Atlanta is by far one of the most diverse cities in North America, with a vibrant music scene and exciting food culture.
Known as the “Capital of the South”, it offers a myriad of things to do for families and kids of all ages, with plenty of Southern charm.
Whether you love nature, getting up close and personal with animals, or exploring history, you’ll find your favorites with our list of 14 things to do with kids in Atlanta.
- The Atlanta City Pass offers deep discounts on popular spots around Atlanta. You can buy the pass online before your trip. It includes admission to up to 5 different attractions.
- If you can visit Atlanta during the week, you’ll take advantage of less crowds at some of the more popular tourist spots. But if you must visit over a weekend, be sure to grab your tickets and make reservations beforehand.
- If you’re looking for an easy way to get around, try MARTA. Trains take you to destinations throughout the city, offering a convenient and affordable way to travel from place to place.
- Spring is the best time to visit Atlanta because of the mild temperatures and pleasant weather. The city is in full bloom and in full swing with festival season. Summer is hot and muggy, so you’ll want to be prepared with places to beat the summer heat during this peak travel season. Fall offers beautiful colors and lots of spooky events, however it can stay warm all the way into November. Winter is cold and wet but can also be quite magical during the holiday season.
- Traffic can be awful, especially during rush hour, so keep your phone or navigation system handy to avoid any delays. Most parking is paid, except for Sundays and holidays when it’s free.
What to Pack
- No matter when you visit, you’ll want to pack comfortable clothes and flat walking shoes.
- Summer days can be scorchers, so be prepared with lightweight, breathable fabrics, sunhats, sunglasses, and plenty of sunscreen. It’s also the season for bugs, so consider packing some bug repellent.
- For spring and fall it’s all about the layers with mild temperatures being the norm, and in the winter months a warm jacket as well as a hat and gloves are a must.
- A light jacket or sweatshirt is a must year-round, even in the warmer months where the air conditioning can be quite chilly.
- If you have little ones, you’ll want to have a baby carrier or lightweight stroller on hand to make exploring easier.
- Stay hydrated by packing a reusable water bottle that you can fill up at whatever places you stop at during the day.
- Keep everything handy, from baby wipes and diapers to an umbrella for pop-up showers in a roomy daypack.
5 Kid-Approved Places to Eat
- The Varsity – “What’ll ya have?” That’s what you’ll hear when you visit this favorite spot for locals featuring hot dogs and hamburgers. It’s the largest drive-in fast food restaurant in the world. They have their own lingo: a naked dog and strings is just a plain hot dog and fries!
- The Flying Biscuit – There’s always a wait, but you won’t want to miss out on their all-day breakfast featuring everything from delicious pancakes to of course, biscuits! Kids meals are affordable, and parents will love the super-friendly vibe.
- Ponce City Market – This vibrant food hall and cool industrial space offers some of the best food in the city with a wide variety of food stalls. You can grab your food to go and enjoy your meal at one of the tables in their shared public space. It’s super crowded on weekends, so try and visit during the week.
- Mary Mac’s Tea Room – Open since 1945, this is not your traditional tea house. The relaxed atmosphere welcomes families and offers Southern comfort food at its best. It’s always crowded, so be prepared to wait – it’s worth it!
- Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q – Locals love this BBQ spot. If you’re craving some traditional Southern barbecue, this spot won’t disappoint. It’s super kid friendly with a great kids menu and speedy service, despite being a popular spot to eat any time of day.
14 Things To Do with Kids in Atlanta
- Children’s Museum of Atlanta – Kids can get hands-on at this children’s museum. They can build giant sandcastles, race cars on a magnetic track, shoot an air cannon, go fishing, climb in a treehouse, go grocery shopping, or have their own dance party.
- Atlanta Botanical Garden – This urban oasis is home to beautiful displays, exciting exhibitions, and renowned plant collections. You don’t want to miss the Earth Goddess display, and if you’re visiting in the winter months, Garden Lights is a must-see. In the summer, you can cool off in the splash pad. Kids will absolutely love the Children’s Garden where they can watch bees make honey and create their own music.
- World of Coca-Cola – This spot is worth a stop, whether or not you’re a fan of this popular soda. You can learn a little history, find out how it’s made, and see some of the original machines and bottles. Kids will have fun tasting Coca-Cola flavors from around the world as well as meeting the Coca-Cola Polar Bear.
- Skyline Park – Located on the roof of Ponce City Market, this hidden gem offers games, miniature golf, and vintage amusement attractions, rides such as a 3-story slide, as well as yummy food and drinks. You’ll also appreciate the amazing views of the city of Atlanta from up above.
- Zoo Atlanta – One of the oldest zoos in the country, you can enjoy animals from all over the world. Ride the zoo train, try your skills on the Treetop Trail, get wet in the Splash Fountain, or make new friends at the petting zoo. There’s even a mini ropes course just for the little ones! You can also feed a giraffe or watch a wildlife presentation.
- Georgia Aquarium – Explore different ocean habitats where you’ll find dolphins, jellyfish, beluga whales, and even massive whale sharks! Take a ride on the moving walkway and view sea life all around you, including sharks and rays. The whole family will enjoy the dolphin and sea lion shows as well as opportunities for all types of animal encounters.
- Fernbank Museum of Natural History – Start by visiting the museum and go back in time to discover dinosaurs, fossils, and towering skeletons. Next, explore the Fernbank Forest, with 75 acres of walking trails, wildlife, nature playgrounds, and an incredible canopy walk. You can also catch a movie on a 4-story screen in the Giant Screen Theater.
- College of Football Hall of Fame – If anyone in your family is a fan of college football, this is a must-visit. Even those who aren’t into football will find it enjoyable. You’ll receive your own All Access pass as soon as you enter. Kids and adults will love the indoor playing field as well as other unique experiences including The Quad with over 775 helmets representing different schools.
- Centennial Olympic Park – This 22-acre greenspace is dedicated to Atlanta’s hosting role during the 1996 Olympic Games. Cool off in the Fountain of Rings, explore the Garden Pavilions, visit the Centennial tree, or take a ride on The Spectacular, a giant Ferris wheel.
- Stone Mountain Park – Just 10 miles outside of Atlanta is a 3,200-acre park featuring walking trails, covered bridges, gristmill ruins, and massive granite outcroppings. No matter what season you visit, there are plenty of exciting festivals and events. You can also enjoy attractions such as Adventure Golf, the Scenic Railroad, Geyser Towers, and the Summit Skyride which takes you up more than 825 feet to the top of Stone Mountain.
- Southeastern Railway Museum – This is the spot for train lovers. Explore, climb, and touch more than 90 pieces of railway equipment. You can tour a multitude of rail cars or climb aboard a caboose for a ride across the museum grounds. There’s also a miniature park train that’s perfect for the little ones.
- Center for Puppetry Arts – This is THE place for puppet lovers, offering educational experiences for all ages. Kids have the opportunity to become the puppet maker as well as the puppeteer. There are also live shows, exhibitions, and hands-on workshops.
- Atlanta History Center – Georgia history comes to life at this history center complete with a museum, farmhouse, gardens, and a 1930’s mansion. Explore hands-on exhibits, learn homesteading skills, visit the gardens, or walk the Connor Brown Trail.
- Martin Luther King Jr. Historical Park – This 35-acre park is truly a national treasure. You’ll have the opportunity to learn all about this Civil Rights Leader and how he contributed to our society. Park rangers will take you on a free 30-minute tour, which includes the home where he was born. You’ll want to be sure to check out the Visitor Center to explore the hands-on exhibits.
You’re guaranteed to have fun with this list of 14 things to do with kids in Atlanta.