Looking for some fun things to do in Atlanta with the family? I originally shared this original bucket list of things to do in Atlanta in 2014, when our son was just a toddler. With things opening up after COVID-19 and more people planning “stay-cations” I thought it was time freshen it and add new activities to the list. I have also decided to divide the list up into categories for easier perusing. Whether you live in Atlanta or are planning your very first visit I am excited to share my The Ultimate Bucket List of Things to Do in Atlanta with you.
Things to do in Atlanta
This post contains affiliate links. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I’ve been in Atlanta over 10 years now and I can hardly believe it. I was newly single when I moved here from California looking for a big change. Boy, did I find it. I met my husband within my first few months here and we had our son a year later. I never could have imagined how incredible my life would be here!
Over the years I have become somewhat of an expert of family-friendly things to do in Atlanta. I’ve had awesome experiences within the city and outside the perimeter. In addition, I have had the opportunity to share them with readers of Love, Joleen, Discover Atlanta, 365 Atlanta Family and on Mommy Nearest. I love this city I’ve come to call home, but there are still so many things I’ve want to do and see!
Atlanta can throw a party! If you’re into music, food, arts and crafts, books, and community, you can find a fun festival to celebrate it here. Here is a complete list of Atlanta festivals.
Here are some of our favorite annual Atlanta festivals for the entire family.
- Duluth Fall Festival – This annual festival takes place the last weekend of September in Downtown Duluth. It’s such a charming area year around, but the festival brings all types of vendors in addition to the shops. There is also typically a fun kids area with rides and other family-friendly things to do, but our favorite part is the delicious food truck offerings! There is a brick and mortar Simply Done Donuts shop but they usually have a food truck as well. I highly recommend the Sopapilla mini donuts with vanilla ice cream! So good.
- AJC Decatur Book Festival – This is the perfect festival for bibliophiles of all ages! The Decatur Book Festival is one of the largest independent book festivals in the country and attracts an average of 60,000 book lovers each year. Events include author readings, book signings, and panel discussions, children’s activities and parades, live music, cooking demonstrations, poetry slams, and more.
- Atlanta Dogwood Festival – The Atlanta Dogwood Festival takes place at Piedmont Park in the summer, usually around the same time as the book festival above. It’s your typical major city festival with artist exhibitions, live music and showcases, children’s activities and rides, faire foods, and more. There are so many things to do, buy and eat, in addition to enjoying the playgrounds and natural beauty of the park.
- Yellow Daisy Festival – This was the first festival that I attended when I moved to Atlanta. It takes place at the start of fall in Stone Mountain Park. It’s one of top arts & crafts festivals in the country and has won multiple awards. More than 250 top artists and crafters display their work for exhibition and purchase. It’s a truly inspiring festival to peruse and includes good food options as well. This is a great date day option or festival to attend with your bestie!
An Atlanta bucket list wouldn’t be complete without southern fare, and you can bet I’ve got a ton of sweet spots on here too!
- Brunch at Chick-a-Biddy
- Brunch at Hen Mother Cookhouse
- Dunwoody Food Truck Thursday
- Duluth Food Truck Friday
- Simply Done Donuts
- Taste of Atlanta
- Ice cream at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
- Handmade macarons from Mac Lab Bakery
- What’ll ya Have! from The Varsity
- Go to the original Chick-fil-a in Hapeville, Georgia
- Decatur Farmers Market
- Dekalb Farmers Market
- Purchase a cupcake from the Sprinkles ATM
- Southern comfort food at Mary Mac’s
- Afternoon Tea at the Swan Coach House
Date Day or Date Night
Maybe you’re planning your next Moms Night Out or a date day with your significant other. Here are some of our favorite ideas, including a few we’ve checked off and several we still want to do ourselves. For more ideas check out this ultimate list of date night ideas in Atlanta.
- Braves game date night at SunTrust Park
- Visit and photograph the Goat Farm
- Jimmy Carter Library and Museum
- Skyline Park at Ponce City Market
- The Painted Pin
- Jackson Street Bridge (This is honestly just a popular spot to photograph! Super fun when you both are into that kinda thing like we are.)
- Porsche Experience Center
- Chamblee Antique Row
- Paris on Ponce
- Tour Oakland Cemetery (We’ve visited on our own, but I’d love to take an official tour someday.)
- Scott’s Antique Show
- Concert at Chastain Amphitheater
- Serenbe Farm for brunch and exploring
- Sweetwater Brewery Tour
- Ponce City Market
- Krog Street Market
- The Escape Game at The Battery
- Tailgate with friends
- Dad’s Garage Theatre
- Margaret Mitchell House
I feel truly blessed for the opportunities my family has had in exploring our city. We love a good adventure. If you’re looking for family-friendly fun in Atlanta, this portion of the list is for you.
- Stone Mountain Park
- Atlanta sports game
- Play in the Fountain of Rings at Centennial Olympic Park
- The Nutcracker at Fox Theatre
- Southeastern Railway Museum
- Old Mill Park Roswell
- Explore the Atlanta BeltLine
- Ice Skate at Centennial Olympic Park
- Shoot the “Hooch”
- Sweetwater Creek State Park
- Butterfly Festival at the Chattahoochee Nature Center
- Family Night Hike at the Chattahoochee Nature Center
- Pink Pig at Lenox Square
- Tiny Towne
- Woodruff Arts Center Second Sunday Family Fun Day
- Annual Toddler Takeover event at Woodruff Arts Center – (We’ve gone to Toddler Takeover twice, and had the best time! Read about it here.)
- Medieval Times
- Cabbage Patch Factory Tour in Cleveland, Georgia
- ATL Playground at Woodruff Park
- Tiny Doors ATL Tour (We have visited several, but I’d love to see and photograph them all.)
- Dragon Con Parade
- Piedmont Park
- Center for Puppetry Arts
- The Art Barn
- Outdoor Movie or Concert at Suwanee Town Center
- The National Center for Civil and Human Rights: Civil Rights Museum
- Visit MLK’s Home
- The Wren’s Nest
- LEGOLAND Discovery Center Atlanta
- Peachtree Road Race and Kids Fun Run (My husband runs this nearly every year. I think it would be fun to do together as a family one year.)
- Peachtree DeKalb Airport
- “Public art scavenger hunt” — visit the Living Walls installations
- Delta Flight Museum
- Starlight Six Drive-in Theatre
- Governor’s Mansion at Christmas
Atlanta is a major metropolitan city, and with that comes major attractions. Since I have lived here, I have seen so much of the city renovate or make plans to. So many of our favorite locations and venues have added entire new buildings and exhibitions. Here are the major Atlanta attractions that should definitely be on your list of things to do:
World of Coca-Cola Museum
I’ll be honest, I’ve never been a huge Coke fan. Being from California, I’ve always been a Pepsi girl. We recently had some friends visit and my friend’s teenage daughter had her heart set on visiting the World of Coco-Cola. I was delighted because we’d never been. I shared the experience here and am so glad we gave it a chance.
Fernbank Museum of Natural History
An absolute gem of a natural museum, Fernbank is located right in the middle of an old-growth forest in Atlanta. There are exhibits for all ages, an indoor children’s wing, and 75-acres of epic outdoor adventure.
Atlanta History Center and Cyclorama
The Cyclorama was recently moved and restored at the Atlanta History Center. It is an awe-inspiring painting of the Civil War, that is worth checking out. I would categorize the History Center as mostly attracting teens and adults, although they do offer special programming for children. Here are some great tips/reasons for visiting the Atlanta History Center with kids.
We love the Aquarium, and have even held season passes in years past. Georgia Aquarium is the largest in the U.S. The exhibits are breathtaking and the shows are fun. This is one of the more expensive things to do in Atlanta, but you can save 40% by purchasing a CityPASS.
High Museum of Art
The High holds a very special place in my heart. I remember the first time my grandma took me and my sister there, well over a decade ago, while we were visiting. My husband and I had our first date there, and it’s also where he proposed to me. We’ve enjoyed several events and have seen many exhibits over the years. I absolutely adore their children’s author exhibits especially. There really is never a bad time to visit, and it’s definitely budget-friendly.
Atlanta Botanical Garden
I believe the Atlanta Botanical Garden is a must-see for all Atlanta visitors. There is almost always a special event or exhibit happening. Kids will love the children’s gardens and splash pad. This is a great location for Mom and Dad to getaway for a date night. Every Thursday evening, May through October, you can enjoy cocktails in the garden until 10 p.m., and a beautiful view of the Atlanta skyline. Totally on my list!
Home to over 1,000 animals, unique animal encounters and special events, Zoo Atlanta is a terrific family destination. Here you’ll find elephants, pandas, zebras, giraffes, ostriches, meerkats, and warthogs in addition to tigers, reptiles and a plethora of birds. The zoo offers so many fun things to do for kids, including playgrounds, spray pad, and other attractions. Pack a lunch and stay the day. Parking is free.
- Children’s Museum of Atlanta
- Six Flags Over Georgia
- Alliance Theatre
- Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
- Chick-fil-a College Football Hall of Fame
Day Trip or Weekend Getaway
Georgia is a gorgeous state. I never get tired of the greenery. I honestly don’t even mind all the rain! Sometimes it’s good to get away from all the people though, let’s be real. There is lots to do in Georgia if you’re looking to take a day trip or have a weekend getaway.
- Apple picking at Hillcrest Orchards
- Visit Savannah, Georgia
- Tallulah Falls, Georgia
- Buck’s Corn Maze
- The Rock Ranch
- Great Wolf Lodge (LaGrange, GA) – Check out my post on our experience at Great Wolf Lodge!
- Consolidated Gold Mine
- Callaway Resort & Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia
- Château Élan
- Atlanta Getaway House
This is really just a glimpse of things to do in Atlanta and surrounding. For more ideas check out Outdoor Summer Ideas or Fun Day Trips for Atlanta Kids. To plan for your visit, I highly recommend checking out this Atlanta events calendar.