ATL. Atlanta is a big southern city, with a foodie vibe and a huge airport. If you’ve never been to the Atlanta area, I suggest that you make this city a stop on your next family trip. There are many family activities in Atlanta and tons of fun places for kids in Atlanta. We have visited this city twice (on a southeast road trip) and the kids cannot wait for the next time we visit to do these same four attractions listed below. There are numerous Atlanta attractions for kids, but here are 4 things not to miss in Atlanta with kids.
Fun Atlanta Attractions for Kids
1. Georgia Aquarium
I enjoy aquariums, although I must admit I don’t always take the kids to them because we live in FL and we see fish all the time! I also usually don’t want to spend the $$. Visiting the Georgia Aquarium with kids was not high on my list, yet I had read it was one of the best in the world, so why not give it a try? I was not disappointed…in fact, I was very impressed. To me, it was the best of the kid-friendly things to do in Atlanta.
Let’s begin with the fact that there are 3 whale sharks (yes 3) in a giant tank! The tank also has sharks, giant manta rays, huge dolphin, tuna, grouper, and many other fish. They also had many other exhibits besides this main one. For example, they had an Arctic one which had beluga whales that came right up to the glass and interacted with us and a Tropical one where we saw piranhas. It was truly remarkable! I enjoyed myself tremendously and the kids always want to go back!
Although this is not one of the cheap things to do in Atlanta, it is definitely considered one of the top places in Atlanta. When we do go back, I will get the Atlanta City Pass since we didn’t get to do everything I wanted to because we were on a road trip and had to get moving to the next city. The City Pass includes the World of Coca Cola, the CNN Studio Tour, College Football Hall of Fame/Natural History Museum and Zoo/Human Rights Museum for about $70. It’s a huge savings off regular admission if you plan on doing those things anyway.
2. World of Coca-Cola
Another one of the four things not to miss in Atlanta with kids is the Coca Cola Museum. It is one of the many fun places to go in Atlanta. The Coke Museum is located right in Centennial Park (center of the city and next to the Georgia Aquarium, Ferris Wheel, and where the Olympic Village was). In the winter, they have cute Coke ornaments outside to take pictures with and an ice skating rink across the street. To get in is only $16! The adults enjoyed the museum part more since they had a lot of vintage memorabilia (the kids thought it was “cool”, but all they wanted to do was drink Coke). At the end you get to try different Coke products from around the world (fantastic) – of course the kids favorite part! You also get a free Coke glass bottle as you walk out. Oh and their gift shop was pretty amazing as well (we took home quite a few things). World of Coca Cola is truly one of the great places to take kids in Atlanta.
3. Stone Mountain (Day Trip)
Although there are plenty of fun things to do in Atlanta for kids, sometimes it’s nice to venture outside the city limits. One of the most popular Atlanta tourist attractions is not even in downtown Atlanta. Stone Mountain is one of the best things to do near Atlanta. This place is only 25 minutes outside of Atlanta and is one that you should not miss (especially if you have kids). We went in the winter, so the activity selection was a little bit different than the summer offerings.
After we saw the mountain itself and explained the meaning of the carvings on the rock to our kids, we bought tickets to snow tube hill. To be honest, it was very average – I mean I am from Miami, so this tubing park to any native Floridian, is a dream, but in reality, it is a tiny motorized hill.
The kids had fun, but that is because the only other time they went tubing in the snow was when they were toddlers. We moved onto the snow play area (not that great – it was ice pretty much). The kids loved it because they threw snowballs and just played around in it. We then played a round of mini golf (which was fun for all), and took a train ride around “the mountain”. We also did a steep rocky hike to the top (that was a lot of fun). Overall, this was a worthwhile visit and definitely among the top Atlanta attractions for kids (I would like to check it out in the summer when they set up a ropes course).
4. College Football Hall of Fame
Another one of the fun things to do for kids in Atlanta is the College Football Hall of Fame. I begrudgingly went to this because my husband and son are such huge college football fans (so nice of me right?). It was a $20 admission and we got a Groupon for $50 for a family of 4 along with a voucher for the gift shop! This College Football Hall of Fame coupon sounded too good to be true, so I was a little skeptical.
Well, the lobby entrance already impressed me (picture below). Once you arrive you sign into this kiosk where they link all the activities you do with an “All Access Pass” you wear as a lanyard. The College Football Hall of Fame had many exhibits about the history of a few teams (which I didn’t very much care for, but my husband and son were fascinated), and they had many interactive attractions such as:
1. An indoor playing field (you get to kick a field goal and go for a 10 yard diving pass onto a cushion) – I liked that!
2. Sing the fight song for your college (they record you by the way and then send it to your “Pass”)
3. Be an announcer on ESPN Game Day (my son loved this one)
4. Do speed/jumping/conditioning drills (my daughter loved this one)
Overall – I must admit I enjoyed it! The College Football Hall of Fame was one of the surprise fun activities in Atlanta. I consider it to be one of the overlooked Atlanta attractions for families.
There are so many things to do when visiting Atlanta. World of Coca Cola, College Football Hall of Fame and the Georgia Aquarium are all downtown Atlanta attractions. Here is a list of the top 10 kids’ museums in Atlanta, and some other ideas of what to do in Atlanta with kids. If you are looking to save a little money, check out this list of 20 Free Things to do in Atlanta. Viator has a list of options too that you can look at by clicking below.
Places to Stay in Atlanta
In terms of where to stay in Atlanta, downtown near Centennial Park is best due to the walkability to so many attractions. Another option not too far from downtown is staying near Midtown.
Recommendation by the Travel Sisters
Atlanta Marriott Suites Midtown is a great hotel for families due to its excellent location and family friendly amenities. It is conveniently located in Midtown less than a half mile walk from Piedmont Park. All rooms are suites with a door separating the bedroom and living area which has a sofa bed, sink and a mini-fridge. Families will especially enjoy the indoor/outdoor connecting pool.Click to read a more detailed review about the Atlanta Marriott Midtown.
I usually stay outside of the city in hotels where I have rewards points. Since we are rewards members and credit card holders for Hyatt, Marriott, Hilton and IHG, I always try to either use my points or use a free anniversary night when we travel with kids. To see out how we do this, check out my post – How to Get Free Hotel Stays.
Since I had points available, our cheapest free option was 20 minutes away just outside of the city. Although I loved the “free part”, looking back, it would have been nicer to stay closer to the Atlanta attractions for kids. Check out Atlanta hotels here
Getting to Atlanta
Atlanta is a very easy city to get to. It is a great city to stop on a southern road trip and there are often cheap flights too. Their airport is enormous and it is one of the busiest in the world! To check flights to Atlanta click on the picture below:
Where to Eat in Atlanta
My last recommendation is to eat well! There are many great restaurants in the Atlanta area. Here are some of our favorite family friendly places:
I hope you enjoyed my review of the four things not to miss in Atlanta with kids. There are so many family things to do in Atlanta and fun things to do in Atlanta Georgia. Check out our other stops on our road trip around the Southeast.
Take a look at this post, if you are looking for some day hikes around the Atlanta area. If you are looking for other places nearby, my two other favorite cities to visit in Georgia are Helen and Savannah… check out – Savannah Weekend Getaway and – A Day in Helen and Hiking with Kids.
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