- Image courtesy of
Times: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday; weekends by appointment only
Location: Marietta Fire Museum, 112 Haynes Street, Marietta, GA 30060. The museum is inside Fire Station #1. Parallel park along the street or in the deck one block over.
Kelly’s Comments: This small museum is a great way to entertain the kids (and yourself) for half an hour. It features antique fire trucks and water pumps, firefighter uniforms, fire-themed toys, and historical fire communications equipment. (I got a chuckle out of the late-80s/early-90s car bag phone–nice to know that a device from my youth is now “history.”) Since the museum is in a working, modern fire station, my 5-year-old son loved hearing actual fire dispatches over the loudspeaker (“Someone passed out at the Costco!“). The museum is not suited for the toddler set, as touching is not allowed; plus it’s bi-level, so the large staircase thwarts little legs and strollers. I’m sure there’s an elevator somewhere but I didn’t see it, nor did I see bathrooms, so be aware of these factors before you go.
Cost: $8, Adults; Free, Kids 16 and under
Times: 9:00 am – 4:45 pm, Monday – Saturday; 12:00 pm – 4:45 pm, Sunday
Location: The Museum of the Jimmy Carter Library, 441 Freedom Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30307. Parking is free.
Kelly’s Comments: I hate to admit it, but I didn’t really know much about Jimmy Carter before I visited this museum. He was President when I was born, so obviously I wasn’t paying too much attention to politics back then. I finally got around to visiting this museum sans kids, because I had the feeling it would be over their heads, and I was right. Older kids (I’d say 8th grade and up) and adults will enjoy the museum for its content, but if you bring the younger ones, at least you won’t have to worry about them breaking anything, as all artifacts are behind glass. The grounds are exceptionally lovely and would appeal to the younger set–there are a couple of lakes, several statues, and lots of shady, grassy areas, with the occasional peek of a downtown skyscraper. One of the most interesting exhibits was all the gifts that the Carters had received from around the world. Visitors will also enjoy the replica of the Oval Office as it looked during 1977-1981.
Cost: Free for egg hunts; $5 for unlimited rides and inflatables
Times: 10 am to 5 pm, usually the last Saturday before Easter. In 2014, it’s on April 19.
Location: Sprayberry High School football field, 2525 Sandy Plains Road, Marietta, GA 30066
Kelly’s Comments: The Community Egg Drop has gotten bigger and bigger each year (last year’s attendance topped 22,000!). With hunts organized by age group, and a helicopter that flies over and drops thousands of eggs from the sky, toddlers through elementary-aged children are sure to be impressed. Hey, it’s pretty cool for the adults too (we all wish we were the ones in the helicopter, right!?). Besides the great grab bags, which usually include coupons and freebies from local merchants, there are a variety of inflatables, slides, carnival-style games, and door prizes. Enjoy free pictures and high-fives with the Easter Bunny, the Chik-Fil-A Cow and the Zaxby’s Chicken.
Times: Usually mid-September. The 2013 parade is on 9/21 at 10 am.
Location: Parade travels one mile south from Princeton Lakes Drive to Fountains of Olde Towne Shopping Center, 736 Johnson Ferry Road, Marietta, GA 30068
Kelly’s Comments: Read more about the 2013 parade at the following link: http://www.eastcobber.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/2013-Media-Kit_ParadeFestival.pdf. The parade features local school children (and teachers), marching bands, civic organizations, businesses, and East Cobb houses of worship. There’s plenty of candy thrown to onlookers!
Image courtesy of northgeorgiastatefair.com
Cost: Varies, depending on what you want to do. General admission: Adults, $7; 10 and under, Free; Parking, $3.
Times: Varies by day. See http://northgeorgiastatefair.com/Directions/directions.html
Location: Jim Miller Park, 2245 Callaway Road, Marietta, GA 30008
Seasonal: In 2013, the Fair is open September 19-29.
Kelly’s Comments: I haven’t always been an Atlanta girl, you know…I grew up in the country. Thus, I have a soft spot in my heart for good ol’ fashioned country fairs. The North Georgia State Fair is a great example of such a venue, although admittedly it isn’t as good in the livestock category as other, more rural fairs (such as the Coosa Valley Fair in Rome). On Family Day (9/21) kids and adults can enjoy free admission and rides for an hour. Bring cans for MUST Ministries on select days and receive free or discounted admission. Each night, the 7,500-seat arena has free concerts, pageants, or other events. There are rides for every age level, even the wee ones. Do I smell funnel cake?
Image courtesy of zooatlanta.org
Cost: Ages 12 and up, $21.99; Ages 3-11, $16.99; Ages 2 and under, Free. Discounts for seniors, military, and students.
Times: Weekdays, 9:30 am to 5:30 pm; Weekends, 9:30 am to 6:30 pm
Location: Zoo Atlanta, 800 Cherokee Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30315
Kelly’s Comments: Monkeys…naked mole rats…warthogs…these are all words we use to describe our own children. Of course, one can venture to Zoo Atlanta to see the real creatures, too! As a teacher, I like the zoo because it offers two free Educator Days per year (usually in March and September). In addition to the fun animal exhibits, many of which are in the shade, there are two playgrounds, a kiddie train, a petting zoo, and enough animal-themed crap in the gift shop to make your kids wild with excitement (who doesn’t need gorilla-shaped lip gloss?). Come early or on a weekday to beat the crowds. Snag a coupon for $3 off in various Atlanta-themed magazines around town.
Website: http://www.bigcreekgreenway.com/ or http://www.alpharetta.ga.us/index.php?p=136
Times: Open daily from dawn to dusk
Locations: There are several trail access points; the closest to East Cobb is at 6800 North Point Parkway, Alpharetta, GA 30022
Kelly’s Comments: I’ve passed this woodsy biking/hiking trail for years and finally rode on it this morning. I’m now mad at myself that I’ve wasted all this time before going! It’s gorgeous! It’s very shady, quiet, and serene (Did I mention that I saw 5 deer this morning?), but not so much that one feels unsafe. The trails are paved, wide, and flat, which is unusual in Georgia. This makes it great for kids (or for parents pulling their 3-year-olds in a trailer behind the bike.). There are a couple of bathroom stops along the way and also a cool little free bike repair kiosk. The Fulton part of the trail is about 8 miles long. I didn’t even begin to explore the mountain bike trails (with a 3-year-old? Bwahahaha!) or the pedestrian-only paths, so I look forward to learning more about the Greenway in the years to come.