After living in Miami for the past five years we finally visited our neighbor state, Georgia, Atlanta to be exact. We passed through the city on a four week road trip from Miami to Orlando, Atlanta, Chattanooga, Gatlinburg, Franklin, Nashville, Memphis and New Orleans. Here were our favorite things to do in Atlanta with kids.
Things to Do in Atlanta with Kids on the City Pass
When visiting Atlanta with Kids if you want to save money you should consider purchasing the CityPASS. We’ve used these before on our trip to Chicago and New York and it saved us a lot of money. You can buy the pass here online and it includes admission to the Georgia Aquarium and World of Coca-Cola plus admissions to any 3 of these attractions: Zoo Atlanta, Fernbank Museum of Natural History, College of Football Hall of Fame, National Center for Civil and Human Rights or CNN Studio Tours.
If you’re short on time or want to make the best use of it know that the Coca Cola Factory, Georgia Aquarium, National Center for Civil and Human Rights, CNN Studio and College of Football Hall of Fame are all right next to each other. The Atlanta Zoo is a ten minute drive from these and the Fernbank Museum of Natural History is about twenty minutes from both the Zoo or the other attractions. You have 30 days to visit attractions once you use the CityPASS for the first time.
Coca Cola Factory/World of Coca Cola
Even if you don’t drink soda, we don’t, the Coca Cola Factory is worth a visit. It was fun learning the history of the company and seeing the original bottles and machines. You’ll be able to learn about the process of how it is made, taste Coca Cola from around the world (there are so many flavors), meet the Coca Cola Polar Bear and more. Hours vary by season so be sure to check here before going.
College Football Hall of Fame
Being a graduate of the University of Florida, I am a huge College football fan. However, even if you really aren’t into football in the least bit you’ll find it fascinating and enjoyable. There is an indoor playing field perfect for adults and kids alike. With over 775 schools represented you’ll be sure to find something you’re interested in.
My kids loved when we visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium during our road trip through California so I knew they would enjoy the Georgia Aquarium. We all loved it! I was really glad we had the Atlanta CityPASS because the aquarium is not cheap! You can see Beluga Whales, Dolphins, and so many more sea animals here. We especially enjoyed the part of the aquarium where you stand on the moving walkway and go through a tank with the animals on the sides and above you!
National Center for Civil and Human Rights
While the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis gets a lot of love I was very impressed with the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. The first exhibits when you enter are somber so be prepared but I visited with my 4 and 6 year old and they learned a lot so don’t feel like you can’t visit with younger kids. The museum doesn’t just talk about the past, with an entire exhibit dedicated to current Civil and Human Rights issues. Be sure to stop at the gift shop for some great books!
Zoo Atlanta is one of the oldest zoos in the country. Like many zoos you can feed the giraffes here which my kids always love but my favorite is seeing the two twin pandas they have!
Historical Things to Do in Atlanta with Kids
Visit Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birth Home
If you didn’t know that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta, well now you do. His birth home is protected by the National Park Service and they offer free ranger-led tours every day of the year except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day. The tour lasts about 30 minutes.
Explore the Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church
Ebenezer Baptist Church, just down the street from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birth home is where he delivered his first sermon in 1947. He went on to deliver many speeches here. You can take a self-guided tour of the church from 10:00AM-5:00PM.
Walk Around Freedom Hall
Freedom Hall is where memorabilia of Dr. King and the civil rights movement are displayed. You can see his Bible, clerical robe, handwritten sermons, and the key to his room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, TN where he was assassinated. Adjacent to Freedom Hall is the Reflecting Pool where both Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife Coretta Scott King are buried.
International Civil Right Walk of Fame
Added to the National Historic Site in 2004 this honors some of the amazing people who made contributions to the Civil Rights Movement.
Other Things to Do in Atlanta with Kids
Centennial Olympic Park
Atlanta hosted the 1996 Olympics and the park which housed many events is still there, along with the Olympic Rings. There is a huge ferris wheel and the park often has live music. It’s right by the the Coca Cola Factory.
LEGOLAND Discovery Center Atlanta
Living in Miami we frequent Orlando a lot (check out our post on things to do in Orlando besides theme parks) so we’ve been to the LEGOLAND theme park there. The Discovery Center is much different but very fun in it’s own way. It’s indoors and while it has two rides it also gives kids the opportunity to be LEGO architects and build anything they’d like.
Stone Mountain Park
A visit to Stone Mountain Park requires a one mile hike but if my four year old can hike Pedra do Telegrafo in Brazil yours can hike here. If you have younger kids, leave the stroller and use a carrier. We’ve always loved our Ergobaby, which we used with both kids but you could also consider a hiking carrier.
At the top there is a Summit Skyride, high-speed Swiss cable car, and other rides. Kids will also enjoy the train rides, mini golf, and you can watch the Lasershow Spectacular.
Center for Puppetry Arts
If your kids like Sesame Street you’ll want to add the Center for Puppetry Arts to your itinerary. Check out their calendar to see what live shows they’ll have during your time in Atlanta.
Where to Eat in Atlanta with Kids
When visiting Atlanta with Kids we discovered a few places we think are great to eat with them. For breakfast we all loved Buttermilk Kitchen, which is closed on Monday’s so plan accordingly. It’s about 10-15 minutes from Downtown Atlanta but worth the drive.
For lunch or dinner check out the food hall at Ponce City Market. With so many options even the picky eaters can find something they love, I know, I’m one of them.
When you’re craving something sweet you have to go to I Scream Ice Cream Rolls. It is the most unique ice cream shop I’ve ever been to with amazing flavors and the most beautiful presentation.
Where to Stay in Atlanta with Kids
While there is quite a bit to do in Downtown Atlanta I don’t recommend staying here with kids. Restaurants close early so it’s not the best for after hours when you want a convenient place to quickly grab food. I really recommend getting a vacation rental while here. We’ve frequently rented from both Airbnb and VRBO. If you’re nervous about home rentals check out my article for 8 tips to guarantee a great Airbnb experience.
How to Get to Atlanta with Kids Affordably
Since we were on a road trip we drove to Atlanta. However, we’re known for finding cheap flights through flight deals. The last time we flew we got tickets for $85 round trip! Budget airlines like Spirit fly to the city and since they offer penny fares, yes one penny they can be a great option.
We had a great time enjoying the various things to do in Atlanta with kids. When we left we headed to the next stop on our road trip Chattanooga, TN, just two hours from Atlanta. I highly recommend visiting if you can add more days to your trip, you can check out that itinerary here. Did you find this article helpful? If so please share it!