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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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Lake Lanier Woes Part 4

He was hungry! We have holes on the porch.Here are some pics of the endangered woodpeckers that live in the woods behind us on Lake Lanier. This is the same Army Corps property where they want to knock down the trees to install the raw water pipeline instead of going under the street, which makes much more sense. It’s also a shorter route for the City of Cumming to go if they do go under the street. Plus it would eliminate the need to cut through a Forsyth County resident’s property.

Sometimes I think the government does not use common sense.

 

Lake Lanier Woes, Part 3

Grass where the Lake Water Used to Be.
My neighbor heard some rather shocking news today (on Earth Day, oh the irony) regarding the City of Cumming’s plans for routing the Lake Lanier water into town. He met a surveyor in his yard and apparently they are going to go around the lake, through our creek and up through Roger’s yard. The surveyor asked if he had gotten a letter yet. Yikes.
 
That doesn’t make any sense! That is a lot longer path to go from the current pumphouse to the city. My neighbor said it’s going to be about 40 feet wide taken of his land. Plus all the digging they will have to do to come around the creek and up our way, up his hill and to the street. How many hardwood trees are going to die because of this? What is going on?
 
He also said that the city manager has been going to Mobile 3x a week. Why does the City of Cumming Manager need to go to the Army Corps headquarters when they will not listen to the Governor of Georgia? What are they hiding?
 
Anyway, I need to research what our rights are if they come between our yards and the whole eminent domain issue. That means our trees will go in the front right side of our yard and in the back. Beautiful hardwood trees. It’s upsetting to say the least when you move to the lake to live in a natural setting and then hear that the forest on the lake is going to be tore up when there are other options available for the government.
 
We also wonder if the lake level is being held so they can dig. The lake dropped for the first time in awhile and they released 3x more water than usual. What is going on???? Who does the Army Corps answer to? Where are our checks and balances? The rumors are flying in Forsyth County and it’s not good.
Who can help us, Clark Howard? WSB-TV? The EPA? Greenpeace? Save the Trees? Lake Lanier Association? Someone!