By Sue Rodman
Walking in the footsteps of Katniss and Peeta is not as life threatening as you might think. The Atlanta Hunger Games Fan Tour mixes movie set locations, trivia and arena action into an exciting day that is half tourist, half tribute and all fun.
My son and I took the Atlanta Hunger Games Fan Tour to the Atlanta filming locations for Catching Fire, for a tongue-in-cheek Hunger Games experience.
As I ascended the parking deck staircase, the bright sun had me shielding my eyes, as the tributes do when they are being brought into the area for the 75th Annual Hunger Games. However, instead of killing machines, you are greeted by a smiling version of the Hunger Games heroine Katniss Everdeen. The Atlanta Hunger Games Fan Tour guides don’t take their craft too seriously and the joking begins immediately, making for a fun and light experience.
The Goat Farm is an old industrial mill turned event facility and the first stop on the tour. In addition to the Hunger Games, the Walking Dead is also filmed here. As our energetic guides regaled us with stories from the set, we recreated several scenes from the movie, with a unique twist. My son was chosen in the reaping to play Katniss when she saves Gale from a beating in the square, a role he committed to with zeal. Whereas I was a Peacekeeper – hmm, a little typecasting maybe. The hipster Warhorse Café, offered respite from the cold, but also a Russian Cossack pouring drinks. You never know what you’ll find at the Goat Farm.
President Snows Mansion
From the industrial coal district we headed to the tony Buckhead community and President Snow’s Mansion, known to Atlantans as the Swan House at the Atlanta History Center. The tour takes you through the house, where you can take pictures at President Snow’s desk or in the dining room. They also have a display of movie memorabilia and show how the mansion was transformed into the site of the dazzling Victory Party. The best part is standing on the balcony overlooking the gorgeous grounds and cascading fountain (which happened to be frozen on our visit). For true fans, the History Center has some unique Hunger Games items in their gift shop.
The last stop is at International Park’s “The Beach” in Clayton County. Made to look like the hot jungle of the arena, the cast actually filmed the water scenes here in the dead of winter during a cold snap. My heart went out to the them as we braved the whipping January wind to walk the path to the cornucopia site. Back inside, we split into teams to have our own fight to the death during an intense game of archery tag.
To complete the experience, include the optional lunch. Although tour operators said the menu is evolving, it will always include items from the Hunger Games series, like goat cheese wrapped in basil, the going away gift Prim gives her sister, or Nightlock berries, eat if you dare.
What: Atlanta Hunger Games Fan Tours
Where: Locations throughout Atlanta
For More Hunger Games Fun, see these post:
Exploring the Goat Farm in Atlanta
Create Your Own Hunger Games Experience in Atlanta
Four Hunger Games Tours
Thank you to the Atlanta Hunger Games Tour Guides Tammy, Leigh, Taylor and Emma for treating us to a fantastic day on our Atlanta Hunger Games media tour. As always, the opinions here are our own.