Once you embark on the best things to do with kids in Atlanta, you'll be instantly drawn to the city's Southern charm.
From a generous arts scene to super-cool sports attractions and everything in between, the capital of Georgia offers a lot to love for those who call the city home and those who want to make a visit. Make sure to take a gander at our favorite local markets and scope out the best restaurants in Atlanta—you'll need all of the energy you can get before tackling our checklist of can't-miss locales.
This epic roundup of things to do in Atlanta is sweeter than a Georgia peach, so make sure to plan your itinerary ASAP!
Best things to do with kids in Atlanta
1. Georgia Aquarium
The country's largest aquarium provides an underwater vantage point for all visitors who are curious about beluga whales, big-bellied seahorses, sea otters and the thousands of other creatures who call this massive attraction home. Vast offerings including birthday parties, camp programs and volunteer opportunities have made quite a splash amongst locals and visitors alike. Perhaps what's garnering the most hype is the aquarium's forthcoming expansion, which will feature a new shark gallery in the fall of 2020.
A family attraction that quite literally takes the fun to new heights, Ponce Market Rooftop Arcade is a must-visit for the young and young at heart. Gamers will revel in the nostalgia of old-school carnival offerings while trying to claim victory during a round of skee ball or ring toss. Kids will definitely let out a few shrieks while working their way to the top of the Heege Tower or scoring a hole-in-one during a game of mini golf. Don't leave without chowing down on a pretzel or hotdog!
Lions, tigers and bears, oh my! Zoo Atlanta is home to a variety of species and even more opportunities for those visiting the grounds. While exploring unusual creatures makes for a fun outing, Zoo Atlanta takes the experience up a notch. Families can feel zen amongst the wildlife with new yoga sessions (Om!); take in a wildlife presentation with raptors and owls; uncover Detective Clue Spotter the Otter’s big mysteries throughout the park and drop in for free STEM-related programs.
When the warm weather hits, the Chattahoochee River is open for business! Those who need relief from the southern heat are invited to make a splash with a variety of water activities including canoeing, rafting, tubing and more. But don't Shoot the Hooch without refueling at the concession stand when your adventure comes to an end.
For those craving an adventure, look no further than Treetop Quest. The action-packed attraction is a quick drive from Atlanta and offers families the chance to glide on zip-lines and advance through obstacles in an aerial playground. There are a variety of levels visitors can tackle, so everyone in the brood—even your youngest adrenaline junkies—can try their hand at the fun. However, note that Treetop Quest is best for those 7 and up.
P.E. class is taken to the next level courtesy of Adventure Air Sports. Kids who are looking to duel it out for victory can give extreme dodgeball or the ninja course a go, while those with springs in their feet will gravitate toward foam pits and flying trapeze. Consider this a glorified version of recess—one that your kids won't want to end. May the best player win!
Looking for a floral fix? The Atlanta Botanical Garden will surely do the trick. Prepare for the dazzling displays that'll put you in touch with nature without leaving the city. If you're hesitant to bring the kiddies, don't be discouraged: The Lou Glenn Children's Garden, chock full of climbing nets, a water painting wall and a super-cool treehouse, will keep kids occupied all afternoon long. Be sure to check out the venue's camps, events and seasonal happenings.
Visit to get a taste of puppetry around the world without leaving the US. Check out interactive exhibition “The Jim Henson Collection,” which features scenes from Jim Henson’s career, such as his office and T.V. studio, as well as iconic puppets like Kermit and Miss Piggy. You’ll also want to explore “The Global Collection,” where you’ll learn about the history of puppetry on four continents.
Atlanta’s answer to NYC’s Museum of Natural History—but with an opportunity to take learning outdoors. With a combination of intriguing exhibits and nature exploration, the Ferbank Museum is the ideal place for kids to explore the world around them. Whether a trip to the non-profit organization includes a loop around Dinosaur Plaza (much to little paleontologists’ delights) or an afternoon in WildWoods and Fernbank Forest, little visitors won’t be able to resist the adventure. For those parents who are a bit jealous, fear not: the Fernbank After Dark program is an adult program with a 21+ spin on the typical programming.
Georgia's littlest museum-goers will be captivated by this venue's interactive features ranging in areas from science and nutrition to creativity and engineering. Particularly catered to those 8 and under, the Children's Museum of Atlanta lets curious tykes explore "Gateway to the World"—an exhibit that doesn't even require a passport—take advantage of the new "Step Up to Science" exhibit (which tackles biology, robotics and other areas) plus, enjoy age-specific programs and events that truly make the destination one for the books.
An interactive experience that examines the inner workings of everyone’s favorite brick toy, LEGOLand is a must for budding builders. Creativity will peak when little engineers get a glimpse of the LEGO Master Builder Academy, where a team of professionals will inspire them to make anything and everything from their favorite building blocks. Grab the whole crew for a round of racing with LEGO Racers: Build & Test and marvel at it all with a walk through the LEGO factory.
Choose your own adventure at the Woodruff Arts Center! At this kid-favorite performing arts destination, regular children’s programming—such as Second Sundays (family programming 1–4pm) and Theatre/Music for the Very Young programs (Ages 0–5)—allow kids to experience the arts in a way that’s tailored to them.
The park features ring fountain shows—where the water reaches 25 feet—and seasonal events like concerts and fireworks displays. Once the site of the 1996 Olympics—which ultimately helped reshape Atlanta itself—the park is the heartbeat of the city and surrounded by its most beloved attractions such as the children’s museum and the aquarium.
After visitors quench their thirst, they’re invited to an interactive experience that gives them a behind-the-scenes peek at everyone’s favorite soft drink. Equal parts refreshing and entertaining, the World of Coca-Cola allows museum-goers to sip over 100 different beverages from around the world before embarking on a trip to the interactive vault (and inching closer to the secret formula), snapping a selfie with the iconic Polar Bear mascot and exploring the art dedicated to important Coca-Cola milestones, such as the cans for the summer 1996 Olympics.
Air travel is all the more exciting when you get a taste of its past and future at this immersive museum, conveniently located next to the city’s ginormous airport. Aviation fans will marvel at the chance to explore aircrafts dating back to the 1920s, enjoy interactive exhibits and take rides in the museum’s flight simulator. Plus, the attraction looks to explore the future of flight and the 747s of the next generation.
You’ll be wowed by the renovations that have transformed old historic buildings into vibrant dining destinations, and enjoy the community vibe created by farmers markets that support small, local farms. Plus, if you're looking for fun things to do with kids, many of these weekly events offer family-friendly activities and plenty of kid-approved treats. Check out these top markets for a taste of Atlanta’s finest foods and products.