Stone Mountain Pumpkin Festival: Play by Day and Glow by Night

Looking for a fun and festive way to spend your Friday, Saturday, or Sunday? The Stone Mountain Park Pumpkin Festival is a great way to bring on all the fall feels! My family visited the festival on opening day. We had fun submerging ourselves in the change in seasons.

Stone Mountain Pumpkin Festival: Play by Day and Glow by NightAt Stone Mountain, you will find the “Play by Day, Glow by Night” theme throughout the park. Upon entering, be sure to grab a copy of the park map and a schedule of events – this is the ticket to planning your day and making sure to hit your family’s favorite experiences. You will find that the schedule of events is divided between “Play by Day” and “Glow by Night”. There is fun to be had for all ages throughout the entire park – regardless of the time of day! We were at the park for almost 6 hours but could have easily spent 8-9 hours there (but alas, a lot of our day was spent at the baseball field before heading to Stone Mountain…).

Stone Mountain Pumpkin Festival: Play by Day and Glow by NightWhile we had fun hitting all of the experiences, I think my favorite part of the day was just walking around and enjoying the fall décor. As you walk through the park, be sure to point out all of the fun story-time-themed pumpkin displays to your kids. We saw Rapunzel, Charlotte’s Web, and Humpty Dumpty, just to name a few…there are MANY more though! My kids also loved finding the photo ops painted on sidewalks (see photo below) and the dinosaurs throughout the park.

Stone Mountain

And no visit to Stone Mountain is complete without a trip to the top! Check out our Beginner’s Guide to Stone Mountain for a couple of ways to get to that amazing view.

Stone Mountain Pumpkin Festival: Play by Day and Glow by Night

See below for details on our Stone Mountain Pumpkin Festival: “Play by Day, Glow by Night” experience:

Play by Day

Prioritize your day well… it goes by quickly! Remember that at night you will want to make time for the Pumpkin Laser Show, the Glow-A-Long Parade, and a trip to visit the glow-in-the-dark dinosaurs, so make the most of your time by front-loading the following experiences during your day.

  • Down the Rabbit Hole Glow Party – before you enter the glow party, each person is given a pair of 3D glasses. Once you are inside, you see why! It’s so much fun to enter the building and see the glow-in-the-dark 3D images on the wall AND floor. Check out the DJ while you are inside, spinning fun beats!
  • The Queen of Hearts Royal Maze – the maze is located next to the Glow Party and, while it’s a pretty small maze, it’s fun to see all of the Alice and Wonderland-themed décor throughout.
  • The Mad Hatter’s PIE Party – will you get picked to participate? In this show, the Mad Hatter picks participants in the audience to eat pumpkin pie on stage, with no hands, whipped cream and all. You can imagine this gets a bit messy! Full disclosure, my husband and I thought the show was quite cheesy, but it turns out our kids thought it was hilarious… so I guess it was worth it!
  • Additional Play by Day activities to check out (we didn’t experience these personally, but they look fun!):
    • Jack and Jill O’Lantern Meet and Greet – a photo opp with the pumpkin siblings
    • Three Little Pigs adventure on the Scenic Railroad – help protect the three little pigs from the big bad wolf, all while enjoying a nice scenic view from the train
    • Emerald City Jugglers – because who doesn’t love watching amazing jugglers?
  • I recommend checking out the following experiences during the day. They aren’t technically part of the Pumpkin Festival, but they are a part of Stone Mountain Park and my kids love to do them each time we visit!
    • Dinotorium – this is an indoor play place that is a PERFECT spot to hide from the cold, heat, or rain (depending on the season!). My husband and I timed a trip to the Dinotorium while our college football team was playing… the kids played, while we found a bench and watched the first quarter!
    • Wizard of Oz 4-D Experience – we always love a trip to the 4-D theater at the park. Also, a great place to go if it’s cold, hot, or rainy!
    • Treasure Island at SkyHike – our family (adults and all!) had fun racing through this course. Hope your balance is good! What’s even better is this course inspired my son to come home and start reading the classic, Treasure Island!

Stone Mountain Pumpkin Festival: Play by Day and Glow by Night

Glow by Night

The park really comes alive at night – everything you see during the day gets a little more festive at night with SO MANY LIGHTS.

  • Dino Glow Experience – our family had so much fun watching the dinosaurs come to life at night. The kids loved seeing the dinos painted in glow-in-the-dark patterns and we had fun quizzing each other on the different types of dinosaurs we saw.
  • Pumpkin Light Show – if you have seen a laser light show before at Stone Mountain, you know what to expect! This version of the show is fall and Halloween-focused with fun, seasonal music. We enjoyed winding down our night while watching the show. Insider tip: Bring a picnic blanket to sit on and food/drinks to enjoy before and during the show!
  • Pumpkin Drone Show – New this year before the Pumpkin Light Show, watch color-changing drones synchronized to music create specially themed shapes in the sky! See pumpkins, bats, spiders, and more in this 12 minute aerial masterpiece.
  • Jack’s Glowing Pumpkin Tree – before or after the laser show, be sure to pay close attention to the glowing pumpkin tree located on the Laser Lawn. We loved seeing the pumpkins’ expressions as they sing to fun music.
  • The Enchanted Forrest – as you make your way over to the Laser Lawn for the Pumpkin Laser Show, be sure to check out the glowing fairy-tail characters throughout The Enchanted Forrest. Be on the lookout for the Big Bad Wolf though!
  • The Enchanted Glow-A-Long Parade and Fireworks Finale – at the parade, you get a last look at some of the characters you have seen throughout the day! Dance with some of your favorites like Jack and Jill O’Lantern, Mother Goose, and the Mad Hatter. The parade ends on the Laser Lawn with a dance party and fireworks!

Stone Mountain Pumpkin Festival: Play by Day and Glow by NightWe left the park exhausted, but with many fun memories made. Be sure to check the Stone Mountain website for daily attractions and festival hours to help play your day! And say hello to the dinosaurs for us!

Stone Mountain Pumpkin Festival

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Jessica is an adventure-loving, over-committing, and previously organized mother of 2! She and her husband (high school sweethearts) moved to Atlanta in 2006 after graduating college, ready to start their life in the “real world”. They have experienced so many wonderful life milestones while in Atlanta – lived in Buckhead pre-kids, bought a house in great Smyrna neighborhood, had their first child in 2011 (a spunky little girl, Vivian), welcomed their second child exactly 18 months later in 2012 (a creative and crazy little boy, Harrison), and most recently added a Golden Doodle named Winston into the mix. Jessica and her family have since moved to the burbs of Milton where you now find them past 2 horse farms on the right. Jessica has always loved being part of a community, so when the opportunity to join the Atlanta Mom executive team presented itself it was a no brainer! She loved it so much, in fact, that in 2021 she and Natalie joined forces to lead the team and continue connecting with awesome moms across the ATL!