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Rock Ranch (Hot Air Balloon Festival)

The Rock Ranch is Kathy Truett’s (Founder of Chick-fil-a) family retreat farm and every year they put on a hot air balloon festival.  This is becoming a tradition for our family (going 2 years in a row now).  If you plan on going, it is about 1.5 hour drive South from Atlanta and they have all kinds of activities for the family.  From petting farm animals and pony rides, to zip-lining and rock climbing.

As long as the breeze isn’t too strong, they will have hot air balloons ready to give people tethered rides during the day, and in the evening when the breeze settles down and it gets dark, they put on a hot air balloon glow.

5020 Barnesville Highway, The Rock, GA 30285


  • Go early, right when they open (if you’re going during the Hot Air Balloon festival).  You can take a train ride and pony rides first before the lines get too long.
  • They say you can’t take food in, but many people still bring a small soft cooler to host snacks and drinks.  You can do that if you don’t want to pay inflated food prices while there… and maybe store a larger cooler with lunch in the car so later you can run back and bring a picnic in.
  • Bring a picnic blanket, and if you stay for the Balloon Festival, probably some more blankets to snuggle in while you watch.

Reserve a Campfire Site – Well worth it!

Oct 21, 2017 – This year we decided to split the $60 to reserve a campfire site, and we were happy we did.  The middle of the day, even in the fall, can get hot.  But we had a nice, shady spot to come back to and relax, eat lunch, and later in the evening cook hotdogs and s’mores.  When you reserve a campfire site, they allow you to bring large coolers, camp chairs, etc, and even offer to drive the gear down to your site in their gator.  They assigned us the site, but next year we will try to request the same one.  It was across the lakes from the crowds, so we were away from too many people and could let the kids play and run around without worry.