Atlanta’s Exotic Bird Fair


Photo by Stefanie Barber

Atlanta’s Exotic Bird Fair is happening this weekend! Breeders from all over the region come to the North Atlanta Trade Center to sell all sorts of breeds, from beautiful multicolored finches to the most uniquely hued macaws. Vendors also attend, selling items specifically for birds such as seeds, toys and cages, all at huge discounts compared to pet stores.

For bird lovers of all kinds, there is plenty to find at this fair. When my adorable budgie Jasmine needed a friend we had an amazing selection to choose from. Cinderella was just a sweet baby when we got her, but she has grown into the biggest diva around.  My two budgies are spoiled by all the fun toys and treats I get each time we visit the fair. One of the best deals I got from this fair is my budgies’ amazing cage that I purchased for 50% less than I saw in stores and online!

So if you love birds, head over to the show this weekend. You can even get $1 off admission by going to the website and either printing or pulling up the coupon on your phone.  If you can’t make it to this show the next one is on April 25th and 26th.


North Atlanta Trade Center
1700 Jeurgens Court
Norcross, GA 30093-2219


Saturday  9am to 5pm
Sunday 10am to 4pm


Kids 12 and under: Free
13 and older: $5

Tickets are valid for both days
Free Parking

525868_337136273015782_693027213_nOur names are Stefanie and Adam and we are a married couple who grew up in Augusta. After graduating from college, we both set our sights on the big city of Atlanta to further grow in our careers and lives. During the week we maintain our respective office jobs. The weekends, however, are spent exploring all that Georgia has to offer – every hidden gem and fascinating locale. We run to share our exciting adventures and explorations with the world.

Glamping at Fort Yargo State Park

By Candy Cook

Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:

We’ll be camping every month in 2015. We’ll explore each season at park campgrounds and back country campsites only accessible by hiking or paddling. Camping once a month will help us discover Georgia and connect with nature as a family.

Is it cheating that our January campout is in a yurt? I don’t care. It’s cozy, and the luxuries of glamping make our stay more comfortable than crawling into a tent after our muddy winter hike. Greeted by a couple of dreary days, lower lake levels and no mountain bikes on wet trails, I’m happy to settle into a camp with heat, electricity, and big rustic furniture designed for cuddles.

The cold drizzle won’t stop us from venturing out to make some compelling discoveries about Fort Yargo. We start with a portion of the Lake Loop, a relatively easy trail serving both hikers and beginner mountain bikers. Meandering through the trees and near the shoreline, this trail presents an intriguing landscape as it connects us to fishing areas, picnic shelters and a disc golf course. The boys wander around Old Fort Yargo, examining a building that dates back to 1793, before we head back to the yurt. The hike has me eager to tackle features of the longer Mountain Bike Loop.

My favorite discovery at Fort Yargo has more to do with accessing nature than nature itself. The Bird Berry Trail is paved for a half-mile loop offering visitors with wheelchairs or strollers a place to enjoy nature. The trail is marked by interpretive signs describing the environment in text and braille. A bird-watching platform overlooks the lake, and a gazebo is surrounded by a garden. It reminded me of the important role that nature plays in our lives and inspired my boys to think about ways to make it more accessible for everyone.

candycookCandy is Georgia’s official Outdoor Explorer and the author of the blog “Happy Trails Wild Tales.” Click here for more Outdoor content from Candy.

Running and Family Funning on Tybee Island

By Eileen Falkenberg-Hull


Photo courtesy of Critz Tybee Run Fest


Are you a fan of pounding the pavement? Bounding down the beach? There’s a route and a length for everyone at this year’s Critz Tybee Run Fest.

Taking to the streets and beaches of Tybee Island February 6th and 7th, 2015, the festival features events for your entire family including a 1/7 mile kiddie fun run, 5K, 10K, half marathon, 2.8 Mile Beach Run, and 1 miler. You can also do all the events, which add up to a full marathon.

In addition to the races, there is live entertainment scheduled as part of the weekend but if you want added fun to your race weekend experience, I recommend visiting the Tybee Island Museum which features the Light Station, Georgia’s oldest and tallest lighthouse; exploring the grounds of the Jekyll Island Club Hotel; and the Georgia Sea Turtle Center that kids and adults alike will love.

EileenEileen is Georgia’s official Festival Explorer and the editor of Occupy My Family, the Atlanta area’s most comprehensive resource for family fun. Click here for more Festival content from Eileen.

2015 Free Days at Atlanta Museums and Attractions

By Lesli Peterson

CallawayGeorgia offers a wealth of museums and attractions, with exhibits that range from space to dinosaurs and animals to gardens. We own a membership to several, but it can be financially daunting to visit all of them…especially with multiple kids. Thank goodness for FREE DAYS which allow us to experience new places.

Here’s a list of Atlanta Metro’s best museums and attractions, and the days they are available for FREE in 2015. Always check the website or call before you visit to inquire about cancellations, parking fees, and ID required for Bank of America and Fulton County resident free days.

Atlanta Ballet

Every Month: On the first of every month, Atlanta Ballet offers a free class day at all locations for its adult open division classes.

Atlanta Contemporary Art Center

Every Week: ACAC waives the $5 admission fee every Thursday from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. You may be able to catch lectures, gallery tours, film screenings and more for free.

Atlanta History Center

Every Month: Bank of America and Merrill Lynch cardholders receive free admission on the first full weekend of each month.**

November 1: Visitors are welcome to celebrate Day of the Dead.

Booth Western Art Museum

Every Month: Free admission on the first Thursday of each month from 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm.

Callaway Gardens

January 16 – February 27: Free Admission (except weekends and holidays – with the exception of Sat. Feb. 21)

February 21: Free admission on Founders’ Day, which honors the late Virginia Callaway, co-founder of Callaway Gardens.

March 26 – 29: Free Admission to the Plant Fair (through Beach gate.)

April 5: Free admission for those who arrive prior to 8 a.m. to attend Easter Sunrise Service. Attendees can stay in Gardens for the day.

June 1 – July 27: Free admission to Astronomy Night with Coca-Cola Space Science Center on Mondays at dark.

September 11: Free admission in honor of 9/11

November 6: Free admission on Founders’ Day, which honors the late Cason Callaway, co –founder of Callaway Gardens.

November 21 – December 30: Free day admission with the purchase of Fantasy In Lights admission at night.

Center for Civil and Human Rights

Every Month: Bank of America and Merrill Lynch cardholders receive free admission on the first full weekend of each month.**

Center for Puppetry Arts

Every Month: Walk-up admission is free for Fulton County, Georgia, residents on the first Saturday of each month.*

Children’s Museum of Atlanta

New Exhibits: Fulton County residents are invited to buy one admission ticket and receive one additional general admission ticket for free on the opening day of each feature exhibit.

Every Month: On Target Free Second Tuesday, anyone can attend the Children’s Museum of Atlanta for free from 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm.

Free admission for all active, retired, and reserve military personnel are admitted for free, and their families receive a discounted rate on the following holidays:

Memorial Day, July 4, Veterans Day, Flag Day, and Armed Forces Day

Georgia Museum of Art

Admission is ALWAYS free during regular museum operating hours.

Georgia State Parks 

September: Georgia State Parks are always free, although is a parking fee.  Your State Parks Day is held each year in late September, which waives the parking fee at State Parks. Historic Sites are also free on this day.

High Museum of Art

Every Month: Walk-up admission is free for Fulton County, Georgia, residents on the first Saturday of each month.*

Every Month: Bank of America and Merrill Lynch cardholders receive free admission on the first full weekend of each month.**

Michael C Carlos Museum

Free admission 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm on the following Thursdays:

January 22, February 5, March 5, April 30, May 7, and June 11, 2015

Museum of Design Atlanta

Every Month: On the 2nd Sunday of the month museum entrance is Pay-as-You-Wish. Enter for free, or make a donation. (Note: The museum is closed on the 2nd Sunday of April in order to change exhibitions.)

Tellus Science Museum

Every Month: Bank of America and Merrill Lynch cardholders receive free admission on the first full weekend of each month.**

Additional ways to visit for free:

Georgia Aquarium offers free admission on your birthday.

Georgia Libraries offer free or discounted passes to families who check out certain materials. They can be used once per family. Participating attractions include the following: Zoo Atlanta, Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites, Go Fish Education Center, and Center for Puppetry Arts Museum

During Museum Day Live in September, Smithsonian magazine offers free admission to participating venues. Several Georgia museums are included. The 2015 list has not yet been released, but be sure to check the website as September draws closer.

A great number of Georgia museums are always free to the public. See a comprehensive list here:

Share your Georgia museum adventures using the #ExploreGeorgia hashtag on social media!


*Fulton County Free Saturdays: Tickets are subject to availability. Acceptable I.D. includes valid driver’s license, utility bill or student I.D. from a Fulton County school. Major funding is provided by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners

**Museums on Us, Bank of America: Bank of America and Merrill Lynch cardholders receive free admission on the first full Saturday and Sunday of each month. Discount offered for cardholder only.


Atlanta Jewish Film Festival Sparks Dialogue Throughout the Month

By Eileen Falkenberg Hull

Photo courtesy of Atlanta Jewish Film Festival

Photo courtesy of Atlanta Jewish Film Festival

500+ entries were evaluated and now the calendar is set for the annual Atlanta Jewish Film Festival (AJFF) featuring 65 films from 26 countries that will be shown at seven theatrical venues across the metro area including United Artists Tara CinemasRegal Atlantic StationLefont Sandy Springs, and Georgia Theatre Company at Merchants Walk January 28 through February 19, 2015.

The public is invited to the festival’s Opening Night Gala and film at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre where they will “Paint the Town Red” while enjoying food tastings by local and Israeli celebrity chefs, an open bar, and live entertainment.

In addition to theatrical screenings, AJFF and Creative Loafing will host an immersive Young Professional’s Art Party on February 7 at The Mammal Gallery in downtown Atlanta. Also, around the city, AJFF will be featured in art drops from some of Atlanta’s most interesting creators- CatlantaBlockhead ATLClunky Robot, and Crazy Monkey Trucker.

Tickets to all the screenings and parties are on sale now at