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Looking back on four years of fun

Lake Winnie made the top-five list for both kids. Photos by Melissa Lowrie
  Melissa Lowrie

Canoe Kids
By Melissa Lowrie
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As a society, I’m not sure we give ourselves enough credit. We are taught to be humble, and while this is prudent, there are also times to congratulate and celebrate.

Guess what? Canoe Kids is celebrating a milestone.

What began in June 2011 as a passing idea from my editor, became a staple in the Smoke Signals for the last four years. This column marks my 49th in the series, our four-year anniversary. Wow.

Looking back on the adventures, I’m feeling equal parts humbled … to have been given this op-portunity, and sad … how did four years go by so fast?

I’m by no means an expert on entertaining kids, but it’s something as parents, we do. I’ve been given a gift to combine two things I love: my kids and writing, and I’m hopeful that by sharing those with you, I’ve passed along some ideas that have led to a fun memory or two with your own kids or grandkids.

Lake Winnie is an old-school amusement park offering fun for every age.

A huge thank you goes to the original Canoe Kids, Miranda and Jack, for being good sports, kid-testers and honest critics. Another goes to their friends (and sometimes their moms), who have accompanied us on plenty of excursions with equal candor and zest for adventure.

While burning through several sets of tires through the years, we’ve all learned some things along the way, seen beautiful things and visited places we’ll return to one day.

I gave the master list to both kids and asked them to choose their top three trips. Here’s what I got: From Jack, “I can’t choose three.” So he wrote eight in no particular order: Sky Zone, TopGolf, Atlanta Rocks, The Masters, Nantahala Outdoor Center, Atlanta Motorsports Park, Lake Winnepesaukah and World of Coke.


Sky Zone is a great place to burn off some energy.

Miranda wrote this: “When my mother asked me to choose my top three places we’ve been for Canoe Kids, there was no way I could choose so few. In order to stay in a good range of numbers, I skimmed the list and came up with a good five. First on the list we have Lake Winnie (Lake Winnepesaukah). I’m not an amusement park person, but I loved the waterpark portion. Second on my list is World of Coke. It is just an all around cool experience to do, even if you’re not a fan of cola. Sky Zone is a fun way to exercise and jump around with your friends. Lastly, strawberry picking and ice skating are just some of my favorite things to do. Strawberries are delicious, and ice skating is fun. I’ve enjoyed being able to do all of this cool stuff with my family and friends, and look forward to more fun in the future.”

Take note the kids who don’t agree on much, had three matches in their top three/five/eight.

Lake Winnepesaukah was a great day trip. It’s fun for all ages and the water park is awesome.

We’ve been back to Sky Zone trampoline park many times since the original column ran. It’s another fun place for all ages (and burns plenty of energy, too). Lastly they both mentioned World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta. Tasting was the draw there, but it made a lasting impression. If you haven’t visited these spots, add them to your summer agenda.

coke   coke
The taste-testing at World of Coke in Atlanta leaves a lasting impression.   There is plenty of memorabilia on display at Word of Coca=Cola

If you ever want to access a past column, they are archived on Just click on the Arts & Entertainment tab to find Canoe Kids online. Always check current rates and operating times online before making a trip.

We still have a lot of exploring to do, so stay tuned. Thanks for reading, we appreciate you com-ing along for the ride.

Wherever you end up, have a great time with your Canoe Kids.

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