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His­toric, bustling, full of life, the city of Atlanta has a fla­vor all its own. Known to adults for its hip music scene and pow­er­house film indus­try, there are also pint-sized ver­sions of both plus plen­ty of things to do in Atlanta with kids. Try these kid-friend­ly attrac­tions and activ­i­ties the next time you plan a vis­it to Atlanta, Georgia.

 

 

 

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Georgia Aquarium

 

The impres­sive Geor­gia Aquar­i­um is home to ocean giants such as whale sharks, man­ta rays, and bel­u­ga whales. While admis­sion is pricey at $36 per per­son, we found it worth the expe­ri­ence. With sea lions, pen­guins, ham­mer­head sharks, and count­less oth­er species, the exhibits are fas­ci­nat­ing for adults as well as kids. The dol­phin show was a high­light for our fam­i­ly; we were awed by the ani­mals’ amaz­ing ath­let­ic abil­i­ties. How­ev­er, the Geor­gia Aquar­i­um isn’t just about the glitz of ani­mal exhibits and shows; as mem­bers of the Amer­i­can Asso­ci­a­tion of Zoos and Aquar­i­ums, they focus on con­ser­va­tion and the well-being of their ani­mals. If your fam­i­ly wants an extra-spe­cial expe­ri­ence, try a behind-the-scenes tour or even a shark cage dive!

 

 

Giant whale sharks are among the many daz­zling ani­mals at the Geor­gia Aquar­i­um. Pho­to by Matt Hel­big on Unsplash.

 

 

World of Coca-Cola

 

While you’re at the aquar­i­um, you’ll notice peo­ple stream­ing into anoth­er build­ing near­by — The World of Coca-Cola. It’s hard to explain why so many peo­ple love vis­it­ing a muse­um about a soft drink, but it’s a pop­u­lar part of the Atlanta expe­ri­ence. You can see antique Coca-Cola arti­facts includ­ing a deliv­ery truck so big that the build­ing was built around it. You’ll learn about Coca-Cola’s secret recipe and see if you can keep it safe dur­ing an inter­ac­tive game. But the high­light of the muse­um is the room where guests can taste Coca-Cola prod­ucts from around the world. 

Pro-Tip: Be sure to try the drink called Bev­er­ly — you can thank me later.

 

 

The World of Coca-Cola gives vis­i­tors a peek at the secrets of Geor­gia’s home­grown soft drink. Pho­to by Akhil Yer­abati on Unsplash.

  

 

Movies & Music

 

Atlanta has become one of the most pop­u­lar loca­tions for movie and TV film­ing in recent years, with fran­chis­es like Mar­vel, The Hunger Games, Stranger Things, and The Walk­ing Dead call­ing the area home. If you have old­er kids or teens, be sure to book a movie loca­tion tour or research places to vis­it on your own. Trilith Stu­dios, for­mer­ly Pinewood Atlanta, is not open for tours, but you can stop in for lunch at the on-site Stu­dio Cafe. Young music fans will want to head to the Chil­dren’s Muse­um of Atlanta for dai­ly songs and dances at CMA On-Stage (but save T.I.‘s Trap Music Muse­um for old­er teens). 

 

 

 

Zoo Atlanta

 

Zoo Atlanta is one of the few remain­ing zoos in the coun­try to host giant pan­das. Set in the lush green­ery of Grant Park, the zoo has mor­phed from a Vic­to­ri­an trav­el­ing show in the 1880s to an AZA-accred­it­ed orga­ni­za­tion with over 1,000 ani­mals. I def­i­nite­ly rec­om­mend vis­it­ing the West­ern Low­land Goril­las; the zoo has one of the largest pop­u­la­tions of goril­las in the U.S., and you might catch a glimpse of an adorable goril­la baby snug­gling with its mom. 

 

 

Zoo Atlanta delights vis­i­tors with pan­das, goril­las, ele­phants, and more. (Side note: the pan­da cam on their web­site is great, too.) Pho­to by Johnathan Mey­er on Unsplash.

 

 

Catch a Game

 

I spent so much of my child­hood going to Braves base­ball games in Atlanta that I was sure that’s what the nation­al anthem meant (“and the home of the … Braves?”). With Braves tick­ets avail­able for under $20 and the abil­i­ty to bring in out­side food, your fam­i­ly can catch a Major League Base­ball game with­out break­ing the bank. Base­ball not your style? Try an Atlanta Unit­ed FC soc­cer game or an Atlanta Fal­cons NFL game. 

[su_quotes]Pro-Tip: Every Sun­day, the zipline, rock climb­ing wall, and games in the chil­dren’s area of the Braves’ sta­di­um are free. [/su_quotes]

 

 

Attend­ing Braves games has been an Atlanta tra­di­tion since the 1960s. Before you buy tick­ets, check their pro­mo­tion­al sched­ule to find out about give­aways and fire­works nights. Pho­to by Joshua Pea­cock on Unsplash.

 

 

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Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthplace

 

Take some time to learn about impor­tant ele­ments of U.S. his­to­ry by vis­it­ing the Mar­tin Luther King, Jr. Nation­al His­tor­i­cal Park. The park includes a ranger-led tour of the 1895 house in which King was born and spent his ear­ly child­hood. Fam­i­lies also can tour His­toric Ebenez­er Bap­tist Church where King was co-pas­tor, an antique fire sta­tion that once served the area, and the vis­i­tors cen­ter that fea­tures an exhib­it espe­cial­ly for chil­dren. To learn even more, stop by The King Cen­ter for dis­plays about Dr. Mar­tin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, and Mahat­ma Gand­hi. The King Cen­ter also serves as the final rest­ing place for Dr. King. 

 

 

When vis­it­ing Mar­tin Luther King, Jr. Nation­al His­tor­i­cal Park, take time to tour His­toric Ebenez­er Bap­tist Church, where Mar­tin Luther King, Jr. was co-pas­tor until his assas­si­na­tion. Pho­to by Tayshawn Roys­ter on Unsplash.

 

 

You can save mon­ey by get­ting the GoC­i­ty­Card and get dis­counts on many fam­i­ly-friend­ly activities.

 

Via­tor also sells tick­ets to many attrac­tions so you can make sure to get your tick­ets before they sell out!

 

 

When You Go

 

Getting There

 

Atlanta’s pri­ma­ry air­port is Harts­field-Jack­son Atlanta Inter­na­tion­al Air­port (ATL). The air­port is known as the major hub for Delta Air­lines, but it offers air ser­vice by mul­ti­ple domes­tic and inter­na­tion­al com­pa­nies. Non­stop flights from Los Ange­les to Atlanta take four or five hours and are avail­able with Delta, Amer­i­can, and Spir­it Airlines. 

We’ve found great flight deals with CheapOAir. Use the fields below to com­pare flights dur­ing the time you’d like to visit.

 

 

 

Stay­ing near Cen­ten­ni­al Olympic Park in mid­town Atlanta pro­vides easy access to pop­u­lar attrac­tions and a beau­ti­ful view of the park’s light tow­ers. Pho­to by Paul Nichol­son.

 

 

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Where to Stay

 

Hotels near Cen­ten­ni­al Olympic Park, like Hyatt Place or Embassy Suites, are close to the Geor­gia Aquar­i­um and the World of Coca-Cola (plus, the park has a great play­ground for kids).  Stay in Atlantic Sta­tion if you want a the­ater, a bowl­ing alley, and plen­ty of shop­ping and din­ing near­by (bonus: date night at IKEA while the kids play in Småland!). If you pre­fer to stay out­side of the city cen­ter, find a hotel or vaca­tion rental in the Buck­head area.

Use this map to find the area where you’d like to stay. There are hotel and pri­vate home options.

 

 

 

Where to Eat

 

Fam­i­lies look­ing for kid-friend­ly Atlanta restau­rants give rave reviews to R. Thomas Deluxe Grill. R. Thomas’s gourmet dish­es are veg­e­tar­i­an-friend­ly, and their kids’ menu is pop­u­lar for offer­ing child­hood sta­ples like peanut but­ter sand­wich­es and plain pas­ta. High­land Bak­ery is a well-known Atlanta chain that offers scrump­tious muffins, crois­sants, and deli sand­wich­es. Flip Burg­er Bou­tique is known for gourmet burg­ers, but don’t skip their selec­tion of milk­shakes with fla­vors includ­ing Nutel­la and Krispy Kreme. The Var­si­ty is a clas­sic spot for chili dogs, onion rings, and fries (also: Fried. Peach. Pie.). And I have to put in a good word for Nashvil­lian-owned Slim & Husky’s, with their arti­san piz­zas and killer cin­na­mon rolls. 

 

 

Christy Nichol­son is a writer, edi­tor, and recov­er­ing per­fec­tion­ist from Nashville, Ten­nessee. When not trav­el­ing with fam­i­ly, she enjoys cozy days at home read­ing, gar­den­ing, mak­ing music, and wran­gling two awe­some kids. Christy writes at Any-Worth.com about trav­el and sus­tain­able living. 

 

 

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