100 Things You MUST Do with Kids in Atlanta

kids watch the whale shark at the atlanta aquarium one of the best things to do with kids in atlanta
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If you live here, you know Atlanta is a great place to raise a family. To prove it, here are our favorite things to do in Atlanta with kids

When you’re looking for things to do in Atlanta with kids, the incredible Georgia Aquarium, Zoo Atlanta, and Center for Puppetry Arts come to mind. But you don’t have to look too hard to find amazing things to do in the city when you need an impromptu plan. As far as we’re concerned, you could live here for the rest of your life and still never get to all the cool, kid-friendly offerings the city has. These are just a few of our favorite things to do, whether you’re a local or you’re just passing through.

a boy peers into the hole at one of Seattle's best mini golf courses
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1. Shoot the 'Hooch with the kids when you rent kayaks, canoes, paddle boards, or tubes to make a splash in its icy water. It's a local tradition you gotta do at least once as a family.

2. Learn what it takes to lead at this free public tour through a 30-room mansion in the heart of the city.

3. You'll have to maneuver around a pirate ship and waterfall at this outdoor sporting spot that's a "hole" lot of fun. And when you're done you can take in the latest blockbuster with the kids.

4. Parents know breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Don't skip it. Instead, head to one of our favorite breakfast joints that open before the sun is up.

5. Stroll around an Atlanta-area farmer's market to enjoy live music, chef demos, special kid zones, and more. Plus you can pick out your produce for the week. Some of our favorites for families include Ponce City Farmer's Market, the Green Market at Piedmont Park, and the Freedom Farmer's Market at the Carter Center.

Related: Above Par: 8 Spots to Play Mini Golf with Kids

6. Bring the kids for an educational experience at the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Park. A must on everyone's list, you'll get to see where the civil rights leader lived as a child, where he often preached, and where he's buried. Entrance is free, and the junior ranger activities for kids will keep them engaged.

7. There's no better place to be on second Sundays than this museum that's home to more than 18,000 works for art, housed in a building designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architects, Richard Meier and Renzo Piano. Why second Sundays? Because admission is free.

8. If your kids haven't played with the Rigamajig, mastered Norilla, or looked through a Wentzcope, they haven't really played yet.

9. If you don't know Disco Kroger, do you really even know Atlanta?

10. This whimsical scavenger hunt around downtown Atlanta was made for little kids who are always on the lookout for fairy doors, gnome homes, and other fanciful spots.

Related: Your Insider's Guide to Atlanta's Best Museums for Families

11. If design is your thing you've got to check out the only museum in the U.S. dedicated to it. The best part? Kids 11 and under are always free.

12. Pack a picnic for Centennial Olympic Park, and plan on a run through the Fountain of Rings—formed in the shape of the Olympic rings symbol—if it's hot outside.

13. Head to storytime in a garden with the kids on a not too hot day. Who knows? You might even get to see some of the insects and plants you read about when you're done.

14. Meet giraffes, longhorn, and deer as they make their way over to greet you in your safari vehicle.

15. Take your fire truck loving tots to the Marietta Fire Museum or the Roswell Fire Museum, which display items like fire service clothing, equipment and historical items.

Related: Scenic Spots to Picnic & Play on Summer Evenings

16. Meet a baby kangaroo, cuddle with an otter, or have a 150-pound boa constrictor draped over your arm at a wildlife park that pulls triple duty; it's part petting zoo, part animal conservation program, and part rescue facility.

17. Explore Piedmont Park's 189-acres, filled with playgrounds, paved paths, picnic areas, ponds, green spaces, and host to some of Atlanta's best festivals and fairs (many of which are free).

18. While it's not always easy to find free events around the city, we love heading out to spots that are always free like the Oakland Cemetery, where you'll find the final resting place of Civil War soldiers, Margaret Mitchell, Bobby Jones, and other notable Atlantans.

19. Chastain Park, Historic Fourth Ward, Brook Run. What do all these spots have in common? They're just a few of Atlanta's best playgrounds for kids and families.

20. More than museums, anyone who loves trains get their fill at these Atlanta spots that boast everything from memorabilia to programs to a chance to ride on a historic engine.

21. See stars when you camp at a local park designated as an International Dark Skies Park. It's one of our favorite Georgia National Parks, and we think your family will agree after giving it a try.

Related: Play All Day! Discover Atlanta's Best Playgrounds

22. Quiet coves and uninhabited islands are the key features of Lake Chatuge. An easy two-hour drive from the city, it's just what families need to combat Hotlanta's notorious summers.

23. Catch free movies in the park at Atlantic Station, Town Brookhaven, Bobby Dodd Stadium, The Battery, and other spots. Just don't forget your bug spray and blanket for this outdoor family activity.

24. Located in the historic Sweet Auburn district, the APEX Museum is devoted to Black history. Older elementary children and teenagers will appreciate exhibits on Africa, the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, and the history of Atlanta neighborhoods.

25. Experience Fire on the Mountain storytelling, a family dinner around the bonfire, and an old-fashioned wagon ride when you go to pick apples in the North Georgia mountains.

26. While we can't guarantee you'll spot Queen Latifah, Faith Evans, or Beyonce here, they've been known to frequent this spot that pampers both kids and adults.

27. Be intentional with your spending beyond August (Black Business Month) when you shop one of our favorite local Black-owned businesses that sell things families need.

28. Take a two-mile long hayride around a farm in the fall. It's Atlanta's longest and (as far as we're concerned) most entertaining ride around.

Related: 17 Places for Kids to Learn about Black History in Atlanta

a young girl with a purple helmet smiles on a bike ride, things to do with kids
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29. Let the grandparents take a lead for a bit when they head out to explore the city with the kids in tow. We're all about places that are accessible to both generations—whether they'll want to play all day or need plenty of spots to sit for a spell.

30. Fish and paddle in Lake Trahlyta, or hike to nearby waterfalls like Helton Creek Falls and Desoto Falls with the kids during RV season.

31. Get on your bikes and take a spin around the city.

32. Answer your kiddo's age-old question about where babies come from on a behind-the-scenes tour at a true Atlanta original. Hint: it might not be what you think.

33. Introduce the kids to a new hobby that's reel-y fun for everyone.

34. Explore the Blue Ridge Parkway and stay in a rustic treehouse when you do. There you can hike, camp, or just take in the views from this 469-mile long park.

Related: Take a Spin! 9 City Bikes Paths for Families

family enjoying the outdoors camping with kids
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35. Take the kids and explore Doll's Head Trail—a true city oddity, it's one that appeals to folks of all ages.

36. Need a plan for Taco Tuesday? Get what you need to cook up a feast at Brito Supermarket.

37. When you need a break from dinner prep, let a local take the lead. All you have to do is the dishes!

38. Georgia's known for its scrumptious peaches. Why not pick your own with the kids at a local farm? (Hint: you'll find more than just stone fruits here—we're talking strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and more. Stock up while you can.

39. Go camping in one of Georgia's Seven Natural Wonders.

40. Snap selfies at Atlanta's Hole in the Wall where you'll find some of the best donuts in the South.

Related: 7 Secret Spots in Atlanta Worth Finding

things to do with kids in Atlanta include splash pads like this one at a state park
Georgia State Parks

41. Turn the heat up on your next family camping trip when you book a lakeside cabin at this state park that also has a kids splash pad, gorgeous golf course, and a private pool.

42. Bring your lords, ladies, and court jesters (hey, every family has one, right?) to cheer on knights of the realm who are busy jousting and sword fighting while you enjoy your dinner.

43. It's hard to go wrong at a little-known play spot in the city.

44. Home to the Atlanta History Center, Blue Heron Nature Preserve, and a playground that will leave your future pilots flying high, Buckhead is a not-to-miss Atlanta neighborhood that deserves your attention.

45. Get to know Atlanta moms with a knack for everything from DIY home projects to fashion to food. They'll dish the dirt with a healthy dose of humor, local Atlanta flair, and parenting truths that ring true for all of us.

46. Cozy up to a story time at one of our favorite local spots, offered every day of the week. Hint: Supplement storytime at home with a book by a local author. There's nothing like curling up with a good book kids can totally relate to.

Related: Fine Print: Children's Books by Georgia Authors That Should Be on Your Bookshelf

a girl with a helmet and harness smiles as she makes her way through netting in a zipline
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47. Make Atlanta's weather part of your team when you take the kids to enjoy dinner al fresco. Many of our picks features spots for kids to play (think: lawns and courtyards) alongside kid-friendly fare they'll actually eat.

48. Speaking of feeding the kids, why not save a few bucks the next time you go out to dinner as a family?

49. Plan a trip to a re-creation of a Bavarian Alpine village, complete with cobblestone streets and local history linked to the Cherokee Indians and early settlers who came to mine for gold and work in the lumber industry.

50. Visit Georgia's own Area 51. While you won't find any aliens here, you will find an educational nature center, lots of hiking trails, historic homes and gardens to tour, and The Fresh Pickle.

51. Find treetop adventures right here in the city. Thrill seekers of all ages will love these courses, and a brave few will choose to tackle the largest zip line adventure park resort in the world. For real!

Related: 3 North Georgia Mountain Towns to Visit in Any Season

62. Even if you've lived here your whole life, you've got to ride the SkyView ferris wheel 20 stories above Centennial Olympic Park at least once. It'll convince you that Atlanta is rightfully called The City in the Trees.

63. Sunbathe indoors or sleep in a choo-choo when you and the kids hit the road during school's many winter breaks.

64. If you live in Atlanta, there's a good chance you've flown Delta. Visit the Delta Museum, where you can learn about our hometown airline and get up-close and personal with some massive airplanes.

65. For an inexpensive adventure that helps you avoid the hassle of driving in the city's notorious traffic, take MARTA to your next destination (or make it a destination in itself).

66. Explore Pullman cars, vintage buses, a steam locomotive, and other types of transportation at the Southeastern Railway Museum. Be sure to check their calendar for an expansive list of excellent family events.

Related: 6 Easy Winter Getaways That Aren't Too Far from Atlanta

kids eating ice cream in summer
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67. We think your kids will flip for a stack of flapjacks at one of our favorite spots. It's hard to beat Nutella pancakes on a weekend morning when everyone is feeling a bit lazy.

68. If your baby is named Ansley, Jimmy, Georgia, or King, you might just be from Atlanta.

69. Head north with the kids to meet llamas, pick berries, and learn about farm-to-table meal planning (who knows, maybe they'll even make dinner?).

70. Alpharetta is a hot spot for families near Atlanta, and we've got the scoop on this growing town's new and cool things to do with kids.

71. Ride the rails with Santa—it's a holiday tradition for Atlanta families that's hard to beat.

72. Atlanta's summers were made for ice cream!

Related: Yee-Haw! Find Farm-Fresh Fun near Atlanta

kids watch the whale shark at the atlanta aquarium one of the best things to do with kids in atlanta
pengxiao xu via unsplash

73. If you live here, you may think you know Georgia Aquarium, but there's always something new going on here. From the dolphin encounters kids and parents love to the newly opened 1.2 million-gallon shark tank that's mesmerizing everyone who sees it, this Atlanta favorite never gets old.

74. Check out our picks for where to stay cool on Atlanta's hottest days.

75. Explore the Georgia Sea Turtle Center and then head to the Summer Waves Water Park on your next family camping trip

76. Bring the kids for a trail ride adventure. Plan a one-time trip or if they fall in love with the animals, sign your little rider up for lessons.

77. Battle the brr's with a cup of hot coca that's as creamy as it is chocolatey. Our tip? Share a few sips with your kiddo or grab a cup of your own.

78. Hike to the top or take a shuttle bus to the top of our giant monolith, Stone Mountain, and enjoy spectacular sweeping views of Atlanta. There's always something going on at this destination that attracts visitors from all over. Whether you want to ride the train, explore dinosaurs, or stay for the evening fireworks, a trip is always a blast.

79. Take a trip down memory lane when you race go-karts, play mini-golf, and challenge your kids to a little Dance, Dance, Revolution competition.

80. Make your next weekend getaway truly epic by renting a house with a pool. Each one of our vacation picks includes things to do nearby so you don't have to look too far to find family activities.

Related: Dive In! An Insider's Guide to Georgia Aquarium

a family of three laughs on the bed
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81. Go glamping in a log cabin built in the late 1700s. Your kids will be fascinated with each of the old buildings on the property (there are four in total), and you'll find plenty to do at nearby Clayton and Lake Rabun.

82. Whether you use a flashlight, find one that's haunted, or a just-right size one for kids, Atlanta's corn mazes will keep everyone entertained.

83. Catch a family improv show at the award-winning Dad’s Garage improv comedy theater in Atlanta’s Historic Old Fourth Ward neighborhood. Trust us, it'll leave you in stitches.

84. Cheer on the Braves during a game at Truist Park.

85. Plan an island getaway that doesn't involve a flight.

86. A visit to the pumpkin patch is a must for families every fall. Find out which one has the best prices, best kids zone, and best overall experience before you go.

87. Truly experience The City in the Forest with a walk or bike ride through Piedmont Park, home to Atlanta Botanical Garden and Lake Clara Meer. Whether you are going to a festival, taking a sunset stroll, or walking your pooch to the dog park, this is the place to be on a beautiful day.

88. Support local moms when you shop one of our favorite women-owned businesses.

Related: Take Me Out to the Ballgame! A Family's Guide to Truist Park

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89. Find out what we love about Hello Rainbow, Maomi Bookstore, and PH'EAST (and what they have in common, too).

90. When you spend a day in this Atlanta historic district, you'll be surrounded by historic sights and places. It's where Atlantans go for to celebrate Sweet Auburn Springfest, watch the Caribbean Festival & Parade, and the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Parade.

91. A trip to Angel Falls is a must. As is taking a dip in the large lake nearby.

92. Light up your winter holidays with displays that really dazzle. Or drive around Atlanta's brightest neighborhoods to get in the holiday spirit. 

93. Hiking is a year round activity in the South. Why not plan a family hike today?

94. Trade your waterskis for snow skis, and head to one of our favorite nearby ski hills for the day (or the weekend). Another trade that'll go far here? Trading your water tube for a snowy run to make the runs.

Related: Southern Slopes: 8 Ski Spots near Atlanta

 

95. Hit this artist-designed playscape near 10th and Piedmont that's as visually engaging as it is physically engaging. On a hot day, hit the nearby Legacy Fountain splash pad that features more than 70 jets, reaching up to 30 feet in the air, with LED-lighting.

96. Head to a fall festival to get the fall-idays started off on the right foot.

97. Visit the 110-acre Brook Run Park, home to a large playground, two-mile trail, skate park, dog park, community garden, and a self-guided zip line course, called Treetop Quest. 

98. See if you've got what it takes to crack the code, open the safe, and solve all the puzzles so you can make it out in time.

99. Margaritaville at Lanier Islands continues to attract families in big numbers every summer thanks to its lakefront beach and waterpark—perfect for warmer weather entertainment. Our suggestion? Avoid the crowds and go on a weekday morning, if you're able.

100. Find your community, moms.

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