Atlanta History Center with kids

During a family vacation to Atlanta, absolutely do not overlook the Atlanta History Center, located well out of downtown in the neighborhood of Buckhead. This sprawling museum on 33 wooded acres is tucked into the heart of a beautiful Atlanta neighborhood and is both peaceful and thought-provoking. For families visiting from outside the South, it’s especially fascinating to learn about local Civil War and Olympic Games history.

Atlanta History Center

The Atlanta History Center is absolutely a full-scale, serious museum that will satisfy grown-ups, but it’s still very accessible to kids. To the side of the main lobby is a children’s play area that’s seen better days, but don’t let that fool you. The Civil War Turning Point gallery includes multimedia presentations for each section, as well as interactive exhibits that ask kids questions and pose ethical dilemmas. In the Olympic Games gallery, kids can take part in a multi-step quiz game that takes them throughout the exhibit.

Turning Point of Civil War exhibit

Olympic Games exhibit Atlanta History Center

The current traveling exhibit, Slavery at Jefferson’s Monticello is geared toward older school-aged kids, but is absolutely fascinating. Adults will learn right along with kids about the families of slaves, and their fates, of Monticello, and information is presented in a way that engages kids into the story behind the history.

Families with younger kids and toddlers will still find much to do outdoors, where wooded trails and a garden of native Georgian plants adorn an old rock quarry. Families can take a guided tour through the Smith Family Farm, or look through the outbuildings, barn, and slave cabin on their own. Guided tours of the adjacent Swan House is also not to be missed, as it tours families through a Southern mansion from the 1920s-30s era complete with original furnishings. Our guide did an excellent job describing the day-to-day life of the family who called it home, and kids will enjoy seeing children’s bedrooms from that period.

Atlanta History Center Smith Farm

Atlanta History Center

It’s worth checking the Atlanta History Center website for events and seasonal activities, as they offer monthly events (many of which are ideal for kids). Plan on 3-4 hours to tour the museum and grounds, including time to eat a meal at one of two restaurants.

Date last visited:

February 10, 2013

Distance from the interstate:

Several minutes from I-75.

Admission:

Tickets are $16.50 for adults and $11 for kids (3-12), but you can save $2 by buying online, and admission includes the guided tours of the historical houses as well as the Margaret Mitchell House downtown. Atlanta History Center is also included in Atlanta CityPASS (recommended).

Save up to 43% on Atlanta’s 5 best attractions with CityPASS. Shop Now!

Hours of operation:

Monday-Saturday 10 am to 5:30 pm, Sundays noon-5:30 pm. Of note: museum restaurants are not open on Sundays.

Parking:

Free garage parking

Directions:

The museum is located at 130 West Paces Ferry Road, Buckhead area. Due to its distance from main streets, public transit is not recommended (by us). Taxis are approximately $20 from downtown.

As we disclose whenever applicable, we experienced the center as guests of Atlanta tourism, for the purpose of review. This hospitality came with no expectation of positive review.

About the author

Amy Whitley AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly as a family travel expert at Go Green Travel Green and Practical Travel Gear, and contributes to Outdoors NW as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.

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