During the fall, my husband and I huddle under the covers to watch the Starz series Outlander while sipping a glass of whiskey. The kids are blissfully asleep, and we can enjoy an uninterrupted hour of all things Scotland. What’s better than a time travel romance partly filmed in the breathtaking region of Glencoe? Not to mention the kilts, but that’s probably more on my end.
Although it would be magical to hop on a plane and travel across the pond to see Scotland for ourselves again, post-kids, let’s get real! However, that doesn’t mean all is lost. Scotland comes to Georgia every year in the form of the Highland Games at Stone Mountain Park. This year the 46th Annual Stone Mountain Highland Games is the weekend of October 19th–21st. Tickets and more information can be found at http://www.smhg.org/.
A weekend full of bagpipes, log-throwing, the Scottish reel, and you guessed it- kilts! My kids love shooting a bow and arrow, making their very own sporran, and taking a picture with Scottish Santa. Here are some of the fun activities you can expect to find for your wee little laddies and lassies:
- Caber Toss, Weight Throw, Hammer Throw, and Sheaf Toss
- Clachneart Stone (Stone of Strength)
- Haggis Hurl, Sheep Toss, and Scotch Egg Drop
- Brave ™ Archery Shooting Range
- Scottish Salmon Fishing Challenge
- St. Andrew’s Golf Challenge
- DIY sporrans, swords, and shields
- Loch Ness Monster sock puppets
- Sand art, canvas crafts, and face painting
The Highland Games also have one of the largest selections of Celtic vendors and artisans in the Southeast. I have found some of the most beautiful and unique pieces of jewelry among the different booths. Delicious English fare is provided by companies like Scottish Gourmet USA and Cameron’s British Food and Imports. There is alcohol in case you were asking for a friend (or just asking for yourself). You can enjoy a refreshing pint while listening to the various musicians and bands that play throughout the day.
A weekend spent at the Highland Games is exactly why we moved to the Atlanta area. The opportunity to experience a different country, culture, or lifestyle is only a few minutes away at a reasonable price. The reality of my kids already being exposed to different countries, if only for a few hours, makes me grateful for the place we live. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get on Ancestry.com to see if I could claim any Scottish roots in order to sign-up at one of the many clan tents. I want nothing more than to be clan McKenzie, but alas, it isn’t meant to be.
Let me be completely honest though, did I mention the kilts?