Atlanta may be famous as the genteel home of Gone with the Wind, but these days it's a diverse, cosmopolitan Southern city with lots of fun for the whole family. There are museums galore, offering a world of kid-friendly culture and history, and Atlanta is one of only a few US cities where you can see giant pandas and walk through a shark tunnel. Kids will also have a blast at the many outdoor amusements, including the local Six Flags and a stunning children's garden.
There's plenty to do for families in Atlanta, Georgia, for a weekend, a week, or longer. Check out our list of the 35 best tourist sights and hidden fun before your trip. See our US City Guides for more great places to visit with kids.
1. Bring your little builders to Legoland Discovery Center Atlanta, which offers plenty of indoor play space, interactive building fun, and even a couple of rides.
2. Catch a game at the Braves SunTrust Park. Whether you visit the interactive kids’ zone or run the bases after a Sunday home game, there is plenty to keep kids interested through nine innings.
Explore undersea life at the Georgia Aquarium. Photo courtesy of the aquarium
3. Walk through the shark tunnel at the Georgia Aquarium, one of the largest aquariums in the world.
4. See a show or an exhibit, or make a puppet at the Center for Puppetry Arts.
5. Visit Decatur Square to dine, shop, or enjoy a festival, like the Decatur Book Festival held the last weekend of August, where you can meet bestselling kids’ authors.
6. Catch a flick at the Starlight Drive-In Theatre.
7. Tour The World of Coca-Cola and try all 64 sodas in the tasting room.
Artist David Rogers’ outdoor installation highlights bugs, insects, and spiders at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History. Photo courtesy of the museum
8. See the dinosaurs, enjoy the interactive NatureQuest installation, and explore 75 acres of outdoor adventures at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History.
9. Splash in the Centennial Olympic Park fountain.
Kids will NEED to ride down the three-story slide at Skyline Park. Photo courtesy of the park
10. Grab a bite to eat at Ponce City Market's bustling food hall and then head up to the roof play a round of mini golf or ride down the three-story slide at Skyline Park.
11. Pick up a Discovery Pack in the museum and go on a do-it-yourself art adventure at the High Museum of Art, or enjoy family tours on weekends.
12. Try hands-on STEM and design activities at the Museum of Design Atlanta; second Sundays at MODA are FREE for families.
Kids will have a blast at the interactive and hands-on exhibits at The Children's Museum of Atlanta. Photo courtesy of the museum
13. Find hours of hands-on fun at Imagine It! The Children's Museum of Atlanta.
14. Go behind the scenes of breaking news with a CNN Studio Tour.
15. Learn about the city's history from the 1860s to the 1930s at the Atlanta History Center, which hosts kids' programs and family festivals.
16. Let young transportation enthusiasts go wild at the Southeastern Railway Museum where they can take a ride on or explore historic trains.
Steal a special moment with the gorillas at Zoo Atlanta. Photo courtesy of Zoo Atlanta
17. See the pandas, gorillas, and 1,500 other animals at Zoo Atlanta
, one of the top zoos in the US. Cool off at the zoo's water playground, too!
The new Imaginary Worlds exhibit is magical! Photo courtesy of Atlanta Botanical Gardens
19. See plants come to life with the stunning Atlanta Botanical Garden
’s Imaginary Worlds exhibit. There's an incredible Alice in Wonderland theme in 2019.
20. Grab a treat on Saturday morning at Piedmont Park’s Green Market, and then head up the hill to play on the Noguchi Playscape. In the summer, beat the heat at the park’s public swimming pool or Legacy Fountain splash pad.
21. Tour Atlanta’s neighborhoods by foot or bike on the BeltLine Trail and discover the work of hundreds of visual artists displayed all along the BeltLine corridor.
Hop on the Summit Skyride for some amazing views. Photo courtesy of Stone Mountain Park
22. Hike the mile-long trail to the top of Stone Mountain for amazing views, or take the Summit Skyride cable car to the top instead. There’s also a scenic railroad, adventure golf, and a fun barn at Stone Mountain Park.
23. Learn all about the iconic civil-rights leader at the Martin Luther King, Jr National Historical Park.
24. Check out the replica of the oval office at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum.
25. Drop in for exceptional storytelling on Saturdays at The Wren’s Nest.
26. Inspire young minds to learn about the American civil rights and global human rights movements at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights.
The Chattachoochee Nature Center offers family events and wildlife interactions for all ages. Photo courtesy of the canter
27. Explore the woodland trails at the Chattahoochee Nature Center, where you might just see some of Georgia’s wildlife up close.
28. Watch airplanes take off and land up close at the Peachtree-Dekalb airport playground and then grab a bite to eat at the family-friendly Downwind restaurant, overlooking the runway.
29. Sip a delicious craft beer while your kids enjoy the play area and outdoor games at Monday Night Garage.
30. Paddle, hike, fish, or camp at beautiful Sweetwater Creek State Park, only a few miles from downtown Atlanta.
31. Take in a performance with the Alliance Theater’s Family Series or the Theatre for the Very Young.
Make a splash at the sprayground at Historic Fourth Ward Park. Photo courtesy of the Historic Fourth Ward Park Conservancy
32. Hit the skate park, playground, or splash pad at the 17-acre Historic Fourth Ward Park, located in the heart of the Old Fourth Ward.
33. Celebrate Atlanta’s many neighborhoods at one of its many festivals throughout the year, from the Oakhurst Porchfest every October to the Grant Park Summer Shade Festival in August.
Roam the grounds of this gorgeous Hindu place of worship. Photo courtesy of BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
34. Explore the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, a spectacular Hindu place of worship.
35. Go on thrilling rides at the Six Flags Over Georgia amusement park to cap off your tour of this charming city.
A version of this article was first published in 2015.