The trees are changing, the temperature is falling, and you can’t deny it – fall is here! This weekend, take your pick from some of Atlanta’s finest annual fall celebrations: Boo at the Zoo, Little 5 Points’ Halloween Festival and Parade, the Highland Games Festival, the Morris Brandon Jamboree, and more. Or, hop in the car and dive into the gorgeous colored leaves as you head north towards the mountains or south to Thomas the Tank Engine‘s annual stopover in Cordele. Whatever direction you choose, your destination is fun. Read on to find out where our GPS is taking us!

boo at the zoo Photo: Anika Malone via flickr Creative Commons

Grant Park

Boo at the Zoo
It’s that time of year when Atlanta goes wild for some Halloween fun with their animal friends! Sample the treats, sights, characters and adventures of the whimsical Zoo Boo Town on four magical days with more than 1,500 animals from around the world. Held at Zoo Atlanta, 800 Cherokee Ave. $24/ adult + child pair, includes Zoo Admission. Sat. Ages 3-4. Event details.

Little 5 Points

Don’t Miss the L5P Halloween Festival and Parade
Kids will love the elaborate costumes and watching the adults who’ve come out to play, but be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the really scary costumes, and have a diversion tactic ready (“Look! Queen Elsa is over there!”). If yours are easily frightened, put the L5P parade on your bucket list in a year or two, but be sure to hit it sooner or later. Held at Little Five Points, Euclid Avenue at Moreland Avenue. Free. Sat. from noon to 11 p.m.; parade at 4 p.m. All ages. Event details.


Brick or Treat at Legoland
LEGOLAND Discovery Center Atlanta is getting spooky for Halloween! Come decked out in your awesome Halloween costume every weekend throughout the month for trick-or-treating and games. Held at LEGOLAND Discovery Center Atlanta, 3500 Lenox Rd. Suite G-1. Price varies by date; see website for details. Through Nov. 1. All ages. Event details.

Morris Brandon Jamboree
Don’t miss this annual festival complete with a bungee trampoline, wrecking ball, turbo swing, laser tag, DJ, face painting, dunk tank, airbrush tattoos, inflatables, food trucks, crafts, cake walk, a haunted house, and more. Purchase wristbands in advance or at the gate (tickets may be purchased per ride, as well). Held at Morris Brandon Main Campus Backyard, 2741 Howell Mill Rd NW. Tickets available for purchase at the door, wristbands are $30 and are available at the door and in advance. Sun. from 1 to 5 p.m. All ages. Event details.

Get Fresh at the Peachtree Road Farmers Market
Check out Georgia’s largest producer-only farmers market in the state (Producer-only means that everything at the Market has been grown, raised, or made by the seller, ensuring fair prices for both the vendors and the consumers). With chef demos, samples, live music, you and the kids will certainly want to make it a weekend tradition. Held at The Cathedral of St. Philip, 2744 Peachtree Road NW. Free. Sat. from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. All ages. Event details.


Family Fright Fest at the Aquarium
Head to the seas of the Aquarium for a Graveyard Smash: A Monstrous Spook-tacular, weekends starting October 10 through October 31. Dracula, Igor, Frankenstein and his bride, and all their other chilling friends will make appearances for a 70s and 80s dance party. Held at The Georgia Aquarium, 225 Baker Street NW. Free with admission ($35.95/ adult, $29.95/ child 3-12, free under 3). Characters appear twice daily on Sat. & Sun. All ages. Event details.


See Scarecrows in the Garden at Atlanta Botanical Garden
Scarecrows in the Garden returns for its 13th annual season of fall family fun. Throughout October the Garden is stuffed with more than 100 scarecrows handcrafted by businesses, individuals, schools and organizations. Harvest their imagination and come see this festive fall spectacle. Held at Atlanta Botanical Garden, 1345 Piedmont Ave. Adults: $18.95, Children ages 3 to 12: $12.95, Children under 3 & members: free. Fri. to Sun. from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. All ages. Event details.

Spin in an Artful Top
Head to The High to be a part of the Los Trompos installation, an interactive setting located in the center of the Woodruff Arts Center campus on the Sifly Piazza. Play, create and be a part of the art, where you can watch amazing performances every first and third Friday, have a picnic or just spin in a top. Held at Siffly Plaza, The High Museum of Art, 1280 Peachtree Street, N.E. Free. All ages. Event details.

See Peter Pan at the Center for Puppetry Arts
Don’t miss the Center for Puppetry Arts’ production of Peter Pan, complete with original music and a Create-A-Puppet Workshop (or To-Go Kit), where children can make their own Crocodile Rod Puppet to take home! Held at Center for Puppetry Arts, 1404 Spring St. NW at 18th. $16.50, includes a build-a-puppet workshop. Wednesday – Friday: 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., Saturday: 12 p.m. and 2 p.m., Sunday: 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Ages 2 & up. Event details.

Visit the Green Market at Piedmont Park
If it’s Saturday in Atlanta, it’s time to visit the Green Market. Bring the bikes and the pups and pay a visit to the market, with it’s array of Georgia grown produce, handmade crafts, cooking demonstrations, and kids’ activities. Held at Piedmont Park, 12th St. and Piedmont Ave. NE Park Entrance. Free. Sat. from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. All ages. Event details.

Get Silly at The High
We all secretly want to give the pigeon a hot dog. Now’s your chance. The High Museum of Art presents Seriously Silly: A Decade of Art and Whimsy by Mo Willems, featuring over 100 works by the artist. Held at The High Museum of Art, 1280 Peachtree St. Free with admission ($19.50/ Adult, $12/ Children ages 6-17). 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fri., and 12 to 5 p.m. Sun. All ages. Event details.

Avondale Estates

Get Your Craft on at Garage Door Studio
For the first 3 Saturdays in October, “Get your Craft On” in the art center at Garage Door Studio in Avondale Estates. Each week’s project will be something new and include making block print tote bags, suede knotted bracelets, and a halloween wreath. Ages 12 and under MUST be accompanied by an adult. Held at Garage Door Studio, 119 Center Street, Suite A. $15/ person. Sat. from 11a.m. to 2 p.m. Ages 8 & up. Event details.

Stone Mountain

Stone Mountain Park Pumpkin Festival
Head to Stone Mountain Park for the annual Pumpkin Festival, complete with pumpkin-themed entertainment, a pumpkin patch, access to the rides, treetop SkyHike®, and see beautiful fall views from the train or top of Stone Mountain. Held in Stone Mountain Park, 1000 Robert E. Lee Blvd. $24.95/ adult, $19.95/ ages 3-11. Through Oct. 25; admission times vary by date. All ages. Event details.

43rd Annual Highland Games
Don your tartans and head to the meadows of Stone Mountain for a weekend of Scottish revelry, including Highland dancing, piping and drumming, athletic events, and more family fun. Your little Scotsmen (and ladies) will love the Children’s Tent. Held in Stone Mountain Park, 1000 Robert E. Lee Blvd. $17/ adult, $6/ child ages 4-8, free under 4. Sat. & Sun. from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.. All ages. Event details.

Multiple Locations

Have a Ball with the Play Mobile
Don’t miss this recreation center on wheels at a park near you! Appearing every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in a local park, the Play Mobile is a courtesy of Atlanta Parks and Rec Department and encourages kids to get out and play. Free activities from 4-6 p.m. on weekdays and 1-4 p.m. on weekends include the ring toss, hula-hoops, board games, scooters, arts and craft activities, and more. See this weekend’s park line-up in event details. Free. All ages. Event details.

Worth the Drive: Gainesville

Nature Connects: LEGO® in the Garden
Worth the drive to Gainesville, the newly-opened Gainesville extension of the Atlanta Botanical Garden features 14 larger-than-life installations built from nearly 400,000 LEGO bricks including a giant praying mantis, butterfly, hummingbird, flowers and more. Don’t miss the grand opening this weekend with LEGO activities and games. Held in Atlanta Botanical Garden Gainesville, 1911 Sweetbay Dr. Free with admission (Adult $18.95, Child $12.95, Under 3 free). Sep 19 – Jan 3. All ages. Event details.

Worth the Drive: Cleveland

North Georgia Zoo’s Scarecrow Trail and Pumpkin Fest
The zoo is transformed with decorations and moody lighting, with rows of scarecrows set up throughout wooded paths. Beyond the scarecrows, there are pumpkin patches and hay bale mazes to explore, as well as a full petting zoo for the kids. Held in North Georgia Zoo, 2912 Paradise Valley Rd. Adults, $8; ages 2-11, $6; Infants, free. Sat. 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. & Sun. 12-6 p.m. from Sept. 26-Oct. 31. All ages. Event details.

Worth the Drive: Cordele

Thomas the Tank Engine 
Hold on to your (Sir Topham) hats, because Thomas the Tank Engine is pulling into Cordele. This fun day trip from Atlanta is well worth the drive with a 25-minute ride with Thomas the Tank Engine, interactions with Sir Topham Hatt, Controller of the Railway, a Thomas & Friends Imagination Station featuring stamps, temporary tattoos, hands-on arts & crafts, train tables, and coloring sheets, and storytelling, video viewing and live music. Held at GA. Veterans State Park, 2459 Hwy 280 West at Cannon Rd. Trains depart between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. at multiple times- purchase your tickets in advance and reserve your departure time. All ages. Event details.

Worth the Drive: Alto

Corn Maze and Fall Fun at Jaemor Farms
If you’re looking for a corn maze near Atlanta, Jaemor Farms (roughly an hour North) aims to please. After working your way through the giant, football-themed corn maze, try your hand at the mini maze for the kids, a petting zoo, farm skeeball, a pumpkin train ride, a giant inflatable slide, duck races, apple cannons, and hayrides. Held at Jaemor Farms, 5340 Cornelia Hwy. $14 for an all-access pass ages 3 & up. Fri. & Sat.: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., Sun. 1-7 p.m. All ages. Event details.

What’s on your agenda this weekend? Tell us in the comments section below!

—Shelley Massey