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Half Mile Down play geared toward children at Atlanta Botanical Garden in Gainesville
Jake Miller and Jackie Mileson re-enact a scene from “Half Mile Down” on Tuesday night at the amphitheater at Lake Lanier Olympic Venue in Gainesville. Rehearsing in the background, from left, are Benny Higgins, Kate Immel, Brian Ritchie, Brianna Roberson, Joshua Wade and Peyton Bolling. - photo by For Get Out

‘Half Mile Down’ children’s performance
When: 11 a.m. Saturday, July 30
Where: Atlanta Botanical Gardens, A Smithgall Woodland Legacy, 1911 Sweetbay Drive Gainesville
Cost: $8 adults, $5 children and free for children younger than 3
More info: or 404-888-4763

Moving from the banks of Lake Lanier and modified for children, Wild Air Playhouse will present the fictitious tale of the creation of the lake in “Half Mile Down.”

“They do a long version of this play” at Lake Lanier Olympic Park, said Wanda Cannon, education and volunteer coordinator at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, A Smithgall Woodland Legacy in Gainesville. “They’re doing a shorter version of it for a children’s performance that we have every month at the garden.”

The performance — meant to “engage youth and families” — will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 30, at 1911 Sweetbay Drive in Gainesville.

“I’m trying to get this out there for children and adults as well because I think adults would enjoy coming and seeing it, too,” Cannon said.

Put on by Wild Air Playhouse, the play ‘Half Mile Down” is a fictitious tale of the creation of Lake Lanier.

Tickets for the play are included in the garden’s admission price. Garden tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for children and free for children younger than 3.

The garden hosts events such as the play the last Saturday of the month in the summer, usually May through September.

“We focus on doing some type of play or children’s show or puppetry or music program, something that engages youth and families (who) come in,” Cannon said, noting it’s part of the garden’s curriculum and education program since it opened in May 2015.

“This was part of our core curriculum or core event listings,” she said.

Atlanta Botanical Garden in Atlanta sponsors shows and events on a much larger scale, and the Gainesville garden follows suit.

“We do things pretty much modeled by them but on a smaller scale, because we’re smaller and new,” Cannon said.

Although targeted for a younger audience, the play is meant to treat the whole family.

“It’s geared for children’s entertainment, but ... the adults always enjoy it, too,” she said.

Two more children’s performances are August and September.

In addition to the play, visitors may take advantage of the garden’s amenities. The Smithgall garden has three hiking trails, the “Woven Whimsy” exhibit of stickworks by Patrick Dougherty and an event lawn filled with “children’s toys and cornhole and different things that the kids can play with,” Cannon said.

“We’re trying to get the community to where they’re use to us having something that’s consistent and they can bring their children and family out to enjoy it on the weekends,” she said.

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