Ways to Give This Holiday Season

The holidays are a great time to teach the kids about giving. Here are some fun ways to do it!

Salvation Army

Donate to the Red Kettle campaign. Bell ringers are located outside most stores, malls, and grocery stores. I love this one because it is easy to do. Volunteer opportunities are also available.

Donate to a Food Pantry

Donating canned goods is a great way to help. Check your local listings for local food banks in your area. Many churches also have a food pantry. Food banks list items most needed on their site. Here is another food pantry website.

Animal Shelters

This time of year animals need help too. Monetary donations can be made as well as donations for food, treats, blankets etc. Check with your local shelter to see how you can help out.

Nursing Homes

Visiting the elderly is a worthwhile cause all year long. At the holidays it is extra important to make sure they are visited and treated special. Contact your local nursing home to see how you can help. We have sung, decorated doors, and taken in small gifts.

Angel Trees

Angel trees are located at churches, inside stores, even at schools. The paper angel lists a child, his age, and the items he/she wants for Christmas. Shopping for a special child is a fun way to help.

Toys for Tots

Toys for Tot is a program run by the United States Marine Corps Reserve which distributes toys to children whose parents cannot afford to buy them gifts for Christmas.

Troop Donations

Taking the time to send a care package or Christmas card to a military man or woman is a great way to give back. They are overseas and away from their families for the holidays. Getting a package in the mail lets them know they are appreciated.

Local Thrift Store Charities

An easy way to give back this Christmas is to clean out your closets and garage. Donating gently used toys and books is a great way to help both the charity, and those shopping at the thrift store. It is also tax deductible.

Homeless Shelter

The Christmas season is especially hard for those living on the streets. Donating your time and energy at a local shelter is very rewarding and much needed. Contact your local shelter to see what specific things they might need help with.

Donate Your Time

There are lots of groups that would love for you to donate your time this holiday season. Find something you love to do and then see where your gift or talent can be put to use. You will be glad you did.


-Alana, Ambassador


Story Times

The weather is getting colder. Play time outside just can’t last as long as usual. Why not take advantage of some really fun story time locations around town.

PLAY Activity Center (Roswell)

I’m just going to go out on a limb here and admit it: This is my favorite story time location. Usually put on by the owner, Colleen, story time includes multiple books, singing, dancing and coloring! It is free, too. Just an awesome time!

Little Shop of Stories (Decatur)

There are three story times each week. Be sure to try the evening story time on Thursdays where you come in your jammies and have milk and cookies with your story. They offer incredible events for kids of all ages.

Fox Tale Book Shoppe (Woodstock)

Fox Tale has a great children’s room. Story times twice per week include dancing and singing, tattoos and more. There are also great events here on a regular basis. Lovely little local bookstore.

Atlanta Botanical Garden (Atlanta)

Story time outside is amazing! Listen to books highlighting nature while they are read from the amphitheater in the Children’s Garden. Free with admission, but not running in the winter months.

Wren’s Nest (Atlanta)

Can you think of a more appropriate story time location than at the home of Joel Harris, author of Uncle Remus and Brer Rabbit. Also another great place for book-based events.

Grandma Snazzy’s Storytime (Roswell)

Grandma is an amazing story teller. She’s especially good with the younger kiddos. There is a story, crafts, and a snack afterward. It is held at the Kroger at Crabapple. For more information, call 770.740.2050.

Barnes and Noble (Various)

Barnes and Noble locations around town offer story times for all ages, and on various days. The link above is for the days you can’t make it out – An online story time. 16 options help make a rainy day more fun!

Your Local Library (Various)

Check out the website for your local library, or give them a call. Most libraries offer multiple story times, each one focused on different age groups.

Pottery Barn Kids (Various)

Every Tuesday PBK offers story time with great books and props, and cozy chairs. They really excel around the holidays with great stories for Christmas.

Southeastern Railway Museum (Duluth)

The Second Thursdays preschool program is awesome! It always includes a craft, games and more. But the story time is great too. The staff is high-energy and your kids are guaranteed a great time.



Can't Miss Fall Adventures and Events

Expedition Mom ScarecrowThis is my favorite time of year. The weather is perfect. The leaves look beautiful. It is time for soups and a fire in the fire place! Who doesn’t love Fall? Here are Ten Terrific “can’t miss” places and events for the season.

Burt’s Farm (Dawsonville)

There are lots of pumpkin farms in the area, and everyone has their favorite. This happens to be ours. Pumpkins, tractor rides, baked goods. And something about that small covered bridge over the stream just makes the perfect picture taking location! Super close to Amicalola Falls, so make a day of it and take a fall time picnic spread (complete with hot cocoa).

Scarecrows in the Garden (Atlanta)

Scarecrows in the Garden is a fun way to enjoy the season. They also have the Fest-of-Ale and Goblins in the Garden this month. Before you go, get the KNOW with our Adventure Guide. And don’t forget to see the Expedition Mom scarecrow! She is in the Children’s Garden, across from the honey bee exhibit!

Corn Mazes (Various)

Get lost in a corn maze, pet some cute animals. Maybe even shoot some corn from a “cannon”. No matter your age, these are great family fun. We have highlighted four corn mazes, so be sure to Get the KNOW Before You Go: Buford Corn Maze, The Rock Ranch, North Georgia, and Uncle Shucks.

Stone Mountain Pumpkin Festival (Atlanta)

Go trick-or-treating, go on a scavenger hunt, pick a pumpkin to take home. You can also enjoy Halloween stories and a pie-eating contest. Stone Mountain is always a winner for family fun.

Little Five Points Halloween Festival & Parade (Atlanta)

Enjoy the people-watching while eating delicious festival food, listening to live music and perusing the artist market. This is one of the top-10 Halloween events in the South! And yes, even though it is Five Points (generally known for its adult entertainment), this event is suitable for kids – we have brought our own on the years we have attended.

Georgia A-Scary-Um (Atlanta)

Radio Disney provides the music while you roam the Halloween-decked halls. Kids can “trick-or-treat” in each area of the Aquarium while dressed in their costumes. There are also arts-and-crafts for kids. Older kids may enjoy the Halloween Sleepover the night before!

Chattahoochee Nature Center Halloween Hikes (Roswell)

A super fun fundraiser for the Center! Dressed in your costume, you can take a group hike in the dark (over lighted trails). There will be a bonfire and live music, crafts, live animal viewings and more. Bring cash for popcorn and cocoa! And Get the KNOW about the CNC with our Adventure Guide.

Apple Picking (Various)

Picking apples is a fall tradition in our family. Check out our list for Apple Adventures, and Get the KNOW on two of the most popular orchards: Hillcrest and Mercier.

Hillcrest (left) and Burts (right)

Genghis Kahn at Fernbank (Atlanta)

Fernbank exhibits never fail to entertain and educate. Genghis Khan is no exception. This newest exhibition is incredible and a “can’t miss” for sure. You can Get the KNOW about this exhibit here. And don’t forget to follow our Fall Series as we give you the nitty-gritty on the Fernbank Museum.

The Headless Horseman from Center for Puppetry Arts (Atlanta)

Let the Center for Puppetry Arts get you in the spooky holiday-mood with the Headless Horseman of Silly Hollow. A family friendly production your kids are sure to enjoy. Wear a costume and save on tickets!



Corn Mazes

It’s the time of year for falling leaves and yummy soups. That also means pumpkin patches and corn mazes. Be sure to check out at least one of these mazes, or your Fall just won’t be complete!


Uncle Shucks (Dawsonville)

Get the KNOW Before You Go.

Washington Farms (Loganville)

Ole McDermitt’s Farm (Carrollton)

Cagle’s Family Farm (Hickory Flat)

Get the KNOW Before You Go about Cagle's Dairy Farm.

The Rock Ranch (The Rock)

Get the KNOW Before You Go about The Rock Ranch. A corn maze - specific Guide is coming this week.

Uncle Bob’s Pumpkin Patch (Newnan)

Buford Corn Maze (Buford)

Get the KNOW Before You Go.

North Georgia Corn Maze (Cleveland)

Get the KNOW Before You Go.

Kernel Kob’s Corn Maze (Jasper)

Corn Dawgs (Loganville)




Date Night Ideas

Fernbank Martini's & IMAX. Photo courtesy of Go Matt Olson Photography. (ccl) Ever get in a rut on date night? Same restaurant...different movie. Here are Ten Terrific ways to spice up your date night. These are all fun and exciting places to go before or after dinner, so please, pick a new restaurant this time!

HIGH Museum of Art Atlanta (Atlanta)

Sweet Water Brewing Company (Atlanta)

Whole World Improv Theatre (Atlanta)

Fox Theatre (Atlanta)

Salud! Cooking School (Various)

Medieval Times (Lawrenceville)

Shakespeare Tavern (Atlanta)

Martini's & IMAX (Atlanta)

Starlight Six (Atlanta)

Agatha's (Atlanta)

Share with us some of your favorite "date night" locations and (PG) activities!!


Disclosure: Some links on this page may be affiliate links, or paid placements. Expedition Mom tries to only bring deals and special offers we feel to be helpful to our readers.