Spring Break 2020: Staycation Ideas
It feels as though we just had winter break, but spring break is just around the corner, April 6-10, to be exact. If you don’t have big travel plans, and you’re planning on sticking around here, there are plenty of fun activities just a short drive away to keep the kiddos entertained.
Save on popular attractions by purchasing a CityPass for the week. This nine-day pass includes access to five Atlanta attractions. Options include CNN Studio Tours, Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola, the College Football Hall of Fame, Zoo Atlanta or the Center for Civil and Human Rights.
Visit the tallest point in Georgia, just outside Blairsville. The visitor facility will reopen for the season in mid-March. Enjoy the hiking trails, observation deck, picnic areas, Mountain Top Theater, exhibit hall and the gift shop and general store. Admission is $5 for adults; ages 15 and younger are free. https://cfaia.org.
Center for Puppetry Arts
Rethink everything you know about puppets and puppeteers with a visit to the on-site museum, which is appropriate for all ages. Tickets start at $12.50 and kids ages 2 and younger are free. Guided tours are available for an additional $4. Shows and workshops also are available. 1404 Spring St. NW, Atlanta. https://puppet.org.
Children’s Museum of Atlanta
Experience possibility through play! The Children’s Museum of Atlanta offers a world of hands-on exploration and discovery that sparks imagination and inspires learning. Programs and exhibits are designed for children ages 0-8. Programs and exhibit focus areas include arts, culture, geography, engineering, health and wellness, literacy, mathematics, science, social and emotional, and technology. 275 Centennial Olympic Park Drive NW, Atlanta. https://childrensmuseumatlanta.org.
CNN Studio Tour*
Take a 50-minute walking tour with behind-the-scenes access to the world headquarters of CNN. Get an inside look at how a live broadcast is produced and sent to viewers all over the world, while seeing a more in-depth look at how the world’s largest news organization operates. Individual and group rates are available. 190 Marietta St. NW, Atlanta. https://tours.cnn.com/#.
Dahlonega Gold Mining
Take a short drive up to the North Georgia mountains to mine for gold and gemstones. Indoor mining is available, so you can pan for gold or gems rain or shine at both the Consolidated Gold Mining Co. (https://consolidatedgoldmine.com) and Crisson Gold Mine (https://www.crissongoldmine.com). After your mining adventure, head over to the Dahlonega Gold Museum to learn about America’s first gold rush and the mining history of Lumpkin County. 1 Public Square N., Dahlonega. https://gastateparks.org/DahlonegaGoldMuseum.
Fernbank Science Museum
Science becomes an adventure with the on-site planetarium, observatory and exhibits, including permanent displays like the Apollo 6 and live animal exhibits. General admission and parking is free. Tickets for the planetarium shows are sold 30 minutes before each show. Planetarium shows are $7 for adults and $5 for students and seniors. 156 Heaton Park Drive, Atlanta. http://www.fernbank.edu/fsc.html.
Experience the world beneath the waves at the largest aquarium in the Western Hemisphere. The Georgia Aquarium is home to hundreds of species and thousands of animals across its seven major galleries. Check out whale sharks, beluga whales and other marine life. 225 Baker St. NW, Atlanta. https://www.georgiaaquarium.org.
Legoland Discovery Center
Experience the ultimate indoor Lego playground with two rides, 10 Lego build and play zones, a 4-D cinema and more! Located inside Phipps Plaza, this family attraction is designed specifically for children ages 3-10. Group rates are available. 3500 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta. https://atlanta.legolanddiscoverycenter.com.
Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary
The animal sanctuary has over 1,500 animals in various categories, including bears, lions, tigers, birds, monkeys, livestock and more. Self-guided tours are free to visitors of all ages, noon-3 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Donations are encouraged. Walk on the Wild Side and Big Cat Feeding tours are available for a fee, along with the Painting With Doc, the tiger, experience. 712 L. G Griffin Road, Locust Grove. http://www.noahs-ark.org.
Pine Mountain Wild Animal Safari
Go on safari right here in Georgia! This drive-through safari park features 75 species of exotic animals and more than 550 of them on 500 acres. Experience the 3.5-mile driving tour from the comfort of your own vehicle, or join a bus tour. Animals frequently come right up to the vehicles, so you can come face-to-face with camels, zebras, elk, water buffalo, giraffes and more. 1300 Oak Grove Road, Pine Mountain.
Stone Mountain Park
Spring Fun Break at Stone Mountain Park offers attractions and live entertainment the whole family will enjoy, like taking a walk through the treetops on SkyHike, riding around the mountain on the Scenic Railroad or soaring to the summit on Skyride. Finish the day off with the return of the Lasershow Spectacular. Group rates are available. 1000 Robert E. Lee Blvd., Stone Mountain. https://www.stonemountainpark.com.
Tellus Science Museum
This Smithsonian Institution-affiliate natural history and science museum boasts 120,000 square feet of hands-on learning exhibits. Tellus is one of the largest science museums in the Southeast, with more than 4,000 rocks, gems and minerals on display. Children can conduct experiments with light, sound, magnets and more. The museum features four main galleries: the Weinman Mineral Gallery, the Fossil Gallery, Science in Motion, and the Collins Family My Big Backyard. 100 Tellus Drive, Cartersville. https://tellusmuseum.org.
World of Coca-Cola*
Interact with multiple exhibits, learning about the history of the iconic Atlanta-based beverage brand, and sampling more than 100 beverages from around the world. Visit the newest gallery on the “It’s the Real Thing” ad campaign. VIP guided tours also are available. 112 Baker St. NW, Atlanta. https://www.worldofcoca-cola.com.
*Available via Atlanta CityPass. www.citypass.com.