Marietta Fire Museum

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Image courtesy of
mariettaga.gov

Website: http://www.mariettaga.gov/city/fire/museum

Cost: Free

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.

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The Museum of the Jimmy Carter Library

Website: http://www.jimmycarterlibrary.gov/museum/

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.

Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University

Image courtesy of http://carlos.emory.edu/

Image courtesy of http://carlos.emory.edu/

Website: http://carlos.emory.edu/

Cost: $8, Adults; $6, Kids 6-17; Free, Kids 5 and under

Times: Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sunday 12 noon – 5 p.m

Location: Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory, 571 South Kilgo Circle, Atlanta, GA 30322. Park at the Fishburne Deck or take public transportation and save 20% on museum admission.

Kelly’s Comments: The kids and I visited this small museum for the first time this summer. It’s heavy on the ancient artifacts and archeological finds. There are some really neat displays here, such as mummies, giant ear spacers, ancient snot suckers (yep, babies have been tortured by these for millennia), coins, jewels, and cuneiform tablets. The museum is best for the 7-and-up set, as it’s very “no touch” and also quite monochromatic (many of the artifacts are brownish-clay/pottery, so not a lot of bright things to keep the little ones interested). My 8-year-old daughter loved it; my 5-year-old son whined the whole way through. C’est la vie.

INK: Interactive Neighborhood for Kids

Image courtesy of www.inkfun.org

Image courtesy of http://www.inkfun.org

Website: http://www.inkfun.org

Cost: $8 ($6 on Sundays)

Times: Monday through Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm; Sunday, 1 pm to 5 pm

Location: Interactive Neighborhood for Kids, 999 Chestnut Street, Gainesville, GA 30501

Kelly’s Comments: Drive an hour north of Atlanta for this delightful children’s museum. Set up like a mock town and sized for little hands, kids can visit pretend banks, diners, dentists and doctors, grocery stores, beauty salons, libraries, and more. The preschool set will thrill to sit inside a police cruiser (let’s hope they don’t make that a habit!), an old-timey fire engine, and an airplane. There is a community room/snack area with picnic tables to enjoy a packed lunch. Be warned–visitors enter and exit through a highly tempting gift shop. Allow plenty of time to see this stimulating museum, as I had a hard time convincing my offspring to leave each exhibit in order to see the next.

Booth Western Art Museum

Image courtesy of http://boothmuseum.org/

Image courtesy of http://boothmuseum.org/

Website: http://boothmuseum.org/

Cost: Adults, $10; Age 13-17, $7; Age 12 and under, Free

Times: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm; Thursday, 10 am to 8 pm; Sunday, 1 pm to 5 pm

Location: Booth Western Art Museum, 501 Museum Drive, Cartersville, GA 30120

Kelly’s Comments: I had never heard of this museum until a couple of years ago, so the kids and I headed up to Cartersville last summer and were very pleasantly surprised. The museum is affiliated with the Smithsonian, and it’s in a architecturally-pleasing building that’s not too big or overwhelming, but not so small that everyone is done in half an hour. Kids will enjoy the Western, cowhand, and Native American art themes. The best part, though, is the kids’ Sagebrush Ranch, located on the bottom floor. The rugrats can ride a “stagecoach,” sit atop a (fake) horse, dress up in Western gear, play kitchen in the Chuckwagon, and generally have a great time running around/yippie-ki-yaying without bothering the adult museum patrons on the floors above.