Spring break is around the corner, and summer will soon follow. While the kiddos are out of school you’ll need to keep a few tricks up your sleeve. We’ve gathered a go-to list of adventures that promise to keep your kids busy. Because they are also free, cheap and bargain priced, they are certain to make Mommy happy, too. Affordable summer fun for kids in Atlanta:
1. Playgrounds are a springtime staple in most families. Don’t compromise on playground time, though; try one of these three unique play escapes.
• Garrard Landing Park in Roswell is a shaded location that many families are not aware of; the benefit is that there is never a crowd.
• Haw Creek in Cumming opened in 2012. This gem is not a typical playground, but a series of climbing structures for kids, and it’s in the shade.
• Morgan Falls in Sandy Springs offers unique structures for the kids, overlooking the Chattahoochee. A short walking path, oversized porch swings, and a fishing pier make this more of an adventure than the typical playground.
2. Buford Trout Hatchery in Forsyth County is an exciting way for kids to enjoy nature and learn about Georgia’s brown and rainbow trout. The family can view over 1 million fish being raised to stock lakes around Georgia. Walk the Nature/Bird Trail and see multiple species of birds and other wildlife. Fish in the catch-and-release Family Fishing Pond; bring your own fishing equipment and bait. Kiddos under 16 can fish for free, but older kids and adults will need a valid Georgia Fishing License. If you can make it on a Saturday afternoon, the family can enjoy a free tour of the hatchery, too.
3. Dunwoody Nature Center in Dunwoody, GA has no entrance fee. The kids will enjoy walking the trails; the Woodland Loop trail even leads to a playground. They can also explore on the boardwalk and investigate the treehouse. Picnic at tables next to Wildcat Creek where the kids can climb large boulders and get their feet wet in the water.
Cheap (under $10 pp)
4. Southeastern Railroad Museum in Duluth is a train Mecca for the family. Kids can tour the old and out-of-commission trains, see antique fire trucks and buses, and more. There is also an opportunity to take a short ride on a real train. If your kiddo is pre-school aged, then be sure to try the Second Thursdays program. Children can participate in games and art activities, as well as tour the museum. Mom (or Dad) join the fun for free.
5. Smith-Gilbert Gardens in Kennesaw, Ga is 16-acre oasis just off Cobb Parkway. Kids and adults will enjoy the trails, showing off 30 pieces of contemporary sculpture. There are beautiful water elements like a waterfall and koi pond. Kids will especially enjoy the children’s garden, complete with bubbles and climbing structures. Bring lunch and enjoy it at a picnic table under the canopy of shade trees.
6. Cumming Aquatic Center in Cumming has a zero-entry pool, a play structure in the water with spraying buckets, a lazy river, and a winding slide (for taller kiddos). This aquatic center allows families to bring in their own food. Lay out your lunch at the picnic tables under cabanas or on a blanket in the small lawn area. If this location is too far from home, consider trying the new Woodstock Aquatic Center opening this spring.
7. Braves Kids Club Membership gives families two Upper Box tickets to a Braves home game. Additionally, kids get a special gift, a welcome letter from a player, VIP access for running the bases, free admission to the Hall of Fame Museum, 2 tickets to a Gwinnett Braves game, a Chick-fil-a sandwich coupon, and more. This is an affordable way to include the kids in your summer Braves excitement.
8. Atlanta City Pass is the most affordable way to experience some of Atlanta’s more famous attractions. This 9-day pass will save you 45% off regular admission and allow you to skip most ticket lines (always a plus during spring and summer vacation). See the Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola, Inside CNN Studio Tour, Zoo Atlanta or Atlanta History Center, and Fernbank or High Museum.
9. Membership with the Atlanta Botanical Gardens (ABG) is a wonderful way to enjoy the outdoors. The ABG children’s garden will keep your little one busy for hours with slides, forts, a dinosaur dig, carnivorous plant bog, waterfall, and more. The family can enjoy Atlanta Blooms!, Scarecrows In The Garden, and many other seasonal festivities. Membership with ABG grants you other bargain benefits as well through the Reciprocal Admissions Program. Gain free admission to local Smith-Gilbert Gardens, Atlanta History Center and Callaway Gardens, as well as other Gardens around the country.
Today’s Guest Author: Lesli Peterson is co-founder and editor at Expedition Mom, a North American family-travel website specializing in experiential “KNOW before you go” Adventure Guides and City Itineraries, with a Southern twist.