6 Fall Science Experiments for Kids



Whether your kids are doing virtual learning this year or are physically going to class there’s still lots of fun to be had when your family stays with us! We’ve comprised a list of 6 science experiments for kids to try, while parents can both relax and spend some quality family time together. These are fun, easy to do experiments with materials you can find in and around your cabin. 

While you stay with us make sure to try at least a couple of these experiments with your kids. It’ll get them outside and exploring in nature as well as teach them basic science concepts. Not only that, but they’re fun too! These experiments are sure to be fun memories from your trip that will last a lifetime. 

Why Do Leaves Change Color? 

Photo Courtesy of www.howweelearn.com

This first experiment is brought to us by Sarah on howweelearn.com and is perfect for the fall season! It will teach your kiddos all about why leaves change their colors in the fall. 

Here’s what you need: 

  • 3 leaves (from the same tree)
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Jar
  • Plastic baggie (or plastic wrap)
  • Paper Coffee Filter
  • Small bowl or pan

Steps:

  1. Have your child break the leaves into tiny pieces and put in the jar.
  2. Pour rubbing alcohol over the leaves until they are just covered
  3. Mash and stir the leaves into the rubbing alcohol until the alcohol turns slightly green. Really give it a good mashing – this is key.
  4. Cover the jar with the baggie or plastic wrap and place the jar in a small bowl and pour hot water into the bowl.
  5. Leave (ha!) the jar in the water for 30 minutes, swishing the jar occasionally to stir the leaves a bit. The alcohol should be a very dark green (leave longer if needed). If you can resist, wait even 45 minutes or an hour.
  6. Cut a strip in the coffee filter so the strip can just reach the rubbing alcohol.
  7. The liquid will travel up the coffee filter and the colors will separate as the alcohol evaporates off the coffee filter. Let this happen for about an hour for the full effect.

S’more Oven 

Photos Courtesy of www.growingajeweledrose.com

Who doesn’t love s’mores!? This experiment was found on growingajeweledrose.com and is perfect for your kids to try out on those cool fall days. This will teach them all about solar energy and leave them with a sweet treat as well! 

Materials:

  • An empty box
  • Aluminum foil
  • Plastic wrap
  • A box cutter/knife
  • Chocolate
  • Graham crackers
  • Marshmallows

Steps:

  1. Use a box cutter or knife to carefully cut the lid of a pizza box on 3 sides, leaving it attached on the back end. 
  2. Line the inside of the box with foil. Then, tightly cover the opening that you cut with clear plastic wrap.
  3. Line the bottom of the box with black paper or foil.
  4. Once the solar oven is assembled it is time to cook up some s’mores!
  5. Have kids build s’mores, and then place them into the solar oven.  Once the s’mores are in the box, close the portion of the lid covered in plastic wrap, and then prop the foil-covered flap open.   

It is now time to observe and wait……after about 20 minutes they will be ready to eat!

Dye Flowers 

Photo Courtesy of www.redtri.com

This experiment is great because your kids can go out in nature and collect the flowers they need. Once they’ve gone out and collected the materials needed, your kids will learn all about how plants suck in nutrients and water. We found this experiment on www.redtri.com by Erin Lem. It’s a fun way to teach plant science and allow your kiddos a chance to get outside too!

Materials:

  • Three white flowers. Some suggestions are daisies, roses, carnations, or even celery!
  • Four glasses of water
  • Food dye: blue, yellow, green, red
  • Sharp knife

Steps:

  1. Mix the food coloring into each of your glasses, until you have four glasses of different colored water. The stronger you make the colors, the better.
  2. Add two flowers to two colors of your choice and set aside. You should have two colors and one flower remaining at this point.
  3. Take your last flower and slit the stem. Now take the two remaining colored glasses and part the stem, placing each half of the stem into different colored glasses. In other words, your flower should now be drinking from two glasses at the same time.
  4. Place the water glasses away from the sunlight and watch what happens. You’ll start to notice some fascinating results within an hour or so, as the colored water creeps up the stem and begins to color the leaves. But wait a few days and keep observing the petals for fuller color displays.

Flower Pigment Experiment 

Photo Courtesy of www.happilyevermom.com

Here’s another great flower experiment, this time from Kate on happilyevermom.com. This experiment is super fun because it not only teaches your kids about flower pigment but gives them a chance to get messy! And what kid doesn’t love to get messy every now and then?

  Materials:

  • Paper Towels
  • Flowers
  • Hammer
  • Aluminum Foil

Steps:

  1. Put down some aluminum foil and then layer your flowers on top. Next, cover the flowers with a paper towel. Then, start hammering!
  2. Watch the pigment from the flowers seep through onto the paper towel.

Learning during Flower Science Experiment

  1. Explain pigment (the substance that can be extracted from each flower which is used to make paints, dye, etc.)
  2. Correspond colors on the paper towel with the flowers underneath – which match?
  3. Hammer at different variations to see what happens to the colors – what happens if you hit lightly versus hitting harder?
  4. Vocabulary words: pigment, absorb, extract, darker/lighter, parts of the flower (petal, leaves, stem)
  5. Bonus: The smashed flowers can create a gorgeous piece of art too!

Apple Science 

Photo Courtesy of www.pre-kpages.com

This is another great experiment for the fall season brought to us Vanessa Levin on www.pre-kpages.com. If you’re planning on picking apples while staying with us, pick up a couple of extras so your kids can try this fun experiment out! It’s a perfect experiment for the little ones, showing them how different liquids can affect the apples and teaches them many early learning concepts. 

Materials: 

  • Small containers
  • Apples (Mercier Orchards is a great place to pick them up!)
  • Lemon juice
  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Tonic water
  • Soda
  • Apple Science Experiment Recording Sheet (optional)

Steps:

  1. Set out five containers with a few apple pieces in each one. Label the five containers with the name of the liquids you are going to be using.
  2. Pour the appropriate liquids into each cup. Also be sure to set up a “control” cup of apple pieces without any liquid.
  3. Now wait and see what chemical reactions will occur.
  4. After a few hours, check on the progress and discuss your observations. Record observations on a Recording Sheet if you choose.

Pinecone Experiment 

Photo Courtesy of www.lemonlimeadventures.com

Our last experiment is another great one for fall and involves collecting pinecones. We found this one from Dayna on www.lemonlimeadventures.com. This experiment is a fun way for kids to learn more about nature. It will teach them why pinecones open and close depending on air temperature and moisture. 

Materials:

  • 3 Jars
  • 3 Pinecones (all the same size)
  • Warm Water
  • Cold Water
  • Ruler
  • Timer

Steps:

  1. The set-up for this experiment is really quite simple. Start by measuring, sketching and observing your pinecones. Then place 1 pinecone in each jar.
  2. Label each jar and fill two jars with water to the top. One jar should be filled with warm water and one with cold water. The third jar is your control and should be left open with only air to use as a comparison and to document the change you see over time.
  3. What changes do you see? How fast are the changes occurring? Any other observations you notice?

Kid Friendly Cabins



At Escape to Blue Ridge, it’s easy to find the perfect family getway that works for the whole entire family! These 10 cabins will not only give you a relaxing and wonderful getaway but will ensure that the kids have a great time as well! From game rooms, to playgrounds, to movie rooms, to special bedrooms the kids will be entertained so you can kick back and relax for awhile! Afterall, isn’t that what vacation is all about?

Toccoa Playground

As its name suggests, Toccoa Playground is a great cabin where kids can play. It’s the perfect cabin for large families and groups with lots of kids. Outside, the kids will love exploring their very own playhouse and trampoline on the closed-in deck, while parents can watch nearby from the comfort of the hot tub!

Inside more fun awaits, in the upstairs loft they’ll find the playroom of their dreams; with a puppet theater, a play kitchen, a TV, and plenty of toys and room to play. For sleeping arrangements for the kiddos, there are two sets of twin bunk beds in the downstairs bedroom and even a toddler bed in the loft; so there’s plenty of room. Other amenities are available for the young ones like a crib, bassinet, baby swing, carrier, car seat, high chair, and baby gate.

The adults will have a blast as well. They’ll love relaxing by the stone gas fireplace and playing board games with the family. They can rock their worries away in one of the rocking chairs on the porch and grill up some burgers for everyone. Hidden away in the woods near the Toccoa River; you and the kids will love having your own private oasis while still being close to all kinds of nearby Blue Ridge adventures. And after a long day of playing on the playground or exploring the trails, the kids will love roasting marshmallows at the firepit and sharing stories. Toccoa Playground truly is a fantastic getaway for families looking to escape. 

Hidden Creek Cabin 

At Hidden Creek Cabin, you’ll really feel like you’re hidden away from the rest of the world. Nestled beside a hidden creek, this mountain home will give you the ultimate relaxation retreat all while keeping the kids entertained. Inside has an elegant yet comfortable feel with its open floor plan, vaulted ceilings, large kitchen and dining rooms, and cozy living room with plush sofas positioned near the stone gas fireplace. You’ll feel like you’re living in modern luxury with 11 Alexa’s scattered throughout the house to help you with anything you might need.

While the adults relax and unwind, the kids will love being just steps from the Toccoa River where they can fish and explore to their heart’s content. When they come inside they’ll love taking advantage of the downstairs game room which includes shuffleboard, pool, and a 65” flat screen TV! And when it’s time to call it a night the kids have their own room with bunk beds and a Smart TV with Xbox One. Hidden Creek Cabin is a luxurious cabin adults and kids alike will enjoy! 

Resting Bear Retreat

Resting Bear Retreat is a rustic and cozy cabin that fits its name with its wildlife-themed decor. This private and secluded oasis is nestled on a hillside surrounded by trees in the Aska Adventure Area. You’ll be close to all kinds of outdoor adventures like waterfalls, hiking trails, and state parks; the kids will love getting outside. And if you want to enjoy the outdoors without having to leave the cabin you can take in the long-range mountain views right from the wraparound deck.

Inside the kids will spend hours in the all-inclusive game room with a pool table, board games, and a 50” TV. Right next to the game room is a set of twin bunk beds; perfect for all the kids to have a sleepover. There’s even a baby crib with wildlife-themed bedding and a playpen. It’s also great for your furry kids as well, you can bring up to 2 dogs! Resting Bear Retreat sleeps up to 10 people so it’s a wonderful escape for big families and friends. Both the kids and adults will have a blast! 

Elysian Retreat 

If you’re looking for luxurious amenities, stunning views, a relaxing retreat, and accommodations for the kids then Elysian Retreat is the cabin for you! With plenty of space for the kiddos to explore and spread out, you’ll love getting a moment to yourself. Cook dinner in the fully equipped kitchen with stainless steel appliances and then serve it up for the whole family on the entertainment deck outside. A gas grill, dry bar, 57” Smart TV, porch swings, stone wood-burning fireplace,  an outdoor dining area, and incredible mountain views await you on the deck. The whole family will love exchanging stories and enjoying each other’s company.

After dinner head inside to relax where there’s a TV in every bedroom! The kids room is its own private hideaway with 2 queen bunk beds and a garage door opening to the lower deck. There’s even a separate room with another set of two queen bunk beds so there’s plenty of room for lots of kiddos! Being so close to both the hiking trails and Downtown Blue Ridge, the kids and you, will absolutely love getting to explore all that Blue Ridge has to offer! 

Animal Crossings

Much like the popular game, kids will love staying in “Animal Crossings”. The cabin perched on a wooded hillside is just minutes from waterfalls, wineries, and downtown. Inside there’s animal accented décor and animal-themed rooms to fit with the cabin’s name. The kids will love their special room, “Cub Den,” with a full bed and twin bunks. Another favorite spot for the kiddos will be the game room which includes pool, foosball, board games, puzzles, and a 42” Smart TV with DVD player.

Dad’s can grill out on the gas grill on the main level deck and the whole family can enjoy burgers and hot dogs either outside on the deck or inside in the kitchen. And after dinner, the kids can roast marshmallows by the firepit while parents watch from the hanging swing. Sleeping up to 14 guests, Animal Crossing is THE place to stay with big groups of friends with lots of kids who are ready to have some fun! 

Skyview

For a great place for the kids and some peace and quiet, Skyview is your place! It’s unique and beautiful design and decor will have you feeling relaxed the second you step in the door. In the family room you can nestle into the leather sofa or recliner chair, stay warm by the stone stacked gas fireplace, watch a movie on the 65” flat screen TV, and take in the incredible views all at the same time! Doesn’t that sound relaxing? And while you’re relaxing in the family room the kids can be playing in the game room; complete with a pool table, board games, puzzles, and a 65” TV. The kids will be entertained for hours playing round after round of their favorite games and watching their favorite movies.

Outside the kids can make s’mores at the firepit or play a round of corn-hole. Parents can watch from the comfort of the deck’s rocking chairs or in the hot tub. And when it’s time for bed the kids won’t complain about their sleeping arrangements. The kids room has 2 twin beds, 2 full beds, bean bag chairs, an Xbox with a 50” TV, and even more games! When the morning comes and you’re ready to get out of the house; you’ll love how close everything is. The cabin is just minutes from downtown Blue Ridge, waterfalls, hiking trails, and the Toccoa River. Relaxation and adventure await you when you stay at Skyview! 

Cardinal’s Cradle

Cardinal’s Cradle is a luxurious yet rustic cabin secluded in the tall trees. Inside you’ll relax on one of the comfy sofas by the wood-burning stone fireplace while you enjoy a family movie night. Prepare a dinner the whole family will love either in the kitchen with top of the line appliances and granite counter tops or on the deck with either the gas grill or Green Egg. The kids will love dining with the family and sharing stories either at the dining table or at the picnic tables on the deck.

After dinner, the kids can head to the game room for some friendly competition. Between pool, board games, card games, and a 55” Smart TV the kids will be set, and parents can supervise while having a drink at the game room’s wet bar. When it’s time to head for bed the kids can sleep in queen bunk beds on the lower level. The bedroom has deck access so parents can enjoy a late night dip in the hot tub while still staying close to the kids. Cardinal’s Cradle is a peaceful oasis perfect for the whole family to getaway and relax. 

Alpine Ridge

If you and the family want to be just minutes from the heart of downtown Blue Ridge but also have beautiful long range mountain views then Alpine Ridge is your place! This cabin was meant for families. The great room has two full sized sofas, a gas log fireplace, and a 50” TV with DVD player; perfect for family movie nights. And the dining room table seats up to 8 with a live edge wood peninsula that seats an additional three.

The outside decks are another great place for entertaining with a wood burning fireplace, 55” TV, a dining table, sectional, high top tables, Adirondack chairs, a gas grill, and a hot tub. Family can always be together here. And for more fun that the kids especially will enjoy there’s a game room complete with a game table, shuffleboard, checkers, puzzles, board games, a TV, and a wet bar for the adults to enjoy. And for sleeping arrangements kids can stay in the lower level bedroom that has a king bed and twin bunk beds. The whole family will have a blast at their stay in Alpine Ridge and love being close to so many great activities! 

The Hideaway 

If you need to grab your family and “Hideaway” from the rest of the world for awhile then look no further then The Hideaway. This cabin sits high on a hillside on nearly two acres of forests in the Aska Adventure Area. It’s a perfect cabin for the nature lovers and thrill seekers of the family. Hike or bike on numerous trails just steps away from the cabin, boat on the Toccoa River and Lake Blue Ridge, or explore waterfalls. The Blue Ridge wilderness is your oyster when you stay at The Hideaway.

Other than the great outdoors the game room and the kids bedroom will be your kiddos favorite rooms in the cabin. The game room is stocked with puzzles and board games, a game table, a gas fireplace, 48” Smart TV and a wet bar with a beverage fridge so the adults can have a drink while they partake in family game night.

The downstairs bedroom is designated for the kids wtih two sets of bunk beds and a Smart TV. And for dinner, Mom will love cooking in the fully stocked kitchen with custom hand painted countertops, stainless steel appliances, and even special appliances like a waffle iron, panini press, and Keurig! Then the whole family can gather in the dining room or on the deck to eat a fantastic home-cooked meal. For outdoor loving families with lots of adventurous kids The Hideaway should be your next home away from home! 

Blue Mist Heaven 

Blue Mist Heaven is an ideal cabin for large families looking for a luxurious stay with plenty of amenities for the kids. Inside the kids will love the library loft and the movie room. The library loft is a perfect place for kids to read and do schoolwork, especially if they’re learning virtually. And the movie room will be the BEST place for them to watch their favorite movies on the 82” TV, curled up in one of the many recliners. There’s even a cocktail game table with 412 games installed and just outside on the deck is a ping-pong table. The kids will also love having their own room with a set of bunk beds and a full sized crib and Pack n’ Play in the closet.

Inside the house is great but outside will be the kids favorite part where there’s a giant playhouse with swings and slides. The kiddos will have a blast and play outside for hours! Parents can even watch the kids have fun on the playground from the Gazebo or bench swings. There’s plenty of great adult amenities in the cabin as well like a wet bar, gas fireplaces and TVs scattered throughout the cabin, ample indoor and outdoor seating to take in the stunning mountain views, a gourmet kitchen with top-of-the-line appliances, king sized beds, and a hot tub. If you and the family stay at Blue Mist Heaven you’ll all feel like you’re in heaven with its luxurious feel and wonderful amenities! 

S’mores Elevated



S’mores. A favorite dessert for families and a fun time sitting around the firepit. A little graham cracker, a little marshmallow, a little chocolate is an amazing combination for the perfectly crafted s’mores, BUT how do you take your s’mores to the next level?

BACON of course!🥓

Chocolate Lovers

What about using Reese’s Peanut Butter cups instead of milk chocolate?

Photo courtesy of Hershey’s

Candy Bar Style

Give me a break. Give me a break. Make me a s’mores with a Kit Kat bar!

Photo courtesy of Flickr

“Get the sensation” of minty deliciousness when you make your s’mores with a York Peppermint Patty!

Photo courtesy of Hip2Save

Peanut, Peanut Butter!

There isn’t much that compliments chocolate better than Peanut Butter, but have you ever added it to your s’mores? We promise, this extra layer of yum will change the way you make s’mores forever!

Photo courtesy of Jif

Healthier?

Make your s’mores a little healthy with strawberries!

Elevate your sweetness level with bananas! When the sugars caramelize, your taste buds are going to jump for joy!

Photo courtesy of the Food Network

Piece de Resistance

Chocolate lovers already know, but we’re going to let you in on a secret. NUTELLA! This hazelnut chocolate is an incredible way to elevate your s’mores and satisfy your sweet tooth at the same time!

Photo courtesy of Laura in the Kitchen

What’s Your Fav?

Do you have better s’mores concoctions? Leave a comment with your favorites or tag us on Facebook or Instagram!

A Secluded Heaven



Here at Escape to Blue Ridge, we consider the current recommendation of “Social Distancing” a serious responsibility. Click HERE to learn more about what we’re doing to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus within our vacation homes.

We also believe our vacation homes provide a great resource for adapting to this new temporary way of life while still enjoying quality family time with your loved ones. In fact, providing incredible getaways in underpopulated areas is our specialty! Many of our cabins back up to National Forest service land making you feel like you are in your very own secluded heaven! Besides, last we heard, getting outdoors and spending time with family was not cancelled. So, let’s make the most of our situation and embrace the opportunities we do have.

Today, with many schools being closed and offices shutting down, there is not a better time to “seize the day” and take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy life a little. Here in Blue Ridge, we have an abundance of natural resources to experience, comfortable cabins to unwind in, and breathtaking views to enjoy your own secluded peace.

Take a Hike

There are few better places to hike than on the hundreds and hundreds of miles of trails that crisscross the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Georgia. Not only is this an area that speaks to the hiker in familiar terms – Appalachian Trail, Benton MacKaye Trail, Amicalola Falls – but it’s the wide variety of experiences, from the casual to the challenging, that make these hikes some of the most popular in America. Is Fido traveling with you? These hikes are perfect for your 4-legged adventure partner!

Ride a Horse

Photo Courtesy of @littlebitty87

There is nothing more enjoyable than unplugging form the digital world, saddling up on horseback, and heading out into the countryside. In Blue Ridge, forty percent of the county’s land is located within the Chattahoochee National Forest which means there are countless miles of trails to explore and enjoy. Fresh mountain air, beautiful scenery, abundant wildlife, and getting in touch with nature is what it’s all about. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced equestrian, one of the area’s local outfitters would love to show you our countryside and provide you with a rewarding, memorable, and exhilarating trip.

Chase Waterfalls

It’s hard to imagine anything more tranquil, peaceful, powerful and appealing than a waterfall. And if one is good, many are better. Fortunately, in Blue Ridge and Fannin County, there is an abundance of rushing water, and impressive elevations – and, thanks to gravity, it all inevitably leads to waterfalls in various forms or fashion – all about 30 minutes’ drive from town.

If you’re looking for a scenic trail with beautiful falls at the end, and to check off a couple high profile hiking trails while you’re at it, Long Creek Falls in the Chattahoochee National Forest in Blue Ridge, Georgia should make it to the top of your list. Don’t forget to bring your best friend. Dogs will enjoy the trail as much as their humans!

Scenic Drives

Photo Courtesy of @heatherdrones

Expand your horizons, pack up the family, and hit the road for a beautiful scenic drive! Here are our three favorites:

The Russell-Brasstown Scenic Byway is a nationally designated Scenic Byway that is 40.64 miles in length and makes a loop through the heart of the Chattahoochee National Forest.

Brasstown Bald rises 4,784 feet above sea level and is Georgia’s tallest mountain. Visitors to this place on high find an observation deck which allows a spectacular 360-degree view of the Blue Ridge Mountains, exhibits, a film, hiking trails, and gift shop.

The Southern Highroads Trail can be traveled in its entirety or in sections.  This very scenic route travels through four national forests (Chattahoochee, Nantahala, Cherokee, and Sumter) and four states (North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia)

Isolate in Style

Black Dog of Blue Ridge Cabin

Escape to Blue Ridge cabins are equipped with every amenity you might look for in a home away from home. Complete with extraordinarily comfortable bedrooms, gourmet kitchens, and entertaining game rooms. With every rental home we provide hotel-style linens with spa-quality bath towels for each guest and exquisite bath soaps and shampoos from William Roam. Our kitchens are well-equipped with appliances including a stove, oven, refrigerator, coffeemaker and all the preparation and serving implements you’ll need to cook and serve your family. The majority of cabins feature games rooms to keep you entertained, but once you breathe in that fresh mountain air and gaze at the vastness of the mountains, your soul will already be satisfied.

Play Games

There is no shortage of entertainment when you Escape to Blue Ridge. Compete in classic board games, shuffle a deck of cards, or play charades. Some cabins feature foosball, ping pong tables or a pool table. And don’t worry. You’ll be able to keep up with current events, if you really want to, because high-speed internet is included with every one of our homes. 

Relax in the Hot Tub

Green Pine Cabin

Feel your stress melt away as you step into the bubbling, steaming 102° hot tub. When you soak in the warm water your nervous system slows down causing relaxation throughout your body. As the jets beat on your tense, tight muscles your body begins to release endorphins that provide you with a sensation to improve your overall mood. A little glass a vino. An incredible view. This social seclusion isn’t too bad after all!

Ring Around the Fire

Adventure Us Cabin

As the sun begins to set, go on a family stick hunt to get kindling for the fire. Once the fire is lit, break out the marshmallows and show your kids how to roast them. Do you like your marshmallows burnt too? Better yet, add graham crackers and chocolate for some campfire s’mores! The firepit is a good time to tell stories about when you were young or when your kids were young. This writer must have told her child the story of her birth no less than a million times! Break out the guitar, sing some songs, make wishes on stars, and enjoy every moment you have together. Regardless how you spend your time in Blue Ridge, be content in knowing that you are creating memories you and your family will hold on to and cherish forever. After all, that’s what life is all about.

Escape to the Blue Ridge Mountains



Guest Blog by Forever Freckled.

If you haven’t already experienced the Blue Ridge Mountains in Georgia, you should! Our families have been visiting this area for the last 6 years. Each time we return, it becomes even more special. There is something so incredibly quaint and peaceful about the small town of Blue Ridge.

Growing up in South Florida, we do not get to experience the amazing change in seasons. If you know us sisters, we are always talking about “sweater weather” and how badly we want to see the leaves change colors.

Well, we’ve teamed up again with Escape To Blue Ridge who always help us experience incredible family trips in the Blue Ridge Mountains! As we gear up for our next trip, we are excited to share information about Escape to Blue Ridge, the company we rent the cabins from, as well as some of the best activities and spots to hit up on your journey. If you love a vacation with a small town feel and views to die for, this trip is one for you.

We also want to lend you some pointers for traveling with a ton of kids! You may deal with plenty of tantrums, tears, accidents, and fights along with the fun. But if you’re well prepared, you’ll make it out in one piece.

Escape to Blue Ridge

For the past 6 years, we have reserved our mountain family cabin with Escape to Blue Ridge. The most amazing part about this company is that they have hundreds of homes you can reserve, making it easy to choose the cabin that best suits the needs and preferences of your family.

The trip we took a couple of years ago was AMAZING! We want to share those adventures with you again, so let’s get started!

The Cabin

We love a cabin with mountain views and a great outdoor space that’s big enough for our three families. We could not believe our eyes when we arrived on this trip. The kids were in heaven, and the views were spectacular!

There are no words to describe this place.

The name of our cabin was Falling Waters Lodge, named after the two small waterfalls running down the front yard. Let me tell you, the house was spotless, at least in the moment we all arrived. The details and decor that went into creating this home were unlike anything we’ve ever seen. The cabin had a large open kitchen with top-of-line appliances and large windows to look out over the Blue Ridge Mountains while you cook.

There was also a hot tub on the downstairs patio to enjoy the few cold mountain nights. The bottom floor had a media room for movie nights with the kids and a play room with ping pong, billiards, and air hockey. There was a large open fire pit in the front next to the waterfalls where we made s’mores every night.

And even with all that, the most incredible part of this home was being able to wake up at 7am (before the kids) to enjoy a cup of coffee while watching the sunrise and seeing the most amazing fog spread across the mountain tops.

That view was worth the entire trip for us!

Things to Do in the Blue Ridge Mountains

On this particular trip, we spent 6 event filled days in Blue Ridge, Georgia. Here are some of our favorite activities from the trip and our top must do activities when visiting the Blue Ridge Mountains!

Atlanta Aquarium

This aquarium is amazing, and the kids will love it. Take some extra time after flying into Atlanta before heading to Blue Ridge, or before you head home, check out this great aquarium.

Mercier Orchards

For us, this stop is one of the most memorable stops in Blue Ridge. There is something so special about visiting an orchard. We took a hay ride with the kiddos up to the orchard fields where they let you roam around picking and eating apples. The kids had a blast, and Mason even lost a tooth biting into an apple!

After picking apples, we walked around their enormous shop trying homemade foods and buying tons of their famous maple syrup and homemade fried apple pies. The fried apple pies disappeared before we even made it back to the car!

Burt’s Farm

What is fall without a pumpkin patch? This day was so much fun! Besides a few major temper tantrums, we managed to have a really great time. The ride around this property on the tractor was so much fun, and the kids had a blast. We got to see how the pumpkins grow and some of the biggest pumpkins we have ever seen! And of course, they had fun Halloween decorations to give us some good decorating ideas for home!

Hiking

The parents decided that one afternoon the guys would get some alone time, and the ladies would get to do the same the next day. Our husbands went fly fishing in the Toccoa River (please see the hilarious, yet handsome, photo below), and we went hiking.

We made videos on toddler bathroom accidents and literally almost peed our pants laughing so hard!

Everyone was in full hiking gear, but we were probably the least prepared on our trail! We hiked at Springer Mountain, which is the very beginning of the Appalachian trail that leads north all the way up to Maine. There are so many great hikes and waterfalls around the Blue Ridge Mountains, even ones that are less challenging and more kid friendly.

Lily Pad Village

This spot has the cutest little fishing pond and gem mining spot that you ever did see! The kids loved spending the morning here. They sorted through their rock buckets full of soil, mining for gems and keeping some of the cool rocks and gems they found. We spent some time fishing by the pond using live bait. They also have a mini-golf course built into the side of the mountain!

Blue Ridge Scenic Railway

This trip was very cool for the kids and great for the parents, especially if you go during the fall when the leaves are changing. The scenery on the ride is beautiful. The hour-long train ride on Blue Ridge’s old train cars takes you to a quaint town in Tennessee where you can shop the general stores and enjoy some southern food.

Our kids enjoyed riding the train and sitting in the open cart! Also, close to the train station in Blue Ridge is an amazing public park for the kids. We spent a lot of time there, until one of the kids had an accident in his pants, and we had to leave!

Three Sisters Fudge & Das Kauffee Haus

All day, every day! We ate so much fudge and drank so much coffee, and I am not upset about it! These are just two of the many perfect little shops you can stop at for fudge and coffee in downtown Blue Ridge.

We are obsessed with walking around main street going in and out of all their great shops.

BBQ and S’mores

Do not miss out on BBQ and s’mores – you don’t even have to leave your cabin! Yes, going out to dinner is fun but not always with 6 kids in tow. So we cooked at the cabin most of the time, and it made things a lot easier. We ate dinner outside and built a fire for the kids to make s’mores.

Some of our best memories from this trip were made staying home at the cabin!

Once the kids were in bed by 8:30pm, the parents enjoyed alone time and even some of our own s’mores, too!

Black Sheep Restaurant

Hands down, Black Sheep is the restaurant you want to visit in Blue Ridge. We were lucky enough to have one parent’s night out during the trip and decided to head to the main street of Blue Ridge and try this raved about dinner spot. This place is an historical home converted into one of the coolest restaurants we have ever seen. In the past when we visited Blue Ridge, we heard about this place but we didn’t feel like it would be family friendly.

But on this trip, new owners had completely revamped the restaurant in the best way possible. The ambiance and atmosphere are comfortable and casual, but it still has that fine dining feel we were craving.

We were lucky to be seated outside on the patio where the guys could watch their football during the meal. They even have an old-school movie night on the front lawn, which is such a great touch for bringing families and children to the restaurant!

Our meal was amazing, and the food was top notch. Seriously, everything was delicious, but we must say the crab cakes and the lamb bolognese were our favorites. For dessert, we had the most amazing pumpkin cheesecake ever…a slice of heaven.

Tips on Traveling with Kids

Oh man…before you do anything else, read this article Katie wrote on traveling with kids.

Now, for the tips. Our first tip is simple – just don’t take the kids with you!

Just kidding!

We were all nervous before we left, but I have to say, the kids were great. We had a few tantrums and one nasty cold that spread around fast, but we did well. The one thing that helped us immensely was preparation!

For the airport, make sure you stock snacks, iPads, movies, games, and whatever you can stuff in your bag. Entertainment and distraction are key! We had some really fun travel games that the kids LOVED playing.

The looks we got boarding a plane with 6 kids were laughable. But never say you’re sorry as a mom. We realized we were apologizing for having kids on the plane…that’s ridiculous, right? This is life. Kids fly, and we will do our very best to keep them happy, but sometimes, kids will be kids. Luckily, ours all behaved pretty well, and we didn’t get too many dirty looks.

A great tip to keep your kid busy and interested is to let them oversee their own suitcase. Each kid had their own personalized suitcase that they were responsible for. It was so cute how much they loved having matching luggage with their cousins, and they were proud to show off their bags!

We also brought nap mats which the kids used for movie nights in the media room. Sleeping bags would be fun, too!

Final Thoughts on Traveling to the Blue Ridge Mountains

All we can say is that Blue Ridge is a magical escape that takes you to a different world. It’s a great place for families or for couples.

Blue Ridge has it all!

We are so happy we discovered this amazing vacation spot, so we can create more memories over the years. All the cabins from Escape to Blue Ridge are incredible. We have stayed in a few cabins now, but if you need a 4+ bedroom home, and it is available, we highly recommend you book the cabin Falling Waters Lodge. It has that special, warm feeling of home you long for on family vacations. We most certainly will go back!

Thanks Escape to Blue Ridge for having us and letting us experience this amazing trip with our families!

Love,

Carrie, Katie, and Alison

*This trip was sponsored but all opinions are our own! We mean it!

Blue Ridge Fall Bucket List



Fall in the mountains is a special time of year. The temperatures begin to drop to more moderate levels, the leaves turn to beautiful colors, and we can finally don our favorite sweaters and boots! There is always so much to do, both inside and outside, when you Escape to Blue Ridge to experience some fall fun! Here are a few ideas to make this time of year extra special while you create memories with your favorite people!

Scenic Drives

Brasstown Bald Courtesy of Sunrise Grocery

This is the most beautiful time of the year to pack up the family or gather your friends and hit the road for some beautiful leaf peeping! Here are our three favorites:

  1. The Russell-Brasstown Scenic Byway is a nationally designated Scenic Byway that is 40.64 miles in length and makes a loop through the heart of the Chattahoochee National Forest. 
  2. Brasstown Bald rises 4,784 feet above sea level and is Georgia’s tallest mountain. Visitors to this place on high find an observation deck which allows a spectacular 360-degree view of the Blue Ridge Mountains, exhibits, a film, hiking trails, and gift shop.
  3. The Southern Highroads Trail can be traveled in its entirety or in sections.  This very scenic route travels through four national forests (Chattahoochee, Nantahala, Cherokee, and Sumter) and four states (North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia)

Come on Ride That Train

Photo Courtesy of Blue Ridge Scenic Railway

Fall in the Blue Ridge Mountains is best seen via railway through the Chattahoochee National Forest. Board the eleven-car Blue Ridge Scenic Railway train and enjoy a relaxing 26-mile roundtrip journey beginning and ending in downtown Blue Ridge with a stop in the newly revitalized twin cities of McCaysville, Ga & Copperhill, TN.  

Local Tip: Choose one of the three open air cars to have unobstructed views and to breathe in the fresh mountain air!

Take A Hike

Photo Courtesy of Daniel Frank

There is not another season that encourages you to pause and look around quite like Fall. We think nature is best experienced slowly because sometimes when you’re hiking it can be easy to focus more on the destination or watching where you step. However, in the Fall, bright colors implore you to look away from the ground and towards the colorful trees that make this season so special. Take your time and look up!

Local Tip: Explore the Aska Adventure area with 17 miles of trails to take in the beauty of the season. You can even incorporate the Long Creek Falls loop!

Pick a Peck

Photo Courtesy of Mercier Orchards

We can’t really think of a much more iconic fall activity than picking a pick of apples and finding the perfect pumpkin. Right here in Blue Ridge, Mercier Orchards offers you the opportunity to do both. Take a hayride around the property, enjoy a cup of hot apple cider, or warm up from the inside out with some delicious hard cider!

Local Tip: The best part of apple picking isn’t just about going home with yummy apples, it’s about spending quality time with your loved ones and enjoying the fresh air. Make sure to take lots of pictures, that way the memories will last a lifetime.

Star Gazing

Photo Courtesy of Scott Michael Anna

Watching the stars, moon, and planets shine in real time can be a powerful reminder of how big our world really is and when you look up into the Blue Ridge sky you’ll see why autumn is the best time for star gazing! So, grab a blanket, a thermos of hot chocolate, and a special someone and cuddle up under the stars for a fascinating and romantic evening. Download a Stargazing app to help decipher exactly what you’re looking at and learn about the stories of the constellations.

Fireside Fun

Toccoa Lookout Cottage

What better way to enjoy the fall season than with a warm and toasty fire on the deck or down at the fire pit! This is really a fall MUST. It’s not optional. The air is just so fresh and clean, the crickets and frogs are chirping, and your heart is warmer than the flames with all the chitter chatter while you roast up marshmallows for the perfect s’mores.

Fall Food

Your cabin comes fully stocked with everything you might need to make delicious meals for your friends and family. Since you came back with more pecs of apples than you planned on, let’s put the fruits of your labor to work and make some yummy fall recipes like:

  1. Apple Pie
  2. Pumpkin Stew
  3. Apple Stuffed Porkchops
  4. Cinnamon Stewed Apples
  5. Chicken Pot Pie

Fall Drinks

The best part about fall evenings is sitting on the porch (or in the hot tub) and watching the sun set over the beautiful mountain tops. Instead of the same ol wine and/or beer that you normally would have, impress your friends with some autumn inspired beverages. Apple Cider – Adult Style

  1. Apple Cider – Adult Style
  2. Pumpkin Spice White Russian
  3. Applejack
  4. Fall ‘Tini
  5. Harvest Punch

Leaf Art

Mother Nature produces colors that make Crayola Crayons jealous! So, why do we think they have to stay put outside? Pick up for favorite leaves, of all different colors and shapes, and bring them into the cabin to make your stay even more homey feeling.  Create a simple centerpiece for the table or place some around the fireplace mantle in a decorative fashion. Regardless of whether or not you have children vacationing with you, you can try your hand at some of these fun fall leaf crafts.  You don’t have to be super crafty to make something beautiful. Besides, the fun is in the laughter and memories you make with your loved ones.

Be Thankful

Make a “thankfulness” list. With the Thanksgiving holiday just around the corner, take the time to make a list of all the things you are thankful for in your life. If you have children, make it a family project and teach them the value of remembering all the good things that they have been experiencing during the year.

Fire Pit Fixings



Last week this blog featured a tremendous round up of cabins with great firepits. One of our favorite things about the weather changing is sitting around the fire pit with a chill in the air, but you are completely warm, not just by the heat of the fire but by the company you are so enjoying.  Adding to the ambiance of the evening includes singing songs, swapping tall tales, and of course fire pit cooking!

It’s so fun if someone in your group has a guitar or harmonica, they could play for everyone to sing and clap along, but you don’t even need music to sing your favorite campfire songs! Telling ghost stories always proves to be a good time too. Although the ghost stories typically end up in squeals of laughter because you know that one person that is SUPER scared and they end up falling out of the chair, jumping & panicking, or making funny noises as they try to tame their heebee geebies. Oh yes, good times! Most importantly, you can’t forget about marshmallows!

Who doesn’t love to roast marshmallows? This might be the best and most memorable part about having an outside fire. First, you go on a stick hunt to find that perfect length and sturdiness then roast your marshmallow to the perfect amount of burnt that you prefer. Or, take it to the next level and break out the chocolate and Graham crackers for a melt in your mouth, perfectly crafted s’mores! But s’mores aren’t the only thing you can cook over the fire. Try one (or all) of these “fire pit fixing” ideas next time you Escape to Blue Ridge!

The Healthy-ish Approach

Have you ever considered roasting fruit over an open fire? No? Well, you should because it is F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S! Choose from pineapple, bananas, watermelon, apples or peaches. The fruit sugars almost caramelize making for a divinely delicious guilt free treat. Of course, having a little caramel or chocolate on hand to dip your roasted fruit into never hurt anyone, and definitely adds more “pow” to your taste buds! Make ahead fruit kabobs or just place them on your stick like you would a marshmallow! Side note: strawberries dipped in marshmallow fluff and then roasted will make your mouth do a happy dance!

Go Fancy

Who says fire pit cooking has to be basic and boring? Impress your guests with fireside Shrimp Scampi! This meal is super easy to prepare, but even more divine to eat! All you need is foil, butter, peeled & deveined shrimp, a little lemon, and your favorite seasonings. We typically improvise with a little bit of this and a little bit of that, but for you by-the-bookers, here’s a simple go to recipe with exact measurements.

Classic

It may not be fancy, but there is something extra delicious about a roasted hot dog! It really doesn’t get any easier than this. Pick your favorite dog, we are partial to the Hebrew National all beef hot dogs, pierce it with your stick and roast away. You can even toast your hot dog bun on a stick for a well-rounded hot dog experience!

Kid Friendly

Fast, easy and delicious…that’s my kind of cooking!  You can prepare these French bread pizzas ahead of time or create a little make-your-own station on the picnic table. Slice your French bread, cover with marina sauce, add your favorite toppings (pepperoni, mushrooms, Canadian bacon, olives) and finish with mozzarella cheese. Wrap your creation in heavy duty aluminum foil and throw them on the fire!

Dare To Be Different

Super easy, but super delicious is campfire cinnamon rolls! Simply buy your favorite brand of refrigerated cinnamon rolls, we personally love Pillsbury Grands. All you have to do is unroll a cinnamon bun and divide the long pieces of dough into sections. Wrap a portion around your stick, careful not overlap for even cooking, and roast away!  

Next Level S’mores

Bacon. Yes, you read that right. A little graham cracker, a little marshmallow, a little chocolate, and a couple of pieces of bacon (which you could also roast over the fire) will have your tongue jump out and lick the eyebrows right off your head!

We also encourage you to mix up your chocolate options. Truth be told, it’s hard to beat a piece of Hershey’s Milk Chocolate, but have you ever thought of using a Reese’s Peanut Butter cup? What about a Kit Kat Bar? We suggest you try a York Peppermint Patty next time, you won’t regret it. In fact, you may never go back to the traditional s’mores again!

Adults Only

If you’re looking for a way to warm up from the inside out, a Hot Toddy is definitely in order and extra enjoyable sitting outside by the fire. Boil water over your fire and add a tea bag to your cup. Let your tea steep for about two minutes, then add a shot (or two) of whiskey, a little honey, a slice of lemon, and some cloves for extra spice. Bam! Now we are ready to make some fireside memories!