Children’s Museum of Atlanta

First timers at the ATL Children’s Museum

Most large cities have some sort of children’s museum, so when we moved to Georgia, I was excited to visit the Children’s Museum of Atlanta. For the size of Atlanta the museum is small, but it was recently remodeled so all the exhibits are in great shape. When we walked in, the girls gravitated toward the most adorable pretend diner set up. It was so authentic, even I was having fun playing pretend behind the counter! Next to the diner is a market where the kids can grocery shop, and beyond that is a farm. Caroline also was obsessed with an indoor tree house set up.

At the center of the museum was a cool climbing thing. For the smaller kids it was easy to get up but difficult to get down. I saw several children get stuck and Mommies having to go in after them. Luckily, Caroline is not into taking risks so I didn’t have to go in after her. There was a giant globe in the center that the kids could climb up into and have a view of all the fun attractions below.

While we were there, there was a cute little educational performance with songs and audience participation. Other cool features were the craft and engineering labs.  In the engineering lab helpers built an airplane with the kids, and in the craft room the children did an art project. There was a sign-up sheet by each door, so if you want to make sure you get a spot, stop by and sign up when you arrive.

On the second floor there was not much, but they have some very cool piano stairs that make the journey up a good time. The lunchroom and vending machines are on the second floor, but there’s no restaurant or place to purchase non-vending food. This is nice because you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on food, but if you forget to bring lunch you’re out of luck.

I recommend visiting the museum if you have children between 18 months to 6 years of age. There were some more advanced hands-on learning for older kids, but since mine are 9 months and 4 years old, we stuck mostly to the “play pretend” areas. They also have some cool kinetic sand, and a little baby spot where you can sit your baby down to play and get some hands-free time in a baby-safe space.

 

Tip- Arrive when they open on a weekday and park next door in the parking garage. There were tons of spots and it was a short walk to the entrance.

 

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Our First ATL Botanical Gardens Trip

Summertime can be rough in the South. The hot, humid weather, rainstorms, and bugs can be enough to keep you inside with the AC blasting and your kid’s favorite Netflix show on repeat. However, when family is in town, I am always excited (and motivated) to take them around my new city. I had yet to visit the Atlanta Botanical Gardens in Midtown and knew it would be perfect for these visitors, and I wasn’t wrong.

Right now, the gardens have a collection of giant living sculptures throughout the property as a part of their “Imaginary Worlds” exhibit. These living sculptures – ranging up to 26 feet tall and 21 feet wide – include an enchanting Mermaid, a gigantic Camel, storybooks, a huge dragon, and much more.

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The property was beautiful and the skyline views reminded me of being in NYC’s Central Park. We spent most of our time looking for the living sculptures and in the green houses that were filled with so many beautiful orchids of all shapes and sizes. One was almost the size of my head! I never before have seen such a variety of orchids. They were stunning.

The beautiful, unique walkways accommodated my tandem Graco double stroller for the most part. We went on a Friday just after 10 a.m. to avoid the summer heat. It was busy with a few camp fieldtrips, but overall not too crowded. I overheard a couple talking about the last time they visited on a weekend and how it was much more crowded. So, plan a visit on a weekday if you can, and if it’s summertime arrive when they open at 10 a.m. to avoid the heat.

We walked around and had lunch at the onsite restaurant. The food was fabulous and they had a variety of coloring sheets to keep my four year old entertained. After lunch, we tried to walk around some more but the heat was getting the best of us, so we headed out and made one last stop at the gift shop. Surprisingly, that was also fabulous! They had many unique gifts and some nice home décor. They also had some great kids’ stuff and fun educational books.

One thing we did miss somehow was the kids’ garden. I was bummed about this since I’m sure Caroline would have loved it. Even more reason to go back when it cools off in fall! They have several themed events throughout the year and host a “Cocktails in the Garden” event Thursday evenings. During winter holiday season, they decorate with Christmas lights, one of my husband’s favorite things, so I plan on taking him and the girls this year since he couldn’t join us for our first visit.

The Atlanta Botanical Gardens is on our list of must sees if you are planning a family trip to Atlanta!  We love our new city and cannot wait to explore more of its awesomeness and share it with you all.

Photographer tip: Come ready to shoot! Their bridge, canopy-covered walkways, and city backdrops make this a perfect destination for photographing your little ones OR to do your next family session.

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