Atlanta is a great place for family fun! Exciting and educational places for kids abound throughout the metro area. There are attractions and activities that appeal to all ages of children, from babies to teens, and new opportunities open up regularly. Keep reading for ideas on kids attractions in Atlanta and where to find quality family entertainment without wandering too far from the heart of the city.
Life in Atlanta with kids means having the privilege of enjoying attractions that you might not have a reason to see otherwise. The Children’s Museum of Atlanta was created to allow kids to learn through the power of play, and parents are welcome to join in. One of the more popular kid activities in Atlanta for the under-8 crowd, guests can roam freely through six interactive learning zones and feature exhibits that change regularly. The Children’s Museum has permanent exhibits which include:
Gateway to the World
Home to the giant rotating globe that greets visitors at the entrance, this exhibit includes a rocket launcher and a colorful climbing structure. You don’t have to be a serious Thomas the Tank Engine fan to enjoy the huge train tables that make up most of this exhibit. Modeled after the continents, each table provides hours of interactive play.
This is one of the best places for kids who love to play with their food. Featuring a farm with a tractor and model cow to milk, kids can collect toy eggs from the farm, grab a tiny shopping cart and visit the mini grocery store, then use the forklift and rolling ramps to load their boxes onto the giant truck. They can then deliver their goods to the realistic restaurant with scaled-down stainless steel appliances, don apron and pretend to cook and serve customers.
Leaping into Learning
Big raised ponds (and raincoats) await your child at this Children’s Museum favorite. Kids can go fishing for magnetic plastic fish, climb in the treehouse and cross the bouncy bridge. This area includes a toddler zone with a bubble wall and little house just their size.
Let Your Creativity Flow
Little artists will love the kids attractions in this museum zone. They can use washable paint to decorate a giant painting wall and spend time building landscapes in the kinetic sand tables. The area includes an arts studio and stage area where story readings and musical kids events are regularly performed.
Step Up to Science
This mezzanine-level kid attraction provides hands-on activities that focus on all areas of science. Kids can find out how the human body works, learn about light and explore robot technology and engineering.
Tools for Solutions
Family fun can be had as you help your child move balls through the giant ball machine that provides examples of six simple machines. Build skyscrapers together with the city blocks, or use real tools and materials in the Build-It Lab. The Construction House provides a glimpse into the inner workings of our homes.
This brightly-decorated, hands-on kids attraction is located in Atlanta’s Centennial Park district and is within easy walking distance of the Georgia Aquarium and other main attractions. The Children’s Museum is only closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and most Wednesdays. It opens at 10 a.m. and closes at 4 p.m. during the week and at 5 p.m. on the weekends. Ticket pricing is based on anticipated crowd volume. Admission on peak days is $18.95, whereas regular days are $16.95 and value days are $15.95. You can save a couple of dollars on each ticket by purchasing them online before your visit.
Center for Puppetry Arts
The Center for Puppetry Arts is an award-winning family entertainment center dedicated to the art of puppetry. It is the largest organization in the United States that centers around puppetry arts and its Worlds of Puppetry museum houses the largest collection of global puppets in the world. Featuring the Jim Henson Collection Gallery, kids can interact with famous Sesame Street puppets in the center’s own TV studio located within the museum.
Its regularly-rotating series of shows are popular kids events in Atlanta, but the Center also offers unique programming for adults such as the Halloween favorite, The Ghastly Dreadfuls. When looking for things for kids to do in Atlanta during the holidays, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is an annual must-see for children of all ages.
Located in Midtown Atlanta’s art district, the center is open Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Family Series Performance tickets include museum admission and a Create-a-Puppet workshop. Members pay $9.75 and non-members pay $19.50 for these inclusive packages. Members enjoy free admission to the museum year-round, while non-members can take a self-guided tour for $12.50 or a guided tour for $16.50.
High Museum of Arts
Atlanta’s most famous art museum, the High Museum of Art provides plenty of things for kids to do in Atlanta, from toddlers to teens. Already a great place to go in Atlanta with kids, the additional age-focused programming helps children learn about and appreciate the arts at an early age.
Toddler Thursdays run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and these kid activities are free with admission. Each month, hands-on activities center around a new theme and may include art projects, stories, tours and musical performances. Saturday Toddler Tours are also available at 10:30 a.m. in the Taylor Lobby on the first Saturday of each month.
People searching for family attractions in Georgia that encourage family member interaction should sample the High’s weekend family tours program. Held every Saturday and Sunday from 2 to 3 p.m., these docent-guided gallery adventures are free with museum admission.
Atlanta kid activities usually focus on younger children, but the High Museum has programming specifically designed for teenagers. Teen friHIGHday happens on the second Friday each month and offers a laid-back atmosphere with creative activities created for teens by teens. Visitors create complex art projects and participate in activities like Art Talks Back, a lively discussion that focuses on current issues and topics. General admission to this and other activities is $14.50 per day, with children age 5 and year receiving free admission.
This high-tech, family fun “edutainment” center is located about 20 miles northeast of downtown Atlanta in Norcross. Focused on helping kids learn how to drive starting at age three, Tiny Towne drivers operate high-tech mini-cars on realistic looking roadways. To advance to more complicated tracks and faster vehicles, young drivers must follow all traffic signs and rules and complete a series of educational activities.
Each child receives a Tiny Towne driver’s permit or license that keeps track of progress and any safety violations committed. One of the more unique kid activities in Atlanta, Tiny Towne also offers a train and a game-filled “Carcade” when children need a break from being behind the wheel. Daily ticket packages run from $20 to $50 and depend on the amenities you want and the amount of time your child drives. Tiny Towne is open on Friday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
American Girl Bistro
One of the more unique family attractions in Georgia is the American Girl Store and Bistro. American Girl dolls have nation-wide popularity, but there are only 11 places in the U.S. where you can enjoy an immersive American Girl dining experience. Approximately 25 miles north of downtown Atlanta at North Point Mall, the American Girl Store and Bistro is a must for fans of the 18-inch dolls.
Reserve a table at this kid attraction online and be sure to bring your doll to dine, as a place will be set at the table for her. Your doll will sit in a high chair and be served on scaled down dishes for brunch, lunch, tea or dinner. If you do not bring a doll, you can borrow one to share your meal. Adorable mini-foods make up much of the menu and the décor is a festive pink. Before or after dining, be sure to visit the adjacent shop for the city’s largest selection of American Girl dolls, clothing, books and accessories.
Andretti Karting and Games
About 20 miles northwest of Atlanta lies the city’s premiere indoor go-carting experience. Located in Marietta, this 108,000 square-foot family entertainment complex is popular with young children, teenagers and adults. Family fun can be had in each of the zones that include high-speed gas carts, a arcade featuring over 120 games, a ropes course, racing simulators and more. Boutique bowling, laser tag and VR experiences are also available.
Andretti Karting family entertainment complex opens on weekdays at 11 a.m. and at 10 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. It closes at 11 p.m. on Sunday, 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, and midnight the rest of the week. On Wednesdays, it is open only to guests age 18 and older after 9 p.m. There is no general admission fee; it is pay-as-you-go at Andretti Karting. While a student discount is not available, membership discounts are. Sample prices for non-members include:
- Single adult race: $21.95
- Single intermediate race: $18.95
- Single junior race: $14.95
- Virtual reality: $10.95
- Ropes course: $9.95
- Laser tag: $8.95
The Marietta Gaming Arcade pricing begins at $1 per game credit and drops with the more credits you purchase. For example, a $10 game credit costs $10, but you will only pay $50 to receive $60 worth of game credits.
Southeastern Railway Museum
Train enthusiasts will be happy to travel 30 minutes northeast of Atlanta to visit the Southeastern Railway Museum in Duluth. With over 90 pieces of rolling stock exhibited on the 30-acre site, this Georgia family attraction was given the title of the state’s official transportation history museum. Permanent exhibits include locomotives, passenger cars, transit vehicles, freight cars and cabooses.
Frequently-changing kids events keep the destination an exciting place to visit. Tickets for full-size and miniature train rides can be purchased for $3 in addition to these regular museum admission fees:
- Adults: $10
- Seniors (65+): $8
- Children (ages 2 to 12): $7
The Southeastern Railway Museum is open Thursday through Sunday throughout the year, and on additional days during specific seasons. Always check the museum’s webpage for current days of operation. Hours of operation are always 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.