Our family spent 5 nights in Atlanta, Georgia because we tagged along on one of DH’s work trips. Three of the days DH had to work, and the last two we enjoyed the city together. I received lots of recommendations and suggestions from friends and Facebook followers for what we should see and do, having never been to Atlanta before ourselves. I thought I would share with you a couple of posts about some of the places we went, along with my impressions of them based on our one-time visit with a 4 and an almost 3 year old. Hopefully these will be helpful to you if you live near the Atlanta area or are planning a trip here with young children:
1. The Varsity and 2. Zoo Atlanta were covered in this post.
3. Braves Baseball at Turner Field – The Braves are a major league baseball team and the games are pretty fun to watch. I took L&L to a night game while DH was at a work dinner because our hotel was literally across the street, and we had a great time. We bought general admission tickets the day of the game for $9/each; Lilah, 2, was free. Our seats were on the 4th level, right field side, so we had a great view of the whole field, and we could also see downtown Atlanta. It was fun to watch all the city lights come on as it started to get dark. L&L enjoyed dancing to all the fun music between batters and innings. If memory serves me correctly, the kids’ meals (hot dog, drink, and animal crackers) cost $6 and I grabbed a hotdog for ~$4 and a huge souvenir Coke for $5.
Pros – The tickets were reasonably priced. The game was entertaining enough we stayed until the bottom of the 8th inning, and really wouldn’t have left then except DH was back and the kids were ready to see him after his long day at work. The game was very enjoyable once the sun went down enough not to be shining right in our eyes. The view of downtown Atlanta was stunning. There were several home runs hit during the game. Oh, and the Braves won!!
Cons – Until the sun went down, it was fairly brutal in the general admission section. It was a 95+ degree day and the evening sun was aiming all it’s energy right at us.
Overall we had a really fun time and I am proud to have single-handedly taken my two little ones to a MLB game; it was Lilah’s first.
4. Stone Mountain – This destination was a last minute pick. We had intended to go to Fernbank Museum, but then decided we’d rather go to Stone Mountain. There were definitely a lot of pros and cons to this decision. Most of the Stone Mountain experience is outdoors, and the day we went the temperature was in the upper 90s. There is a lot to do there, though, and our day got better as it went along. We paid $10 to get into the park and then we bought individual Adventure Passes ($28/adult, $22/child age 3-11, + tax); Lilah, 2, was free. Using our Adventure passes we watched the 4-D Yogi Bear movie, rode the scenic railroad train for the 5 mile trip around the base of Stone Mountain, played Mini-Golf, rode the Summit Skyride up to the top of Stone Mountain, DH and I took turns doing the Sky Hike, and we all played in Geyser Towers.
We started off doing the 4-D movie and L&L both screamed and cried through most of it. First of all, they didn’t like wearing the 3D glasses, and then the show continuously sprayed air and squirted water into our faces, which they hated. Lilah spent most of the movie with her arms clamped as tightly around my neck as she could get them and her head buried in my shoulder. Luke was a similar case. DH and I both liked it, and I’m sure older kids would like it, too, but if you have little ones who are sensitive to loud noises or don’t like surprising things thrust into their faces, I’d avoid this one or spend a good deal of time beforehand prepping them.
After the movie, we rode the train. Luke said it was his favorite. It’s an open-air train and the conductor periodically tells you information about the mountain as you travel around it, like for example, it’s not really a mountain. You get a good view of the carving on the train trip.
Mini-golf was next. The course has 18 holes. This was L&L’s first time playing, and with the combination of the extreme heat of the day and the fact that two of our players were very amateur, we did the first 9 holes or so and then skipped ahead to the last hole.
The Summit Skyride is a cable car that takes you up to the top of Stone Mountain. I am deathly afraid of heights, and this wasn’t too bad. The cable car holds around 60 people and with the exception of a few seats on the side, everyone stands up. The view is amazing! At the top, everyone exits the car into a building, where there is food, some benches for sitting, an overlook area, and a place where you can exit and walk around on top of Stone Mountain. You can see downtown Atlanta in the distance. The cable cars ascend and descend every 15 minutes, so when we had our fill of walking around, we caught the next cable car back down.
At this point, the kids were very tired and both fell asleep in the stroller, so I offered to sit with them while DH did the ropes course called Sky Hike. There are 3 levels and it is pretty amazing to see. DH did all 3 levels and loved it. He insisted I try it once he came down, and so I did do the first level all the way around. I’m proud of myself for doing it, but I won’t say I loved it by any means. There was a nice little stream area there that L&L really enjoyed playing in once they awoke, and there was also a little ropes course for kids area (though it’s better for kids older than L&L).
After the Sky Hike, we went over to Geyser Towers, which is a climbing area with water features. L&L were nervous and anxious at first, so DH and I both climbed up and got soaked along with them. Before long, L&L were running and climbing all over the place by themselves. When all the attractions shut down at 8pm, we grabbed some food at one of the restaurants (sandwiches, salads, hummus, chips, etc.) and headed to the lawn to wait for the 9:30 laser show. Dinner was expensive; we spent $40+ for the 4 of us and it was all just picnic type foods. It was really nice though out on the lawn and it didn’t feel like we had to wait that long for the show to begin. I thought the entire show was done with lasers; however, they do shoot off real fireworks along with the show. Neither of my kids like loud noises, especially Luke, so I wished I had prepared him ahead of time for the fireworks, but they both did okay and liked the show.
Pros – The Adventure Pass is the way to go if you’re going to do several different attractions at Stone Mountain because individually most things are $9+. I also suggest bringing your own water bottles or buying the $7.99 cup they offer because you can get $0.99 refills. We bought one cup for DH and I to share (the kids had water bottles) and we probably got our cup refilled 5-6 times or more!! Another pro is there is a lot to do there; we didn’t do nearly all that was there, and there are lots of things that will appeal to a variety of ages.
Cons – This was a fun, but very expensive, day. There was a lot to do here and we didn’t get to do everything in one day. We arrived around lunchtime (we ate just before) and we stayed until the laser show ended (it started at 9:30pm). Another con is if you’re afraid of heights (like me) you may not enjoy the Summit Skyride, Sky Hike, or Geyser Towers very much. I did actually enjoy all 3, but it definitely put me out of my comfort zone.
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