3 Days in Atlanta with Kids: Ultimate Itinerary by a Local Mom
Welcome to Atlanta! There are a ton of things to do in Atlanta, the delicious land of peaches, peanuts, and Coca-Cola. You’ll find our city jam-packed with kid-friendly activities sprinkled with large doses of Southern hospitality. From Atlanta museums, sports events, theater performances, and delicious food, our city offers it all!
We’ve put together a three-day itinerary for things to do in Atlanta guaranteed to satisfy everyone in your family. To save money, purchase the Atlanta CityPASS ticket, which bundles five major Atlanta attractions at a discounted price. Also, our Kid-Friendly Hotels in Atlanta will point you in the right direction for accommodations.
If you end up spending more than three days in Atlanta, visit Stone Mountain Park and refer to 100 Fun Things to Do in Atlanta for more kid-friendly sites. And be sure to subscribe to the free Mommy Poppins newsletter to stay in the know of upcoming events.
Day 1: Things to Do in Downtown Atlanta with Kids
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Reserve a three-hour admission at the Children’s Museum of Atlanta for families with young kids. They’ll learn through hands-on exhibits including an air cannon, circuit bench, and ball machine. Kids also love the paint wall and kinetic sand station, as well as role-playing in the grocery store. Tickets must be purchased in advance.
Sports fans love spending hours at Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame. Photo by Bill Leffler
Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame
If you have college football fans, let them test their skills on the indoor playing field at this interactive museum. Watch famous sports plays, sing college fight songs, and pick a team to follow throughout the visit for a more personalized experience.
National Center for Civil and Human Rights
Expose kids to the sensitive topics of racism and inequality at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. Take part in a lunch counter sit-in and hear first-hand accounts from several of the Freedom Riders, before heading upstairs to learn about human rights issues around the world. Papers from the Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Collection are also on view. Use Atlanta CityPASS ticket.
For New York-style pizza, hoagies, or pasta, head to Max’s Coal Oven Pizzeria, which also offers a kids’ menu. If you want to dedicate more time to sightsee, eat at Café Aquaria inside the Georgia Aquarium or Bottle Cap Café at the World of Coca-Cola.
Enjoy the wonders of the sea at the famous Georgia Aquarium. Photo courtesy of the aquarium
Explore the country’s largest aquarium with over 500 species, a touch pool, and dolphin and sea lion presentations. Walk through the Ocean Voyager tunnel where manta rays, whale sharks, and other marine animals swim all around you. Be sure to see the beluga whales and the newest exhibit, Sharks: Predators of the Deep. Use Atlanta CityPASS.
Take advantage of mild temperatures at Centennial Olympic Park.
Centennial Olympic Park
Take a break from the sights and hang out in the 21-acre Centennial Olympic Park. Let the kids splash in the Fountain of Rings before catching one of four daily FREE synchronized water shows. Check the schedule as the park hosts concerts and festivals throughout the year.
World of Coca-Cola serves fun and knowledge, as well as tasty beverages.
A visit to the World of Coca-Cola promises a fun experience for all ages. Not only will you learn everything about Atlanta’s favorite beverage, but you’ll watch a 3D movie, pose with the Coca-Cola polar bear, and create your own Coca-Cola flavor. The highlight is tasting over 30 Coca-Cola beverages produced around the globe. Use Atlanta CityPASS ticket.
Evening and Dinner
Depending on the time of year, there are lots of things to do at night, like watching the NFL Atlanta Falcons or MLS Atlanta United FC at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. At State Farm Arena, catch the Atlanta Hawks during basketball season. Food options abound at both stadiums.
See the sights atop SkyView Atlanta!
To see Atlanta’s skyline at its best, step into an enclosed gondola at SkyView Atlanta. You’ll ride 20 stories high on the Ferris wheel for a bird’s-eye view of downtown Atlanta.
Day 2: Things to Do in Midtown Atlanta with Kids
See Kermit the Frog, Big Bird, and other Jim Henson creations at this museum dedicated solely to puppets. Kids love operating marionettes while learning about puppets from around the world. Visitors can tour just the museum or pay a few extra dollars to catch a puppet show and attend a puppet-making workshop.
"What’ll ya have?!” This is what servers greet you with at this iconic spot that spans two city blocks in Midtown. Originally catering to Georgia Tech students, The Varsity has served hot dogs, chili dogs, hamburgers, fries, and fried peach pies since 1928. Be sure to try the famous onion rings and frosted orange milkshake!
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Home to sculptures, water features, canopy bridge, and gorgeous flowers, the Atlanta Botanical Garden boasts 30 acres in the heart of Midtown Atlanta. Kids will flock to the Lou Glenn Children’s Garden with a paint wall, rope bridge, and and more, and bring a swimsuit for the splash pad in warmer months. Order grab n’ go selections from the Longleaf Quick Café and snack in the garden.
Explore Piedmont Park with 185 acres of green space in the middle of the city. Let the kids loose on the Mayor’s Grove Playground and the Noguchi Playscape. Walk the trails, throw a Frisbee, or splash in the Legacy Fountain. For a fee, swim in the beach-entry pool with a lazy river during the summer months. Look for the King of Pops pushcart!
The High Museum of Art offers culture and history to families of all ages. Photo by Bill Leffler
To engage kids up to 8 years old, High Museum offers the Greene Family Learning Center with two interactive galleries. Enjoy free admission during the monthly UPS Second Sundays, with family-friendly performances and art activities. Stop at CJ’s Café for a snack in the museum lobby.
Evening and Dinner
A collection of standalone restaurants, including the kid-friendly (and healthy) sweetgreen, await you at Colony Square. The hotel/office complex boasts a dine-in movie theater. If you can't decide on one place to eat, check out Politan Row Food Hall, which offers a dozen food stalls.
Catch a performance or concert at the gorgeous Fox Theatre. During the summer, the Fox hosts a movie series with a pre-show sing-along featuring the “Mighty Mo” pipe organ.
It's hard to be sad during a visit to Zoo Atlanta. Photo by Bill Leffler
Day 3: More Things to Do in Atlanta with Kids
See lions, tigers, and bears (oh my!) in addition to giant pandas and over 1,000 other animals at Zoo Atlanta. Included in the Atlanta CityPASS ticket, the zoo offers keeper talks, a petting zoo, and splash pad. For an additional fee, embark on the TreeTop Trail zip line and obstacle course or ride the carousel.
This renovated former Sears, Roebuck & Co. building is now Ponce City Market (PCM), with a large food hall, shopping, and entertainment area. There's no need to rush out of PCM so check out our plans for your afternoon below.
There's a ton of fun to be had at Skyline Park, atop Ponce City Market. Photo courtesy PCM
Head to the rooftop Skyline Park at PCM to enjoy panoramic views of the entire city of Atlanta. Upgrade your ticket to the All-Access Pass to play miniature golf and arcade games, free fall from the Heege Tower, and glide down the three-story slide.
Rent a bicycle or walk the Eastside Trail of the Atlanta BeltLine. The multipurpose trail will ultimately create a 22-mile loop connecting parks, restaurants, and points of interest. Head south for a stop at Historic Fourth Ward Park to let the kids burn off energy on the playground and splash pad. Then head to the skate park to watch kids practicing jumps. See public art displays and murals as you head to Krog Street Tunnel.
Kids love exploring the Atlanta Beltline, including checking out all the public art. Photo by Melanie Preis
Travel to outer space or embark on an African safari without leaving the neighborhood! One of Atlanta's newest attractions, Illuminarium engages the senses with an immersive indoor experience appropriate for all ages. Shows rotate throughout the year and last about 45-60 minutes.
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Evening and Dinner
A stop worthy of the 30-minute drive from downtown, The Battery Atlanta features restaurants, shopping, entertainment, and Truist Park, Atlanta's official baseball stadium. Order a pie from Antico Pizza Napoletana and save room for gelato. Let the kids run around the Plaza Green and check the schedule for movie series, concerts, and other events.
Atlanta Braves at Truist Park
Locals are proud of the Atlanta Braves (winners of the 2021 World Series!), so watch a home game at Truist Park. Check out Braves memorabilia at the Monument Garden located behind home plate. If kids get antsy during the game, take them to Hope & Will's Sandlot with batting cages, games, and climbing wall. As part of Family Sundays, kids ages 14 and younger receive free giveaways, free entry into Hope and Will's Sandlot, and a free session to run the bases after the game.
Unless noted, photos by the author