30 things to do in Atlanta with Children under 5

The chances are that if you have children who are under five years old you are either:

  1. On a budget
  2. You don’t want to blow a lot of money on activities your child may not remember.

Even if they don’t retain the memory, I believe you need to introduce your children to many different types of cultural events at an early age. Music, art, nature, and culture are all things that will make a well-rounded child and eventually adult. Sensory activities that focus on sound, touch, taste, and smells are so important at this age as they are learning about the world around them.

Below I have compiled a list of things to do with your child that won’t break the bank AND gives them some cultural interaction. While the title of this post is about Spring break, this list of 30 activities can be done anytime during the year.

Prime Secret Garden – This is my number one pick of free things to do with children. With toadstools, flowers and birdcage swings the kids will be delighted! Their website and FB page looks less than inviting, but I promise you; you and the kids will love this short walk to a whimsical garden.  Click the here to see our photo at the park.

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Once home plant a mini Garden of your own! – Purchase inexpensive flowers, a pot and let your kiddo plant their secret garden in their backyard!

The Rock Garden – I stole this one from 365 Atlanta Family page. Click the link you won’t regret it. There are tiny structures built out of rocks for you and yours to enjoy.  Once home, use blocks to build your own buildings! FREE

Fernbank Science Center Free Parking and admission to the science center. The Planetarium show will cost you $7.00/Adult and $5.00/Student. There is so much to learn at the science center. The kids may not understand the planetarium just yet, but exposing them to the galaxy will open their minds to realizing that we live on a planet and there is an entire galaxy out there.

‘Staches Studio – Kids art classes in Griffin – Paint a picture, make a pottery bowl, paint Ariel. Prices vary by class.

Take your Pooch to the Dog park –  Click the link, type in your city, find a park and GO! Please make sure your pup is updated on kennel cough and other immunizations or he may get sick from a visit to a dog park. True story, it happened to us. This is FREE!

Visit the Reading Room at Woodruff Park – This outdoor library is a partnership between Central Atlanta Progress and the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library. FREE!

Wild Birds Unlimited – This is a commercial store where you can learn about the joy of the birds. Introduce this joyful hobby to your family. The delight of seeing so many active and energetic birds at your feeders, and knowing that you are having a positive impact on the quality of their lives, makes feeding the birds a real joy; especially this time of the year. Purchase a feeder from the store, plant a bird feeder at home and watch the birds come!

Babyland General Hospital – Now your kids can pick their favorite cabbage patch doll straight from the source.  See a Cabbage Patch baby born, and roam the store full of other toys and fun surprises. This is less expensive than American Girl dolls and your kids will love “picking” their baby.

babyland

Tiny Doors Scavenger Hunt – Hunt for tiny doors around Atlanta. Click the link for locations. You can also purchase your own tiny fairy door for your home. Kids love make-believe at the entrance to their imagination. FREE but a lot of driving. I would say you create events around the tiny doors in the city and catch them while in the area. (There are two locations listed below)

Little Shop of Stories A bookstore located in Decatur that has FREE weekly story reading. Little Shop of Stories is every mom’s dream. It engages kids of all ages, with impressive murals, great books, a play section and tons of scheduled events. (make sure you see the Tiny Door ATL located here)

Federal Reserve Bank Monetary Museum  –  It is never to early to learn this lesson of saving and budgeting money. The Monetary Museum is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Self-guided tours will allow kiddos, and you, a glimpse of the thousands of dollars that are processed here. Your kids will love the bank’s automated vault and the robotic arm that transports bills. Once home, you could use gold coins purchased at the dollar store to reward them on good behavior or tidy room and set up an at-home bank with fake money to teach the kids the importance of saving. FREE

Center for Puppetry Arts – The current show is The Cat in the Hat, and while it isn’t cheap, it is neat. $25.00 per person no matter age. I know you may balk at the price but think about how much it costs to make a puppet and pay the actors.  Save this as a splurge. (There is a Tiny Door ATL here)

Children’s Museum of Atlanta  – Treehouse, Fishing pond, Farm to Table where you can milk a cow, ride a tractor, purchase food and enjoy a pretend meal. 15.99 per person no matter the age. Not cheap, but worth it if you want your kids to engage in sensory play.

Theatre for the Very YoungAlliance Theatre for the Very Young engages both parents and their pre-school children in creative experiences. The fourth wall is dissolved as young ones willingly become a part of the experience. 10/adult 5/students Free/under 5

Music for the Very Young Music for the Very Young is a chamber music series presented by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra specifically for children approximately 3-5-years old and their grown-ups. This program provides a fun and engaging cultural experience for the very young on their own terms while also enabling a young audience to engage in a quality musical experience designed with their cognitive development in mind. 15/Adult $15.00 8/Child (ages 6-17)8.00 Free/Child (ages 3-5)

Toddler Thursdays at the High Museum of Art – Designed for children ages fifteen months through five years with their caregivers, Toddler Thursdays engage children’s creativity and incorporate monthly themes with related artwork, art-making activities, stories, and tours. Explore, learn, and create every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. All events are free with Museum admission. Toddler Thursdays are sibling friendly, so bring the whole gang! 14.50/Adult Free/5 and under

Centennial Olympic Park  – The FREE iconic Fountain of Rings – the largest interactive fountain in the world – is a can’t-miss crowd pleaser at Centennial Olympic Park. Pack a swimsuit and let them run, jump, and get drenched. They will sleep well later! Pack a lunch or go to CNN center and grab a Chick-fil-a.

Decatur Toy Park – Scooters, tricycles, small slides, push cars galore – this toy park is filled with toys families decided to donate, and is a great place for toddlers to play. If your older kids want to slide, swing or hang from monkey bars, they have that, too. If you have old toys that your kids have outgrown, please consider donating. FREE!

Woodruff Art Center Family Fun Sunday FREE events for the entire family

Historic Fourth Ward Park Playground – Packed with climbing elements, slides, swings, rock walls and even a trampoline kids can jump on. The spider-like ropes course and large swings shaped like bowls are two favorites. Don’t miss the nearby splash pad on hot days. FREE!

Toddler Time at Legoland Discovery Center  On Tuesdays enjoy guided play and story time for your toddlers at 10 am in the DUPLO Village. You may stay as long as you wish inside the attraction during normal operating hours. 11.95 per person

Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary – Visit animals at this free, small-scale zoo in Locust Grove. The animals here cannot be released into the wild as they were injured or purchased illegally and kept in confinement. Donations are appreciated, you can see what they are in need of on their website, or drop cash into their donations box.

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North Georgia Live Steamers – This Almost Free place allows you to take a ride on a miniature train!  Educating those interested (especially young people) in the skills and techniques needed to build, maintain and operate small and full-size steam equipment 2/per person

Monastery of the Holy Spirit – Peek into the daily life of the Trappist monks on a tour of Monastery. A beautiful example of Gothic architecture sits on lush grounds where you can stroll, feed the ducks, learn about the art of bonsai. FREE

Smith-Gilbert GardensTreeMendous Play Houses, a new summer exhibition, an initiative that will showcase innovations in sustainability, interactive outdoor play, creative, functional design, and backyard fun. Butterfly house, the Southern Living Pollinator Garden features a variety of pollinator-friendly plants. It features paths winding through sensory plantings to please the senses, vegetable beds, a weaving station, dirt pile and other whimsical elements like chime arbors, bubble pools, and animal topiaries. Don’t miss Hope and Will’s House. 7/Adults Children under five free.

SkyZone – Toddler time to jump on the trampolines from 10am-12pm. Check out the website for days. Almost Free at 5 dollars per child

Tiny Towne – Tiny town with small cars that kids can drive. They learn to wear seat belts, to avoid crashing into stationary objects or other vehicles, and to keep hands on the steering wheel, 20/per tiny driver. While this isn’t the cheapest activity it starts children very young on learning the skill of driving. This is very important if you live in a golf-cart community.

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FurKids – take children of all ages as volunteers to care for adoptable animals. This is an excellent way to test your kid out to see if they are ready to become an owner. FREE!

Wren’s Nest Tour the Wren’s Nest, the home of famous author Joel Chandler Harris, where he penned many of his Uncle Remus tales about Brer Rabbit. Professional storytellers spin their tales here every Sat. Afternoon, one of the few remaining Queen Anne Victorian homes in Atlanta. His life was pretty amazing. FREE!

Keep the Lust for Wandering Y’all!

Fran

 

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