The following list represents some of the most popular places for kids to have fun in Hall County as selected by readers in The Times’ annual Best of Hall contest. Places were nominated by readers and thousands voted in the 2021 Best of Hall County. Winners were named in January. I
NK was voted Best of Hall 2021, and the other places are listed here in no particular order. Voting for Best of Hall 2022 begins Oct. 1, 2021.
Interactive Neighborhood for Kids
The Interactive Neighborhood for Kids, better known as INK, has become a favorite among local families for providing children opportunities to learn and play.
Set up like a small town, the nonprofit children’s museum includes exhibits such as a grocery store, diner, hair salon and many other “businesses” in which parents and children can play together and explore different career areas and aspects of the world.
The museum, which hosts birthday parties and field trips throughout the year, also includes a gift shop full of educational children’s toys and features a pottery studio, jungle gym and area where children can use foam blocks to bring their imaginations to life.
There is also an eating area and a selection of snacks and drinks in the gift shop.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday 1-5 p.m. Sundays
Where: 999 Chestnut St. SE, Gainesville
How much: $9 per person Monday-Sunday and free for 2 and younger
More info: www.inkfun.org or 770-536-1900
The Painted Flamingo
The Painted Flamingo, located in the North Hall area, offers up several pieces of pottery for customers to come in and paint.
Reservations for parties are available, and you can walk in to start on your own art whenever you want and continue to work on it for several days.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday
Where: 4147 Cleveland Highway, Suite 300, Gainesville
How much: $6 and up
More info: www.thepaintedflamingo.com or 678-616-3057
Against the Clock
This escape room located in Downtown Gainesville provides several themed rooms for participants to solve puzzles before an hour-long countdown runs out. Each room features several puzzles and clues to make your escape with varying degrees of difficulty.
Against the Clock even provides online escape rooms for people to do safely at home on their website for $10.
Hours: 1-8 p.m. Thursday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 1:30-8 p.m. Sunday
Where: 119 Green St. NE, Gainesville
How much: $10-$28 per person
More info: againsttheclockga.net or 678-696-8455
Lanier Canoe & Kayak Club
Take a ride in a canoe, a kayak or on a stand-up paddleboard with the Lanier Canoe & Kayak Club.
The club is located at the site of the 1996 Summer Olympics and keeps that legacy alive by providing programs and recreational opportunities. Pedal boats, canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards rentals allowing visitors to spend a day on the water and even camps to introduce kids ages 7-12 to the basics of canoeing and kayaking. The Sprint and Flatwater Racing Team also offer kids 10 and up a chance to train to race.
Hours: 2:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday and Friday; 2:30-6:30 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Saturday
Where: 3105 Clarks Bridge Road, Gainesville
How much: Rental prices vary from $20 to $40
More info: www.lckc.org or 770-287-7888
Buford Corn Maze
Buford Corn Maze offers events and activities throughout the year, including the trademark giant corn maze in the fall.
The Kids CORNer of the farm features activities such as a duck race, hay ride, slides, pony rides and animal viewing. There are also seasonal events throughout the year like the Halloween corn maze, haunted forest and pumpkin patch during the fall and a snowy theme and trees for Christmas.
Hours: Noon to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday; noon to 7 p.m. Sunday
Where: 4470 Bennett Road, Buford
How much: $15-$25
More info: bufordcornmaze.com
At Lanier Raceplex, older kids can spend hours racing around tracks in go-karts. The track’s path changes regularly and ranges from 0.3 to 1.2 miles.
You can purchase an individual race or multiple races at a time, with helmets provided by Lanier Raceplex. There is a Spring Sprint League Series in April for drivers 16 and older to race against others in their division to win the championship.
Go-karts are available to all over the age of 15 with a parent’s consent and signed waiver. However, private events and sessions can be arranged for those under the age of 15.
Hours: Noon to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday; noon to 6 p.m. Sunday
Where: 5301 Winder Highway, Braselton
How much: $35 per single race
More info: www.lanierraceplex.com
This list was compiled based on nominations made during the Best of Hall County 2021. Voting for Best of Hall 2022 begins Oct. 1, 2021.