It’s been on my mind lately to start categorizing things better on the ole blog. I want to create pages where I can reference things quickly and the title of Favorites popped in the brain because a lot of times that is what people ask….what are our favorite places to online shop? where are our favorite sources for baby clothes or gear? what are our favorite tools? where are my favorite places to visit in Atlanta? (hint hint…that’s the one for today)…so be prepared in the future to see different categories of my favorites.
Sooo….I get emails all the time from folks that are planning on visiting the greater Atlanta area and are looking for things to do or places to visit and I thought that it would be fun to give a shout-out to all the spots we love here in the Peach State. These spots are kid-friendly….because that’s what I got…I got kids…swarms of them around me at all times and they can’t be hitting up that supa-fly-techno-club until they are at least out of pull-ups. I have to draw the line somewhere. So here are some of my favorite places to go with them in tow….
We have visited approximately six times and each time the experience is different! Definitely see the beluga whales and the Dolphin Tales show…absolutely don’t miss them. And since it is near by the CocaCola Factory, you should probably try to squeeze that in too…save on parking 🙂 Here’s a recap of our last experience visiting.
I feel like I grew up going to the zoo and we always loved it. A lot of the paths are well shaded (perfect for a stroller!) and there is a fun train, petting zoo and carousel at the end so make sure you save that if you have little ones! Here’s our recap of visiting.
My parents live only about ten minutes from the park and we absolutely LOVE it. There are tons of special events, festivals and activities. During the summer the laser show is a must-see and it gets VERY crowded so go early. I personally love hiking up the backside of the mountain on a clear day and being able to see the Atlanta skyline and the North Georgia Mountains but if physical stuff isn’t your jam there is always a skylift to the top, plenty of places to picnic and a fun little village area that has candy shops, ropes course and a 4D theatre.
This year marked my first visit to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens and we loved it. It is a little pricey for admission and parking but the grounds are gorgeous and there is even a little play area for kids. Bring the camera as this proves to be one photo-hot-spot. I think it would be well worth the moolah if there is a special event going on…I’ve never seen such beautiful plant sculptures!
If you visit Atlanta in the fall, it is worth going outside of the perimeter and visiting Corn Dawgs. It is a farm that converts into a fall-friendly activity center where you can do apple-launching, pumpkin picking, and navigate corn mazes. They even have a hayride, animal petting area, and a corn pit for the kids.
It is definitely a summer seasonal thing but the rodeo is a must-see if you are in town at the right time. It’s not only exciting but you can take that time to embrace your inner cowboy and wear those boots that have been looking cute in the back of your closet. Will loves getting to ride a pony, usually there is a half-time activity for the kids and the rodeo clowns are quite entertaining.
We love the Atlanta Braves but we didn’t think Will and Weston were ready for the big-leagues of sitting still for that long. So instead we head north to see the Gwinnett Braves play. They sell seat tickets or you can sit on the outfield lawn for more run-around space. I recommend looking at their schedule ahead of time to see if you can get a game with a fireworks display after! Oh and make sure you practice the ‘chop’ before going 🙂
The Fernbank is a beautiful building that has different exhibits through out the year. I highly recommend seeing what exhibit is currently showing especially if the weather is hot because air conditioning is amazing as is the IMAX theatre. If you don’t have kids, the Martinis & IMAX event is always a nice break from the norm and is great for Mommy & Daddy alone time 🙂
The Mayfield milk factory is way outside of the Atlanta area (up in the little town of Braselton) but well worth the hike for ice cream lovers. It has a tour of the milk factory itself where you learn all about milk production, storage, shipping and sales. They have little educational movie, activities for kids and you even get to practice milking an artificial cow. The cherry on top is the ice cream at the end. We are ice cream obsessed so this is a favorite for us.
Georgia has great local farms where you can pick everything from blueberries to strawberries to apples. We have visited plenty of pick-your-own orchards and farms and we have loved them all…ok ok…maybe the kids didn’t enjoy every second of the picking part but we sure did love the eating! Here is the website I use when trying to figure out what we are harvesting next.
We love the Children’s Museum here. It’s nearby the Centennial Olympic Park and it is full of fun. It’s perfect for the 3 to 5 age and has plenty of activities. Will loves the ball area and Weston would prefer to splash around in the fishing area or attempt to eat the building sand 🙂 If you go during lunch time, it’s a quick walk to the CNN center where there are loads of fast choices.
We love going to the fair and the Gwinnett County Fair is great for little ones. There are plenty of rides that were well separated in a different section of the fair from the ‘big kid’ rides (meaning, you and your three year old don’t have to wait in line behind teenagers while they teach your kid new “words”). Look online first to see if there is a way to score a discount on your ticket and bring cash for all that finger-licking-good-food.
There are tons of festivals in Georgia all the time…the Sunflower festival, the Yellow Daisy Festival, the Cherry Blossom Festival! You get my point. See if there is one going on when you come to visit!
This fair is one of the largest in Georgia and in my opinion has the best food 🙂 Besides the food, it also had a TON of animals for petting, observing and interaction with the little ones. It has some of the best shows too…we have seen a dog trick competition, BMX bike trick show, and we hear this year they will have tigers (TIGERS!!!).
In the heart of the city is a large park called Piedmont Park. It frequently is the hosting spot for festivals, free movies on the lawn and special events (like the Peachtree Road Race). Last year we hit it up for the Food Truck Festival and it was delicious and fun for the kids too (imagine wide open spaces for little feet to run). If crowds aren’t your thing, try visiting the other parts of the park that are more private and garden-like.
So that is the first fifteen places that I would recommend visiting while here in the ATL…especially if you have kids! Jeremy and I both have said that this year will be a big year for us to explore more of Georgia so hopefully there will be more of this same topic in the future.