Summertime is almost here! I think we are privileged to live in such a beautiful, unique part of Georgia. Whether you’re looking for something to do with the kids while they’re out of school for the summer or you’re looking for something unique to do on the weekends, Henry County has some great options!
- Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary – Located in Locust Grove, this animal sanctuary would be a great way to spend an afternoon with kids! Enjoy a leisurely self-guided tour throughout the habitat. A mile long in length, this tour features stops at each animal enclosure. Each enclosure has a sign posted with an informative description of that animal. The self-guided tour is free, but a donation is suggested, as this animal sanctuary receives all of its funds through donation. There are also paid tours that come with more privileges and closer encounters with the animals. However you decide to enjoy this experience, I think it is a true gem here in Henry County. Visit their website for more information on how to support Noah’s Ark.
- Panola Mountain State Park – Located in Stockbridge, Panola Mountain State Park offers guests with the perfect opportunity to “get away from it all.” The park features three miles of hiking trails, bicycle rental (with access to the Arabia PATH Trail), fishing, and a playground for the kiddos. I think the perfect day sounds like getting up early, packing a picnic lunch, taking a hike, and then unwinding while you relax and enjoy your picnic. The park also has several events to choose from, such as an Intro to Tree Climbing Course, a guided mountain hike, or — and this sounds like a real treat — the Moonlight Mountain Hike. This ranger-led hike will take place Friday June 9th and Saturday July 8th. Guests will hike to the top of the mountain where they will enjoy watching the sunset over beautiful Atlanta. They will then be led down the mountain by moonlight and enjoy s’mores and a campfire! These special events and hikes have limited space and require registration which can be done by calling the Nature Center at 770-389-7801.
- Southern Belle Farm – Not far from the McDonough Square, Southern Belle Farm has a variety of activities for the entire family to enjoy. One of the most exciting events of the summer is their “U-Pick” berries! Beginning in the spring, guests can pick strawberries on the farm. As the weather warms up and spring turns into summer, guests can also pick blackberries and blueberries. If you’re going for a true “Georgia summer,” don’t miss peach season on the farm, either! A newer addition to the farm, the Country Market will have fresh produce for sale, as well gifts and fresh bakery items — and it would be a real shame to miss out on their homemade ice cream while you’re there. Guests will also get the opportunity to pet farm animals. Southern Belle is the perfect way to support local business and make memories at the same time!
- Cherry Street Market – Beginning Saturday, June 3rd at Rutabaga’s Market & Cafe in downtown Hampton, peruse a selection of local produce and crafts! The Cherry Street Market stays true to what you would anticipate from a local farmer’s market and would be a fun way to spend a morning with your family. Maybe you could buy some goodies at the market and have a picnic in the quaint downtown area of Hampton! This event will take place every Saturday through October. This is another great way to support your local economy and merchants!
- Henry County Public Library – One of the best resources for free fun is the Henry County Public Library. Each branch plans to host several events for children throughout the summer months. Some of the storytime events planned will even take place outside! From fairytales to Dr. Seuss classics, there will be something for any child to enjoy. If your children are a little too old to enjoy storytime, the libraries will be hosting events for teens, as well, such as drawing lessons and Anime nights. Don’t worry — there are events for adults, too!
Venturing into Atlanta for the day is also an option and another great perk of living close to one of America’s greatest cities. Picnic in Piedmont Park, walk part of the Beltline, or spend the day shopping at Ponce City Market!