December crowded with holiday events at Ga.'s state parks

Mon, 11/24/2008 - 12:34pm
By: The Citizen

Georgia’s State Parks & Historic Sites host dozens of events throughout the year. This holiday season, skip the malls and traffic, and bring your friends and family to one of our old-fashioned events.

Below is the December 2008 Calendar from Georgia’s State Parks & Historic Sites. More information is available at or 1-800-864-7275.

December 2008 events divided by region


Christmas Open House
Saturday, December 6
Amicalola Falls State Park and Lodge – Dawsonville
Enjoy choir performances and Gingerbread House creations, and then go for a winter hayride. Afterwards warm up by the fire and visit with Santa. $3 parking. (706) 265-1969.

Christmas Candlelight Tour
Saturday, December 6, 6:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
New Echota Historic Site – Calhoun
Bring your candle lantern to kick off the holiday season. We’ll celebrate Christmas New Echota-style with decorations, music and refreshments reminiscent of the 19th century Cherokee Nation Capital. Dress warmly and wear good walking shoes for this one-mile walking tour of the historic Cherokee town. $5. (706) 624-1321.

Deck the Halls of Unicoi
Saturday, December 6
Unicoi State Park and Lodge – Helen
This celebration includes making holiday crafts, hayrides (weather permitting), pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus, a special meal in the park’s restaurant, and an evening of music in the beautifully decorated lodge. $3 parking. 800-573-9659 ext. 305.

Dahlonega Gold Museum Open House
Sunday, December 7, 9 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.
Dahlonega Gold Museum Historic Site – Dahlonega
As part of Dahlonega’s Old Fashion Christmas, the museum’s admission fee will be waived for the day. Visitors can learn about the nation’s first gold rush and see historic coins minted in Georgia. (706) 864-2257.

Christmas by Candlelight
Friday, December 12 through Saturday, December 13
Chief Vann House Historic Site - Chatsworth
In 1805, Cherokee Chief James Vann opened his new brick mansion to the Moravian missionaries to hold one of the first Christmas celebrations in the Cherokee Nation. To honor this tradition, visitors are invited to enjoy the sights and sounds of a 19th century Christmas in one of America’s best-preserved Cherokee homes. $2.50–$4. (706) 695-2598.

A Fort Yargo Christmas
Saturday, December 13, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Fort Yargo State Park - Winder
Join us for Christmas carols, refreshments, hay rides and a visit from Santa. $3 parking. (770) 867-3489.

Christmas Tree Lighting
Saturday, December 13, 4:45 p.m.
Vogel State Park - Blairsville
Join us for a tree lighting, caroling, hayrides, Santa Claus visit, bonfires, hot chocolate and cider. For the “Give A Gift Toy Drive” sponsored by the Union County Sheriff’s Department, bring an unwrapped gift for kids of 0-12 years of age. No toy guns or knifes please. (706) 745-2628.

Christmas for Travelers
Sunday, December 14, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Travelers Rest Historic Site - Toccoa
Enjoy music, treats, crafts and dancing in an 1800s decorative holiday setting. Free, but donations appreciated. (706) 886-2256.

Falconry School
Monday, December 29 through Tuesday, December 30
Smithgall Woods Conservation Area and Lodge - Helen
Are you interested in becoming a falconer? This course will help you prepare for the state/federal falconry exam plus provide a head start into the sport itself. Indoor work and a live hunt are included. Register by December 19th. $225 plus $3 parking. (706) 878-3087.


Lighted Boat Parade
Saturday, December 6, 6 p.m. – 7 p.m.
George T. Bagby State Park and Lodge – Fort Gaines
Warm up to a bonfire at the marina while enjoying a holiday parade of boaters, or you can enter your own boat. $3 parking. (229) 768-2571.

Plantation Christmas
Saturday, December 6, 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Jarrell Plantation Historic Site – Juliette
Take an afternoon stroll through two of the Jarrell family homes with traditional decoration and natural greenery. Stories, music and refreshments included. $2.50-$4. (478) 986-5172.

Christmas Workshop
Saturday, December 6, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Providence Canyon State Park – Lumpkin
Learn how to make Christmas ornaments out of items from nature, such as pine cones, magnolia seedpods, seashells, sweetgum balls and persimmon seeds. Register in advance. $1 plus $3 parking. (229) 838-6202.

A Christmas with Friends
Saturday, December 6
Reed Bingham State Park – Adel
Celebrate Christmas with carols, games, hayrides and bonfires on the beach. Make s’mores, toast marshmallows and enjoy the sights and sounds of the season. Santa will visit with children after arriving in a parade of lighted boats on the lake. Call the park to enter your own boat for this festive parade. $3 parking. (229) 896-3551.

Pearl Harbor Remembered
Saturday, December 6, 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Roosevelt’s Little White House Historic Site – Warm Springs
We will not forget those who served our country during World War II. You are invited to spend time with survivors of Pearl Harbor and hear their extraordinary stories. Kelly’s Zeroes, a WWII living history organization, will exhibit equipment used by our soldiers in WWII. $4-$7. (706) 655-5870.

Christmas on the Pond
Saturday, December 13, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
General Coffee State Park – Nicholls
Storytelling, hayrides, refreshments and Santa himself will usher in the holiday season. $3 parking. (912) 384-1581.

Breakfast with Santa
Saturday, December 13, 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
George T. Bagby State Park and Lodge – Fort Gaines
Santa will visit the park’s lodge and pose for photos with children. $5 for breakfast buffet, plus $3 parking. (229) 768-2571.

“A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens
Saturday, December 13, 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Robert Toombs house Historic Site – Washington
This Victorian favorite will capture your heart as Dickens characters present scenes from Ebenezer Scrooge’s life in each room. The Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future will present a haunting performance as they guide visitors through the house. (706) 678-2226.

Victorian Christmas
Saturday, December 14, 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.
A.H. Stephens Historic Park - Crawfordville
Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens home, Liberty Hall, will be decorated for the holidays and refreshments will be served. $1.50 - $3.00 (706) 456-2602.


A Colonial Christmas at Fort King George
Saturday, December 13, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Fort King George Historic Site – Darien
Join the garrison for a traditional dinner in the enlisted barracks and an evening of colonial-style Yule Tide jollification. RSVP by December 8. $30 dinner. (912) 437-4770.

Winter Muster & Battle at Fort McAllister
Saturday, December 13, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Fort McAllister Historic Park – Richmond Hill
Enjoy a day of fort activities leading up the the 15-minute battle that captured Fort McAllister. Witness and smell the battle that ended Sherman’s March to the Sea. $2.50 - $4. (912) 727-2339.

Colonial Christmas at Wormsloe
Sunday, December 14, 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Wormsloe Historic Site – Savannah
Join us for a Christmas celebration 18th century style, with caroling and dance, the burning of the Yule Log, holiday observances of the Colonial period, games and refreshments. $2.50 - $4. (912) 353-3023.


Winter Bird Hike
Saturday, December 6, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Join one of Panola Mountain’s birders on this winter tour and search for a variety of hawks, sparrows and other winter migrant and resident birds. Register in advance. $5 plus $3 parking. (770) 389-7801.

Tree Top Excursions: Open Climb
Saturday, December 6, 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Join us “on rope” for an adventure exploring the canopy above. This is an introductory climb to Canopy-Adventure-Research-Educational Technical Tree Climbing (CARE TTC). Participants will use rope and harness for this moderately strenuous activity. We will climb near Lake Alexander. $10 plus $3 parking. (770) 389-7801.

Christmas at the Cabin
Saturday, December 6 through Sunday, December 7, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Red Top Mountain State Park and Lodge – Cartersville
Yuletide celebrations of the 1800s come to life as demonstrators take you back to Christmas at a pioneer homestead. Experience the sights, sounds and smells of the holiday at the Vaughn Cabin. $3 parking. (770) 975-4226.

Basic Fly Fishing Clinic
Saturday, December 13, 9:45 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Panola Mountain State Park – Stockbridge
This clinic covers equipment, knot tying, casting, safety issues and other tricks of the trade. If time permits participants may stay to catch the “Fish of Fish.” Local instructors C. H. Brown and Michael Reilley suggest wearing long pants/shorts and hiking shoes, and bringing snacks, water and sun lotion. Georgia fishing license required. $7 - $10 plus $3 parking. (770) 389-7801.

Christmas on the Homefront
Saturday, December 13, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Pickett’s Mill Battlefield Historic Site - Dallas
Gather the family and join us at our 1850s log cabin. Learn the ways pioneers settled this region and the lifelong struggles and hardships they had to endure. See open hearth cooking, farming practices and clothing styles. $1.75 - $3. (770) 443-7850.

Advanced Fly Fishing Clinic
Saturday, December 27, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Panola Mountain State Park – Stockbridge
This clinic is for graduates of our Basic Fly Fishing Clinic and Experienced Fly Fisherman call (prerequisite) and will focus on “On the Water Techniques.” We begin at the Rockdale River Trail parking and then head to the lake for instruction in advanced casting technique (Steeple Caste, Roll Cast, and Double-haul Casting), line mending, reading the water and entomology. $12-$15, plus $3 parking. (770) 389-7801.

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