USA: Southeast, Corn Mazes and Fall Festivals for Families. From Virginia to Georgia and Tennessee to Arkansas, farms, villages and towns are creating seasonal festivals that frame natural works of art. Clever and fun, corn is not just for breakfast anymore. Perhaps the ultimate integration of eco tourism and mainstream entertainment, each corn maze location provides uniquely themed entertainment. Carve a pumpkin or stuff a scarecrow; ride on a wagon full of hay or bob for apples, make time for fun.
Tennessee: Pigeon Forge, 12th Annual Pigeon Forge Harvest Festival (9/12/2008 – 10/31/2008). The splendid colors of fall in the mountains are the stage for this easy-paced celebration of autumn. This time of year is when the weather's perfect and the activities are endless. Shopping is at its best with pre-season sales and bargains. The Rotary Club Crafts Festival features dozens of talented artists so stroll through craft shows and sidewalk sales or stop by to see the displays set up all over town, where local business owners have pitched in to create unique fall displays. Discovery: Cades Cove has Harvest Hayrides, perfect for families. Bonus points: Dollywood Harvest Celebration & Southern Gospel Jubilee™ is part of the festival. (1-800-251-9100 or 1 (865) 429-7350 or www.mypigeonforge.com)
Georgia: Stone Mountain, Georgia Mountain Fall Festival (10/10/2008 – 10/19/2008). Enjoy all-American fun for the whole family in Georgia’s “country music capital” Hiawassee. The opening day of the festival features a flower festival with subsequent days of craft displays, exhibits, and rides for the children. Every night the air will be replete with country and gospel music and the sounds of cloggers dancing will keep everyone’s feet a-tapping. Bonus Points: You can also attend the Georgia’s Official State Fiddler’s Convention. (1311 Music Hall Road, Hiawassee. 1 (706) 896-4191 or www.georgia-mountain-fair.com)
Georgia: Atlanta, 22nd Annual Tour of Southern Ghosts (10/15/2008 - 10/31/2008). Listen closely to the grand tradition of storytelling at Stone Mountain. Visitors are invited to join six professional storytellers, in 19th century costumes, spinning their tales of famous (and not-so-famous) Southern ghosts along candle-and lantern-lit paths on the antebellum plantation grounds at Stone Mountain Park. The Tour of Southern Ghosts is a storytelling festival celebrating the spirit, folklore and merriment of the Halloween season. Relive the romance, horror and humor of the 18th century during the 45-minute, family-oriented tours. Bonus Points: The stories are not too scary for young children. (Stone Mountain Park. 1 (770) 469-1105 www.artstation.org)
South Carolina: Myrtle Beach, Brookgreen's Harvest Home Weekend Festival. (10/18/2008 – 10/19/2008) Two day festival now in its eighth year, Brookgreen's Harvest Home Weekend Festival tops the fall season with entertainment and activities the whole family will enjoy. It includes a scarecrow building contest, pumpkin painting and live entertainment. (1931 Brookgreen Drive, Murrells Inlet. 1-800-849-1931 or www.brookgreen.org)
North Carolina: Blowing Rock, Ghost Train Halloween Festival (10/03/2008 – 11/01/2008). This is safe, scary fun for the whole family. You can visit the new haunted house, 3-D Maze and Black Hole. Kids will enjoy the trick-or-treating and Halloween shows. (Tweetsie Railroad is located on US 321 between Boone and Blowing Rock, 28605. 1 (828) 264-9061 or www.tweetsie.com)
North Carolina: Asheville, Field to Table Festival (09/19/2008 – 10/28/2008). If you love farmer’s markets, family recipes and backyard gardens come to Biltmore for this festival! The beautiful grounds at Biltmore are only one reason to go. This festival provides all the estate restaurants with fresh fruits, vegetables, eggs and meat from their own farm as well as from local farmers. Enjoy daily demonstrations, panel discussions, artisan demonstrations, and guided tours. Plus with all the outdoor activities Biltmore offers everyone in your family will be satisfied. (1 Approach Road, Asheville, 28803. 1-800-411-3812 or 1(828)225-1333 or www.biltmore.com)
Alabama: Springville, Homestead Hollow Harvest Festival (10/03/2008 – 10/05/2008). The Homestead Hollow Harvest Festival will showcase unique, one-of-a-kind hand-made crafts, pioneer demonstrations of the old time days (such as wood carving, ironwork, blacksmithing, smoke-house cooking, gardening, quilting, whiskey making at an original working still), and tours of historic cabins built by early settlers. Children’s activities will include: pony rides, wagon rides, moon walk, and rock climbing. Also on site is a wonderful petting zoo that’s a festival favorite. Bonus: The Homestead Hollow General Store is open and has home-made fried pies and other great regional items. (Homestead Hollow, Springville 35146. 1(205) 467-2002, 1(205) 467-3681 or www.homesteadhollow.com)
Louisiana: Denham Springs, Antique Village Fall Festival (10/04/2008). Families are invited to stroll down Range Avenue in Historic Downtown Denham Springs and enjoy food, antiques, music, crafts arts, family entertainment and more. Attractions include the opportunity to see a blacksmith perform his art and the Odyssey Dancer do a youth dance tribute to popular Disney tunes. Musical performances will include a local jazz combo and local gospel singers on stage at the Train Depot. (228 N. Ranger Avenue, Denham Springs 70726. www.denhamspringsaantiquedistrict.com)
Information compiled from theFamilyTravelFiles.com database as of July 2008. Sometimes things change, so please confirm details before making plans. Images provided by respective venues. Copyright 2008.