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Though our Cosmopolitan with Kids Traveling Mom has flown through Atlanta multiple times, it was a weekend getaway to the city that gave her a sneak peak of what it had to offer. If you’re looking for big city attractions, Atlanta has you covered. With one of the largest aquariums, biggest outdoor water fountain displays and a gigantic Ferris wheel, the city is ideal for a weekend getaway with kids.
7 Things to Do in Atlanta with Kids
Atlanta, the capital city of Georgia, is one of major cities in the United States. In terms of tourist appeal, it falls behind big contenders like New York City, San Francisco and Chicago. But that’s not for the lack of things to do. With one of the country’s busiest airports, Atlanta is well connected to most big cities. A two hour direct flight from our home base in Albany, New York, is what prompted us to explore Atlanta for a weekend getaway with our kids.
TravelingMom Tip: for first timers I recommend choosing a hotel based downtown as most attractions are within walking distance.
Our two day schedule was dictated by what fascinated our four year old son and one year old daughter. Our getaway was a good mix of cultural exploration and wholesome family entertainment. Here are our top picks for what to do in Atlanta with young kids.
1. Get Inspired at World of Coca Cola
Even if you’ve sworn off cola drinks, this is a must see in Atlanta. Our favorite part was the storytelling introduction about inventing and building a world renowned brand. Our kids were captivated! It will certainly plant an entrepreneurial seed in the little ones. Our son had many questions how the formula was invented and perfected as he walked through the memorabilia displays.
If you’re traveling with an active baby or toddler, I would skip the part of finding the secret in the vault. It is a gimmick that goes on a bit too long. Instead, spend more time in the colorful tasting room with unlimited samples of over 100 Coca-Cola beverages from around the world.
2. Take a Walk through Centennial Park
The site of the 1996’s Olympics adds an openness and serenity to the urban downtown area. Its main attraction is Fountain of Rings, a fountain that features computer-controlled synchronized jets of water. Furthermore, it is centrally located to many landmarks in the area, making it the perfect spot for a picnic and relaxing in between our sightseeing.
3.Visit the Georgia Aquarium
With tickets priced at $35.95 for adults and $29.95 for kids aged 3-12 years, it is the most extravagant attraction we explored in Atlanta. But if you plan to spend at least half a day there exploring all the exhibits, it can be a worthwhile expense to visit the largest aquarium in the western hemisphere. We got to touch sting rays, watch whale sharks swim with a diver, and see seals perform. The walk-through with an all-around view of the tank with such a variety of sea life was a stunning visual treat. The kids play area was great for taking breaks as we navigated the galleries.
4. Play at the Children’s Museum of Atlanta
Children’s museums have become our haven on our travels with our kids. You can always count on areas to be baby-proofed where they can run about and explore to their hearts’ content while the parents catch a break.
In addition to all the cool exhibits and play areas, the museum had an event celebrating the Persian New Year “Nowroz” during our visit. The festival and Persian culture was introduced through interactive story telling followed by traditional dancing where the kids were encouraged to participate. We were thrilled at the opportunity for our son to have this experience and celebrate diversity.
5. Ride SkyView Atlanta
The Ferris wheel has been a signature of Atlanta since its 2013 installation in the heart of downtown by Centennial park. The views were not spectacular compared to those from ferris wheels in Chicago and Las Vegas. The SkyView does offers a 360 degree view of the city. The price includes four rotations and the gondola ride was very comfortable. Even if you don’t take the ride, do try to capture it lit up at night for a great photo op.
6. Visit the Botanical Gardens & Piedmont Park
The gardens are located a short cab ride away from the downtown area. They are adjacent to Piedmont park, an urbane park with a great view of the Atlanta skyline.
As we visited during the spring, the colorful tulip collection made our trip. The garden also features a variety of permanent sculptures. Our son enjoyed walking through the children’s garden learning about homegrown vegetables. It was a great way to spend the day outdoors and explore a different neighborhood.
7. Get a Taste of Southern Cuisine
Food is a big part of our travel experience. We always encourage the kids try regional specialties and this trip was no different. As a brunch loving family, we embraced the opportunity to eat waffles and biscuits multiple times a day. The Flying Biscuit Café with friend green tomatoes and pimento cheese scrambled eggs was one of our culinary highlights.
Though we only scratched the surface of this city, we are looking forward to a return trip to explore its history of the civil rights movements and visit Dr. Martin Luther King’s home in the trendy neighborhood of Old Fourth Ward. What are your favorite things to do in Atlanta?