There is no shortage of wonderful family attractions in Atlanta and families can look forward to a busy and fun-filled vacation in the city. Atlanta is proud to be home to a long list of wonderful educational museums including the Children’s Museum of Atlanta, the Atlanta History Center and the wonderful Fernbank Museum of Natural History. Other wonderful activities for families include visits to LEGOLAND, the Center for Puppetry Arts, the World of Coca-Cola and the fabulous Delta Flight Museum.
1.Children’s Museum of Atlanta
© Children’s Museum of Atlanta
The Children’s Museum of Atlanta offers hours and hours of educational play for children of just about all ages. Your children will have the time of their lives learning about where their food comes from at the Fundamentally Food exhibit and learn all about the great big world around them at the Gateway to the World exhibit. Younger children (0 – 5 years) will love the Leaping into Learning play area and the sand tables while slightly older children can get crafty in the Arts Studio and the Paint Wall. The museum offers several daily programs to get kids moving, learn about music and dance and have some fun dressing up.
Children’s Museum of Atlanta, 275 Centennial Olympic Park Dr NW, Atlanta, GA 30313, Phone: 404-659-5437
2.Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park
© NPS Photo
The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park is one of Atlanta’s most popular attractions and your visit to the city would be incomplete without bringing your children to the park to learn about this legendary man and the history surrounding his life and times. A good place to start is the Visitor Center where you can watch an introductory video and the children can see the Children of Courage exhibit, which tells the story of the children who were involved in the Civil Rights Movement. You can book a tour of the Birth House where Dr. King was born and where he spent his childhood. Other things to see include the World Peace Rose Garden and The King Center where Dr. King was laid to rest.
Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park, 450 Auburn Ave, NE Atlanta, GA 30312, Phone: 404-331-5190
3.Atlanta Botanical Garden
If you have a few hours to spare on a nice Atlanta day, the Atlanta Botanical Garden is a great destination to take the children for some outdoor fun. Besides having a walk through the various beautiful themed gardens you can take the children to the Lou Glenn Children’s Garden where they can enjoy exploring a number of hands-on activities under the guidance of a full-time Horticulturalist who will teach them all about nature and gardening. There is an amphitheater where regular garden programs are held (check the website for schedules), a cooling splash pad for hot days and a wonderful tree house area with climbing nets, slides and bridges.
Atlanta Botanical Garden, 1345 Piedmont Ave, NE Atlanta, GA 30309, Phone: 404-591-1543
You need to set aside a full day to fully do justice to the remarkable Georgia Aquarium, one of the largest sea-life centers in the world. In an effort to save paper the aquarium no longer prints maps and you will need to download their Mobile App before you arrive - children can have fun doing an in-app scavenger hunt as you tour the aquarium. A few of the must-see exhibits include the AT&T Dolphin Presentation, the Boardwalk sea lion presentation and the Ocean Voyager exhibit where you can walk through an underwater tunnel to get up close and personal with whale sharks, manta rays and thousands of fish. The aquarium also offer several amazing animal encounters suitable for children over seven years of age and there is a touch tank for young visitors.
Georgia Aquarium, 225 Baker Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30313, Phone: 404-581-4000
5.Sky View Atlanta
You can enjoy a brilliant overview of the city when you and the family step aboard one of the gondolas of the SkyView Ferris Wheel in Centennial Park in downtown Atlanta. The giant Ferris wheel towers over twenty stories above the park offering unsurpassed views of downtown Atlanta and beyond. Each of the climate-controlled gondolas are large enough for two adults and two children and your ride lasts for about 15 minutes, giving you plenty of time for photos. If you have a toddler in tow you can leave your stroller at a parking area at the base of the ride. If your kids are old enough to stay up after dark they will love a night ride to see all the twinkling lights of the city.
SkyView Atlanta, 168 Luckie Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30303, Phone: 678-949-9023
Why not spend a few hours exploring some of the completed segments of the Atlanta Beltline project, which aims to eventually (2030) transform former railroad wastelands into dozens of parks, trails and a 22-mile modern streetcar to link the various neighborhoods of the city. Currently there are four open trails and seven parks where you can bring the family to enjoy some outdoor recreation. If you have skateboard enthusiasts in the family you should head to the Arthur J. Langford Jr. Park and the Historic Fourth Ward Park, while the D.H. Stanton Park offers a covered trail for runners and a great splash pad for the children.
Atlanta Beltline, Atlanta GA
7.Atlanta History Center
© Atlanta History Center
A visit to the sprawling Atlanta History Center is a fun way to teach your children about the history and culture of their country. The center covers 33 acres of historic houses, amazing exhibitions and fairy-tale gardens, as well as many interactive activities for the children. In addition, the center offers year-round family and kids programs – check the website to see their schedule. Children will learn about diverse aspects of American history, ranging from the Civil War and the influence of Native Americans in Georgia to the American obsession with barbecue. There are plenty of places to stop for a rest and a snack when little visitors get tired.
Atlanta History Center, 130 West Paces Ferry Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30305, Phone: 404-814-4000
8.Centennial Olympic Park
Visiting the 22-acre Centennial Olympic Park is a must-do activity for any visitor to Atlanta.
At the heart of the Park you will find the amazing Fountain of Rings where your children can watch one of the brilliant fountain shows which are presented four times a day – you can check their schedule to see what music and fountain extravaganza is planned on the day of your visit. The fountain is also great splash pad on hot days. The Visitor’s Center will give you a good overview of the significance of the park and is the starting point for a one-hour walking tour – you can download a walking tour audio guide for your mobile phone from their website.
Centennial Olympic Park, 265 Park Ave W NW, Atlanta, GA 30313, Phone: 404-223-4412
9.Delta Flight Museum
© Christian Schneider/stock.adobe.com
A visit to the Delta Flight Museum is a thrilling experience for children of all ages. The museum is located at Delta’s Atlanta headquarters, moments away from the busiest airport in the world. There are non-stop exciting activities to be explored as you make your way around the remarkable collection of rare and vintage aircraft, some of which date back to the 1920’s. Children can step aboard the vintage Boeing 767, tour the first-ever Boeing 747-400 (and even walk on the wing) and then have a chance to step into the cockpit of a genuine 737 flight simulator and experience flying a commercial aircraft. The museum offers various guided tours – check on-line to see which tour your family would prefer.
Delta Flight Museum, 1060 Delta Blvd, Bldg. B, Dept 014, Atlanta, GA 30354-1989, Phone: 404-715-7886
10.Fernbank Museum of Natural History
© Fernbank Museum of Natural History
There is something for every member to the family to enjoy at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History. Imagine finding forests and woods in the heart of the city – this is exactly what you will encounter when you explore the museum’s 75-acre Wild Woods and Fernbank Forest exhibits which feature hiking/walking trails, towering canopy walks and activities for all ages. Inside the museum some of the most popular exhibits include Dinosaur Plaza and Giants of the Mesozoic exhibit and the amazing Sensing Nature exhibit which uses lasers, mirrors and water to demonstrate how we use our senses. You can watch brilliant nature movies in the giant-screen 3-D theater and the museum offers regular educational workshops and programs for children.
Fernbank Museum of Natural History, 767 Clifton Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30307, Phone: 404-929-6300
Children of all ages love coming face to face with their favorite animals in the zoo and when the children are happy and engaged parents can also enjoy a great day out. Zoo Atlanta has many fascinating exhibits – a good way to make the most of your visit is to set up a zoo-to-do itinerary on their website before you visit. In addition to viewing their favorite animals, your kids can sign up for a variety of interesting and educational children’s activities including treasure hunts, story time and much more. Younger children will love the KidZone playground, petting zoo, Splash Fountain and the Zoo Train.
Zoo Atlanta, 800 Cherokee Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30315, Phone: 404-624-9453
12.Stone Mountain Park
© Stone Mountain Park
At Stone Mountain Park the entire family can have a brilliant outdoor adventure regardless of the season. The park is located just 15 miles from Atlanta, where it offers visitors of all ages an enormous recreational playground complete with lodgings and resorts, two golf courses and a family-friendly campground for tents and RV’s. In summer families can enjoy a tree-top canopy adventure walk on the Sky Hike, take the summit SkyRide to the top of the mountain or crawl your way through Geyser Towers. In winter the emphasis is firmly on snow fun and there are tubing areas for all ages and loads of fun activities in the SnowZone. Round off your busy day by watching the Lasershow Spectacular.
Stone Mountain Park, 1000 Robert E. Lee Blvd, Stone Mountain, GA 30083, Phone: 800-401-2407
13.Krog Street Market
© Krog Street Market
The multi-award winning Krog Street Market is a dream destination for foodies and a must-do addition to your Atlanta itinerary. Gather together the whole family, make sure everyone brings a big appetite and head to the Market for a food hall experience second to none. The market is located in a historic 1920’s warehouse and brings together a fine collection of food stalls, eateries, bars and retailers. Dad can enjoy a fine craft beer from Hop City while the children tuck into one of the delightful ice cream concoctions from Jenin Splendid Ice Creams. There are a variety of inviting restaurants to choose from for a more substantial meal and you can stock up on a range of unusual books, ingredients, breads, pastries and other delights. The market is open seven days a week.
Krog Street Market, 99 Krog Street, Atlanta, GA 30307, Phone: 770-434-2400
14.LEGOLAND Discovery Center
© LEGOLAND Discovery Center
You could not wish for a better family attraction than famous LEGOLAND, which offers hours of fun for both children and their families. The LEGOLAND adventure includes entrance to twelve separate themed play areas including the LEGO 4-D cinema, the LEGO Factory Tour and the DUPLO Village, especially for the younger members of the family. At the Build and Test attraction children (and parents) can build their own super-fast race cars and test them on a track. There are two fun rides for children to enjoy including Merlin’s Apprentice Ride and Kingdom Quest. On Tuesdays the center hosts special a special Toddler Time at 10am – you get reduced-price entrance, story time and then access to everything else at the center.
LEGOLAND Discovery Center, 3500 Peach Tree Rd, NW Atlanta, GA 30326, Phone: 404-848-9252
15.Center for Puppetry Arts
© Center for Puppetry Arts
At the Center for Puppetry Arts you can introduce your children to the wonderful world of puppets and theater. Depending on the ages of your children you can choose from two different ticket options – and All-Inclusive ticket will include a tour of the Worlds of Puppetry Museum, entrance to one of the delightful Family Series Shows and the chance for your children to make their own puppet at a Create a Puppet Workshop. Families are welcome to tour the museum at their own pace or may join one of several guided tours of the facility. On Toddler Tuesdays your can bring your little kids to enjoy puppet-led story time and a host of other fun activities.
Center for Puppetry Arts, 1404 Spring St NW at 18th, Atlanta, GO30309, Phone: 404-873-3391
16.World of Coca-Cola
At the popular World of Coca-Cola you and your children can spend some fun time together learning about the world’s most iconic soft drink. Before your visit you can download the World of Coca-Cola Explorer Mobile App to help you find your way around and introduce you to many fun facts and features. Your tour of the attraction will start with a complimentary ice-cold Cola product (from a limited range) to set the scene before you go on a trip down memory lane to learn the history of your favorite beverage. Your tour will include a fun 4-D theater experience and a behind-the-scenes look at the bottling procedure as well as many other interesting exhibits.
World of Coca-Cola, 121 Baker Street NW Atlanta, GA 30313, Phone: 404-676-5151
17.Silver Comet Trail
Built on a long-abandoned railroad track, the paved Silver Comet Trail stretches for over 61 miles through Cobb, Paulding and Polk Counties. You will find the Marvell Road Trailhead close to Smyrna, about 13 miles northwest of Atlanta, where the trail offers a fully-accessible recreational facility for all ages and abilities. The whole family can come and enjoy walking, biking or rollerblading the paved trail, which is also suitable for strollers and wheelchairs. How far you travel is up to you; on a pleasant day you could bring along a picnic to enjoy somewhere alongside the trail. If you need to hire bikes you can head to the Floyd Rd Trailhead near Mableton where bike rental is available.
Silver Comet Trail, Cobb County Access, Smyrna, GA 30339
18.Atlanta Fed’s Monetary Museum
© Atlanta Fed’s Monetary Museum
Taking your children on a tour of the Atlanta Fed’s Monetary Museum is a good way to teach them about the value of money and how currency took the place of barter. Your tour of the museum will include a view of the automated vault (which features robotic money transporters), the cash processing areas and displays which explain the history of currency as well as interactive exhibits explaining why we need a Federal Reserve to control the country’s currency. The tour of the museum is probably more suited to older children and their parents who will come away with a better knowledge of the role of the Federal Reserve.
Atlanta Fed’s Monetary Museum, 1000 Peachtree Street, NE Atlanta, GA 30309, Phone: 404-498-8500
19.The Robert C. Williams Museum of Papermaking
© The Robert C. Williams Museum of Papermaking
The Robert C. Williams Museum of Papermaking is another of Atlanta’s free educational attractions for children. As your tour the museum your children will learn about the origins of paper, see vintage paper-making tools and equipment and also find out how paper has evolved throughout the centuries. If your child would like a more in-depth experience you can sign up for one of the museum’s guided tours (small fee applicable) which includes the new Kinder Paper tour aimed at Kindergarten and Pre-K children who will find out all about paper and even make their own to take home. Workshops and tours are available for all age groups of interested children.
The Robert C. Williams Museum of Papermaking, 500 10th Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30332, Phone: 404-894-7840
20.Six Flags over Georgia
© Cheryl Casey/stock.adobe.com
Children of all ages will be clamoring to visit the exciting Six Flags over Georgia amusement park which will provide your whole family with an exciting day out. At Six Flags there is something for everyone in the family including the youngest kids who can enjoy their first exciting rides at the Marthasville Railroad, Riverview Carousel and the Loony Tunes Adventure Camp. Older and braver children will love the thrilling roller coasters while slightly more hesitant children can enjoy a variety of family-friendly rides with their parents. Hurricane Harbor Water Park (summer only) offers fun for all age groups from toddlers to teens.
Six Flags over Georgia, 275 Riverside Parkway, Austell, GA 30168, Phone: 770-739-3400
21.Cascade Springs Nature Preserve
© Robert Hainer/stock.adobe.com
For a great change from visiting museums and other indoor attractions you can bring the children to the Cascade Springs Nature Preserve for a pleasant outdoor adventure. The preserve lies in the heart of suburbia and seems an unlikely place to find an escape from the city but once you pass the parking area you will find yourself surrounded by 120 acres of green space, a nice family-friendly hiking trail, many trickling springs and a lovely waterfall. The hike to the waterfall is just less than two miles (there and back) and passes a moss-covered historic spring house, as well as remnants of some Civil War earthworks.
Cascade Springs Nature Preserve, 2852 Cascade Rd SW, Atlanta, GA 30311, Phone: 404-546-6744
22.Atlanta Fulton Libraries
© Atlanta Fulton Libraries
Offering dozens of locations dotted all over the city of Atlanta, the Atlanta Fulton Libraries ensure that you and your children have wide access to a huge selection of books, audio-books, streamed music and many other educational aids for both pre-schoolers and older children. The various branches offer all types of workshops including Story Time (for the little people), Chess club for Kids, Books with Pups (for reluctant young readers) and even Yoga sessions. Your child can come and learn about music at a Mommy and Me music workshop or learn a new craft. If you cannot get to a library you will find a wonderful on-line menu of resources for fun and education. Check online to find your nearest branch.
Atlanta Fulton Libraries, Atlanta, GA
23.Atlanta Farmer’s Market
Not your average weekend farmer’s market, the Atlanta Farmer’s Market covers a remarkable 150 acres in Forest Park and is open 24 hours a day, every day of the week. You can actually drive through parts of the huge market which is a bonus if you have smaller children with you. The market sells a huge variety of fresh fruit and veggies as well as flowers and plants at very reasonable prices. Taking your children to visit the market would be a good way to teach them more about where their food comes from as well as introducing them to new types of produce they may not be familiar with.
Atlanta Farmer’s Market, 16 Forest Parkway, Forest Park, GA 30297, Phone: 404-675-1782
24.Children’s Christmas Parade
If you are planning a visit to Atlanta around December you should definitely try and be in the city for the much-loved annual Children’s Christmas Parade. The much-anticipated event is a firm family favorite and your children will love seeing the enormous floats, fabulous balloons and all the marching children’s bands. You can expect to admire amazing two-storey high helium balloons of your children’s favorite holiday characters while cheering on the musicians and singers as they make their way through Midtown Atlanta. The parade kicks off at 10.20am (rain or shine) at Peachtree and 16th Street. If you want to ensure a good viewpoint you can book bleacher seats in advance.
Children’s Christmas Parade, 1280 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, GA 30309, Phone: 404-785-4483
© Syda Productions/stock.adobe.com
When hunger strikes you and the family can rely on The Varsity’s 90 years of experience to serve up just what your taste-buds desire. The Varsity is a legendary Atlanta drive-in fast-food restaurant (the largest of its kind in the world) which serves up nostalgic American varsity favorites. Take your pick from their menu of burgers, dogs, fries, sandwiches, chicken dishes, sides and drinks. All the food is freshly prepared on site using wholesome local ingredients and years of experience. The Varsity chain now includes seven locations throughout the city as well as several very popular Varsity Food Trucks that pop up at various Atlanta events.
The Varsity, 61 N Ave NW, Atlanta, GA 30308, Phone: 404-881-1706
25 Best Things to Do in Atlanta with Kids of All Ages
- Children’s Museum of Atlanta, Photo: Children’s Museum of Atlanta
- Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park, Photo: NPS Photo
- Atlanta Botanical Garden, Photo: foreverbluebird/stock.adobe.com
- Georgia Aquarium, Photo: f11photo/stock.adobe.com
- Sky View Atlanta, Photo: itsallgood/stock.adobe.com
- Atlanta Beltline, Photo: Bhargava/stock.adobe.com
- Atlanta History Center, Photo: Atlanta History Center
- Centennial Olympic Park, Photo: Chris/stock.adobe.com
- Delta Flight Museum, Photo: Christian Schneider/stock.adobe.com
- Fernbank Museum of Natural History, Photo: Fernbank Museum of Natural History
- Zoo Atlanta, Photo: digidreamgrafix/stock.adobe.com
- Stone Mountain Park, Photo: Stone Mountain Park
- Krog Street Market, Photo: Krog Street Market
- LEGOLAND Discovery Center, Photo: LEGOLAND Discovery Center
- Center for Puppetry Arts, Photo: Center for Puppetry Arts
- World of Coca-Cola, Photo: f11photo/stock.adobe.com
- Silver Comet Trail, Photo: alexx_60/stock.adobe.com
- Atlanta Fed’s Monetary Museum, Photo: Atlanta Fed’s Monetary Museum
- The Robert C. Williams Museum of Papermaking, Photo: The Robert C. Williams Museum of Papermaking
- Six Flags over Georgia, Photo: Cheryl Casey/stock.adobe.com
- Cascade Springs Nature Preserve, Photo: Robert Hainer/stock.adobe.com
- Atlanta Fulton Libraries, Photo: Atlanta Fulton Libraries
- Atlanta Farmer’s Market, Photo: posh/stock.adobe.com
- Children’s Christmas Parade, Photo: Jennifer/stock.adobe.com
- The Varsity, Photo: Syda Productions/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: dj_mono/stock.adobe.com