Visiting the Atlanta History Center with Kids
The Atlanta History Center has an entertaining collection of historical experiences ideal for a family outing. Enjoy exhibits, annual events, special programs for preschoolers, gardens, a historical farm and more.
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Permanent and special exhibits offers experiential views into our hometown. Gatheround, our favorite, features more than 750 artifacts that tell the story of Atlanta’s past and present through music, oral histories and even computer games. Other exhibits focus on Native Americans in Georgia, folk art and the Civil War, all with interactive components. There’s plenty of “do touch” at this museum!
See how wool becomes clothing at the annual Sheep to Shawl. Commemorate the ending of slavery in the U.S. at the Juneteenth celebration. Check the calendar for more family events that bring history to life.
Toddler Story Time
Held the first Wednesday of the month, Toddler Story Time for ages 1-5 that includes a story, along with themed arts and crafts projects and music.
For homeschooled students and their parents, full-day programs explore historical subjects through hands-on experiences, performances and simulations. Toddlers through teens learn about topics relevant to their studies, like immigration, political policies and inventions.
A grand home shows how affluent Atlantans lived it up in the roaring twenties. Beyond the beautiful architecture, sweeping staircase and elaborate gardens, you may encounter historical reenactors to give you the inside scoop, like the homeowners, architect, decorator or butler.
Ever visited a real log cabin? Now’s your chance! Let kids compare your home to this wooden structure, originally situated by the Chattahoochee River. Then, explore the backyard, which is filled with native plants, wildflowers and honeybee hives.
Let the kids loose on 22 acres of woodlands, gardens and trails! Highlights include Japanese plants and trees and the largest native plant collection in Georgia in a former rock quarry. In every season, there’s something interesting to see. Don’t forget the camera, there are tons of pic-worthy spots for the kids to pose.
Throughout the grounds and structures of the Atlanta History Center, you’re likely to encounter some friendly faces from the past! Dressed in attire appropriate for the time period and their association with the property, you may converse with historical reenactors like farmers, governors or one of the Atlanta Nine.
Farm life in the 1860s is on display at the Smith Family Farm, where you can see an open-hearth kitchen, the barn, livestock pens and even an outhouse! The best part: you’ll often see daily activities performed, like blacksmithing, farming and cooking.
View the restored circular painting of The Battle of Atlanta, part of the exhibit “Cyclorama: The Big Picture.” Interpretive and augmented reality displays explain the story of the painting’s historical journey, and explores how perceptions can be shaped by art and cultural context.
Long before planes and highways, Atlanta was a railroad hub. Learn off-the-script facts about objects in the Atlanta History Center’s railroad exhibit, Locomotion: Railroads and the Making of Atlanta, and see the steam locomotive Texas.
Did you know that the Atlanta History Center is one of just a few StoryCorps spots where interviews about life in America are captured? Participants get a copy and one goes in the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress? Grab a grandparent or favorite teacher, or have your child interview you about your life. Recording sessions are by appointment only.
Photo Credit: Atlanta History Center, Hales Photo