As  fall settles in, temperatures drop, colorful leaves scatter the grass and assignments begin to pile on, take a moment to relax and enjoy some seasonal activities before finals arrive. Here are some opportunities to grab a couple of your friends and take advantage of the numerous spooky, artistic and cheery events around Atlanta. 

Chastain Park Arts Festival 

The Chastain Park Arts Festival in Buckhead will host its ninth annual two-day event that premieres on Nov. 2. Approximately 185 local artists, artisans and vendors will spread throughout the park to showcase jewelry making, glassblowing, paintings, photography, local music artists, food and beverages. The festival seeks to celebrate metro Atlanta and Georgian artists and accepts applicants to perform acoustic music.

If your dorm is currently lacking in personality, this event may provide unique art to spruce up your bare walls. It also offers an opportunity to explore the numerous artists in Atlanta and support the local scene with a couple of your friends. 

Chinese Lantern Festival 

Looking forward to the new year and holiday season, Centennial Olympic Park will be hosting its annual Chinese Lantern Festival starting on Nov. 22 until Jan. 5. This year’s theme is “Into the Wild” and aims to showcase land and sea life through colorful and illuminating lanterns. 

Guests can enjoy 25 lanterns artisanally made in China and performances in acrobatics, dancing, theatrics and more. There will also be local craftsmen throughout the park serving unique Chinese food and art.

Netherworld Haunted House

Located in Stone Mountain, Ga. at about a 20 minute drive from campus, the Netherworld Haunted House offers two themed walk-through theatrical attractions: “Night of the Gorgon” and “Cold Blooded.” Blood-curdling screams permeate the air as visitors face an army of ruthless stone warriors and prehistoric life forms spliced with alien DNA. Both houses feature terrifying live actors, multiple jump scares and special effects such as fog machines.

Statues of reptilian alien warriors adorn the entrance of “Cold Blooded” at Netherworld Haunted House./ Angela Tang, Contributing

Dressed in gruesome costumes with realistic special effects makeup, live actors roam the queue to ensure that there’s not a single dull moment. Guests can grab a spooky photo with the actors outside the houses. Photo frames and other souvenirs can be purchased in the gift shop. 

If haunted houses are not for you, Netherworld also offers small escape rooms, photo booths and a post-apocalyptic laser tag battle arena that carry the same amount of excitement, without all the horror. The haunts will run until Nov. 9 and open between 7 to 7:30 p.m. every day. But make sure to arrive early because the lines get busy quickly!

Buford Corn Maze

The Buford Corn Maze in Buford, Ga., a 50 minute drive from campus, has been praised by Country Living Magazine as one of America’s 35 best corn mazes due to its extensive and elaborate design. Tickets cost $15 and once inside, you can go on a hay ride that circles the five-acre corn maze and goes through the woods, lounge in a corn kernel sandbox,  enjoy a pony ride, view some animals and more. From the antique tractors to the farm animals, there are plenty of photo opportunities.

From above, the maze features hidden symbols including a butterfly, their corporate sponsor, WSB-TV’s Family 2 Family Project logo and a flower.

The corn maze is open Friday through Sunday until Nov. 10 and, during the week of Halloween, is running a “Haunted Forest” special for $15, featuring a winding labyrinth filled with creatures.

Randy’s Pumpkin Patch

At a 45 minute drive from campus, Randy’s Pumpkin Patch in Lawrenceville, Ga., features a bunny petting zoo, three bouncy houses, pony rides, face painting, zip lines and more. General admission is free, but the activities range from $3 to $6. The numerous pumpkins around the property offer many photo opportunities for the perfect fall Instagram photo. The patch also sells various sizes of pumpkins for all your pumpkin pie and carving needs. While you’re strolling through the patch, feel free to enjoy concessions such as elephant ears and cotton candy.

After Oct. 31, the property will be converted to Randy’s Christmas Tree Farm, where guests can marvel at Christmas inflatables and purchase Christmas trees.

Atlanta Christkindl Market 

The Atlanta Christkindl Market at Atlantic Station will feature 80 Bavarian-style wooden chalets, tours that aim to create an authentic German holiday experience, traditional German food and beverages and handmade products. Artisan crafts sold at the event include ornaments, nutcrackers, tablecloths, handwoven winter clothing and beer steins, all of which make for perfect holiday gifts. If you’re an aspiring foodie, this event has plenty of authentic German dishes to please your appetite such as pretzels, schnitzel, potato dumplings, gingerbread, chocolate, chimney cakes, beer and more.

Although many of us are still in the Halloween spirit, the market celebrates Christmas during the four weeks of Advent and is also known as Christkindlmarkt, or “Christ Child Market” in German. It is Atlanta’s first and largest winter holiday festival hosted at Atlantic Station and will keep you on your feet the whole day as you try to take in all its wonders.

Conclusion

As we near the end of the semester, academics will continue to intensify, but these events can provide a well-deserved respite. Whether you’re snapping the perfect pumpkin patch, screaming at a vampire or already settling into the holiday spirit, Atlanta offers plenty of opportunities to ease the pressure of midterms and finals.