Tuesday, my sister Amber treated our whole family to a day of fun at Stone Mountain Park. Stone Mountain is one of the world’s largest exposed granite mountains, and the famous bas-relief carving on the front of it is the largest of its kind, so huge in size that it dwarfs the one on Mount Rushmore. (To give you a sense of the scale, at one point during the carving project, a 20-person banquet was held at a banquet table set up on Robert E. Lee’s shoulder.)
Stone Mountain is a beacon in many of my childhood memories. Our family attended the laser show on the front lawn of Stone Mountain Park over and over each summer, and I’ve climbed it with friends more times than I can count. Everyone who lived anywhere nearby had a season pass, and the park was a popular hangout spot for teens all through high school.
Going back with the kids was a lot of fun. We started out the day by taking the cable car up to the top of the mountain. I did not scream, hyperventilate, or pass out. (I have a weird psychological condition: I will thrill to the crazy heights and loops and hairpin turns of any roller coaster in the world, but the ferris wheel–or the cable car–renders me helpless and shuddering in a pool of terrified sweat.)
The ride is worth it, though, when you’re standing on top of the world with the wind playing in your hair.
After the tram ride, we took a walk around Stone Mountain Crossroads, watched a craftsman blowing glass, and experienced a 4-D production of Polar Express (we wore 3-D glasses for the movie, and there was snow falling from the ceiling, water spraying at us from the seats, and gusts of air to make us feel like we were really there!)
We rode the open air train that goes all the way around the mountain, which the kids loved. There were Christmas lights all over the place, and Caleb glowed with delight every time the train whistle blew.
We finished up the day in The Great Barn, a children’s activity area that features 65 interactive games, climbing structures, trampoline floors, and slides. Everything was powered by these fun foam balls that the kids could collect and then shoot out of air guns and feed down complex chutes to the people below. They were pretty sad to leave, until they saw the cool toys outside.
Thank you, Aunt Amber, for a wonderful day! It ended with the one major indicator of a successful adventure: tired kids!