From history markers to some of the South’s favorite spots, what better way to fill your family photo albums than by discovering Georgia’s past and future by taking advantage of the city’s extensive offerings of outdoor family entertainment? Here’s a look at what’s new at some of the city’s treasured parks, along with some classics at each park that are my personal favorites.
1. Six Flags Over Georgia & Six Flags White Water (open through Aug. 11)
- New at Six Flags Over Georgia: This 100-acre park just west of the city features 40 rides, including the all-new SkyScreamer (above) - the tallest attraction at the park – soaring four-stories taller than the mega-coaster Goliath. Strapped into your open-air seat, you’ll swing around in a 98-foot-wide circle at 40 miles per hour, while taking in a thrilling view of the Atlanta skyline.
- New At Six Flags White Water: Typhoon Twister will send riders barreling down an enclosed five-story drop before shooting them out into a 67-foot bowl. You’ll experience several revolutions against the wall of the bowl, spin down into the corkscrew drop chute and splash into the pool below.
- Classic: The Riverview Carousel at Six Flags Over Georgia is one of only three remaining five-abreast carousels known to exist and a member of the National Register of Historic Places. There’s nothing better than watching my 9-month-old squeal in delight as he rides round and round the merry-go-round!
- New: From playgrounds and sports fields to public tennis courts and a swimming pool, Piedmont Park has more than 180 acres to keep your family entertained. The Promenade boasts the new Legacy Fountain and two grand meadows with stunning views of the new wetlands and woodlands. The fountain, featuring more than 70 jets that reach up to 30 feet in the air, is a water art piece for all to enjoy.
- Classic: Having lived in Atlanta for 15 years, I have plenty of memories at Piedmont Park, which include lazy Sunday afternoon picnics, dates with my now husband, the final stop on Peachtree Road Race and weekends filled with live music and free festivals. My husband and I enjoy taking our son and two dogs there for strolls and stopping by the Green Market on Saturday mornings for fresh produce from local farmers. Also, I love taking photos of my family in the park with the majestic city skyline in the background.
3. Stone Mountain Park's Summer at the Rock
- New: Butterfly Adventures is a brand new attraction that features more than 1,000 butterflies. After trekking through the treetops on SkyHike or playing a round of adventure golf, cool off with the hilarious new Water Works show. There’s also a new improv show called Where’s That Bear where the kids can help the park’s base camp explorers find the missing birthday bear. Also new this summer is a 4D experience, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, where tornados, giant lizards and the lost city of Atlantis await you.
- Classic: I love a good hike, especially ones that reward me with an amazing view afterward! Stone Mountain offers a 1.4-mile hike up the mountain, and the view of the Appalachian Mountains and Atlanta skyline makes the trek worthwhile. If you prefer to get the great family photo opps without breaking a sweat, take a ride on a high-speed Swiss cable car up to the top of Stone Mountain on Summit Skyride.
- Another classic Stone Mountain memory of mine is spreading out a blanket and relaxing under the stars while watching the Lasershow Spectacular with my family. I love the music and special effects and watching it on one of the world’s largest outdoor screens isn’t bad either!
From theme parks to green parks, there are plenty of options out there to create a storybook of memories with your family this summer.
Sarah Johnson, APR, is a guest blogger for Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACVB). She is a communications consultant whose prior roles included working as an internal communications strategist for WellStar Health System and a public relations specialist for ACVB. She resides in Cumming with her husband and their 9-month-old son.