With the winter months quickly rolling up, it’s only natural to think about indoor activities when thinking about what to do and where to go. But before 2019 wraps up, you won’t want to miss 10 of Gwinnett’s newest activities or ‘hidden gems’ when looking for ways to entertain visitors, keep the kids busy or enjoy a night out (both indoors and outdoor)!

With Halloween around the corner, Netherworld’s Haunted House is an annual rite of passage for many. Named as one of the U.S.’s Top 3 Haunted Houses, Netherworld has slowly become a year-round destination with the addition of several new ‘haunts’ and action-packed games. For Escape Room aficionados, there’s simply no competition in metro Atlanta. Netherworld recently opened their fourth Escape Room (with “Escape Tiki Island” joining Escape Salvation, Escape Haunted and Escape Nosferatu). The four escape rooms all feature Netherworld’s Hollywood-level design, makeup and challenges.

Kids (and adults) will love the new Laser Adventure Battle Arena, which I predict will be THE birthday party venue for 2020. This advanced laser tag battle is set in a complex, themed (think “Terminator: Uprising) outdoor arena full of mazes, forts and interactive elements. The Battle Arena will be open weekends and for special events.

At the Explore Gwinnett offices, our visitors often ask us “What is there to do at night?” Thankfully, we have several new venues and attractions for folks who enjoy a late night. Located in Norcross, the impossibly busy Atlanta Comedy Theatre has forged a name for themselves as one of the comedy hot spots in Atlanta. They deliver comedy, improv and murder mystery events weekly, with top touring and national comedians from HBO, BET, Comedy Central and Showtime gracing the stage (over 21 venue). Another 21+ adventure (October and November) is “Brews and Boos,” Gwinnett’s first haunted pub crawl, put on by the Aurora Theatre. Tall tales, a walking tour and multiple frosty libations make this event a winner in our book.

For the under 21 crowd, Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament has unveiled a new show, where, for the first time in their 35-year history, a queen has taken the throne. Well, it’s about time. The new show also brings new costumes, armor, fight scenes and a musical score.

Through the first weekend in December, the weather will be optimal to enjoy Treetop Quest, Gwinnett’s most unique family-friendly activity. Treetop Quest, located on the grounds of the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center, features 120 obstacles and multiple ziplines. Best of all, there truly is something for all ages. With a continuous belay system, safety is optimized for all participants. For the brave of heart, you won’t want to miss Spider Quest, a separate, 1 hour, ‘harness-free’ obstacle course (above a giant safety net, of course).

For craft beer lovers, the rise in brewery development in Gwinnett is a reason to cheer. Just two years ago, our craft beer scene was practically non-existent, but as we wrap up 2019, a thriving beer culture is here to stay. Gwinnett’s newest brewery, StillFire Brewing, officially opened the third week of October, and expectations are running high. Located in a former fire station and surrounded by greenspace, StillFire has 7 craft brews on tap, with almost a dozen seasonal releases (including a scotch ale, extra Suwanee bitter and an Olde Chief Inspector Barleywine).

Anderby Brewing celebrated their grand opening this fall as well, and they’ve quickly become well known for their growing list of beers on tap (currently 14). This girl loves the fact that they excel at lager and pilsners, which are often hard to find in craft brewpubs. Pet-friendly, laid-back and nestled in Peachtree Corners’ Tech Park, Anderby is also hosting fall and winter events like “Spooktacular” and “Paws for Cocktails,” a pet rescue event. Dogs + beer? Well, you can’t lose.

Lastly, and most surprisingly, one of our favorite finds is the Creekwater Alpaca Farm Barn Tours. Located in Snellville, this farm houses 52 alpacas, and visitors can pet and feed the friendly beasts. For those less inclined to pet wild animals, Creekwater has ducks, bunnies, goats and a seasonal shop where handknit sweaters, accessories and socks are sold seasonally.

—Lisa Anders
Lisa is the Executive Director of Explore Gwinnett, Gwinnett’s official tourism office, and also serves as Gwinnett’s Camera Ready/film liaison representative to Georgia’s film/TV industry.