We went to Stone Mountain Park about 9 years ago and did the Sky Ride and 4D theater and walked around the area. We were there in October on a weekday and it was practically deserted. But I remember having a good time.
So I was excited to take my kids there again and enjoy the Halloween event. I will say one thing - they have a good marketing department because their video made the event look WAY cooler than it actually was.
So right off the bat you will pay a $20 parking fee - ON TOP OF the admission. For the Halloween event and for any regular admittance, you have to pay an All Access pass, which was $32 for adults and $30 for kids under 12 online. You pay a $6 fee for the online convenience but that's still cheaper than $35 for adults at the gate. For the Halloween event you could get $10 off for wearing a costume (but you had to pay at the gate and that means waiting on a long line as well; so you might want to choose to spend the money to save time).
We found a deal where it was $25 per person, so with tax and fees we paid $114 for 2 adults and 2 kids PLUS the $20 parking fee.
Now if we'd gone on another night, and we wanted to see the storytellers that would have been extra fee (I think $10 per person).
Be careful when you go because some attractions are not open all the time. We got there at 6 pm and the Geyser Towers weren't open and neither was the Dino Dig. Not that I'd want to get wet near sundown in 60 degree weather, but just check the schedule for the attractions, especially if you're going during special events.
The Sky Hike closed just after we got on the line. My son and husband got about 2/3 of the way done before they had to go down the stairs instead of finishing because it actually got too dark. For planning your day/night, I'd allow a half hour to actually do this attraction, not counting time spent on the line.
The Dino Explorer area was kind of cool at night but definitely geared for kids under 10. My son is 8 and still loves dinosaurs and liked seeing them by flashlight, but a few of the dinos didn't move. It's a nice thing to see but don't go just to see this.
The Dinotorium is one big play zone. We walked in and saw the chaos and left, lol. Plus we didn't have much time.
We arrived at 6 pm and the Halloween event was over by 9 pm. For nearly $150 we really didn't get to do much in those 3 hours:
-- part of the sky hike
-- the Dino explorer by flashlight which was ok (will bore any kid over 10 years old)
-- walk around a glorified mall with expensive food and some souvenirs (we skipped those shops)
-- a Mad Hatter "dance" party that really wasn't much fun, according to my 12 year old
-- a short parade at the end that consisted of maybe a dozen families holding carved pumpkins on sticks and a few people in costume dancing.
And there are LOTS of clueless and downright rude people walking around or just stopping dead in front of you or cutting you off, which makes 3 hours there seem like a lifetime.
I will say the giant tower of pumpkins was neat, especially during certain songs and they did do a good job with lighting.
I think the Halloween event overall is geared toward kids under 10, although perhaps the dance party could have been for older kids (although my 12 year old said it was lame, lol - I waited outside; I was done at that point), but if you get there while it's still light out, there are things like the Sky Hike to entertain an older kid.
I think all told, considering the expense and aggravation, I can't recommend Stone Mountain or the Halloween event. There are other, more fun things to do for a lot less money. For about the same amount of $ or less (if you know where to park and go on a value night) you could do the Holiday Lights at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, which are really neat - although some kids might complain it's just a bunch of lights (so that really depends on your kids and their attitudes - my kids enjoyed it last year).
If you do decide to go to Stone Mountain, plan on spending more than 3 hours there to get your money's worth (do some deep breathing exercises to endure the annoying people) and definitely find a coupon or take advantage of their specials, but for a family of 4 you'll still spend around $100 just to get in.
Summer fairs and festivals are a great opportunity for some family fun in New Jersey. From agricultural fairs to balloon festivals, families can really enjoy the Garden State in the summer months.
You can find information on different types of fairs - from crafts to music - at Fairs and Fun. You can find the various New Jersey agricultural fairs on the NJ Ag Fair website. We've highlighted some below:
Parenthood NJ Picks