10 Working Tours Around Atlanta
Kids will love learning how stuff is made during these tours of working businesses.
Call or check websites for reservations.
Tour time: 45 minutes-1 hour
Most CFAs offer behind-the-scenes kitchen tours of their restaurants. Small groups can visit to see the preparation stations, including the hundreds of lemons used to make homemade lemonade, learn about CFA history and see how customer orders get taken and filled each day. Contact the manager at your local Chick-fil-A to schedule a tour.
Whole Foods Market
Tour time: 1 hour
Tours include an introduction to organics, local farms, quality standards and healthy eating. To schedule, contact the marketing leader at your nearest store at least two weeks before you’d like to visit.
Tour time: 2 hours
Fire safety is the main theme of a tour to a local fire station, where visitors can see where firemen work and live while on duty, including the kitchen, living areas, dispatch office and fire trucks. Contact your local fire station to schedule. Remember, firefighters may be called for an emergency at any time, so prepare the kids to be flexible.
Georgia Department of Transportation Lab
Ages: 10 and older
Tour time: 1½-2 hours
Tours, available for small groups, include a brief orientation to the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) and the Office of Materials and Testing followed by visits to testing units in the central lab building. Guests observe real physical and chemical tests on real materials (like asphalt and concrete) that are part of the construction and maintenance of Atlanta’s roads. Schedule tours ahead of time by phone; visits are arranged during working hours.
California Pizza Kitchen
Tour time: 30 minute tour; 1 hour pizza-making
Behind-the-kitchen tours are offered at most CPK locations for groups and schools, giving kids the chance to visit the drink stations, walk in the freezer, see how to wash dishes and even make their own pizza. Each kid also receives an activity book and a certificate for a free CPK meal on a future visit. To submit your tour request, visit the CPK website or call the manager of your local store. Tour prices vary by location.
North Fulton Community Charities
Ages: 5 and older
Tour time: 30 minutes
Schedule a tour with NFCC for a group, large or small, and visit the food pantry, sorting area and thrift shop of this organization that assists needy local families. Check the website to see which non-perishable items are most in need when you plan to visit, but tours are provided with or without a donation.
Great Harvest Bread Company
Ages: 4 and older
Tour: 45 minutes
Take a group of 10 or more kids to learn the art of bread making! The Great Harvest Bread Company makes bread from scratch daily. 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.
Roswell Recycling Center
Ages: 7 and older
Tour: 45 minutes
Learn what happens to the newspapers, plastic bags and other items you recycle on a tour that follows the steps from receiving materials to sorting. Tours also include information about how to become better at recycling at home and reduce waste. Currently limited to City of Roswell residents and businesses only.
Rock House Farm & Creamery
Tour: 1½ hours
At this tour, you’ll get to meet the dairy cows, learn about the cream line milk process from cow to bottle, and sample delicious cheese curds and milk. After exploring the fun of dairy, visit the vegetable gardens to get an up-close experience. Pay $12 per person or $40 for a four-pack.
Water Treatment and Waste Water Treatment Plants
Ages: 8 and older
Tour time: About one hour
Plant tours cover how people around the metro area get clean water, what happens to the water when it leaves our toilets and tubs, and water conservation practices. Try: the virtual Clean Water Atlanta, facilities in Fulton County and Cobb County-Marietta Water Authority.