Tag Archives: Zoo Atlanta

20 Things To Do In Atlanta This Summer

As I mentioned yesterday, I’d like to inspire and encourage the “tourist in your own town” mentality this summer. So I’m doing a series of posts about things to do in specific cities with kids this summer. Over the next few weeks I’ll highlight lots of major cities Continue reading 20 Things To Do In Atlanta This Summer

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Visit Atlanta, Georgia

This weekend the country will divide itself. By Sunday evening, most Americans will identify with one of two areas of the country: New England, or anywhere BUT New England. Going out on a limb but I’m guessing if you weren’t already a Patriots fan, you’ll be rooting for the Falcons!

In light of Super Bowl week, I want to feature the homes of both teams in Super Bowl LI. Naturally, I’m starting with the best team…(not that I’m biased!)

When visiting Atlanta, the possibilities are endless (again, I’m not biased at all!) Here are 5 things your family can’t miss:

  1. Sporting Event: Obviously had to start on this subject as it’s the reason for the post. In addition to the Falcons, Atlanta is home to 4 other professional sports teams. Additionally, numerous college and minor league teams call the city home. Because it’s well known for sports, and sporting events Atlanta also holds the College Football Hall of Fame. Perhaps most impressive is the fact that Atlanta hosted the 1996 Olympic Games. You can’t come to the city without doing something “sporty” whether it’s taking in a game or revisiting sports history!

    Our family loves the sports scene!
  2. GA Aquarium: Highly regarded as being one of the best aquariums in the world, the GA Aquarium is home to the only whale sharks in captivity outside of Asia. In addition to the whale sharks, 4 manta rays live in the 6.3 million gallon tank. The aquarium is not only impressive, but it’s very educational. It’s impossible not to spend the day mesmerized by the thousands of fish at the GA Aquarium.

    Standing face to face with a whale shark is indescribable.
  3. Food: Like most Southern towns, Atlanta has great food. From every possible chain restaurant you can imagine, to endless local fare establishments, there’s something for everyone. The city also runs the gamut from incredibly elegant fine dining, to tiny little hole in the wall places. No visitor to Atlanta has ever left hungry! Two restaurants specifically known for good food, and rich history are The Varsity and The Sundial.

    Nothing not to love about The Varsity (especially the onion rings!)
  4. Stone Mountain: If you’ve never been to Atlanta and visited Stone Mountain, the description is almost too much to believe. For starters, it’s a mountain (pretty much the city’s only one!) Carved into the face of the mountain are notable Confederate soldiers: Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis. In addition to the Southern history lesson, guests to Stone Mountain can practically enjoy every activity imaginable. Watch a show. Play golf. Go tubing. Hike. Take a sky ride. Whatever the season, and whatever your interest- Stone Mountain offers a little something for everyone!
  5.  Zoo Atlanta: I really debated featuring 2 of 5 activities that involved animals since it’s not everyone’s thing. However, Zoo Atlanta is just too good to not mention. This zoo is one of just 4 in the US with giant pandas. The creatures are so impressive and guests love watching them play. In addition to the pandas, the zoo is home to over 1,300 different animals. Also worth noting, Zoo Atlanta is one of the oldest zoos in North America and has a rich history of animal conservation.

    My kids can’t get enough of the pandas!

Honorable Mentions

  1. Chick fil A Dwarf House (the very first Chick fil A)
  2. Skyview 

    Fun Ferris Wheel that gives riders a birds-eye view of the beautiful city!
  3. World of Coke
  4. Centennial Olympic Park
  5. CNN Center 

    Ice Cream break at the CNN Center.

Don’t miss tomorrow’s post where I (a bit reluctantly) highlight the home of the Patriots!

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Zoo Atlanta- Georgia

ZooATL

Atlanta is a city known for many things. A few things that come to mind: Coca-Cola, great sports teams, bad traffic, the 1996 Summer Olympic games, and its famous animals. Located just outside of downtown, Zoo Atlanta is home to 4 of the United States’ 12 pandas, a historic collection of gorillas and thousands of other plants, animals and reptiles.

We arrived at Zoo Atlanta early to maximize our day and also to catch the animals in the cool morning hours. My kids were thrilled with the colorful maps. Immediately they began to plan our route to their favorite animals. Throughout the day they were able to refer back to their maps and easily navigate us around the zoo.

We were barely in the gates when we saw the flamingo. After about 10 minutes of staring at the beautiful birds, I had to remind the kids that we had A LOT more animals to see.

One of the best parts about Zoo Atlanta is how clearly all of the animals are labeled. Because they have so many different species, it’s easy to have trouble identifying them all. Multiple signs are located around every habitat and besides the name, you can also learn facts about the animal.

Zoo

Of course, one animal needed no identification! We could not wait to make our way to the pandas.

It’s really a good thing we planned a long day at the zoo- we spent almost an hour watching the pandas without even realizing it. They are SO playful and fun! And I love how photogenic they are. At times it really felt like they were posing and smiling for my camera.

This one did a forward roll every time she walked in front of my daughter. It was hilarious!

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When we finally tore ourselves away from the pandas, we found the gorillas equally entertaining.

One of the awesome things about Zoo Atlanta is that there are multiple viewing areas for many of the animals. We were able to observe the gorillas from several different vantage points.

What better way to view Naked Mole Rats than to climb right into their tunnels…

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Other family favorites included:

The Komodo Dragon

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The Bear sleeping with his tongue out

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The Red Panda

The Lions

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Our last stop of the day was at the brand new Reptile HouseDSC_2717

My kids LOVE creepy crawly creatures. They could not tear their eyes away from this snake that was most certainly trying to get out of his cage to get me!

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While my children and husband soaked in every little snake and creature in the room, I chose to study the awesome facts. Zoo Atlanta did a fantastic job with the education piece of their exhibits.

Our visit to Zoo Atlanta was one of the highlights of our visit to a wonderful city. The zoo is clean, well laid-out, and it beautifully incorporates the animal habitats. The animals were also easy to view.

*Our visit was hosted by Zoo Atlanta*

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Mother’s Day Deals

May

Mother’s Day is officially less than one week away. If this catches anyone else off guard, you’re not alone. I thought it was the next weekend too. Regardless, it’s coming soon and it’s time to make plans. Or at least start dropping a lot of hints about what you’ve got in mind.

This will be my ninth Mother’s Day (with kids. Obviously, I’ve been celebrating my mom for a lot longer than that!) Over the years I’ve realized that I tend to have dreams in my head, but I rely on my husband to be a mind reader. It took me a few years to learn that I really need to be specific about my plans.

While the idea of sleeping in and being completely worthless on Mother’s Day is certainly appealing, in reality it never works for me. For starters, Mother’s Day is on a Sunday. Although we typically hit our late church service, the idea of sleeping in on a Sunday doesn’t really work. Once we’ve gotten up and gone to church, I love to DO something. Some of my favorite Mother’s Days have been the ones where we do a quick little day trip as a family.

Here are a few places I’ve found that are offering special deals for Mother’s Day. I’m sure there are a TON of others (these were just ones that popped up in my email this past weekend.)

  • Moms get in free at the Biltmore (details here.)
  • Moms get half price admission at Georgia Aquariums (details here.)
  • Moms get in free at Milwaukee Zoo (details here.)
  • Moms get in free at Zoo Atlanta (details here.)
  • Moms get in free at the Creation Museum (details here.)

Again, this is just a small sampling of places that offer free or discounted admission. Check in your area, or in an area that would be a reasonable day trip! What a fun way for you to make memories as a family on Mother’s Day. Also, don’t forget about all the places where Mom can eat free!

How do you want to spend your Mother’s Day?

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