What used to be an area tourists rarely had reason to visit transformed into an epicenter of Atlanta family fun upon the creation of Centennial Olympic Park for the 1996 Olympic Games. Now, kids have their pick of nearby attractions and outdoor play areas, as well as restaurants and lodging. What to do in Centennial Olympic Park with kids:
Enjoy playgrounds and fountains:
When the weather is warm, enjoy the park’s two playgrounds (one is full accessible for all abilities) and many splash fountains and reflecting ponds. Near the CNN Center, find plenty of outdoor seating, and throughout the park, find wide lawns and open spaces, as well as unique sculptures.
Explore the CNN Center:
Atlanta’s CNN Center is the CNN network’s world headquarters. Take a tour of the studios with older kids, or simply stop in to check out the Cartoon Network Store or Atlanta Braves store with kids of all ages.
Spend a few hours (at least) at Pemberton Place:
Home to both the Georgia Aquarium and the World of Coca-Cola, this square also houses outdoor seating, street performers, and dining. The Georgia Aquarium is one of the best we’ve experienced in the country (allow for at least three hours), and the World of Coke is an Atlanta institution, offering fun museum-quality exhibits and a huge cola tasting room (just be prepared for plenty of advertising)!
Grab lunch almost anywhere, including:
Inside the CNN Center
In the park (burger and sandwich shop)
At Pemberton Place (indoor/outdoor hot dog and salad location)
Inside the Georgia Aquarium (family-friendly cafeteria)
Where to stay near Centennial Olympic Park with kids: The Omni Atlanta is located right in the CNN Center. Very impressive! If you want to be steps away from the center and the park, this is where to be. If you don’t mind a five block walk and want lower rates and a better pool, opt for the Sheraton Atlanta.