Five Kid-Friendly Activities at Oktoberfest

helen3

Helen is Georgia’s hub for everything German. It became known as a tourist capital shortly after remodeling the whole town to look like a German village in the Bavarian Alps. The town is also known for the longest running Oktoberfest in the United States, which is running now through November 2nd. The festival ushers in the fall leaf season, which puts visitors right in the middle of the changing of the leaves in the beautiful North Georgia mountains. Oktoberfest is a celebration. This means tasting Bavarian beer and bratwurst and learning how to dance, and there are plenty of things to do that the whole family will enjoy!

1. Have a night on the town: Take a horse-drawn carriage ride through Helen’s downtown. Shop for souvenirs and gifts while listening to German music from outdoor speakers. Make sure to pick up sweet treats from a German bakery or visit Hansel & Gretel Candy Kitchen. Paint your own toy at Elfmade Toys.

427871_157991154328711_1396450194_n2. Take your kids on an adventure: Zip lining through the North Georgia trees at Nacoochee Outdoor Adventures, or Cool River Zip lines is the perfect activity for kids starting around age 9 and up.  Take a hike and experience the changing of the leaves. Every Saturday in October, Unicoi State Park Lodge hosts a guided hike from the lodge to Helen.

3. Experience Halloween: There are some really fun haunted adventures in the North Georgia area. Take a haunted hayride, or find your way through a corn maze. Petting zoos and outdoor movies are also a must of the fall season!

5. Attend the annual Oktoberfest parade: A German parade kicks off the celebration and normally occurs on the first Saturday of the festival. Afterward, play a game of mini golf or walk around the town.

Photo Credit: Sussman Imaging

4. Experience Germany: “Oompah-central” is the Hall where the bands play and people dance. Although it may be overwhelming for some parents because of the crowd, kids are allowed. It is the perfect place to try hot-off-the-grill German-style wursts or sausages, and dance to traditional German music.

 

Bring the whole family to the North Georgia mountains and experience Oktoberfest and Germany without leaving Georgia! Hotels fill up very quickly, so book your trip today. Click here for more information on Helen, Georgia and Oktoberfest.

 

Fan Photo Friday

Submit your Georgia photos for the chance to be featured:

Nacoochee Indian Mound in Helen, Georgia. Photo by Randy Clegg. Submitted via Facebook.

Nacoochee Indian Mound in Helen, Georgia. Photo by Randy Clegg. Submitted via Facebook.

The Cotton Exchange in Savannah. Photo by @Ale_Na_va. Submitted via Twitter.

The Cotton Exchange in Savannah. Photo by @Ale_Na_va. Submitted via Twitter.

Photo by Todd Evans. Submitted via Flickr.

Photo by Todd Evans. Submitted via Flickr.

LaGrange, Georgia. Photo by @richardjv. Submitted via Instagram.

LaGrange, Georgia. Photo by @richardjv. Submitted via Instagram.

 

A Guide to Georgia’s Homestyle Restaurants

The Dillard House

The Dillard House

For Breakfast

Not all homestyle restaurants in Georgia serve breakfast, but when you’re looking for the combination of the two, you’ll need to visit the Dillard House in Dillard. The Dillard House serves up a bountiful breakfast of meats, eggs, potato hash, fresh fruits, homemade preserves, freshly baked pastries and so much more. My favorites are the proteins, and I always have to have seconds of the pork tenderloin. The Dillard House is one of those “food for the soul” kinds of places, and besides breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so start your day right by feeding your soul well here. Go with high expectations because you’re sure not to be disappointed.

Buckner's

Buckner’s Family Restaurant

For Fried Chicken and Dessert

One common menu item at all homestyle restaurants in the South is fried chicken. I doubt it’s written law that they have to have fried chicken (and lots of it) on the table, but I’m pretty sure it’s understood. Believe me, I’ve eaten a lot of fried chicken at a lot of great restaurants, but the best fried chicken I’ve eaten in Georgia to date is at Buckner’s in Jackson. Buckner’s is just off I-75 exit 201, and they serve up some of the most delicious Southern classics you can find. While normally I’d go for a leg or thigh, you’ll only find breast on the table at Buckner’s. Breast meat tends to be dry, but Buckner’s keeps its white meat juicy, tender and perfectly crispy. There’s a slight sweetness to it that I’ve not found duplicated anywhere else in Georgia. To top it all off, their dessert is fantastic, too. They only serve one dessert, but they do it right. Buckner’s Georgia peach cobbler is the perfect finish to one tasty meal.

Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room

Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room

For Sides

You can expect a wide array of incredible veggies and carbs at the homestyle table, but no one cooks sides as well as Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining Room in Savannah. Mrs. Wilkes’ showcases all sorts of fresh veggies like green beans, rutabagas, butter beans, peas and more. They’re even getting cornbread dressing right; it’s incredibly moist and super delicious. Mrs. Wilkes’ cabbage was some of the finest I’ve ever eaten. This homestyle restaurant is one of those places where you could definitely fill up on sides alone. Expect to wait in line for up to a couple of hours, but you and your taste buds will be glad you did.

For Extras

Once you’ve had the best breakfast, the best chicken and dessert, and the best sides, what’s left on the table? Well, the Smith House in Dahlonega is taking the table extras to a whole new level. You’re going to consistently get great chicken, great sides and dessert, but you’re also going to get some great extras. One of my favorite accompaniments to Southern fare is relishes and pickles. The Smith house makes and serves up the best pickled squash you’ll find. It perfectly pairs with the savory veggies and offers a slightly tangy, sweet crunch that you just can’t find elsewhere. You’ll want to take some home, too. Look in the gift shop before you leave to make sure you can have this “secret” treasure at your home table.

Head shotLori Hennesy is a self-proclaimed foodie and author of delisghga.com, a Georgia only food blog.  Lori is on a constant search for unique eats, great Georgia products, delicious restaurants and anything food related.  For Lori it’s all about the bottom line, “what’s the next meal going to be?”  

Where to Eat (& Drink Coffee) in Savannah

Photo Credit: Visit Savannah

Photo Credit: Visit Savannah

I first made it a point to visit Savannah in depth for my Girl Meets City: Savannah project on my website Make It Work Molly. I was able to discover quite a few culinary favorites while there, and even went back later for a few more, and plan to go again for those that have opened since and will open soon. Come take an epicurean journey through Savannah with me!

GirlMeetsSavannahPhotos-4Goose FeathersGoose Feather’s is a “go-to” spot in Savannah, Georgia on Barnard Street- just a turn off of Broughton. They have this amazing bacon, egg, and cheese croissant… and amazing coffee!

The Paris MarketAnother coffee shop here (you will soon see a trend)! This time within the confines of an antique/jewelry/book/everything store. This is one of those fun unique to Savannah spots with the feel of a European Store and also a classic American South boutique with a little bit of everything.

The Coffee Fox and Foxy LoxyThese sister stores are in opposite parts of Savannah: The Coffee Fox on Broughton and Foxy Loxy on Bull Street across from SCAD. Upon my visit at The Coffee Fox I would get the Café Cubano: a sweetened double shot of espresso. This both kicked my rear and left me begging for more. Savannah local roaster, Phillip Brown (owner of PERC coffee) locally brews their coffee.

Foxy Loxy is the parent location of The Coffee Fox. This is the perfect spot where every busy lady (or gentleman) can stop and reenergize with tacos and coffee and a spot to plug in and catch up on work.

GirlMeetsSavannahPhotos-17The Savannah Bee CompanyThe Savannah Bee Company is well known both in and out of Savannah- they have this lovely little honey bar where you can sample different types of honey! They also have an amazing coffee.

jazz’d tapas barDuring Savannah Fashion Week I stopped by jazz’d tapas bar with my crew for a late night cocktail and food. I’m not a big martini drinker but the bartender convinced me to try their Sweet Tea Martini- we’re in Savannah, after all! It’s made with Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka, peach snapps, and a splash of sweet and sour and Sprite. It was truly rather good. While there we would order the hummus, Chorizo sliders and Jalapeno BBQ shrimp and grits. All very very yummy, and I highly recommend the Chorizo sliders- especially if you need something just a tad on the heavier side of a tapas.

GirlMeetsSavannahPhotos-186Wright Square CaféDo you love chocolate? Do you love truffles? Be sure to stop in here- they’ve got the most amazing truffles. Even an Earl Grey truffle. But the Key Lime might be my favorite!

Since my last visit to Savannah, Hugh Acheson’s The Florence has opened up- and I’m hearing it’s simply to die for. If you want to take a look at what they’ve got going on I would follow them on Instagram, they’re also super quick to respond to questions on there. And…. They have a coffee car too! If they have the Cortado then get it, I’ve had it at both Empire State South and 5&10- Acheson’s places in Atlanta and Athens. Soon to open in Savannah is Rue de Jean, of the Holy City Hospitality Group out of Charleston, South Carolina.

Suffice it to say- there are a LOT of dining options in Savannah! It’s worth doing your research prior to your trip just to make sure you don’t miss out on anything you really want to experience.

Molly McWilliams Wilkins is a freelance writer based in Macon, Georgia writing about fashion, food, and Southern lifestyle topics. You can follow her journeys at www.makeitworkmolly.com, on Twitter @MakeItWorkMolly, or Instagram at makeitworkmolly.

Guide to Georgia’s Fall Festivals

Enjoy cooler temperatures, falling leaves, kettle corn, candied apples and smiling faces at these fine fall festivals!

Georgia National Fair [Photo Credit: @daydream890 via Instagram]

Georgia National Fair [Photo Credit: @daydream890 via Instagram]

September 6 – October 26, 2014: Apple Pickin’ Jubilee at Hillcrest Orchards in Ellijay

September 11 – November 2, 2014: 44th Annual Oktoberfest in Helen

September 18 – 28, 2014: North Georgia State Fair in Marietta

September 19 – 20, 2014: 4th Annual Blues & BBQ Festival in Blue Ridge

Septemver 19 – 20, 2014: WILD About Screven Festival in Sylvania

September 19 – 21, 2014: Arts in the Heart of Augusta Festival in Augusta

September 19 – 21, 2014: Shrimp & Grits: The Wild Georgia Shrimp Festival on Jekyll Island

September 19 – September 28, 2014: Slow Exposures Photography Festival in Concord

September 20, 2014: Happy Days Festival in Hapeville

September 20, 2014: Rome Beer Fest in Rome

September 20, 2014: Sumner Egg Festival in Sumner

September 20, 2014: Farm Fest in Hartwell

September 20, 2014: Blues and BBQ in Hinesville

September 20, 2014: 15th Street Pizza & Pub Brew Fest in McDonough

September 20, 2014: Farm Heritage Day Festival at Hunter Cattle Company in Brooklet

September 20 – 21, 2014: Roswell Arts Festival in Roswell

September 20 – 21, 2014: Ocmulgee Indian Celebration in Macon

September 20 – 21, 2014: Suwanee Fest in Suwanee

September 20 – 21, 2014: Shakerag Arts & Crafts Festival in Peachtree City

September 20 – 21, 2014: Arts Festival at Rose Lawn in Cartersville

September 26 – 27, 2014: Mid Georgia Doc Holliday Festival in Griffin

September 26 – October 5, 2014: Georgia State Fair in Hampton

September 27, 2014: 17th Annual Bear Creek Festival in Hampton

September 27, 2014: Berrien County Harvest Festival in Nashville

September 27, 2014: International Festival & Dragon Boat Races in Peachtree City

September 27, 2014: Downtown Dalton Beer Festival in Dalton

September 27 – 28, 2014: Duluth Fall Festival in Duluth

September 27, 2014: Heart of South DeKalb Festival in Decatur

September 27, 2014: Brazillian Day Festival in Mableton

September 27, 2014: Water, Wings and Wildlife Festival in Albany

September 27, 2014: 8th Annual McDonough Jerk & International Parade in McDonough

September 27, 2014: International City Festival in Warner Robins

September 27 – 28, 2014: The Cotton South Fine Arts Festival in Greensboro

September 27 – 28, 2014: RiverFest Arts & Crafts Festival in Canton

September 27 – November 15, 2014: Fall Family Fun Days at The Rock Ranch

September 29 – October 4, 2014: Hahira Honeybee Festival in Hahira

October 1 – 5, 2014: St. Simons Island Food & Spirits Festival on St. Simons Island

October 1 – 5, 2014: Westobou Festival in Augusta

October 2 – 12, 2014: Cumming Country Fair & Festival in Cumming

October 2 – 12, 2014: 25th Annual Georgia National Fair in Perry

October 2 – 4, 2014: Great Southern Music Festival in Ochlocknee

October 3 – 4, 2014: 4th Annual BridgeFest in Stockbridge

October 4, 2014: 45th Annual Rock Shrimp Festival in St. Marys

October 4, 2014: Chili Cook-Off & Fall Festival in Madison

October 4, 2014: Foxfire Mountaineer Festival in Clayton

October 4, 2014: CoastFest in Brunswick

October 4, 2014: Cedartown Fall Festival in Cedartown

October 4, 2014: Turpentine Festival in Portal

October 4, 2014: Suwanee Wine Festival in Suwanee

October 4, 2014: AutumnFest in Holly Springs

October 4, 2014: Monastery Fall Festival & Health Fair in Conyers

October 4, 2014: Social Circle Annual Friendship Festival in Social Circle

October 4 – 5, 2014: Cotton Pickin’ Fair in Gay

October 4 – 5, 2014: Shady Days in Gay Arts & Crafts Festival in Gay

October 4 – 5, 2014: Avondale Estates AutumnFest in Avondale Estates

October 4- 26, 2014: Rocktoberfest in Lookout Mountain

October 7 – 11, 2014: Kiwanis Henry County Fair in McDonough

October 8 – 11, 2014: Dublin Fall Fair in Dublin

October 9 – 12, 2014: Tybee Island Pirate Festival on Tybee Island

October 10 – 11, 2014: 5th Annual Real Squeal: Lyons BBQ and Music Festival in Lyons

October 10 – 11, 2014: Jeff Davis Cotton Festival in Hazelhurst

October 10 – 18, 2014: Georgia Mountain Fall Festival in Hiawassee

October 10 – 11, 2014: Norcross Art Fest in Norcross

October 11, 2014: Big Red Apple Festival in Cornelia

October 11, 2014: Hambridge Center Fall Festival in Rabun Gap

October 11, 2014: Royston Fall Festival in Royston

October 11, 2014: Paulding Fine Arts 12th Annual Fall Fest in Dallas

October 11, 2014: Rock’n Ribville Festival in Lawrenceville

October 11 – 12, 2014: Glynn Art in the Park Fall Festival on St. Simons Island

October 11 – 12, 2014: Oktoberfest Beer & Arts Festival in Stone Mountain

October 11 – 19, 2014: 43rd Annual Georgia Apple Festival Arts and Crafts Show in Ellijay

October 11 – 19, 2014: Georgia’s Official Sorghum Festival in Blairsville

October 17, 2014: Third Annual Butler Island Plantation Homecoming Festival in Darien

October 17 – 19, 2014: Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival in Richmond Hill

October 18, 2014: 2014 Bremen Towne Festival in Bremen

October 18, 2014: Deep Roots Festival in Milledgeville

October 18, 2014: Cartersville Bluegrass & Folk Festival in Cartersville

October 18, 2014: Oconee Chamber Fall Festival in Watkinsville

October 18, 2014: Georgia Peanut Festival in Sylvester

October 18, 2014: 57th Annual Sacred Heart Fall Festival in Warner Robins

October 18, 2014: Cochran-Bleckley Country Fest in Cochran

October 18, 2014: Milan Harvest Festival in Milan

October 18, 2014: Family Fun Fest in Rockmart

October 18 – 19, 2014: Black Bear Festival in Chatsworth

October 18 – 19, 2014: Gold Rush Days in Dahlonega

October 18 – 19, 2014: Mossy Creek Barnyard Festival in Perry

October 18 – 19, 2014: Hogansville Hummingbird Festival in Hogansville

October 18 – 19, 2014: Korean Festival in Suwanee

October 18 – 19, 2014: Fall Festival on Ponce in Atlanta

October 18, 2014: OCAF’s 15th Annual Fall Wine Fest in Watkinsville

October 20 – 25, 2014: Kiwanis Ogeechee Fair in Statesboro

October 24 – 26, 2014: Country Living Fair in Stone Mountain

October 24 – 25, 2014: Hawkinsville Harvest Fest in Hawkinsville

October 24 – 25, 2014: Hillbilly Hog BBQ Throwdown and Fall Leaf Festival in Cleveland

October 24 – 26, 2014: 35th Annual Boston Mini-Marathon Festival in Boston

October 25 – 26, 2014: Chiaha Harvest Fair in Rome

October 25, 2014: Chitlin Hoedown in Yatesville

October 25, 2014: Liberty Tree Festival in Dalton

October 25, 2014: Batesville Fall Festival in Clarkesville

October 25, 2014: 34th Annual Olde Town Fall Festival in Conyers

October 25, 2014: Georgia Sweet Potato Festival in Ocilla

October 25, 2014: Downtown Vidalia Music Festival in Vidalia

October 25, 2014: Hartwell’s Depot Days Fall Festival in Hartwell

October 25, 2014: Fireman’s Fall Festival in Rossville

October 25, 2014: Rutledge’s Spooky Fall Festival in Rutledge

October 25, 2014: Jacksonville Heritage Festival in Jacksonville

October 25 – 26, 2014: Mountain Moonshine Festival in Dawsonville

October 25 – 26, 2014: Johns Creek Art Festival in Johns Creek

October 28 – November 11, 2014: Decatur County Fall Festival & Fair in Bainbridge

October 31, 2014: KidsFest in Woodstock

October 31 – November 1, 2014: Annual Mule Day Festival in Calvary

October 31 – November 2, 2014: IrishFest in Atlanta

November 1, 2014: Bostwick’s Cotton Gin Festival in Madison

November 1, 2014: Granite City Fall Festival in Elberton

November 1, 2014: Unicoi Wine Festival in Sautee Nacoochee

November 8, 2014: 37th Annual Old South Day Festival in Ochlocknee

November 10 – 16, 2014: Savannah Food & Wine Festival in Savannah

November 15 – 16, 2014: Lean Ox Festival in Lenox