Alright, you’re all packed and ready to head to North Georgia for a memorable family-friendly vacation. Arriving in the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains and settling into your cozy Ellijay cabin, your family is ready to explore the area. First thing’s first, you’re going to need a plan to keep the kiddos entertained. Good thing there are plenty of fun kid-friendly things to do in Ellijay, GA, together!
Nestled between the Ellijay River and Cartecay River in Gilmer County on the edge of the Chattahoochee National Forest, the North Georgia Mountain town of Ellijay features country shops, Appalachian eateries, apple orchards, and age-appropriate activities for the whole family. Plus, Ellijay is only minutes from neighboring towns — including Blue Ridge, Cherry Log, and Talking Rock — that offer even more things to do with kids on your North Georgia getaway.
Fun Things to Do with Kids in Ellijay, GA
1. Go River Tubing
Floating downriver with the fam is pretty sweet, especially with beautiful Ellijay views. In fact, Ellijay is affectionately known as the City of Waters. There are 3 rivers around Ellijay where you can tube, kayak, fish, and splash — Cartecay, Ellijay, and Coosawattee. Strap life jackets on the kids and set out for a relaxing river tubing adventure with the Cartecay River Experience, Ellijay River Outfitters, or the Coosawattee River Tubing Company. Carter’s Lake is another on-the-water favorite!
2. Eat Sweet Treats
If anything puts a smile on your youngster’s face, it’s candy! Known for homemade fudge and classic candies, the Southern Appalachian Mountains features plenty of treats to curb your sweet tooth cravings. Stop by Bavarian Chocolatier in downtown Ellijay to pick up themed fudge bars, hot cocoa bombs, glazed pecans, chocolate teddy bears, and a couple of blueberry moonshine bars for the grownups! Yes, vegan options are available. Downtown Blue Ridge also has just about any dessert you could want, from ice cream to decadent dessert drinks!
3. Play Mini-Golf
Putt-putt as a family is super fun and a great way to make memories together. You’ll have a few miniature golf courses to choose from near Ellijay, GA. Some of our favorites include the short mini-golf course through the towering trees at Lilly Pad Village in the Aska Adventure Area and the 18-hole course at Cohutta Cove Mini Golf. Both attractions also feature gem mining, which is another fun thing to do with the kids!
4. Attend a Family-Friendly Event
Seasonal family-friendly events pop up year-round in the mountain town of Ellijay. A favorite for kids has to be the Gilmer County Fair, which features fair rides, live entertainment, plus arts and crafts every August. A few more kid-friendly events to note would be the Georgia Apple Festival (Oct) in fall, Light Up Ellijay (Dec) in winter, and the 4th of July Parade in summer!
5. Ride Horses
Kids who love animals will enjoy horseback riding around Ellijay. It’s much more than a pony ride at the fair and allows your child to connect with nature in a personal way. You can plan a birthday party at Willow Tree Farm, ride through the Blue Ridge Mountains with Adventure Trail Rides, or take a trail ride and picnic by Lake Tamarack with Bent Tree Stables.
6. Pick Apples
Known as the Apple Capital of Georiga, Ellijay boasts plenty of apple picking opportunities. There’s even an apple festival every fall, and you’ll find a variety of country shops with fresh apples and vegetables, baked goods, jams, jars of local honey, and other farm-to-table items. Our recommendations include B. J. Reece Orchards, Hillcrest Orchards, Panorama Orchards, and the Red Apple Barn.
7. Board the Scenic Railway
Just a hop, skip, and a jump from Ellijay is the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway that offers fun for the whole family! Choose an open-air or enclosed car or go for premier class that provides a meal and treats. The train ride winds through forests and along the Toccoa River until you reach the sister towns of McCaysville and Copperhill where you can shop, dine, and explore together.
More Outdoor Activities for Family Fun
- Amicalola Falls
- State Parks – mountain biking, hiking trails, and more
- Appalachian Trail
- Mountain Valley Farm
BONUS: Play at a Mountain Cabin
You know, fun and games with the kids doesn’t have to stay in town or the national forest. At Georgia Cabins for YOU, our cabin rentals come in all shapes and sizes plus feature entertaining amenities for all ages. Shoot pool and play arcade games in the game room, host family movie nights in the home theater, and splash in a bubbly hot tub with mountain views.
Additional amenities at Blue Ridge and Ellijay cabin rentals include outdoor lounges, fireplaces, firepits, grills, fully equipped kitchens, dining areas, high speed Wi-Fi, washer/dryers, king suites, bunk beds, and TVs in the bedrooms. Book your family cabin in Ellijay online or at 1.800.580.5524 today.
With so many kid-friendly things to do in Ellijay, GA, it’s the perfect place to plan your next family vacation!