17 Awesome Atlanta Playdates Kids Love

Got kids? Plan playdates at these amazing Atlanta venues.
  • Kids can literally climb the ATL at Woodruff Park.
    Kids can literally climb the ATL at Woodruff Park.
  • Children of all ages are enchanted by the whimsical exhibits at Atlanta Botanical Garden.
    Children of all ages are enchanted by the whimsical exhibits at Atlanta Botanical Garden.
  • Kids will "sea" all kinds of things at Georgia Aquarium.
    Kids will "sea" all kinds of things at Georgia Aquarium.
  • Build your next masterpiece at LEGOLAND Discovery Center. (Benjamin A. Pete)
    Build your next masterpiece at LEGOLAND Discovery Center. (Benjamin A. Pete)
  • Kids love feeding the giraffes at Zoo Atlanta.
    Kids love feeding the giraffes at Zoo Atlanta.

Atlanta is such a unique and fun place to raise children. There are treasures and adventures waiting throughout and around the city. If you’re looking for something to do with your child’s play group, these ideas are sure to be a hit.

  1. Atlanta Botanical Garden - There is truly something beautiful and fun for every age child and adult to enjoy at Atlanta Botanical Garden. Stroll through 30 acres of outdoor gardens and art, see the most extensive collection of orchids in the country and enjoy a one-of-a-kind Canopy Walk through Storza Woods. There isn't a more breathtaking urban oasis in the city. A tour of the gardens is enough to fill any child with wonder, but Atlanta Botanical Garden offers even more for the tiniest guests. When planning your visit, check out the Kids Events & Classes calendar for drop-in kids' classes, amphitheater programs, storybook times or family festivals. Also, make sure to visit to the Children's Garden, an area specifically geared toward tots, which includes Sunflower Fountain (bring swimsuit and towel), Peter Rabbit's Garden, Soggy Bog and the Butterfly Maze.

    Insider's Tip: For lunch, make reservations at the new Linton's Restaurant and dine while enjoying the beautiful Atlanta skyline. For a more casual meal, visit the Quick Cafe, which focuses on items like sandwiches, salads, soups and desserts. You can also pack your own lunch and visit the Petit Cafe in the Perennial Garden near the Great Lawn for refreshments and a bistro-like setting.

  2. Atlanta BeltLine - If you’re looking for a more active day of play, consider one of the many things you can do along Atlanta BeltLine. Park and meet up near Ponce City Market and walk or bike the BeltLine six tenths of a mile to Historic Fourth Ward Park. Host your own field day. Visit D.H. Stanton Park, near Zoo Atlanta, for splash pad fun. The BeltLine offers many fun and free fitness programs that older kids are invited to enjoy with a parent or guardian, such as free yoga in the park and even bike-riding classes. The Art on the BeltLine initiative partners with artists to provide unique exhibitions all along the BeltLine. You and the kiddos can even take a lantern-making workshop in preparation for the highly anticipated, annual Lantern Parade each fall. Here are 9 Things to Do on the Atlanta BeltLine.

  3. ATL Playground at Woodruff Park - Originally known as Central City Park, Woodruff Park is located in the heart of downtown Atlanta and includes a chess court, bocce ball, two cascading fountains and more. Unique to Woodruff Park is an open-air reading room, in partnership with the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library. Enjoy a picnic lunch with friends while you read together. Let the kids blow off steam at the iconic ATL Playground. The park is located fewer than 5 miles from some of our other favorite playdate and home school meet-up locations, such as The King Center, Center For Puppetry Arts and Fernbank Museum of Natural History.

  4. Centennial Olympic Park - Centrally located in the museum district downtown, Centennial Olympic Park, a legacy of the 1996 Olympic Games, is neighbor to SkyView Atlanta Ferris wheel, Children's Museum of Atlanta, Georgia Aquarium, the World of Coca-Cola and more. Kids will love the playground and splashing in the Fountain of Rings.  

    Insider's Tip: If you’re hoping to see the Fountain of Rings show during your visit, be sure to schedule your visit around one of the four times it shows each day: 12:30, 3:30, 6:30 and 9 p.m.

  5. Center for Puppetry Arts - The Center for Puppetry Arts has much to offer in the way of performances, fun and education. Your group can catch a Family Series puppet show and then head to the Create-A-Puppet Workshop for a hands-on puppet making experience. Visit the museum to see the world's largest Jim Henson Collection and tour The Global Collection to immerse yourselves in puppetry traditions from around the world. General admission for All-Inclusive Family Series tickets includes Create-A-Puppet Workshop and museum entry. Advance purchase of tickets is highly recommended since many performances sell out. For a more in-depth look for what CPA has to offer, check out this blog post.

  6. Chattahoochee Nature Center - You and your kids will love exploring the beautiful outdoors at Chattahoochee Nature Center, where visitors can experience programs focused on ecology and natural science. Hike the woodland trails, walk through the butterfly and native plant gardens, explore the river boardwalk and see native animals. CNC also offers special programs like Water Day, Storytime by the River and Family Canoe Days, to name a few. Inside the planetarium, STARLAB, be dazzled by a replication of the night sky. Many CNC events are included with general admission or for a minimal fee.

  7. Children’s Museum of Atlanta - The recently renovated Children's Museum of Atlanta offers children new programming focused on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) to help foster innovation and encourage critical thinking. Each learning zone provides age-appropriate activities that allow for hands-on learning in literacy, health and nutrition, social studies and the arts. Read all about the new upgrades and our favorite insider tips, here. Re-entry to the museum is allowed, so pack a lunch and head across the street to Centennial Olympic Park for fresh air and a picnic with your pals.

  8. Fernbank Museum of Natural History - Calling all dinosaur lovers! Fernbank Museum of Natural History offers a unique opportunity to explore cultural treasures, get hands-on with science interactives and see the largest dinosaurs ever discovered. Walk along floors made of 40,000 limestone tiles featuring fossils dating back to the Jurassic Period. Experience "A Walk Through Time in Georgia." Visit the innovative children's wing, NatureQuest, which features live animal exhibits, explorations of ecosystems, age-appropriate hands-on activities and a multi-level clubhouse for all ages.

    Insider's Tip: Fernbank's new outdoor experience, WildWoods, opens this fall and will feature "trails, elevated tree pods, hands-on exhibitions and immersive opportunities." The museum will also open Fernbank Forest -  a 65-acre undisturbed, old-growth hardwood forest located right in the heart of metro Atlanta - for self-guided tours.

  9. Georgia Aquarium - There are many ways to Dive Into Fun at the Georgia Aquarium, but here are a few programs you may not know about. The aquarium offers Behind The Seas tours of the most popular exhibits, Dolphin, Penguin and Sea Otter encounters and interactions. Did you know that you can even spend the night at the aquarium? The Sleep Under the Sea sleepover program provides scouts, families and friends an exciting night of adventure and exploration. Experience guided tours, activities, presentations, meals, admission to the aquarium and a sleeping spot right in front of a gallery window.

  10. LEGOLAND Discovery Center Atlanta - If your child's play group is full of Lego fans, you'll definitely want to check out LEGOLAND Discovery Center, located within Phipps Plaza, in Buckhead. LEGOLAND offers many areas where children and adults can explore, test Lego building skills, make and race Lego cars at the Build & Test zone, learn from a Master Builder and more.

    Insider's Tip: If your group is visiting from out of town or planning to stay in the area, here are some great Stay and Play hotel packages.

  11. Piedmont Park - Plan the ultimate field day at Piedmont Park, located in Midtown Atlanta. Wide open green space is perfect for fun and games, then you can move to the shade for a picnic. Walk the trails, climb, slide and swing at the Noguchi Playscape Playground, or splash around in Legacy Fountain. The park is open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

    Insider's Tip: Restrooms, which are located near Greystone, Noguchi Playscape, the Legacy Fountain, the tennis center, the dog park, the Charles Allen Gate entrance and behind Magnolia Hall, are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

  12. Woodruff Arts Center - On Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m., families are invited to explore, play, learn and create art for free, as part of the CREATE ATL initiative. Each month offers different performances, workshops and tours.

    Insider's Tip: Pre-register online for a chance to win an Alliance Theatre Family Season Ticket Package for four.

  13. High Museum of Art - On the second Sunday of each month, visitors to the High can enjoy free admission from 12 to 5 p.m. and special family programming from 1 to 4 p.m. as part of family festival day. For a fun toddler-friendly playdate, visit the museum any Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For the price of museum admission, children have an opportunity to explore a new theme each month, through art, stories and tours. The High also offers age-appropriate events for teens, which can be found on the museum website.

  14. Alliance Theatre - The Kathy and Ken Bernhardt Theatre for the Very Young is geared toward children ages 0 to 5 and offers an interactive experience that transcends age, language and developmental barriers through music and play. In addition to professional performances, the Alliance Theatre offers acting classes for all ages. Visit the website for more information and pricing.

  15. Zoo Atlanta - In addition to the animal-viewing fun, Zoo Atlanta has two playgrounds, a splash pad, petting zoo, train and other attractions for young visitors. When planning your visit, be sure to check out the upcoming events online, as the zoo frequently offers themed days and fun family events and programming. Age appropriate education and programs start for infants and toddlers with the Stroller Cubs program. Other special programs your group might enjoy are Adventure Cubs (preschoolers) and NightCrawler Overnights.

More Fun Options for Big Kids

  1. Andretti - Big kids and teens will love the adrenaline rush of the Super Karts at Andretti Indoor Karting and Games. Karts go as fast as 35 mph. Also available on site: sky trail ropes course, cosmic rock wall, laser tag and a zip line that propels riders over the Roswell track.

    Insider's Tip: After all the gaming and fun, try lunch at The Andretti Grill. Kids 12 or younger eat [off the children's menu] free every Tuesday, with the purchase of an entree $8.49 or more. Beverages not included.

  2. Medieval Times - Travel through time to the Renaissance, where knights on spirited horses engage in thrilling jousts and sword fights. Medieval Times offers dinner theater that all ages will enjoy.

  3. The King Center - The Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent and Social Change, or The King Center, is the official memorial dedicated to advancement of the legacy of Dr. King. Consider bringing your group for a self-guided tour and learn more about Dr. King through timeless exhibits on display at Freedom Hall. 

If you're looking for more ideas, check out these 50 Fun Things to Do in Atlanta.

Joleen Pete lives outside Atlanta with her husband and their young son. On the weekends they enjoy going into the city for family fun and exploration. Joleen is the professional photographer behind Joleen Pete Photography and family blogger behind Love, Joleen.

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