In February we had one day in Atlanta as part of a larger trip. I had been to Atlanta a few times before (including as a teenager for the 1996 Olympics), but had never been as a parent. We decided to stay at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta downtown partly due to a good rate and partly because it was walking distance to the attractions we planned to visit while in Atlanta with our three-year-old.  Overall we had a good stay there (full review here), and it turns out the location was directly across the street from where we had dinner the first night at White Oak Kitchen and Cocktails.

White Oak Kitchen and Cocktails:

Okay, I’ll admit this isn’t probably on most people’s list of fun things to do with kids in Atlanta, but we had fun dining there as a family…and our bellies got stuffed with delicious food.

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After a day of travel, I was totally sold on the restaurant’s location across from our hotel (Hyatt Regency Atlanta), and I had read good reviews on sites like Chowhound.  Walking distance + good reviews + allows children = family friendly enough in my book.  We did have a reservation, but went even earlier since we were pretty hungry.  If I am going somewhere nice-ish with my young kid I like to eat as early as possible before it gets too busy.  This somewhat lessens the damage if she doesn’t act the way I want, but it also usually ensures you get faster service, which is priceless with a young kid.  Long and lingering meals do not mix with most three year olds.

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Lucky for us the restaurant was virtually empty when we got there, and the service was very prompt. There was a storm coming in, which was pretty cool to watch from the huge windows.  Had we been kid-free, this would be the kind of joint it would be fun to sit at for a while and enjoy some cocktails since it had a really good and relaxed atmosphere.

20130508-152935.jpgWhile I would not hesitate to bring my kid here, I would hesitate to bring anyone on a diet because this is a Southern cooking joint!  Expect butter, cream, cheese, and everything that is bad for you, but easy on the taste buds.  First up are the cornbread muffins – when eating out with my kid I love places that bring out bread baskets since it gives her something to munch on right away!

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20130508-152956.jpgI believe that their menu rotates seasonally, so our selections in winter may differ from what is now available.  Do note that they did not have a seperate children’s menu, so we just made C a plate from what we ordered.

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20130508-153048.jpgShe seemed pretty happy with it all!  I’m including this in our write-up as we had a good experience and they were quite friendly and attentive to our kiddo, but this is certainly not a traditional “kid restaurant”.  Judge for yourself whether or not it would be a good match for your family.  I know I would go there again for sure!

20130508-153107.jpgThe World of Coca Cola:

The next morning we visited a much more traditional family destination, the World of Coca Cola.  This was an easy 10 minute walk from the hotel and is located right next to the Georgia Aquarium and right across from the Centennial Olympic Park.

20130508-153125.jpgThe experience starts with a brief and very interactive guided welcome and tour of some old Coke memorabilia.  You then go into an auditorium and watch a short cartoon that held C’s interest with ease.

20130508-153140.jpgAfter that you are on your own to explore whatever and whenever you want around the large facility.  Our first top was naturally with the Coca Cola polar bear.  C was a little afraid of him at first, but once she warmed up she didn’t want to leave him.

20130508-153150.jpgThe various exhibits to walk through were all kid friendly and often interactive.  The two below display you into the experience, and are actually really cool!

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20130508-153218.jpgAfter a while it was enough to tire out even the most energetic kid… or maybe she just needed a Coke?!

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20130508-153245.jpgThe last portion brings you to the tasting room where you can taste Coke products from around the world.  Some of the flavors are really unique and tasty and some are unique in a bad way!  I remember having a blast in the tasting room as a kid, and it was still fun as an adult.

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20130508-153312.jpgWe do not normally let our daughter drink soft drinks of any kind, but we did let her try out the different juices and she did indeed have her first taste of Coke at the World of Coca Cola.

20130508-153326.jpgShe loved it!  No she does not drink Coke normally…please do not call the sugary soda police. ;)

20130508-153338.jpgWe spent a couple hours there, and with an older child could have probably stayed even a bit longer than that.  It was really very interesting and fun, and of course they have a huge gift shop where we ended up adopting our own stuffed polar bear.  Plan accordingly.  ;)

The Children’s Museum of Atlanta and Georgia Aquarium:

We were limited to a morning of sight-seeing in Atlanta due to needing to get on the road to our final destination, so we didn’t get a chance to go inside the Children’s Museum or Georgia Aquarium on this visit.  However, they are literally right next to the World of Coca Cola and Centennial Park.  The CNN World Headquarters where you can take a studio tour is also just right down the street from these locations.  You could get an Atlanta CityPASS if you planned to visit several of these attractions.  You could easily make a whole weekend out of this one area of Atlanta if you so desired.  Plenty of kid friendly stuff to do!

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20130508-154149.jpgCentennial Park:

Our last order of business before loading up in the rental for a several hour drive to Tennessee was to get all of her energy out via a playground in Centennial Park.  This playground wasn’t huge, but it was very well done.

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20130508-154226.jpgThere were children from all over the world speaking many different languages who played with C while we were there – which was pretty cool.  I think it is very important on your travels to build in time to let kids just be kids and interact with others on the playground.  I love to include her in more adult activities like eating in nice-ish restaurants from time to time, but best of all is getting to watch her just be a kid.

20130508-154239.jpgWe just put a dent in all the fun stuff to do with kids in Atlanta, but we enjoyed the heck out of what we did have time for.  If you are considering visiting Atlanta with your kiddos I would encourage you to do so!  You might even get to come home with a life-long stuffed friend named Poley.

20130508-154249.jpgWhat are your favorite family friendly locations in Atlanta?

Posted by mommypoints | 8 Comments

8 Responses to “Fun Stuff to do in Atlanta with Kids”

  1. AlohaDaveKennedy says:

    The Children’s Museum and Georgia Aquarium should be on the top of the list for kiddo trips to Atlanta.

  2. mommypoints says:

    ADK, they do seem great! Glad to know you have enjoyed them!

  3. Jeffrey says:

    Agreed – the aquarium is fantastic. The CNN tour is very interesting, but definitely not for young kids. I’d recommend Fernbank Museum of Natural History – it’s not very big, but definitely big enough for kids. I’ve not been to the Zoo in a while, but I remember it as being a very good one.

  4. Fernbank is the best museum for kids, hands down. The zoo is good (not the best by far but kids like it!), the Childrens Museum is fun, and the Aquarium is great, but it is way too crowded on weekends. Atlanta History Center has great stuff for kids, and there is a train museum called the Southeastern Railway Museum that is fun. The High Museum has a play area and Toddler Thursdays, which are fun. Center For Puppetry Arts is awesome. Stone Mountain is good to do if you want to be outside, or for the laser show, which, while cheesy, most kids enjoy. There is a fantastic science museum called Tellus but is about 50 miles north of Atlanta, but well worth the drive!

  5. Joey says:

    That’s really awesome! I thought London 2012 was your first summer olympics but I guess not. Did you go to Centennial Park? Are the olympic rings still there?

  6. If there is ever a time to let a little one try a Coke, it is at the Atlanta Coke Museum! No judgment… I would have done the same. ;-)

  7. Mary says:

    We live in Atlanta, but stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn right there by the Aquarium for the night a few weeks ago. It is a great location to see the World of Coke, Aquarium, Children’s Museum, and CNN Tour. The hot breakfast was great and ended up being free (we had 2 free adults with status and then the kids were free as well).

  8. I lived in Atlanta for a few years (and was there this weekend!) — I agree with ADK about the museum and aquarium. Also check out the Fernberg Natural History Museum (maybe if the kids are a bit older, elementary school age).

    There’s also a lot of great parks in the city — Piedmont Park for one, as well as Centennial Olympic near the aquarium (in the winter they have an ice skating rink). I also have a soft spot for Lullwater Park a bit out of the city since I used to live across the street from it.

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