By Michelle Martin
The crisp chill in the air, rich aroma of fresh-baked apple pie, and flurry of festivals and other activities remind us that fall is here. We've compiled a "ghostly guide" of farm attractions, haunted trails, pumpkin carvings, and local festivals to help your family have a "frightfully fun" time together this fall!
Oktoberfest at Tanglewood Farm
Wednesday-Friday: 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday: 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Tanglewood Farm gets into the Halloween spirit by offering “night-mare“ pony rides, pickings from its pumpkin patch and miniature scares in its not-so-scary haunted barn throughout October. Visitors can pet and feed more than 100 miniature animals on the farm. Reservations are preferred for groups of 20 or more. 171 Tanglewood Drive, Canton. 770-667-MINI, TanglewoodFarmMiniatures.com
Big Springs Farms
Friday-Sunday: 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
There’s plenty of fall fun at the farm, from wagon hayrides to animal adventures, inflatables and face painting, and a new corn maze! Admission and parking are free, but there is a charge for certain activities. Come out and meet Willie, the pet pig; donkeys Molly and Bubba; and chickens and goats. Choose from hundreds of pumpkins of all sizes — from “Wee Be Little,” around 1 pound, to “Big Max,” at 50-60 pounds! Prices vary by size. 2100 Sugar Pike Road, Woodstock. 678-899-3900, BigSpringsFarms.com
Oktoberfest First Friday
Kick off the fall season at Canton’s First Friday. The “Oktoberfest” theme will feature beer, brats and Southern rock ’n’ roll! Cannon Park, Downtown Canton. 770-704-1500, Canton-Georgia.com
Zombie Fest, presented by Cherokee FOCUS, returns this year with a new Fun Run & 5K race (6:00 p.m. registration, October 3, at Hobgood Park in Woodstock) and a new motorcycle ride (3:30 p.m. registration, October 4, from Kotic Kustoms in Woodstock). The Zombie Fest main event will begin at 5:00 p.m., October 4, at Cannon Park in Canton and will feature Chandler Riggs from “The Walking Dead” as special guest host; a “Little Zombies” inflatable zone; zombie transformation stations; a “Left 4 Dead 2” tournament, zombie costume contest and “brain-eating” contest; food trucks, tents and other vendors; ghost tours in Canton’s old cemetery; and “Scooby Doo on Zombie Island” and “Night of the Living Dead” movies at the historic Canton Theatre. Admission is a $5 donation to benefit Cherokee FOCUS, Cherokee Youth Council, and the Drug-Free Cherokee Initiative. Cannon Park, Downtown Canton. CherokeeZombieFest.com
City of Holly Springs' Autumn Fest
October 4, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
There is something for everyone at the City of Holly Springs’ 11th annual Autumn Fest. Come out and enjoy shopping from local arts and crafts vendors; live music from Aspen Countryman and the Alligator Hat Band; kids’ inflatables and pumpkin painting; a pumpkin seed-spitting contest; and lots of yummy festival food! A free shuttle will run from Barrett Memorial Park to Holly Springs Elementary School. Barrett Memorial Park, 120 Park Lane, Holly Springs. 770-345-5536, HollySpringsGA.us/AutumnFest
Ghost Tails & Trails
October 23-25, 6:30 p.m.
Laugh and enjoy a creepy good time featuring stagings of Edgar Allen Poe’s spooky writings along the path at the Elm Street Event Green and outdoor stage. Written by Park Cofield and Jason Jenkins, and directed by Harmony Reid, “The Poe Project” is recommended for ages 8 and up. Tours leave every 20 minutes. Tickets are available in advance and at the door. Event Green at Elm Street Cultural Arts Village, 111 Elm St., Woodstock. 678-494-4251, ElmStreetArts.org
Canton Fall Festival
October 25, 10:00 a.m.
Bring the kids to Cannon Park for trick-or-treating with local merchants, a kids’ costume contest, games and activities, and the last Canton Farmers Market of the season. The Fall Festival also will feature the Main Street Inferno Chili Cook-Off, beginning at 12:00 p.m. Cannon Park, Downtown Canton. 770-704-1500, Canton-Georgia.com
October 31, 3:00-7:00 p.m.
Young ghouls and goblins will enjoy trick-or-treating and other family-friendly fall activities, including Tim the Magician; Adam the Juggler; DJ Ronnie; stringed apple and pumpkin bowling games; moonwalks; bobbing for apples; face painting; candy giveaways; food vendors; and much more! Trophies and prizes will be given for the scariest, funniest, cutest and best costumes. A movie in the park will start at 7:00 p.m. The Park at City Center, 101 Arnold Mill Road, Downtown Woodstock. 770-517-6788, WhatsUpWoodstock.com