25 Great Things To Do in Atlanta with Toddlers and Preschoolers
When my children were toddlers, I absolutely loved getting out and exploring all the things there are to do with kids in Atlanta. I recently created this list of things for children to do before they start school because I’m ready to do it all again—as a “glam-ma.” There are so many things to do and see through my granddaughter’s eyes; a common storytime can become something different when you place it in a garden or railway museum. One other advantage: When kids are younger, often parents are the only ones who have to pay. So enjoy! Consider this your Atlanta toddler bucket list, my favorite 25 things to do in Atlanta with kids 5 and younger.
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Underwater adventures await at the Georgia Aquarium. Photo courtesy of the aquarium
Great Things To Do Indoors with Toddlers and Preschoolers
2. Legoland Discovery Center
Build with Duplo bricks at the center in Phipps Mall. There's also a play structure to climb, made 100% from Legos, and a gorgeous bird's-eye view of Atlanta.
3. Georgia Aquarium
Kids can swim with the fishes (or at least imagine doing so) during a mommy & me morning at the aquarium.
4. Brave and Kind Books
Wander in and find the perfect book with the help of the staff at this neighborhood bookstore for kids.
Get up close and personal with the "residents" of Zoo Atlanta. Photo courtesy of the zoo
Great Things To Do Outdoors with Toddlers and Preschoolers
5. Flying Colors Butterfly Festival
Kids can take flight during the annual Flying Colors Butterfly Festival at the Chattahoochee Nature Center. Butterfly costumes are not only encouraged, but welcomed.
6. Rock Ranch
Ride the cow train, swim in the corn bin, and spin on the carousel at Rock Ranch. There’s plenty to explore and the ranch gets all decked out for farm-friendly events from Easter to Christmas.
7. Tiny Toons
Treat your child to a first roller coaster ride in the Tiny Toons section of Six Flags Over Georgia.
8. Old Fourth Ward
Splash down at the Old Fourth Ward splash pad (one of many in Atlanta) on a hot day. Before or after playing in the splash pad, check out the playground as well.
9. Zoo Atlanta
Visit the animals in their natural habitats. From alligators to zebras, with elephants and panda bears in between, Zoo Atlanta teaches kids the importance of being good stewards of the land.
10. Atlantic Station
Visit the hip neighborhood of Atlantic Station for Movies in Central Park during the summer months. During winter, the park makes it "snow" on the hour. Either time is a great time to visit.
11. Atlanta Beltline Lantern Parade
Make your own lantern and walk in this art scene parade, which is fast becoming an Atlanta September tradition.
12. Honda Battle of the Bands
Experience the traditions and excitement of college marching bands during the Honda Battle of the Bands contest. The music, dancing, and crowd participation create an event that can’t be duplicated anywhere in the world.
Kids can learn AND play at the Atlanta Children's Museum. Photo courtesy of the museum
Museums and Learning for Toddlers and Preschoolers
13. Gaze at the Stars
Talk a walk through the observatory at the Tellus Science Museum on National Astronomy Day or on any other clear night. Closer to home, you also can see the stars inside at the Fernbank Science Center planetarium.
14. MLK Jr.
Introduce your toddler to one of Atlanta’s most famous former residents at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park. Walk in the footprints of the civil rights legend outside the event center.
15. Southeastern Railway Museum
Cultivate a love of trains in your child with a visit to the iconic Southeastern Railway Museum. Little kids will especially enjoy its Second Thursday Pre-School Program.
16. Greene Family Learning Gallery
Create with your inner artist at the Greene Family Learning Galley of the High Museum. The museum hosts a weekly toddler art program that includes touring the galleries before participating in a hands-on project.
17. Puppets and More Puppets
Treat your kids to a show at the Center for Puppetry Arts. Don’t forget to take a tour of the museum afterward to make the puppets a little less scary.
18. Children’s Museum of Atlanta
Kids can learn through the power of play at this Atlanta institution. There’s a special area for babies younger than 2, and plenty of areas to learn, grow, and climb through the toddler years.
19. Wren’s Nest
Head to the home of author Joel Chandler Harris and share the story of Brer Rabbit and other folk tale traditions.
20. Smith Family Farm
Kids can pet the sheep, chase a chicken, or moo with the cows as they learn about life on a farm at the Atlanta History Center.
The Atlanta Botanical Garden alights with seasonal colors during Garden Lights, Holiday Nights. Photo courtesy of the garden
Holiday Experiences for Toddlers and Preschoolers
21. Cut-Your-Own Christmas Tree
Come the holidays, smell the pine trees and pick your own Christmas tree at the Yule Forrest Christmas Tree Farm. Even if you don’t purchase your tree from there, it offers tours of the farm, a kids' zone, and even a lesson in bees at The Bee House.
22. Ride the Pink Pig
Continue an Atlanta holiday tradition by riding the Macy’s Pink Pig at Lenox Mall. Since the 1950s, Priscilla has guided the children of Atlanta above the floor at Rich’s Department Store and now makes its home at Lenox Mall from November to January.
23. Garden Lights, Holiday Nights
Come the winter, Atlanta’s best holiday light show, Garden Lights, Holiday Nights, takes center stage at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Kids also can trick-or-treat in the fall during the Scarecrows in the Garden exhibit or welcome spring with a walk through the children’s garden.
Sporting Experiences for Toddlers and Preschoolers
24. Atlanta Braves at Truist Park
Cheer on the hometown Atlanta Braves at their newly renamed home field. Arrive before the game and visit Hope & Will’s Sandlot, the kids' zone inside the ballpark. Stay late and run the bases after a game.
25. Road Races With the Atlanta Track Club
Run with the Atlanta Track Club. Most races include a 50-meter dash for kids younger than 5, who can enter free of charge.