April Events for Local Readers

It’s spring in Georgia and there’s a lot going on in the area! Check out these family friendly activities for April:

Friday April 3: The University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine’s annual Open House will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Vet school on UGA’s campus. Exotic animal displays, horseback-riding demonstrations, police dog demonstrations, a parade of dog breeds, teddy bear surgery, anatomy displays and much much more will be available at this FREE event. There will also be limited tours of the new veterinary hospital for those over 16 years old. The event, presented by UGA’s veterinary students, will focus on veterinary medicine as an exciting, rewarding field. Concessions will be sold as well. This is a very popular, very fun and educational event! Please note that parking will be off campus on Milledge Avenue with transportation provided to the event.

Vet school

Friday April 3: The University of Georgia Bug Dawgs of the Entomology Department are hosting the 30th annual Insect Zoo Open House, rain or shine from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the lawn in front of Miller Plant Science on the UGA campus. It will feature a photo booth, live bug exhibits, roach races, cricket spitting, beetle tractor pulls and tasty snacks made from insects plus displays of incredible bugs from around the world. This fun event is FREE.

Friday April 3: Join Sandy Creek Nature Center for their popular planetarium program with a special nighttime planetarium program where they will have their very first “Planetarium Pajama Party”. It will include a telescope feature if the skies cooperate. Children 4 years and older, please! 7 p.m to 8:30 p.m. $7 for Athens resident families, $10 non-resident families. Pre-registration required.

Friday April 3 – Saturday April 4: Join a guided tour of Lake Rutledge in Hard Labor Creek State Park and enjoy a peaceful paddle under a bright moon with a Full Moon Kayak Tour. Listen for night sounds, enjoy the night sky, and learn about the history of the park. The program will proceed if it is cloudy or if there is light drizzle. Additional paddle trips available. $15 plus $5 parking. Register in advance.

Saturday April 4: Go for a Naturalist Walk at the Sandy Creek Nature Center from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and collect some natural treasures, then swap them for other natural treasures at the Nature’s Trading Post from 11 a.m. to noon for FREE.

Saturday April 4: Come see the garden come alive at night at the State Botanical Gardens Full Moon Hike from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Each hike will focus on a different topic such as the moon, constellations, or nocturnal creatures. Bring family and friends of all ages along to enjoy the mysterious world of nature at night. $5 for individuals or $15 for a family. Pre-registration required.

Tuesday April 7 – Sunday April 12: Blue Man Group will be at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. In honor of the occasion, Fifth Third Bank Broadway in Atlanta is throwing a family-focused event on Tuesday, April 7. The FREE Family 2 Family Kids Night on Broadway celebration will take place in the Grand Salon Ballroom from 5:30 p.m – 7 p.m. Attendees can enjoy sweet treats, learn circus skills from Circus Camp, participate in fun science demonstrations by the Children’s Museum of Atlanta and more. Also, half price tickets are available now for the 7:30 p.m. performance of Blue Man Group that evening using code “KIDSNIGHT” (while supplies last.)

Thursday April 9 – Saturday April 11: Put on your hats and boots and head on down to the 41st Annual Great Southland Stampede Rodeo at the UGA Livestock Instructional Arena.


Saturday April 11: Plantapalooza, a one-day sale of plants, will take place from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at three locations on the University of Georgia campus: the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, the Trial Gardens and the UGA Horticulture Club. Each sale offers an assortment of garden plants that thrive in the Southeast. Horticulturists, volunteers and Master Gardeners can help select vegetation and answer gardening questions.

Saturday April 11: The UGA International Street Festival celebrates its 17th year providing cultural displays, traditional costumes, dances, and international bands on College Square in Downtown Athens. Dozens of UGA international student organizations and local community groups will sponsor informative and interactive cultural displays as well as musical and dance performances. Visitors will have an opportunity to collect “passport” stamps from each of the countries represented; those who collect all available stamps will receive a ticket for a prize drawing. A children’s corner will allow young guests to participate in activities such as coloring international paper dolls, creating their own flags, crafting African necklaces and much more. International and multinational groups will perform and host colorful displays from around the world.

Saturday April 11: Celebrate the Athens-Clarke County library’s birthday party with a puppet show performance and enjoy a slice of birthday cake for FREE at 11 a.m.

Saturday April 11: Help the Upper Oconee Watershed Network give our streams a check-up. Join the staff at Sandy Creek Nature Center for a River Rendezvous from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for FREE, No experience needed. Dress to get wet and dirty. Children’s activities will be ongoing from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. to teach the importance of keeping our water clean. then stay for some Critter Tales from 2:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Thursday April 16 – Sunday April 19: “Willy Wonka” will be presented at the Morton Theatre. The delicious adventures experienced by Charlie Bucket on his visit to Willy Wonka’s mysterious chocolate factory light up the stage in this captivating adaptation of Roald Dahl’s fantastical tale.

Saturday April 18: Join the State Botanical Gardens for a Spring Family Hike from 10 a.m. to noon. Explore the woods, streams, and gardens to learn about birds, stream creatures, spring wildflowers and more. Wear comfortable clothing, sturdy shoes, and get ready to explore! $5 for individuals or $15 for families. Pre-registration required.

Saturday April 18 – June: The Georgia Renaissance Festival opens for its 30th season this weekend! If you haven’t taken your family before, you should. The Georgia Renaissance Festival is an interactive art and entertainment festival held each spring combining outdoor theater, circus-style entertainment, and an arts and craft market place, all set inside a recreated 16th-Century European village. Singing minstrels, jousting knights, talented acrobats, juicy turkey legs and so much more!


Tuesday April 21: Join the Athens-Clarke County Library for a FREE, fun Trivia Night at 7 p.m. There will be prizes!

Wednesday April 22: Celebrate Earth Day FREE at the Athens-Clarke County Library at 4:30 p.m. Celebrate our love of the earth with a special all-ages program.

Thursday April 23: Come to the Athens-Clarke County Library for a FREE showing of the 1952 classic musical Singin’ in the Rain at 6:30 p.m.

Friday April 24: Come out and enjoy fun family fishing at Claypit Pond at Sandy Creek Nature Center from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. We provide bait, cane fishing poles, and tips. We can’t always guarantee a catch, but we can guarantee fun. $7 for Athens resident families, $10 for non-Athens resident families. Pre-registration is required.

Friday April 24 – Saturday April 25: The 36th Annual Athens Twilight Criterium in downtown Athens is a professional cycling event and festival, tailored to be enjoyed by fans, families and racers alike. The Twilight Criterium is a favorite spot on the national cycling tour circuit, both for its unique evening format and the large crowds that gather in Athens’ downtown area.

Saturday April 25: BioBlitz at Sandy Creek Nature Center is an all day event where you can join experts in search of reptiles and amphibians on the property. Participate in programs about these animals starting at 10 a.m. and going throughout the day for FREE. Some of the activities include a turtle watch at the pond, a program about snakes, and a program on how to attract reptiles and amphibians to your yard. Come for a few hours, or pack a lunch and stay all day. All children under 13 years old must be accompanied by an adult.

Wow! That’s a lot of great opportunities!

$8 Gwinnett Braves Tickets!

Screen Shot 2015-03-28 at 8.19.04 AM

Living Social is offering a great deal right now on Gwinnett Braves tickets!  This s something I’ve always wanted to take my kids to see!

Choose from the following:

  • $8 infield ticket
  • $15 infield ticket, hotdog, chips, soda

Available for these games:

  • 7:05 p.m. | Game time on April 9, 10, and 11
  • 2:05 p.m. | Game time on April 12

To get this deal, first click here to create a living social account.  New members will get $10 off a $20 purchase.

Then click here to find this deal.  

Amazon $5 Magazine Deals

Amazon is having an amazing $5 Magazine Subscription Sale. Today only, you can score up to 90% off some great health related magazine subscriptions.

Prevention magazine is just one of the many titles available, and it includes the print and Kindle versions for a year for only $5

These deals are good today only, so grab them now before the prices rise!



Crazy8: 50% Off Spring Styles + Free Shipping!

Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 12.41.46 PM

Time for some spring clothing shopping for the kids!  For 2 days only, get 50% off spring styles plus free shipping with code PARTY at Crazy 8!  They have some really cute spring styles this year!  I’m loving this handkerchief dress for my girl for only $9.94 right now plus ships for FREE!

Even better, if you use VISA Checkout, you can save $25 off a $50 Crazy 8 purchase!

Lego Discovery Center Atlanta: New Star Wars Displays

Iphone 060

The Legoland Discovery Center in Atlanta has just added exciting new, interactive mini-lands based on Star Wars Episode I. You can race speeders, take off in a space craft or battle an army of droids, all made of Legos.

Iphone 072

These new, limited time mini-lands are in addition to the already amazing Atlanta mini-land, where you can find Lego versions of Atlanta area landmarks like Stone Mountain, the Capital Dome and more.

Iphone 053

Legoland Discovery Center is not just Mini-lands though. There are also rides, areas to build Lego race cars, a Lego 4-D movie and even a cafe where you can buy a kids meal in a Lego shaped lunchbox!

Iphone 081 Iphone 084

On your way out, you can peruse hundreds of Lego products and sets for all ages.

Iphone 088 Iphone 089

You can save money by pre-purchasing your tickets online. Parking is FREE in the Phipps Plaza lots, and there are tons of great stores in the mall to check out too.



(This review was written by Mommy Octopus's Assistant Blogger, Edith) 




Dahlonega Spring Events March – May 2015



Dahlonega, GA has always been one of my very favorite places in the world.  I grew up visiting Dahlonega quite often!  I was just sent a list of some of the best events in Dalonega from March-May.  Check them out and mark your calendars!  It’s worth the drive!

5th Annual Dahlonega Trail Fest 

  • March 27-29, 2015
  • Friday, March 27, 3:00 p.m.
  • Saturday and Sunday, March 28 & 299:00 a.m.
  • Historic Downtown Dahlonega
  • Free Admission
  • A three-day festival celebrating Dahlonega’s designation as an Appalachian Trail Community, Dahlonega’s proximity to the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail, and general non-motorized recreation, including hiking, backpacking, canoeing, kayaking, trail biking, horseback trail riding, trail maintenance, and other topics. The Trail Fest features nationally recognized speakers, authors, thru hikers, AT record holders, workshops, music, hiking films, AT related craft vendors, manufacturer vendors and reps, and informational booths. Hiking films will be shown on Friday and Saturday evenings. There will be a 5k street run and a 10k road/trail run with 5k on the Reservoir Trail at Lake Zwerner. Details of the run can be seen on the Trail Fest website. Food court features food by Shenanigans Irish Pub and Bourbon Street  Grille and features a Beer and Wine Garden.
  • For more info and a complete schedule, visit www.dahlonegatrailfest.org. Information will be constantly updated. Please follow us on Facebook: @Dahlonega Trail Fest.
    Contact: info@dahlonegatrailfest.org

11th Annual Dahlonega Literary Festival

  • March 28-29, 2015
  • Saturday, March 28, 9:00 a.m.-6:45 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 29, 11:00 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
  • Historic Downtown Dahlonega
  • Free Admission, charge for some events
  • http://members.dahlonega.org/events/details/dahlonega-literary-festival-7601
  • The Dahlonega Literary Festival, begun in 2004, celebrates books, writers, literacy, storytelling and literary performance art. This yearly celebration of books promises to delight anyone who is a lover of books and reading. Festival highlights include author discussion panels covering a variety of topics, RSVP lunch with authors at area restaurants, a keynote address from author Frances Mayes (Under the Tuscan Sun), and author meet-and-greet sessions. Dahlonega Literary Festival authors include Frances Mayes Raymond Atkins (Sweetwater Blues), Jackie K. Cooper (Journey of a Gentle Southern Man), Delilah S. Dawson, Molly Harper, Kevin Hearne, Ann Hite, Man Martin, Cherie Priest, and many more. Illustrator Mark Braught will also share tips on character drawing and illustration. Festival events will occur in various locations around the historic square of downtown Dahlonega, and all activities are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. Please visit www.literaryfestival.org for event details, contact information, and driving directions.

Southeastern Film Festival

  • April 10-12, 2015
  • University of North Georgia Hoag Auditorium
  • Dahlonega, GA
  • Free Admission
  • http://southeasternfilm.com
  • Filmmakers and movie buffs will be flocking to the Southeastern Film Festival’s first event of 2015 in Dahlonega for a weekend of independent film with no cost for admission. Films will be screened at the Hoag Auditorium on the campus of the University of North Georgia. This festival was founded by many Southeastern independent filmmakers in an effort to make independent film more prevalent in smaller towns, as well as to help foster connections between film-making professionals across the globe. The festival looks for quality storytelling, and the judging is based not on the level of star, budget, or highest quality, but rather on the best indication of talent in filmmaking, music, or interactive presentation.
  • Contact:  info@southeasternfilm.com

Bear on the Square Fest Shot_BOS 2010 

19th Annual Bear on the Square Mountain Festival

  • April 18-19, 2015
  • Saturday and Sunday, April 18 & 19, 10 a.m.
  • On the Historic Square in Dahlonega, GA
  • Free admission to most activities; $10 for string group master classes.
  • www.bearonthesquare.org
  • An authentic folkways festival for professional and amateur musicians, music lovers, people-watchers, and folkways enthusiasts. Two days of bluegrass, mountain, and folk music, workshops, auctions, art, dancing, children’s activities, food and shopping in the historic Public Square. A juried artists’ market features one-of-a-kind, handmade items from some of the mountain region’s best artists. Performers include 2012 Telluride Bluegrass Band Competition winner BlueBilly Grit, award-winning songwriter/performer John Lilly, Front Country, The Skillet Lickers, Sons of Bluegrass, Curtis Jones and Primal Roots, Jason Kennedy, Buzzard Mountain Boys, Threadbare Skivvies, Hog-eyed Man, Georgia Pick & Bow All Stars, and Ugly Cousin.

Mountain Flower Art Festival 

  • Historic Square
  • Downtown Dahlonega, GA
  • A juried art and quality crafts festival
  • Saturday, May 16, 2015 – 1 p.m.
  • Sunday, May 17, 2015 – 10:00 a.m.
  • www.dahlonegaarts.org
  • Free; art and plants for purchase
  •  Quality art in an array of mediums including, painting, photography, pottery, jewelry, sculpture, woodworking, metal work, glass and more. More than 60 juried artists, quality craftspeople, local musicians and plant vendors.  Selected artists represent some of the finest in the country in their respective mediums.  Attending plant vendors focus on native and unique plant varieties. Music provided by local musicians in Hancock Park, just off the historic downtown Dahlonega Square. The festival is a fundraiser by the Dahlonega Arts Council for the Lumpkin County Schools art programs and provides a scholarship for an aspiring art student.

Credit Sesame: Free Daily Credit Monitoring

In the past year, we’ve received notices from stores and from even our health insurance company that our information may have been stolen.  Credit theft is constantly on the rise.  If you’re like me and you keep a very close eye on your credit, I recommend using Credit Sesame. I’ve been using it for 3 years now. Here are the benefits:

* Receive daily credit monitoring alerts
* Get your FREE Credit Score Monthly
* Limit ID Theft Damage
* Find Potential Errors Sooner
* Get Access to Better Loans and Save Money
And it’s completely FREE to sign up!

They send me notices when my score goes up or down. I love being able to see all of my credit usage all together so I can try and find ways to save more.  It will even email you when better options come around that would work for you!

Credit Sesame

Athens-Clarke County Leisure Easter Events

Can you believe that Easter is almost here?  I can’t!  If you’re starting to plan your activities, here’s what happening with the Athens Clarke County Leisure Service.
Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 10.09.04 AM
The Athens-Clarke County Leisure Services Department will present a variety of Easter events during the month of April.
  • Rocksprings Park, located at 291 Henderson Ext, will host two special holiday events.  “Thursday Tea with Mr. Bunny” is scheduled for Thursday, April 2 from 10 – 11 a.m.   This program, for ages 3-5, includes refreshments, tea, and an Easter craft.  The Easter Bunny will be available for photos.  Children must be accompanied by an adult.  The fee is $3 for ACC residents and $5 for non-residents.  Registration is required by Thursday, March 26 by calling 706-613-3602.
  • “Rock-n-Roll Easter Egg Hunt” is set for Saturday, April 4 and begins 10 a.m. at Rocksprings Park.  This program, for toddlers to age 12, features a traditional egg hunt with a rock-n-roll theme.  The program is free of charge and registration is not required.
  • Memorial Park, located at 293 Gran Ellen Dr, will host its annual “Breakfast with the Bunny” on Saturday, April 4 in the Park’s recreation hall.  This family event includes breakfast, crafts, and a photo with the Easter Bunny.  Two time slots are available: 9:00 – 9:45 a.m. or 10 – 10:45 a.m.  The fee is $5 for ACC residents and $8 for non-residents.  Children ages 2 and younger are admitted free of charge.  Registration is required by Wednesday, April 1 by calling 706-613-3580.
  • East Athens Community Center, located at 400 McKinley Dr., will host an egg hunt on Saturday, April 4. The event, for ages Kindergarten-5th Grade, begins at 10 a.m.  Activities include arts and crafts, a bounce house, followed by an egg hunt with participants divided into age groups.  The program is free of charge and registration is not required.  For more information call 706-613-3593.
  • Lay Park, located at 297 Hoyt St, will host two egg hunts on Saturday, April 4. “Easter Egg-Stravaganza,” for toddlers through 5th Grade, begins at11 a.m.  The “Wild and Wacky Adult Easter Egg Scramble,” for adults, begins at 11:30 a.m. Why should the kids have all the fun?  Adults will compete against other adults to find the coveted prize egg. The program is free of charge, however registration is required by Wednesday, April 1, by calling 706-613-3596.
For more information, please visit the Holiday Events page at www.athensclarkecounty.com/leisure.