December 2013 Events & Bargains at GA’s State Parks

Lake Allatoona's Red Top Mountain State Park

Lake Allatoona’s Red Top Mountain State Park

This December, our friends at Georgia’s State Parks have many special events and bargains for visitors.

Cozy campfires and peaceful beauty are just two reasons you’ll enjoy visiting Georgia’s State Parks during winter.  There are several specials to make a last-minute escape easy on your wallet.  Dates and restrictions vary by park.

Special Deals on Park Passes

  • Annual ParkPass Frequent visitors enjoy access to all 48 state parks with no $5 parking fee.
  • For $50 ($25 for seniors 62 and older), you get unlimited visits for hiking, fishing, canoeing and more.
  • To purchase a pass, visit park offices, call 770-389-7401 or email

Special Deals on Camping & Events in Georgia’s State Parks

  • Snowbird Special – Stay 30 nights at select south Georgia campgrounds and save 50% off regular rates.  Promo code SNOWBIRD50% valid through February 28.  Choose from Florence Marina, Kolomoki Mounds, Magnolia Springs, Reed Bingham, Seminole and S.C. Foster state parks.
  • $10 Camping – Chattahoochee Bend State Park near Newnan offers $10 camping, even on weekends.  Promo code: DISCOVERCHATT valid through January 20.  Choose from a variety of sites, including riverside tent platforms and RV pull-throughs.
  • Fantasy in Lights  —  F.D. Roosevelt State Park has partnered with Callaway Gardens to offer 10% off weekday tickets and accommodations, now through December 30.  Stay in the park’s cabins or campground, and enjoy holiday lights in the gardens.
  • Lights of the South – Stay in a cabin at Mistletoe State Park and enjoy two free tickets to this dazzling light display near Augusta.  Rates range from $135 to $145.
  • Dollar-A-Hole Golf — Brazell’s Creek Golf Course at Gordonia-Alatamaha State Park will throw in golf cart rental when you play 18 holes for just $18.  Valid Monday through Thursday until February 28.
  • Stocking Stuffer Golf – Buy one greens fee for $30 from Highland Walk Golf Course at Victoria Bryant State Park and get one pass for free.  Must be purchased by December 31 and used by February 28.

State Park Calendar of Events for December 2013

Click Here for a Complete List of Events at GA’s State Parks

Holiday Light Displays

Lights Up on the Lake

  • Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, December  1 – 29, 2013
  • James H. (Sloppy) Floyd State Park  – Summerville, GA
  • Enjoy a drive through a winter wonderland by the lake. Several lit scenes will grace the roadside as we welcome the holiday season. $5 parking. 706-857-0826.

Christmas by Candlelight – Cherokee Home Tour

  • Friday, December 13 – Saturday, December 14,   6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Chief Vann House Historic Site  – Chatsworth, GA
  • Enjoy Christmas in one of the best preserved Cherokee Indian homes. The 1800s house is decorated in the Moravian-style with all natural garland, paper ornaments and more than 300 candles. $4 – $6. 706-695-2598.

A Colonial Christmas

  • Saturday, December 14,   5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Fort Morris Historic Site  – Midway, GA
  • Get away from the over-commercialization of the holidays and visit Fort Morris for a more peaceful celebration. Join park staff for colonial refreshments, a yule log, bonfire, 18th century music, caroling, dance and firing of the Christmas guns. 912-884-5999.

Christmas on the Pond

  • Saturday, December 14,   6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  • General Coffee State Park  – Nicholls, GA
  • Visit with Santa, enjoy storytelling, hayrides, a marshmallow roast and homemade refreshments. Donations appreciated. $5 parking. 912-384-7082.

Christmas at Reed Bingham

  • Saturday, December 14,   7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Reed Bingham State Park  – Adel, GA
  • Meet Santa and enjoy homemade baked goods, hot cocoa, Christmas carols, and ornament making. The beach shelter will be decorated with lights for all to enjoy. $5 parking. 229-896-3551.

A Tree of Families

  • Saturday, December 14,   10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Robert Toombs House Historic Site  – Washington, GA
  • The Christmas tree takes the center stage as living history performers “Robert Toombs Family and Friends” celebrate post-colonial holiday traditions through the early 1900s. 706-678-2226.

Reading of The Polar Express

  • Saturday, December 14,   10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Roosevelt’s Little White House Historic Site  – Warm Springs, GA
  • Children can ride the Warm Springs Choo-Choo to Mustian Place where a real train conductor will read The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg. Refreshments will be served along with a visit from Santa. Children will receive a reindeer bell as a gift. Train will depart from the Memorial Fountain at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. $8-$12. 706-655-5870.

Victorian Christmas

  • Saturday, December 14,   10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Travelers Rest Historic Site  – Toccoa, GA
  • The inn will be decorated with items reflecting the Victorian Era. $3-$5 plus $5 parking. 706-886-2256.

Christmas Tree Lighting

  • Saturday, December 14,   4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Vogel State Park  – Blairsville, GA
  • Join us for the 10th annual lighting of a 35-foot live Blue Spruce, as well as caroling, hayrides, Santa Claus visit, bonfires, hot chocolate and cider. 706-745-2628.

Outdoor & History Events

Winter Muster Reenactment

  • Saturday, December 14,   9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Fort McAllister Historic Park  – Richmond Hill, GA
  • On December 13, 1864, General Sherman ended his March to the Sea by ordering his troops to take Fort McAllister. Watch as we reenact this historically significant moment in our country’s history. Battle at 5 p.m.. $6.50-$3.75. 912-727-2339.

Geminid Meteor Shower

  • Saturday, December 14 – Sunday, December 15,   11 p.m. to 1 a.m.
  • Hard Labor Creek State Park  – Rutledge, GA
  • Join us on the beach to view the last major meteor shower of  . Bring a lawn chair, a thermos of your favorite warm drink, and a cozy blanket. Reflect on the past year, as we enjoy some of winter’s best constellations. Preregistration required. $5 plus $5 parking. 706-557-3001.

Full Moon Night Hike

  • Saturday, December 14,   5 p.m.
  • Panola Mountain State Park  – Stockbridge, GA
  • Join us for an enchanted evening as we hike to the mountaintop under the full moon. We’ll head out just before sunset and enjoy the stroll as the moon begins to rise. Bring flashlights, hiking boots and water. Register in advance. $7 plus $5 parking. 770-389-7801.

Winter Tours and Porridge at Hardman Farm

  • Saturday, December 14,   1 p.m.
  • Hardman Farm (Hosted by Smithgall Woods)  – Helen, GA
  • Learn the secrets and history of this 143-year-old former governor’s farm on what is sure to be a cold winter day. Afterwards, enjoy a warm bowl of porridge from Nora Mill Granary and hot coffee from Jumping Goats Coffee Roasters, while experiencing the winter stillness of the Nacoochee Valley.  $10. 706-878-3087.

Candlelight Hike to the Mill

  • Saturday, December 14,   7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Sweetwater Creek State Park  – Lithia Springs, GA
  • This mile-long guided night hike is easy to moderately difficult and goes inside the Civil War era textile mill ruins of New Manchester. Candle lanterns will be provided. No children under 6 or dogs permitted. Sturdy, closed-toe shoes are required. Register at the Interpretive Center. $5 plus $5 parking. 770-732-5871.

Who gives a Hoot? Owl Show

  • Saturday, December 14,   1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 28,   1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Amicalola Falls State Park and Lodge  – Dawsonville, GA
  • Join Zeus, Owl Capone, Goliath and all your favorite Amicalola Falls Feathered Friends for a fun and educational time in the Lodge Lobby. $5 parking. 706-344-1500.

Full Moon Suspension Bridge Hike

  • Sunday, December 15,   5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Monday, December 16,   5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Tallulah Gorge State Park  – Tallulah Falls, GA

Click Here for a Complete List of Events at GA’s State Parks