Five unusual things to do in Georgia with older kids

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Five unusual things to do in Georgia with older kids

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HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM
This is one of the "found art" pieces along Dolls Head Trail in DeKalb.

Not every kid likes trips to waterfalls and petting zoos.

Some kids – especially older ones – enjoy an element of creepy to their activities. So for the older kid during school vacations, here are five creepy and unusual things that older kids will enjoy.

GBI Museum

3121 Panthersville Road, Decatur, Ga. 30034 http://gbi.georgia.gov/

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation might not let you roam their halls freely, but during normal business hours you can visit their museum. Want to see the monkey from Mars? How about a hatchet used in some voodoo killings? It's not everyone's cup of creepy tea, but for those interested it is a bonanza of oddities and artifacts.

Liebross offers excavator and bulldozer experiences, too. Each costs $50 as does the tank-driving experience. And for the truly adventurous, there's one more option -- car crushing. Nelson Hicks

Tank Town USA

10408 Appalachian Hwy, Morganton, Ga. 30560 http://tanktownusa.com/

This one isn't free. You pay about $100 and more to do amazing things like drive a tank or an excavator – you can even crush a car for the right price. You have to be at least 15 years old and have a learner's permit, but it is certainly not something you or your kids will forget. You get a quickie course and then you're good to go. Passengers must be at least 7 years old, so this isn't one for the toddler crowd.

Volunteer Dan Emsweller (from left ) recounts the history of the old mill at Sweetwater Creek State Park to visitors Stephen Gsell, Michelle Wierson, Ernest Evans and Phil Wierson. STAFF / 2009 photo

New Manchester Manufacturing Co.

1750 Mount Vernon Road, Lithia Springs, Georgia. http://gastateparks.org/SweetwaterCreek

This abandoned mill in Sweetwater Creek State Park is being reclaimed by kudzu, but it's a great place for an easy hike. The textile mill was bombed during the Civil War, and you can schedule a guided tour or make your own. There are rumors of ghosts haunting the mill, so that adds a little element of the unusual to your visit. Make sure to bring a camera, because the photo ops are amazing.

Doll's Head Trail

S River Industrial Blvd. SE, Atlanta, Georgia. 30316 http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/dolls-head-trail-2

Not just creepy, but interesting, too. The Doll's Head Trail might look like something out of your nightmares, but it's actually found art from around Constitution Lake. There are signs that will direct you to the trail. Feel free to add your own art and take pictures, but leave things like you found them. It can get a bit muddy and overgrown, so wear jeans and close-toed shoes.

The worms secrete a glowing blue slime that is similar to what makes fireflies light up. Milton J. Cormier

Hawkinsville Glow Worms

US Highway 129/Jackson Street, Hawkinsville, Georgia.

Two hours south of Atlanta is the town of Hawkinsville. It's known for farming, horses and glow worms. Yes, you read it right. Take a little walk into the woods in Hawkinsville (there is a lovely park with a lake called Mile Branch Landing/Park) and keep your eyes open for sandy soil. If you hammer a stake into the soil enough to make it vibrate, the worms will usually come to you. The worms secrete a glowing blue slime that is similar to what makes fireflies light up.

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