BY CHRISTIE DEL AMO
It’s inevitable; at some point your kids are sure to say “I’m bored.” So, we’ve come up with a list of 66 things to keep your child busy. From wild rides to backyard games to service projects, there are plenty of kid-friendly activities waiting to be discovered.
EDITOR’S NOTE: BE SURE TO CALL TO CONFIRM TIMES AND ACTIVITIES BEFORE GOING TO THESE VENUES.
AWESOME ANIMAL ADVENTURES
Lions, tigers, and bears, OH MY! Learn about all of the creatures around us by checking them out in their natural habitats at one of these attractions.
Dauset Trails Nature Center, Jackson
Dauset Trails offers your family a chance to see wildlife in their natural habitat. Beavers, a bald eagle, white-tailed deer, black bear and cougar have been spotted in the area. There are also farm animals you can interact with, hiking trails and a woodland garden. You can stop and enjoy lunch under one of their pavilions after a day of sightseeing. There is no admission fee to get into Dauset Trails, but donations are welcomed.
360 Mount Vernon Church Road | 770.775.6798 | ww.dausettrails.com
Georgia Aquarium, Atlanta
The Georgia Aquarium claims to be the world’s largest with more than ten million gallons of water and more aquatic life than any other aquarium. Your kids will be able to check out jellyfish, otters, sharks, electric catfish, and any other swimming wildlife you can think of. They also offer special classes for all age ranges starting as young as 2. General admission is $24.95 for adults and $18.95 for children 3-12.
225 Baker Street N.W. | 404.581.4000 | www.georgiaaquarium.org
Noah’s Ark, Locust Grove
About 30-minutes north on 1-75 from Macon, you’ll find Noah’s Ark. It’s a rehabilitation center for over 1,000 animals. The goal is to rehabilitate the animals and, hopefully, put them back into their natural habitat. You can do a self-guided tour through the facility. Once finished, let your kids play on their newly built playground. Admission is FREE, but donations are greatly appreciated.
712 L G Griffin Road | 770.957.0888 | www.noahs-ark.org
Wild Animal Safari, Pine Mountain
This ‘safari’ offers a unique experience. Visitors can see, touch, and feed hundreds of exotic animals. You can ride through the park, observe, take pictures and feed the animals from your car, one of the park’s Zebra Vans or the guided tour bus (seasonal). Admission is $17.95 for adults and $14.95 for kids 3-12. $$ Saving Tip:AAA members get $2-off their admission. Also, if you visit the Pine Mountain Welcome Center first, they have $2-off coupons as well.
1300 Oak Grove Road | 770.663.8744 | www.animalsafari.com
Zoo Atlanta, Atlanta
From well-known native wildlife to critically endangered species on the brink of extinction, the Zoo offers memorable close encounters with more than 1,000 animals from around the world. Zoo Atlanta is also proud to be one of only four zoos in the U.S. that giant pandas call home. The zoo offers an array of program for infants through adults. Admission is $20.00 for adults and $15.99 for kids 3-11. $$ Saving Tip: Zoo Atlanta offers a free 1-day Family Pass (good for 2-adults and 2-children) just for visiting your local library and watching their Atlanta DVD.
800 Cherokee Avenue S.E. | 404.624.9453 | www.zooatlanta.org
Let’s face it, our beautiful state is meant to be enjoyed outdoors! Try fishing, hiking, or having a picnic at your favorite state park.
Bass Pro Shop, Macon
While, technically, you’re not outside, Bass Pro Shop is an outdoor adventure all the same. With a fish tank, birds flying overhead, and wildlife at every turn, your kids can get up close and personal with nature. The store also hosts different kids activities.
5000 Bass Pro Boulevard | 478.757.7600 | www.basspro.com
Callaway Gardens, Pine Mountain
From blooming flowers to vegetable gardens to a butterfly center, Callaway Gardens offers your family an outdoor experience like no other. They also have recreation activities including golf, fishing and water sports. Summer events include a 4th of July Beach Party, Water Ski and Wake Board Tournament and a Farmers Market.
17800 Highway 27 | 706.663.2281 | www.callawaygardens.com
Geocatching, Georgia State Parks
More than 40 state parks have hidden “caches” that can be found using a GPS unit. It’s the perfect game for families who love technology as well as trails. After finding a certain number of “caches” you get a passport stamped and receive a voucher for a geocatching “coin.” Join the Junior Ranger Program, Children ages 6-12 will have fun learning in the outdoors as they work toward earning a Junior Ranger badge. The experience builds as children work their way through three badge levels.
Indian Springs State Park, Flovilla
With a 105-acre lake and swimming beach, Indian Springs State Park is a great day trip or mini-vacation. The park has a tent, trailer and RV campsite. They also have ten cottages ($115-$125 a night). Their museum, playground and ¾-mile walking trail are perfect for reconnecting with your family this summer.
678 Lake Clark Road, Flovilla | 770.504.2277 | ww.gastateparks.org/IndianSprings
Ocmulgee Heritage Trail, Macon
The Ocmulgee Heritage Trail is the only riverside trail and park system in Middle Georgia. It provides an exceptional environment for biking, walking, boating, bird watching and many other activities. Linking up to four different parks in the city, it’s the perfect chance to get out and have fun in the sun.
478.722.9909 | http://ocmulgeeheritagetrail.com
Ocmulgee National Monument, Macon
Take time to visit this historic site. Ocmulgee is an archeological site. It has temple “mounds” from a Southeastern American Indian culture that lived here 1000+ years ago. There is a museum and shop (selling American Indian art and jewelry, among other items). Plan to spend about 1.5 hours depending on the sites you wish to see and climb.
1207 Emery Highway | 478.752.8257, ext. 214 | www.nps.gov/ocmu
Beat the Georgia heat by cooling off at one of the water attractions. You can cool off on wild rapids or check out exactly what is in the water in your area lakes and rivers.
Centennial Olympic Park, Atlanta
The park was built for visitors to enjoy during the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games. Following the event, a large portion of the park was closed and redesigned for public use. Now you can listen to live music every Tuesday and Thursday at noon in the amphitheater, take part in family fun days every fourth Saturday or just let you kids run through the Fountain of Rings.
285 International Blvd. NW | 404.223.4636 | www.centennialpark.com
High Falls Water Park, Barnesville
It’s not a huge water park, but High Falls does offer enough to keep kids busy. Attractions include two water slides, a pool, a pirate ship with slides and a giant water mushroom. Admission is $10 per person, kids 2 and under are free. Drive a half-mile up and picnic at High Falls State Park with a beautiful view of waterfalls.
76 High Falls Park Drive | 770.296.1982 | www.highfallswaterpark.com
Lake Tobesofkee, Macon
You don’t need to live on the coast to enjoy a beach atmosphere. Just visit Lake Tobesofkee. The recreation area has two large beaches with children’s playgrounds. They are topped every summer with pure, white sand. Each beach is staffed with lifeguards. Lake Tobesofkee is also stocked with a variety of fish including bass, crappie, bream and catfish providing a great opportunity to take your child fishing.
6600 Moseley Dixon Rd. | 478.474.8770 | www.co.bibb.ga.us/laketobesofkee/
Go Fish Education Center, Perry
Your kids can’t get in the water here, but they can learn about what’s in the water. The Go Fish Education Center, part of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, is designed to help visitors take an educational journey through the state’s watersheds to learn about its diverse aquatic wildlife, their natural habitats and the impacts of water pollution. Your children will be able to try out interactive fishing and boating simulators, check out live alligators and visit their indoor hatchery. The facility also plans to add a stocked pond to catch fish. Admission is $5 for adults, $3.00 for children 3-12, children 2 and under are free.
1255 Perry Pkwy. | 478.988.6701 | www.gofisheducationcenter.com
Six Flags White Water, Atlanta
With 50 attractions, one of the world’s tallest free-falls, and tons of great family rides and play areas; Six Flags White Water was a Travel Channel Top 10 Water Park. Enjoy Cliffhanger, Tornado, Little Squirt’s Island, and much more. Adults pay $36.99 and children under 48” pay $26.99.
250 Cobb Pkwy. N # 100 | 770.428.5217 | www.sixflags.com/whiteWater/
Splash in the Boro, Statesboro
With a lazy river, waterslides, play pool and much more, your family can enjoy a water park experience just by driving a couple hours south. Splash in the Boro in Statesboro is a family waterpark and aquatic center. Admission is $10 for visitors under 48-inches and $12 for visitors over that height. $$ Saving Tip: After 4 p.m. Sunday-Friday, admission is only $4. It’s $6 after 6 pm on Saturdays, May through July and $6 after 4 pm on Saturdays in August only.
1388 Highway 24 East | 912.489.3000 | www.splashintheboro.com
Georgia offers a lot of fresh produce. Visiting your local farmers market is a great way to talk to your kids about healthy eating and encourage them to try new things. For fun create a scavenger hunt for seasonal produce or let them pick a new item to try.
City Market on the Green, Macon
Beginning in July, every first, third, and fourth Saturday morning in Poplar Street Park, area merchants, craftsmen, and artisans set up booths of locally grown produce, plants, bakery items, art, crafts and more! This special marketplace is in the location of the old Macon Farmer’s Market, where vendors of the past used to meet to sell and trade their wares. What a great history lesson for the kids!
Elliott Farms, Lizella
Pick your own fresh strawberries or blackberries, then taste some of Elliott Farms’ homemade ice cream. When you’re finished you can visit with some of the animals roaming around.
4761 Holley Road | 478.935.8180 | www.elliottfarmsga.com
International City Farmer’s Market, Warner Robins
Held every Thursday of the month unless otherwise noted. You’ll find fruits, vegetables, baked goods, eggs, organic items such as soaps and candles, and all other items Georgia made, and grown. Visit the market on the corner of Watson Boulevard and South Davis Drive.
Lane Southern Orchards, Fort Valley
Lane is a fourth generation family operation that farms over 2,700 acres of peach trees and 2,100 acres of pecans. You can pick your own strawberries. You can’t pick your own peaches, but you can take a tour through the peach and pecan orchards. Lane also offers a wonderful playground and a café for a quick bite.
50 Lane Road | 478.825.3362 | www.lanesouthernorchards.com
Mulberry Street Market, Macon
Every Wednesday, farmers bring their produce to downtown Macon for you to enjoy. Sellers are more than happy to talk to your child about how their food got from, the ground to their table.
Twin Oaks Fun Farm, Forsyth
Twin Oaks is best known for their beautiful strawberries, but it has so much more. There’s a picnic area, playground, and animals for your to child feed.
1946 Johnstonville Road | 770.358.7932 | www.twinoaksfunfarm.com
Wesleyan Market, Macon
Stop by the market and pick up some fresh food, then make your way down to the pond and feed the ducks and turtles. The market happens the first Saturday of every month on the Wesleyan College campus.#