Archives for April 2010

Summer Camps for Kids in Forsyth County, GA

Summer will soon be here and sounds of “Mom, I’m bored!” will permeate the air. In a panic, I set forth to find out what summer day camps there are in the areas of Cumming and Forsyth County, GA.

I am learning that it is almost too late as deadlines are looming in April and early May for summer camp sign ups. Forsyth County and the City of Cumming offer camps as well as local churches and the Girl Scouts. The Forsyth County YMCA also offers summer programs. There are also specialty camps like Swim Atlanta. Some local horse stables like Stonewood Stables offer camps. Imagine That and Future Tech are another example.

The Girl Scouts have a North, Central and South Forsyth Division. The camps offered are:

Checking local publications like Atlanta Moms and Atlanta Parent magazine might also offer some camp options. Happy hunting!


Free and Cheap Kid-Friendly Things to Do in and around Forsyth County, GA

With two daughters to entertain this summer, I am researching things to do that are low or no-cost in North Atlanta. I share the places I find and hope it helps you add to your summer adventures. I live in Forsyth County, GA so this will focus on this area for the most part. I will also update this as I go. Happy trails!

New playground at Fowler Park

Forsyth County Parks – we are fortunate to have a wealth of parks available for our leisure. Here is a list with plenty of resources. Central Park is a favorite hangout. Coal Mountain Park has a great shaded playground. Poole’s Mill has a wonderful creek and shady playground. Fowler Park is Forsyth County’s newest park. It is located on the greenway and is about the size of Central Park.

Lake Lanier parks and campgrounds – Shady Grove campground opens March 28, signaling the new Spring season for camping, hiking, playing and visiting all of the wonderful parks on the lake. Here is a list of parks on Lake Lanier and what they offer.

Movies 400 – free summer movies in Cumming, GA on Tuesday and Thursdays at 10:00 am. The concession stand offers a special size $1.00 Popcorn and $1.00 Soda for these showings only. Join us this summer for free movies. Bring a can of food or school supplies to support the canned food drive and receive a free popcorn! (Free Family Film Festival Size only, Limit One Per Customer) See my post on the other movie theaters offering free and dollar movies.

Forsyth County Public Library – activities, puppet shows and a calendar for story time keep the library a fresh fun place to go. Plus checking out books keeps our reading library replenished at no cost!

Cumming Aquatic Center – the new aquatic center is due to open in June and offers lots of outdoor and indoor fun!

Catch Air – a cool and spacious jumpy place with weekly specials. They have a new magic wall and a preschooler area. They are adding neat things and keep it fun for the kids. One of our favorite places to go. Follow on FB or sign up for the newsletter for deals.

Barnes & Noble at The Avenues – story time and other fun events at the B&N in Cumming, GA.

Monkey Joe’s – Cumming, GA – jumpy place. Follow on FB, sign up for newsletter for coupons. They have run a few Groupons and Living Social deals as well.

Michaels – arts and crafts classes are offered at the Michael’s in Cumming, GA off Market Place Blvd.

Lowe’s – offers kids classes 2x/month to build all kinds of fun things. Lowe’s in Cumming, GA off Market Place Blvd.

Home Depot offers craft workshops on the first Saturday of each month. Located off of Market Place Boulevard.

Sawnee Mountain – pack a picnic and head for a hike at Sawnee Mountain Preserve. There is also a small playground and picnic tables.

The Ice – New ice skating rink in Cumming, GA. Dress warmly and learn to skate a figure eight!

Let’s Roll Skate & Fun Center – Family roller skating center – fun for everyone. Check their FB page for events and discounts.

Stars & Strikes – Bowling, laser tag, bumper cars, arcade, restaurant. See their FB page for specials.

Cumming Playhouse – offering plays, musicals, concerts, and catered fine dining on select performances.

Kinsey Family Farm – pumpkin season starts September 25, hay rides, nursery, apple cannon, fun!

Glazed & Fired – a new paint-your-own pottery and art studio in Cumming, GA! They have lots of programs for the summer.

Warbington Farms – a local pick-your-own strawberry farm right here in Cumming, GA!

Nearby Activities in Surrounding Counties

Lake Lanier Islands and LanierWorld Water Park – visit and enjoy a fun day of water slides, a wave pool, splash area and much more!

Waterparks around Atlanta – I just learned of the one, Bogan, near Mall of Georgia. Great list here and although there is a cost, some like Bogan are real deals.

Fountains of Atlanta – we love to pack a lunch and visit the fountains within 30 minutes of our house in the heat of summer for a cool treat.

Autrey Mill Nature Preserve and Heritage Center
Autrey Mill, located in Alpharetta, has miles of walking trails, a Heritage Village with original buildings and artifacts from the mid-1800s to the mid-1900s, animal exhibits and replicas of Native American dwellings. All activities on the grounds are free.
9770 Autrey Mill Road, Johns Creek, GA 30022.

Chattahoochee Nature Center – walking trails and educational sessions with a low cost admission is fun for the whole family.

Wills Park Wacky World and Disc Golf is a 110-acre park featuring baseball fields, a disc golf course, lighted tennis courts, picnic pavilions, walking trails and two large playgrounds, including “Wacky World,” a unique kingdom that kids rave about. Situated at the edge of the park is the Alpharetta city pool, which has a diving well with three boards, a shaded kiddie, shaded and open deck areas and a concession stand.

Suwanee Town Center Park and Playtown Suwanee – a little bit further away but adventure awaits with an interactive fountain, lots of greenspace and a great shady playground.

North Georgia Premium Outlets – playground, food court and outdoor shops for window shopping and enjoying the outdoors.

i Shop Lollipop – toy store, jumpy place by North Georgia Premium Outlets. One of our favorites. Follow on FB, get email newsletter for coupons/sales.

American Girl store at North Point Mall

Lego store at North Point Mall


Earth Day Tips: 10 Things You Can Do Right Now to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Earth Day is Thursday, April 22. There is no better time than the present to appreciate Mother Earth and practice conservation. Here are some little things that we do around our house that are easy and make a difference:

Water conservation
Not rinsing dishes before we put them in the dishwasher (it was a hard behavioral pattern to stop!)
Collect cold water in a bucket in the shower before the water gets warm and use it to water inside/outside plants
Brush teeth without water running
collect rain water in barrel and water outside plants
use low flow toilets

Energy conservation
install a programmable thermostat
replace air filters regularly
wrap water heater in a blanket
unplug electronic devices (they still use electricity if turned off and plugged in)
change our light bulbs to CFL bulbs
recycle cardboard, glass, plastic, newspaper, aluminum, magazines, etc.
hang energy-efficient curtains over windows
install window liner during winter season to insulate wall

Grocery shop with a fabric bag and save the paper and plastic
Reuse water bottles and cut plastic usage
Plant a tree


After watching Al Gore’s documentary “An Inconvenient Truth”, I learned little things we can all do daily from the Climate Crisis web site: There is even a calculator to determine our personal carbon footprint. is another good resource to get ideas.

I also use Freecycle to clean house, avoid taking items to the dump and to share with those in need.  I just unloaded a mattress and headboard to a woman for her grandson’s bedroom!

Reduce junk mail

Cut direct mail catalogs and junk mail – use Catalog Choice to stop receiving unwanted catalogs.

An new organization called promises to completely remove you from up to 95% of the junk mail lists by contacting each organization from which you receive mail and/or catalogs for a one-time fee of $41.

Here is an opt-out guide to junk your junk mail from New Dream.

Good luck! Remember to reduce, reuse, recycle whenever you can.


Coupon clipping and finding local Cumming, GA store deals

I lost my job last year and my family has been on a tight budget. We are learning to find local deals in addition to clipping Sunday paper coupons. Here are some tips that I have learned from a few people.

If you are interested in tracking local sales for Target, Kroger, Publix, etc. I highly recommend that you subscribe to Southern Savers email newsletter or RSS feed. She does a great job each week listing all the sales and the coupons that you can use with the sale to save even more money.

Other web sites to visit include, and couponmom.

Visit the Kroger, Target and Publix web sites to see if they offer coupons on their web site. I have used Kroger and Target’s before and they have helped save extra cash.

Have a favorite product? Visit the manufacturer’s site like Procter & Gamble and sign up for free samples, newsletters and coupons. If you send Thomas a note about their english muffins, they will mail you coupons. I love I.M. Healthy’s Soynut Butter for my peanut allergic daughter and they sent a jar and coupons to me.

Check and see if food manufacturers also have a Facebook fan page and/or Twitter feed and you can find out about promotions that way.

Try a fresh farmers market to get fresh food that will last longer and support local merchants. Cane Creek is another resource to try.

There are many local mom blogs out there that track grocery deals and give coupon advice. Try searching Google and Yahoo as well as Technorati and Google Blog search for local sites that will show your area deals.

You can set up an iGoogle page as a dashboard and track other deal sites like Target coupon RSS feed, slickdeals, – black friday deals.

Utilize Twitter search if you are on Twitter to find and follow lots of people that track sales and deals.


Kids Consignment Stores in Cumming, GA

I just visited Kid to Kid in Cumming, GA and it is one of the best consignment stores in town. From shoes to toys to clothes, they have it all. I have consigned there and they are picky, which is good. They pay cash upfront and then sell items on their own. They also have new toys, art supplies, hair bows and other items for sale. They also have a frequent shopper card and a new Facebook page.

Other Consignment Shops in Cumming, GA

Kids Go Green consignment (Facebook page) and web site


Forsyth County, GA for Families.

One of my top posts on my personal blog Eternal Thoughts from a Sunshine Mind is Free and Cheap Kid-friendly things to do in Forsyth County, GA.

Given that there aren’t many blogs that cover this local area of Cumming, GA and the surrounding area, I have decided to set up a blog that is focused on where I live and how families can find cost-effective and fun things to do.

I also will comment on local news, education and any other relevant topics. Feel free to comment and let me know how I’m going. I hope this helps us all!

Forsyth County News


Copy Protected by Chetan's WP-Copyprotect.