Young and old alike are sure to be delighted by Atlanta's spirit and vivacity. But any parents of energetic tykes know that a charming ambience isn't quite enough to keep the demanding under-10s crowd amused for long. That's why Atlanta – a destination becoming ever more popular among tourists, with around 42 million annual visitors at last count – has made sure moms and dads have plenty of resources with which to impress their little ones. From the frivolous to the educational with a bit of quirky thrown in for good measure, the following five are examples of the wide-ranging family friendly fun on offer in Atlanta.
Atlanta's Children's Museum is a great activity for young families, though it's geared towards a younger crowd than many children's museums in other cities. The interactive attractions here would satisfy and engage the toddlers but may prove a little juvenile for the older crowd. Hands-on permanent exhibits include water and sand games, construction challenges and a mock-up grocery shopping experience for the little ones. While the museum itself will typically take around 2 hours, it's located directly across from the pretty Centennial Olympic Park so families have the option of a post-museum picnic in the park.
The Fernbank Museum of Natural History is both a beautifully presented building and (as we all know that's not quite enough to overwhelm the kids) an activity-packed hub of interactive learning. The stunning displays range from full-size dinosaur sculptures to a walk through Georgia's natural history, and the interactive exhibits include a hands-on look at various facets of the human experience through simple sensory experiments. A trip around this relatively small but striking museum won't take up much of your day, but the whole family will be engaged from start to finish.
This is a truly unique gem for families in Atlanta, with exceptional puppet shows presented by accommodating, engaged puppeteers. There are colorful, exciting rotating exhibits of puppets including, in 2014, exclusive Jim Henson pieces. For a very reasonable entry fee, kids also have the exclusive opportunity to participate in a create-a-puppet workshop. The Center for Puppetry Arts is a rewarding and charming cultural and artistic experience for kids and for adults with or without accompanying little ones.
The Georgia aquarium is a surefire hit with the kids and grownups alike. The huge but intuitively organized aquarium has a formidable selection of sea animals from all over the world. Regular, interactive shows here are hosted by a crew of engaging, enthusiastic staff, which are included in the admission to the aquarium – visitors shouldn’t miss the dolphinarium, where the charming mammals put on a show for all ticketholders. Entry to the aquarium also secures visitors a sea-themed film viewing, sure to keep the kids entertained.
Sure, many parents might be skeptical about bringing their kiddies along to an activity that promotes sugary caffeinated drinks. But, if you can get past that understandable reservation, the tour around the World of Coca-Cola is in fact a fascinating insight into an iconic global brand. The recognizability of the brand name means that young children and teenagers alike will appreciate this tour of the World of Coca-Cola. Highlights of the tour include the opportunity to taste versions of Coca-Cola from around the world, and a 4-D movie about the beverage's "secret formula".