The Antebellum Trail winds through Georgia’s Historic Heartland region with stops in seven unique communities. This journey from Athens to Macon provides an exciting opportunity to view the South’s most beautiful antebellum architecture. However, the communities making up the trail have a variety of attractions for everyone in the family. Here are just a few of the detours for kids along Georgia’s Antebellum Trail.
Memorial Park, Athens
Memorial Park in Athens is home to Bear Hollow Zoo, the perfect adventure trail for young explorers. This free attraction contains a variety of native Georgia animals, including birds, black bears, otters, and reptiles. Memorial Park is also a wonderful place for a picnic, whether you’re interested in covered pavilion spots or a pondside view. An expansive playground completes the package of family fun.
Memorial Park is open from 8 a.m. to sunset on weekdays and 9 a.m. to sunset on weekends and holidays. Bear Hollow Zoo is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, though the Reptile Households separate hours of operation on Saturdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Classic City Clydesdale Farm, Watkinsville
Classic City Clydesdale Farm in Watkinsville provides an exciting opportunity for kids to get up close and personal with stunning Clydesdale horses. The farm is family-owned and operated, making it a perfect family treat. The farm is open for tours Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. The farm is also open for private tours and carriage rides by appointment.
Find more information on these activities at www.visitoconee.com/outdoor-activities.
Friday Night Frolic, Madison
Friday Night Frolic in Madison is an annual event and the ultimate end-of-summer celebration. Families, musicians, and fireflies all flock to Madison’s Town Park to be a part of the action. This year’s annual Friday Night Frolic, also known as “Kids Night,” will feature bouncy inflatables, creative crafts, and endless fun! The event will be held on Friday, July 27 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. The cost is $5 per child, and accompanying adults get in free!
Rock Hawk Effigy and Trails, Eatonton
Adventure awaits at Rock Hawk Effigy and Trails in Eatonton, where explorers of all ages are invited to follow in the footsteps of the Creek Indians along Lake Oconee. Climb up the observation tower to get a birds-eye view of the 2,000+-year-old stone effigy. This outdoor classroom is sure to amaze.
Then, head through the park to the Lawrence Shoals Campground where a $5 parking fee gives your family access to pristine beaches and picnic pavilions. Make a splash in Lake Oconee and enjoy nature at its finest. Open 7 a.m. – 9 p.m., 7 days a week.
Oconee River Greenway in Milledgeville
For even more adventure, check out the Oconee River, which rushes through downtown Milledgeville and is navigable in many sections. The Oconee River Greenway offers boat ramps to access the river, so plan to bring your own canoe or kayak, or rent them locally! Because its shoreline remains largely undeveloped, the river offers an opportunity to see the native bird and plant life.
Second Saturday Steam Engine Demonstration at Jarrell Plantation, Gray
Every Second Saturday, see a steam engine demonstration at Jarrell Plantation State Historic Site in Gray. Enjoy a guided tour of Jarrell Plantation from 9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. Then, round up the kiddos for an antique steam engine demonstration from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. Blow the whistle atop the Mill Complex, which once powered the sawmill, gristmill, cotton gin, and shingle mill. $4-$6.50 admission for the day includes a guided tour and steam engine demonstration.
The Museum of Arts and Sciences, Macon
The Museum of Arts and Sciences in Macon offers a variety of family-friendly activities. The museum’s 55,000-square-foot facility, located on 14 acres on Forsyth Road in Macon, contains art and science exhibitions, a full-dome planetarium, Mini-Zoo with 70+ live animals, interactive Discovery House, beautiful nature trails, 200+ seat auditorium, museum store, and much more to keep the kiddos cool and entertained this summer. The museum is open from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday. Admission ranges from $0-$10.
Kaitlyn Parham is the Tourism and Special Events Coordinator for the Eatonton-Putnam Chamber of Commerce. As such, she enjoys experiencing the hidden gems Georgia has to offer firsthand and sharing those experiences with visitors.