City Guide: Atlanta

Your one-stop city guide, packed with information on family-friendly hotels, restaurants, and local and unique attractions.

By The Editors

From the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement, Atlanta has always been a city rich in history. Today you can explore all of this and more as you sip on a Coca-Cola (first sold in Atlanta in 1886), or take a walk through Centennial Olympic Park, home to the 1996 Summer Olympics.

HOTELS:

Embassy Suites at Centennial Olympic Park
267 Marietta Street, Atlanta, GA
(404) 223-2300
embassysuites3.hilton.com/en/hotels/georgia/embassy-suites-atlanta-at-centennial-olympic-park-ATLESES/index.html
Price: Rooms starting at $152/night

This Embassy Suites location is conveniently located in the center of the action at Centennial Olympic Park. With a short walk to the Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola and Imagine It! The Children’s Museum and an outdoor pool, it’s a great place to stay for an active, kid-centric vacation.

Four Seasons Atlanta
75 14th Street Northeast, Atlanta, GA
(404) 881-9898
www.fourseasons.com/atlanta
Price: Rooms starting at $186/night

Make your grandchild feel like the guest of honor at the super kid-friendly Four Seasons Atlanta. From on-site amenities for kids like honeybee hives and a living produce farm to child-sized robes and bedtime cookies, the Four Seasons makes every child’s stay one to remember.

Residence Inn by Marriott Atlanta Buckhead
2960 Piedmont Road Northeast, Atlanta, GA
(404) 239-0677
www.fourseasons.com/atlanta
Price: Rooms starting at $179/night

If you’re travelling with your whole family, the Residence Inn by Marriott in Buckhead is a great money saving alternative. Located just a few miles from Downtown Atlanta, every room at the Residence Inn is equipped with a full kitchen so you can cook your own meals. The rooms are one and two bedroom suites, offering much more space than a traditional hotel room. What’s more, the longer your stay, the lesser the cost of the room.

Westin Peachtree Plaza
210 Peachtree Street, Atlanta, GA
(404) 659-1400
www.westinpeachtreeplazaatlanta.com
Price: Rooms starting at $240/night

This luxury skyscraper hotel offers complimentary welcome bags for children as well as the Westin Kids Club. Every room offers spectacular views of the city through floor to ceiling windows. Special offers from the hotel include paying rates equal to your birth year for your second and third nights. So if you were born in 1933, you pay only $33 a night!

Omni Hotel at CNN Center
100 CNN Center Northwest, Atlanta, GA
(800) 992-2694
www.omnihotels.com
Price: Rooms starting at $152/night

Parents magazine named Omni Hotels one of the “10 Best Hotel Chains for Families”, and for good reason. Every child staying at Omni is given a special welcome package that includes candy, games and souvenirs.

Coca-cola bottles
FlickrCC/RichardGlenSailors
Coca-Cola bottles

FOOD:

The Varsity
61 North Avenue, Atlanta, GA
(404) 881-1706
www.thevarsity.com
Hours: Sunday-Thursday: 10am-11:30pm, Friday-Saturday: 10am-12:30am
Price: $
Age Range: Baby, Toddler, Preschooler, Elementary, Tween, Teen

The Varsity, the world’s largest drive-in restaurant, has been an Atlanta staple since it opened in 1928. The self-described “fun place to eat” offers a kid-friendly menu of hot dogs, hamburgers, chili-cheese fries, and their famous “Frosted Orange.” Be sure to know what you want as you approach the counter and hear the infamous “What’ll ya have!” call to order.

The Real Chow Baby
1016 Howell Mill Road Northwest, Atlanta, GA
(404) 815-4900
www.therealchowbaby.com
Hours:
Monday-Thursday: 11am-10pm
Friday: 11am-11pm
Saturday: 12pm-11pm
Sunday: 12pm-10pm
Price: $
Age Range: Baby, Toddler, Preschooler, Elementary, Tween, Teen

The Real Chow Baby is a great place for both picky and adventurous grandchildren. This fun and funky restaurant lets you create your own stir-fry dish using a wide variety of toppings and proteins. If you didn’t quite create a masterpiece the first time around, don’t worry! At The Real Chow Baby, you get unlimited trips to the stir-fry bar (the children’s meal includes only one trip).

Yoforia Frozen Yogurt
1402 North Highland Avenue Northeast, Atlanta, GA
(404) 685-3747
www.yoforia.com
Hours: Sunday-Thursday: 12pm-10pm, Friday-Saturday: 12pm-11pm
Price: $
Age Range: Baby, Toddler, Preschooler, Elementary, Tween, Teen

Would your grandchildren love to put cereal on ice cream? How about cereal and fruit? How about cereal and fruit and chocolate sauce? Yoforia in Virginia Highlands is a self-serve frozen yogurt spot that boasts an eclectic mix of toppings and flavors. While your grandchildren may stick with stand-by tastes like peanut butter, cookies ‘n cream, vanilla bean, and strawberry, you can sample more sophisticated ones like rose, taro, honeydew, and green tea.

Fellini’s Pizza
2809 Peachtree Road, Atlanta, GA
(404) 266-0082
www.fellinisatlanta.com
Hours: Monday-Saturday: 11am-2am, Sunday: 12pm-12am
Price: $
Age Range: Baby, Toddler, Preschooler, Elementary, Tween, Teen

The laid-back vibe at Fellini’s is perfect for a quick lunch after the park or a hassle free dinner. Order at the counter and find a seat and your food will be brought out to you when it’s ready. The best part about Fellini’s is the slices are made to order! Everyone can get exactly the slice they want, whether it’s plain or with the works, without having to compromise.

Osteria 832
832 North Highland Avenue, Atlanta, GA
(404) 897-1414
www.osteria832.com
Hours:
Monday-Thursday: 5pm-10pm
Friday: 5pm-11pm
Saturday: 10am-11pm
Sunday: 10am-10pm
Price: $$
Age Range: Baby, Toddler, Preschooler, Elementary, Tween, Teen

The Atlanta Journal Constitution named Osteria 832 the best family restaurant in Atlanta, noting that customers are treated “with respect and sensitivity to their needs, whatever their age.” The atmospheric bistro offers a tasty $4 kids menu, and adults will love the grown-up options like arugula and prosciutto pizza. Sign up for the restaurant’s Karma Card and gain access to exclusive Kids Eat Free events.

Souper Jenny
56 East Andrews Drive Northwest, Atlanta GA
(404) 239-9023
www.souperjennyatl.com
Hours:
Monday, Friday, Saturday: 11am-5pm
Tuesday-Wednesday: 11am-6pm
Thursday: 11am-10pm
Price: $
Age Range: Baby, Toddler, Preschooler, Elementary, Tween, Teen

All the food at Souper Jenny is made fresh daily, which is why the menu is always changing! Call ahead to see which soups, salads and sandwiches are being served or keep it a surprise. One thing you can always count on is a show. All of the servers at Souper Jenny are also theatre performers, so not a day goes by without a little song and dance! The simplistic menu may be a bit pricey (and be advised, they only accept cash or check), but the $12 lunch deals are enough food to satisfy both you and your grandchild.

ATTRACTIONS:

Zoo Atlanta
800 Cherokee Avenue Southeast, Atlanta, GA
(404) 624-9453
www.zooatlanta.org
Hours: Monday-Friday: 9:30am-5:30pm, Saturday-Sunday: 9:30am-6:30pm
Price: Children (ages 3-12): $15.99, Adults (ages 13-64): $20.99, Seniors (ages 65+): $16.99
Age Range: Baby, Toddler, Preschooler, Elementary, Tween, Teen

Admission at Zoo Atlanta not only gives you access to more than 200 different animals including lions, tigers and bears (oh my!) but to playgrounds, wildlife shows, and petting zoos. For a few extra dollars ($3 for two pieces of lettuce) you can even come face-to-face with giraffes at feeding time. Don’t forget to check out the panda exhibit to see Po, a panda cub born in the zoo in 2010.

Georgia Aquarium
225 Baker Street Northwest, Atlanta, GA
(404) 581-4000
www.georgiaaquarium.org
Hours: Sunday-Friday: 10am-5pm, Saturday: 9am-6pm
Price: Children (ages 3-12): $23.95, Adults (ages 13-64): $29.95, Seniors (ages 65+): $25.95
Age Range: Baby, Toddler, Preschooler, Elementary, Tween, Teen

If your grandchildren love the deep blue sea, bring them to the Georgia Aquarium (the largest in the world!) where they can pet stingrays, stand in the middle of a penguin habitat, and play on a giant pirate ship. With the purchase of a general admission ticket you also get to experience the brand new AT&T Dolphin Tales show, a 30-minute extravaganza two years in the making!

The World of Coca-Cola
121 Baker Street Northwest, Atlanta, GA
(404) 676-5151
www.worldofcoca-cola.com
Hours: Monday-Saturday: 9am-6:30pm, Sunday: 10am-6:30pm
Price: Children (ages 3-12): $12, Adults (ages 13-64): $16, Seniors (ages 65+): $14
Age Range: Baby, Toddler, Preschooler, Elementary, Tween, Teen

Atlanta is home to one of the world’s most popular soft drinks, Coca-Cola! At the World of Coca-Cola you can travel through 200 years of Coke history to see how it went from being sold at one Atlanta drugstore in 1886 to now being available in over 200 countries! At the end of the tour you and your grandchildren can sample 60 different sodas from around the world including Chile to Zimbabwe.

Centennial Olympic Park
265 Park Avenue West Northwest, Atlanta, GA
(404) 222-7275
www.centennialpark.com
Hours: 7am-11pm (daily)
Price: Free
Age Range: Baby, Toddler, Preschooler, Elementary, Tween, Teen

See a piece of history from the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. This 21-acre park is a perfect place to picnic and on a hot summer day kids will love splashing around in the Fountain of Rings, the world’s largest interactive fountain.

Center for Puppetry Arts
1404 Spring Street Northwest, Atlanta, GA
(404) 873-3089
www.puppet.org
Hours: Tuesday-Friday: 9am-3pm, Saturday: 9am-5pm
Price: $8.25 per person
Age Range: Baby, Toddler, Preschooler, Elementary, Tween, Teen

While younger grandchildren may be more interested in the hands-on museum exhibits and puppet making workshops, teen grandchildren will enjoy the Center for Puppetry Arts’ frequent shows and performances, like the spooky Tales of Edgar Allen Poe. Be wary, the Center highly recommends advanced reservations as many performances sell out.

Fernbank Museum of Natural History
767 Clifton Road Northeast, Atlanta, GA
(404) 929-6300
www.fernbankmuseum.org
Hours: Monday-Saturday: 10am-5pm, Sunday: 12pm-5pm
Price: Children (ages 3-12): $15.50, Adults (ages 13-61): $17.50, Seniors (ages 62+): $16.50
Age Range: Baby, Toddler, Preschooler, Elementary, Tween, Teen

Are your grandchildren dino connoisseurs? Kids will love the giant dinosaur bones and fossilized floors at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History. Experience Fernbank NatureQuest, an interactive clubhouse set inside a huge Red Oak tree, home to hundreds of hands-on activities and live animal displays. The museum is also home to an IMAX theatre where you can experience educational movies like To the Artic and Born to Be Wild on a screen five stories high!

Imagine It! Children’s Museum of Atlanta
275 Centennial Olympic Park Drive Northwest, Atlanta GA
(404) 659-5437
www.childrensmuseumatlanta.org
Hours: Monday-Friday: 10am-4pm, Saturday-Sunday: 10am-5pm
Price: $12.75 per person (Children 2 & under: Free)
Age Range: Baby, Toddler, Preschooler

Atlanta’s only children’s museum boasts an exciting collection of interactive exhibits. Permanent features include a “paint on the walls” station where your grandchild can channel his or her inner Picasso without doing any damage to the walls at home. The museum is also home to the Imaginators, an acting troupe who performs 20-minute mini musicals, and who are always looking for volunteers to sing and dance on with them.

Atlanta Botanical Garden
1345 Piedmont Ave Northeast, Atlanta, Georgia
(404) 876-5859
www.atlantabotanicalgarden.org
Hours:
April-October: Tuesday-Sunday: 9am-7pm
November-March: Tuesday-Sunday: 9am-5pm
Price: Children (ages 3-12): $12.95, Adults (ages 13+): $18.95
Age Range: Baby, Toddler, Preschooler, Elementary, Tween, Teen

Stop and smell the roses at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Or travel through the tree tops on the Kendeda Canopy Walk. Or grab a snack at the Edible Garden and Outdoor Kitchen. The possibilities are endless in this 30-acre green space adjacent to Piedmont Park, which includes an interactive children’s garden and weekly storytime.

Atlanta History Center
130 West Paces Ferry Road Northwest, Atlanta, GA
(404) 814-4000
www.atlantahistorycenter.com
Hours: Monday-Saturday: 10am-5:30pm, Sunday: 12pm-5:30pm
Price: Children (ages 4-12): $9, Students (with valid ID): $11, Adults (ages 13-64): $14.50, Seniors (ages 65+): $11
Age Range: Preschooler, Elementary, Tween, Teen

The Atlanta History Center is a great day trip for a young history buff. Here you and your grandchild can time-travel to the 1840s and visit the Smith Family Farm or walk through Swan House, built in 1928. Don’t forget to walk through the Center’s 33 acres of gardens on the interactive Connor Brown discovery trail.

Inside CNN Studio Tour
1 CNN Center, Atlanta, GA
404-827-2300
www.cnn.com/tour
Hours: 9am-5pm (daily)
Price: Children (ages 4-12): $12, Students (with valid ID): $14, Adults (ages 13-64): $15, Seniors (ages 65+): $14
Age Range: Elementary, Tween, Teen

If your grandchildren love watching and reading the news, the Inside CNN Studio Tour will give them a backstage pass to the global headquarters of one of the world’s most important media outlets. The interactive tour puts them behind the news desk to learn what happens in the newsroom and everywhere in between. It’s also very likely that you’ll see a real live broadcast being filmed, and check out the longest freestanding escalator in the world (eight stories tall)!

LOCAL UNIQUES:

Wired and Fired
994 Virginia Avenue Northeast, Atlanta, GA
(404) 885-1024
www.wiredfired.com
Hours:

Monday-Thursday: 11am-10pm
Friday-Saturday: 11am-12am

Sunday: 12pm-6pm
Price: $8 per hour per person, Pottery: $5-$60
Age Range: Preschooler, Elementary, Tween, Teen

Creative grandchildren will love a trip to Wired and Fired in the Virginia Highlands. There they can pick and paint from over 200 pieces of pottery. The staff at Wired and Fired will take your finished products and fire them in the kiln, making them food, dishwasher and microwave safe so kidscan have his or her own special bowl, plate or cup to keep at Grandma’s house.

Starlight Six Drive-In Theater
2000 Moreland Ave Southeast, Atlanta, GA
(404) 627-5786
www.starlightdrivein.com
Hours:
Monday-Thursday: 8pm
Friday: 7pm
Sunday: 7:30pm
Price: Children (ages 9 & under): $1, Adults (ages 9+): $7
Age Range: Toddler, Preschooler, Elementary, Tween, Teen

Take a trip down memory lane to show your grandchildren what life was like before Megaplexes and 3D movies. Fill up your car, bring some snacks and head to the drive-in any night of the week for a 9pm showing on any of the theater’s six screens. But plan ahead—this theater only accepts old fashioned cash!

Little Five Points
Euclid Avenue Northeast and Moreland Avenue Northeast, Atlanta, GA
www.atlanta.com/neighborhoods/little-five-points.aspx
Hours: Open daily
Price: Free
Age Range: Tween, Teen

Older grandchildren will think you’re the coolest cat in town after a trip to Little Five Points. In this alternative Atlanta neighborhood, it’s not uncommon to see tattooed heads and lots of metal-clad faces. Little Five Points is also home to tons of offbeat thrift stores, shops and restaurants.

Piedmont Park
320 Monroe Drive Northeast, Atlanta, GA
(404) 875-7275
www.piedmontpark.org
Hours: 6am-11pm (daily)
Price: Free
Age Range: Baby, Toddler, Preschooler, Elementary, Tween, Teen

Piedmont Park, known as Atlanta’s “Common Ground,” is an outdoor hub of fun and relaxation. With plenty of playgrounds, picnic pavilions and a new Aquatic Center, Piedmont Park is ideal for a beautiful day. If your grandchild is athletic, let him or her explore the bocce, basketball or tennis courts. If he or she is an animal lover, take a walk to the large dogs or small dogs parks.  Or enjoy the water together dockside on Lake Clara Meer.

Underground Atlanta
50 Upper Alabama Street, Atlanta, GA
(404) 523-2311
www.underground-atlanta.com
Hours:
Monday-Thursday: 10am-8pm
Friday-Saturday: 10am-9pm
Sunday: 12pm-6pm
Price: Free
Age Range: Baby, Toddler, Preschooler, Elementary, Tween, Teen

When the Georgia sun is too hot to handle for you and your grandchildren, escape it at Underground Atlanta, a shopping center built in old viaducts underneath the city. Check out the stores and restaurants or go on a $10 guided history tour “From Civil War to Civil Rights.”

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