140+ Awesome Things to do in Atlanta Every Local Should Know

There are so many fun things to do in Atlanta that the city was named one of the best cities for a staycation by RewardExpert. And if the locals like it so much they’d rather stay home to vacation that means there is enough things to do around Atlanta to keep visitors engaged and happy too.

thins to do in atlanta

Here is our list of more than 140+ things to do in Atlanta. The list ranges from inside the perimeter to outside the perimeter and even a few short drives, so you can answer the age old question what are the best things to do near me?

Indoor Play | Outside | Area Hikes | Cheap and Free  | Museums | Attractions  | Theatre | Playgrounds | Toddlers | School Aged Children | Teens | Adults
| Date Ideas | By Neighborhood | Kids Eat Free  | Birthdays | Summer Camps
| While the Kids are at Camp | Where to Stay  | Atlanta Events | Seasonal |
 Sunday Drives

What are your favorite places to go in Atlanta, Georgia? What did we miss? Let us know, and we’ll add them

Make sure to call before you go for current times and prices.

Sky Zone Atlanta Newnan location

Things to do in Atlanta – Active Indoor Play

SkyZone Indoor Trampoline Park. This is a cool Georgia attraction for those who want to get some exercise while having fun. Bonus, it’s a great place for tweens and teens too. Since they have multiple locations, you are sure to answer the question, “where can I find these attractions near me?”

Indoor Water Parks in Atlanta. Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you can’t find fun places to go swimming. These indoor water parks offer water slides, lazy rivers and play structures. NOTE: This link is to a post I did last year. Check current times and prices with the location before visiting.

Roller Skating. Don’t wait for throwback Thursday, if you are looking for things to do in Atlanta this weekend, try roller skating. There are several roller skating rinks around Atlanta that have fun events all week long.

Indoor Rock Climbing Gyms in Atlanta. We’ve visited Stone Summit Climbing Gym, and Atlanta Rocks, which are both great for kids.

Catch Air. If you are wondering what to do in Atlanta Georgia with small kids, Catch Air is the place to go. Little ones can run around, bounce, dance and just have a great time. They have multiple locations around Atlanta, so if you are thinking I need things to do near me – try Catch Air.

Hippo Hop. Hippo Hop, located off Briarcliff Road is another fun jumpy place where kids can get out the wiggles and expend some energy before naptime.

Painted Pin. Looking for one of the top things to do in Atlanta, Ga that are slightly vintage? The Painted Pin is more than just a bowling alley. They have an arcade of old fashion games like shuffleboard and skittlebowl.

Game-X. If you don’t care about bowling and you want more video type games, head to Game X downtown. Note: This is one of those things to do in Atlanta that is 21+ after 9pm on weekends.

Escape the Room. This is a fun idea for tweens, teens, and multi-generational groups. Can you solve the puzzles, unlock the clues and get out of a sticky situation in just one hour?

Read our other post for more rainy day play. 

Atlanta BeltLine Northside Trail The Northside Trail is short but has lots of playgrounds and fun bridge underneath a railroad tressel.

Things to do in Atlanta Outside

Ice Skating Rinks. Need some places to go in Atlanta during the winter? Heat up at one of these outdoor ice skating rinks.

Water and Splash Pads. How about stuff to do in Atlanta during the summer? Try these water parks and splash pads.

Zip Lining. These fun places are a little outside Atlanta, but worth a mention, especially for tweens and teens.

Bike Riding. Atlanta has two fantastic bike paths. The Silver Comet Trail starts in Marietta, Ga. and goes to Alabama. The Atlanta Beltline is a series of trails that will eventually make a ring around the city.

Velodrome Biking. For something a little different, why not try track cycling on bikes without brakes. It’s all done on a banked circular track!

Take a Gardening Class. Learn about gardening and the plants in Georgia with Pikes Nursery classes.

Star GazingLook at the stars through high powered telescopes with a real astronomer at one of Georgia’s observatories including the Fernbank Science Center. A full list can be found in our book 101+ Free Things to do in Atlanta.

Go Geocaching. Geocaching is like a high tech treasure hunt. There are tons of Geocaches within the Atlanta area, probably within a few miles of your house. You can find a list at Geocaching.com. 

Go horseback riding. We have 20+ places to ride around the state, included several in the metro Atlanta area.

Read on for more than 99 Things to do Outside.

Sweetwater Creek State Park Exploring the water on a Sweetwater Creek hike.

Best Atlanta Area Hikes

Because we know you like to get outside, we pulled out a few of our favorite hikes. Find more in our post one more than 125 of the best places to hike in Georgia.

Sweetwater Creek State Park. Just outside of Atlanta to the west is Sweetwater Creek State Park. Spend a little time in the Interpretive Center, then head out on one of the four hiking trails. The red trail is the history trail and runs parallel to the creek. This will take you by the old Manchester Mill ruins. The mill workers were captured during the Civil War and transported north for the remainder of the war. Many never returned.

Panola Mountain State Park. To the west of Atlanta is Panola Mountain State Park. Panola has a 100-acre granite outcrop similar to Stone Mountain. In addition to forest hiking trails, they also have paved trails perfect for biking, roller blading, or pushing a stroller.

FDR State Park. Go Southwest of Atlanta and you’ll find FDR State Park. The Pine Mountain trail is a popular 23-mile trail with several loops. There is an easier part of the trail near the main office, so even if you have small kids, you can do at least part of the trail.

Amicalola State Park. You can’t visit this park in North Georgia without hiking up the falls. It’s 620 steps to the summit – 175 to the viewing area and then another 445 to the top. The hike isn’t too bad and there are lots of places to rest along the way if needed. The falls make it all worth it, looking like icicles falling down the mountain.

Tallulah Gorge State Park. This hike is especially fun because you go across a suspension bridge that sways 80 feet above the rocky bottom of the canyon. The Great Wallenda once tightroped across! You can still see the towers he used to anchor the ropes.

Sagebrush Ranch Stagecoach at the Booth Museum Sagebrush Ranch is the indoor playground at the Booth Western Museum

Cheap and Free Things to do in Atlanta 

Need some stuff to do in Atlanta that is free or cheap? We have you covered. In fact, we literally wrote the book on it.

Dollar Movie Theaters. Movies are always a great indoor activity but if you are short on cash, you might try one of these dollar movie theaters.

Bowling. Need ideas on things to do with friends? Bowling is a great way to get kids of any age to stay active, even indoors. It’s also a great activity if you have to manage children of multiple ages or a group of friends. During the summer months, you can even register for the KidsBowlFree program or what could be an even better deal summer bowling discount programs.

Home Depot WorkshopNo matter what time of year, my boys love donning an apron and hammering some nails. Bonus this is FREE

LEGO Mini-Builds. This FREE activity the Sugarloaf Mills Mall LEGO Store can get crowded, but for the LEGO fan, it’s worth it.

American Girl Boutique and Bistro. There is so much more than just shopping at the American Girl store, that some girls call it one of the best Atlanta attractions. Ask about events, some of which are FREE.

National Infantry Museum. If you don’t mind branching out to things to do in Georgia, this fantastic museum is in Columbus Georgia, but it’s worth the drive, especially if you have tween and teens. You can even shoot on the rifle range.

Fernbank Science Center. This FREE museum isn’t as flashy as the Fernbank Museum of Natural History, but it does have some dinosaurs, space capsule, planetarium and live animals. Plus the price is right if you are looking for what to do in Atlanta for free.

Booth Western Museum: This Cartersville museum has become one of my favorites for kids. They have lots of hands-on activities and it’s Free for kids 12 and under when accompanied by an adult.

Looking for more Free Things to do in Atlanta, Ga.? Check out our Downloadable eBook.

College Football Hall of Fame Atlanta The lobby of the College Football Hall of Fame contains a Steve Penley mural and helmets from all the teams.

Atlanta Things to do – Museums

One of the best things to do in Atlanta, Ga. is visit one of our amazing museums. Make sure to look beyond just exhibits; often these museums have special events, or classes that are fantastic too.

Fernbank Museum of Natural History’s Nature Quest. I love this nature themed indoor playground for the under 8 set. There are so many things to explore, it will take your little one several visits.

The Children’s Museum of Atlanta. This indoor museum is a great place for kids to play and parents can feel good about knowing their children are learning at the same time. Check out their When I Am cards to find out exactly what they are learning.

High Museum of Art. I love the High Museum for Kids. Be sure to check out a Discovery Backpack and the Green Family Gallery. Toddler Thursdays are a great way to introduce your little ones to art.

Tellus. Another Cartersville museum, this one will keep them busy for hours with dinosaurs, a planetarium, gem mining and more.

LEGOLAND Discovery Center. If your child likes LEGOS (and what kid doesn’t), they’ll love the LEGOLAND Discovery Center located in the Phipps Plaza Mall. It’s like a mini-theme park. Although this attraction is really for the 12 and under set, if you have a real LEGO fan, no matter the age, they’ll enjoy visiting. Here is the lowdown on discount tickets to LEGOLAND.

World of Coca-ColaIf you want Atlanta things to do, this is a must stop. Let the kids bounce off the walls as they see who can drink the most soda in the tasting room. Calm the down with the 4D theatre and a visit with the Coca-Cola polar bear.

Georgia Aquarium. Go under the sea without ever getting wet at the world’s largest aquarium. The sea otters and weedy sea dragons are my favorite.

CNN Studio Tours. Go behind the scenes and see how the news is made at the CNN Studio Tour. Kids can participate in a weather broadcast.

College Football Hall of Fame. This is one of the newer things to do in Downtown Atlanta. Part museum, part football field. There is a lot of interactive elements to this museum for the sports fan.

Center for Civil and Human RightsIf you want a places to take kids who are older, this is one of the best Civil Rights Museums around, and one of the must see Atlanta tourist attractions. It really makes you think about this time period in our country. It may be a bit much for young children, but older elementary and above should be fine.

Michael C Carlos Museum. Always wonderful children’s programming here, but Lesli’s boys especially love the mummy exhibits.

INK. Imagine a town, with a post office, pizza joint, court house and more…all pint size and perfect for small kids.

Need things todo in Atlanta for your preschoolers? Read this post on Atlanta activities for preschoolers. 

Nightime at SkyView Atlanta Ferris Wheel Photo courtesy of Atlanta SkyView

Things to do in ATL  – Attractions in Atlanta

Six Flags Over Georgia. More flags, more fun. If you want to know what to do in Atlanta, Ga with tweens, this is your best bet. However, they also have a kiddie zone with rides for younger children and of course teens enjoy the big thrills. Be sure to check them out for Halloween and Christmas too.

Skyline Park. Skyline Park is great for families! Head to the roof of Ponce City Market for old-school games like Skee Ball or Putt Putt, then cool off with drinks and delicious eats inside Nine Mile Station.

Hurricane Harbor at Six Flags Over Georgia.  Six flags operates two water parks – White Water and Hurricane Harbor. We like Hurricane Harbor because it’s included in your Six Flags over Georgia ticket. White Water is a separate water park.

Stone Mountain. Combine a little nature with a little theme park glitz. Stone Mountain has several Atlanta Georgia attractions in one. There are hiking trails and outdoor museums, as well as shows and Atlanta Ga. attractions like a 4D theatre, Ride the Ducks and an awesome laser show, as well as the wildly popular Stone Mountain ChristmasHighland Games, and Yellow Daisy Festival.

Lake Lanier Islands. Travel up I-85 to Lake Lanier Islands. In addition to lake fun, there is a water park in summer that turns into a winter wonderland in the winter with fabulous holiday lights. 

SkyView Atlanta. It may be cold (or hot)outside, but it’s warm and toasty (or cool) inside the gondolas at SkyView Atlanta. Go in the evening for a gorgeous view of downtown Atlanta.

North Georgia Zoo. Just a bit north of Atlanta, Ga. is this fantastic hands-on zoo.

Medieval Times Atlanta has lots of excitement from beginning to end.

Things to do in Atlanta  – Theatre Productions

Medieval Times Dinner and TournamentHear Ye, Hear Ye This trip back in time is a blast, and you get to eat with your hands too. This is one of those really fun places to go with friends too.

Center for Puppetry Arts. Puppet shows are a fantastic way to introduce children to theatre. At the Center for Puppetry Arts, your show ticket also includes a create-a-puppet workshop. Two amazing new museums, including one with Jim Henson’s Sesame Street and Muppet characters, are worth the visit too. This is probably one of the best hidden things to do in Atlanta, Georgia. Don’t think puppets are just for kids, the Center for Puppetry Arts has wonderful performances with an adult flair too.

Alliance Theatre for the Very Young. The productions change often and explore music and gentle clowning. The actors and staff are all professionals and I promise you will be impressed with the quality of the production. They are all held in the small Black Box Theater of the Woodruff Building so audience sizes are limited.

Aurora Theatre Children’s Playhouse. Just 45 minutes outside Atlanta, Lawrenceville’s Aurora Theatre troop offers the Children’s Playhouse series on Saturday mornings. The offerings change weekly and will target different audiences so choose appropriately for your child. Aurora presents plays, magic shows, puppet shows, musicals, fun science demonstrations and stories with children’s authors.

Horizon Theatre Family Series. The Horizon Theatre also offers a family series. Their productions also range widely so choose with discretion. This location can be difficult to find if you are unfamiliar with the area, but the directions on the website are good and GPS took us right to it. They have just a few children’s productions each year, but where they lack in quantity they certainly make up for in exceptional quality. One of our favorites is Madeline’s Christmas.

Act3 Productions. Locals with a passion for the arts run this Sandy Springs playhouse. There are no bad seats in this somewhat hidden black box theatre located.

The Fox Theatre. You can’t talk about the Atlanta theatre without mentioning the Fox Theatre in Midtown. This historic theatre was saved from the wrecking ball in the 1970s and is a jewel in the community. The Fox hosts Broadway shows, and concerts as well as summer movies. For a real treat, take a behind the scenes tour.

Wondering what to do in Atlanta today, or What to do in Atlanta this weekend? Read our post on discounts for current and upcoming Atlanta shows.

Things to do in Atlanta with Kids Morgan Falls Playground Morgan Falls Playground is right on the Chattahoochee River. [/caption]

Things to do in Atlanta  – Playgrounds

If you want activities in Atlanta to keep kids busy without spending a lot of money, playgrounds are a great option, and Atlanta has one in almost every neighborhood. Here are few that are extra special.

Piedmont ParkNeed a place to go with kids that doesn’t have an entry fee? Piedmont Park has several playgrounds, a splash pad, lake to feed the ducks. In addition there are lots of year-round Piedmont Park events, like winter ice skating at Park Tavern, in the wintertime.

Playable Art Park. What better way for kids to explore art than to climb over, under and around it. This Sandy Springs park is definitely unique

Wondering where are more places to take kids near me that are inexpensive? Try these other Atlanta area playgrounds. 

Petting the camels at the North Georgia Zoo Petting camels at the North Georgia Zoo.[/caption]

Best Things to do in Atlanta with Toddlers

Atlanta is a wonderful place to be a kid. Here are a few of our favorite places for toddlers from our larger post on 52 Atlanta Adventures for Babies and Toddlers.

Magic Mondays at Atlanta History Center. One of the best kids programs around in my opinion. Crafts, stories, activities, games, and more. Discounted admission or free for members.

Petting Zoos. Most little kids love animals. A petting zoo allows kids to get up close and pet them. I still remember the joy on my son’s face when we found a small petting zoo at an Atlanta History Center event. He was memorized by donkey and chased the goat just to hear the bell ring.

Little Shop of StoriesThis is a fabulous book store in Decatur that offers kiddo books (tons!) story times, a reading area with a train table, and more.

Atlanta Botanical Garden. The Atlanta Botanical Gardens is one of the best things to do in Atlanta for any age. We love seeing concerts here, or having a drink at the outside bar. With the newly renovated Children’s Garden, it is just one of many reasons to bring your littlest one to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. Other reasons include storytime, garden stroller strut, drop-in family programs, treasure hunts, and amphitheater programs

Read our post for more places to visit in Atlanta with your toddler?

 

The new aqua park at the Terminus Wake Park[/caption]

Best Things to do in Atlanta with School Aged Children

The 8 – 12 range is the sweet spot for fun. The kids are big enough to do more, yet young enough they are still excited about it. Here are five of our suggestions for things to do in Atlanta with school-age children.

Paintball. Paintball is great fun for the older kids, perfect for birthday parties, and wonderful for family bonding. I mean, really, can you think of a better way to let out a little pent-up aggression? All in good fun of, course. And now with so may places offering low-impact options, even kids as young as 7-years-old can partake in the fun!

Ropes Course. There are so many different zip lines in Georgia that you can find one for any age group. Although I like a good zip line, what I really enjoy are the ropes courses. In Atlanta visit Stone Mountain Park for their Sky Hike, or the new ropes course at Zoo Atlanta.

Poole’s Mill Sliding Rocks, Cumming. This is sure to be a hit with kids of all ages. Put on your swimsuits and go sliding down the rocks at Poole’s Mill! Tip: Wear old swimsuits (because they could get ripped, worn or even stained). Find out more tips from Cumming Local’s post – Poole’s Mill Park in Forsyth County.

LakePoint Station, Emerson. This is a little bit north of Atlanta, but if you have kids that play any type of sports, chances are you’ll end up here at one point or another for a tournament or game. While there, check out LakePoint Station. At first I thought it was just your normal arcade, but they have a rock wall, laser tag and miniature golf. Nearby is the Terminus Wake Park. In the summer, they have a blow up obstacle course.

Center for Civil and Human Rights The lunch counter is one of the most moving exhibits. See how long you can last during a Woolworth sit in as hecklers jeer and make threats of physical violence.[/caption]

Best Thing to do in Atlanta with Teens

What is there to do in Atlanta? Sounds like a teen question, especially if it’s followed by a tilted head and an eye roll. Good news, there are LOTS of teen friendly things to do in Atlanta. Here are a few.

iFly. Looking for something to do in Atlanta that even hard to impress teens will like? Try iFly, the indoor skydiving attraction located off I-285 near SunTrust Park.

Center for Civil and Human Rights. We mentioned this before, but it’s worth repeating for the teen crowd. The Center for Civil and Human Rights is a powerful, moving museum that ties the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s with the today’s global Human Rights movement. Expect to see emotionally raw images and portrayals at this new Atlanta attraction, watching, seeing, hearing and interacting with history in an intimate and modern setting

High Museum of Art. The High Museum of Art routinely has teen programming put together by a specially chosen teen board of directors.

Little Five Points. This is a funky neighborhood in Atlanta known for it’s local shops like Junkman’s Daughter and offbeat culture. They also have one of the best Halloween Parades in the city.

Atlantic Station. Shopping, restaurants, movie theater, plus a Central Park area that hosts various events throughout the year such as free concerts in Atlanta, free outdoor movies and ice skating in the wintertime. Teen nirvana.

Escape Rooms. Escape rooms are all the rage now, and they can be super fun…if you pick the right one. Follow the link to Word of Escapes, which allows visitors to rate their adventures. Their experience to your benefit!

Hang gliding near Rising Fawn, Ga. and Lookout Mountain

Awesome Things to do in Georgia for Adults

Why should the kids have all the fun. Since adults have the opportunity to go a bit farther afield, we’ve included awesome things to do in Georgia, as well as cool things to do in Atlanta.

Hang Gliding. Pretty much every guy on my street stopped me when they heard we’d gone hang gliding. Everyone wanted to know where it was and what it was like. Short answer – it was awesome!

Farmers Markets. Atlanta has numerous farmers’ markets, everything from neighborhood pop-ups with local vendors to full fledge grocery type stores with everything you can imagine.

Flea Markets. If you’d rather shop for things that produce, Atlanta has several flea markets. What better way to spend the day than treasure hunting.

Grab a Drink. Nothing beats a cold drink on a hot day while sitting on an outdoor patio at one of Atlanta’s top restaurants. We have the lowdown on the perfect drink to order in our On the Rocks series. Draw your own Line in the Sand, or grab a little Sugar and Spice.

Take a Beer Tour. If mixed drinks aren’t your thing, Atlanta also has a southern beer tour. Round up some beer-loving peeps, and join guides Justin Hall and Jonathan Oliver to learn about brewing and craft beer. Guests are safely bused to a few local breweries for a private (or semi-private) tour to get people excited about the Atlanta beer scene.

Oakland Cemetery Oakland Cemetery is an unusual for a date, but they have wonderful tours and special events.

Creative Date Ideas: Atlanta Edition 

Why just go for dinner and a movie when Atlanta has so many other great creative date options. Here are some of the best things to see and do in Atlanta on a date.

Canoe Trip with Chattahoochee Nature Center. Enjoy guided canoe trips down the Chattahoochee from May through October. Specialty trips are also available including a birding trip, fall colors canoe, or a date night trip.

Oakland Cemetery and Six Feet Under. Sculpture, architecture, gardens, and history.  Across the street, good eats at the pub! People are just dying to do this. (see what I did there)

Shakespeare Tavern. Exceptional theater in a small, intimate setting – with good food and drinks!

Atlanta Food Walks. Atlanta Food Walks is the ideal way to see the city, hear some backstory and taste amazing food. I personally know the owner and couldn’t recommend a more ideal person to arrange your escapade. 15 tastings, 7 food stops and a ton of fun.
Sweet Auburn Curb Market The Sweet Auburn Curb Market is a wonderful place to shop, or just grab lunch. It’s located in the Sweet Auburn district of Downtown Atlanta.

Things to do in Atlanta Neighborhoods

Atlanta has a diverse group of neighborhoods, all with a different flair. Here are a few favorites along with fun things to do in these Georgia neighborhoods.

Brookhaven. Lenox Park is a hidden park which has a huge duck pond (and look close for the turtles!), a large lawn, walking trails and a small, fenced in dog park. See if you can find the old British phone booth located on the grounds, very apropos given the parks proximity to AT&T!

Conyers. If you are looking to renew your spirit or just find some peace make sure you check out the Monastery of the Holy Spirit located in Conyers, GA.  This has been the home to Cistercian monks for over 65 years, and you can admire the beauty of Bonsai specimens all while gaining some peace of mind in the process.

Decatur. Several times a year Decatur Glassblowing offers free events with live glassblowing demonstrations and usually food, drinks, and music. These events are open to the public and family-friendly. If you’d rather participate than watch, you can sign up for one of their glassblowing classes. See their Facebook page for dates, times and details.

Gwinnett.  Learn where your milk comes from at the Mayfield Dairy in Brasleton. They do tours every day but Wednesday because there is no milk production. You watch a short video and then they show you how milk is processed. The tour lasts about 45 minutes. After the tour, you can purchase some yummy ice cream. There is also a small green area for the kids to run around or you could have a picnic there.

Sandy Springs. Morgan Falls Overlook Park has a large playground, with clean and unique equipment. It is on high-quality “fake” grass, which I happen to love because it is always perfect for a picnic. Picnic tables are nearby, as is gorgeous views of the river, large “porch” swing chairs overlooking the water, a short but fun hiking trail, and a fire pit area. In addition to the people park, down a short road from the playground is a dog park, with a walk along the river and a view of the dam. You can also bring a fishing pole (get your license ready!) It’s a great place to explore when you need a break from the slides and swings.

Woodstock. The Funk Heritage Center at Reinhardt University is made up of the Bennett History Museum and Appalachian Settlers Village. There are exhibits focusing on the history and art of the Southeastern Indians and European settlers.  The Rogers Gallery of Contemporary Indian Art includes a collection of paintings, sculptures and creative works. Tools of the Trade is an astonishing exhibit of thousands of tools dating back to the 17th century. Be sure to check out Warluskee’s Corner, a comfortable and child friendly place for parents to stop and talk to children about the history of Georgia’s first people complete with children’s books, hand puppets, and hands on activities.

For more about the neighborhoods within the city limits of Atlanta, check out the Atlanta 100 Insider’s Guide.

atlanta kids eat free

Kids Eat Free Every Day of the Week

We have an entire post on the local restaurants where kids eat free in Atlanta, but here are a few favorites for every day of the week, because in addition to looking for stuff to do in Atlanta, you gotta eat.

Monday. Williams Bros BBQ in Canton. Purchase some BBQ for yourself, and get free kids meals on Mondays.

Tuesday. Mojo Pizza N’ Pub in Decatur. Kids eat free on Tuesday evenings.

Wednesday. The Mill Kitchen and Bar in Roswell. Mmmm Southern style deliciousness.

Thursday. Head to American Roadhouse in Virginia Highlands.

Friday. Enjoy a farm to table experience at Radial Café in Candler Park.

Saturday. Go Mexican on Saturday at Cans Taqueria in Milton.

Sunday. Try something unusual with Moroccan food at Imperial Fez in Buckhead.

For more Kids Eat Free Restaurants, see our 52 Locally Owned Kids Eat Free Restaurants. Also, be sure to check with the restaurant before you go to ensure they are still offering the kids eat free deal.

Things to do in Atlanta Gwinnett Braves

What to do in Atlanta Ga. for Special Birthday Parties

Birthday parties aren’t just for kids anymore. Here are five birthday places, some for kids, and some for kids at heart.

For the Little Guys
Children’s Museum of Atlanta. Birthdays at CMA are perfect for kids 2-8 years old. Select from three different packages (or build your own.) The Classic Party is most affordable, with admission for 20 guests to explore 1 hour and 45 minutes prior to the party, then celebrate an additional 45 minutes in the lunch table room. The Deluxe Party Package is a tad more, but allows you to give each child a return ticket as a thank you present for attending. The Ultimate Experience adds an extra 15 minutes in the party room for a guided make-and-take art or science project. 

For the Elementary Set
Gwinnett Braves. Enjoy a pre-game meal, watch the game, and bask in a serenade in the dugout during the game. Goodie bag idea: a baseball to have signed

For Tweens
Tank Town USA. The party includes a group ride in a military truck and a tank. There is also a paintball target shooting competition with the winner and the birthday boy/girl getting a special tank ride. They allow plenty of time for cake and gifts too! Ages 7-14 years old.

For Teens
Nellya Fencers. I’ve always wanted to learn how to fence. Have a coach guide your group through the basics of fencing, then suit up and give it a whirl.  You bring the supplies, cake, and food.

For the Young at Heart
Chamberlain’s Chocolates. Helllooo…chocolate!!! Enjoy 90-minutes of instruction and chocolate making and molding. Guests can sample as they go and leave with a goody bag. They also provide punch, ice cream cups, and paper goods. Ask about bringing win to fill those cups.

 

The Best Atlanta Summer Camps

One of Atlantans favorite things to do in the summer is go to camp. There are SOOO many summer camps in Atlanta that’s it’s really hard to choose just one, good thing there are multiple weeks to cover. The 365 Atlanta Family Atlanta Summer Camp Guide has more than 200 summer camps listed. Here are ten favorites.

Josh Powell Summer Day Camp. Located on 23 wooded acres in Cherokee County, kids spend the day building forts in the woods, swimming, canoeing on the lake, or winning a popsicle for a bulls-eye on the archery range. Whatever they choose, they’ll come back a little dirty, tired and smiling. Josh Powell has bus pick up from several in-town locations too.

Club SciKidz. Kids can try emergency medicine, veterinary science, 3-D Printing, or video game creation at ClubSciKidz. My favorite is Crime Scene Investigation where you have to solve the murder at Old Fields. Club SciKidz has locations throughout the city.

MJCCA Summer Day Camps. Jewish and non-Jewish campers enjoy themed camps like Ninja Warrior Camp; Pokémon Adventure; Atlanta Hawks Basketball Camp; and Huntsville Space Camp (a new overnight Specialty Camp). MJCCA has four camp locations, and free bus transportation.

Act3 Arts Academy. The youth division of award-winning theater company Act3 Productions located in Sandy Springs, is conducting auditions for exciting summer workshops for students in kindergarten through college that culminate in performances.

Camp Broadway. For a performing arts camp in-town, try Camp Broadway at the Rialto Center for the Arts where your children can learn from experienced Broadway professionals. Kids, ages 10-17, develop confidence, character, and presentation skills through ensemble performances. Best of all, no acting experience is necessary.

High Museum of Art The High Museum of Art is such a fun place for kids, spending a week at summer camp there would be awesome. Sketch in the galleries, explore the exhibits. There are classes for kids from 6 – 14 years old. The High Museum of Art is located in Midtown Atlanta.

Trinity School Summer Camp. Trinity School is now the home of Atlanta Sports Camps for boys and girls, rising 1st–6th grade. Kids play basketball, cooperative challenges, flag football, hockey, kickball, lacrosse, pool/water activities, soccer, and more! Trinity also offers Special Interest Camps that include science, arts, Legos, and outdoor exploration. Trinity School is located in Buckhead.

Universal Tennis Academy. Tennis is such a popular sport in Atlanta, why not get your kids started early? UTA has seven tennis sites around Atlanta, and a variety of different configurations to fit your needs. There are half-day and full-day camps, camps that include golf, and camps that include swimming. Plus your kids will learn a sport they can play for a lifetime.

UGA Summer Academy. It can be hard to find a good camp for teens. UGA summer camps are a popular option and cover lots of different interests from photography to video game design to aviation and comic book art. Summer Academy Camps at UGA are in high demand, and often book up early. Registration opens in February, so if you are interested in this camp, mark your calendar to register as soon as possible.

Rockmont Camp for Boys.  Rockmont School for Boys in North Carolina offers a traditional summer camp in a Christian environment for kids ages 6 through teens.

Visit our full post for even more summer camp ideas.

 

Torres Sangria Atlanta On The Rocks Sample craft cocktails at the many wonderful Atlanta restaurants while the kids are away at camp.[/caption]

Something to do in Atlanta while the Kids are at Camp

Schedule your kids at camp, then play hooky and check out these summer festivals in Atlanta

Atlanta Food & Wine Festival. This is one of our favorite Atlanta food festivals. It’s held in Midtown every June. Named “the only indispensable culinary Festival in the country,” by Josh Ozersky of Esquire and highly anticipated by guests, the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival features nearly 100 classes, carefully-curated Tasting Tents and delicious evening dinners and events, all designed to showcase Southern food, drink and culture.

Atlanta Annual Zombie Pub CrawlThis 21+ event is held in Virginia Highlands in June. Once customers have received their zombie make overs, the horde takes over local pubs and restaurants in the Virginia Highlands area. Spanning streets, patios and bars, they ‘stumble’ from location to location devouring adult beverages and scaring the living.

Here are more summertime festivals, including family friendly ones, and some romantic getaways in case you want to get out of the city.

A gorgeous downtown Atlanta view from the Embassy Suites[/caption]

Where to Stay in Atlanta

Sometimes the best way to make a staycation really special is to spend an evening out in your own town. Here are a few hotels we recommend for the occasion.

Downtown. The Omni Hotel downtown is a perfect place to base your downtown staycation because it’s located in the heart of it all overlooking Centennial Olympic Park. If you are bringing Fido with you, maybe consider the Hotel Indigo.

Midtown. For a sleek Midtown feel, the Loews Atlanta is the right choice. It’s located within walking distance to Piedmont Park events, as well as the Woodruff Arts Center attractions. Be sure to save one dinner for the Saltwood dining room at the hotel. The charcuterie plate is not to be missed.

Alpharetta. For a special evening with your American Girl, there is no better place than the Atlanta Marriott Alpharetta. In addition a pool and on-site restaurant, there are several American Girl only perks, like a girl sized very pink check-in. 

Lawrenceville. Have a good knight at the Hampton Inn Lawrenceville with the Good Knight Package. It includes a themed room, as well as tickets to the Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament, which is located across the street. When not cheering knights, there is a pool and a cozy outdoor fire pit for after the show.

Atlanta Events January 2016

Things to do in Atlanta: Atlanta Georgia Events by the Month

There are so many festivals in Atlanta and unique Atlanta events that there is no way to capture it all in this post, but we do have an extensive list of Atlanta events on 365 Atlanta Family. Here are some top picks by month.

January Things to do in Atlanta

Visit the Atlanta History Center for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Honor Martin Luther King, Jr. Day by learning about his life and legacy as well as the many contributions of African Americans in Atlanta. This is a FREE admission day at Atlanta History Center, including Margaret Mitchell House.

February Things to do in Atlanta

While others are enjoying football on Super Bowl Sunday, get out of the house for Super Museum Sunday. On this special day historic sites, house museums, art museums, and other points of interest Atlanta an the state of Georgia open their doors to the public, providing an exceptional opportunity to experience the history in our own backyard. Over seventy cultural institutions around the state participate in this popular annual family event.

March Things to do in Atlanta

March means the Atlanta Fair is in town. Throughout, guests can expect to be dazzled by vibrant displays and lights and partake in a variety of interactive games. Those in search of soaring thrillers will be able to climb aboard one of the many attractions, including the Towering Ferris Wheel, Flying Dutchman, 45-foot Ring of Fire and for the first time ever, the Inversion, a twisty sky-high tower that will have adrenaline junkies spinning and twirling into the crisp spring air! Foodies can also indulge in the endless supply of all-time classics, like fluffy cotton candy, candy apples, elephant ears and more!

April Things to do in Atlanta

SweetWater 420 Fest blends music, entertainment, art and culture, all while respecting Mother Earth and has grown and evolved each and every year since 2004. A dynamic mix of live musiccomedyartfoodPlanet 420 workshops and village, 420 Disco420 Fest 5K and of course SweetWater’s lip-smacking, lineup of brews makes this an Experience and not just a Festival. We LOVE this festival with kids – and we weren’t the only ones! Many families attended. This piece on Explore Georgia is about our visit in 2016, and how to make it work with kids!

April is when you need to start thinking about strawberry picking. Our post will tell you where to go.

May Things to do in Atlanta

The Decatur Arts Festival is another 365 Atlanta Family favorite. Fine art, kids art, an artist market, performing arts, theatre and literary arts…there is something for everyone here all weekend. The Kids Arts Festival kicks off with a parade. Lineup begins at 9:30 am at the corner of Commerce Drive and Church Street. Marching begins at 9:50. Dress up your kids and decorate your strollers, bikes and trikes. Join the parade and show your artistic spirit! After the parade, enjoy arts and crafts, music, balloons, juggling, clowns, inflatables and much more. Most activities are free or for a small donation.

Also, don’t miss the pre-festival events like the Decatur Lantern Parade and the Artwalk, or Sidewalk Saturdays all of May.

June Things to do in Atlanta

Tunes from the Tombs is probably has one of the most interesting concert venues. Tune from the Tombs, Historic Oakland Cemetery’s annual all-day music festival features musicians performing in and amongst Oakland’s extraordinary monuments, mausoleums and renowned gardens. Two main stages will host amplified artists, while buskers will perform on distinct vignette stages throughout the cemetery. From rock to folk, Americana to jazz and classical to everything in between, a variety of tunes will entice everyone to boogie down. Soothe your stomach as well as your soul with good eats from Atlanta food trucks, which will be on-site serving a variety of tasty festival fare.  Keep spirits alive with beer, wine, and soft drinks, all of which will be offered for sale on-site. Festival attendees can also take a complimentary guided mini-tour of Oakland Cemetery, or have their fortunes read by Atlanta’s own, Esmere.

June is also blueberry picking season.

July Things to do in Atlanta

Celebrate the birth of our nation with fireworks at Centennial Olympic Park. While you are there, splash in the fountains, or watch dolphins splash at the Georgia Aquarium. Watch the fireworks then go up in the Atlanta Ferris Wheel for a beautiful view of the city lights below.

August Things to do in Atlanta

The Dunwoody Butterfly Festival is a family friendly event that is so popular, you have to pre-purchase tickets to ensure a spot (bonus you save a little money too). The 2017 event features two enormous Butterfly tents – each filled with hundreds of live butterflies. It’s a day of fun filled activities including a Birds of Prey show, live animal encounters, games, educational booths, crafts, music, food and drinks. Early member preview begins at 9:00 a.m. with general admission starting at 10:00 a.m.

September Things to do in Atlanta

September is apple picking time in Georgia. There are several apple orchards where you can pick your own, as well as places to pick up a peck of pre-picked apples. Say that 10 times fast. The season comes to an end with the Georgia Georgia Apple Festival – which is actually the first weekend in October.

October Things to do in Atlanta

October is when the pumpkins come out. One of our favorite things to do in Atlanta during this time of year is head to a patch to pick our own pumpkin. Haunted houses are big this time of year too and Atlanta has one of the best in the country – Netherworld Haunted House.

November Things to do in Atlanta

November is the perfect time to go ice-skating in Atlanta. There are several outdoor ice skating rinks that open in late November for the holiday season. There is sure to be one near you.

December Things to do in Atlanta

This is one of the busiest times for fun things to do in Atlanta. Celebrate the holidays by visiting one of the many, many light displays around the city. Whether you go to one of the illuminated attractions, or just drive around the neighborhood, lights are a sure fire way to get you in the spirit of the season.

Lake Lanier Lights Carnival

Seasonal Things to do in Atlanta Ga.

If you want things to do in Atlanta with kids (or without) during the major holidays, we have you covered. Here’s your round up for each season.

Wintertime Fun
Don’t get stuck at home because it’s a little cold. Chances are in Atlanta, it will be gorgeous in a few days, so get out, there is a lot to do including these fun things to do on MLK Day.

Visit the MLK Historic Site: The Martin Luther King Historic Site is part of the National Park Service. Kids can pick up a Junior Ranger booklet at the front desk to help guide them through the museum. Trading cards are available at the desk as well. We pick these up whenever we visit a National Park and have quite a collection now. If you want to visit the MLK Birth Home, get there early. Tickets are free, but on a first come, first served basis and MLK weekend is sure to be very busy.

Volunteer at a State Park: “Everybody can be great because anybody can serve,” was a quote by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebrate the holiday volunteering at Georgia State Parks. Panola Mountain and Red Top Mountain are both have structured days of service during the MLK Weekend.

Learn African American History at Oakland: Oakland Cemetery is one of the best places to learn history in Atlanta. For MLK weekend, take a walking audio tour and learn about the men and women who shaped Atlanta and the African American experience here. Best of all the tours are FREE.

Springtime Fun
Springtime is the best in our city. We cover a lot of amazing things to do in Atlanta Georgia in spring, like these fun ways to celebrate Earth Day

Play Games Outside. City kids can sometimes have a little trouble knowing how to play outside. Give them a head start with ranger lead outdoor games at Chattahoochee Bend State Park near Newnan, Ga. Afterwards, use the material list and instructions to make the same games at home. The cost is $3 plus $5 parking.

Pan for Gold. Head a little north of Atlanta to Dahlonega, Ga. and follow the gold trail. Dahlonega is the home of the nation’s firsts gold rush, a good 20 years before California. There are three different ways you can learn and experience life as a miner, a museum, an underground mine, and a placer mine. You’ll also see how mining has impacted he environment. Learn more in this story on Dahlonega on 365 Atlanta Family.

Summer Camp Guide
We’ve already told you about some of the best summer camps in Atlanta.

Fall Fun
Fall is one of my favorite times of year in Atlanta. Here are some of our favorite activities

Blue Ridge Scenic Railway. The fall foliage tour during the month of October is the most popular excursion, with two trips running most every day.

Camp!  Fall is the ideal time of year for camping.  Build a fire, watch the stars, collect colorful leaves, and spend time together as a family. The link takes you to our list of the 52 best camping spots in North Georgia.

Fly Fishing 101. Learn fly-fishing basics in one of Ovis’s FREE Fly Fishing 101 classes. Perfect for beginners of all ages, the Fly Fishing 101 course includes free lessons on fly casting and outfit rigging.

Christmas and Holiday Fun
The months of November and December are jam packed with fun things to do in Atlanta. Cap off the holiday season and ring in the New Year with these celebratory things to do on New Year’s Eve.

Children’s Museum of Atlanta Bubble Bash. Choose between two time slots, either 10 – 12:30 or 2 – 4:30 pm. Count down to the new year, then celebrate with bubble-wrap firecrackers, a dance party, special guests and lots of surprises.

Stone Mountain Early New Year’s Eve Celebration. Enjoy the popular Stone Mountain Christmas celebration, then count down to the new year with music, snow, and fireworks at 9 pm.

The Polar Bear Plunge at Unicoi State Park. For something a little different, head a little bit north to Unicoi State Park and Lodge for the annual Polar Bear Plunge the morning of December 31. Leave all your 2016 cares in the icy water.

Rutledge Hardware in Rutledge, Ga.

Perfect Sunday Drives from Atlanta

Because sometimes you just want to take a drive. Here are three small towns less than two hours of Georgia that are worth the drive on a beautiful day.

Juliette, Ga. Head to this real live movie set for a delicious lunch at the Whistle Stop Café. The Café was created for the movie Fried Green Tomatoes, and the restaurant goes through about 400 green tomatoes each week to meet demand for their signature dish.

Rutledge, Ga. When you get to the barrel painted red with four stop signs affixed to it, you know you are in the center of Rutledge, Ga. Visit Rutledge Hardware, part store, part museum. Afterwards, grab yourself some buttermilk pie from Yesterdays.

Hiawassee, Ga. Look for treasure from the past at the Hiawassee Antique Mall. With 40 retailers and 10,000 square feet of retail space, you’re sure to find something here you simply MUST have.

See 365 Atlanta Family for more ideas on drivable weekend getaways from Atlanta, and the Closest Beach to Atlanta.

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Here is our list of more than 140+ things to do in Atlanta that every local (and visitor) should know about. The list ranges from inside the perimeter to outside the perimeter and even a few short drives.

Things to do in Atlanta with Kids

Sue Rodman | Managing Editor & Business Development

Sue Rodman is a mother of three boys, a PR professional, writer, and ice cream lover. For eight years, Sue published an award winning family travel blog called Field Trips with Sue, and produced a TV segment with the same name on CBS Better Mornings Atlanta. In Sept. 2016 Field Trips with Sue merged with 365 Atlanta Family. In addition to writing blog posts and managing the advertising and public relations for 365 Atlanta Family, Sue does freelance public relations and her writing has appeared online at TravelingMom, Trekaroo, Minitime Family and other family travel sites. She has contributed to print publications such as Family Fun, Simply Buckhead, BuckHaven and Publix Magazine. In addition, Sue has appeared on local and national news talking about family travel. Sue believes anytime is a good time for dessert and there are no bad field trips, just better stories.

4 Comments on "140+ Awesome Things to do in Atlanta Every Local Should Know"

  1. Big and very informative list Sue! Me and my family been on Atlanta a couple of times and this is my honest opinion about what I think is the best places to visit when you are with your kids.

    Sky View Atlanta: Very nice views, the lines moves at an okay speed and you get a good view of Centennial Olympic Park.

    Georgia Aquarium: So much to do and so much fun! The front entrance line is really long tho but you can skip by just letting them know that you don’t want your picture taken. The dolphin show is really cool!

    Lego land Discovery Centre: Nothing more to add here because it’s LEGO, and LEGO is always the best for the kids

  2. Thanks for this list, Sue. My family is planning a trip to Atlanta in April. We would like to take our bikes with us. Is there a good place in Atlanta or nearby to do some cycling? – Sam

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