Unusual things to do in Georgia with older kids

The remains of a Civil War-era mill in Douglas County are being renovated this summer to allow for tours to resume. The site was shut down to visitors two years ago when it was discovered some of the walls were leaning dangerously. CONTRIBUTED BY GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES
GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES

If your child isn’t the waterfalls and petting zoo type, we have some ideas for you.

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 some creepy and/or unusual things that older kids will enjoy.

Tank Town USA

Tank Town 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 must 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.

Location: 10408 Appalachian Hwy, Morganton, GA 30560; Website: tanktownusa.com Contact: 706-633-6072

New Manchester Manufacturing Co.

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.

Location: 1750 Mount Vernon Road, Lithia Springs, GA; Website: gastateparks.org/SweetwaterCreek; Contact: 770-732-5871

Doll’s Head Trail

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.

Location: Intown - 1305 S River Industrial Blvd. SE

Hawkinsville Glow Worms

Two hours south of Atlanta is the hometown of the Hawkinsville Glow Worms. 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.

Location: US Highway 129/Jackson St., Hawkinsville , GA; Website: visithawkinsville.com

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