Beginner’s Guide to Stone Mountain

stone mountain

A day at Stone Mountain Park will include natural beauty, family fun at the park, and, of course, a bright night with laser light shows. We are lucky to have this little gem of a park right in our backyard. 

There are so many things to do and see at the park, both natural and man-made, that it can be a bit overwhelming if it is your first time going or if you haven’t visited in a while. Here are some beginner’s tips that should help you out:

Pre-paid parking is the way to go!  It’s $20 for a Daily Parking Pass OR $40 for an Annual Parking Pass, so if your family plans to visit more than once in a year, you could time and money by purchasing the Annual Pass. 

There are lots of different areas and activities to choose from. When you drive through the entrance gate it will feel like you are entering completely new town. You can head straight to the park attractions if you want, (4-D theater, Dinosaur Explore, Train, Mini Golf, etc) but keep in mind that there are tons of options in other areas around the park. If your family enjoys the great outdoors, a combination of park attractions PLUS some time spent exploring the more natural areas might make for the perfect day. Our family’s perfect day includes the pretty steep 1 mile hike to the top of Stone Mountain, a nice picnic overlooking the Atlanta skyline, a scenic Summit Skyride down, and an afternoon spent enjoying the seasonal attractions. Just beware that the parking lot for the mountain hike is almost a half mile from the attractions – plan for your family (or at least a parent) to get some extra steps in at the end of the day to get your car!

Meal plan. Stone Mountain has a variety of restaurants to choose from: BBQ, hot dogs, and pizza are among just a few of the options. They also let you bring in your own food, if you prefer. 

In warm weather expect to get wet. Well, the kids at least. There are a few different attractions meant for cooling off the kiddos. Make sure to bring a swimsuit and close-toed water shoes. 

Plan the train ride as a family break. The train ride is a perfect activity to do to not only see the beauty of the mountain from every angle but also to relax and take a breather. If you are desiring 20 minutes or so of downtime, the train might be just the thing. Have a toddler that needs an afternoon nap? This train ride is probably your best chance of soothing a little one to sleep!

There is more than one way to get to the top!. The most obvious (but it is fun!) way to get to the top of Stone Mountain is by riding the Summit Skyride. Beware, if you are afraid of heights because this one goes high! But the views were absolutely stunning. The other, less known way to get to the top is to hike. As I mentioned earlier, it’s a 1 mile hike and, although 1 mile doesn’t seem like a long distance, it is a pretty inclined trip.

The laser show is awesome! But it is late! If one of the main purposes of your visit is to watch the laser show then it might be a good idea to arrive a bit later in the day. It does not start until the sun is set so if you get there early, the kids (and you) might be too exhausted to fully enjoy the show. Also, make sure you bring a blanket and even a picnic or end of day snacks to setup for the show.

Explore. Explore. Explore. The road around Stone Mountain is 5 miles long and there are so many things to see and stop at and explore along the way. There is a Farmyard, Historic Square, a playground, beautiful views of the lake, restaurants, camping areas, and much more.  

stone mountain

But above all, Have a Blast!




Beginner's Guide to Stone Mountain

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Tomi is a self-made mommionaire! She hit the jackpot when she married her BFF back in June of 1999. She has the privilege and blessing of being the mama to five beautiful children. She is a full time homeschool mom. She is a wee bit restless by nature and loves change, hence, her recent move from the Austin area, to this marvelously green state of Georgia! In her free time she delights in: spending quality time with her O Team, reading multiple books at once, hiking and exploring, painting, enjoying music, loving Jesus, and creating in general. She understands that mothering can be the most wonderful blessing in life, and yet isn’t always easy. She hopes to encourage other moms on this journey.


  1. I have been waiting for this.. As everyone keeps talking about Stone Mountain, but I didn’t really understand what it was. And, yay for SD! I grew up there, too. Have you been to Stone Mountain during the winter? To hectic or still worth it?

    • I am not sure about the winter, but I bet it wouldn’t be too busy. I bet you could call and ask them how it compares to the summer. I hope you enjoy it!

  2. I’ve been to Stone Mountain several times but had no idea about the animals or the old houses. How did I miss that? Now I need to go back there and check it out!

  3. We also went to Stone Mountain in June, and brought just our 6 yo (not the younger ones). Another tip I’d add is to check the restaurant and attraction opening times. We were there in the middle of the day, and most of the stuff in the main plaza wasn’t open until later in the afternoon. We would have definitely packed more snacks and water if we had thought to check this detail! Overall, it was an enjoyable day – one of those bucket list places you want to go check out, but probably only need to go once (at least for us!).

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