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Atlanta with Kids

Top Family Friendly Attractions and Things to Do in Atlanta with Kids

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Atlanta offers families with children of all ages, from toddlers to teens, many fun and interesting things to see and do. Visit the world's largest aquarium, explore several family friendly museums and enjoy some of the unique only in Atlanta attractions, all well suited for family members to enjoy together.

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The Georgia Aquarium

General view of the 'Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters' Blu-ray launch event in partnership with UPS and Project Linus at Georgia Aquarium on December 16, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Moses Robinson/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Located in the heart of Downtown Atlanta, the Georgia Aquarium is the largest aquarium in the world. In addition to having the largest collection of aquatic animals and the largest single aquarium habitat in the world, the Georgia Aquarium offers a number of great programs, including scheduled group and family sleepovers, swim and dive programs for ages 12 and older, special toddler activities and many special events. The Behind-the-Scenes Tour, for ages 10 and up, is an excellent way to take an insider's peek into many of the interesting daily activities that are required to keep an aquarium of this size fully functioning.

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Zoo Atlanta

Zoo Atlanta Giant Pandas
Zoo Atlanta Giant Pandas; Photo: © Zoo Atlanta - All Rights Reserved
Zoo Atlanta is located in historic Grant Park near downtown Atlanta and Turner Field and encompasses almost 40 acres of forests and greenery. Naturalistic habitats are provided for Zoo Atlanta's more than 1,000 animals, which represent over 200 animal species. Home to the largest collection of gorillas in the United States, Zoo Atlanta also features North America's largest zoological collection of orangutans and is one of only a few U.S. zoos to house giant pandas. Many family friendly activities are scheduled for visitors, including Zoo's Clues mystery hunts and popular Night Crawlers overnight stays for families and groups.

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Fernbank Museum of Natural History

Explore the world's largest dinosaurs, experience a day-to-night light cycle of the sights and sounds of the Okefenokee swampland, learn about worldwide ecosystems throughout Fernbank NatureQuest, an innovative children's wing featuring 100 interactive virtual and live hands on experiences, see an IMAX movie and much more. Located east of Midtown, near Emory University at the corner of Ponce de Leon Avenue and Clifton Road, the Fernbank Museum of Natural History is one of the nation's largest natural history museums, offering interesting educational fun for all ages.

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The Center for Puppetry Arts

Jim Henson puppets at the Center for Puppetry Arts Museum
Jim Henson puppets at the Center for Puppetry Arts Museum; Photo by: Richard Termine
Located in midtown Atlanta at the corner of Spring and 18th Street, the Center for Puppetry Arts is the largest non-profit organization dedicated to puppetry in the United States. Featuring performances, workshops, a hands-on Museum and Museum Store, the Center offers puppetry presentations and experiences for all ages, including teens and adults as well as younger children. Advance reservations are suggested for performances.

Professional Sports Games

Sports fans of all ages enjoy the fun and excitement of seeing a live game. Between April and October, attending an Atlanta Braves baseball game at Turner Field will be a highlight for any baseball fan. Plan to arrive early to enjoy lively pre-game entertainment and fan experiences, visit the Braves Museum and Hall of Fame, and shop for souvenirs in the gift shop. During other seasons, plan to see basketball or hockey at Philips Arena, or football at the Georgia Dome. Tickets should be ordered in advance and be sure to check the venue websites for special family ticket packages and promotions.

World of Coca-Cola

World of Coca-Cola - Atlanta
The World of Coca-Cola; Photo: George Alexander
The World of Coca-Cola, located in the heart of downtown Atlanta adjacent to the Georgia Aquarium, features colorful exhibits and interactive activities, which explore the heritage and milestones of the iconic Coca-Cola Company. Although there are better choices in Atlanta for very young children, family members from school-aged children to grandparents will enjoy a visit to this unique attraction where you can sample beverages from around the world (including the truly awful tasting Beverly flavor), experience a multi-sensory 4-D movie, take a picture with the popular Coca-Cola Polar Bear, watch a fully functioning bottling line and much more. Plan to spend at least 90 minutes to see everything and check out the gift shop for fun souvenirs.

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Centennial Olympic Park

Centennial Olympic Park's Fountain of Rings; Photo Credit: Georgia Department of Economic Developmen
Centennial Olympic Park Fountain of Rings; Photo Credit: Georgia Dept of Economic Development
A 21-acre downtown Atlanta oasis, Centennial Olympic Park was developed for the 1996 Summer Olympics held in Atlanta and later redesigned for daily public use. A great place for kids to expend some sightseeing energy, things to see and do in the park include the world's largest interactive fountain featuring the Olympic Ring symbol (popular for splashing in warm weather), Olympic and other exhibits, garden walks, water gardens, children's play areas and more. Many annual festivals, performances and special events take place in the park and an ice skating rink provides seasonal winter fun. On the fourth Saturday afternoon of each month from May through September, Family Fun Days offer interactive, entertaining and educational themed family fun.

Imagine It! The Children's Museum of Atlanta

Located across from the northeast corner of Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta, this is a fun place to visit with children ages eight and under. The bright and engaging open environment features hands-on, interactive exhibits, including permanent learning zones and changing exhibits. Daily programs and scheduled entertainment add to the fun. Adults must be accompanied by a child.

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Stone Mountain Park

Stone Mountain Park Summit Skyride
Stone Mountain Park Summit Skyride; Photo: Courtesy of Stone Mountain Park
Located less than 20 miles from downtown Atlanta, Stone Mountain Park is Georgia's most popular attraction. With over 3,200 acres of park, lake and woodlands plus attractions and recreational activities, Stone Mountain Park offers plenty of fun for all ages. For a change of pace, Stone Mountain Park is well worth a day-trip during your Atlanta family vacation. Because your visit to Stone Mountain Park will be so much more enjoyable on a nice day, it is good idea to have a flexible travel itinerary so that you are able shift things around if necessary. Special seasonal events take place throughout the year and the best times to visit are spring through fall and during the Christmas holidays. For fun in the snow, one area of the park is transformed into Snow Mountain during winter months.

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Fun Family Friendly Places to Eat in Atlanta

Turning mealtime into a family friendly adventure is a great way to make the most of your visit to Atlanta with kids. By choosing a few special dining experiences, mealtime can be a memorable vacation highlight in addition to your other sightseeing adventures. My top picks for Fun Family Friendly Places to Eat in Atlanta include an array of options.

More Top Atlanta Attractions

The High Museum of Art; Photo: © 2011 Sheridan Alexander, licensed to About.com, Inc.
While this round up of overall Top Atlanta Attractions is not specifically geared toward families traveling with children, there are several attractions on the list that are well worth considering, especially if you are traveling with children from middle-school ages and older. For example, the Inside CNN Studio Tour may not appeal to younger children, but pre-teens and teens who are interested in the news and television are likely to consider it an Atlanta highlight.

Also, the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site can be a very inspiring place to visit for children who are mature enough to understand and appreciate it. Other good possibilities for families, depending on the ages of your children, include the Atlanta History Center, Atlanta Botanical Garden, the High Museum of Art and more.

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