The Centennial Park District and is a hub of restaurants and world-class activities that the whole family can enjoy, even if you only have 24 hours.
The Centennial Park District
Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta was once the site of the 1996 Summer Olympics. Over the last couple of years, the area has grown by leaps and bounds. The area around the park is now known as The Centennial Park District and it’s a hub of restaurants and world-class activities that the whole family can enjoy, even if you only have 24 hours.
We recently decided to take a little staycation and spend 24 hours exploring the area around Centennial Olympic Park and we had a fantastic time! Let me take you along on our 24 hours of food, fun and family time!
Our first stop was the Children’s Museum of Atlanta. This museum is a sensory wonderland designed for kids 0-10. The museum has several permanent exhibits as well as temporary exhibits that change every few months.
The permanent exhibits include:
Fundamentally Food – Kids will learn all about where food comes from while they play on the farm, shop in the grocery store and even serve up some good eats in the museum’s play diner.
Gateway to the World – Active kids love this exhibit and will have fun climbing throughout the layers of the earth, launching a rocket into space and visiting 6 continents.
Let Your Creativity Flow – Tactile kiddos will love this exhibit, here they can sculpt with kinetic sand, paint on walls or dress up and put on a little show for their family.
Step up to Science – This exhibit is located on the mezzanine of the museum and shows kids the science behind the human body, robot technology and the wonder of light. Hands on experiments are frequently available for your budding scientist.
Tools for Solutions – Problem solvers will love this area (it is our favorite area!) Here, little builders can move balls with 6 simple machines, or build a house with blocks or even use real tools and materials in the build-it lab.
Once you exhaust yourself and your kids at the Children’s Museum, you are going to need to need to refuel. One of the best family places to eat in The Centennial Park District is Max’s Coal Oven Pizza.
Max’s has been around since 2009 and boasts the only coal-burning oven in Georgia, which makes for a wonderfully crisp crust for a true New York pizza experience. Max’s serves delicious pizza, salads, sandwiches and pasta that your whole family will love. My kids thoroughly enjoyed watching the pizza makers toss the dough around, they even gave them some dough to try out their own dough tossing skills.
Once your belly is full of delicious food, you will be ready to hit another fantastic attraction.
The Georgia Aquarium is the largest aquarium in the western hemisphere and it is also the only aquarium in the US that has whale sharks. We love this aquarium and all the exhibits inside, there is so much to see here!
Not miss exhibits include:
Cold Water Quest- All your favorite chilly water swelling marine animals can be found in this exhibit. Beluga whales, African penguins, southern sea otters, and the brilliant giant Pacific octopus all make cold water quest their home along with many other fascinating creatures.
Ocean Voyager – This is by far the most popular and thrilling exhibit in the entire aquarium. Here you can ride on the moving sidewalk through the viewing tunnel and watch while whale sharks, giant rays, and sea turtles swim overhead. You can also sit in front of the giant tank and watch all the fish swim by.
Tropical Diver – This colorful exhibit is home to jellies of all kinds, garden eels, and a beautiful coral reef. Kids love to sit and watch this eco-system in action.
River Scout – Explore the fish and animals that make the rivers their home. From albino alligators to clawed Asian river otters, your family will enjoy discovering all the river animals and learning about their natural habitat.
Dolphin Tales – Don’t miss this fun dolphin show that is as entertaining as it is educational. Dolphin trainers will dazzle you with how smart dolphins are all while sneaking in some fascinating dolphin facts. (Tips: 1. Don’t sit in the first 10 rows unless you want to get completely soaked 2. get there at least 30 minutes early to make sure you can get seats together)
Aquanaut Adventure – Kids of all ages will love this interactive part of the aquarium. Climb across the rope bridge and into a world of hands on learning and exploration. This is also where the stingray touch tank it located (always a hit with the whole family!)
As you can see there is TONS to do at The Georgia Aquarium, enough to keep your whole family happy and entertained for hours!
Once you have had enough aquarium fun, it will probably be time for dinner and, with all that walking, I’m sure your kids will be starving (mine were!). Luckily, it’s just a short walk to some great food and video game fun at GameX.
GameX is an exciting arcade and eatery that boasts over 60 games including the most popular games of today and even some blasts from the pasts that you loved from your childhood. They have an extensive menu that is sure to please the whole family, it’s the perfect place to recharge and unwind after a long day of exploring with your kids.
Once you decide to call it a day, just dart across the street to the beautiful Embassy Suites Centennial Olympic Park. Here you can rest your tired head in their spacious suites and comfy beds. There is room for your whole family to spread out comfortably without worry of feeling like you are right on top of each other.
In the morning take advantage of the Embassy Suites delicious hot breakfast and maybe even take a dip in the pool and take in the beautiful city views while the kids splash around after breakfast.
As you can see The Centennial Park District is a fun and exciting place to visit with your family. It’s so easy to walk from attraction to attraction and you have a plethora of restaurants to choose from. You definitely want to make sure The Centennial Park District is on your must-do list when visiting (or living in) Atlanta!
Make sure to check out their new website to see even more fun things to do!
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