Best Blueberry Farms Around Atlanta

Your family will love picking fresh berries right off the bush just like the classic children’s book, “Blueberries for Sal.” Locations around the Atlanta area offer inexpensive options for picking. Admission and farm activities may be extra.

Come ready to pick as many blueberries as you can collect! Berries are available until the bushes are picked clean, so make sure to call ahead or check websites before visiting. Blueberry conditions change from day to day. Maintain safe social distance practices and wear masks before visiting these farms.

Mercier Orchards

Head to Blue Ridge for Mercier Orchards’ Farm, which plans to have u-pick blueberries starting in June. Take in the beauty of the 300-acre farm with a tractor ride, and stop by the café or market for delicious food and treats. In July, you can also pick blackberries.

Southern Belle Farm

This McDonough farm has a two-acre blueberry patch for pick-your-own, or you can grab pre-picked berries at their market, which also has baked goods, jams, honey, fruit ciders and more. Visit with chickens, donkeys, cows, goats, horses and more at Belle’s Barn. U-pick begins on June 7.

Mitcham Farm

In summer, you can pick your own blueberries or blackberries at this cute farm in Oxford, 45 minutes east of Atlanta. Fresh produce also includes sweet corn, cucumbers, beans, okra, onions, peaches and more. They also sell homemade strawberry jam, local honey, frog jam, preserves and strawberry slushies at their Farm Stand.

Cool Springs Blueberry Farm

Cool Springs Blueberry Farm

Cool Springs Blueberry Farm

This Gainesville farm plans to open for the season on June 19. Blueberries and blackberries are available for u-pick or pre-pick. Enjoy refreshments and browse the gift shop with arts and crafts from local artisans. Blueberry availability for 2021 is limited.

Adams Farm

Since 1805, this family-owned farm in Fayetteville has been a staple for fruits and vegetables. In summer, head here for three varieties of blueberries, two varieties of blackberries and three varieties of raspberries. The market and u-pick fields are open Mondays through Saturdays, and u-pick is projected to run from June 1-Aug. 1.

Tuckaway Blueberry Farm

This family-owned and operated blueberry farm is located in Loganville with more than 500 rabbit eye blueberry bushes. They’re planning to open later in June.

Lone Oak Farms

Lone Oak Farms in Grantville is open seven days a week during blueberry season, which starts in July.

Fleeman’s U-Pick Blueberries

Travel to Winder to pick blueberries at this family-owned farm. Expected to open in mid-June.

These farms will not have blueberries for the 2021 season:

Berry Patch Farms

The history of this Woodstock farm began in 1978 when the owners bought 40 acres of land for blueberries, pumpkins and Christmas trees.

Washington Farms

This Bogart farm offers u-pick blueberries, and you can also grab homemade ice cream or kettle corn. Activities include a cow train, petting zoo, ziplines, wagon rides, games and more for family fun.

DJ’s U-Pick Blueberry Farm

This Lawrenceville farm offers u-pick by the gallon as you peruse the blueberry fields. Kids will love viewing the Scottish Highland Cows, Coco and Rudolph, as well as the goats, and you can even bring bread and veggies to feed them. They’re planning to open the second week of June.

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Best Family-Friendly Farmers Markets in Atlanta

Heritage Sandy Springs Farmers Market

Nothing beats the taste of fruits and veggies direct from the field, but you can also pick up sweets, homemade products and baked goods and more, which make these markets a destination for families.

Due to COVID-19, farmers markets have implemented safety measures, including social distancing, wearing masks, preordering or curbside pickup and more. Most are not offering their family-friendly attractions at this time, but instead are operating solely as food stores. Please follow safety precautions when visiting these markets.

Alpharetta Farmers Market

Herbs and flowers, dairy items, local produce, breads and sweets, live music, chef demos and special events keep families coming.
When: Saturdays, 8:30 a.m.-noon
Where: Town Green at City Center – North and South Broad St., Alpharetta

Dunwoody Farmers Market

Shop produce, breads, honey, peaches, candies, cookies, Indian food and more.
When: Saturdays, 9 a.m.-noon through Dec. 18
Where: Brook Run Park – 4770 N. Peachtree Rd., Dunwoody

Freedom Farmers Market

Freedom Farmers Market

Find a wide range of organic, local products, including produce, meats, cheeses, yogurt, butter, milk, eggs, baked goods, coffee and more.
When: Saturdays, 8:30 a.m.-noon
Where: Carter Center Library – 453 Freedom Pkwy. NE, Atlanta

Sandy Springs Farmers Market

Sandy Springs Farmers Market

Shop vendors for locally-grown produce, dairy products, meat, eggs, specialty foods and more.
When: Saturdays, 8:30 a.m.-noon through Nov. 20
Where: City Springs – 1 Galambos Way, Sandy Springs

Piedmont Park Green Market

Shop food vendors for seasonal produce, coffee, baked goods, meat, dairy and more.
When: Saturdays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. through Nov.
Where: Piedmont Park – 12th St. and Piedmont, Atlanta

Marietta Square Farmers Market

In-season fruits and veggies, meats, cheese, pastries and more from 65 vendors lining the stalls just off the square.
When: Saturdays, 9 a.m.-noon
Where: 41 Mill St., Marietta

Peachtree Road Farmers Market

Shop in person or preorder a wide variety of produce, breads, meats, dairy items, condiments and art at this popular market.
When: Saturdays, 8:30 a.m.-noon through Dec. 18
Where: The Cathedral of St. Philip – 2744 Peachtree Rd. NW, Atlanta

Serenbe Farmers Market

Enjoy local and sustainable produce, artisan crafts, farm tours, chef demos and more. Drive through and pick up on Fridays from 3:30-5:30 p.m.
When: Saturdays, 9 a.m.-noon through Oct. 30
Where: 9110 Selborne Ln., Palmetto

Acworth Farmers Market

Local vegetables and fruits, plants, jams, jellies, baked goods, cookies and more at this downtown market.
When: Fridays, 8 a.m.-noon through Oct. 29
Where: Logan Farm Park – 4405 Cherokee St., Acworth

Atlanta State Farmers Market

Stretching 150 acres, the Atlanta Market is considered one of the largest of its kind in the world. It features a garden center, wholesale and retail activities and fresh produce.
When: Open 24 hours, 7 days a week
Where: 16 Forest Pkwy., Forest Park

Avondale Farmers Market

Local produce, baked goods, flowers, fruit and pet provisions are just a few of the vendors at this popular market in DeKalb County. Coloring books and sidewalk chalk, located at the information booth, keep younger kids busy.
When: Sundays, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Where: My Parents Basement – 22 N. Avondale Rd., Avondale Estates

Farmers Market at The Battery Atlanta

Local vendors sell prepared foods, artisanal bread, home décor, beauty products and more.
When: June 13, 27; July 25; Aug. 15, 22; Sept. 5, 19, 26, 1-4 p.m.
Where: The Battery Atlanta – 755 Battery Ave. SE, Atlanta

Bolton Road Farmers & Artisan Market

Shoppers come for the fresh produce, handmade crafts, and to visit with their neighbors.
When: Sundays, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Where: 2081 Bolton Rd. NW, Atlanta

Brookhaven Farmers Market

Live music entertains as shoppers browse for vegetables, fruits, fresh bakery items, eggs, seafood and more.
When: Saturdays, 9 a.m.-noon through Nov. 20
Where: 1375 Fernwood Cir. NE, Brookhaven

Courtesy of Alpharetta Convention and Visitors Bureau

Canton Farmers Market

Purchase fresh fruits and veggies, prepackaged foods and prepared food vendors.
When: Saturdays, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. through Oct. 16
Where: Brown Park – 251 E. Marietta St., Canton

Clayton Farmers Market

Local produce, jams and jellies, fresh baked goods and local honey are featured at this market, along with herbs and spices, pottery and soap.
When: Saturdays, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Where: Covered Bridge Plaza – 46 Plaza Way, Clayton

The Market at Collegetown Farm

Live music, chef demos, produce, yoga and monthly health screenings draw crowds to this Friday farmers’ market.
When: Fridays, 2-6 p.m.
Where: 324 Lawton St. SW, Atlanta

Cotton Mill Farmers Market

Farmers within a 50-mile radius of downtown Carrollton bring fruits, vegetables, herbs, art such as stained glass, pottery and jewelry and much more to this weekly market.
When: Saturdays, 8-11 a.m.
Where: 609 Dixie St., Carrollton

Coweta County Farmers Market

The first Saturday of each month is Market Day, where you can shop more than 55 vendors.
When: First Saturday of each month, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. through Dec. 4
Where: 6 First Ave., Newnan

Decatur Farmers Market

Located on the front lawn of the First Baptist Church near downtown Decatur, shop produce and products or pickup items at this market.
When: Wednesdays, 4-7 p.m. through Nov. 17
Where: 308 Clairemont Ave., Decatur

East Atlanta Village Farmers Market

This colorful market offers produce, artisan foods, handmade soaps and local artist works to shop or for pickup.
When: Thursdays, 4-7 p.m. through Nov. 18
Where: 572 Stokeswood Ave., Atlanta

East Point Farmers Market

Sustainably grown local produce, baked goods, popsicles, coffee, and crafts are some of the many items available at this year-round market.
When: Wednesdays, 4-7 p.m.
Where: City Hall Green – 2757 E. Point St., East Point

Fresh MARTA Market

This pop-up farm stand appears four days a week in four MARTA stations, offering fresh produce to those who may not have time to visit a traditional farmers market.
When: Tues.-Fri., 3-7 p.m.
Where: West End (Tues.), H.E. Holmes (Wed.), West Bankhead (Wed.), College Park (Thur.) and Five Points (Fri.)

Grant Park Farmers Market

Weekly free celebrity chef demonstrations and great locally-grown veggies, meats, breads and artisan foods.
When: Sundays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Where: Beacon Atlanta/Eventide Brewing – 1039 Grant St. SE, Atlanta

Kennesaw Farmers Market

More than 20 vendors will offer vegetables, fruits, baked goods and specialty items.
When: Wednesdays, 3:30-7:30 p.m.
Where: Kennesaw First Baptist Church – 2958 N. Main St., Kennesaw

Lilburn Farmers Market

Enjoy locally grown and produced fruits, vegetables, herbs, jellies, breads, milks, soaps and more.
When: Fridays, 4-7 p.m. through Aug.
Where: 1400 Killian Hill Rd., Lilburn

Mableton Farmers Market

Purchase fresh fruits and vegetables, preserves, baked goods and more, and learn more about healthy eating habits and wellness.
When: Thursdays, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. through Aug. 12
Where: Mable House Complex – 5239 Floyd Rd. SW, Mableton

Morningside Farmers Market

All of the produce at Morningside Farmers Market is certified organic. You can also shop for meats, baked goods, flowers, fresh-baked goods, pasta, granola and more.
When: Saturdays, 8-11:30 a.m.
Where: Morningside Presbyterian Church – 1411 N. Morningside Dr., Atlanta

Norcross Community Market

Browse vendors online at this drive-thru market for produce, refreshments, bath and body products, eggs and more.
When: Saturdays, 9-11 a.m.
Where: City Hall – 65 Lawrenceville St., Norcross

Peachtree City Market

More than 60 vendors of fruits and vegetables, meat, coffee, honey, plants, BBQ and more.
When: Wednesdays and Saturdays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Where: Aberdeen Village Shopping Center – 215 Northlake Dr., Peachtree City

Ponce City Farmers Market

This market hosts some of Atlanta’s finest local food talent, including farmers, food makers and pop-up chefs.
When: Wednesdays, 4-8 p.m. through Nov. 17
Where: The Shed on the BeltLine at Ponce City Market – 675 Ponce De Leon Ave. NE, Atlanta

Courtesy of Alpharetta Convention and Visitors Bureau

Roswell Farmers and Artisans Market

Enjoy live music and chef demos while shopping for fresh produce, baked goods and more. Kids can collect stamps for the Kids Club educational program and receive a meal from a local restaurant.
When: Saturdays, 8 a.m.-noon through Oct.
Where: Roswell Presbyterian Church – 755 Mimosa Blvd., Roswell

Snellville Farmers Market

The Market features products that come from farms and gardens that are located, for the most part, within a 100-mile radius of Snellville. Sample barbecue, baked goods, breads and pick up fresh fruits and veggies as well as other types of produce.
When: Saturdays, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. from June 5-Sept. 25
Where: Towne Green – 2342 Oak Rd., Snellville

Stone Mountain Farmers Market

Shop local produce and handcrafted items.
When: Opening June 8. Tuesdays, 4-7 p.m. through June 29
Where: 922 Main St., Stone Mountain

Suwanee Farmers Market

Locally grown produce and a variety of other items such as meat, eggs, salsa, honey, and baked goods.
When: Saturdays, 8 a.m.-noon through Sept. 25
Where: Suwanee Town Center Park – 330 Town Center Ave., Suwanee

Tucker Farmers Market

Functioning as an online marketplace, shop produce, nuts, meats, baked goods, prepared foods and more.
When: Thursdays, 4-6 p.m.
Where: St. Andrews Presbyterian Church – 4882 Lavista Rd., Tucker

Vickery Village Farmers Market

Organic, locally-produced foods are the focus at the Vickery Village Market. Shop for produce, pasta, bread, beef, eggs and more.
When: Thursdays, 9 a.m.-noon
Where: 5855 S. Vickery St., Cumming

Vinings Jubilee Farmers Market

Shop from local vendors for produce, organic bath products, pasta and more.
When: Thursdays, 2:30-6 p.m. through July 29
Where: 4300 Paces Ferry Rd. SE, Vinings

Woodstock Fresh Farm Market

Locally grown produce available.
When: Saturdays, 8:30 a.m.-noon through Dec. 18
Where: Market St., Woodstock

Check back soon for updates on the 2021 season:

West End Farmers Market-ATL

West End Farmers Market Atlanta has cooking and craft demos, fresh produce, flowers and more, along with live music.
When: Fridays, 4-8 p.m. and Saturdays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Where: Gordon-White Park – 1354 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd. SW, Atlanta

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Celebrate National Donut Day!

June 4 is National Donut Day! Here’s where you can score a free donut this Friday:

Krispy Kreme

Participating Krispy Kreme locations are offering a free donut of your choice on Friday. Plus, show your COVID-19 vaccination card and receive a free glazed donut, too!

Dunkin’ Donuts

Get a free classic donut of your choice, including Boston kreme, glazed, glazed chocolate or jelly filled, with the purchase of any beverage at Dunkin’ Donuts.

Duck Donuts

Get a free cinnamon sugar, powdered sugar or bare donut at Duck Donuts participating locations.

Find lots more tasty options at one of our Favorite Donut Shops in Atlanta.

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Best 4th of July Crafts, Recipes and Games

Get crafty this Fourth of July and create some fun crafts, games and yummy recipes to celebrate the patriotic holiday. Also don’t miss our list of Fourth of July Parades, Fireworks and Events.

Crafts:

Patriotic T-Shirt

You will need: white t-shirt; cardboard; masking tape; blue and red fabric paint and small star stickers. Place a piece of cardboard in between the two layers of the t-shirt; this will prevent the paint from leaking to the back of the shirt. Use masking tape to section off the star portion of the flag and to make the white stripes. Dab with blue paint (make sure to dab enough paint around the stars so that the star shapes can be recognized). Wait until dry and remove star stickers.

Hand Print Flag

You will need: acrylic red, white and blue paint; paintbrushes; light blue and red paper and a white paint marker. Paint a blue square on the palm of hand and then paint white and red stripes down the fingers. Press down on light blue paper to make the print and once dry, mount on larger red paper for a frame.

4th of July Noise Maker

You will need: plastic water bottle; red, white, or blue spray paint and half-inch electrical tape; beans, gravel, or beads (any small objects); newspaper. Lay out the newspaper and then spray water bottles with one of the colors you choose (remove lid). Let dry completely then add beans, gravel or beads inside. Put the top on the bottle and decorate with red, white and blue tape.  Shake it up when attending 4th of July parades!

Painted Fireworks

You will need: heavy card stock or construction paper; liquid tempera paints; sponges (shaped like stars); straws; plastic pot scrubbers; stamps and cookie cutters. Use the sponges, stamps, scrubbers and cookie cutters to press designs onto your paper. Drop dabs of paint and blow on them with a straw for a wonderful fireworks design. (Safety tip: To prevent kids from accidentally sucking up the paint, put a small slit in the straw near the top). Use black paper to make white fireworks. Add glitter to make your fireworks sparkle.

Patriotic Wands or Torches

You will need: toilet paper or paper towel tubes, rolled up newspapers or dowel rods will all create a great wand or torch. Paint the tubes red, white and blue and then cut out paper strips or use streamers and tape them to the end of the rolls. Use red paper to look like fire.

Patriotic Flower Pot

You will need: a flower pot; painter’s tape; foam brushes; sealer and ¼” vinyl lettering stars. First, paint the whole pot white. Once dry, add painter’s tape, starting at the top, to create stripes. Paint the stripes red. Add the stars around the rim of the top then paint it blue. When dry, pick off the stars. Seal it with a fast drying sealer.

Sparkle Bottles

You will need: plastic water bottles with the labels removed; red, blue and silver star confetti; glycerin; water; glitter and ribbon. Fill ¾ of the water bottle with water. Add as much glitter and confetti as you want. Fill the rest of the bottle with glycerin. Replace lid and shake to mix together. Red confetti may cause the water to turn slightly pink. You can also tie a patriotic themed ribbon to the bottle for a fun finishing touch.

Easy Jar Candle Craft

You will need: glass jars; glue; a paint brush and festive decorations. Cover the jars with glue that’s been thinned with a little bit of water. The kids can decorate the jars with sequins, glitter, buttons and more. Let them dry before placing a tea light inside.

The Country Chic by Angie Holden

Patriotic Wreath

You will need: a pool noodle; garland strands; popsicle sticks and paint. Make a wreath from the pool noodle by making it a circle and taping it together with duct tape. Wrap the garland around the wreath. Glue the sticks together with hot glue, and paint an American flag with red, white and blue on the sticks. Using old boxes, you can cut out a four for the center of the wreath.

Recipes:

Blueberry Sparklers

You will need: 1 c. blueberries; 1 c. white chocolate; 1 tsp. vegetable oil; 2 tbsp. red and blue sprinkles and bamboo skewers. Spear eight blueberries onto each skewer. Melt chocolate chips and oil in the microwave for 30 seconds, stir and continue in 30 second increments until melted. Transfer chocolate into a plastic resealable bag, snip a corner of the bag and then drizzle chocolate over the blueberries and roll into the sprinkles.

Patriotic Oreo Pops

You will need: Wilton Candy Melts in Red, White and Royal Blue; Oreo Cookies; 4-inch; Lollipop sticks; assorted sprinkles (small or large stars); 3 Microwave-safe cups and Snack Size resealable plastic bags (optional – for drizzle decorations). Separate Oreos into two halves. Melt a small amount of white candy melts in the Microwave in 20-second increments, stirring well after each. Dip the end of a lollipop stick into the melted candy, and sandwich it between both halves of the Oreo. Allow the candy to cool and firm completely. Repeat this process half in the red and half in the blue melts. Decorate with sprinkles.

Red, White and Blue Fruit Skewers

You will need: 14-oz. angel food cake (cut about 1-inch cubes); 72-84 medium strawberries (about 3.5 lbs.) stems removed; 1 pint blueberries and 24 to 28 skewers. Thread 3 strawberries and 2 cubes of cake onto each skewer, alternating between strawberries and cake. Finish each skewers with 3 blueberries.

Cupcakes in a Jar

You will need: ½ pint canning jars; 1 vanilla cake mix; red and blue gel coloring and vanilla frosting. Prepare the vanilla cake batter, then divide equally into three bowls. Color one bowl red and one blue (using concentrated gel coloring). Leave the third bowl uncolored. Prepare three 9-inch cake pans by greasing lightly and lining with parchment paper. Fill each pan with a single color of batter and bake according to package instructions. Once baked, allow cakes to cool, then carefully remove cakes from pans and level as needed. Use a 2-inch round cookie cutter to cut out circles of cake. Fill a piping bag with frosting. In each jar, layer blue cake, a little frosting, white cake, a little frosting, red cake, a nice swirl of frosting. Top with red, white and blue sprinkles.

Banana Wafer Sandwiches

You will need: mini vanilla wafers; Nutella or peanut butter; bananas and sprinkles. Spread Nutella or peanut butter over two mini vanilla wafers. Add a banana slice in between the two vanilla wafers to make it into a mini sandwich.  Roll the edges in red, white and blue sprinkles for a 4th of July twist.

4th of July Edible Flag

You will need: strawberries; blueberries; whipped topping or white frosting and graham cracker. Frost the graham cracker with frosting or whipped topping, slice the strawberries long ways and let kids decorate the graham cracker with blueberries and strawberries following the pattern of the American Flag.

NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Stars and Stripes Cookies

You will need: NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Refrigerated Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough; 1 pkg. of light cream cheese at room temperature; ⅓ c. granulated sugar; 24 fresh strawberries; ¾ c. of fresh blueberries; 2 tbsp. of NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Morsels. Roll cookie dough to ¼-inch thickness between two pieces of wax paper. Remove top piece of paper. Cut cookie dough into stars with 3-inch star cookie cutter. Transfer cookies to ungreased baking sheet(s). Roll remaining dough to ¼-inch thickness; cut out additional stars. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until light brown. While hot, reshape and pat edges of each star back into shape with knife. Cool on baking sheet(s) for 2 minutes; remove to wire rack(s) to cool completely. Beat cream cheese and sugar in small mixer bowl until fluffy. Spread onto cookies. Place strawberry slices onto each cookie pointing outward. Place 5 to 6 blueberries in center of each cookie. Top each cookie with morsels.

Fireworks Sugar Cookie Cake

You will need: ¾ c. unsalted butter, softened; ¾ c. granulated sugar; 1 large egg; 1 tbsp. vanilla extract; ½ tsp. baking soda; ½ tsp. salt; ½ tsp. cream of tartar; 2 c. all-purpose flour; 1 c. red, white and blue M&Ms; ½ c. red, white and blue “jimmie” sprinkles; Frosting: 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened; 1½ c. powdered sugar; 1 tsp. vanilla extract; ½ tsp. salt; 2 tbsp. heavy whipping cream or milk. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9-inch round cake pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Make the cookie cake: Beat butter and sugar with a hand or a stand mixer until creamy. Beat in egg and vanilla, then mix in baking soda, salt and cream of tartar. Slowly mix in flour. Stir in M&Ms and sprinkles. Press batter into prepared pan, pressing more M&Ms onto the top as desired. Bake for 19-22 minutes or until the edges are just turning a light golden brown. It’s better to under bake this dough than over bake. The cake will continue cooking a bit as it cools, so err on the side of underdone. Let it cool completely. Make the frosting: Beat butter until smooth, then slowly beat in powdered sugar until crumbly. Add salt and vanilla, then add 1 tsp. of heavy whipping cream. Beat until smooth, adding another tsp. of heavy whipping cream to get a spreadable texture. Use a 1M tip and a Ziploc or piping bag to decorate the cookie cake. Top with more sprinkles and M&Ms.

Other Ideas:

Hooray for America Parade

Organize a holiday parade for your neighborhood. Children can decorate their bikes, scooters, wagons, strollers or themselves. Crepe paper, balloons, small flags and bells are perfect accessories for homemade floats. Offer prizes in different categories, such as most original decorations or most colorful costume. Blast patriotic music and invite everyone in the neighborhood to come and cheer.

A Fashionable Fourth

Gather up family and friends for a Fourth of July fashion show! Use red, white and blue nail polish to add instant stars and stripes to solid-colored accessories such as socks, hats, barrettes, shoelaces and sunglasses. Kids may also enjoy having their faces decorated with fireworks and flags. You can make your own face paint by blending one teaspoon cornstarch with half teaspoon cold cream, then adding half teaspoon water and a couple drops of food coloring. The paint is safe for the skin and washes off with soap and water!

Raise the Flag

If You Have a Flag: Break out the stars and stripes and assemble the family for a flag ceremony. Let everyone place the flag in a holder or raise it on a flagpole together, then have your kids lead a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.

Don’t Own a Flag? Lead the kids in a rousing rendition of George M. Cohan’s “You’re a Grand Old Flag.” Cohan also wrote “I’m a Yankee Doodle Dandy,” another fun, patriotic song. (And put buying a flag on you to-do list for next year’s celebration—you can find one for as little as $15).

Make a Flag: Help your kids make their own flags out of construction paper, then glue the flags to sticks and wave them as you celebrate the day.

Red, White and Blue Water Blob

You will need: Extra heavy duty plastic drop cloths (two 9′ x 12′ plastic drop cloths); Extra sticky duct tape (a mix between Gorilla tape and Clear Duck tape); red, white and blue spray paint to add the flag (Krylon Fusion, which is fast-drying and made for painting plastic). Spread out and layer both drop clops on top of each other outside (on grass or soft ground). Spray paint stars and stripes onto the plastic sheet. Then carefully tape the edges together with at least three layers of tape, making sure to leave one open hole about 6 inches in one corner. Fill the hole with a water hose until the blob is filled and tape off the corner.
Note: There will be occasional holes while kids are jumping on the blob, so wear swimsuits and embrace the water!

Fantastic Fireworks

GoGo squeeZ

For a fun craft with the kids make Fireworks from GoGo squeeZ. You’ll need push-up cake pop molds or empty ice cream push-pop containers (which you can reuse after eating or find online), construction paper, markers, glitter, pipe cleaners, confetti, other decorative items and tape. Line the bottom of the container with a round piece of construction paper, leaving it a little larger than the bottom circle, so none of the glitter will fall out. Cover the outside of the container with construction paper, and let your kids color and decorate the paper with markers. Fill the inside with glitter, pipe cleaners and other decorative items. Finally, tape another circular piece of construction paper over the top. To activate, remove construction paper, and push the glitter or confetti out quickly. It’s recommended that you release them somewhere where the glitter won’t be a hassle to clean up afterward.

Festive Yard Decor

Get festive in your yard by decorating and hanging up posters, streamers, stars and other patriotic items from your fence, porch or windows. Hang Toilet Paper Roll Fireworks from All Kids Network on the porch. You’ll use toilet paper rolls, white paint, red and blue glitter glue, paint brush, red and blue streamers, yarn or string, scissors and tape. Paint the toilet paper roll white. Once dry, use glitter glue to decorate, and set aside to dry. Cut streamers into 10-1″ lengths, and then cut vertically down the center. Tape the streamers to the inside of the roll. Punch a hole to the top of the roll to string yarn through to hang it up.

Celebrate with These Products

All American Edition of Bean Bag Bucketz: Take the fun outdoors with this family-friendly game where teams try to get their bean bags in the bucketz, and it comes with a carry bag, making it easily portable.

FWsim: Watch virtual fireworks or create your own display with music with FWsim’s software. You can get a free one hour trial.

Oliver Doodle Dandy: This cute book by Todd M. Zimmerman and illustrated by Kyle Hernandez focuses on U.S. history and explains national holidays, such as Flag Day, Independence Day and Labor Day. A companion activity book is also available.

Watch a Movie

Enjoy a patriotic movie night with one of these movies celebrating the American spirit.

  • The musical “Hamilton” tells the story of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton.
  • In “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” watch political drama and democracy in action.
  • “National Treasure” imagines a world where America has hidden treasure with a map on the Declaration of Independence.
  • “The Sandlot” explores the national phenomenon of baseball, featuring a Fourth of July baseball game.
  • Watch the American hero and super soldier in “Captain America: The First Avenger.”
  • If your kids are older, watch the eponymous “Independence Day” for an action battle between Americans and alien forces.
  • For a look at history with older kids, watch “Lincoln” for an inside, although fictional, look at the Civil War.

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Celebrate the Chinese New Year

The year of the ox begins February 12. In Chinese culture, oxen are honest and earnest. Celebrate this holiday by enjoying cuisine, participating in events and learning more about Chinese culture and traditions.

There are twelve zodiac animals: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig, and each animal has unique characteristics. Legend says the Jade Emperor summoned all the animals to his palace, and the order in which they arrived determined the animal’s zodiac order. Have your kids research the Chinese New Year in accordance with their birthday to learn which animal they are. Find out more at chinesenewyear.net and chinahighlights.com.

Celebrate in Atlanta

Lunar New Year at Children’s Museum of Atlanta

Hear a Lunar New Year storytime, celebrate with bubble wrap fireworks and make paper lanterns. Feb. 13.

Chinese New Year at Atlantic Station

See Lunar New Year-themed décor and traditions, including a 90-foot red dragon with more than 25,000 lights and lantern shows. Through Feb. 28.

Celebrate Virtually

Lunar New Year Celebration

Celebrate the Lunar New Year with the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Chinese Cultural Institute and the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the United States of America with video performances, demonstrations, crafts, coloring pages and more. Feb. 13.

Source: Wes Radez/chineseamericanfamily.com

Make a Good Luck Character Banner

Decorate for the Chinese New Year and introduce your kids to Chinese calligraphy with this craft. The fu character means “good luck” or “blessings.”

Start with a red sheet of construction paper in the shape of a diamond. Draw a light pencil line down the center of your paper to keep your characters properly spaced. Using a paintbrush and black paint, start the first character with a short downward stroke in the shape of a comma. The second stroke looks like a number 7. Draw a vertical line underneath the second stroke and in line with the first character. The final stroke is another comma shape starting from the juncture at the center of the character. Start the second character with a short horizontal stroke. Draw a rectangular box underneath. Draw a larger rectangle with only left, top and right sides. Put a horizontal bar in the middle of the larger rectangle. Draw a downward stroke through the middle, pulling the brush to the left and back to the right to create the bottom of the rectangle. Source: Wes Radez/chineseamericanfamily.com

Give Dim Sum a Try

Dim sum means “touch the heart” and is a Chinese meal of small plates including steamed and fried buns, dumplings, rolls and more served with tea and enjoyed with family and friends.

Takeout

Enjoy Chinese culture by getting delicious food you can taste at home. Call or check websites for delivery or takeout options.

Practice Origami

In the past, paperfolding traditions arose in Europe, China and Japan separately. Origami is the art of paper folding, and although it’s often associated with Japanese culture, the term has become inclusive for all paper folding practices. To celebrate the New Year and the year of the ox, fold paper lanterns, bull figurines, red envelopes, gift boxes and more. Find step-by-step instructions and projects at origami.guide, origami-resource-center.com, origamitree.com and paperkawaii.com.

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5 Places to Grab a Bagel in Atlanta

Bagels are the perfect quick breakfast item for when you want a more casual meal during the week or Sunday morning. Here are our picks for the most savory bagels, cream cheese and other toppings you can find in Atlanta.

National Bagel Day

To celebrate National Bagel Day on Jan. 15, enjoy a free plain bagel from Dunkin’. Available to the first 100 customers who come to each participating location. Einstein Bros. Bagels is offering one free egg sandwich with any purchase if you order ahead on their mobile app. This offer runs through Jan. 31.

Brooklyn Bagel Bakery & Deli

This is my personal favorite for a fresh and cheap bagel. The lox and tomatoes on the Sliced Lox with Cream Cheese bagel are very fresh and the bagels are never chewy. If you have ever had a bagel from New York, these are very similar, they kettle boil the bagels the Brooklyn way. The egg melts and sandwiches are also delicious. The bagels and sandwiches are all under $10, making it a steal for breakfast or brunch. Johns Creek

Goldbergs Bagel Company & Deli

With multiple locations around Atlanta, you are most likely close to this local bagel chain. For a bagel and cream cheese, they have tasty options that are fairly priced, but for more “elaborate” bagels with lox or egg on top, it runs a little more. The advantage of this bagel place is that they have an extensive breakfast and lunch menu for those family members or kids who want pancakes or French toast. Don’t forget to also check their grab-and-go refrigerator for easy heat-and-eat meals during the week. 9 Atlanta locations

Bagelicious

The small mom and pop bagel place does not disappoint. Their homemade cream cheese is my favorite of all the bagel places I have been to in Atlanta, and they always make sure to pile it on top. The bagels are always made fresh and nicely toasted. They also have an assortment of breakfast items including French toast and egg varieties. It is cash or check only, so make sure you have enough on hand. Marietta

The General Muir

If you want the upscale New York deli-inspired experience, General Muir should be your choice. The wait on the weekends can be pretty long, so plan to arrive early, or visit the deli side and pick up bagels and cream cheese instead of sitting. The open-faced bagel with nova, schmear, avocado, grapefruit, cucumber, onion and dill is my favorite. They serve other homemade goodies, such as matzo ball soup or pastrami sandwiches. Emory Point

Emerald City Bagels

The family that opened this bagel company moved here from Long Island, New York and wanted to fill the void for bagels in Atlanta. The rosemary sea salt bagel is a combination not too common, but packs a lot of flavor. They have inventive spreads as well such as the caprese cream cheese with fresh basil, tomatoes and balsamic vinaigrette or the toasted almond and fig filled with fig preserves. Atlanta

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Immune Boosting Foods to Keep Your Family Healthy

Keeping kids’ bodies strong with a healthy diet can give them an edge against the germs they encounter in everyday life. Here are eight superfoods to add to your meal repertoire, along with kid-friendly serving suggestions.

Berries

This one isn’t a hard sell with kids. Berries are bursting with bioflavonoids, the plant chemicals that help to activate the immune system and work as antioxidants to prevent cell damage. The darker the berry, the higher the bioflavonoids. But all berries are good for you; one cup of strawberries contains the same amount of Vitamin C as a cup of orange juice. Best of all, it’s been proven that frozen blueberries retain all of the good vitamins and chemicals, so you can benefit all winter long. Add berries to cereal, smoothies or yogurt.

Eggs

Eggs got a bad reputation when they were suspected of raising cholesterol. More recent studies, however, show that eating 6-12 eggs per week in the context of a healthy diet doesn’t raise the risk of heart disease. You can feel good about eating eggs, especially since they’re full of high-quality protein. They’re rich in B vitamins, choline, selenium, Vitamin A, iron and phosphorus, and they contain two antioxidants that protect eye health: zeaxanthin and lutein. Hard boiled eggs are great for snacking, or whip up an omelet for breakfast or dinner.

Yogurt

Yogurt containing “live or active cultures” (listed on the label) offers probiotics, reducing inflammation linked to viral and gut issues. The other immunity boosting properties of yogurt come from magnesium, selenium, Vitamin D and zinc. The healthiest yogurt is the plain, unsweetened type with active cultures. Mix in berries to sweeten plain yogurt, or try a commercial brand with probiotics such as Activia.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts are powerhouse foods. Almonds, for example, contain Vitamin E, an antioxidant which helps fight off infection. Nuts and seeds are not only yummy, they offer an array of phytochemicals and minerals. Nuts have different nutritional profiles, so consume a variety to give your body what it needs. Nuts are great as a yogurt topper or just for snacking.

Peanuts

Despite the name, peanuts are actually legumes. Peanuts contain manganese as well as iron, magnesium, niacin, folate, copper, phosphorus, thiamine and selenium. If PB&J is your kids’ jam, you’ll get better nutrition from natural peanut butters instead of those with added sugars. Due to the recent rise in peanut allergies, parents should talk with their pediatrician about when to introduce peanuts into their child’s diet.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are worthy of the dinner table year-round, with numerous health benefits. Their bright color comes from carotenoids, an antioxidant. Just one sweet potato contains 400% of the daily requirement of Vitamin A, as well as Vitamins B, C and D, and many good-for-you minerals. To get your kids to eat this goodness, try serving a baked sweet potato with butter and brown sugar instead of a regular baked potato, or offer mashed sweet potatoes as a side dish.

Broccoli

Mom was right – broccoli is good for you. Broccoli contains Vitamin C, B, D, E and K as well as folate. More importantly, broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables contain glucosinolates, which protect cells from DNA damage  and have been shown to have antibacterial, antiviral and even anticancer effects. Other vegetables in this family include cauliflower, cabbage, bok choy, arugula, brussels sprouts, kale, radishes and turnips. Try enticing kids with raw broccoli or cauliflower served with a yummy dip or steam it and top with cheese. Roasting vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and brussels sprouts brings out their sweet flavor.

Red Bell Peppers

These brightly colored veggies taste sweeter than their green counterparts, making them more palatable for kids, and they contain three times more vitamin C than oranges. Vitamin C is thought to boost white cell production, the cells that fight infection. Red bell peppers also pack a healthy amount of beta carotene, which is good for eye health. Serve raw with a dip or sauté them in a stir fry.

-Tiffany Guerzon

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Atlanta Restaurants and Takeout for Holiday Meals

Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails

Not sure how you’re going to pull off a holiday meal? Leave the cooking to the pros. Here are the best Atlanta restaurants open on Christmas Eve and Christmas; reservations are strongly encouraged. Or pick up some takeout to host the meal at home, without the stress of cooking.

Sidney’s at Lanier Islands

Enjoy a festive Christmas Brunch at Lanier Islands with shrimp and grits, pecan battered French toast, turkey reast, omelets, pumpkin cheesecake, yule log dessert and more. Dec. 25, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Milton’s Cuisine & Cocktails

On Christmas Eve, head to Milton’s for their regular dinner menu and specials from Chef Derek for a festive dining experience. Dec. 24, 4-9 p.m.

STK Steakhouse

Celebrate with a prime rib special with truffle madera sauce and the full menu. Christmas Eve and Christmas. You can also order items for delivery or takeout.

The Sun Dial

Drop by for a five-course Christmas dinner with the Chef’s Amuse Bouche, an appetizer, an entrée, peach sorbet and a dessert. For an appetizer, choose from butternut squash bisque, lamb, salad or crab cakes. Entrees include chicken, NY strip, salmon, short ribs and acorn squash. For dessert, enjoy Tahitian Vanilla Bean Crème Brulee, Pineapple Carrot Cake, Chocolate Fudge Cake or Fresh Berries. Dec. 25 from noon-8 p.m.

Murphy’s

Meals To-Go:

Batter Cookie Dough

Via delivery, grab holiday cookie dough flavors Gingerbread Cookie, S’mores, Hot Cocoa and Peppermint, along with festive cookies.

Breadwinner Café & Bakery

For Hanukkah, order Challah, Chocolate Rugelach or Chocolate Babka breads, beef brisket, salmon, latkes, matzo ball soup and sides. Order by Dec. 8 for pick up on Dec. 10-11.

Cooks & Soldiers

Pick up a Christmas Eve dinner to serve four with rib roast, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, cranberry sauce, Yorkshire pudding and panettone. Available to order Dec. 14-24; pick up on Dec. 24 from noon-5 p.m. Order a New Year’s Eve meal with ribeye, lobster tail, truffle butter, manchego creamed spinach, mac and cheese and more. Ordering live on Dec. 14; pick up on Dec. 31.

Delbar

The Inman Park Middle Eastern restaurant is accepting pre-orders for a holiday special for 10 people. Get a spiced leg of lamb, fresh taftoon bread, torshi (pickled vegetables), sabzi polo with tahdig, zhough, dill labneh and a sabzi plate with mint, tarragon, feta, radish and walnuts.

Dinner A’Fare

Dinner packages are delivered right to your door with Dinner A’Fare. Get Italian sirloin croquettes, chicken and potato gratine, Texas steak, pork tenderloin, prime rib, turkey roast, broccoli and cheddar bake, bread pudding bars and more.

Double Zero

Their Hanukkah dinner serves four and include beef brisket, rosemary potatoes, roasted carrots and cherry chocolate bread pudding. Pick up from Dec. 9-18. Grab a Christmas Eve dinner of roasted lamb shoulder, rosemary potatoes, haricot verts and cherry chocolate challah pudding to serve four guests. Orders will be live on Dec. 14; pick up from Dec. 21-24.

The Fresh Market

Pick up holiday meals that serve anywhere from 3-10 people. Meals include ham, potatoes, green beans, butternut squash, cranberry relish and rolls. Or pick up just the meat and sides, such as turkey, honey ham, potatoes, green beans, yule log, apple pie and more. Pick up Dec. 21-24.

Hampton + Hudson

Pre-order a Home for the Holidays meal with ham, brussel sprouts, mashed potatoes with gravy, dinner rolls and dessert. Pick up on Dec. 12.

Murphy’s

Treat 4-8 guests to brunch with bagels, egg and potato omelet, bacon and French toast bread pudding. Or grab dinner with roasted pork, salmon, kale soup, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes and cookie dough. Pick up or have it delivered on Dec. 23.

South City Kitchen

Grab to-go take and bake meals from a Southern-themed a la carte menu with salads, Christmas-inspired mains, sides, snacks and desserts. Ordering goes live on Dec. 7 at Buckhead, Midtown and Vinings locations.

Star Provisions Market & Café

Order capon chicken, rib roast, prime tenderloin, duck, salmon, gravy, potato puree, dressing, green beans, Bouche de noel and more for an a la carte Christmas. Pick up an Ice Your Own Cookie Kit for six shortbread cookies, icings and sprinkles to decorate. Pick up on Dec. 24. The New Year’s Day to-go box serves 4-6 people with ham, gravy, cornbread and collard greens. Order by Dec. 30 for pick up on Dec. 31.

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What Cheese Looks Like Around the World

“Cheese from all around the world comes in different forms, textures, and colors, from white to blue. It’s eaten in many different ways, and some cheeses have legends or myths behind their invention Let’s take a look at what cheese looks like around the world.”

SOURCE: YouTube

Geographers are drawn to videos like this that give a quick tour around the world.  The Travel Insider video channel has a few great examples that show how distinct regional variations in food production create cultural distinct local customs.  Food production is inherently cultural, and these videos show how local flavor creates a series of regional variations. 

While I’m a fan of the “cheese around the world” video, I’ll include some other of my favorites below.  On the food them, there is desserts around the world, sandwiches from around the world, street foods around the world, and off the food topic, but still very cultural, wedding traditions around world as a sampler for the channel.   

GeoEd Tags: culture, place, video, food, food production, agriculture, worldwide