Gaea @AtlBotanical via by @SueRodman

The Earth Goddess Gaea is 25 ft. tall at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. Photo credit: Sue Rodman / Atlanta TravelingMom

Getting lost in a good summer reading book is wonderful, but sometime, it would be fun to actually go into the book, experience it first hand. I’m not the only one who feels this way, look at the success of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios. The attraction is so popular Universal is expanding it this summer to include Diagon Alley.

You don’t have to travel to Orlando to to experience your favorite book. It’s amazing when you start to think about it how you can bring pretty much any book to life right in your home town. Here’s are a few ways we’ve experienced the Percy Jackson series in Atlanta, with more ideas in the video below. 

Summer Reading Takes a Field Trip

Come face-to-face with Gaea: In the Heroes of Olympus series, the goddess of the Earth Gaea is causing havoc in the world and confusing the gods. Come face-to-face with Gaea at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens where she is immortalized in a giant topiary statue that looks as if at any moment she will raise her eyes and ask in a dreamy voice “what is it you wish from the goddess of the earth?” While there, check out the Children’s Garden. Bring a bathing suit and towel during the summer months for young kids to splash in the ‘flower shower’ as my children always called it.

Find Saltwater in Atlanta: In Mark of Athena, Percy and his friends arrive in Atlanta in search of salt water.  Not an easy task in a landlocked city. However, their quest finally brings them to the Georgia Aquarium where they get a backstage tour from a strange creature. A behind the scenes tour of the Georgia Aquarium doesn’t showcase mythical creatures, but it does give you a better idea of how the Aquarium works and what it takes to keep such a large operation going. On our visit, we talked with the commissary staff and watched them put together meals for the fish. We saw the Tropical Diver exhibit from the back and watched how the giant waves you see in the exhibit were created. We also got a top down view of the beluga whales.  The Backstage Tour is available for ages 10 and up, but if you have younger children, enjoy the aquarium itself. There are lots of exhibits and fun for every age.

Captain Your Ship: Across the street from the Georgia Aquarium is a restaurant arcade called Game X. In The Mark of Athena, Leo captains the Argo II using a Wii remote. You won’t find Wii’s, but you will find a pirate ship to captain, as well as pop-a-shots, a giant Connect Four game and multi-puck air hockey to name just a few games. Games X has a kid-friendly menu and a full bar for the adults.

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