Best Outdoor Attractions and Activities for Kids in Atlanta this Summer

We’ve got your ticket to an ultimate summer for the whole family in Atlanta. Our local attractions offer many unique experiences for all ages. Need to cool down? Dive into one of our many choices on or near water. Check out this guide and experience your best visit in Atlanta.

Atlanta-Only Attractions for Families

Atlanta Botanical Garden

Located in Midtown near Piedmont Park. Atlanta Botanical Garden (ABG) spreads across 33 acres of woodlands and manicured gardens and also includes the Children’s Garden and orchid house. Visit the larger than life trolls at ABG through Sept. 17. Thomas Dambo’s giant sculptures, made from reclaimed materials, take up residency in the gardens and will delight visitors of all ages. Regular programming for families and children also continues throughout the summer. 

Where: 1345 Piedmont Ave. NE

Atlanta History Center

There’s more than meets the eye at the Atlanta History Center: three historic homes and sprawling outdoor gardens that include two furnished playhouses. This summer visitors can check out a screening of the Untold Story of Stone Mountain on Aug. 9 or dive deeper into the story of Emmett Till & his mother Mamie Till-Mobley from Aug. 5 through Sept. 17.

Where: 130 West Paces Ferry Road NW 

Center for Puppetry Arts

While a visit to the Center for Puppetry Arts is fun virtually anytime, this summer, families with young kids won’t want to miss the special shows including the interactive “Old McDonald’s Farm” through Aug. 20 and the special “Annika’s Elephants” by Sesame Street & children’s author Annie Evans, Aug. 17 through Sept. 3. After a show, don’t miss the Worlds of Puppetry Museum featuring a large Jim Henson collection. 

Where: 1404 Spring St. NW

Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame

Visit more than 50 exhibits at the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame
Three cheers for the home — or your favorite — college football team. (Photo courtesy of the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame)

At this indoor homage to college football, visitors can unlock a unique encounter with the interactive All-Access Pass, visit more than 50 exhibits and learn about the top teams, players and coaches. Football lovers won’t want to miss visiting the College Football Hall of Fame this summer for the new Art of College Football exhibit featuring rarely seen art from 12 renowned artists. In addition, Football Fest 2023 returns to the College Football Hall of Fame on Aug. 26.

Where: 250 Marietta St. NW

Children’s Museum of Atlanta

The Children’s Museum of Atlanta showcases learning experiences for kids up to age 9. Shaun the Sheep visits the Children’s Museum through Sept. 4 bringing fun stories and activities.

Where: 275 Centennial Olympic Park Drive NW

Fernbank Museum of Natural History

Long known as a museum housing the world’s largest dinosaurs, Fernbank Museum of Natural History also incluces 75 acres of outdoor nature adventures. From Wildwoods with its elevated walkways and tree pods to Fernbank Forest with more than two miles of trails, guests can craft their own outdoor adventure. Summer brings “Survival of the Slowest” to the Fernbank Museum. Learn about and meet a variety of slow-moving animals including a two-toed sloth, hedgehog and bearded dragon through Sept. 4. In the garden, discover an exhibit of colorful and photo-inspiring sculptures of birds, bees, dragonflies, butterflies, dandelions, cattails, flying fish, bats and more through Aug. 27.

Where: 767 Clifton Road

Georgia Aquarium

There is so much to do and see at America's largest aquarium
There is so much to do and see at America’s largest aquarium. (Photo courtesy of Georgia Aquarium)

The nation’s largest aquarium will make a big splash on your itinerary as you discover whale sharks, dolphins, beluga whales, penguins and more. Make your visit even more memorable by booking the Shark and Ray Interaction, Beluga Encounter, Harbor Seal Encounter or the Shark Cage Dive at Georgia Aquarium. The newest exhibition, “Sharks! Predators of the Deep” is now open. Learn about these fierce and  fascinating creatures with the new 1.2-million gallon tank offering epic views and unique encounters. 

Where: 225 Baker St. NW

Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum

Follow the life and work of President Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter with artifacts surrounding his presidency, a replica of the Oval Office and interactive exhibitions about the Carters’ work overseas monitoring elections and preventing disease. Outside Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum, 33 acres of gardens are available for strolling or having a picnic.

Where: 441 John Lewis Freedom Parkway NE

Michael C. Carlos Museum

Emory University’s Michael C. Carlos Museum houses permanent collections of Egyptian artifacts and one of the earliest bathtubs in existence. World-renowned traveling exhibits mesmerize all ages. Be sure to visit the permanent collection with more than 10 Egyptian mummies, including the oldest one in the Americas. Be sure to check out a SmARTy pack at the information desk. SmARTy packs are filled with hands-on activities and engaging ways for families to explore the galleries together. 

Where: 571 South Kilgo Circle NE

National Center for Civil and Human Rights

Learn more about the Civil Rights Movement and the future for human rights
Learn more about the Civil Rights Movement and the future for human rights. (Photo courtesy of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights)

Wander through the immersive experience at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights and learn about the past, present and future for human rights and justice. Find the Lunch Counter Sit-In, where you put yourself in the shoes of nonviolent protesters, experience the interactive portraits from human rights champions and catch a glimpse of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s personal papers. Don’t miss KIDSPIRATION on July 29 – a fun and interactive summer program teaching kids ages 4 through 12 how to tap their power to influence the world around them and be active citizens.

Where: 100 Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd. NW

Six Flags Over Georgia

Thrill seekers can keep cool at Hurricane Harbor this summer at Six Flags Over Georgia
Thrill seekers can keep cool at Hurricane Harbor this summer at Six Flags Over Georgia.

Families with small children will love mild thrills in Bugs Bunny Boomtown and Gotham City, as well as plenty of other rides at Six Flags Over Georgia. The recently refurbished Great American Scream Machine is one of many bigger thrills in addition to more coasters and Pandemonium, a giant 147-foot-tall swinging pendulum. Dive in at Hurricane Harbor water park, included with admission. This summer, pick up a “Do It All In A Day Pass” for a full day of thrills and adventure, plus parking and all-day dining for as low as $70 – a great way to spend a last hurrah before school starts.

Where: 275 Riverside Parkway, Austell, Ga.

Stone Mountain Park

Spend a day or more playing at Stone Mountain Park
Spend a day or more playing at Stone Mountain Park. (Photo courtesy of Stone Mountain Park)

Do as the locals do and take the family up the one-mile hike to the summit of the mountain. Also at Stone Mountain Park, head to other attractions like Geyser Towers, Camp Highland Outpost, Adventure Golf and the Scenic Railroad. Check out the K9s in Flight dog show through July 30 where you can see dogs, flying and twisting through the air to catch frisbees. In addition, save BIG on annual parking passes with the Christmas in July sale. Catch the SoulFest concert and light show July 27 through 30.

Where: 1000 Robert E. Lee Blvd., Stone Mountain, Ga.

World of Coca-Cola

Taste more than 100 flavors of Coca-Cola from around the world
Taste more than 100 flavors of Coca-Cola from around the world. (Photo courtesy of World of Coca-Cola)

Pour yourself some fizzy refreshment at the World of Coca-Cola when you enter the Taste It! room, with more than 100 flavors of Coca-Cola products from around the world. Learn about the world’s most loved beverage through a 4-D theater, a behind-the-scenes look at the bottling process at the Bottle Works and at the Vault of the Secret Formula where the recipe for the famous drink is safely stored.

Where: 121 Baker St. NW

Zoo Atlanta

Visit the giant pandas at Zoo Atlanta
Visit the giant pandas at Zoo Atlanta. (Photo courtesy of Zoo Atlanta)

Travel to the African savanna at Zoo Atlanta, which houses African elephants, zebras, giraffes and more, then visit giant pandas, the Southern white rhinoceros, Western lowland gorillas and many more residents. Special summer events include Wild World Weekend (July 29 and 30) and Rise & Dine with Reptiles & Amphibians (Aug. 5). Check the calendar of events for a variety of fun and unique experiences for the whole family.

Where: 800 Cherokee Ave SE

Where to Cool Off

Keep cool at one of these fun places to swim, kayak or more in Atlanta
Keep cool at one of these fun places to swim, kayak or more in Atlanta.

Looking for fun places to cool off this summer? Check out where to swim, kayak, canoe and more in Atlanta.

For more fun things to do in Atlanta this summer, visit our ultimate guide to summer in Atlanta or check out these 50 fun things to do.

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