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Atlanta is a city of rich history, fascinating culture, incredble food, groundbreaking music and it feels like a city where anything is possible - where everything is taken to the next level. It also happens to be filled with some REALLY fun things to do with kids, too!
It's a city where urban is as prominent as nature, where you can feel like you're the center of it all then transported to an oasis.
It's because of Atlanta's magical and inspiring energy that we can't wait to share with you our Atlanta City Guide featuring our "Top 9 Family Attractions" , which are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what to enjoy in this exciting US destination!
So make sure you check out our exciting Atlanta City Guide that we've lovingly put together just for you, so you know exactly how to plan your next exciting family day out in the grand capital of Georgia!
Main Image Credit: Ralph Daniel / Georgia.org
Image Credit: Ralph Daniel / Georgia.org
In this Atlanta City Guide, we are SO excited to share with you our top 9 things to do with kids in this amazing city, as well as some really fun experiences that will bring out the child in everyone!
We know that budgets are a consideration when you are traveling as a family, so also in this Atlanta City Guide we share with you some free things that you can enjoy which won't break that bank account.
Visiting Atlanta without a car? We also share some tips to help you navigate around the city without any issues, and we also share some really fun facts about Atlanta that might just surprise you!
If you want to explore a bit further out of the city, our Atlanta City Guide lets you in on one of our favorite day trips, and we share some famous faces who call this great Georgia city home.
So whether this is your first trip saying "Yes, take me to Atlanta"! or perhaps you have lived in the city all your life yet never took the time to really explore and you wonder "What is there is to do near me in Atlanta?", then keep reading because we have the top 9 things to do in Atlanta to enjoy with the family... and so much more!
Image Credit: Ralph Daniel / Georgia.org
This history of the city of Atlanta actually dates back to 1836, when the state of Georgia needed a terminus for the railway line headed towards the US Midwest. Then, in 1837, a stake pierced the ground in the exact spot this terminus was to be built. Two years later a settlement began to form when homes as well as a store were built around that very spot. The city of Atlanta had begun.
Between 1845 and 1854, Atlanta saw four rail lines pass through, and the city quickly became the rail hub for the entire Southern USA. During the American Civil War the city was hit quite hard, yet it's resilience even then saw the city expand thanks to its continued role as a rail hub.
Atlanta certainly found itself as a focal point in a number of historic events beyond the American Civil War. It was a major center for the Civil Rights Movement during the 1950s and 60s, then in the 1996 hosted the Summer Olympic Games meaning the eyes of the world were on the city!
Since the 2000s, the city has undergone an incredible transformation culturally, physically and even demographically with gentrification spreading throughout the city. Also reflected in the community is the fact the upcoming generation strongly value college education, making for an exciting city with an exciting future - and one that makes a great destination for families!
Image Credit: Ralph Daniel / Georgia.org
Atlanta has so many fun things to do with kids of all ages, from toddlers to teens. Whether the family love wildlife, indoor play, art, museums, or outdoor fun, Atlanta has something for you!
Those curious and playful little ones can have the time of their life at places such as HippoHopp Indoor Playground, or learn through play at the Children's Museum of Atlanta!
The wonders of wildlife await at attractions such as Georgia Aquarium or Zoo Atlanta, where kids can come face to face with some of the most beautiful creatures on our planet (making for a WILD day out!) Or it might be you want to explore more wonders of the entire world at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History!
If it's museums you are interested in, then you're in luck as Atlanta is also home to The APEX Museum and even World of Coca-Cola, where fascinating exhibits tell the stories of people and events who made the city what it is today.
From history at the Martin Luther King Jr National Historical Park, to entertainment at LEGOLAND Discovery Center and everything in between, you certainly won't be short of things to do with the family on that next visit to the city among the hills.
Image Credit: Ralph Daniel / Georgia.org
If you are looking to make your way around Atlanta without a car, then you won't have any issues thanks to the city's public transporation system!
First, there is MARTA - their transit rail system. MARTA can carry you across the city and right through the charming neighborhoods (which are really worth exploring as much as downtown is!).
Then, if you want to zip around the entertainment district, you have the newest addition to Atlanta's public transport options - the Atlanta Streetcar!
For those families who want to stay with wheels, the city has plenty of taxis, rideshares and even shuttles to make your commute even more simple.
Of course, if you love the fresh then take those comfortable walking shoes because Atlanta is also a very walking-friendly city! There are beautiful paths and parks to explore on foot, offering some great bicycle opportunities too.
Stick with one, or mix it up! Either way, you’ll find navigating through Atlanta is a breeze.
For more information, check out Discover Atlanta!
Batter up! If you just LOVE baseball, then a visit to the home of the Altanta Braves is a must when in the city! There is nothing quite like the excitement of seeing a baseball game - the crowd, the cheers, and the electric atmosphere (especially if the home team wins!)
Taking the family to see a ball game is an amazing experience, and whether you are a supporter of the Atlanta Braves or not, just being there and taking in the excitement is second to none.
The season runs from April to October, so before you head to Atlanta why not check the home games on their website and plan your trip around catching a game? PLAY BALL!
Image Credit: Atlanta Braves
Our Top 9 Fun Things To Do With The Kids In Atlanta
1The APEX Museum
The APEX Museum is an incredibly important museum to visit in Atlanta, as it's the oldest Black History Museum in the city. It was founded in 1978, and is housed in a century old buiulding built by African-American masons.
A visit to the APEX Museum tells the rich and often untold story of people of the African Diaspora, with exhibits that change quarterly so you can always have something new to go back and see, ensuring your day out will leave you with a complete view of the rich and important African and African American history and culture.
Image Credit: Apex Museum
The Children's Museum of Atlanta is a fun museum designed JUST for kids, with hands-on exhibits where those curious little ones can learn through play! The permanent exhibits offer educational experiences in science, math, the arts and the world!
Also at the Children's Museum of Atlanta you can find special Featured Exhibits, as well as a variety of programs that can really enhance the learning experience. This museum is a place where imaginations can run wild, children can be inspired and where curiosity is encouraged!
Image Credit: Children's Museum of Atlanta
Get ready to discover the wonders of our oceans at Georgia Aquarium! Here, the whole family can stand face to face with some of the most beautiful, weird and wonderful creatures of our waters - and you don't even have to get wet!
See stunning Hammerhead Sharks in all their glory, marvel at a Beluga Whale up close, and see curious penguins play. Georgia Aquarium also offers fascinating shows, educational presentations and even opportunities to swim and dive, making your family day out a real SPLASH-tastic experience!
Image Credit: Georgia Aquarium
The Fernbank Museum of Natural History is where science, nature and fun make history for kids! At this popular museum, the whole family can travel around the world, and even travel back in time as you discover live animals, ancient fossils, prehistoric cultures and yes - come face to face with dinosaurs!
Also at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History are 75 acres of amazing forest, with outdoor exhibits, a canopy walk, breathtaking walking trails, nature playgrounds and of course, native wildlife! An invaluable learning experience where you can really see just how magical our planet is!
Image Credit: Fernbank Museum
Visit Atlanta's ONLY Ultimate LEGO experience with a trip to LEGOLAND Discovery Center! Here, a host of LEGO-related fun awaits the whole family. Kids can explore Miniland where 1.5 million LEGO bricks make up the city itself, or they can create AND race their own LEGO car down a giant speed ramp!
If that wasn't enough, the whole family can enjoy exclusive rides and attractions found only at LEGOLAND Discovery Center. So kids, are you ready for a LEGO-tastic day out in Atlanta? We certainly are, so let's go!
Image Credit: LEGOLAND
It's time to get WILD in Atlanta with Zoo Atlanta, offering the whole family the chance to come face to face with some of the most amazing creatures of our planet! Kids can marvel at the African Elephant, or look into the eyes of a grand lion. They might want to gaze at the markings of a Clouded Leopard, or watch some lemurs play!
Zoo Atlanta is not only where you can meet some amazing wildlife, but kids can also enjoy activities such as mystery hunts and engaging presentations, or enjoy some of the rides in the grounds!. Regular animal feedings and encounters can make your day extra special too!
Image Credit: Zoo Atlanta
It's a BUBBLE-tastic day out at the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta! Here, kids can journey through the fascinating history of this iconic beverage brand, and interact with a host of fun exhibits. And yes, you can also sample beverages from around the world!
Also at the World of Coca-Cola, kids can chill with the world's bubbliest polar bear before checking out the 3D theater, visit the Bottle Works, and of course stop by the Coca-Cola store at the end of your trip!
Image Credit: World of Coca-Cola
Live puppet theater performances, a fascinating puppet museum, workshops and even events - it's all happening at the Center for Puppetry Arts! Since 1978, this special attraction has been enlightening and entertaining all who visit on the wonderful world of puppetry, and now it can be your turn!
Kids can watch magical stories unfold through enchanting performances at the shows, or enjoy hands-on exhibits within the museum that really do bring some of your favorite puppet characters to life! Kermit the Frog and Jim Henson himself cut the ribbon to the opening of the Center for Puppetry Arts, so you know you're about to experience something truly special!
Image Credit: Puppet.org
What better way to spend the day for playful and curious little ones in Atlanta than at the colorful HippoHopp Indoor Playground! Here, kids can use those imaginations, run, climb, bounce and slide across the huge variety of indoor play structures!
Active kids can use up that energy on obstacle courses, a dodge ball arena, basketball, interactive flooring, and even air hockey or on the rock climbing wall! For those really young little ones, there is a nursing nook complete with toddler friendly activities too.
Image Credit: HippoHopp
Famous Folk From Atlanta!
Kanye West is a multi-award winning American rapper, producer, fashion designer and entrepreneur, regarded as one of the most influential and successful hop hop artists of all time.
His chart toppers include Stronger and Gold Digger.
Image Credit: MoMA
Martin Luther King Jr
Martin Luther King Jr was an American Baptist miniter and activist who became one of the most influential figures of all time.
He is best known for leading the Civil Rights movement during the 1950s and 60s, helping African Americans achieve racial equality.
Image Credit: Public Domain
5 Fun Atlanta Facts
Impress your friends with your amazing Atlanta knowledge!
- Atlanta's airport - Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport - is the busiest in the entire world!
- The incredibly iconic and popular soda Coca Cola was invented and founded in Atlanta back in 1886 by a pharmacist named Dr. John S. Pemberton!
- Atlanta is known as the "Hollywood of the South" thanks to it being third in the nation for film production! Films you might just know that shot in Atlanta include "Black Panther" and "Spider-Man", plus the Avengers movies!
- Atlanta is referred to being a "City in a Forest", with forest covering 47.9% of the city!
- The city's symbol is the phoenix after it rose back from the ashes following General Sherman's act of war against the city. In 1864, General Sherman burnt the city to the ground, leaving only 400 or so buildings however the city proudly rebuilt itself!
Top 5 FREE Things To Do With Kids In Atlanta
Martin Luther King Jr National Historical Park
Martin Luther King Jr was a dreamer who grew up in a time of segregation, and became a leader of the modern Civil Rights Movement. It's at the Martin Luther King Jr National Historical Park that kids can learn all about his inspiring journey and hear his story!
At this historic attraction you can visit the actual home of his birth, and even see where he played as a child. Why not walk in the footsteps of this icon, including hearing his voice in the very church where he moved hearts and minds!
Image Credit: NPS
Walk the Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum!
Did you know that the Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum is a great 22-mile connection to all of the citys neighborhoods? In fact, you can enjoy FREE guided walking tours of this amazing city attraction! It's a great way to enjoy some fresh air, take in some brilliant city views, and be inspired by some of the local art installations.
During the walk you can also learn all about the fascinating history of the city, stop and grab something to eat at the many restaurants that line the path, or just literally stop and smell the roses! The tours have a strong horticultural focus, and there is nothing quite like nature.
Image Credit: Atlanta Beltline
Tour the Atlanta Monetary Museum
Have you ever wondered what role the role of the Federal Reserve is, or how money is made? Well, a trip to the Atlanta Monetary Museum will answer all those questions! If you have under 10 people in your party, you can enjoy a free self-guided tour throughout the exhibits.
Explore fascinating historical artifacts that will help you discover the fascinating story of money—from the days of bartering through to modern times. You'll also learn about the turbulent history of banking in the USA and see examples of rare coins and currency!
Image Credit: Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank
Visit Centennial Olympic Park!
Once home of the 1996 Summer Olympic Games, Centennial Olympic Park is now the crown jewel of Atlanta’s downtown entertainment district and an amazing year-round destination for families! Here, 22-acres await to not only celebrate the city's sporting legacy, but also offer free events and entertainment (plus that classic park experience!)
With paths, playgrounds, gardens, the iconic Fountain of Rings and lots of lawn space to play, Centennial Olympic Park is a great way to spend the day in Atlanta. Don't miss checking out the Centennial Plaza where over 500,000 commemorative engraved bricks were installed prior to the games!
Image Credit: GWCCA
Tour the Georgia Capitol Museum
The Georgia Capitol Museum gives families a chance to view first-hand the most important government building in the entire state! Free admission self-guided tours allow you to experience the grandeur of the Georgia Capitol, whilst reinforcing what you already know about Georgia history in school (and kids, we bet that's a lot!)
Self-guided tours are perfect for parties less than 10, and provide an incredibly convenient way to explore the building at your own pace. On their website you can even download the self-guided tour map so you can arrive prepared! An important piece of Georgia AND Atlanta history!
Image Credit: Georgia Capitol Museum
Georgia: Atlanta Food Tour | One Day in the ATL
There are SO many fun day trips from Atlanta that keep you within the state of Georgia (of course there are, Georgia is BEAUTIFUL!), but our pick for a great family-tastic day trip worth exploring will take you into Tennessee. Kids, we're off to Chattanooga!
Chattanooga is only about a two hour drive from Atlanta, and this vibrant city has so much to offer. This eco-friendly city is an outdoor loving families dream, with rock-climbing, hiking and water sports, yet it is also a city of art, culture, festivals and delicious foods! Are you excited to visit?
Image Credit: Kevin Ruck
Chattanooga was founded back in 1839, however it was in 1816 that two brothers named John and Lewis Ross actually established the settlement of Ross's Landing complete with a trading post, a ferry landing and a warehouse. This settlement grew until 1838 when residents met and voted that the name change from Ross's Landing to Chattanooga. Then, in 1839 the town was incorporated.
But where did the name Chattanooga come from? Well, historians aren't actually sure! They know the name was derived from the Cherokee, but some feel it's from a word describing the nearby stunning Lookout Mountain as "rock coming to a point". Others feels it's from the Indian word for "hawk's nest". Then, some feel it's from the Indian name "Tsatanugi".
In fact, we do know as early as 1793 there are maps that show an Indian village and creek named "Chatanuga" at the foot of Lookout Mountain.
Of course, much like all American cities the history of the Chattanooga and its first inhabitants go back thousands of years with Native Americans calling the region home. If you visit the historic Chickamauga Mound near the mouth of Chickamauga Creek, you can actually see the oldest remaining visible art that dates from 750 CE!
During World War I, the population of Chattanooga really expanded and by the 1930s the city was known as the "Dynamo of Dixie", with the 1970s another period of population growth. Today, Chattanooga is a thriving, eco-friendly city that welcomes families just like yours, and is the perfect destination for any family day out (or longer!)
Here’s our top 4 Chattanooga things to do:
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Let's get the family adventure started!