Atlanta Kids Weekend Events: Feb. 4-6

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Beat winter boredom with a free tour of Oakland Cemetery that emphasizes the lives of Atlanta’s African Americans, or meander through European knights in armor at Fernbank, or perhaps take a dino safari with animatronics they’re sure to remember. Whatever your interests are, Atlanta’s families are set for options. Keep reading for our favorite things to do this weekend, below.

Photo by iStock

Take the Free “We Shall Overcome” Tour at Oakland Cemetery
This tour explores the lives and accomplishments of outstanding and ordinary African Americans who fought to overcome the effects of slavery and discrimination to help shape the history of Atlanta. These free tours start outside of the Oakland Bell Tower (at the Visitors Center and Museum Store) at 1 p.m. Please arrive a few minutes early to check in with the volunteer at the front desk. Here’s what you need to know.

See Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type at Center for Puppetry Arts
Opening on February 2 and running Thurs.-Sun. through Mar. 13 is the Center’s adaptation of Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type, based on the book by Doreen Cronin with illustrations by Betsy Lewin.  Farmer Brown can’t believe his ears. Are his cows typing? Then he receives a letter from the cows with a specific demand. If they do not get what they want, they will strike. Here‘s all you need before you go.

Check Out Knights in Armor at Fernbank
Knights In Armor showcases stunning examples of European arms and armor from the renowned collection of the Museo Stibbert in Florence, Italy. Through more than 100 objects— including full suits of armor, mounted equestrian figures, paintings, helmets, swords and other weaponry— this exhibit tells the tale of the European knight from the medieval and Renaissance periods through the Medieval Revival of the 19th century. Check it out here.

Visit 3 Roswell Museums for Super Sunday
Celebrate Black History Month throughout February in Roswell. You’ll find an abstract exhibit at Roswell Cultural Arts Center, a student art exhibit at Roswell City Hall, a quilting exhibit in remembrance of lives lost at the River Landing, a virtual black history student brain bowl, a Super Sunday at 3 museums on Feb. 6, a Black History 101 mobile museum on Feb. 12 at the Bill Johnson Community Building, and an African-American Inventors exhibit at Mimosa Hall. Here‘s what you need to know.

Check Out Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab at Children’s Museum
Inspired by the educational, animated comedy series, Thomas Edison’s Secret Lab presents an exciting world of science and discovery! The exhibit invites you to join the fun through interactive explorations of science, technology, engineering, and math. Discover invisible forces that seem more like magic than science, manipulate simple machines, learn basic coding and more. Here‘s the deal.

Explore the Atlanta Science Festival
Once again, the Atlanta Science Festival is looking forward to painting the city with science during their week-long festival with 100 events across the city. Cap it all off with the Exploration Expo on Mar. 26– back after being quarantined for 2 years. Be sure to register to attend In advance. Here’s the scoop.

Go on a Dino Safari in Alpharetta 
Dinosaurs have taken over Alpharetta! Dino Safari…A Walk Thru Adventure at North Point Mall features fossils, a Sauropod Slide, Dig Pit, interactive games, cutting-edge research, and many varieties of advanced animatronic dinosaurs. Dig up ancient fossils, see how you measure up to the massive T. Rex, and race a Raptor. Check this out.

Explore Trains at the Atlanta History Museum
The cornerstone of Locomotion: Railroads and the Making of Atlanta is the restored locomotive Texas. The engine was built in 1856 for the Western & Atlantic Railroad, which had established its terminus in 1837 at the site that became Atlanta. For that reason, the locomotive is an important link to our city’s origins. Learn about the Texas and other ways railroads have shaped Atlanta. More info can be found here.

View the Obama Portraits at The High
The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery has loaned five cities—including Atlanta—the official portraits of President Barack Obama and Mrs. Michelle Obama. Take a peek a them before they’re gone. Here‘s the scoop.

Check out our incredible virtual adventure calendar here for more options!

—Shelley Massey

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We don’t like to exaggerate, but we’re pretty sure that the Henrico County Public Library should receive the Nobel Peace Prize for it’s genius caregiver-child workstation, which includes a baby-proof safe space (aka crib) next to an adult workspace (computer access, included).

According to research conducted by the Gates Foundation, people use their community library’s computers for employment, health and education. And if you’ve ever wrestled a toddler who’s set his sights on your computer’s keyboard, you know how hard it can be to secure any time in front of your computer can be.

The desk is made by TMC Furniture, who should also win an award. Or at the very least, we hope they consider making similar furniture available to universities, board rooms, court rooms, and—let’s be honest—restaurants, nail salons and home offices.

—Shelley Massey

Feature photo: TMC Furniture

 

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FRIGG Pacifier Recall Alert! Check Your Stash

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Mushie & Co. has recalled its FRIGG Silicone Pacifiers because of over 200 reports—including outside the US—of the nipple detaching from its base, posing a choking hazard. FRIGG silicone pacifiers came in two designs: Classic and Daisy, and the recall applies to around 333,725 pacifiers in every color.

So check your diaper bags and car consoles and anywhere else you might have a paci hanging out, because this is no bueno. If you find a FRIGG Silicone Pacifier, stop using it (obviously), then cut the nipple from the base of the pacifier and send a photo of both the detached silicone nipple and the base to Mushie & Co for a refund.

Then toss it. And leave it. And don’t go back to retrieve it.

—Shelley Massey

 

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We’ve loved chicken nuggets for a long time, and this Valentine’s Day Tyson has outdone themselves with heart shaped Nuggets of Love. As if a 20-minute antibiotic-free, all white meat chicken dinner wasn’t enough to make us swoon.

Two hundred and fifty lucky winners can receive a special edition “sauce stylus” by tagging their valentine and using the hashtag #SayItWithNuggets and #sweepstakes on the Tyson brand Instagram giveaway announcement post now until January 31, 2022. Winners also walk away with a free bag of Nuggets of Love and infinite possibilities for poultry-based love notes in their future.

Just be sure not to get to saucy with the notes you leave on your partner’s nuggets. We’d hate for a messaging mix-up to happen over the dinner table. You’ve been warned.

—Shelley Massey

 

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LEGO may have come up with the idea, but an enterprising Etsy shop devoted to the fab four beat them to the punch.

Golden Girls fans will want to take this Golden Girls LEGO set down the road and back again. But you’d better act fast because the shop owners have opened up preorders of this set—which is $95 and might not ship until February 2022—for a limited time only.

Blanche comes with a newspaper (ready to swat at Rose for starting in on another St. Olaf story), Sophia carries a straw purse and Blanche has a hand mirror to check herself out. Rose has her teddy, Fernando (remember how he was held hostage by a mean girl?), but our favorite detail has to be Stanley’s toupee.

The Golden Girls set is made with genuine LEGO Bricks, and the characters and furniture will be shipped assembled. Those who have already purchased one are giving it rave reviews. If you’re a fan, this set is the ultimate flex.

—Shelley Massey

 

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Editor’s note: We’re making every effort to provide you with the most up-to-date information. However, the situation with Covid-19 is fluid and ever-changing. We’re doing our best to keep all of our stories and calendar up to date, but calling-ahead is a safe way to plan your day. 

Staying home might be cheap, but we’re not going to lie—sometimes, it ain’t easy. Luckily for us, Atlanta is full of free (or really cheap) ways to have fun. And while you’re winning at the parenting game, you can also teach your kids the value of the dollar. Keep reading for our favorite ways to play in Atlanta that won’t break the bank.

Photo: iStock

Take a Free Tour of Atlanta’s Black History at Oakland Cemetery’s We Shall Overcome tour.

Take a Self-Guided Tour of the MLK National Historic Site. Due to Covid, you can’t go in the buildings but you can visit the sites.

Go on a quest for the holy grail of hot chocolate in the metro area.

Pack the car with snacks and head out in search of snow in a location not too terribly far from the Perimeter.

Cuddle up on the couch and crack each other up with these locally-inspired jokes that Atlanta kids will really get.

photo: Abbie I. via Yelp

Walk on the BeltLine. This 22-mile loop gets better every year, with art installations to find and Atlanta’s tree canopy to enjoy. The Beltline’s group bike tours are a great way for participant to finish a 3-hour course, pedaling through neighborhoods and nature they may never have visited before. Here‘s a map of the BeltLine—just choose your nearest access point and begin your exploration!

Give mountain biking a spin at a beginner course. A short drive from the heart of the city lies multiple groomed mountain biking trails—most with beginner courses—for bikers who long to get off the beaten path. Check out our guide to the best beginner mountain biking trails near Atlanta, here.

Go skateboarding at a skatepark. Atlanta’s skateparks are spread out, which means accessing one is relatively easy, no matter where you live. The Historic Fourth Ward Skatepark is often the site of free beginner skateboarding classes on the weekends (check the BeltLine’s website to find out when to go), and the Brook Run Skate Park in Dunwoody is the largest skatepark in Atlanta, and is surrounded by trees (and near trails for biking, walking, and running).

Scope out the graffiti at Krog Street Tunnel. This urban canvas of images, words and ideas links eclectic Inman Park and Cabbagetown. Park somewhere nearby and take your time checking out the artwork—the area is pedestrian friendly—and afterwards, head to Inman Park for a treat at The Little Tart Bakeshop. The french apple tart will make everything better.

photo: Kenneth I. via Yelp

Visit the Noah’s Arc Animal Sanctuary. Noah’s Ark is a 250-acre sanctuary for abused, unwanted, and neglected animals in a park-like setting with paved pathways. Noah’s Ark is open Tuesday through Saturday. The Welcome Center, picnic area, and playground are open at 9 a.m. for visitors, and the animal habitat is open from 12-3 p.m.

Bike the Silver Comet Trail. Located 13 miles northwest of Atlanta, this 61.5-mile long path is free of charge and travels west through Cobb, Paulding, and Polk counties. Expect a quiet, non-motorized, paved trail for walkers, hikers, bicyclists, rollerbladers, horses, dog walkers, and strollers. Hop on at the Mavell Road Trailhead in Smyrna, and if you’ve had your coffee, you can go all the way to the Georgia/Alabama state line, near Cedartown. Otherwise, it’s out-and-back. Parents, heads up: there are no bathrooms along the length of the trail, so pack some baggies and wipes, just in case.

Explore Arabia Mountain. Once part of a quarry, Arabia Mountain is now protected as part of the Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve. This otherworldly rock outcrop is a monadnock, a geologic formation that has the seen the ground around it erode away, leaving the mountain we know and love today. Arabia Mountain also contains a variety of rare and endangered plants, such as Diamorpha, which grows in the fragile solution pit ecosystems that appear on the rock face. The Arabia Mountain PATH (AMP) is a 30+ mile recreational trail located just 20 minutes east of Atlanta. Walkers, cyclists and joggers share the multi-use trail. AWARE, or the Atlanta Wild Animal Rescue Effort, has been operating at the base of Arabia Mountain since 2006. The nonprofit rescues sick or injured wild animals, rehabilitates them at their facility and returns them to the wild.

Spend a day in Piedmont Park. With paved paths perfect for biking, triking, and boarding, a lake, fields, and playgrounds, this Atlanta institution is a great place to spend a day. For a parent insider’s guide to the park, click here.

photo: iStock

Go to the Georgia Aquarium on your birthday. Georgia Aquarium provides free admission to Georgia residents on their birthday. Simply go to their website and select the number of birthday guests that will be visiting during check-out.

Check out the High Museum of Art on the second Sunday each month. On the second Sunday of each month, The High offers free admission for all visitors, who must adhere to strict social distancing and gathering guidelines. Access is limited to online, timed-ticket reservations.

Check out Kennesaw Battlefield Park. Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park is a 2,965 acre National Battlefield that preserves a Civil War battleground of the Atlanta Campaign. Opposing forces maneuvered and fought here from June 19, 1864 until July 2, 1864. Picnic and play in designated areas and then enjoy a hike on some of the over 22 miles of maintained interpretive trails. Enjoy our weekend Ranger talks starting at 10:30 am. Talks are between 20 and 30 minutes and cover a wide range of topics.

photo: Vasha B. via Yelp

Explore Historic Oakland Cemetery. Atlanta’s oldest public park and the final resting place of many of the city’s most noted citizens, Oakland is less than a mile from downtown on 48-acres. Explore history and gardens, sculpture and architecture, and play under the ancient oaks and magnolias. Parent’s heads-up: while the gates are open, the Visitor’s Center and restrooms are closed until further notice.

Pay a visit to the Marietta Fire Museum or the Roswell Fire Museum. Discover and learn the history of the firefighting through collections of antique fire apparatus, tools, and gear dating back to the 1800s. Learn how fire departments have changed over time through self-guided tours.

Head to Zoo Atlanta with your library card. Gain free admission to the wonderful—but pricey—Zoo Atlanta through the Library Pass Program. If you have a library card, you can check out a family pass (for a family of four) at Georgia’s public libraries. The pass is available at participating branches in all 159 counties.

Hike Stone Mountain. Reach the summit of this vast monolith via trail (or take the Summit Skyride cable car, instead) to the rock’s peak. And while Stone Mountain Park offers amusements and seasonal attractions, tickets are pricey. For a less expensive alternative, summit the monolith and then check out buildings dating back to 1793 that fill the park’s Historic Square. A daily parking pass is available for $20, and you can access the trailhead for the 1-mile summit trail from the parking lot adjacent to Confederate Hall.

— Shelley Massey

featured photo: Abbie I. via Yelp

 

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It just got easier to find legitimate N95s with the recent announcement by the federal government of its plan to distribute up to 3 free NIOSH-approved N95 masks to adults at most major pharmacy chains where COVID vaccines are offered. Availability may be limited as they roll-out the program, but you can expect it to be fully operational by mid-February.

Major pharmacy chains CVS, Rite Aid, Stop & Shop, Walgreens, Kroger, and Walmart have confirmed that they will distribute the free masks, and while there was an early buzz about being able to request N95s from the same website where you can order free home COVID tests, it appears the masks will only be available for pickup in person.

Only adult masks will be available when the program starts, but the Washington Post reports that the White House anticipates making additional, high-quality masks for children available in the near future.

 

If you don’t want to wait and plan to purchase N95s before they’re readily available through the government’s new program, be careful—there are plenty of counterfeit ones still on the market.

The CDC offers the following guidelines:

  • Be wary of masks that have no markings on the face piece, no approval number on the mask or headband, and no NIOSH markings.
  • Be extra cautious of masks that explicitly claim to be “approved” for children, because NIOSH does not specifically approve any type of mask for kids.
  • If the bands go around your ears and not behind your head, you’re probably not sporting a NIOSH-approved mask. If you find one that claims to be NIOSH-approved but has ear loops, you can verify Its approval status on this website. Project N95—a non-profit personal protective equipment information and supply clearinghouse—is an excellent resource, or you can search for the CDC for masks approved by the NIOSH.

—Shelley Massey

 

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If we hadn’t seen it for ourselves, we’d be calling bologna on this one. But it’s for real. You can now hydrate your face with Oscar Mayer bologna hydrogel sheet masks. Because it’s 2022. Why wouldn’t we put bologna on our faces?

But don’t barf. There’s no pressed meat involved. They just look like bologna, but they’re actually lined with Witch Hazel Botanical and seaweed-derived ingredients that protect and hydrate.

Why bologna? Because you can’t spell delightful without deli, and we could all use a slice of self-care every now and then.

—Shelley Massey

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It’s like we all realized it at the same time: we might have to do school, work and general living differently (thanks, pandemic), but we don’t have to do it here. Millions of Americans are looking to make a change in where they live, and Airbnb’s Instagram account is a no-risk way to see if the grass is really greener on the other side of the fence.

Turns out, it is—at least in some spots. The most liked Airbnb properties of 2021 include a glassed-in A frame in the Zion Mountains, a treehouse in a wilderness preserve and cabins hidden away in the Redwoods, along biking trails and deep in the heart of old-growth forests.

We’re not mind readers, but it seems like people are trying to get away from it all, no? Scroll down to see which locations tempt us the most to go off-grid.

Talk about aligning your sleep cycle with nature. And if you're working from home, you're sure to be up with the sun. 

Book This Property Here

If you need a shift in your perspective, this ought to do it.

Book This Property Here

Water cooler breaks are so 2019. They're into mountain biking breaks around here.

Book This Property Here

—Shelley Massey

Featured image courtesy Gerard Skehan.

 

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As the birthplace of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a stronghold of the Civil Rights Movement, and the home of the late Congressman John Lewis—not to mention the scores of historic sites and personal accounts of black history on nearly every corner—Atlanta’s an awesome spot to be during Black History Month. Keep reading for our favorite ways to celebrate, honor and learn with your kids, below.

Shop the New Black Wall Street Market

Opened in November 2021, the New Black Wall Street Market is located in Stonecrest, 20 minutes east of Downtown Atlanta. Here, you’ll find 100+ shops and restaurants to explore. Shop everything from retail, gourmet groceries, and fine dining to entertainment and family fun. The Market’s mission is to increase the number of minority and women-owned businesses while fostering operational excellence. All are welcome to visit, shop, support their mission, and enjoy.

8109 Mall Pkwy.
Stonecrest
Online: newblackwallstreet.co

Wed.-Sat. 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

African American Burial Ground Tours at Historic Oakland Cemetery

Throughout February, Historic Oakland Foundation hosts free guided walking tours of Oakland Cemetery’s historic African American Burial Grounds, with stops at the final resting places of a few Atlanta pioneers, including Carrie Steele Logan, founder of Atlanta’s first orphanage for African American children; William Finch, one of Atlanta’s first African American city councilmen; Bishop Wesley John Gaines and Julia A. Gaines, pastor and First Lady of Big Bethel A.M.E. Church; and Maynard Jackson, Atlanta’s first African American mayor. While the tour is free, donations are greatly appreciated. Registration is required. Here's the scoop.

248 Oakland Ave, SE
Atlanta, GA
404-688-2107
Online: oaklandcemetery.com

Hours: Feb. 6, 10, 15, 19, 20, 26 at 1 p.m.

Admission: Free

Visit the ELDER Project at Freedom Park

Designated as Atlanta’s Art Park by the city of Atlanta, Freedom Park's ELDER Project honors the trees and the people that make up the community surrounding the David T. Howard School. The school is important in Atlanta history as a reflection of the Old 4th Ward neighborhood, with graduates including Martin Luther King, Jr, Walt Clyde Frazier, Maynard Jackson, Lonnie King and many notable others. Since the closure of David T. Howard High School in 1976, the alumni have acted with pride and passion to preserve the legacy of this school and its place in the community. Find out more here.

Moreland Ave. NE & North Ave. NE
Atlanta, GA
404-480-3018
Online: freedompark.org

Hours: Sunrise to Sunset daily

Admission: Free, but registration is required

2022 Black History Month Parade

Be a part of the largest Black History Month celebration in the Southeast. Head to the Historic Sweet Auburn District in Downtown Atlanta for a day filled with fun and fanfare.

Details will be announced soon for 2022. In past years, the parade has included marching bands, floats, drum lines from historically Black colleges, and much more.

Hours: TBD for 2022

Cost: Free

City of Roswell Celebrates Black History with Exhibits & More

Celebrate Black History Month throughout February in Roswell. You'll find an abstract exhibit at Roswell Cultural Arts Center, a student art exhibit at Roswell City Hall, a quilting exhibit in remembrance of lives lost at the River Landing, a virtual black history student brain bowl, a Super Sunday at 3 museums on Feb. 6, a Black History 101 mobile museum on Feb. 12 at the Bill Johnson Community Building, and an African-American Inventors exhibit at Mimosa Hall. Here's what you need to know.

Roswell, GA
Online: roswellgov.com

Hours: Multiple dates and times; see website for specifics

Admission: Free

photo: iStock

Visit The National Center for Civil & Human Rights

The National Center for Civil and Human Rights believes in justice and dignity for all, and the power of people to make this idea real. They inspire visitors with immersive exhibitions, dynamic events and conversations, and engagement and education/training programs. Be sure to download their  “Across Generations” intergenerational conversation starter for you to use on your visit. 

100 Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd. NW
Atlanta, GA
Online: civilandhumanrights.org

Hours: Thurs., Fri., & Sun. 12–5 p.m.; Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Admission: $16 per person

 

photo: iStock

Visit the MLK National Historical Park

What do you know about the Civil Rights Movement? Learn something new about the people from the past—famous and not so famous— who played a part in the movement. The Visitor Center, Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, and Freedom Hall are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The Birth Home is open for ranger-led tours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Fire Station No. 6 is staffed by park volunteers and is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. when volunteers are available. All sites are free to the public.

450 Auburn Ave., NE
Atlanta, Ga
404-331-5190
Online: nps.gov

Hours: Daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Note: In accordance with guidance from the CDC and recommendations from public health authorities, all buildings within the park are temporarily closed. Visitors are welcomed to park and take a self-guided tour of our campus until further notice. Click here for more details.

Admission: Free

photo: iStock

Celebrate Black History Month at The Children's Museum

Celebrate Black History Month with the Children's Museum of Atlanta. During your visit, stop by the Stage, Science Bar, and Creativity Café to learn about prominent African Americans in the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and art. You'll find interactive story times, hands-on activities, and exciting experiments all month long.

275 Centennial Olympic Park Dr. NW
Atlanta, GA
404-659-5437
Online: childrensmuseumatlanta.org

Hours: 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily, closed Wed.

Admission: $18 per person over age 1

Featured photo via iStock

—Shelley Massey

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