by Jonathan Baker - 319 Reviews - 185 List
Who says activities for the youngsters can't be fun? Whether you've got a 2-year-old or a 'tween on your hands, we've rounded up some kid-friendly activities that have nothing to do with the grownup set. Check out our essential guide to family-friendly fun in the ATL.
Updated: June 14, 2010
This lake-resort-waterpark features Georgia's largest wave pool, a white sandy beach plus golf courses and luxury boating. Kids get the Kiddie Lagoon, parents have access to R&R. It's not a trip to the ocean, but it will do in a summer pinch.
Ah, Six Flags, the flagship adventure park in the Southeast. The great thing about this massive place of fun is that everyone can find something they like. Little kids can enjoy Lickskillet Sky Buckets. Thrill-seeking 'tweens can have their way with the Great American Scream Machine. Families that want to stay together can enjoy Thunder River. With season passes that pay for themselves in less than two visits, it's no wonder this park is so popular.
When you are a little kid, the backyard Slip 'n Slide is awesome. However that exciting contraption seems downright mundane once you've discovered the majestic land of White Water. Take on rides, pound Dippin' Dots with your buddies and make fun of Dad as he falls off the lily pads.
This isn't a real beach, so let's not get ahead of ourselves. However, this "international" park located south of Atlanta lures families with water slides, a six-acre swim lake, tennis courts, bike trails and picnic areas. Did we mention there is a water trampoline? Yeah, get some of that.
On hot summer days, overheated kids and their parents find Downtown relief in the park's "dancing fountains." We suggest, though, that you don't let your kids be "those kids" who get almost naked in the fountain, as portrayed in the mural at the airport.
Make your kids feel like they've gotten way out of the city without actually driving them far. (Good call, right, parents?) Located in Roswell, the Chattahoochee Nature Center has plenty of kid-friendly activities, canoe trips and hiking trails that give suburban and urban children a glimpse of the natural world.
Visiting Oakland Cemetery is like taking a walking history lesson through our city's past. Atlanta's founding fathers, Margaret Mitchell and golf legend Bobby Jones are just a few of the folks who were laid to rest here. Afterward, take the kids next door to Six Feet Under for fried seafood.
It's a family paradise: laser shows, camping, boating, golf, hiking, train rides, a ropes course and 4D theater give all the options parents and kids could want without having to leave the greater metro area. Though 'rents, please don't accompany your 'tween to the laser show. It's a suburban right of passage.
Two words: panda bears. If there is anything parents and kids can agree on, it's the cuteness factor of roly-poly Asian bears. Favorite animals aside, kids love visiting the zoo. Apparently, learning about live animals is way more fun than learning about, say, math. We can't blame them.
We don't care how old you are, Muppets are always cool. And the Center of Puppetry Arts does Atlanta a favor by constantly featuring Jim Henson exhibits. Plus for the kids more interested in doing rather than seeing, there are workshops for all ages offered throughout the year.
Dinosaurs are fascinating to all age ranges (including parental units). And Fernbank not only delivers dinosaur-mania plus a plethora of history lessons, but its IMAX movies make even educational stuff seem cool. For adults who want to fly solo, we suggest catching Martinis & IMAX on Fridays.
Kids love live creatures, so it's typically an exciting aquatic free-for-all at the world's largest aquarium. We give mad props to the Ocean Voyager exhibit, which boasts an underwater tunnel that makes you feel like you're diving somewhere much more exotic than Atlanta.
Kids will think you are lying to them at first. Yes, it's true, there is an entire museum completely dedicated to their favorite fizzy elixir. And not only do you get to drink as much as you want there, but you get to try weird Cokes from other countries!