By: Belinda Sawyer
Looking for one last fun fling before school begins? Here are some ideas that will have you grabbing your car keys and telling the kids, "Let”s go!"
Around Gwinnett >
Lake Lanier Islands Beach & Waterpark guarantees a fun and very wet adventure with rides, slides and water attractions. From Wiggle Waves for the little ones to the outrageous FunDunker, plus several extreme waterslides for real thrill seekers, this park has something for everyone!
> www.lakelanierislands.com or 800.840.LAKE
If there”s a train fanatic in your home, a trip to the Southeastern Railway Museum is a must. The 30-acre site features more than 90 pieces of retired railroad equipment, along with MARTA”s historic bus collection.
> Check the calendar at www.srmduluth.org or call 770-476-2013 for dates and times.
Get up close and personal with deer, buffalo, sheep and bunnies at the Yellow River Game Ranch. All along the mile-long trail you”ll find friendly animals eager to be fed and petted. During July, new fawns are bottle-fed at 9:30 am and 4:30 pm.
> www.yellowrivergameranch.com or 770-972-6643.
Stone Mountain Park is a well-known family destination. Ride the skylife, stroll through Crossroads or enjoy a riverboat ride around the lake. Kids love the fun and frenzy of the Great Barn, the Treehouse Challenge and the new Ducks adventure ride. Numerous hiking and walking paths and picnic spots make this Atlanta”s favorite park.
> www.stonemountainpark.com or 770-498-5600
Coming “Round the Mountain >
Want to venture a little further away from home? Head toward the mountains, and look for these stops along the way:
Strike it rich at Gold “n Gem Grubbin in Cleveland, GA. At North Georgia”s only commercially operating gold mine you can pan for gold and grub for gemstones like sapphires, amethyst and topaz! If you prefer a more leisurely activity, Town Creek is also stocked with bass, catfish and bluegill, so bring your fishing pole.
> www.goldngem.com or 706-865-5454
Hop on over to the Kangaroo Conservation Center in Dawsonville, boasting the largest collection of Australia! Get up close and personal with kangaroos, kookaburras and more. Call 706-265-6100 for daily tour information. Note: Tour participants must be 8 years old or older. No exceptions.
Cool River Tubing offers the coolest ride down the Chattahoochee. Park at the headquarters in Helen, then take the shuttle to start a 1 or 2 hour float back to the start. Have fun! Get wet!