While this Thanksgiving holiday may look different this year, there are still plenty of ways to enjoy the crisp fall outdoors and perhaps begin new traditions for you and your family.

Hike a Monadnock

Hike the 1-mile trek to the top of Stone Mountain.  The Walk-Up Trail is 1,686 above sea level and while on top you can enjoy amazing views of downtown Atlanta, the North Georgia mountains and the surrounding area.  On a haze-free day, you see 60 miles from the mountain. Or explore 400 million years of history at the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area as you hike to the peak and see a host of wildlife and rare plant species along the way. Stone Mountain and Arabia Mountain are two of only three Monodnocks in Georgia.

Enjoy Dessert By A Backyard Bonfire

Bring your dessert outside and relax around your firepit while you make new family memories. Don’t feel like making dessert? DeKalb has plenty of options to order from. Coco Cakes, Sweethut Bakery, White Windmill Bakery, Southern Sweets Bakery and Lenox Cupcakes are some local sweet-tooth favorites.

Take An After-Dinner Walk

If you’d like some different scenery other than your neighborhood, head to one of DeKalb many local parks and hit the trails. DeKalb’s Keswick Park and Henderson Park are top choices among residents.

Run The Virtual Peachtree Road Race

Lace up your running shoes and join thousands of people from all over the world as they run the historical Peachtree Road Race 10k virtually over the long Thanksgiving Weekend.   One suggestion for your 6.2 mile course is to do one loop around the base of Stone Mountain (which is five miles) and then call it a day – we won’t tell anyone 🙂 If you really want to run the full 10k, just tack on another .6 miles onto your loop as an “out and back”.  Bonus: you’ll probably have some wild spectators cheering you on in the form of deer and wild turkeys. Find trail maps here.

Sock Skate at Fernbank Winter Wonderland

Experience Fernbank’s Winter Wonderland, which offers plenty of outdoor fun for the entire family. Walk among six giant (some up to 7 feet tall) decorated snow globes highlighting the best of the holidays, including sledding, gingerbread houses and New Year’s Eve. Enjoy a Sock Skating Rink where you get to skip the skates and enjoy a wintertime tradition not often experienced in the south.

Dine Al Fresco

If you and your family get tired of Thansgiving leftovers, enjoy a restaurant that offers outside patio dining. Outdoor dining options abound in Chamblee  and Tucker also has some great outdoor dining options, including the Tucker Brewing Company, which is home to the largest beer garden in the southeast. Be sure to also check out Tucker’s Main Street which offers additional outdoor dining options at Local No 7, Village Burger and others. Whichever awesome place that you choose to dine, be sure to call ahead and check availability and hours during the long holiday weekend.

Go Birdwatching

Birders flock to DeKalb because of the undisturbed natural areas that attracts a variety of local species such as Indigo Buntings, Yellow-Breasted Chats, Bluebirds and migratory birds such as Wood Warblers. A favorite place for bird watchers is in DeKalb’s smallest city, Pine Lake.  The Eastern and Western Wetlands Trails will take you through a wonderful ecosystem designed to slow down the water before and after it goes into the lake in order to naturally cleanse out chemicals and other impurities. This is a favorite hang-out for all kinds of wildlife, especially birds. More information.

Play Fun Lawn Games

From cornhole to axe throwing to old-fashioned horseshoes, gather your family and have some friendly backyard competition.

Experience Stone Mountain Christmas — Atlanta’s Most Heartwarming Holiday Celebration

Each day of Stone Mountain Christmas, you can enjoy park attractions including Summit Skyride, Scenic Railroad, and more! Then, immerse yourself in holiday magic with evenings full of festive music, millions of dazzling lights, spectacular shows and visits from some of your favorite holiday characters! Purchase tickets in advance here.

Have a Backyard Movie Night

With a little DYI magic, you can create your own charming backyard movie night. Or if you’d like to feel the nostalgia of an old drive-in, catch a flick at the Starlight Drive-In.

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