Location: Wall Crawler Rock Club
Date taken: October 6, 2013
Intimidated by giant rock climbing walls? Don’t know where to put your hands and feet amid all the colorful holds? You like the sound of the word “belay” but have no idea what it means? Follow the smell of cookies baking (yes, there is a cookie factory just across the train tracks) to the Wall Crawler Rock Club on Dekalb Avenue, and you’ll find a intimate and laid back climbing gym. The walls are tall, but the learning curve feels a little smaller here. Of course, this is by no means a beginners only spot — there’s a crew of neighborhood regulars who call Wall Crawlers their home gym. Stop by, and you might become one of them.
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Date taken: October 12, 2013
It’s easy to pick up a pumpkin from your local grocery store, but if you really feel like embracing the Halloween spirit, head to a pumpkin patch. Pie pumpkins, white pumpkins, mini pumpkins, fairy tale pumpkins, gourds — the options are plentiful. And don’t forget your camera and your adorable toddler. A pumpkin patch makes a great fall photo backdrop.
Location: Kirkwood Wine Stroll
Date taken: September 27, 2013
Atlanta is home to numerous wine and beer festivals throughout the year, but none have quite the enthusiasm (and complimentary food!) of the Kirkwood Wine Stroll, which is held every September. In the heart of Kirkwood, a small commercial stretch along Hosea Williams Drive, all the businesses — from the car wash to the local pizza joint to the paint store — participate in the wine stroll. In addition to offering samples of wines, each stop serves up appetizers, pizza slices, bbq, desserts and other goodies to strollers. It’s a wine stroll brimming with neighborhood pride — and lots of glasses of wine.
Location: Star Provisions
Date taken: September 23, 2013
You’ve heard about the cronut — the croissant-donut hybrid that took New York City by storm earlier this year. Well, Atlanta has a few of its own forms of this tasty pastry. At Star Provisions on the Westside, it’s called the “dossant” and is available certain days of the week. At Sublime Doughnuts, you can indulge in a frosted croissant — and more than a dozen other genius donut creations.
Location: Chukkar Farm
Date taken: September 15, 2013
Nestled among the horse farms and golf courses of Alpharetta, Chukkar Farm in many ways feels like a step back in time — the green barn, rocking chairs, laid-back atmosphere and beautiful horses. The farm is family owned and run and has been for decades. Events and weddings are often held there. And, on Sundays when the weather is warm, the farm hosts polo matches and welcomes guests to bring a blanket, bring a picnic and come watch. Don’t know anything about polo? Find a friend who does (mine explained to me the unique qualities of a polo pony). Or, chances are you’ll be greeted at the farm by a Chukkar Farm family member, who will happily answer your horse-related questions.
Location: PRCA Rodeo
Date taken: September 13, 2013
Cowboys. Cowgirls. Lots of kids trying to find their boots. If you want to say honestly and accurately, “This isn’t my first rodeo,” then you might want to spend a weekend night at one. Typically, rodeos feature events such as steer wrestling, bareback riding, team roping, saddle bronc riding, tie-down roping, barrel racing and bull riding. And on a Friday night in the tiny town of Hamilton, Ga., the rodeo featured a kids’ boot race, with dozens of kids racing from one end of the dirt arena to the other to find their missing boots amid the pile. But watching isn’t all there is to do at a rodeo — you can enter a gun raffle, buy a rhinestone belt buckle, mingle with cowboys, pet some calves or dine on boiled peanuts and sweet tea. When you leave, just make sure your kids’ boots are the ones they came with.