We recently got the opportunity to experience all the magic of the Pumpkin Festival at Stone Mountain Park. I love pumpkins (I’ve had one in the house since mid-August) and Stone Mountain Park did not disappoint. When they say pumpkin festival, they weren’t kidding. We had a fun time up there, and I wanted to share some tips so you can soak all up the magic during the Pumpkin Festival at Stone Mountain Park.
Thank you to Stone Mountain Park for providing us with tickets so we can share our experience and tips. As always, all opinions are our own.
Go earlier in the day
Your All Adventure pass will give you access to the other activities that they have, as well. So you might as well show up early, and take advantage of the other fun things there are to do. Some of these attractions include the Dinotorium, MEGABUGS, Summit Skyride, mini golf, Farmyard, and so much more.
The Dinotorium is indoors, so it’s a bit darker, and it’s very noisy. If you have younger ones, it might be too much for them. Bean loves dinosaurs, but he just couldn’t handle the Dinotorium. Maybe next time, when he’s a bit older. What we did get to see was pretty neat, though. Kids who love dinosaurs and don’t mind loud noises would definitely enjoy this attraction.
On the other hand, MEGABUGS! the insect exhibit was outdoors, and considerably less noisy. Bean loved that. They feature giant-sized versions of all sorts of insects. Bear also enjoyed getting to read about all the bugs they had on display. Bug loved the Orchid mantis, which is pink. However, this exhibit will only be around til early November, so make sure to see it before it’s gone!
Another thing to make sure and see is the farm area. They had some baby piglets there, as well as goats. Bug (naturally) had a fit over the piggies, and Bean also enjoyed them. He developed a technique we have named “ninja petting.”
So I know it’s fall, but this is the South. It’s probably going to be hot. Make sure you wear comfortable clothing and shoes. You will do a lot of walking. You can drive from some of the attractions to others, but you are still going to be walking a lot. So just plan accordingly. You could always throw a jacket in the car, just in case.
There are grill sites/picnic areas in the area. I would suggest just bringing a picnic lunch, or even bringing stuff to grill out while you are there. That way, you don’t have to worry about how good the food will be, or the cost. You can cook your own, or if that’s too much trouble, just pack sandwiches and drinks. Plus you can enjoy your beautiful surroundings.
There are also three main places to eat in the Crossroads area. One of them was closed when we were there, so of the remaining two, we opted for the Marketplace. Now, I have to be honest, here. The food was very expensive, and not that good. I couldn’t help but think back to my school cafeteria. It had obviously been sitting under a heat lamp for some time, and yet we paid what we could expect to at a modest steakhouse for some chicken tenders, burgers, fries, and a slice of pizza. Drinks are extra, so we bought the souvenir cup. Which the menu board said was $9.99, but they charged us $12.99. Later, I did see that price advertised outside. I understand that at a place like this, the food is going to be higher. And I don’t mind paying a little bit more, as long as it’s good, and there’s enough of it. Neither of these things proved true at Marketplace. I can’t speak to the quality of the other places, but I think we will just grill out next time.
Bring some cash with you
Be warned, there are a few activities that will cost you extra, even with the pass. For example, the pumpkin painting was $5. Which wasn’t bad, at all, especially for all the fun the kids had with it. But just be ready, and have a little cash on hand, just in case you see something that looks fun.
Do some things twice
There are two separate experiences when you ride the train. During the day, you will see all the sights of Stone Mountain, and the guide (who was great) will have plenty of information about it all. At night, you can’t see near as much, so they have developed a series of videos and a short play to keep you entertained when it’s dark. I would recommend that you plan on riding twice, so you can experience both. When we were there, the night shows started with the 7 pm ride.
Another thing to stop by more than once is the actual pumpkin area. During the day, you can go and enjoy all the intricately carved pumpkins, and beautiful displays that they have to offer. There are some shows and other activities to enjoy that will end around darkfall, as well. Then, at night, everything changes into a magical pumpkin wonderland. There are lights everywhere, both inside the pumpkins and all over the buildings. There is even an animated singing pumpkin tree/pyramid. It’s quite the experience, and different enough from the daytime fare that you will definitely want to check it out twice!
Is it worth it?
Absolutely. If you plan accordingly with these tips, then your day and night will be packed full of fun for the whole family. There is tons of magic to discover during the Pumpkin Festival at Stone Mountain Park!