The leaves are turning, the dogs are shedding and the flannels are looking cozier by the day.
That can only mean one thing: it's corn maze time.
Here are the best places to spend a Friday going all-in on autumn in Atlanta.
September 23 - October 31
628 Sleepy Hollow Road, Powder Springs
There are quite a few farms dotting Atlanta's outer band of suburbs where autumn brings the annual re-opening of corn mazes, hay rides, and pumpkin patches, but none offer quite as much fun as the ambitious efforts at Sleepy Hollow Farm. In a single trip to Sleepy Hollow you could enjoy a hay ride on a tractor, the challenge of a corn maze, the obvious joy of petting farm animals, and the family fun that is pumpkin selection from the pumpkin patch.
What makes Sleepy Hollow such a great choice for fall farm fun, though, is all the extra stuff. You see, Sleepy Hollow is also home to Escape Woods, the ambitious and sometimes frightening outdoor escape rooms that immerse participants in an experience more akin to being in a movie than simply solving a puzzle. Tickets and hours of operation are online here.
2012 Hosea L Williams Drive NE, Atlanta
7-10 p.m. Friday, September 22
It's always nice when drinking more than 80 glasses of wine in chic part of town contributes to a good cause. Such is the opportunity at the 11th annual Kirkwood wine stroll, where businesses in the historic neighborhood are opening their doors and slinging wine from all over. Tickets are $50 at the door (check-in is at Urban Pie), which buys you entrance into 40 spots, wine and, of course, a souvenir wine glass. Though the event ends promptly at 10 p.m., many restaurants will stay open and continue to serve food and drinks into the night. Do buzzy-you a solid and take an Uber or a MARTA train, as there is no parking for the event anyhow.
6624 Dawson Blvd., Norcross
September 22 - November 5
Soon, Netherworld really will be nothing more than a ghost. At least, in Norcross. The longtime haunted house pops up each year along the I-85 corridor offering screams and thrills for the brave. But when in November the haunted experience closes its doors at the end of the Halloween season, it will be for the last time. The group has, however, opened an escape room in Stone Mountain called Escape the Netherworld, where surely the Halloween fun will continue for years to come.
October 20-29, 5:30-10:30 p.m.
248 Oakland Ave. SE, Atlanta
Each year, historic Oakland Cemetery lights up after dark in October to offer their "Capturing the Spirit of Oakland Halloween tours." A costumed tour guide strolls through the Victorian gardens and brings stories to life from Atlanta's past, telling of the notable and sometimes haunted pasts of those whose final resting places are there among the dead at Oakland Cemetery. It's quite a list; one that includes Margaret Mitchell and Bobby Jones. The event also includes musical performances, guests arriving in costume, and even a fortune-teller. This year, ticket sales have moved faster than ever, and you should hurry to get yours now if you'd like to attend.
680 Dallas St NE, Atlanta
Maybe they'll have extra desserts on hand as Taste of Atlanta enters that sweet 16th year this October, albeit in a new location at Fourth Ward Park. The Taste of Atlanta event is one of the best in the city for foodies (along with Atlanta Food & Wine festival in May), bringing together taste-makers, food lovers, demonstrations and, of course, a sampling of food, craft beers and cocktails from a who's-who of food in the metro area. Tickets to the Friday kick-off party are $85, and there are two tiers of Saturday and Sunday tickets available at $25 and $75, respectively.
Bonus: Hit a fall festival or three
Fall marks the end of Atlanta's festival calendar, and there are several large scale events to choose from in the weeks to come. Imagine Festival returns to Atlanta Motor Speedway in 2017 (Sep. 22-24), for fans of EDM. AC3 is a hip-hop festival that starts as a conference (October 4-6) and ends as a two-day concert (October 7-8) with dozens of speakers (like executives from Spotify, Coca-Cola and various record labels) and performing artists like Nas and Rich Homie Quan set to hit the stage. And the largest pride festival in the south − Atlanta Pride −will return of to Piedmont Park (October 13-15) this fall.