Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport was ranked as the busiest airport in the country by the FAA in 2015. With the millions of travelers that pour through the gates every year, there’s a good chance your parents might be among the crowd at some point.
They come with way too many suitcases, they come with food and they come with comments about how you never clean those corners of the floor where the broom doesn’t fit. Sometimes their visits are planned, and other times they come as a surprise and to cook all the food you bought for the week in a single night. But no matter how they arrive, they come with love.
In order to keep your parents busy no matter when they might make their way to your front door, WABE has compiled a list of 25 places to go to keep your elders occupied through the duration of their Atlanta visit.
The Atlanta CityPass offers visitors the ability to see a few of Atlanta’s more popular attractions with a single ticket. Offering admission to the Georgia Aquarium, the World of Coca-Cola, the CNN Center, Zoo Atlanta, the Center for Civil and Human Rights, the Fernbank Museum and the College Football Hall of Fame, these tickets can be customized to meet the needs and desires of any Atlanta visitor. Whether Mom and Dad want to taste soda from all over the world or look at the history of plays and passes in college sports or anything in-between, this one is sure to keep them busy for at least a little while.
Check Out The State’s Gardens.
For parents who want to see the city but are done with long distances, a trip to the Atlanta Botanical Garden will keep them moving, tire them out and give them plenty of photo opportunities with their favorite child. Depending on what time of year families visit, this 30-acre attraction hosts different events throughout the year based on what flowers may be blooming around that time.
For families who don’t mind a bit of a scenic drive, Gibbs Gardens in Ball Ground, Georgia boasts the largest daffodil display in the nation, with over 20 million flowers. This site features displays from around the world, including a replica of the bridge featured in Monet’s painting “Water Lilies,” a massive Japanese Garden, and more.
If your parents aren’t already too tired from the trip, it might be nice to take them outside the city to see the beauty and history of the state of Georgia as a whole, from Savannah, where Forrest Gump sat on a now-iconic bench and told his tale, to the sprawling Blue Ridge Mountains, where hikers can see the sprawling landscape fade into a deep blue from Brasstown Bald, the highest peak in Georgia.
Attend A Festival, Calm Or Otherwise.
Atlanta sees a huge number of festivals throughout the year, and parents are bound to be intrigued by these events whether they’re looking for something chill and cultured, or loud and exciting.
For parents who want to enjoy something quiet but lively, cities like Marietta and Smyrna in metro Atlanta host cultural festivals like Marietta Art in the Park and the Smyrna Fall Jonquil Festival, where festival goers can peruse art, hear live music and enjoy local foods in a calm, friendly atmosphere. Inside the perimeter, the Inman Park Festival offers a Tour of Homes, where visitors can peer into the local, historic homes of the neighborhood.
For parents who enjoy a louder, more wild time, festivals like the Sweetwater 420 Fest pair one of the country’s top U.S. breweries, according to the Brewer’s Association, with a massive music festival that sees performers from all over.
Cheer On The Family's Favorite Teams
There’s always a sport in season throughout the year, and Atlanta’s teams, from the Braves to the new Atlanta United, present a great opportunity to spend some quality time with the parents on a bleacher with some classic sporting food. Atlanta’s sports scene has seen its share of headlines, both hopeful and unfortunate, after the Falcons’ second-ever journey to the Super Bowl in 2017.
The idea of taking a tour in your own home city might sound a little cheesy, but this eclectic collection of city-wide tours promises to educate even Atlanta natives on some of the curious history of Atlanta, from tasting the foods Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. tasted as he planned the Civil Rights Movement to visiting President Snow’s office from “Mockingjay,” to trying out a Segway for the first time. Atlanta is packed with tours that each have something a little different to offer.
Revisit Atlanta History
Atlanta has had a tremendous impact on the global community. Whether it’s the experience of bringing the world together in our city in 1996 to witness the Centennial Olympic Games or keeping the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. alive at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, the city of Atlanta is proud of the mark it’s left on the world. For those who want to learn about Atlanta’s vast history, the Atlanta History Center might be worth a look. Additionally, the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library tells the tale of Georgia’s only home-grown president.