Activities

Published on April 14th, 2014 | by Shellie Ward

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Spring Break 2014- Callaway Gardens

Last Summer, I participated in the Sky High Hot Air Balloon Festival at Callaway Gardens.  I had an awesome cottage that I didn’t get to enjoy because I was working my butt off jumping on and off hot air balloons.  After a day of working on the balloons, I would take a shower and CRASH! Outside the field of where the balloons were and the lake, I had no idea of what Callaway Gardens had to offer.

So for Spring Break this year, I decided to spend some time at Callaway Gardens with the girls. Our friends go camping during Spring Break up in North Georgia, but (1) its too cold at night to sleep outside and (2) Callaway Gardens has housekeeping! (Just keeping it real!)

Preperation

In preparation for the trip, I planned our meals, as well as went grocery shopping since a full kitchen is in the cottage. I strongly advise that you shop before you drive to Pine Mountain, because there are few shopping options and the prices reflect it.   Since check in is after 4pm, I planned for our first day to be low key.  We moved into our cottage, the kids climbed trees, while I grilled our next three meals. (Day 1- Dinner-Steak/ baked potato/ corn on cob/ salad, Day 2- Lunch- Hot Dogs/ French Fries/ yogurt, Dinner- Chicken/pasta/ broccoli) I also recommend having meals prepared before arrival such as spaghetti, lasagna that you can pop in the oven….oh and have deli meats/ cheese for sandwiches, and plenty of snacks for between meals! Coffee pot and coffee is provided in the cottages , but for the kids, bring chocolate for hot chocolate for the cool mornings, and of course chocolate milk. Speaking of milk, go ahead and buy a gallon!  We had milk and cookie hour once a day.  (The kids really looked forward to it…the simple things)

Extras

We brought board games and cards for evening activities.  The kids enjoyed flashlights, headlamps, and lanterns to explore around the cottage at night.

Things We Did

havenbutterflyThe Butterfly Center was surprisingly a hit with the kids! We actually found a butterfly that just came out of it’s cocoon and landed on Haven!  It crawled from Haven’s shirt to her pigtail!

The azaleas were in bloom and the gardens were breath taking.  This scenery is perfect for couples and photographers! The girls had a great time running through the trails. (Stop and smell the azaleas girls!) SAMSUNG CSC

Haven is the golfer in the family, however we did a daily game of Putt Putt in the latter part of the day.  I showed no mercy on Haven! Harley had her own rules…. There are life size chess and checker games by the beach.  And although it was too cold to get into the water, the sand is an activity in itself. (While the kids are playing in the sand, have a blanket and a book/ magazine to entertain yourself.)

We ventured outside of Callaway Gardens into Pine Mountain, Georgia and ate at some of the local eateries.  It is inevitable that we will have a pizza night,(yes we love pizza that much) and there just happened to be one pizza joint in town called Fox Pizza. They offered thin crust pizza and they delivered…..SOLD! But there is this BBQ place that closes at 3 pm called The Whistling Pig Cafe. They sell southern favs such as fried green tomatoes, collard greens, chopped BBQ, burgers….you get it.  I went there two days in a row and on the second day, I ordered lunch and another order for dinner that I could heat up in my cottage kitchen later!  (My cholesterol should be off the charts at the moment, but I don’t eat like that often.)

There are a few attractions outside of Callaway Gardens such as Wild Animal Safari and The Little White House in Warm Springs, GA, where President FDR spent a lot of his time and died.  (FDR is on the 3rd Grade CRCT for Georgia, so it is a great educational opportunity.)

Callaway Gardens offers really good package deals, especially during off peak days such as Sunday through Thursday. The packages usually include the experiences that you would pay for a la carte such as Tree Top Adventure, bike rentals, etc. TOTALLY WORTH IT! The ages of your children will determine your experience.  For example, you must be at least 54″ to do  The Tree Top Adventure and Zip Lines which is an in-air obstacle course. My youngest daughter can’t ride a bike yet, however Callaway Gardens have bicycles that can accommodate those situations.    There are boat/ canoe rentals, fishing, and golfing! Bring Grandma to watch the kids so that you have some alone time and go wine tasting and stroll through the gardens.

Callaway Gardens host several events throughout the year such as the Sky High Hot Air Balloon Festival, Fantasy and Lights Festival, Steeple Chase at Callaway Gardens to name a few.  You can also count on Callaway Gardens to keep your family occupied during big weekends like Memorial Day, 4th of July,  and Labor Day.

I would like to thank Callaway Gardens for hosting my family for Spring Break 2014!  With just a little over an hour outside of Atlanta, a trip to Callaway Gardens is adventurous, educational, relaxing, but yet a cost effective!!

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