Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites
Spending Time Together is the Best Mother’s Day Gift
5 Ways to make Memories with Mom in Georgia’s State Parks
ATLANTA, GA, April 24, 2013 -- Sometimes it can be difficult to think of the perfect Mother’s Day gift. You want an item that says how much you appreciate her -- something truly special that she’ll remember always. Rather than traditional gifts, why not create memories together in the great outdoors? Georgia’s State Parks provide plenty of options that are close to home, affordable and suitable for all ages. Below are five ideas for a Mother’s Day that will make Mom smile for months to come.

Picnic in the Park
Give Mom a day off from cooking by packing a picnic basket with her favorite goodies.  All of Georgia’s State Parks have picnic tables with beautiful views of forests, lakes or mountains.  One particularly pretty spot is Watson Mill Bridge State Park near Athens.  Georgia’s longest covered bridge spans a narrow river, providing a beautiful backdrop for a day in the sun.  If Mom is an adventurous diner, sign up for the Wild Gourmet Dinner on May 11 at Mistletoe State Park near Augusta.  On the menu: rattlesnake, venison and acorns!  Find a picnic spot near you at www.GeorgiaStateParks.org/find.
 
Brunch with a View
If restaurants are more Mom’s style, visit a state park lodge where diners are treated to bountiful meals.  Afterward, you can walk off that banana pudding with a walk in the woods.  Dining rooms are found at Amicalola Falls State Park in Dawsonville, Unicoi State Park in Helen, Little Ocmulgee State Park in McRae and George T. Bagby State Park on Lake Walter F. George.  At George T. Bagby State Park, the Mother’s Day brunch buffet includes herb-smoked chicken, lemon-poached salmon, roast pork with honey-orange sauce, and plenty of yummy sides.  Dining reservations are recommended.  You can even turn Mother’s Day into a weekend getaway by staying in a park lodge.  Restaurant locations are listed at www.GeorgiaStateParks.org/lodges.
 
Take a Ranger-led Wildlife Walk
Birds, blooms and butterflies are sure to make Mom smile when you sign up for a guided nature hike.  On May 10, Fort Yargo, Red Top Mountain and Reed Bingham state parks will celebrate International Migratory Bird Day with guided hikes, and High Falls State Park will host a wildflower walk.  On Sunday, families with older children can join Sweetwater Creek State Park for a three-mile hike with a ranger.  A calendar of more family friendly events is listed at www.GeorgiaStateParks.org/events.
 
Go Glamping
Moms who enjoy camping will love being treated to the luxury of “glamour camping.”  Four Georgia State Parks offer yurts – a cross between a tent and a cabin – with great views.  At Cloudland Canyon State Park, the yurts are just steps from outstanding hiking trails, and the yurts on Fort Yargo State Park’s lake each come with a canoe.  Let Dad fire up the grill and treat Mom to a steak dinner too!  View yurt photos at www.GeorgiaStateParks.org/yurts.
 
Year-Round Fun
If the kids can’t resist wrapping up a gift for Mom, consider an annual membership to Friends of Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites.  In addition to discounts and benefits, membership comes with an Annual ParkPass that allows access to all of Georgia’s state parks without paying the daily $5 parking fee.  The pass will encourage families to slow down a bit and spend time together in the great outdoors, all year round.  Order online at www.FriendsofGaStateParks.org.
 
 
Georgia has more than 60 State Parks and Historic Sites, offering overnight accommodations, museums and a wide range of outdoor recreation.  Smaller children can burn off energy on playgrounds and with pedal boats, while older kids can enjoy geocaching, mini-golf and disc golf.  Families can also enjoy fishing, boat rental, swimming, biking and many other activities.  To learn more, visitwww.GeorgiaStateParks.org or call 1-800-864-7275.
 
 
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