Monthly Archives: June 2009

Free and Cheap Kid-Friendly Things to Do in and around Forsyth County, GA

I am researching things to do that are low or no-cost in North Atlanta. I will share the places I find and hope it helps you add to your summer adventures. I live in Forsyth County, GA so this will focus on this area for the most part. I will also update this as I go. Happy trails! Update: As a result of this extremely popular post, I created Forsyth for Families, a local blog chronicling free and cheap things to do for families in and around Cumming, GA.

Forsyth County Parks – we are fortunate to have a wealth of parks available for our leisure. Here is a list with plenty of resources. Central Park is a favorite hangout. Coal Mountain Park has a great shaded playground. Poole’s Mill has a wonderful creek and shady playground. Fowler Park is Forsyth County’s newest park. It is located on the greenway and is about the size of Central Park.

Lake Lanier parks and campgrounds – Shady Grove campground opens March 28, signaling the new Spring season for camping, hiking, playing and visiting all of the wonderful parks on the lake. Here is a list of parks on Lake Lanier and what they offer.

Movies 400 – free summer movies in Cumming, GA on Tuesday and Thursdays at 10:00 am. The concession stand offers a special size $1.00 Popcorn and $1.00 Soda for these showings only. Join us this summer for free movies. Bring a can of food to support our can food drive and receive a free popcorn! (Free Family Film Festival Size only, Limit One Per Customer) See my post on the other movie theaters offering free and dollar movies.

Forsyth County Public Library – activities, puppet shows and a calendar for story time keep the library a fresh fun place to go. Plus checking out books keeps our reading library replenished at no cost!

Cumming City Park Pool and playground – Hours: May 30-Aug 6, Mon-Sun 1pm–5pm; Adult Lap Swim: Mon-Thu 5:30pm-7:30pm; Call for lesson schedule. Cost: $3; lesson prices separate.

Catch Air – a cool and spacious jumpy place with weekly specials. They have a new magic wall and a preschooler area. They are adding neat things and keep it fun for the kids. One of our favorite places to go. Follow on FB or sign up for the newsletter for deals.

Adventure Kids – the newest jumpy place with a sand area. Find refuge on a rainy day here.

Chick-Fil-A – Tuesday night is family night at The Avenues in Cumming, GA and also Lanier Crossing. Balloons, face painting and special meal deals. Sign up for email newsletter local events and deals. Check out their FB page and sign up for text alerts for special promotions!

Barnes & Noble at The Avenues – story time and other fun events at the B&N in Cumming, GA.

Monkey Joe’s – Cumming, GA – jumpy place. Follow on FB, sign up for newsletter for coupons. They have run a few Groupons and Living Social deals as well.

Michaels – arts and crafts classes are offered at the Michael’s in Cumming, GA off Market Place Blvd.

Lowe’s – offers kids classes to build all kinds of fun things. Lowe’s in Cumming, GA off Market Place Blvd.

Home Depot offers craft workshops on the first Saturday of each month. Located off of Market Place Boulevard.

Sawnee Mountain – pack a picnic and head for a hike at Sawnee Mountain Preserve. There is also a small playground and picnic tables.

Rainbow Ranch Trout Farm – try something new and take your children fishing in this trout farm next to the Chattahoochee River. There is also a picnic area and pavilion for group outings.

The Ice – New ice skating rink in Cumming, GA. Dress warmly and learn to skate a figure eight!

Slapshots – Family roller skating center – fun for everyone. Check their FB page for events and discounts.

Stars & Strikes – Bowling, laser tag, bumper cars, arcade, restaurant. See their FB page for specials.

Cumming Playhouse – offering plays, musicals, concerts, and catered fine dining on select performances.

Kinsey Family Farm – pumpkin season starts September 25, hay rides, nursery, apple cannon, fun!

Nearby Activities in Surrounding Counties

Waterparks around Atlanta – I just learned of the one, Bogan, near Mall of Georgia. Great list here and although there is a cost, some like Bogan are real deals.

Fountains of Atlanta – we love to pack a lunch and visit the fountains within 30 minutes of our house in the heat of summer for a cool treat.

Autrey Mill Nature Preserve and Heritage Center
Autrey Mill, located in Alpharetta, has miles of walking trails, a Heritage Village with original buildings and artifacts from the mid-1800s to the mid-1900s, animal exhibits and replicas of Native American dwellings. All activities on the grounds are free.
9770 Autrey Mill Road, Johns Creek, GA 30022.

Chattahoochee Nature Center – walking trails and educational sessions with a low cost admission is fun for the whole family.

Wills Park Wacky World and Disc Golf is a 110-acre park featuring baseball fields, a disc golf course, lighted tennis courts, picnic pavilions, walking trails and two large playgrounds, including “Wacky World,” a unique kingdom that kids rave about. Situated at the edge of the park is the Alpharetta city pool, which has a diving well with three boards, a shaded kiddie, shaded and open deck areas and a concession stand.

Suwanee Town Center Park and Playtown Suwanee – a little bit further away but adventure awaits with an interactive fountain, lots of greenspace and a great playground.

North Georgia Premium Outlets – playground, food court and outdoor shops for window shopping and enjoying the outdoors.

i Shop Lollipop – toy store, jumpy place by North Georgia Premium Outlets. One of our favorites. Follow on FB, get email newsletter for coupons/sales.

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Mulberry Moon Bride – Personalized jewelry, gifts and accessories for your wedding day!

Due to the success of MulberryMoon.com’s bridal section of products, they have expanded and now offer an entire web site of personalized gifts to make your wedding day extra special. Voted one of the top wedding sites from Modern Bride magazine, Mulberry Moon has the gifts that you need for your wedding, wedding party or for wedding gifts for the bride and groom.

Mulberry Moon Bride is the newest addition to the Mulberry Moon Gift Group, LLC. Mulberry Moon has been specializing in personalized sterling silver jewelry and fine embroidered and engraved gifts since 2003 on our website, http://www.mulberrymoon.com. The idea for Mulberry Moon Bride came from the many creative and astute brides who have been purchasing bridesmaid gifts and wedding day accessories from us for the past 6 years. These brides let us know they were looking for beautiful, yet affordable, personalized gifts, favors, and memory keepers for their wedding day as well as unique bridesmaid and thank you gifts. In 2009 we decided to expand Mulberry Moon and create a unique online store where all of our specialized wedding gifts and accessories are collectively available on one website. Our goal at Mulberry Moon Bride is to provide exceptionally personal wedding gifts and accessories with exceptional customer service and satisfaction.

Thoughts from a Food Allergic Child’s Mom in the Peanut State.

I spoke with my sister in Charlotte, NC and was surprised to hear that her school system has been strict with food allergies and labeling with what gets brought to school for almost six years. They serve Sunbutter and jelly sandwiches and if you bring in any snacks, it has to have the store label on it. No big deal but it can save a life.

In GA, however, it is an entirely different story. My daughter has an egg and peanut allergy and I was voicing my concerns to my sister over our schools in GA still serving peanut butter and allowing any snack foods (homemade or store bought) to be brought in to classroom parties and for the daily class snack.

And then it hit me. Tonight I saw a peanut commercial for the peanut industry in Georgia. I connected the political and economical connections between the state and the peanut industry and my heart sank. We will never have the same understanding in our schools as long as the peanut industry and lobbyists have a say in this state.

How heartbreaking is it to realize that I have an uphill battle? It’s more than having a peanut free table in the cafeteria. I mean, you still serve peanut butter on the menu so how will you protect a food allergic child from being exposed when kids can wipe it on a chair or table? Who checks to see that their hands are clean? And what about all the classroom parties and daily snacks where parents bring in anything?

I have more regulations with my daughter’s daycare at Primrose School (thankfully) and now I am considering keeping her there for private kindergarten. It is a battle that I hope most parents do not face. It has implications that go far beyond “just keep your kid away from the peanut butter.”