- When planning your itinerary, brainstorm ideas with your family. Let your kids give input or share their preferences. They’re more likely to enjoy an experience that they helped plan.
- Do your research. Your local CVB (Atlanta’s is here) is a great place to start. I also use Google [and sometimes Yelp] to help me find information on toddler times and programs at all of Atlanta’s hot attractions, such as Zoo Atlanta, Georgia Aquarium, The Children’s Museum of Atlanta, and more. Here is our Atlanta City Guide.
- Think outside the box. Map out parks throughout your city that you’ve never taken your children to and go on a “park tour” throughout the week. Host a sidewalk chalk party for their in-town friends. Check out the local listings for the discount movie theater and price all-day passes to their favorite bounce place. Pretend you’re tourists and make a bucket list to check off. (See ours here.)
- Be prepared and anticipate the unexpected. Once you have your itinerary for the week, it’s helpful to look up what’s located around where you plan to be. If I have expectations for Benjamin to be calm and collected (say, at the High Museum of Art) then it’s helpful to know that there is a great park for him to let off steam afterward, located less than a mile away. When we visit the aquarium, we often like to eat at one of the surrounding restaurants.
Another way I prepare is by packing up Benjamin’s backpack for day trips into and around the city. Atlanta traffic can be pretty awful so having that in mind while I pack is another way I prepare. Here’s a look at what I would pack to take Benjamin on an adventure in the city:
- Extra underwear. Benjamin is basically potty-trained but an accident isn’t completely out of the question. I purchased a 6-pack of cotton briefs from OshKosh for $16. They fit him perfectly. He also has a few sets of the boxer briefs, which come in really fun prints. I also pack a diaper in case we’re going to be in the car a long time and I know that Benjamin is going to nap. Better safe than sorry!
- An extra outfit. You never know when you’re going to come across a splash pad and
let your child run through fully dressed. (Yes, that’s totally
happened.) I recently purchased all of Benjamin’s spring wardrobe. The kid is growing like a weed and at 3.5 years old, he’s moved up to size 4.
We’ve been shopping at OshKosh B’Gosh since Benjamin was a baby and he “just had to have” a pair of coveralls. (Both my husband and I had a pair in the 80’s!)I love OshKosh because the clothing is super cute and affordable. Benjamin loves it because it’s comfortable. I am loving these bright orange flat-front shorts for spring. I bought three different shirts that can be worn with them and I think he looks super cute!
- Water and snacks. He eats way more than the picture above. He’s like a miniature teenager really.
- Tissues / wipes / paper towels.
- Toys and entertainment. I usually ask Benjamin what small toy(s) he’d like to bring in the car. Some people have a portable DVD player or iPad. Benjamin has my old iPhone 4 that’s been outfitted with preschool games. He also loves taking photos with it. (I’m not sure where he gets it! *wink*) I’ve also started bringing a portable charger with us just in case we need it. For longer car trips [and when we go on an airplane] I bring Benjamin’s Busy Bag Binder. It’s filled with age-appropriate activities that travel well.