250 Fun Things To Do in Atlanta With Kids
There are so many reasons to love our city and we continue to be pleasantly surprised with all of the new things to do in Atlanta for 2018. The BeltLine continues to expand, and is one of our favorite things to do for an afternoon of fun. It’s a perfect place for your family to ride bikes or walk and admire the artwork along the path. Catch a Braves game or tour at SunTrust Park, an Atlanta United soccer match, or the Falcons at Mercedes Benz Stadium.
With our things to do, top events, and calendar tabs on our website, Atlanta Parent provides you with tons of resources to explore every inch of Atlanta with your kids. We’ve rounded up popular things to do and off the beaten path finds; we divided our list into the four main geographical areas of metro Atlanta.
Downtown and Westside Things to Do in Atlanta
Meet animals of all species or climb high above like tree-dwelling animals in the new Treetop Trail. Visit the twin panda cubs or stay overnight with the NightCrawlers program, and learn what it takes to be a zookeeper. 800 Cherokee Ave. SE, Atlanta.
One of the biggest aquariums in the world, the Georgia Aquarium continues to grow with additions such as dolphin and sea lion shows and new fish and sea life. It is a fun stop for families, a chance to encounter underwater areas like never before, and learn a thing or two along the way.
The museum has always offered interactive activities for the toddler set, but after the expansion and renovation, it now keeps older kids engaged, too. Be a Waffle House cook for the day, play and learn in one of the special traveling exhibits or attend one of the fun, daily programs. 275 Centennial Olympic Park Dr. NW, Atlanta.
Spend and afternoon at The World of Coke visiting The Vault, watching the bottling process, singing along to Coke commercials and tasting drinks from around the globe appeals to anyone who’s sweet on soda. 121 Baker St NW, Atlanta.
News junkies thrill at the chance to see the inner workings of CNN and the creation of live global news broadcasts. 1 CNN Center, Atlanta.
The iconic Fountain of Rings – the largest interactive fountain in the world – is a can’t-miss crowd pleaser at Centennial Olympic Park, and Holiday in Lights and the outdoor skating rink make this park a winter winner as well. 265 Park Ave. West NW, Atlanta.
Football fans will be in heaven in this museum dedicated to college teams. See memorabilia from football greats, try your hand in the Skill Zone and access your stats online after you leave. 250 Marietta St. NW, Atlanta.
The Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs offers a Public Art Tours App highlighting more than 100 unique works of art in Downtown Atlanta. Andrew Young International Blvd. NW and Carnegie Way NW, Atlanta.
Atlantans love the new soccer team in town. Over 67,000 fans attended Atlanta United’s playoff match at Mercedes Benz Stadium in downtown Atlanta in October. Here are some things your family can get excited about for next season.
Have a meal, or just take in the 360-degree panoramic view of Atlanta’s skyline. The Sun Dial sits at the top of downtown’s Westin Peachtree Plaza, the tallest hotel in the Western Hemisphere. 210 Peachtree St. NW, Atlanta.
The Center for Puppetry Arts, the largest museum dedicated to the art of puppetry, has been around since 1978 and recently completed a $17M expansion and renovation. In addition to high quality puppet productions, hundreds of puppets from different eras and countries (including lots of Muppets!) are on display. 1404 Spring St. NW, Atlanta.
Play and eat in Grant Park, one of Atlanta’s oldest and most eclectic neighborhoods. Enjoy local restaurants and coffee shops, as well as nearby Zoo Atlanta and Oakland Cemetery.
Tours and walks through the cemetery reveal the rich history behind each gravestone. Maynard Jackson, Atlanta’s first African-American major and Margaret Mitchell, author of “Gone with the Wind” are both buried here. 248 Oakland Ave. SE, Atlanta.
This giant Ferris wheel towers 20 stories above Centennial Olympic Park, and provides a great panoramic view of downtown Atlanta. 168 Luckie St. NW, Atlanta.
A vibrant arts hub, families will encounter world-class shows and art displays in Midtown, as well as find many places to play outdoors such as sprawling Piedmont Park and Atlanta Botanical Garden. Here are our reasons to visit.
Families can admire art from different time periods and genres: Modern, Renaissance, Baroque, African and Folk Art, as well as many fun programs and special exhibits. Look out for Toddler Thursdays and Second Sundays. 1280 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta.
Parents love IKEA for its functional, affordable furniture, and kids love IKEA for its play area (Småland) and yummy snacks. Either way, the Swedish home store is a popular destination for families.
The three mile Atlanta BeltLine Westside Trail has many of the amenities of the Eastside Trail minus the large crowds. We love the playgrounds, opportunities to eat and shop, and the artwork and murals along the paved trail.
Get the inside scoop on the film industry in Georgia with Atlanta Movie Tours. Guides will share behind-the-scenes stories as you visit film sites from “The Walking Dead,” “Gone with the Wind” or the “Hunger Games” series. 327 Nelson St SW, Atlanta.
One of the largest arts centers in the world and home to the Alliance Theatre, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the High Museum of Art. Stop by the area every Sunday for Create ATL, a free family event full of dance, music, art, storytelling, performances and more. 1280 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta.
Wonder through the paths of fragrant and bright flowers, see the towering Cascades Garden goddess with flowers for hair or stop by the newly-renovated Children’s Garden. This area features more areas to play, a water painting wall and performances in the amphitheater. The new Skyline Garden provides great views of the Atlanta Skyline while allowing visitors to enjoy seasonal blossoms of camellias, hibiscus, and azaleas. 1345 Piedmont Ave. NE, Atlanta.
Explore all things design at this museum showcasing innovations in engineering, technology, architecture, art, 3D printing, robotics and more. Classes for all ages are offered and Family Free Day is the second Sunday of each month. 1315 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta.
Learn about the history of money processing in Georgia through interactive exhibits and then take a look inside the cash-processing operations, where millions of dollars are counted, sorted, or shredded daily. You’ll also get a glimpse into the bank’s automated vault and see the robotic transports that lift the money. 1000 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta.
There is so much to love about LEGOLAND Discovery Center. Families can spend hours building LEGO creations, riding on fun rides and checking out what the masters can produce out of tiny, plastic bricks.
Get an introduction to Georgia’s history and government through significant artifacts, including historic flags and works of art within the State Capitol. 206 Washington St. SW, Atlanta.
Learn more about Jewish heritage, culture and arts in this museum. The permanent exhibit, “Absence of Humanity” shows the history of the Holocaust through artifacts and stories of Atlanta-area Holocaust Survivors. 1440 Spring St., NW Atlanta.
Explore our state’s history from the perspective of Civil War soldiers, Indian natives or even “Gone With the Wind” author Margaret Mitchell. This summer, catch “Uncle Sam Wants You: World War One and the American Poster” to see artifacts and political posters from World War One. 130 West Paces Ferry Rd. NW, Atlanta.
This cultural attraction connects the American Civil Rights Movement to today’s Global Human Rights Movements. The galleries showcase powerful imagery, artifacts and storytelling. Spark Saturdays include activities and games for kids and free admission with purchase of an adult ticket. 100 Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd., Atlanta.
Peachtree Heights/Garden Hills Duck Pond is an open-to-the-public oasis tucked inside a historic neighborhood, where duck and geese roam, along with turtles, birds and other wildlife. Catch-and-release fishing is permitted for kids. Stone foot bridges encourage exploration and benches offer relaxation. 70 Lakeview Ave. NE, Buckhead.
Thrill-seekers looking to soar on roller coasters, or those looking for a more tame adventure, will love all that this park offers. Visit the Batman ride, the Looney Tunes Adventure camp or Splashwater Falls just to name a few. 275 Riverside Pkwy. SW, Austell.
An eco-friendly indoor playground, HippoHopp offers a three-lane obstacle course, plenty of jumpies, slides and climbing structures, ride-on toys, basketball hoops, free games, and space to just run around. Plus, the café serves up natural, mostly organic foods on a seasonal menu. 1936 Briarwood Ct. NE, Atlanta.
Soak up some local culture at MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) Georgia, where more than 700 works – sculpture, painting, photography and more – by about 250 Georgia artists are on display. All ages can register for Draw@MOCA workshops, offered on select dates. 75 Bennett St., Suite A2, Atlanta.
Tour the Wren’s Nest, the home of famous author Joel Chandler Harris, where he penned many of his Uncle Remus tales about Brer Rabbit. Professional storytellers spin their tales here every Sat. afternoon, one of the few remaining Queen Anne Victorian homes in Atlanta. 1050 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd., Atlanta.
Foodies will love Sweet Auburn Market, with a smorgasbord of options from barbecue to crepes to soul food. Kids can indulge in burgers and dogs, too. 209 Edgewood Ave., Atlanta.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Center includes his birth home, Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church and Freedom Hall, where you can view Dr. King’s Nobel Peace Prize and one of the largest collection of materials about the American civil rights movement in the world. 449 Auburn Ave. NE, Atlanta.
Stop by this landmark for a show, or take a behind-the-scenes guided tour. You can learn facts about the building including the “Mighty Mo,” the largest working Moller Theatre Organ in the world. 660 W. Peachtree St. NW, Atlanta.
Tour Atlanta Printmakers Studio, a space for printmaking artists and students, to see working printing presses, artists at work, and create a book to take home. Reservations are required. 675 Metropolitan Pkwy., Atlanta.
The expansive Silver Comet Trail is designed for casual walkers, hikers, joggers, bicyclists and inline skaters. Direct access to Heritage Park by a peaceful 1.7-mile soft-surface walking trail makes it picnic-perfect. 60 Fontaine Rd., Mableton.
Kids can make like Spider-Man on the only Magnetic Climbing Wall in Georgia. At Mojobas Fun Factory, magnetized gloves and ankle-foot straps connect climbers (30-150 pounds) with magnets on a wall. It’s extreme monkey bar action in every direction: up, down, sideways, or a full 360 degree rotation. 7442 Douglas Blvd., Douglasville.
The museum covers more than 100 years of Villa Rica’s gold mining industry history. Pan for gold, tour real gold mines and view precious artifacts. Families can also walk trails, picnic in a pavilion, visit a live farm animal exhibit, and take a train ride along the Pine Mountain Scenic Railroad. 1881 Stockmar Rd., Villa Rica.
Offering brands such as Nico Nico, Rylee & Cru and Red Caribou with modern-neutral designs, Seed Factory is full of stylish options. They also have a wide variety of children’s books, toys and room decor such as organic rattles and plush stuffed animals. 1100 Howell Mill Rd. NW, 150, Atlanta.
If you’re craving Southern fried chicken, The Colonnade is the spot to go. They’ve been serving that dish – and plenty of Southern classics – since 1927! Babies to great grandparents are comfortable here. 1879 Cheshire Bridge Rd., Atlanta.
What’ll ya have? No visit to Atlanta is complete without a meal at The Varsity, open since 1928, where placing an order is half the fun! Make sure everyone knows the lingo for ordering their dogs (red, Yankee or walking?) and an FO (Frosted Orange drink). 61 North Ave. NW, Atlanta.
Train aficionados will appreciate the view overlooking the railroad tracks at New York Pizza Exchange, where trains pass by regularly. In addition to a long list of specialty pizzas, this eatery also offers salads, pastas, sandwiches, wraps and calzones. 2810 Paces Ferry Rd., Vinings.
The Cookie Studio bakes more than 18 flavors daily, like cherry ginger explosion, hot chocolate and some gluten free versions of classics. Parents can get their gourmet caffeine fix from the coffee and espresso bar and kids enjoy occasional in-store activities. 30 Pharr Rd., Atlanta.
Vintage Frozen Custard is a booming food truck that now also boasts a permanent location. Each day they have a brand new flavor, but classics like vanilla and chocolate are always available along with many topping mix-ins. 1021 Howell Mill Rd. NW, Atlanta.
Eastside Things to Do in Atlanta
Ponce City Market is a fun place to explore with your family. Once a Sears, Roebuck & Co. distribution center, then City Hall East housing government offices, it is now full of delicious eateries and popular shops making it a fully re-vamped mall experience. 675 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE, Atlanta.
Make a splash at this park that draws families in with sleek playground structures, active splash pad and a nearby skate park area, an outdoor theater, huge lake, neat walkways and open green spaces. 664 Angier Ave. NE and 666 Rankin St., Old Fourth Ward.
The BeltLine allows Atlantans to see their city in a new way, from trails and walkways connecting local neighborhoods. The most popular part of the Beltline is the Eastside Trail, running from Piedmont Park to Memorial Drive. There are only a few sections currently open, but ultimately the project will connect intown neighborhoods with 22 miles of trails.
The crown jewel of parks in Atlanta. Take a stroll or a bike ride through the park or enjoy the two fun playgrounds: The Mayors Grove Playground features a playscape with structures for younger kids. The Noguchi Playscape is both a work of art and a fun place for kids. Its unique design allows for high swings, a circular slide and triangular climbing structures.
Decatur is a hub of good food, lots of fun, and ample places to enjoy fresh air. Even better, it’s super easy to walk or bike to everything. You can take MARTA to the downtown station and find plenty to do.
Walk through Georgia’s history, see towering dinosaur skeletons, view a traveling exhibit and participate in special children’s activities. Don’t forget to visit the new Fernbank WildWoods, which features outdoor areas to explore, playgrounds and nature-viewing vistas. 767 Clifton Rd. NE, Atlanta.
If your kids are interested in mummies or ancient artifacts, this is the museum to visit. Around 17,000 artifacts from ancient Egypt, the Near East, Greece, Rome, the Americas, Asia and Africa, as well as works on paper from the Renaissance to the present day, provide visitors with a glimpse into the art and history of world cultures. Also check out the schedule of children’s programs and concerts. 571 South Kilgo Cir NE, Atlanta.
Metro Atlanta’s only drive-in theater shows films on multiple screens. Kids 9 and younger get in for just $1. Tune in with an FM radio and relax in your ride or grab blankets and lawn chairs to create comfy viewing in the great outdoors. 2000 Moreland Ave. SE, Atlanta.
Learn about Georgia-born president Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn Carter through interactive exhibits and displays as well as research materials in the library. You can even walk into a life-scale replica of the Oval Office! 441 Freedom Pkwy NE, Atlanta.
Spend an afternoon with your family at historic Inman Park. Enjoy the vibrancy of the city, while you and your kids enjoy parks, beautiful treelined streets with Victorian and Craftsman homes, and plenty of opportunities to eat and drink.
Learn about the history of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention right next to the world headquarters. Older kids will love seeing the studies behind Ebola or the development of vaccinations, and traveling exhibits about global health. 1600 Clifton Rd., Atlanta.
Go on a family scavenger hunt for the tiny and hidden doors of Atlanta. They are hand-crafted and painted to go along with their locations; some even include tiny figurines and pets. Tiny Doors of Atlanta: Locations include: Krog Street Tunnel, Old Fourth Ward Skate Park, King of Pops and more. The Secret Doors of Decatur: Locations include: Sushi Avenue, Decatur Visitor Center, Wylde Center and more.
The very first Waffle House restaurant was in Atlanta, and now stands as a museum. Today, the chain now has 1700 restaurants in 25 states. The Museum features Waffle House memorabilia from the past 60 years. Decatur.
The planetarium recently upgraded its laser projection abilities to a 4K resolution system (from a 2K system) to keep in line with the current standards for planetariums. After the show, don’t miss the Exhibit Hall full of live snakes and frogs and the unmanned Apollo 6 Command Module on display. 156 Heaton Park Dr., Atlanta.
The charming city of Avondale Estates sits just east of Decatur. Visit Avondale for unique food, coffee, shopping, and greenspace.
Take a self-guided bike tour or explore the terrain of Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area on foot. Two massive granite outcrops and dozens of rare plants provide plenty of views, and more than 40 geocaches can be found along the way. 3787 Klondike Rd., Lithonia.
If the impressive skylift, the 1870s-replica town, the indoor and outdoor play experiences for kids and the scenic railroad aren’t enough, Stone Mountain Park is almost always hosting a special event or festival. Don’t miss the new Dinosaur Explore complete with tons of huge dinosaurs and new play areas. 1000 Robert E. Lee Blvd., Stone Mountain.
Visit animals on this 24-acre see-and-touch preserve. There’s the “Billy Goat Gruff Memorial Bridge,” the “Bunny Burrows and even a herd of buffalo roaming in the back meadow. The animals along the path can be fed, just make sure to bring the camera! 4525 US 78, Lilburn.
North Georgia Live Steamers miniature outdoor railroad club gives public rides on small live steam locomotives. Adults and children can hop on. Upcoming dates for rides are June 17, and August 26. Trains begin at 1 p.m. weather permitting. 1632 Centennial Olympic Pkwy., Conyers.
Peek into daily life of the Trappist monks on a tour of Monastery. A beautiful example of Gothic architecture sits on lush grounds where you can stroll, feed the ducks, learn about the art of bonsai and even pick up some fudge, fruitcake and biscotti at the bakery. 2625 Hwy. 212 SW, Conyers.
Tour the Old Jail Museum on the first Sat. of each month from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. to see where Rockdale County sheriffs’ families lived between 1897 and 1969. Learn about the area’s law-enforcement history and check out the maximum security area and upstairs hanging room. 967 Milstead Ave., Conyers.
87 acres of green space make up T.W. Briscoe Park, an ideal place to spend an outdoor day. Fishing is permitted in the lake, and two playgrounds, a fitness trail, tennis courts, soccer fields, sand volleyball courts, outdoor pool, and basketball courts give endless get-active options. 2500 Sawyer Pkwy SW, Snellville.
Can you solve a puzzle to save your life? The danger is pretend, but plan to bring problem-solving skills and a can-do attitude to an outing at an escape room. Participants (younger than 14 often must be accompanied by an adult) work together to escape a locked room before a zombie or something equally nefarious “gets” them.
Kids can earn badges to become a Junior Ranger through the Georgia state parks and historic sites program for ages 6-12. Stop by a Georgia state park and pick up the free Junior Ranger Activity Book or download the book from the website. Work through the book to earn badges. Some activities include tree identification, fishing and bird/wildlife observation.
Ghost tours aren’t just for Halloween; several ghost tour companies are also open in the summer. Decatur, Roswell, Marietta and Lawrenceville Ghost Tours all offer spooky frights while walking around old mansions, cemeteries and paranormal hot spots. Visit websites for schedules: decaturghosttour.com,roswellghosttour.com, ghostsofmarietta.com and scarystroll.com
It’s no secret that East Atlanta, the charming neighborhood just south of I-20, is home to funky shops and amazing food. Its residents, pretty much the epitome of cool, frequent the area’s epicenter of East Atlanta Village. Despite the area’s cool factor, kids are totally welcome.
Take the Stone’s Throw self-guided walking tour of Stone Mountain Village to explore buildings standing since the 1800s, the Freedom Bell, the city’s original train depot and a 1914 train caboose that now serves as a visitor center. 891 Main St., Stone Mountain.
Travel back in time to when jousting was a sport, and experience live-action knights on horses and sword fighting all while having dinner. 5900 Sugarloaf Pkwy., Lawrenceville.
Kids will have a blast driving miniature cars of all shapes and sizes. Aspiring drivers will have the opportunity to drive high-tech mini cars on realistic streets. They must follow all road signs and traffic signals or the TinyTowne police will intervene. 2055 Beaver Ruin Rd., Norcross.
The BAPS Mandir, a Hindu place of worship and community gathering place, was assembled like a giant 3-D puzzle from more than 34,000 individual pieces hand-carved from three types of stone. Take an audio tour that gives details about the building, as well as info about Hindu art, architecture and philosophy. 460 Rockbridge Rd. NW, Lilburn.
Two friends wanted to bring an ice cream shop to Atlanta that has flavors made 100 percent from scratch and they did. A Million Cookies + Cream, Vanilla Bean and Deep Chocolate are children’s favorites. 701 Highland Ave. NE, Atlanta.
Breakfasts at the Peachtree Café please the pickiest, with sweets like giant Belgian waffles piled with fruit and whipped cream, or savory omelets filled with meat, cheeses and veggies. The biscuits and gravy have plenty of fans, too. Additional location in Peachtree Corners. 50 S. Clayton St., Lawrenceville.
Savor some fried chicken, grits, sweet tea and a slice of sweet potato pie. 5210 Stone Mountain Hwy., Stone Mountain.
This restaurant boasts Indian-style street food with spicy, sweet and savory flavors in an eclectic atmosphere. 406 W. Ponce de Leon Ave., Decatur.
This Inman Park restaurant serves breakfast all day, plus lunch and dinner, in an artsy atmosphere. Menu choices include sure-fire kid eats, plus dishes with all-ages appeal like five-cheese grilled cheese and peanut butter and banana pancakes. 465 N. Highland Ave. NE, Inman Park.
Books, toys, a play kitchen and a rocking horse are part of the kids’ corner, tucked in the back of the shop. In summer, kids love the shop’s frozen hot chocolate or fresh-squeezed lemonade. Adults go for iced coffee. 720 Moreland Ave., Atlanta.
Wouldn’t it be great to have a traveling art studio come to your home? Atlanta artist Susie Boggs engages kids with themed storytime and songs, inventive art projects and crafting.
Northside Things to Do in Atlanta
The brand new home of the Atlanta Braves was built with families in mind. From the carnival-like children’s area to an enormous Atlanta Braves symbol made out of LEGOs, there is so much to see and do before the first pitch. Hope & Will’s Sandlot is an area designed specifically for younger Braves fans, and it houses a zip line along with carnival games, running to first base and video simulators. 755 Battery Ave., Atlanta.
Close to intown Atlanta, the Smyrna-Vinings area (sometimes known as “Sminings”) is a hot spot for outdoor and indoor fun, family festivals, and unique restaurants. Here’s why we love to visit.
The historic downtown and small-town feel of Acworth provides many leisure opportunities for families, foodies, and outdoor enthusiasts alike. Acworth is located in the foothills of the North Georgia mountains and is nestled along the banks of Lake Acworth and Lake Allatoona, hence its nickname “The Lake City.”
The Homelife Gallery houses the Museum’s collection of antique and vintage artifacts that were popular to everyday life in the 19th and 20th Centuries. The Aviation Wing showcases civilian and military aircraft from the 1940s to the present. Children’s classes and programs also available. 550 Perrin Rd., Marietta.
Roswell is a fun place for families to learn, play and experience art and nature! Check out some favorite spots for fun in this pretty city.
East Cobb, located between greater Marietta and Roswell, was picked Money Magazine’s best place to live in Georgia for good reason! The green spaces, popular attractions, outdoor events and tasty restaurants offer plenty for families to do, see, and eat, whenever you might visit.
If you’re looking for a not-so-typical indoor playground or have children who need sensory input, Sensations Therafun in north Atlanta is the perfect climbing, swinging, jumping place for you.
Spot daffodils, daylilies or bearded irises from spring until fall or roses from May through the end of summer. The Pollinator Garden features a children’s area complete with smell-good plants, vegetable beds, a weaving station, dirt pile and animal topiaries. 2382 Pine Mountain Rd., Kennesaw.
This two-story museum is home to a horse-drawn pumper and a restored 1879 Silsby Steamer (one of only five in existence). Visitors can also view a 1949 Ladder Truck, originally one of the longest reaching ladders in North Georgia. The fire museum also has antique clothing and equipment, a “Wall of Flame” photo wall and other vintage fire trucks. 112 Haynes St., Marietta.
Stay cool by taste-testing different flavors of made-from-scratch ice cream and sorbet. The Highroad Creamery Ice Cream tasting room is open every Sat. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 1730 B W. Oak Commons Ct., Marietta.
Located at the intersection of Cobb Parkway and Roswell Road, the “Big Chicken” stands tall. The chicken and KFC was renovated this year, keeping the signature eye roll and moving beak, but also adding a voice. Tune into 820 AM to hear the chicken speak. 12 Cobb Pkwy., Marietta.
Explore the Chattahoochee River watershed through interactive exhibits, live animal habitats and hands-on fun or walk through the butterfly garden, take a fun canoe trip or nature hike. Visit the Center’s calendar of events for special children’s programs throughout the year. 9135 Willeo Rd., Roswell.
View over 20 million daffodils of 100 different varieties. Visit from early March to mid-April to fully appreciate the early, mid and late blooming colors. The carpet of flowers covers 50+ acres and is located only one hour north of Atlanta in Ball Ground. 1987 Gibbs Dr., Ball Ground.
If skydiving is on your bucket list, but you can’t work up the courage to jump out of a plane, then iFLY is the place to go. Thoroughly enjoy the adrenaline rush of indoor skydiving on Cobb Parkway in Atlanta.
Explore Marietta, a charming city northwest of Atlanta and an easy drive within the metro area. Historical sites and tree-filled parks blend with contemporary attractions and huge festivals to make this area an exciting day trip for families.
Hike nature trails, learn about the planet in interactive exhibits or climb onto the Treetop Quest. The Treetop Quest features zip lines, monkey bridges, Tarzan swings and flying foxes at heights of up to 55 feet off the ground. 2020 Clean Water Dr, Buford.
Get a history lesson at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, which was a Civil War battleground for the Atlanta Campaign. Hit the visitor center and museum and, on weekdays, feel free to drive to the top of the mountain. On weekends, hike to the top or take a shuttle bus to snag spectacular sweeping views of Atlanta. 900 Kennesaw Mountain Dr., Kennesaw.
Medieval Times in Lawrenceville is dinner, a show and a history lesson all in one! Families visiting to celebrate special occasions or experience the days of castles and kings can enjoy animal performances, a knight jousting tournament and a multi-course meal, with a twist.
Experience the history of railroads in the South through models and hands-on activities. Kids can head to the telegraph stations to send messages via Morse Code or drive a replica train on their own. The Mommy & Me Preschool Program is every Thursday, and includes different themes each month. 2829 Cherokee St. NW, Kennesaw.
Kids can climb trees, slide down the great playground, play with the frogs or romp up the river bank at this 22-acre preserve. The center hosts live music events, Friday night family hikes and a variety of nature camps, classes and programs. 5343 Roberts Dr., Dunwoody.
Learn about the placement of planets in relation to the sun and moon on this walking tour that serves as a scale model of the solar system. Created by the North Georgia Astronomers Group, the tour covers 1.8 miles, one way, and begins in downtown Gainesville; download the map before heading out. For a copy of the brochure, containing descriptions of planets and a directional map, call the Gainesville Tourism Office, 770-531-2680. 118 Main St. SW, Gainesville.
Kids will love pretending to fly in an airplane, checking out x-rays on a light board, pretending to be a dentist or learninghow to handle money. INK allows for many role-playing experiences. 999 Chestnut St. SE, Gainesville.
Kids will love visiting the model train garden to watch the train go around the tracks or playing with toy trains. Special exhibits and different types of flowers are available to view throughout the year. 1911 Sweetbay Dr., Gainesville.
Take your cowboys and cowgirls to this museum to see Western art, Native American artifacts, sculpture, stagecoaches and covered wagons. Sagebrush Ranch is a great place for hands-on play for kids including a stagecoach to climb inside, a bunkhouse with Western dress-up clothes and more. 501 Museum Dr., Cartersville.
Visit this farm for the great petting zoo, and then walk the area to see a camel, zebra, emu, pony or the typical farm animals: cow, donkey, chicken or pig. Seasonal events are held during the fall and winter including pumpkin fest and Christmas lights. 337 Cassville Rd., Cartersville.
Hear bluegrass and gospel musicians at Everett’s Music Barn, a heritage concert venue where Saturday night shows have been played for 50 years. Children are welcome. 4055 Stonecypher Rd., Suwanee.
Mayfield Dairy Tours give families a behind-the-scenes look at how milk makes it from cow to grocery store, complete with Jersey cow replicas and scoops of Mayfield ice cream in the parlor at the end. 1160 Broadway Ave., Braselton.
On the Chattahoochee River banks, Jones Bridge Park offers a playground for kids, open green space for pick-up games of kickball, and grills to barbecue. The highlight of the park is the terraced stairs leading down to the river. Wear water shoes and bring bread to feed the ducks. 4901 E. Jones Bridge Rd., Norcross.
Step out of the heat and into the Hudgens Center for the Arts’ Children’s Zone. Create make-and-take art projects, get cozy in the reading nook, and play a tune at musical stations at Hudgens. Plan to stop by the sculpture garden, too.
6400 Sugarloaf Pkwy., Duluth.
Heritage Sandy Springs is a prime gathering spot with grand green space for recreation, concerts and festivals. Check the website for summertime kids’ programs and squeeze in a visit to the engaging Heritage Sandy Springs Museum, too. 6110 Blue Stone Rd., Sandy Springs.
Hike the trails of Old Mill Park, where you can see a waterfall that was created when Vickery Creek was dammed to give waterpower to the Roswell textile mills in the late 1830s. Walk on a covered pedestrian bridge and view the only mill building that survived the Civil War. 95 Mill View Ave. (at Sloan St.), Roswell.
Go ice or roller skating at The Cooler during public sessions. One of the biggest skating facilities in Georgia houses two ice arenas and one roller rink, and offers specials and family programming during summer. 10800 Davis Drive, Alpharetta.
At The Teaching Museum North, kids can get hands-on with educational exhibits. Compare heights to more than 30 presidents and first ladies in a life-sized display, explore a courtroom and log cabin, and investigate Civil War objects and military uniforms. 793 Mimosa Blvd, Roswell.
For hands-on scientific fun for all ages, this museum features four main areas: the Fossil Gallery, Science in Motion Gallery, the Mineral Gallery and the My Big Backyard. Special exhibits and events are also featured throughout the year. For transportation buffs, there’s a huge collection of vehicles to explore. 100 Tellus Dr., Cartersville.
The Buford Trout Hatchery is located on the banks of the Chattahoochee River and includes a family fishing pond for catch and release fishing. Ages 15 and younger can fish for free, but ages 16 and older must have a Georgia Fishing License. 3204 Trout Place Rd., Cumming. 770-781-6888.
Wright’s Gourmet Sandwich Shoppe is an order-at-the-counter, family-owned eatery with a devoted following. The Rebel Reuben sandwich and lemonade cake are good bets, along with other freshly made sandwiches and treats. Get your lunch to go, or take your time on the spacious patio. 5482 Chamblee Dunwoody Rd., Dunwoody.
Henri’s Bakery has been an Atlanta landmark since the 1920s, and a taste of the French pastries can tell you why. Take multiple visits to try all the goodies on the menu, both savory and sweet. Second location in Buckhead. 6289 Roswell Rd., Sandy Springs.
Features build-your-own pasta, noodle or wrap dishes made to order. Kids can customize their dish after viewing pasta choices on display. Don’t leave without a freshly-baked cookie for dessert. Second location in Midtown Atlanta. 125 E. Barrett Pkwy., Marietta.
2 Dog, set in a historic 1800s home, offers eclectic dog-lovers’ décor inside and a pretty patio outside. The restaurant uses local, seasonal ingredients for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch and bakes and makes it all in-house. Don’t miss the peanut butter pie. 317 Spring St. SE, Gainesville,
Knead all about it! Visitors see the stone mill used to grind wheat, the kneading station and the commercial baking equipment. Each child is given a round of dough to knead while the guide explains the history of bread. The tour concludes with a taste-testing session. Reservations are required; tours are free. Tours only at the Johns Creek and Alpharetta locations. 10305 Medlock Bridge Rd., Johns Creek.
Watch the treats being made through the kitchen windows of Dutch Monkey Doughnuts, where flavors (like salted caramel bars and root beer float doughnuts) change daily. Wash ‘em down with coffee drinks, teas and hot chocolate mixed from steam milk and solid cocoa blocks. 3075 Ronald Reagan Blvd., Cumming.
Stop by the AtlantaFresh Artisan Creamery flagship store for a taste of seasonal frozen Greek yogurt, including peach and ginger, vanilla, mixed berry, Mexico City-style chocolate and French roast coffee. Bring a cooler to take some home. 6679 Peachtree Industrial Blvd., Norcross.
Southside Things to Do in Atlanta
The Reynolds Nature Preserve, 146 acres tucked into the heart of Clayton County, includes four miles of hiking trails, historic buildings dating back to the Civil War, and an environmental center with live animals and displays. 5665 Reynolds Rd., Morrow.
If the name Serenbe makes you think of the word serenity, you’re getting the right idea! This rural planned community located south of the Atlanta airport in Chattahoochee Hills has a chill vibe, even with the kids.
Take in a bike race at Dick Lane Velodrome, with family admission, music and commentators explaining the action. The one-fifth mile, 36-degree banked concrete track is set in a green space, providing tranquil views. Races take place primarily in afternoons or early evenings; visit the website for a complete schedule. 1889 Lexington Ave., East Point.
Our city might have one of the busiest airports in the world, but we have one hometown airline – Delta Air Lines. The Delta Flight Museum allows visitors to experience the rich history of Delta Air Lines and get up-close and personal with some massive airplanes. The first-built 747 has recently been added to the already impressive collection of planes. 1060 Delta Blvd., off Airport Loop Road. (I-85 exit 74), north of the Airport.
Visit to see a high-action NASCAR race, Thursday Thunder race or even jump into the seat of a racecar in one of the driving schools. Special events are held throughout the year including festivals, fairs and shows. 1500 Tara Pl, Hampton.
Grab a chicken sandwich and fresh lemonade at the original Chick-fil-A Dwarf House, the first in the vast CFA empire. Choose to dine in the retro restaurant side, or the modern version. Either way, kids will want to enter through the dwarf door. 461 N. Central Ave., Hapeville.
Kid-Friendly Things to Do Throughout Metro Atlanta
Atlanta may be a busy metropolitan city with skyscrapers, highways and plenty of Targets, but it is also home to many naturally wooded sanctuaries. We’ve found twelve preserves that provide perfect opportunities for your family to get back to nature.
Atlanta is home to many beautiful spots for an easy hike or nature walk with the family. Try one of these for your next outdoor adventure with the kids. Some parks require parking fees and most nature centers charge admission, but many of these kid-approved treks are free.
Atlanta’s museums and attractions introduce kids to fun and educational environments at an early age. Spend time with your baby or toddler making music, being artistic, connecting with nature, and staying active.
Atlanta’s food scene has exploded and with this came a lot of great kid-friendly restaurants. Here are Atlanta Parent’s favorite family-friendly places to go. We have articles categorized by restaurant roundups based on type of food and individual restaurants below.
Eating out with your family can sometimes be pricey – we rounded up a list of the places where kids eat free, some every weekday or every day.
Our top playgrounds in metro Atlanta include everything from generational swings for both parent and child and large shaded areas to cushioned rubber matting and sculpture-like playscapes. We rounded up the top playgrounds and play places around metro Atlanta for every type of play.
What better way to cool off than to splash around in one of the Atlanta’s totally cool water features? We’ve rounded up the best splash zones.
These popular Atlanta parks are loved by both kids and dogs! Visit with the entire family for some outdoor active and off-leash fun.
Atlanta has plenty of trails and areas where families can safely ride bikes. Have fun with your family peddling all over the city and suburbs.
Check out these open studios and drop-in art classes in metro Atlanta where your kids can unleash their inner Matisse.
Grab some socks and let the kids get their jump on. These indoor play places and trampoline parks will keep the kids bouncing.
Roller skating in Atlanta is good exercise and is great fun for all ages – even if some have to clutch onto the railings for dear life. Check websites before you go. Here are some fun, family options.
Take a family outing to grab a frozen treat, where each family member gets to pick out a custom flavor, scoop or topping. Here are our picks for best places in Atlanta to grab a sweet treat from ice cream to frozen pops.
When families go for coffee, they discover fun and bonding in an unexpected place. Five shops that welcome families with more than just an open door.
No one is too young to start making a difference. Atlanta boasts plenty of ways for all ages of kids to lend a hand, alongside their parents. Choose an area of interest, and jump in.
Kids will love learning how stuff is made during these tours of working businesses.
Whether you’re tracking constellations or seeking shooting stars, metro Atlanta offers stellar spots for stargazing, both indoors and out. Visit one of these planetariums or observatories to scan the night skies.
Think bookstores are a dying breed? Take another look around Atlanta. We have all kinds of bookstores from small, local shops and speciality stores to giant national chains.
If you’re looking for unique, specialty or just super cool gifts, try one of Atlanta’s mom and pop shops. They offer a customer service experience you can’t get at a chain store or online.
Theater programs developed for kids help to spark a child’s love for the arts from a young age. These metro Atlanta theater companies have developed colorful and engaging series for the entire family.
Kids can find lots of ways to drain parents’ wallets at the mall –toy stores, train rides and food court snacks. But nothing beats those mall play areas for free, energy-burning fun.
Saddle up at one of these Atlanta area stables where beginners can take the reins and learn about horse care.
Rock climbing in Atlanta is a great indoor activity that challenges bodies and minds that families with younger or older children can do together! These Atlanta rock climbing gyms are great places to get started with special programs for kids.
Whether you’re looking for fresh fruits and vegetables, a sweet snack, hands-on kids programs, or fun local music, these Atlanta farmers markets are sure to please.
Putt putt. Miniature golf. Mini golf, if you want to be hip. Whatever you want to call it, it’s a family-friendly, grand time. Around Atlanta, there are a variety of mini golf courses, some with unique twists and cool features.
If you are looking for a nostalgic, old-fashioned candy store or want to sample sweet, homemade treats, these stores offer some of both.
Check out these awesome local stores to find special outfits for every occasion.
Going to the movies is a favored family activity, as well as a good date night plan. These theaters offer a chance to see recent or current movies without the expensive prices.
The international trend of playing with animals while enjoying a drink or snack has made its way to Atlanta. Play with a furry feline or have a cup of coffee, your cat-loving family will enjoy visiting one of these local cat cafes.
Visiting a brewery doesn’t have to be all about the beer tasting – breweries are turning into more family-friendly spaces complete with grassy areas for picnics and giant yard games for play.
Look through our planner for field trips at a variety of destinations, including museums, farms, historical sites, nature centers and more