Athens Oconee Parent Sep-Oct18

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A Re s o u rc e f o r F a m i l i e s i n A t h e n s, O c o n e e C o u n t y a n d t h e S u r ro u n d i n g A re a

October 2018

Now In Our 20th Year!


Building Families... Building Businesses



Halloween Things! Fall Color at Georgia State Parks


“Building Families...Building Businesses” October 2018 • Vol. 20 No. 6 LOCALLY OWNED AND OPERATED


A.W. Blalock


Sarah Danis


Anniston Howell WEB MANAGER

Andrea Maria Holt FOUNDER


Sarah Danis, Shannon Dean, Wendy Jones, Amy Lasseter, Rebecca McCants, Jonathan C. Robinson, Sarah Broussard Weaver Athens-Oconee Parent Magazine is published six times a year. Reader correspondence and editorial submission welcome.We reserve the right to edit, reject or comment editorially on all material contributed. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced without express written consent of the publisher. Athens-Oconee Parent Magazine reserves the right to refuse any advertising for any reason. The opinions expressed by contributors or writers do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this magazine. Distribution of this product does not constitute an endorsement of the products or services herein. Athens-Oconee Parent Magazine P.O. Box 465,Watkinsville, GA 30677 Advertising: Editorial: Office & Production: Calendar: Website: PUBLISHED BY

on the cover LEFT TO RIGHT, TOP TO BOTTOM Killian, Emma, Liza, Harper with Princess Kristin, Xander, Lillian, Sara, Claiborne, and Finnegan 3

first words...


s we head into fall, the cooler weather is slowly arriving and the pumpkin-flavored goodies have filled the shelves at the store! And we have fillled this issue with some fun topics to share with you. Our September/October issue is our annual “Birthday” issue and we will share with you some great ways and places to celebrate with your kids. We also have some fall topics to get you in the mood for this time of year! Dr. Robinson has advice for challenges that sometimes come up around birthdays, Amy Lasseter reminds us to celebrate, Wendy Jones shares with us the importance of RSVPing, and Sarah Broussard Weaver laments on the magic and sadness of growing up. Shannon Dean educates us on the haunted history of Halloween and, since October is Domestic Violence Awareness month, Rebecca McCants reminds us of resources in our community that we should be aware of. We also have our annual Party List to help you find some fun locations to celebrate your children’s birthdays. We are excited to say that our next issue, Holiday 2018, will be our 20th anniversary edition! If you have been impacted by the magazine or if you have a child that has been on one of our covers, we’d love to hear from you to help us with some then-andnow comparisons of how our Athens-Oconee Parent Magazine kids have grown! Email Sarah at to touch base with information for our Holiday issue.

contents FEATURES 8

ThePartyList! PAGES 23-29


8 The Importance of RSVPing ... and thank-you notes 10 Birthday Eves, Magical Nights 12 Unmasking the Practical Past of Halloween Traditions 18 Finding Fall at Georgia State Parks 20 Domestic Violence Awareness 22 Celebrate with Zest!



Sarah Danis

DEPARTMENTS 6 14 16 30

Sarah, Oliver, and Trey checking out the awesome fish at the Georgia Aquarium

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Show & Tell On Your Mind: “Sleepy Sister” Calendar ’Til We Meet Again

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Read Athens-Oconee Parent Magazine anywhere, any time ... online! Visit and click “read online.” Also, check out our online calendar for up-to-date, family-friendly events.

Athens-Oconee Parent Magazine 5




Compiled by Sarah Danis

Too Much Plastic!


iven the buzz surrounding banning plastic drinking straws, did you know you can get 100% compostable bendy straws that are ban-approved? Strong and durable, they won’t crack mid-sip and are also BPA-free, chlorine-free, and nontoxic. They are available nationwide in grocery stores and on Amazon.

make this!

funfetti fetti dip

Ingredients: 1 box of Funfetti cake mix (or any other type of cake mix, you can always just add extra sprinkles if you choose to) 2 cups of plain yogurt or Greek yogurt 1 - 1 1/2 cups of CoolWhip, thawed Sprinkles for topping Optional: mashed banana or crushed pineapple to mix into the dip

For the dippers: Animal crackers, Teddy Grahams, vanilla wafers, graham crackers, fruit ... or your fingers! To prepare: In a medium bowl, mix the cake mix with the yogurt and CoolWhip until smooth. Add banana or pineapple if desired. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours. Top with extra sprinkles and serve with dippers. Enjoy! Thanks to for this yummy snack idea!

Too Many Skittles!


f, after you raid your kids’ Halloween candy and you are overrun with Skittles, try this with your kids. Just place Skittles around the edge of a shallow plate and carefully add tap water.You’ll see how the colors run off of the candy to create colorful patterns. So cool!

use this! KABOOST is a booster seat for dining that goes under the chair! The portable chair booster is perfect for little kids who want to sit like big kids and adults. Snaps on a chair in seconds – quick and easy to use Stays attached when chair is moved and it won’t scratch floors. Fits 4-legged chairs with round, square, or curvy legs. There are two height positions, the same heights as standard booster seats (3.75” and 4.5”). Lightweight, easy to fold and carry, and perfect for taking to grandparents, friends and restaurants. Send your ideas & photos to P.O. Box 465, Watkinsville, GA 30677 or e-mail

6 Athens-Oconee Parent


Every birthday is a gift. Every day is a gift.” Aretha Frannklin

read this!

Maud the Koala in Much Too Much Birthday Maud the koala can’t wait for her birthday party – until everything starts to feel way too overwhelming. Maud is having a birthday party in her backyard, and she’s invited her friends – all fifty-six of them – to celebrate with her. She’s not worried, though. After all, you can never have too much birthday! But when the guests arrive and the party gets packed, she isn’t so sure. What will happen if Maud can’t “bear” her own birthday? Author J. E. Morris’s charming illustrations and comic-like panels make this a unique format with a narrative style perfect for storytime.

Troy Tastes... Restaurant: Locos Troy’s Score: 5 napkins


Sunday, September 30, 2018 • 5:30-7:30pm

went to Locos in the outstanding city of Athens on Timothy Road. Locos Grill and Pub offers a kids menu and daily specials. It is kid friendly. Is it not fancy and it can sometimes be loud on a gameday because people like to watch sports games on one of the multiple TVs. I got the Cuban sandwich, and it is very flavorful. The meat was roasted pork, salami, and ham. It also has banana peppers which are sometimes too sour for me. They have a different taste compared to other peppers. The mojo sauce that is on the side that you can dip your sandwich in is kind of sweet. It is there if you need an extra kick of flavor because the Cuban is fine by itself. The Cuban and the French Dip are my go-to entrees. Next time I am going to get the French Dip because I also love it. One of my favorite appetizers is the fried pickles. They are a little chewy, tangy, and the ranch dressing tops them off. I recommend these food items to anyone who has a big appetite. The whole meal will fill you up.

East Side Eats is an annual fundraising event for families, featuring samples from more than 20 east Athens restaurants (including Craft Public House, Inoko Express and Sweetie Pie by Savie), live music by the talented Steve Shiver, a cork pull, a silent auction (including 2 tickets for the Georgia-Florida Football game, 2 tickets for the Georgia-Vanderbilt football game, gift cards to local restaurants, spa treatments, rounds of golf at local courses,unique gift baskets, and more), and fun for kids! The event raises money for youth programming at the YWCO. Tickets are limited. Call the YWCO or go to for ticket information. There’s also a facebook page for the event: YWCO East Side Eats @YWCOESE. Tickets are $20 each in advance or 4 for $75; $25 at the door; kids 3 & under are free.

Troy Aldrich is a local 10-year-old who enjoys food and is over the kids menu at most restaurants – but not everywhere. His reviews started as a summer teaching tool on opinion writing and appear in each issue of Athens-Oconee Parent Magazine.Troy guides parents to great places to take their kids to eat – from a kid’s point of view. Each restaurant is given a rating on a scale of 5 napkins. For more kid’s reviews go to

get out!

Sweetie Pie by Savie 7


good manners

By Wendy Jones

The Importance of RSVPing

SO YOU HAVE MADE all the plans, cleaned your house or rented a venue, bought all the supplies and now the only thing missing is any clue how many people will show up to your child’s birthday party. Most people may not be able to tell you that RSVP is an abbreviation for the French term Répondez s’il vous plaît, but most know it simply means please let your host know if you are coming or not. It is a modern manner that seems so simple, but we seem to struggle with it on both sides of the invitation. RSVPs are not reserved for large, formal events like weddings. They are necessary for every event where you need to plan for space, food, and drink – so generally any event worth hosting or attending. Hosts spend a great deal of time in planning and preparing for an event, not to mention paying for it, and it’s downright disrespectful to not even respond with a simple “yes, I’ll be there” or a “no, I cannot attend but thank you for the invitation.” (And by the way, you don’t have to follow up a no with a long, drawn-out explanation.) Let’s be clear – no answer is not an answer. Simply ignoring an invitation, no matter how formal or informal it is, is simply not acceptable. Following up with non-responders can feel awkward, but it doesn’t have to be. Simply let them know that you look forward to seeing them if they can attend, and that you just want to make sure you have enough food, supplies, etc.

So why do people not RSVP? • They don’t want to commit that far in advance. Parents all have busy schedules and some have no idea what their lives may look like in two weeks. Adding one more commitment to the calendar can be overwhelming. • They are waiting to see if a better offer comes up or if they feel in the mood for it at the time. • They are afraid that they (or their children) won’t know – or worse yet – like anyone else in attendance. (By the way, it’s totally not acceptable to ask the host who else is coming before you make your decision.) • They have procrastinated, missed the 8 Athens-Oconee Parent

RSVP date and feel guilty responding late. (Late is always better than never. Most hosts will bend over backward to accommodate a late response, so it’s always best to at least apologize and ask than to ignore.)

How to encourage people to RSVP • Make it clear that you need a response and by when. Unless you make it abundantly obvious that you need to hear from them by a certain date, some people will just assume it’s optional. On invitations for my children’s events, I even say, “Please let my mom know you are coming by X date.” • Let them know why you need to know. It should go without saying that you need to know so you can plan, but it never hurts to highlight the incentive. I could expand the request above for a birthday party at a makeand-take venue to say, “Please let my mom know you are coming by X date so she can make sure we have space and craft materials for you.” • Share all of the details on the invitation. Be sure to include who, what, when, where (beginning and end times for children’s parties), why and how to get there. That way people know exactly what they are responding to and for. It’s also a good idea to indicate whether it is a drop-off party or if parents are expected to stay as that can sometimes play a role in parents’ decisions. • Give people plenty of time, but not too much. As a general rule of thumb, the more formal the event, the earlier you should send the invitation and expect an RSVP. Less formal events allow for a shorter invitation – rsvp – event window. Make sure your invitees have plenty of time to plan, but not so much that they forget about the event by the time it rolls around. If you are sending via an electronic system such as Evite, you

can send a reminder before the due date. • Give people multiple ways to respond. No matter how you send your invitation, let people know that it is ok to phone, text or email you with their response.Yes, you might end up with responses in several different places, but it’s much better than having none at all. • And finally, host such a wonderful event that they will fear missing out in the future and will RSVP ASAP. So even if you have made it as easy as possible and have followed up, you may still have some guests who said they were coming and they do not show, and others who surprise you by showing up without giving you any indication. The only thing that really matters is that your child has a great celebration with family and friends. n Wendy Jones of Statham is a working mom of two who speaks to busy people who want to live hospitably, but who may be short on time, energy and creativity through her blog, www.behindthe, and social channels. Practical tips on easy entertaining, everyday hospitality, and modern manners are served up regularly with a dose of midlife mom humor and a dash of southern charm.

... and thank-you notes L ooking for a craft that’s meaningful and fun? At Strong Girls Summer Camp, the participants made thank-you cards. All you need is cardstock or construction paper, white crayons, watercolor paint, and a few kind words! Have a blast with your kids making these fun cards while also saying thank you to someone you appreciate! Perfect for thank-you cards after your kids have received birthday or holiday gifts! IMAGES COURTESY OF STRONG GIRLS OF ATHENS 9

birthday eves


By Sarah Broussard Weaver

Magical Nights

The Magic (and Sadness) of Growing Up

LAST NIGHT WAS MY son’s Magical Night. It comes once a year; the night that he goes to sleep one age and wakes another. This year’s Magical Night was the bridge from six to seven, crossed alone as he dreamed in his cocoon of velvety blankets and Star Wars pajamas. He came up with the term himself, inspired by his older sister (by two years) whom he overheard explaining to me that birthdays are like magic. “You wake up different from when you went to bed, and all you did was sleep!” Sophia explained. “And it can only happen on your birthday, so it must be that birthdays are magic!” Every year they release a little more information about the nature of Magical Nights to me.Yesterday, Eli told me that on his Magical Night, he gets to choose his dream. “A kid can always choose what they want to dream on their Magical Night but only on that Night! Other nights, they just have to dream whatever and have no choice,” he said, his green eyes brimming with the wonder of it all. I’m glad to have one Night to blame for this; before he let me in on the secret, I blamed every night. They pile up, stretching his bones and growing his flesh. He was chubby just the other day, I swear it, and now he is a lean stripling reaching further and further for the sky. I’ve threatened for at least a decade to lock my children in a box every night, “because that’s when you grow, and I can’t allow it any more.” When they crowed about “turning double digits” or “becoming a first grader” or “being a preteen,” I wanted to run for the hills with my babies on my back and in my arms where they belong. We could and should live up there, where time maybe goes slower or stops completely.

10 Athens-Oconee Parent

My children laughed and mocked me, saying they would kick the box open with their strong legs, warning me that stopping them was impossible. They were right, and it’s not really want I wanted to do. I just wanted each night to stop stealing a little more time from me. It’s slow and insidious, unnoticeable until you look at a picture of your son from two months ago and see the baby fat of his cheeks have evaporated just a little more. We moved to the actual hills two years ago, and it hasn’t done a thing. Now I know, it’s the annual Magical Nights changing my cuddle babies into real people, tall and strong and with their own ideas and personalities. Eli’s Magical Nights are the worst because he’s our youngest child. One Magical Night will eventually come, and be the one that removes his last vestige of childhood, leaving us with a grown man. It’s how the world works. This is how mothers work: we smile with joy as a son explains the nature of Magical Nights, as our hearts crack open a little; we hug and kiss their daughters and sons goodnight, and slip out the door, leaving them to an ancient and unstoppable process that we can’t help but hate. We hide the tears because it’s not right to burden little hearts with the selfish desire to keep them young and tender forever. Now we understand our own mothers so much more. Now our hugs goodbye with our mothers reflect not just how much we will miss them, but acknowledge what they lost as we gained freedom, wisdom, and strength with each Magical Night. n Sarah Broussard Weaver has four very loud children, two cats, a hedgehog, some fish, and a hubby. Send help! Her parenting articles have been published in Parents,, Parent Co, and Mommy Nearest. 11



By Shannon Dean

Uncovering the Practical Past of Today’s Beloved Traditions

IT’S NO ACCIDENT THAT retailers begin displaying Halloween items as soon as August. Halloween generates approximately $9 billion dollars in annual revenue, making it second only to Christmas as the most profitable holiday. However, the traditions that we associate with Halloween weren’t initially commercial in nature, but were meant to protect (and to connect) families. Despite the current commercialization of the holiday, this is still potentially true with the following traditions.


Many believe that trick-or-treating originated with the ancient Celtic tradition of Samhain, which fell on October 31st.Villagers wore animal skins and left out food to ward off evil spirits. Later, Irish and Scottish children would perform a “trick” in exchange for treats. These traditions made their way to the United States via immigration, but the 20th century derailed trick-or-treating, since youths commonly vandalized property during the Great Depression and World War II brought sugar rations. Fortunately, the tradition re-emerged when baby boomers living in the suburbs began to organize neighborhood Halloween parties. This gesture was initially more of a diversion than a celebration. Lisa Morton, author of “Trick or Treat: A History Of Halloween,” says that adults would use the gatherings to bribe kids who might otherwise misbehave. Today, over 70% of households participate in trick-or-treating, either by visiting homes in search of candy or by handing it out. The tradition is still practical, since a face-to-face connection with our neighbors contributes to a sense of belonging and security.


Most historians believe that the carving and lighting of vegetables started in Ireland with a trickster named “Stingy Jack.” After Jack unsuccessfully attempted to deceive the devil, he was forced to walk in darkness for eternity. To light his way, Jack placed coal into the shell of a carved turnip. This story became an Irish legend called “Jack of the Lantern” or “Jack-OLantern.” As a result, the Irish began to light and display carved potatoes and turnips to discourage spirits. Irish immigrants brought this tradition to America, which had plenty of pumpkins for carving. Almost half of current households carve jack-o-lanterns at a cost of around $618 million per year, but you can’t put a price tag on helping your child create and then display something tangible that is made with his own two hands.


Initially thought to be a Roman tradition meant to celebrate the goddess of fruit, bobbing for apples eventually morphed into a courting ritual by the 17th century. If a young girl bit into an apple on the first try, it meant that her romance would succeed. These rituals were culturally important because they offered a fun way to bring youth together at a time when marriage and large families were necessary. Fun games with friends isn’t technically still necessary for survival, but it can certainly guard against social isolation and encourage meaningful connections.


During Samhain, people sometimes dressed in disguise while swiping the food meant to discourage spirits. Welsh children often dressed as the

12 Athens-Oconee Parent

opposite gender when they visited homes during All Saint’s Day. However, costumes didn’t become mainstream until the Industrial Revolution, when people began to crave escapism. Today’s most popular costumes are princesses, animals, and super heroes. Consumers spend around $3.4 billion dollars per year on costumes, but many families opt to make their own, since this fosters creativity, allows for personalization, and saves money. Pets wear 10% of all costumes, but most humans still enjoy pretending to be someone else – if only for a night.


TIPS For A Fun And Safe Halloween During Modern Times Parents can understandably have safety concerns during the Halloween season, but don’t let this overshadow opportunities

This tradition began as a way for farm workers to catch a cushioned ride atop bales of hay on the way to work. By the 19th century, farm life became romanticized by urban families, so local farmers monetized this trend. In addition to hayrides, many also offered corn mazes and pumpkin patches. Haunted hayrides capitalized on the growing popularity of Halloween and are a $300 million industry today. However, there are over 2,500 hayrides worldwide, so it’s easy to find an inexpensive, family-friendly option.

for connection.


use nylon or polyester.

Haunted houses emerged in 19th century England when Madame Tussaud began exhibiting French monarchs with unfortunate fates. The haunted house became a cultural icon in 1969 with Disney’s Haunted Mansion. Margee Kerr, author of “SCREAM: Chilling Adventures in the Science of Fear” says that because experiencing fear releases “feel good” chemicals like dopamine, scary attractions can actually encourage a sense of well-being in some. Although most experts agree that children can differentiate between fantasy and reality by age 5, most encourage parents to delay exposure to haunted houses until a child is around 7 or has expressed his own interest. When in doubt, explore the many non-scary alternatives and re-evaluate next year.

Traditions That Foster Connection Are Priceless


lthough Halloween has become highly commercialized, the holiday still offers inexpensive opportunities for a larger connection. Children greatly enjoy and benefit from simple, annual traditions. Therefore, most experts agree that it’s fine to allow kids to moderately enjoy all that Halloween has to offer. Since most kids care more about the experience than about the trappings, parents can emphasize what is truly important. Health educator David Powell suggests that families focus not on one night of candy, but on the “social relationships and connections to others that make us human.” For many families, Halloween allows personal interaction with our neighbors, our communities, and our families – all things that have been important for centuries, but have become increasingly difficult in our technology-centered world. n Author Shannon Dean is the mother of two sons and enjoys writing about parenting, health, and women’s issues.


• Make sure that your child’s costume fits well. Avoid high heels, large boots, or masks that obscure your child’s view (use make-up instead.) Forego accessories that are too long or too heavy. • Buy costumes that are “flame-retardant.” If you make your own, • Put glow in the dark tape on your child’s trick-or-treat bag and consider having your child wear an LED necklace or bracelet so that they are easily seen.


• Accompany young children under 12 and make sure that all children know how to call parents if they are lost. • Limit trick-or-treating to familiar neighborhoods and to people you know well. • Cross the street at crosswalks, always use sidewalks, and don’t assume that vehicles will stop. • Arm older children with a tracking app on a cell phone and require that they travel in groups.


• Limit the use of knives to adults. Have kids draw the design before adults do the carving. Or allow your child to use stickers to create the face. • Use old newspaper underneath the pumpkin and let kids scoop out pumpkin flesh with an ice cream scoop • Light your pumpkin with glow sticks or flameless candles (which are both safer than a burning candle.)

Edible Goodies

• Inspect all candy to ensure that it is still sealed. • Store goodies somewhere other than in bedrooms or in bags that can be sampled at will. Instead, allow leniency on Halloween night and then allow a piece or two per day until the candy (or the interest) is gone. 13

on your mind


By Jonathan C. Robinson, Ph.D.

Dear Dr. Robinson,

So, my Alison is turning 12 in two weeks. She wants a sleepover party. Her baby sister, Emma, is now 6. She’s thrilled that Alison is having a sleepover and can’t wait to join in the fun. Alison loves Emma dearly. She plays baby dolls with her and helps her learn new stuff. But she’s afraid that Emma will “ruin everything” if she is a part of the slumber party. I think Alison is making a mountain out of a molehill. What do you think? - Signed, Overreaction?

Dear Overreaction, You know what? I think Alison is just being Alison. It’s her birthday and she should have a say about including Emma in the sleepover or not. Most 6-year-olds hog the attention of older peers, especially if she has that “cute” factor. Allison may be fearing that her darling little sister will take the fun out of the party or take attention away from her. If these are the only two children in the family and Emma was the “surprise pregnancy,” then she may be used to getting what she wants. How about divide and conquer. You certainly want Emma to be a part of the birthday celebration. So maybe you have a separate family birthday time before or after the sleepover. Help Emma make a special birthday gift for her sister and make a big deal in presenting it to her. Then, when it gets time for the sleepover, whisk Emma away to grandma’s house for her own sleepover. If that’s treat enough for her, great. If not, she could make it special by inviting one of her own playmates to sleep over with her. Allison gets her special time with her friends

14 Athens-Oconee Parent

“Sleepy Sister” on her birthday. Emma gets to celebrate the day with her sister in the family gathering, and then she gets her special time with the grandparents. It may be a win-win!

Dear Dr. Robinson,

My soon-to-be-10-year-old Alex has a birthday coming up. I was talking with my neighbor, Mandy, about how the rule is that Alex can do no wrong on his birthday. We give him a pass on bad behavior, as part of his special day. Mandy was aghast! She said we were enabling him to get away with stuff and teaching him that bad is good and that he can go through life with no consequences for his behavior. What do you think? - Signed, Puzzled Dear Puzzled, Sounds like your neighbor Mandy is a good friend. Okay friends tell you what they think you want to hear. Good friends tell you straight up. I don’t know if the free-pass birthday is a family tradition or how long it has been going on, but might I suggest that you modify it somewhat? When Alex was a toddler, his bad behavior might have been cute and he was clueless. However, at age 10, he is beginning the latency age of child development, usually ages 10-12. Before age 10, parents are always right and the best thing since sliced bread.

After age 12, parents, for a while, become the enemy. During those latency years, ages 1012, life is confusing and the jury is out about parents. Sometimes they’re okay, sometimes not. Giving Alex a free-pass birthday at his current age just adds to the confusion, especially if the rules are clear and spelled out the rest of the time. Add to the mix the fact that kids will always test the limits of parental boundaries. His testing is not because he’s a wild child. More significantly, he (and all children) will test the limits to be sure that the limits are firm. No limits means the kid is in charge. There’s nothing more terrifying, more anxiety-producing for a child than to be in charge. So, rather than giving Alex a free-pass birthday, which at his age he would test that limit by creatively acting out, perhaps you might let him choose a special event, a trip to a theme park, bowling, or the movies. He’s in charge of the choice and everybody goes as a family outing. He feels special on his birthday, but you don’t increase his panic or anxiety or limit-testing behavior by giving him a free-pass birthday. n Dr. Robinson is a licensed, clinical psychologist. His specialty is in school-clinical, child psychology, with emphasis on child development, parenting and family counseling. He is also author of Teachable Moments: Building Blocks of Christian Parenting, now available nationwide in bookstores and on-line as an e-book. 15

calendar Ongoing

Compiled by Chris Parsons

Park 8am-noon; Wednesdays at Creature Comforts Brewing Company 4-7pm, athens Watkinsville: Saturdays at Oconee County Courthouse 8am-1pm downtown Watkinsville, n Athens Mothers’ Center

n Preschool Story Time For children ages 18 months to 5 years old and their caregiver. Lively time of sharing books, songs, puppets, nursery rhymes, early literacy and preschool activities. Tues and Wed 9:30-10am and 10:30-11am. Athens-Clarke County Library 613-3650

Are you a new or expectant mom or have you recently moved to the Athens area? Are you seeking new friends for yourself and your children? Come and meet other moms experiencing similar joys and challenges! We support moms by offering casual chat and activity groups, social events, and information about community resources in a non-judgmental, non-denominational setting. AMC meets Tuesday and Friday mornings from 9:30-11:30am year round (except when Clarke County Schools are closed). Dads are welcome on Fridays. Children are welcome in all groups, but moms of toddlers and preschoolers may take advantage of wonderful on-site childcare for a nominal fee. Covenant Presbyterian Church groups/ community/ n Costume Swap at the

September 2018

Collecting costumes through Oct. 12 in preparation for the Oconee County Library’s Costume Swap on Oct 13 and 14! Bring in your costumes you want to swap now, and come back in October to pick out a new one for free. 769-3950 n Fall Fun at

Come meet the Georgia State Parks mascot – Scout the Pocket Gopher! There will be great stories, cool crafts, you can even make your own trail mix, you can talk to real park rangers, and there are even fun activities for your grownups to do, too! All ages. Free. Oconee County Library 10:30am 769-3950

Social Group n Frightful Weekends at “Fearopolis”

Zombie Paint Ball Hayride, Axe Throw Challenge and a Very Scary Haunted House are just the beginning of the fun at Funopolis Family Fun Center in Commerce. Fridays and Saturdays in October and Halloween night from 7-11:00pm. www.Funopolis n Fantastic Fridays Drop in gymnastics for ages 10 months to 4 years. An instructor supervises the fun while parents and/or caregivers lead their little ones through amazing obstacle courses. Bishop Park Gym, 10-11:30am, $5-$7.50/child, 613-3589 n Tiny Tales on Tuesdays

at Memorial Park

Participants will have story time and participate in a craft! 18 months-6 years. $3-$4/child and parents/chaperones accompanying kids are free. Register online at 613-3580 n Knee High Naturalist Who used the bathroom here? What crept by the river? Who left this mess? Come discover an outdoor adventure where we look for signs of animals throughout the Sandy Creek Nature Center. Ages: 3-5 years, with adult. Alternate Wednesdays, 9/5-11/14, 3:30-4:30pm, $24-$36, preregistration required online. Leisure-Services 613-3615 n Farmers Markets Enjoy locally and naturally grown food, crafts, art and sometimes music, crafts and cooking demonstrations at these weekly events. Athens: Saturdays at Bishop 16 Athens-Oconee Parent

Some events, dates and times are subject to change. Please call individual event organizers to confirm schedules. All area codes are 706 unless otherwise noted.

Oconee County Library

Washington Farms

Washington Farms is a family-friendly farm with lots of fun and exciting activities for children of all ages! Sept 22-Nov 3. For a list of activities, times, and prices, visit n Bogart Library Story Time Fall in love with stories, rhymes and songs every Wednesday! Ages 3 ½ to 8. Free. Located at the Bogart Ag Building (141 Thompson Street) while the Bogart Library is closed for renovation.10:30am. Free. 614-9231

22 Inaugural Above Athens Balloon Festival

Athens-Clarke County Leisure Services will host the inaugural Above Athens Balloon Festival from 4-8:30pm at Sandy Creek Park. Citizens will have the opportunity to see five amazing hot air balloons up close, weather permitting. Tethered balloon rides are available for $10/person. $5/vehicle. Additional fees may apply.

22 Shipwreck on Pirate Cove

Join us as we use our imagination to travel to Pirate Cove and learn about famous pirates throughout history and learn how to become a pirate yourself. Ages 5-10 and their caregiver. Athens-Clarke County Library 11am 613-3650

22 Scout’s Outing

22 Athens Jazz Festival

WUGA FM and Jazz Athens (JAGA) present a live seven-hour concert, featuring a diverse range of musical performers in a festival environment. This event is free, family-friendly, and open to the public. Bishop Park 11am-6pm

25 Lego Club

Let’s build! Join us in creating Lego art and playing Lego-based activ-

ities. Lego blocks provided! Children up to age 11. 4pm Oconee County Library 769-3950

25 Sunflower Music Series: Randall Bramblett

Summer was made for outdoor concerts – and so was the amphitheater and terraced lawns in the Flower Garden. State Botanical Garden of Georgia, 7-9pm $15; $5 children ages 6-12, 542-6156

25-28 Pirate Week

Arrrr, matey! Join us for pirate-themed activities all week long as we celebrate Pirate Week! Scavenger Hunt, pirate-themed storytimes on Tues and Wed, and make daily pirate crafts daily 2-4pm. Friday pirate movie- 4pm. Oconee County Library 769-3950

27 Infant Storytime

This is a special Storytime for our youngest readers-to-be, 0-24 months. Stories, songs, nursery rhymes, bouncing, cuddling, and playtime. 10:30am Oconee County Library 769-3950

29 Lego Club

Let’s build! Join us in creating Lego art and playing Lego-based activities. Lego blocks provided! Children up to age 11. 11am Athens-Clarke County Library 613-3650

October 2018 4 Curious George and the Costume Party

Everyone’s favorite monkey can’t wait to go to his first costume party.You won’t want to miss this classic story with crafts and fun fall festivities. Ages 3-7. Athens-Clarke County Library 3:30pm

4-6 Kindermarket Sale

Baby, kids, teens, women’s, and home goods- all in one sale! Located at the Athens YMCA. Check times and entry fee (Thursday only) online on their Facebook page- Kindermarket of Athens, Georgia, or on our online calendar.

13-14 Costume Swap

First choice for costumes goes to families that have brought costumes to the swap, but after 1pm on Saturday, you can choose a costume for any donation amount. Oconee County Library

14 Pumpkin Decorating Workshop

Decorate a pumpkin like your favorite book character (no carving- get creative with art supplies!) to enter in our contest! We’ll have craft supplies and a limited number of pumpkins—please bring your own, if possible. We’ll display the pumpkins all week, and everyone will vote for their favorites! Ages 0-11. Free. Oconee County Library 769-3950 2-5pm

15-19 Pumpkin Decorating Contest

Win a prize pack of books! Decorate a pumpkin like your favorite book character no carving- get creative with art supplies!) and bring it to the library Oct. 15-Oct. 18. Everyone will vote for their favorites all week! Ages 0-11. Free. Oconee County Library

17 Virtual Reality and Gaming for Teens and Tweens School is out early today so join

Teen Services department for Virtual Reality gaming, video games, and board games. Athens-Clarke County Library 2-4pm

18 Baby Music Jam!

Join us for a sing-a-long and lots of fun! Children and caregivers play musical instruments, sing, and dance together. Oconee County Library 10:30am

18 Stranger Things: Become a Junior Paranormal Investigator

Is Bigfoot real? What aboutthe Loch Ness Monster or the Bermuda Triangle? Come decide for yourself while learning about these mysterious phenomena. With craft to go. Ages 7-11. Athens-Clarke County Library 3:30pm

20 Oconee Chamber Fall Festival

This Watkinsville outdoor festival is the largest arts & crafts venue in the area.There are plenty of activities for kids and is free to attend.

24 One Spooky Night: A Vintage Carnival

Put on your favorite Halloween disguise and join us for a haunting evening of seasonal tales, costumes, shadow puppetry, surprises, and trick-or-treating! All ages. Athens-Clarke County Library 6:30pm

25 Paracord Bracelets for Soldiers

Show your appreciation for the military and learn how to make a life-saving paracord bracelet for soldiers. After we make these bracelets we will donate them to Operation Gratitude. Paracord bracelets can be unraveled and used in emergencies. Grades 6-12 only. Athens-Clarke County Library 4pm

26 The Wild Rumpus Monster Mash at the Foundry Halloween party for families and young people that includes a haunted house, arts & crafts, music, performances, games, and fun for all ages! 13 and up $7, 6-12 years $5, and 5 and under are free.

26-27 Haunted House

Do you love scary stories? Come visit our free haunted house inside the library! It’ll be a SCREAM! (May be scary for younger children; please use your best judgement!) Free and open to the public. Oconee County Library 6-8pm

November 2018 1-4 “Newsies the Musical”

Newsies is a rousing tale of Jack Kelly, the charismatic newsboy and leader of a band of teenaged “newsies” at the Morton Theater. Buy tickets at the box office (195 W. Washington Street), calling 613-3771, or online at morton $10-15

7 Disabilities Awareness

Calling all people who love to work with their hands! Come and work on the circuits and wires inside of electronic toys to modify them and make them more accessible for people with disabilities. Grades 6-12 only. Athens-Clarke County Library 4pm

8 Teen Social Justice: Debate & Speech Club

speaking, communication, written and leadership skills. Grades 6-12 only. Athens-Clarke County Library 4pm

15 Baby Music Jam!

Join us for a sing-a-long and lots of fun! Children and caregivers play musical instruments, sing, and dance together. Oconee County Library 10:30am

16 Teensgiving!

Join the Teen Services department for our 2nd annual TeensGiving. The Teen Services staff is bringing homemade Thanksgiving dinner and serving it to you, our teens! Sign up is required for this event. Sign-ups are Nov 1-9. Gobble, gobble! Grades 6-12 only. Athens-Clarke County Library 6pm

16 Stop-Motion Animation Workshop

Let’s make some movies! Come create your own stop-motion animated film with our special stop-motion cameras. Ages 8-11. Kids can register as a group of 2 to 4 kids who will work together as a team on their film. Registration required. Oconee County Library 4pm

24 Experience Virtual Reality Workshop

Come experience the world of virtual reality for yourself. It will blow your mind! Ages 8-11. Registration required. Oconee County Library 2pm

28-29 Cirque Dreams Holidaze

A must-see holiday show that is a new cirque adventure, Broadway musical, and family holiday spectacular wrapped in one! Featuring imaginative costumes, astonishing acts, the finest singers, original music, and seasonal favorites celebrating Thanksgiving to Chanukah, Christmas and New Year’s. Tickets at n

Let your voice be heard! Build self-confidence and develop 17

finding fall


From • Photos provided by the Georgia Dept. of Natural Resources

AS FALL NEARS, GEORGIA natives will be hitting the road in search of the most majestic places to view fall foliage. Lucky for those travelers, Georgia State Parks runs “Leaf Watch” on their website every year which tracks fall color. Below is a comprehensive list of the best places to revel in fall color as well as a few travel tips for Leaf Peepers looking to savor the season. For many people, the perfect autumn weekend includes cozy campfires and gooey s’mores surrounded by fiery-hued forests. To help leaf peepers plan their fall escapes, Georgia’s state parks will soon launch “Leaf Watch 2017” to track fall color as it moves across the Peach State. Found at, the travel planner is filled with top trails and overlooks, mountain cabins and campsites, fall events and hiking safety tips. Shutterbugs are encouraged to share their favorite shots on the Georgia State Parks’ Facebook page and Instagram, tagging #GaLeafWatch and #GaStateParks. Rangers will also post updates on how fall color is progressing in their parks. Typically, Georgia’s mountain parks peak in late October; however, color can be seen as early as September and throughout much of November. Some of the most popular parks for leaf watching include Black Rock Mountain, Cloudland Canyon, Fort Mountain, Tallulah Gorge and Vogel. Since mountain parks are heavily visited on October weekends, travelers may want to explore lesser-known parks which can be vibrant as well. Hardwoods and mossy rock gardens can be found at F.D. Roosevelt State Park in near Columbus. Georgia State Parks offer a variety of accommodations where leaf peepers can stay in the heart of autumn scenery. Guests can choose from cabins, campsites and yurts – a “glamping” option that is like a combination tent-cabin. Accommodations may be reserved 13 months in advance, and many fill up on October weekends. Guests are encouraged to make plans as early as possible or visit during weekdays. Reservations can be made by calling 1-800-864-7275 or at Park rangers have planned numerous events throughout autumn, including guided hikes and paddles, fall festivals, Halloween hayrides and campground trick-or-treating. A list of events can be found at

18 Athens-Oconee Parent

Tallulah Gorge State Park; below,Vogel State Park

Leaf LeafWatch

at Georgia State Parks WEBSITE

TWITTER Find the best #fallcolor on #GaStateParks LeafWatch travel planner, #cabins, #camping, #GaLeafWatch.

FACEBOOK Find the top Georgia State Parks for fall color on the “Leaf Watch” travel planner. You’ll find the best trails, fall events, cabins and campsites, and hiking tips. Shutterbugs can share their favorite shots on Facebook and Instagram, tagging #GaLeafWatch and #GaStateParks.



Georgia State Parks for Fall Color

Amicalola Falls State Park

F.D. Roosevelt State Park

PINE MOUNTAIN Many people are surprised to find hardwood forests and rolling mountains south of Atlanta. The 6.7-mile Wolf Den Loop is a favorite section of the longer Pine Mountain Trail. For a touch of history, drive to Dowdell’s Knob to see a life-size bronze sculpture of President F.D. Roosevelt and views of the forested valley. Ga. Hwy. 190 is a pretty driving route.

Fort Mountain State Park

Amicalola Falls State Park

DAWSONVILLE Just an hour north of Atlanta you’ll find the Southeast’s tallest cascading waterfall. A short, flat path leads to a boardwalk offering the most spectacular views. There is also an easyto-reach overlook at the top. For a tougher challenge, start from the bottom of the falls and hike up the steep staircase.

Black Rock Mountain State Park

CLAYTON At an altitude of 3,640 feet, Black Rock Mountain is Georgia’s highest state park. (Brasstown Bald is the state’s highest peak.) Roadside overlooks and the summit Visitor Center offer sweeping views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The 2.2-mile Tennessee Rock Trail is a good choice for a short, moderate hike. For an all-day challenge, take the 7.2-mile James E. Edmonds Backcountry Trail.

CHATSWORTH This park is best known for a mysterious rock wall along the mountain top, plus a variety of trails. For the easiest walk, take the 1.2-mile loop around the park’s green lake. For a challenging, all-day hike, choose the 8-mile Gahuti Trail. Mountain bikers have more than 14 miles to explore. Hwy. 52 has beautiful mountain scenery and overlooks worth stopping to see.

Moccasin Creek State Park

LAKE BURTON Georgia’s smallest state park sits on the shore of a gorgeous deep-green lake. Guests can choose from the 2-mile Hemlock Falls Trail or 1-mile Non-Game Trail with a wildlife observation tower. Hwy. 197 is a particularly pretty road, passing Mark of the Potter and other popular attractions.

Smithgall Woods State Park

HELEN Protecting more than 6,000 acres around Dukes Creek, this is the perfect spot for fly fishing while enjoying fall color. Day visitors

can picnic near the creek, and overnight guests can hike a private trail to Dukes Creek Falls. A 1.6-mile loop climbs to Laurel Ridge and provides a view of Mt.Yonah once most leaves are off the trees. Smithgall Woods has some of the park system’s most sought-after cabins and is near wineries and Helen’s Oktoberfest.

Tallulah Gorge State Park

TALLULAH FALLS Tallulah Gorge is one of the most spectacular canyons in the Southeast, and you can choose from easy or difficult trails. Hike along the rim to overlooks with waterfall views, or get a permit from the park office to trek all the way to the bottom. (Permits run out early on weekend mornings.) During November, you can watch expert kayakers as they enjoy the bi-annual “whitewater releases.”

Unicoi State Park

HELEN Ziplines take you high above the forest canopy for a unique view of leaves. If you’re up for a steep hike, take the 4.8-mile Smith Creek Trail up to Anna Ruby Falls. Unicoi offers a lodge and restaurant.

Vogel State Park

BLAIRSVILLE The 4-mile Bear Hair Gap Trail makes a nice day trip for experienced hikers, offering a birdseye view of the park’s lake. For an easier walk, follow the Lake Loop to a small waterfall below the dam. The twisting roads around Vogel, particularly Wolf Pen Gap Road, offer some of north Georgia’s prettiest fall scenery. n

Cloudland Canyon State Park

TRENTON One of Georgia’s most beautiful parks offers easy-to-reach rim overlooks and challenging trails. A favorite hike takes you down a staircase to the bottom of the canyon, where you’ll find two waterfalls. (Remember, you have to hike back up, but it’s worth it.) The 5-mile West Rim Loop is moderately difficult and offers great views of the canyon.

Black Rock Mountain State Park 19

take control

By Rebecca McCants

Resources National domestic programs available in the 10th Congressional District are:

Project Safe

706.549.0922 (Clarke, Oconee, Oglethorpe, and Madison Counties)

Circle of Love

706.453.4017 (Greene, Morgan, Putnam, Baldwin, and Hancock Counties)

Project Renewal

770.860.1659 (Walton, Rockdale, and Newton Counties)

Peace Place

770.307.3633 (Barrow, Jackson, and Banks Counties)

Northeast Georgia Council on Domestic Violence

706.376.7111 (Hart, Franklin, and Elbert County) These places are a safe place for anyone experiencing domestic violence. They will help you find a safe place, introduce you to support groups, help with getting back into the work force, aid in getting assistance for food and clothing, and provide counseling. I recommend opening a private web browser to view these in case you feel unsafe getting information from a website. The Georgia Department of Veterans Services has a wealth of information and help is readily available to women veterans and their families. The website also includes the National Domestic Violence hotline: (800) 799-7233, www.veterans.georgia. gov/women-veterans-resources. I recently found out about a Christian-based counseling center called Bethel Haven located in Watkinsville. They provide an array of counseling services for areas such as: anxiety, depression, uncontrollable anger, self-harm or poor behavioral choices, self-esteem and body image concerns, relationship difficulties, ADHD concerns in children and adults, school or college difficulties, eating disorders, questions of faith, and adoption issues. Bethel Haven also provides help with emotional trauma due to neglect or abuse. I encourage you to check out their website for specific information concerning any specific needs you may have personally or within your family. Another Christian-based counseling group is Stonegate Counseling also located in Watkinsville. They provide therapy for individuals, couples, and groups as well as crisis intervention, educational seminars, and consulting services to organizations, churches and businesses. Other areas of counseling include: infertility, loss, grief, anxiety, and processing women’s childhood. Visit their website for more information. www.stonegate 20 Athens-Oconee Parent

Domestic Violence Awareness


A FRIEND RECENTLY CONTACTED me to get help for her daughter because I live in the Watkinsville area. Her daughter had just came back home from a domestic violence situation with her baby in tow. She reached out to me because she was looking for programs or ways to help her daughter meet people, make friends, and begin the healing process. Questions started going through my mind….What programs are available for single moms with significantly reduced to no income? What types of counseling will she need? How can she make new friends and reintroduce herself to the community? Are there any programs that will help you get back into the work force? Are there any support groups online such as Facebook or other sources? More questions popped in my mind, but I really wanted to focus on how to get her immediate help in her recovery from leaving a domestic dispute situation. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, statistics report that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men in the United States have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner. Intimate partner

violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime. On a typical day, domestic violence hotlines receive approximately 21,000 calls, 15 calls per minute. Reading statistics like this is staggering to me, because that is a lot of abuse in the United States and I am a bit naïve about bad things that happen in the world. What baffles me is these are the ones that we know about. I wonder how many there are that we don’t know about? Women or men can feel very trapped in an abusive situation because they may feel like they have lost control. Project Safe of Athens has some great information on their website of how to help someone take the next steps to leave a domestic violence situation. I felt it important to share this information directly from their website as tips to use if you are currently trying to help someone or notice that someone needs help.


re you worried about someone’s safety? You don’t have to be an expert to talk to someone about domestic violence; you just need to be a friend. Here are some tips for

NOTE FROM THE EDITOR October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and it’s such an important but often unspoken topic of discussion. It’s important to know that help is out there! Being aware of these local resources could be the difference between life and death. - Sarah

talking with someone you care about. • Approach your friend or coworker and say, “I’m worried about you because…” or “No one deserves to be treated that way.” • Listen without judgment. Avoid speaking negatively about the abuser (e.g. “He’s a loser.”) or the victim may become defensive. • Don’t say, “If I were you, I’d….” It’s hard to know what you would do in an abusive situation. • Focus on safety. Ask, “What can you do to keep yourself safe?” • Offer practical support. “What can I do to help?” • Be patient. Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior over time. Getting out of an abusive situation usually takes time as well. Understand that the victim may not be ready to make a change. Say, “I’m here for you.”

• Remember that help is available.You can call Project Safe’s hotline anytime to learn more about available resources or how to help your loved one. Encourage your friend to seek help as well. “There are people who can help. Let’s think of someone you would feel safe talking to. I’ll go with you if you’d like.” • Know the early warning signs. Quick involvement, jealousy, possessiveness, isolation from friends and family, a desire to control most situations, changes in the victim’s habits, friends or behavior (to avoid angry confrontation) can all indicate a potentially abusive relationship. We can all be helpful in getting educated on warning signs of domestic violence and knowing how to help when we notice odd behaviors. Being informed is the first step to awareness. If a friend reaches out, I hope this will give you a tool of where to help them begin healing. n Rebecca is the wife of a firefighter and stay at home mom of Wyatt, 8, and Liza, 2. She has a passion for children as an educator and is a life long learner. She enjoys being a nurturer and encourager to many. 21

stop waiting

By Amy S. Lasseter

Celebrate With ZEST!


When you wait for the “big moments,” you miss out on all the things in between.

(Editor’s Note:This article is an excerpt from “Renew Your Zest for Life with One This One Thing” by Amy S. Lasseter)

REMEMBER WHEN YOU WERE a kid and celebrations were everything? There was always someone’s birthday around the corner.You looked forward to celebrating your friends, having tons of fun, and, of course, eating some cake. As you grow older, and wiser, and the decades pass, the celebrations are few and far between – at least those celebrating ourselves. Now, you let your kids have all the fun.You play taxi as they attend party after party and live it up with their friends and the sheer look of joy on their faces is amazing.Yes, celebrating can of course be messy and loud because that’s all you see.You miss the other side of the mess which is where the beauty is ... if you are willing to slow down, surrender your todo list, and be present in the moment!

The Beauty & Art of Celebration Kids are amazing at celebrating the moment because of their natural zeal for life. What on earth does that look like for a grown up? Birthdays, graduations, anniversaries or a new home or job – These are the moments you think about when you look back on the celebration in your life. Slowly, the celebrations are fewer and fewer and you let them slip away. Why? And when you don’t have to? When you wait for the “big moments,” you miss out on all the things in

22 Athens-Oconee Parent

between. This is where life really happens; “in between” is where all the experience, wisdom, and fun come from! When you start glazing over the hard-fought wins you achieve, in between the “big moments,” you start dismissing the areas of life where magic happens. Every Single Step Counts. Every Single Step is Worth Celebrating. You’re missing this crucial piece and you start missing the single most important part of life. Life isn’t an event that you can win, it’s something to be lived and experienced. Dismiss the “small wins” and you dismiss the joy and the whole point of your life (and business). You have to stop waiting for the big goal or “the more” you are expecting from the big win because “the more” is never going to come.

The Real Secret About “More” and the Next Big Goal You’ve been searching for “more” most of your life because you’ve bombed with a society that says being “here and present” isn’t enough. This thought pattern permeates our society, what kids are taught in school, and definitely on TV and YouTube. The secret I’m sharing with you is that the “more” you’re looking for cannot be found on a never-ending to-do list. It will never be finished because you’re trying to satisfy something that can’t be filled by a larger house, the best gaming system, the greatest education, or the top-end clothes and accessories. You’re trying to fill a gap, a space, that exists emotionally and spiritually – it can’t be

filled with things ... it’s filled by being satisfied, content, and connected to the present. By trusting that all you have is more than enough to help you get to the next level of growth, both personally and professionally.

Your Permission to Stop Waiting Does this sound familiar? You’re waiting to celebrate, waiting to have fun, waiting to open the bottle of wine, or waiting to eat at the fancy restaurant because you keep waiting for the “the more.” If you keep waiting for more or for the next big thing, you’ll always be waiting. This is because there will always be more to reach for. So, by all means, go ahead and open up the bottle of wine, book the babysitter so you can go to the fancy restaurant, “the more” will be there when you’re done ... the moments, experiences, and fun you’re creating with those you love the most won’t be. You and I have forgotten how to truly enjoy living life and running a business.

Here’s what you need to remember ... You get to choose if, and when, you celebrate a success of any size.Yes, you. No one else is going to do it for you even if you reach a major milestone.You’re the one who decides. I cannot wait to see the freedom your life has to offer when you let go of “the more” and create space and time to celebrate! n Amy S. Lasseter is a Psychotherapist and Growth & Success Mentor. Grab more information at

party list!

Claiborne, age 3

The Party List!


ThePartyList! Because some details may change after this information was posted, please call individual people and place to comfirm.

ACC Tennis Center

Athens-Clarke County Leisure Services Make your next celebration a grand slam at Athens-Clarke County Tennis Center! Package includes: 2 hours of fun with 1 hour instruction from tennis pro. Private party room or patio. Cost: Prices start at $80 for 9 children Ages: 5-12 706-613-3991

Alice DePass Studio of Dance Celebrate your birthday with a wonderful dance party! When you schedule your party, you may choose one of our themes or make a special request.You bring the food, and we provide the fun! Each party includes a dance class and crafts, and the opportunity to enjoy an energetic and creative time. Cost: Call for details Ages: 3 and up 706-769-1177

ARTini’s Art Lounge Painting Fun for Kids (& Adults!) Leave the mess & stress to us! Bring the family in for a birthday party, or we can come to you. All supplies and paper goods provided to make your paint party the best birthday ever! Cost: $250 minimum covering up to 10 painters, $20 per person thereafter 706-353-8530

Full Circle Farm Farm Experience and Horseback Riding Birthday Parties! Unicorn available! Beautiful setting. Kid safe horses! $200 minimum, $25 per rider per hour. Add a 2nd horse for a flat fee of $50. Indoor and outdoor spaces! Add-ons: petting zoo $50, finger-painting a REAL horse $50, horseshoe painting $5 per shoe to take home. Use your imagination and we will too! Located in Watkinsville. Ages: toddler to adult Cost: $200 and up 503-756-8904 24 Athens-Oconee Parent 25

ThePartyList! Funopolis Family Fun Center Make your child’s birthday memorable as they play on a choice of our most popular attractions: inflatables, laser tag, go karts, rock wall, bumper cars and bumper boats. The birthday package includes a private party room, hostess, brightly colored paper goods, balloon centerpiece, pizza, drinks and play cards that can be used on arcade games or attractions. The Birthday person will receive a Funopolis T-shirt their guests can autograph.You bring the cake, camera and your hostess will do the rest so you can relax and enjoy your child’s special day! Theme packages and character visits are available for an additional cost.You can book your party online on our website. Cost:Varied, depending on the package, 8 guests minimum Ages: All ages 706-335-3866 www.funopolisfamily

Gymnastics Parties at Bishop Park ACC Leisure Services

Give your child a high-energy, active celebration to remember at Athens-Clarke Gymnastics Academy! Package includes 90 minutes of fun with obstacle courses, tumbl trak, professional coach, private party area with party host, t-shirt for the birthday child, and gift for attendees. Cost: Small package $120 for up to 15 children; Large package $200 for 16 to 25 children; $30 for each additional child. Ages: 3-12 706-613-3589

New Revolution Taekwondo Master Yu introduces children to the fun and enriching martial art of taekwondo with a birthday 26 Athens-Oconee Parent

party at NRTKD! Children receive their very own taekwondo headband and experience a safe and interactive taekwondo demonstration of blocks, kicks, and strikes, ending with a cool beginner’s board break. Master Yu also leads the party in group games with a martial arts twist. Throughout the party, Master Yu educates children on confidence, safety, and respect for themselves and for others. Birthday parties are two hours and include full use of the dojang as well as headbands and beginner’s breaking boards for each child. Cost: Starts at $10/child, minimum $100; call for personalized quote Ages: 4 and up 770-850-8811, Master Yu

Oconee County Parks and Recreation Department Several parks offer rentals for parties including fields, courts, pavilions and activity rooms are available. Call of visit our Web site for rates and details. 706-769-3965

Pump It Up Bouncing. Sliding. Climbing. Tumbling. Private party facility filled with interactive inflatables that engage and challenge children. Pump It Up takes care of the organization, child supervision, party set up and cleanup so that parents can relax and enjoy the party too! We have the most flexible food policy in town. Check out our new glow and themed adventure parties from $1 per child, as well as our new picture taking service that’s only $10! Cost: Check Web site or call for party plans Ages: 2 and up 706-613-5676, John Begnaud

Rebecca Sunshine Rock out with Rebecca Sunshine or bring the whole Rebecca Sunshine Band for your music jam party! Rebecca brings a variety of instruments for everyone to play along, and she’ll get everyone dancing and singing together. She can customize the playlist to your party’s theme, and she can incorporate stories and puppets, too! Drop us a line via our website to get your party started. Cost: starts at $100 Ages: all ages

Rush Athens Trampoline Park For the best birthday party experience, book with Rush! All parties include: • 60-min. jump time • 45-min. party room reservation • Rush socks • Rush birthday gift for Guest of Honor • Private Rush Assistant • Bottled waters, paper products and clean up • Electronic invitation Cost: Packages starting at $199 Ages: All ages 706-548-4470

Sandy Creek Nature Center ACCLeisure Services

Celebrate your child’s birthday at Sandy Creek Nature Center! Turtle Time, Super Snakes, Wildlife Adventure, Dynamic Dinos, Space Exploration (Planetarium) Package includes 2 hours of fun with 45-minute program. Up-close animal encounters, nature hikes, or space program. Indoor private party room with tables and chairs. Kitchen access (ice machine, refrigerator, and microwave) Cost: Nature Parties $95; Space Exploration $115; $30 discount for Sandy Creek Nature Center, Inc. members, 20 children maximum Ages: 4-12 for nature parties, 6-12 for planetarium party 706-613-3615

Sew Sew Studio Book a private sewing party with Sew Sew Studio! Up to ten participants will choose from a selection of fabrics and learn to sew a beginner-level project. This is a truly unique celebration experience. Instructors will help every step of the way, and everyone will leave with a handmade party favor! Projects include stuffed felt animals, tote bags, zipper pouches, scarves, and more. The three-hour 27

ThePartyList! party includes time for snacks and cake if you would like to bring them along. Cost: $275 for up to 10 participants. All project materials are included! Call for pricing on smaller groups. Minimum age: 9 678-661-0201

Spark @ Ann Peden Choose a Jewelry Making, Painting or Clay Handbuilding Party; parties include all materials & instruction, great for boys & girls, all ages (adults too!). Jewelry Making: Celebrate with friends making beautiful handcrafted beaded jewelry; everyone makes a handmade bracelet & necklace with their choice of charm. Painting: Make your child’s birthday a painting party! Choose from over 35 different wooden cut outs or paint a canvas – every child brings home a work of art. Clay Party: Get your hands in the clay and hand-build a wall pocket, mug or vase.We fire it in our kiln and you pick it up in 1-2 weeks. Location: Market Center, 1431 Capital Ave, Suite107-109, Watkinsville Ga 30677 Cost: $18/child for Jewelry Making & Painting, $20/child for Clay; minimum 8, maximum 64; parties are 2 hours Ages: 5 and up 706-769-2656 (click on Party Info) or email

Splash Pad at Rocksprings Park

United Team Sports One of the largest party and events spaces in Athens! Utilize the 20 foot ceilings, 3 courts, batting cages and 7,500 sq. ft. of turf space for any type of event. We can accommodate hundreds of people or just a few. Birthday Parties include one set of bleachers, 2 round tables, 20 Chairs, 40 minutes in the Party Room, Party Manager. Parties are 2 hours and include a 30 minute instructional section for the sport or party theme of your choice. Visit our website for sport options as well as fun add-ons available.

Zoo Parties at Bear Hollow Zoo Make your next celebration a wild affair at Bear Hollow Zoo! Basic Package includes 3 hours of fun with custom zoo tour. Upclose animal encounters. Indoor private party room with tables and chairs Deluxe Package includes Animal-shaped specialty cake of your choice. Table decorations, paper goods, and party favors for each child Location: Bear Hollow Zoo at Memorial Park Cost: Basic Party Package ($75) and Deluxe Party Package ($125), 30 participants maximum Ages: 2-12 706-613-3580

ACC Leisure Services

Make your next summer celebration a splash at Rocksprings Park Splash Pad! Package includes 2 hours of fun with exclusive access to the splash pad. Private pool picnic area with tables and chairs Cost: $100, 25 maximum participants 706-613-3602

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For more parties and updates visit 29

’til we meet again

Jessie, 9

Kids love to see their picture, and you’ll love the keepsake! Send your photos and info to facebook at Athens-Oconee Parent Magazine

Tyler, 9, and Kylie, 6

Evie, 8

Chloe, 10

Rainsly, 4, and Ethan, 6

Sara, 9

Luca, 14 months, and Mateo, 2.5

Silas, 3

Mason, 2

Hudson, 5, and London, 6

Please support our advertisers who make this FREE family resource possible! ACC Leisure Services 26

Clarke County School District 10

NE GA Health Department 15

Sew Sew Studio 29

Alice DePass Studio of Dance 27

Children First 11

Newell Orthodontics 21

Spark @ Ann Peden 27

ARTini’s 25

CTRU Teen Flu Shot Study 21

New Revolution TaeKwonDo 28

St. Mary’s Health Care System 32

Athens Academy 9

Fearopolis/Funopolis 4

Oconee Parks & Recreation Dept. 11

UGA Spotlight on the Arts 15

Athens Dentistry for Children 3

Full Circle Farm 26

Pump It Up 2

United Team Sports Center 24

Athens Family Vision/Dr. Springer 9

Linder & Linder Family Dentistry 21

Rebecca Sunshine Band 29

Women’s Center of Athens 3

Manning Brothers 28

Rush Trampoline Park 31

30 Athens-Oconee Parent

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