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The capital of Georgia and its most populous city, Atlanta is known for eclectic neighborhoods, civil rights history, and great food. It’s also a fun place to explore with children. The many museums, outdoor spaces, animal attractions, and other fun activities ensure that families have plenty to do to keep little ones busy when visiting. Here are some of the best things to do with kids when visiting Atlanta.
What Is It? Home to indoor and outdoor exhibits, Fernbank Museum is committed to green practices, sustainability, and educating visitors on science and nature.
Why Do It? Originally located on 65 preserved acres that were used as a school in the woods for children, the museum now also has exhibits with full-sized casts of dinosaur fossils from Argentina, a world of shells, cultural clothing, and a walk through time in Georgia.
Good to Know: Don’t miss visiting the original wooded section, Fernback Forest, which has two acres of pathways to view the native plants and animals that live there.
World of Coca-Cola
What Is It? Opened as a tribute to the popularity of this hometown drink, the World of Coca-Cola gives a backstage look at all things Coke.
Why Do It? From the origin story to a behind-the-scenes view of the bottling process to how Coca-Cola has become a cultural icon, there’s plenty to explore. They’ll even give you a glimpse into the vault that holds the secret cola formula.
Good to Know: The tasting room is where you can sample over 100 different Coca-Cola flavors from around the world.
Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Park
What Is It? Located in the Sweet Auburn section of Atlanta, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Park includes seven locations in the area where MLK was born and raised.
Why Do It? Included in the park area are his birth home, Ebenezer Baptist Church where both he and his father preached, his final resting place and the “I Have A Dream” World Peace Rose Garden, which is one of six established world peace rose gardens in the world.
Good to Know: All sites are within walking distance of each other, allowing visitors to get up close to the places where Dr. King lived in his childhood.
Center For Puppetry Arts
What Is It? Founded in 1978, the Center for Puppetry Arts’ mission is to introduce visitors to the art of puppetry through exhibits, performances and learning programs.
Why Do It? Its Worlds of Puppetry Museum is home to more than 5000 puppets and artifacts and explores the history of puppets around the world.
Good to Know: The Jim Henson Gallery is a must-see, as contains puppets and props from Sesame Street, The Muppets, and Fraggle Rock.
What Is It? Over 11 million gallons of water, thousands of animals, and seven galleries greet you at the Georgia Aquarium.
Why Do It? The largest aquarium in the United States, it’s also home to whale sharks, the largest fish in the world. Visitors can explore different exhibits that focus on sharks, tropical reefs, cold water, rivers, and other ecosystems.
Good to Know: Dedicated to conservation and research, Georgia Aquarium also offers behind-the-scenes educational experiences to help visitors learn more about its residents.
What Is It? With a large tree canopy covering the city, Atlanta is known for its great spaces and outdoor activities.
Why Do It? Piedmont Park is right outside of the downtown area. Located on 185 acres, there is plenty of room for families to explore and get some fresh air. The park hosts playgrounds, history tours, an aquatic center and has a bike rental service. You can even fish off of one of three piers at Lake Clara Meer. Once you’re done exploring, visit one of the park’s restaurants to grab a bite to eat.
Good to Know: If you’re visiting in early April, don’t miss the Dogwood Festival. Held while the dogwood trees in Piedmont Park are blooming, the festival features music, an artist market, a kids village, and lots of food.
What Is It? “What’ll ya have? What’ll ya have?” is how you’ll be greeted when you enter The Varsity. A fast food burger and hot dog joint, The Varsity has been an Atlanta tradition for almost 100 years.
Why Do It? While they have multiple locations in the metro Atlanta area, you have to visit their location near Georgia Tech. Located on two city blocks, the original Varsity restaurant can accommodate 800 diners in its multiple dining areas. Make sure you order an F.O. when you go. The combo of a vanilla milkshake with an orange drink can’t be beaten. And their onion rings are made from scratch every day and never frozen.
Good to Know: Be sure you know what you want to order before you get in line because everything moves quickly at The Varsity. And beware of going on game days when it gets even busier than usual.
What Is It? Founded in 1889, Zoo Atlanta is one of only three zoos in the United States that has giant pandas on site.
Why Do It? Located on 40 acres in downtown Atlanta, there are eight habitats and more than 200 species of animals to see, along with behind-the-scenes animal experiences and wildlife presentations.
Good to Know: Don’t miss the free keeper talks to educational information from zookeepers to learn more about specific animals.