12 Things to Love About Children’s Museum of Atlanta
An indoor playground, where education is disguised as play, the Children’s Museum of Atlanta is a special place for kids. Since the addition of the mezzanine on the second floor, the museum has created even more space for discovery and fun. There are six permanent exhibits, revolving exhibits, special programs, discounts, birthday parties, programs just for toddlers, and more at Children’s Museum of Atlanta.
Permanent Areas at Children’s Museum of Atlanta
A kid-size Waffle House, grocery store, delivery truck, crane system, world tunnel, dress-up stage, tree house and toddler play area are a few of the spots to be found in the museum every time you visit. Kids can milk a cow and build a city, all in the same day. They can paint the wall, then watch a show. Then, they can prance up the keyboard staircase and take part in a science experiment or have a snack.
Feature Exhibits at Children’s Museum of Atlanta
Feature exhibits run for multiple months at a time, and there is amusement to be found every day of the exhibit. From January 27th through May 28th, 2018, kids can explore the world of Healthyville, which teaches them about nutrition and fitness. Kids have fun learning about their bodies and the importance of making healthy choices with lots of hands-on tools and interactive displays. Check our calendar for temporary feature exhibits at the Children’s Museum of Atlanta.
Special Programming at Children’s Museum of Atlanta
Every month, the museum has events that may last for a day or several. The museum hosts TinyCON in conjunction with Dragon Con each year, which takes place each Labor Day weekend in Atlanta. For instance, this month children can journey “Around the World with Words,” with music, dance and stories designed to introduce them to cultures across all seven continents. In February, the museum will offer Black History Month programs and a Winter Olympics opening day program. Check the Children’s Museum of Atlanta calendar to see which special programs are offered on each day.
Just for Toddlers at Children’s Museum of Atlanta
For those with children ages 2-5, trying to keep them amused can be a challenge. And sometimes you need something for them while the older kids are at school. The Children’s Museum has a solution—a play area specifically designed for our youngest friends with an enclosing fence. They can romp, and you might even be able to rest a moment on some of the comfortable seating.
Speaking of toddlers, the museum offers programs specifically for the five and under set on certain days (all included with admission). Every Monday at 10:30AM kids ages 2-5 can attend Tiny Club. In this 30 minute class (which parents must reserve in advance), little ones and their caregivers learn about science, art, food or building with hands on activities and crafts. Messy Thursdays is a drop-in program that is first-come, first-served every Thursday from 10:30AM to 12:30PM. Kids (and their guardians) will love getting messy with things like slime and finger paints. Toddler Jam Fridays is a favorite at the museum with music, instrument play and dance time. This music class is drop-in on a first-come, first-served basis and takes place every Friday from 10:30AM to 12:30PM. Check the calendar because certain days they do not offer the Building Blocks programs, like Federal Holidays
Snack Area at Children’s Museum of Atlanta
Before the renovations, the snack area was a small room on the main floor with a couple of tables. Now, it is a huge space on the mezzanine level with lots of tables and plenty of snack machines. If you want to dine outside, there are additional tables to be found. You can leave the museum to eat at a local restaurant, as re-entry is allowed. Or, you can pack a picnic to eat on-site or down the street at Centennial Olympic Park.
Moon Sand at Children’s Museum of Atlanta
Hands down, this permanent exhibit is my family’s favorite. My daughter, my husband, and I can gather at one of the two large troughs and lose ourselves to this stuff that’s not quite sand and not quite play dough. With ample molds and tools supplied, children and adults alike spend hours creating and destroying, enjoying the squish between fingers. I dare you to sit down and try not to play in it. Build and destroy with relish!
The museum’s website has a whole section on ways to save which includes things like military and educator discounts. They also offer value days, which gives visitors discounts for purchasing in advance online on days that aren’t as historically busy. Fulton County Days is a BOGO program for Fulton residents on the first day of an exhibit. There are even days that are absolutely free, like Target Free Second Tuesdays. Be sure to register online prior to visiting on those days, so you can avoid waiting in a lengthy line. Of course, the best way to get the most bang for your buck is to purchase a membership. They offer several different levels but for the minimum tier, which covers two people, the membership pays for itself in fewer than four visits.
Members receive discounts on birthday parties, which are a blast for kids ages 2-8. They offer various party packages ranging from basic to deluxe. All packages include plenty of time to play at the museum, an area to eat and a party host. Plus, your guests receive the ultimate party favor–a free pass to come back to the museum at another time.
On the first Saturday of each month, the museum opens early at 9AM to host families with children on the autism spectrum or children with sensory processing disorders. With limited admission, as well as sound and lighting adjustments, the museum helps those guests feel more comfortable. Be sure to register and purchase tickets online for these events as they require it and space is limited.
Schools have the option of doing guided or self-guided field trips, both of which come with curriculum tied into the museum’s current featured exhibit. All field trips focus on providing hands-on experiences and cross-curriculum learning opportunities focusing on math, science, social studies, language arts, geography, and arts. The museum even offers a special STEM field trip which includes science experiments in their Museum Learning Lab.
Home schooling families may visit the museum on certain days and have a scholar take them through the exhibits. Designed for students in K through 4th grade, the program runs certain afternoons 1:00-4:00PM and incorporates concepts including math, science, language arts, and social studies. Parents should register ahead of time.
Tips for your visit
Be sure to check their online pricing calendar before you go. Since the museum offers dynamic pricing, certain days (peak days) are more expensive than others (value days).
Buy your tickets online in advance to save the most money.
The museum is usually closed on Wednesdays, except for in June and July.
Afternoons during the week are less crowded, since field trips usually leave around 1pm.
Monday mornings are also a good time to visit, as they do not allow field trips or groups.
Dress children comfortably in play clothes. Sneakers are the best footwear.
Use the app SpotHero to find a public parking space before going to the museum.
Leave the stroller in the car or at home; it can be difficult to maneuver one through the museum.
– Elsa Simcik contributed to this article