan to stop at the observation deck at Fishing Creek, the Greenway’s southern boundary, to see the remnants of a bygone island.

DETAILS

Callaway Resort & Gardens
844.512.3826
callawaygardens.com

Expedition: Bigfoot!
706.946.2601
expeditionbigfoot.mdom.mobi

Mac’s Yaks Kayak Rental
478.454.8348
macsyaks.com

Rock House Creamery
678.729.1459
rockhousecreamery.com

Sleepy Hollow
706.379.9622
whimsicalfairygarden.com