Best Things to Do for Families in Atlanta: 12 Kid-Friendly Attractions

by Jen
Best Things to Do for Families in Atlanta
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Visiting Atlanta with your little explorers in tow? Get ready for an exciting journey as we unveil the best things to do for families in Atlanta. From museums that spark curiosity to lush and relaxing outdoor spaces, Atlanta offers a treasure trove of family-friendly activities that promise a vacation experience like no other.

Atlanta, Georgia, often dubbed the “City in a Forest,” is a bustling metropolis. Teeming with southern charm, rich history, and family-friendly attractions, this city is popular for families seeking both adventure and relaxation. Nestled amidst towering skyscrapers and verdant tree canopies, Atlanta is truly a dream.

Whether you’re looking to dive deep into the world of marine wonders at the Georgia Aquarium, embark on a historical journey at the World of Coca-Cola, or simply bask in the serenity of the Atlanta Botanical Garden, this city promises unforgettable experiences for families. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. With its vibrant arts scene, world-class museums, and sprawling parks, Atlanta is a city that never ceases to amaze.

From its iconic landmarks to hidden gems, Atlanta beckons travelers of all ages to explore its wonders. Dive into this guide to discover the best family-friendly activities that the city has to offer. Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway, an extended vacation, or even considering making Atlanta your new home, this city is sure to leave you and your family with cherished memories that will last a lifetime. Here are the best things to do in Atlanta with kids.

The top places to visit for families in Atlanta right now
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Best Things to Do for Families in Atlanta

Whether your preferences lean towards city attractions and cultural exploration or you’re yearning for a serene escape in nature, Atlanta has it all. No matter your plans, these must sees in Atlanta offer something for every member of the family. Join us as we introduce you to the best things to do for families in Atlanta, ensuring you have an itinerary brimming with unforgettable moments.

1. Dive Deep into the Marine Wonders at Georgia Aquarium

Atlanta is home to many attractions, but one of the most mesmerizing is the Georgia Aquarium. It’s one of those fun places in Atlanta to visit, especially if you’re traveling with family. This aquatic haven is not only the largest aquarium in the Western Hemisphere but also a place where marine life thrives and educates.

The aquarium boasts a vast collection of marine species, from the playful sea otters to the majestic whale sharks. As you wander through its expansive halls, you’ll be transported to different aquatic zones that offer a glimpse into the underwater world. The Ocean Voyager exhibit, for instance, is a must-visit, showcasing manta rays and thousands of other sea creatures.

If you’ve ever dreamt of visiting San Diego’s renowned sea parks, the Georgia Aquarium offers a superior experience. Their interactive sessions, such as animal encounters and behind-the-scenes tours, provide an unparalleled opportunity to learn and engage with marine life.

Exploring Georgia Aquarium is one of the best things to do in Atlanta with kids
Explore the Georgia Aquarium, boasting the title of the largest aquarium and a thriving aquatic haven.

2. Gawk Over Zoo Atlanta’s Majestic Menagerie

In the heart of Atlanta’s historic Grant Park, Zoo Atlanta stands as a beacon of wildlife conservation and education. This sprawling sanctuary offers families an unparalleled journey into the wonders of the natural world. Over 1,000 animals spanning various species and habitats call it their home.

From the misty rainforests of Asia to the sun-drenched plains of Africa, the zoo’s meticulously designed exhibits transport visitors across continents. The renowned Panda Exhibit, featuring the delightful antics of its resident giant pandas, ranks as one of the coolest activities in Atlanta for families.

Meanwhile, the African Savanna exhibits offer a mesmerizing view of elephants, giraffes, and zebras, showcasing the diversity of African wildlife. Additionally, to protect endangered species, the zoo focuses on several conservation, research, and educational efforts.

For families seeking the best things to do in Atlanta, Zoo Atlanta is more than just a destination—it’s an experience, an education, and a call to action.

Zoo Atlanta is a conservation and education hub, offering a captivating journey into the natural world.
Zoo Atlanta is a conservation and education hub, offering a captivating journey into the natural world.

3. Learn Fascinating Soda Facts in the World of Coca-Cola

Atlanta, the birthplace of the iconic Coca-Cola beverage, offers families a dive into its fizzy history at the World of Coca-Cola. This immersive attraction, one of the fun Atlanta attractions for families, takes visitors on a journey through the brand’s storied past and its global impact.

Upon entering, you’re enveloped by Coca-Cola’s prestigious history. The Vault of the Secret Formula and Pop Culture Gallery offer insights into the recipe and its cultural impact. In the Taste It! section, try 100+ global beverages, showcasing the brand’s worldwide charm.

But what truly makes the World of Coca-Cola a must see in Atlanta is its ability to connect generations. Parents and grandparents can reminisce about their first sip of Coke, while kids can marvel at the brand’s innovative marketing campaigns and interactive displays. More than just a museum, it’s a celebration of a beverage that has touched billions of lives.

Explore the World of Coca-Cola, an immersive family attraction that delves into the brand's iconic past and global impact.
Explore the World of Coca-Cola, an immersive family attraction that delves into the brand’s iconic past and global impact.

4. Wander Through Nature’s Artistry at the Atlanta Botanical Garden

Nestled in the heart of the city, the Atlanta Botanical Garden offers a serene escape from the urban hustle. This verdant oasis, spread over 30 acres, showcases a stunning array of plants, flowers, and art installations. This makes it a haven for nature lovers and families alike.

As you meander through its pathways, you’ll encounter themed gardens, each telling a unique story. The Japanese Garden, with its tranquil ponds and meticulous landscaping, offers a moment of zen. The Children’s Garden, one of the unique places in Atlanta for families, provides interactive play areas and educational exhibits for kids. The mesmerizing Canopy Walk, a 600-foot-long skywalk, gives visitors a bird’s-eye view of the lush forest below.

For those compiling a list of the best things to do for families in Atlanta, the Atlanta Botanical Garden is a must-add. Seasonal events, workshops, and concerts ensure that there’s always something new to experience. Whether you’re an avid gardener or seeking a peaceful retreat, this botanical wonderland promises a day filled with inspiration.

Explore Atlanta Botanical Garden, an oasis featuring diverse plants, flowers, and art installations.
Explore Atlanta Botanical Garden, an oasis featuring diverse plants, flowers, and art installations.

5. Experience the Magic of Puppetry at the Center for Puppetry Arts

In a world dominated by digital screens and high-tech entertainment, the Center for Puppetry Arts offers a delightful throwback to the timeless art of puppetry. Located in Midtown Atlanta, this unique institution stands as the largest organization in the U.S. dedicated to the art form, captivating audiences of all ages with its enchanting performances and exhibits. It’s no wonder, then, that this is one of the best things to do in Atlanta with kids.

From hand puppets and marionettes to shadow puppets and rod puppets, the center showcases a diverse range of puppetry styles from around the world. Its museum houses an impressive collection, including iconic characters like Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy. For families seeking a blend of entertainment and education, the center’s performances are among the best places to go in Atlanta for families. It offers a tantalizing mix of classic tales and original productions.

Beyond the shows, the center’s workshops provide hands-on opportunities for visitors to dive into the world of puppet-making and puppeteering. As one of the most unique activities in Atlanta, these sessions allow participants to unleash their creativity. Children can craft their puppets and even bring them to life on stage.

Center for Puppetry Arts offers a captivating throwback to the timeless art of puppetry.
Center for Puppetry Arts offers a captivating throwback to the timeless art of puppetry.

6. Behold Massive Dinosaur Displays at Fernbank Museum of Natural History

Dive deep into the annals of our planet’s history at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History, one of the cool destinations in Atlanta for families. Situated just east of downtown Atlanta, this museum offers endless fun for children. A captivating blend of science, culture, and history, makes it a must-visit for families with a penchant for discovery.

Among the myriad of Atlanta attractions, Fernbank stands out with its colossal dinosaur displays, notably the Argentinosaurus, believed to be the largest dinosaur ever displayed. As you wander through the museum’s vast halls, you’ll be transported back in time, from the age of the dinosaurs to the development of human civilizations. Interactive exhibits, such as the “NatureQuest,” offer kids a hands-on learning experience, allowing them to explore treehouses, dig for fossils, and even encounter live animals.

But the wonders of Fernbank extend beyond its indoor exhibits. The Fernbank Forest, a 65-acre old-growth forest, offers a serene escape from the city’s hustle. It is home to several trails that meander through a lush, untouched landscape. For nature films, head to the museum’s 3D theater. Highly immerse nature films are shown here, making visitors feel as if they’re part of the adventures on screen.

Whether you’re a nature lover, or simply curious about our planet’s past, the Fernbank Museum promises an enlightening experience. It’s definitely a top pick for families in Atlanta!

Exploring Fernbank Museum of Natural History is one of the best things to do for families in Atlanta.
Exploring Fernbank Museum of Natural History is one of the best things to in Atlanta with kids | Source: https://www.fernbankmuseum.org/

7. Soar Above the Skyline at SkyView Atlanta

Among the best things to do for families in Atlanta, taking a ride on SkyView Atlanta stands out as a thrilling experience. Towering over Centennial Olympic Park, this giant Ferris wheel offers breathtaking panoramic views of the city. Riding it and stealing a view of the Atlanta skyline is a favorite for both locals and tourists.

Each of the wheel’s gondolas is climate-controlled, ensuring a comfortable ride regardless of the weather. As you ascend, the city unfolds below. Travelers can behold iconic landmarks, bustling streets, and the vast urban landscape. By night, SkyView transforms into a spectacle of lights. This offers a romantic ambiance perfect for couples and a magical experience for kids.

For those seeking fun Atlanta places to visit with family, SkyView Atlanta is a must. Special gondolas with glass floors elevate the experience, giving riders a unique perspective of the city below. And with its central location, it’s an ideal starting point or finale to a day of exploring Atlanta’s many attractions.

Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or looking for a unique perspective of the city, SkyView Atlanta offers family fun you’ll never forget!

Enjoy thrilling family fun with a ride on SkyView Atlanta, a giant Ferris wheel offering panoramic city views.
Enjoy thrilling family fun with a ride on SkyView Atlanta, a giant Ferris wheel showcasing panoramic city views.

8. Plan a Picnic at the Centennial Olympic Park

Nestled in the heart of Atlanta, Centennial Olympic Park is a verdant sanctuary that beckons families to unwind and explore. This lush oasis has blossomed into one of the coolest Atlanta things to do for families. Originally built for the 1996 Summer Olympics, it offers a blend of relaxation, recreation, and cultural exploration.

The park’s iconic Fountain of Rings stands as a testament to the city’s Olympic legacy. In the warmer months, it transforms into an interactive playground, inviting children and adults to frolic in its cooling waters. Nearby, the Legacy Fountain’s synchronized water shows captivate with their mesmerizing dance of light and liquid.

One of the park’s highlights is its ability to serve as the perfect backdrop for a leisurely picnic. Spread a blanket beneath the shade of towering trees and savor a delightful spread of treats. Surrounded by Atlanta’s stunning sights, soak in the ambiance of the city around you. It’s a simple pleasure that adds a touch of magic to any family outing!

As you explore the park, take a moment to interact with its artistic and historical installations, such as the Quilt of Remembrance and the World Athletes Monument. Both pay homage to the Olympic spirit and Atlanta’s vibrant culture.

As your day winds down, reflect on the memories created at Centennial Olympic Park. It’s not just one of the best places in Atlanta—it’s a dynamic space where families can connect, create, and cherish moments that will last a lifetime.

Explore Centennial Olympic Park, a family-favorite hub for relaxation, recreation, and culture.
Explore Centennial Olympic Park, a family-favorite hub for relaxation, recreation, and culture.

9. Steal Panoramic City Views at Stone Mountain Park

Among the abundance of attractions, Stone Mountain Park shines as a must-visit destination for families seeking fun things to do in Atlanta. This sprawling park, located just outside the city, offers a captivating blend of natural wonders, outdoor activities, and family-friendly entertainment.

The park’s namesake, Stone Mountain, is a geological marvel—a massive granite outcrop rising dramatically. Embark on a scenic skyride to the summit and be rewarded with panoramic views stretching for miles. At night, experience the Laser Show Spectacular, an event set against the mountain backdrop. It combines lights, music, and lasers for a mesmerizing display.

Beyond passive sightseeing, Stone Mountain Park is an outdoor playground that beckons families to explore, hike, and play. Engage in a friendly game of miniature golf, take a paddlewheel riverboat cruise, or navigate the treetops in the adventure course. From hiking trails to picnic spots, the park offers a multitude of options for families to connect with nature.

As you revel in the beauty and excitement of Stone Mountain Park, you’ll find that it encapsulates what to do in Atlanta. Whether you’re an adventure enthusiast, a history buff, or simply looking for a picturesque escape, this park promises a day filled with unforgettable exploration! It’s truly one of the top things to do in Atlanta with kids.

Stone Mountain Park is a family-favorite destination, combining natural wonders, outdoor activities, and entertainment.
Stone Mountain Park is a family-favorite destination, combining natural wonders, outdoor activities, and entertainment.

10. Discover the City’s Storied Past at the Atlanta History Center

Among the best things to do for families in Atlanta, a visit to the Atlanta History Center is an immersion into the city’s rich past. Situated in Buckhead, this expansive complex invites visitors to explore history through engaging exhibits, immersive experiences, and beautifully preserved homes.

Step back in time as you stroll through the center’s historic gardens and explore the Smith Family Farm – a Southern plantation frozen in time. The Swan House, an elegant mansion, serves as the backdrop for “The Hunger Games” films and offers a glimpse into the lives of Atlanta’s elite during the 1920s. With its period furnishings and lush surroundings, it’s an essential stop for those seeking a taste of Southern charm.

The center’s Cyclorama, a massive panoramic painting depicting the Battle of Atlanta, is another highlight. Through an innovative presentation, you’re transported into the heart of the Civil War battle, providing a visceral and educational experience for all ages.

For those in search of the coolest things to do in Atlanta for families, the Atlanta History Center delivers. Interactive exhibits, such as “The Turning Point: The American Civil War,” engage visitors with thought-provoking narratives and hands-on activities.

Explore the Atlanta History Center, offering engaging exhibits, immersive experiences, and preserved homes.
Explore the Atlanta History Center, offering engaging exhibits, immersive experiences, and preserved homes.

11. Ignite Young Minds at the Children’s Museum of Atlanta

A gem among the must-see attractions in Atlanta for families, the Children’s Museum of Atlanta offers an enchanting playground for young minds to explore, discover, and learn. This vibrant space, nestled in the heart of downtown Atlanta, is designed to engage children through immersive exhibits that foster creativity, curiosity, and a love for learning.

Upon stepping inside, the museum’s interactive exhibits immediately captivate children of all ages. They can explore the science behind everyday phenomena, experiment with art and music, or engage in role-playing in a child-sized city. Every corner of the museum is crafted to ignite imagination and promote hands-on learning.

One of the unique things to do in Atlanta with your family is to dive into the museum’s “Fundamentally Food” exhibit. This culinary adventure introduces young visitors to the joys of healthy eating and food preparation through interactive play and engaging activities. From harvesting crops to creating culinary masterpieces, kids embark on a journey that combines education and fun.

More than just exhibits, the museum’s focus on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) education ensures children develop essential skills. And they learn all these while having a blast! From workshops to special events, the Children’s Museum of Atlanta offers an enriching and entertaining world of exploration.

Discover the Children's Museum of Atlanta, where immersive exhibits ignite young minds' creativity, curiosity, and love for learning.
Discover the Children’s Museum of Atlanta, where immersive exhibits ignite young minds’ creativity, curiosity, and love for learning.

12. Pedal Through the Urban Trails of the Atlanta Beltline

For families seeking unique things to do in Atlanta, the Atlanta BeltLine offers an urban adventure like no other. This innovative project has transformed abandoned rail lines into a dynamic network of trails, parks, and public spaces. In addition, it has created a vibrant hub of community engagement, art, and outdoor exploration.

The BeltLine’s Eastside Trail serves as the backbone of the project, providing a scenic pathway for walking, jogging, or biking. The expansive linear park weaves through neighborhoods, connecting parks, shops, and local eateries. As you traverse the trail, you’ll encounter stunning murals, sculptures, and art installations that creatively enhance your journey.

Families can embark on a leisurely stroll or rent bikes to cover more ground, discovering hidden gems and picturesque spots to rest and recharge. The Historic Fourth Ward Park, with its interactive splash pad and whimsical playground, provides a perfect setting for kids to play and families to picnic.

Among the best things to do for families in Atlanta, a visit to the Atlanta BeltLine showcases the city’s dedication to connectivity, community, and creativity. Events like Art on the Atlanta BeltLine infuse the space with a lively energy. They feature a wide range of performances and art installations, fostering a sense of unity and shared experience!

Explore Atlanta BeltLine is one of the best things to do for families in Atlanta.
Explore Atlanta BeltLine, transforming rail lines into dynamic trails, parks, and community hubs.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Things to Do for Families in Atlanta

Looking for more content on the top things to do in Atlanta for families? Here are some popular questions (and answers) I get that will help you plan your trip to Atlanta:

Where can I take my kids today in Atlanta?

Atlanta, Georgia, offers a wide range of family-friendly activities and attractions that can make for a fun and memorable day with your kids. Here’s a list of places you might consider, depending on your children’s ages and interests:

  • Georgia Aquarium: Explore one of the world’s largest aquariums with interactive exhibits and marine life displays.
  • Zoo Atlanta: Visit pandas, elephants, lions, and enjoy playgrounds and interactive exhibits.
  • Children’s Museum of Atlanta: Hands-on exhibits for younger children, focusing on art, science, and play.
  • Fernbank Museum of Natural History: Discover dinosaur exhibits, interactive science displays, and outdoor adventure areas.
  • Center for Puppetry Arts: Enjoy puppet shows, workshops, and a puppetry museum.
  • LEGOLAND Discovery Center: LEGO-themed rides, 4D cinema, and creative building opportunities.
  • SkyView Atlanta: Ride a giant Ferris wheel for panoramic city views.
  • Piedmont Park: Outdoor fun with playgrounds, walking trails, and picnic areas.
  • Six Flags Over Georgia: Amusement park with roller coasters, water rides, and attractions for all ages.
  • Atlanta Botanical Garden: Explore beautiful gardens, including interactive children’s gardens.
  • Stone Mountain Park: Hiking, scenic railway, adventure courses, and laser shows outside the city.
  • World of Coca-Cola: Interactive exhibits and tastings related to the history of Coca-Cola.
  • College Football Hall of Fame: Interactive museum for sports-loving families, with games and memorabilia.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park: Visit the birth home of Dr. King, historic church, and visitor center.

What are the top family-friendly attractions in Atlanta?

Atlanta boasts a range of family-friendly attractions, from the immersive exhibits at the Children’s Museum of Atlanta to the captivating wildlife at the Atlanta Zoo. Families can also explore the vibrant Atlanta BeltLine and enjoy outdoor adventures at Centennial Olympic Park.

What outdoor activities can families enjoy in Atlanta?

Atlanta offers plenty of outdoor options for families, including picnicking and playtime at Centennial Olympic Park. The Atlanta BeltLine provides scenic trails for biking and walking, and the beautiful Piedmont Park is a popular spot for leisurely strolls and outdoor fun.

Are there any unique cultural experiences for families in Atlanta?

Families can immerse themselves in Atlanta’s vibrant culture by visiting the colorful street art along the Atlanta BeltLine or attending family-friendly events at local markets and parks. The city’s diverse neighborhoods offer a range of cultural activities for all ages.

Explore this park in Atlanta, a tranquil urban oasis providing a serene escape in the heart of the city.
Explore this park in Atlanta, a tranquil urban oasis providing a serene escape in the heart of the city.

Is Atlanta a good place to visit with kids?

Yes, Atlanta is a great place to visit with kids, offering a wide variety of family-friendly attractions and activities that cater to children of all ages. Here’s why Atlanta can be an appealing destination for families:

1. Diverse Attractions:

  • Educational Museums: Places like the Children’s Museum of Atlanta, Fernbank Museum of Natural History, and the College Football Hall of Fame provide interactive and educational experiences.
  • Animal Encounters: Zoo Atlanta and the Georgia Aquarium allow kids to get up close with animals, from pandas to whale sharks.
  • Theme Parks: Six Flags Over Georgia offers thrill rides and family-friendly attractions.

2. Outdoor Activities:

  • Parks and Gardens: Piedmont Park and the Atlanta Botanical Garden offer space for outdoor play, picnics, and exploration.
  • Hiking Opportunities: Nearby areas like Stone Mountain Park provide hiking and outdoor adventure opportunities.

3. Cultural Experiences:

  • Historical Sites: The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park offers an educational and inspiring visit.
  • Arts and Entertainment: The Center for Puppetry Arts and various theaters provide family-friendly shows and performances.

4. Seasonal Events and Festivals:

  • Atlanta hosts various family-oriented festivals and seasonal events, such as holiday lights, parades, and cultural celebrations.

5. Convenient Transportation:

  • The city’s public transportation system, MARTA, can make getting around easier, and many attractions are centrally located.

6. Family-Friendly Accommodations:

  • Many hotels offer family-friendly amenities and are located near major attractions.

7. Dining Options:

  • Atlanta offers a wide range of dining options, including kid-friendly restaurants and eateries catering to various tastes and budgets.

What dining options are available for families in Atlanta?

Atlanta’s culinary scene has something for everyone. Families can enjoy a variety of dining options, from casual eateries with kid-friendly menus. They can also explore restaurants offering Southern specialties and international cuisines.

What’s the best time to visit Atlanta for families?

The best time to visit Atlanta for families is during the spring and fall seasons. The weather is mild and comfortable, and many outdoor attractions and events are in full swing. Summer is also popular, but it can get hot. Winter offers fewer crowds and holiday events.

What are some facts about Atlanta for kids?

Certainly! Here are some fun and interesting facts about Atlanta that might appeal to kids:

  1. Home to the World’s Largest Aquarium: The Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta is one of the largest in the world and houses thousands of marine creatures, including whale sharks and manta rays.
  2. Birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr.: Atlanta is the birthplace of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and you can visit his childhood home and the church where he preached.
  3. Coca-Cola’s Hometown: The famous soft drink Coca-Cola was invented in Atlanta in 1886. You can visit the World of Coca-Cola to learn more about its history and taste different flavors.
  4. A City in a Forest: Atlanta is often called a “city in a forest” because of its many trees. It has one of the highest percentages of tree coverage among major American cities.
  5. Olympic Host City: Atlanta hosted the Summer Olympic Games in 1996. Centennial Olympic Park, built for the games, still has the Fountain of Rings, where kids can play in the water.
  6. Zoo with Pandas: Zoo Atlanta is one of the few zoos in the U.S. that has giant pandas. You can see them munching on bamboo!
  7. Famous TV and Movie Location: Atlanta has been a filming location for many movies and TV shows, including “The Walking Dead” and several Marvel movies.
  8. Historic Railroads: The Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History houses the famous locomotive “The General,” and you can take scenic train rides in the area.
  9. Tallest Building in the Southeast: The Bank of America Plaza is Atlanta’s tallest building and the tallest in the southeastern U.S., standing at 1,023 feet.
  10. Home to a Huge Airport: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world, with planes taking off and landing almost constantly.

What’s the best way to get around Atlanta with a family?

Atlanta’s public transportation system, MARTA, provides convenient options for families to explore the city. Additionally, many attractions are easily accessible by car. This makes it convenient for families to navigate and enjoy their time in Atlanta.

Final Thoughts for Families Exploring Atlanta

From enriching museums to captivating outdoor spaces, Atlanta offers a treasure trove of experiences for families seeking memorable adventures. Whether you’re exploring the immersive exhibits at the Children’s Museum of Atlanta or pedaling along the scenic trails of the Atlanta BeltLine, there’s no shortage of engaging activities. And if you’re looking to connect with wildlife, the Atlanta Zoo provides a fantastic opportunity for every family member. Now pack your bags and discover the best things to do for families in Atlanta. Get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey that celebrates togetherness, exploration, and the magic of shared experiences!

The top things to do for families in Atlanta for all types of travelers
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