Free and Frugal Ways to Beat the Heat Around Atlanta – Part 2

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Free and Frugal Ways to Beat the Heat in Atlanta

They don’t call it “Hotlanta” for nothing, that’s for sure. Although Summer 2013 was drenched considerably with rain for the Atlanta area, who knows what’s in store for this summer!? Hot, humid seemingly-never-ending heat seems par for the course in the southeast, come June, July, and August.

But that doesn’t mean you have to suffer! Atlanta is home to quite a few fun, free, and frugal ways to stay cool during the dog days of summer. Be prepared with this extensive list of free and frugal ways to beat the heat around Atlanta this summer!

I’ve broken the guide in to three parts: splash parks/pads, water parks and attractions, and indoor places.
Check out these aquatic centers and attractions. While some are not necessarily “frugal”, it may be worth a shot to mix it up during the summer heat, offering a special treat for the family:

  • Cumming Aquatic Center offers classes, lessons and more – there’s something for everyone here. Features include several different levels of diving boards, indoor and outdoor pools, and opportunities for intense swimming and diving lessons. The outdoor facilities are open during the summer, from May through September, and features a slide, a lazy river, and a play structure for children. The outdoor area also features four cabanas for birthday parties and three giant umbrellas for shade {FREE for kids 2 and under; up to $5 admission; or passes for longterm use}
  • Gwinnett Aquatic Centers, including the West Gwinnett Aquatic Center,offer walk-in pools, sprayers, slides, floating rivers, and more! With locations throughout the county, there’s bound to be a center near you. Please note: all pools are closed for maintenance 5-17-13 through 5-24-13. {Residents: $3.25 – $5.50; non-residents: $6.25 – $10.50}
  • Cherokee County Aquatic Center offers indoor and outdoor pools, as well as a super-cool water playground, two water slides, beach entry, pavilions, concessions, and more! There is also a special splash park at Cline Park as well. {FREE for kids 2 and under; up to $6 admission for adults and kids over age 2}

    CherokeeCountyAquatics

    photo courtesy of Cherokee County Aquatics

  • Lake Lanier Islands Beach and Water Park or “Lanier World” will keep you occupied and entertained for at least an entire day! The Raging River sends older kids down rapid, complete with splashy turns. Wild Waves is the states largest wave pool (And it’s got a kid-size version, Wiggle Wave.) There’s also their splash park, Kiddie Lagoon; as well as a swim area and beach area. Then there’s the ultimate “floating playground” – Aquatic Adventures, along with several thrilling water slides for kids over 42″ tall. {FREE for kids 2 and under; children and adults range from $12 to $35}
LanierWorld

Lake Lanier Islands Beach and Water Park – photo courtesy of http://www.lakelanierislands.com

  • In addition to diving boards, shaded kiddie pool, and concession stand at Wills Park Pool, they also host “Dive-In Movie” nights during the summer! Located in Alpharetta. {$3/person/day}
  • Six Flags Over Georgia – Ok, yeah, not necessarily a water park, but they DO have a handful of good water rides.  They, um, always leave me with wet britches, at least.  And now, two words: Hurricane Harbor!  Discount tickets frequently available via local establishments, like McDonalds (online promo code: MCDatl to save up to $20) and from a good ol’ Coke can.
  • South Cobb Aquatic Center, located in Austell, is one of six aquatic centers in the county; it includes slides, diving boards, and a lazy river. {$2.12 – $4.50 daily admission}
  • Stone Mountain’s Geyser Towers is a great option for anyone over 32″ tall. With an intricate web of nets and tunnels, kids enjoy occasional splashes. {Individual Attraction Tickets: Adults: $14.00; Children (age 3-11): $14.00; OR Included in Adventure Pass & Mountain Membership}

  • And then there’s always White Water: with over 50 water different attractions, there’s something for everyone, including the 90 foot Free Fall for the adventurous types, and the wave pool and hooch river for everyone, and Captain Kids Cover for wee ones. {Buy tickets for just under $30, or group tickets for under $25}
Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

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Summer Reading Program: Dig in to Reading!

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The Summer Reading Program is just the first in many for my “Whatcha Reading” series.  Promoting literacy is such an integral part of my life, as a teacher and a mother, and I wanted to extended it to all of you. Therefore, I aim to bring a series “Whatcha Reading” to AFM. Here you will find book picks for children, adults, as well as tips for promoting literacy within your home.

Summer Reading Program WhatchaReading

Among my many lofty goals to accomplish this summer, summer reading tops the list. (Specifically, working on teaching my daughter to read. But I’ll dive in to that topic on another day…) We recently hit up our Gwinnett library, and signed up for their summer reading program, called “Dig in to Reading!”

Upon signing up, our “kit” included some great tools to help us get started, including a log to help us reach our reading goals, stickers, a some bookmarks. (That it also contained a coupon for a FREE Chick-fil-a kids meal, good anywhere in Gwinnett, and a coupon for a FREE slushie at Sonic were but mere bonuses!)  Along with their program, there are events happening at each location throughout the summer, including puppet shows, story times, and more!  If you’re a resident of Gwinnett, I highly encourage you to check it out!

Similar summer reading programs for children can be found throughout the metro Atlanta area.

Check with your local library to see what they have to offer!  Here is Dekalb’s program, and here is Fulton’s.
Summer Reading Program

Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

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Book Sale!

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The Dunwoody library is hosting its annual Friends of the Dunwoody Library Book Sale.

Thursday September 23 – Monday September 27 (not open Sunday, September 26)
Thursday: (for Friends members only) 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Memberships $8 for a family, $5 individuals, $3 seniors
Friday & Saturday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Paperbacks 75 cents, hardbacks $1.50 (unless otherwise noted)
Monday: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Fill a paper grocery bag for $6!
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Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Sandy Springs Festival

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The 25th annual Sandy Springs Festival is just around the corner!  It is always located at Heritage Green, 6075 Sandy Springs Circle.


Tickets are $5 for adults ($7 for a 2-day pass), $3 for kids ($4 for a 2-day pass).   Kids under 5 are free, as are Heritage Sandy Springs members.  



Events include:
Doug Kessler 10k/5k,
– a pet parade,
– car show,
museum
– and entertainment.  


Proceeds go towards preservation of and maintaining the city’s only green space, to present recreational, educational, and cultural opportunities for Sandy Springs residents and to share the city’s rich history through a permanent exhibit and two changing exhibits in the Heritage Sandy Springs Museum. Visit www.heritagesandysprings.org to learn more.




Additionally, they kicked off celebrations with the 25 days of the festival….  Although we’re halfway there, there’s quite a few good deals to be had, courtesty of their website:




September 15: Mention the Sandy Springs Festival when scheduling a New Patient appointment at Pediatric Dental Specialists of Atlanta for your child and receive a free fluoride treatment!
September 16: Visit EVOS Prado – mention the Sandy Springs Festival and receive a buy one value meal, get one free. Half way through the month. Half the price. All American. All Natural.
September 17: Visit Fidelity Bank – mention the Sandy Springs Festival for great deals, great food, and great fun! Open a new totally free checking account and receive a free George Foreman grill! Plus, register to win a pair of Falcons tickets!
September 18: Go to Bell Carpet Galleries in Sandy Springs Plaza – mention the Sandy Springs Festival to receive 20% off regular price standard rugs, 50% off sale rugs (Sept. 18, 2010 only) and free standard 8 lb. pad with carpet purchase. Carpet and pad purchase must be made within 30 days of Sept. 18, 2010.
September 19LEFKO Renovations – Send an e-mail by October 1st to david@lefkorenovations.com  referencing the Sandy Springs Festival and receive a 50% discount for Conceptual Design Drawings for your kitchen, bathroom, home addition or basement remodeling project.
September 20: Visit Gigi’s Cupcakes on Hammond Drive – mention the Sandy Springs Festival and buy three cupcakes and get one free.
September 21: Eat at Slope’s BBQ – mention Sandy Springs Festival, and Slope’s will donate $1 to Heritage Sandy Springs.
September 22: Go to Brooklyn Café – mention the Sandy Springs Festival and get free grilled artichokes with the purchase of two entrees.
September 23: Go to SusanSnaps, the Ultimate Gourmet Gingersnaps – mention the Sandy Springs Festival and receive “buy one snack pack and get one free” (10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.)
September 24: Make your best deal and receive an additional $325.00 off the purchase of any new or used vehicle purchase at Classic Subaru just for mentioning the Sandy Springs Festival OR 25% discount on an oil change when you mention the Sandy Springs Festival. 
September 25: First 25 people at each gate get free admission into the 25th Annual Sandy Springs Festival!

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Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

MJCCA Playgroups

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This is from an email I recieved about some great groups meeting at the Jewish Community Centers of Atlanta.  You need not be a member of the JCC, nor necessarily Jewish to attend.  (However, some events are more specifically geared to the Jewish community.)  This is another great opportunity to interact with other moms, and for your little one(s) to socialize.  :o)
For more information about any of these programs, please contact Jessica Dickson at 678-812-4173, or via email.

Fridays weekly, starting September 3rd
10:30 am – 12 pm
Free and open to the community
This group is geared toward children 6 weeks to 12 months and a caregiver. Bring your baby and join in the fun! Feel free to attend the Weinstein School’s Shabbat Sing in the theater at 10am. At 10:30am there will be toys and friends to play with in the Brill Room. Bring old friends or meet new ones. Look for monthly speakers to educate everyone on topics of interest.
Shalom Baby Stay and Play Toddler Classes at Zaban Park
6- Wednesday weekly sessions, starting September 15th
10:30 am – 11:30 am
Free and open to the community
Calling all one and two year olds! Bring your caregiver and let’s have fun. Join Shalom Baby for a 6- week session of play group classes. Read some stories, create some art, play with some toys and make some new friends. Registration for the 6-week session is required but the cost is free! Limited spaces available on a first come, first serve basis.
Tuesdays weekly, starting September 7rd
10:00 am – 11:30 am
Free and open to the community
This group is geared toward children 6 weeks to 18 months and a caregiver. Bring your baby and join in the fun! Make new friends or keep the old. Look for monthly speakers to educate everyone on topics of interest.
Tuesdays weekly, starting September 14th
10:30 am – 11:30 am
Free and open to the community
This group is geared toward children 6 weeks to 18 months and a caregiver. Bring your baby and join in the fun! Make new friends or keep the old. Look for monthly speakers to educate everyone on topics of interest.
Babes About Town for Everyone!
Join the PJ Library and Shalom Baby families for field trips around town. Events will be planned both during the week and on Sundays. Look for more events to follow.

Sukkot Events
Tuesday, September 28
10:30am to 12pm
MJCCA- Zaban Park
Free and open to the community
A chance for you and your child experience the mitzvah of sitting in the sukkah! Join us in the MJCCA Sukkah for a craft and stories. This event is geared toward children 6 weeks to 3 years of age. In case of inclement weather we will meet inside the JCC
Sundaes in the Sukkah! with the 
Sophie Hirsh Srochi Jewish Discovery Museum and Pathways
Sunday, September 25
12:30 pm – 2 pm
MJCCA, Zaban Park
Free and open to the community
Celebrate the festival of Sukkot by being our guest for ice cream in the Sukkah. Sukkot is a joyful celebration of hospitality and nature’s bounty. Please join us for yummy sundaes, learn how to make a mini sukkah for your home, and see a real lulav and etrog. So eat dessert first and get energy for your sports! We will meet you in the Sukkah!

Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta
Jessica Dickson
Young Family Programming Specialist | MJCCA
5342 Tilly Mill Road | Dunwoody GA 30338
678.812.4173 | atlantajcc.org

 

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Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

Wild Animal Safari

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Please note: this deal is from 2010, and NO LONGER AVAILABLE.  If you’re out in Pine Mountain, GA -or care to take a trip out that way- this is a good deal.  Admission is normally $17.95, but through this Half Off Depot promotion, you can get admission for just $8.00.

Wild Animal Safari

Wild Animal Safari
1300 Oak Grove Road
Pine Mountain, GA 31822

Phone 706-663-8744
Toll-Free 800-367-2751

www.animalsafari.com

(P.S.  Pine Mountain is south of LaGrange.  According to Google Maps, it’s a straight shot down I-85.)

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Keep on saving!  :o)
--Barbara

**Remember, y'all, this post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small amount of compensation when you purchase from my links, which I"ll totally blow on waffle fries and sweet tea, y'all!**

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