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Posts Tagged ‘Atlanta GA’

Learning the Black History in Atlanta: Educational Sites to Visit

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Wondering what black history sites in Atlanta you might visit to teach the kids about the Civil Rights Movement? Atlanta, GA has a number of important black history sites and parks, including the birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr. We visited some of Atlanta’s Civil Rights historic sites, and gathered all the information you need for a visit

America has a rich and diverse history. It’s filled with the good, the bad, and the ugly. Learning about as much of it as possible is essential to understand current affairs better. I recently combined our love for Atlanta with our quest for knowledge. 

I’m glad that Atlanta is just a short drive away because I feel like we’ve barely scratched the surface! Georgia’s capital isn’t just the birthplace of one of the most iconic people from the Civil Rights Movement; it’s home to the stories of so many other important people in the Black History of America. 

Black History Sites in Atlanta: Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park

The place where Martin Luther King, Jr., was born and became the historical figure we all know is just about a block from where he was laid to rest.
*Fun Fact: Did you know that Martin was actually Michael at birth? After a trip to Germany, Michael King Sr. was inspired by the religious leader Martin Luther and changed his and his 5-year-old son’s name from Michael King to Martin Luther King.

The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park in Atlanta is roughly 35 acres within the City of Atlanta, including his place of birth, Ebenezer Baptist Church, a welcome center, and Dr. and Mrs. King’s tomb.

The MLK National Historical Park is a self-guided walkable tour, with convenient parking behind the social justice center, next to Ebenezer Church. It’s open rain or shine, so we didn’t let the sprinkle stop us. If your kids are inquisitive, be prepared to answer tons of questions. 

For children ages 6-12, there is a Junior Ranger program they can complete. You can print out the official activity booklet at home and bring it with you to complete.
*Fun Fact: Did you know that MLK was such a gifted student that he skipped grades 9 and 12, making him only 15 years old when he began college life at Morehouse.

Seeing the things currently open should take about 2 hours and is stroller friendly. 

Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park | 450 Auburn Avenue, Atlanta, GA 

Black History Sites in Atlanta: National Center For Civil and Human Rights

This modern center, dedicated to the fight for equal rights, is a place where you could spend the entire day. The exhibits include a lunch counter sit-in experience, view documents from Martin Luther King, Jr., attend a workshop, and more.

The Center is open Tuesday – Friday and Sundays 12 pm – 5 pm and Saturdays 10 am – 5 pm. The last entry is 4 pm daily.

National Center For Civil and Human Rights | 100 Ivan Allen Jr. Boulevard, Atlanta  

Black History Sites in Atlanta: The Herndon Home 

Sitting in the shadow of the behemoth Mercedes Benz Stadium in the heart of downtown Atlanta is a beautiful home. To look at it, you wouldn’t know the history it holds from the outside. The century-old home (1910) was built by the first Black millionaire in Georgia, Alonzo Herndon. Born into slavery, Alonzo was 20 with just a few dollars in his pocket when he left the life he’d always known to find something better. He cut his first head of hair, which led him down the success path that helped him create affordable housing in the Black communities. Mr. Herndon’s story is inspiring, and this beautiful home is a lasting legacy to all that this once enslaved gentleman overcame.
*Interesting Fact: His father was the plantation owner that his mother and brother were enslaved to. This aided them in being emancipated because the plantation owner’s wife wanted the reminder of her husband’s misdeeds out of view.

The Herndon Home | 587 University Place, Atlanta

John Lewis Mural

Long before John Lewis served 17 terms as a Georgia Congressman, he was a peer of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He was one of the “Big Six” civil rights leaders who organized the March on Washington. The end of legalized segregation in the United States was primarily due to the things he did. John Lewis led what became the first of three separate marches from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, across the Edmund Pettus bridge in 1965. Inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and The Reverend Billy Graham, Lewis was ordained as a Baptist minister. In 2012, at the mural dedication, Lewis added the final touch to the work of art by painting the dot over the “i” in his last name. He passed away in the summer of 2020 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
*Fun Fact: In 1977, President Jimmy Carter put John Lewis in charge of a federal volunteer agency that oversaw programs including the peace corps. This was nearly ten years before he was elected to the House of Representatives for the first time.

John Lewis Mural | Auburn Ave North East, Atlanta, GA 

As mentioned before, there is so much in Atlanta to see when it comes to Black history. I’m already planning a trip back to visit the Madam CJ Walker Museum.

Is there someplace we should see while we are there? 

Want to learn more? Check out our guide for Charleston Sites to Visit in Honor of Black History Month.

Spend Date Night in Atlanta with the Imagine Picasso: Immersive Exhibition

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Are you planning a date night in Atlanta, Georgia? Add Imagine Picasso: The Immersive Exhibition at Pullman Yards to your itinerary! This art exhibition will elevate the magic of your date through a fully immersive art experience. Projections of famous cubist Pablo Picasso’s art tower overhead, while geometric 3-D screens throughout the main room will have you both talking, laughing, and even lost in thought together. The exhibition will be running until June, with a drink package deal to sweeten the date night experience.

Imagine Picasso
Imagine Picasso

Zoo Atlanta: Watch Adorable Panda Cubs Romp and Play in Atlanta, GA!

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Have you visited Zoo Atlanta in Atlanta, GA? The large zoo is home to some amazing animals to observe, like giant pandas, elephants, rhinoceros and tigers. Add in a wide variety of birds, giraffe, otters and a special children’s zoo section with farm animals and attractions, and you have a pretty fabulous day trip.

My family visited Zoo Atlanta when we were in the Atlanta, GA area. Here’s everything we loved, plus some tips to help make your visit super enjoyable.


Fun Things to do on a Day Trip to Decatur, Georgia

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Planning a day trip and need a great destination? Sitting in the shadow of downtown Atlanta sits one of it’s suburbs, Decatur, Georgia. It’s great for a day trip as it’s close enough to the Upstate that you can have a day full of fun but not have to worry about being too tired to get home. Kidding Around’s Melanie loves to explore this artsy hipster little area while visiting family. There are no shortage of restaurants, shops and other neat little finds. Plus Decatur has free WIFI!

My Parents’ Basement

Things to Do in Decatur, GA

Your Dekalb Farmers Market

3000 East Ponce De Leon Avenue, Decatur GA 30030

Believe me when I tell you this is no ordinary farmers market. Whenever I get the chance to take someone there, I do. No matter how I try to explain that they are in for a surprise, they are never prepared. Since 1977 this market has been providing ingredients to local residents, restaurants and caterers. Nothing I say will prepare you for the spectacle that awaits, so I’ll just tell you this – If you love, cook or eat food, you should put this place on your bucket list. Just Go!

Secret Doors Decatur

Downtown Greenville has mice, and Decatur has tiny doors. Hidden around the downtown area are 30 doors decorated by local artists. See how many you can find!

One of these secret doors can be found next to some of the best doughnuts in Atlanta.

Revolution Doughnuts

908 West College Avenue, Decatur GA 30030

This doughnut and coffee shop offers hand-made doughnuts that are almost too beautiful to eat! But we encourage you to just take a photo and then chow down. A place that makes 10 billion doughnuts a year must be doing something right.

Decatur Toy Park

133 Nelson Ferry Road, Decatur GA 30030

This open to the public park is located at First Christian Church, and super popular with the locals. Tricycles, scooters, little tykes type play structures, and more, all donated, are what draws locals to this unique park.

Decatur Beach Party

Speaking of toys, towards the beginning of summer the streets of downtown Decatur are filled with tons of sand (80 tons) and kids and kids at heart are allowed to play and have fun at this huge beach party!

Waffle House Museum

2719 East College Avenue, Avondale Estates GA 30030

In 1955 the very first waffle house opened at this location. They give tours that include free waffles, however only on certain days. To schedule your tour, call 770.326.7086.

My Parents’ Basement

22 North Avondale Road, Avondale Estates GA 30002

This family friendly gastropub is hiding a super-cool secret. It also has a comic bookstore inside that houses old pinball and video games. It’s a really neat spot, and honestly I’m surprised there aren’t more places like this. It’s kid friendly and where else can a young kid learn the fine art of pinball!

Steel City Pops

312 Church Street, Decatur GA 30030

Can you imagine anything as comical as a Popsicle turf war? Well it happened, right here in Decatur. If you’ve had King Of Pops brand in Greenville, try Steel City Pops and see what you think. We won’t tell you who the winner was, you’ll have to guess that on your own.

Alpaca Treehouse in The Bamboo Forest

1162 Fayetteville Road Southeast, Atlanta GA 30316

If you do decide to make a weekend of it, might we suggest a stay with one of the most desired  Air BnB locations around? Just around the corner from Decatur.

Even if you don’t want to make a weekend of your trip, you can still visit this urban farm by taking a 60 minute tour offered. We visited the Alpacas, llamas and their treehouse and it’s a really magical place. All the can be found on our site.

Enjoying Nature in Decatur

Fernbank Forest and Rec Center

2086 North Ponce De Leon Avenue Northeast, Atlanta GA 30307

Part of the Fernbank Museum, this forest is included in the admission fee. This location combined with the Wildwoods attraction of the museum equal 75 acres of outdoor fun to explore.

Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve

2580 Pine Bluff Drive, Decatur GA 30033

This 28 acre nature preserve with a variety of different ecosystems. Have the kids bring binoculars and go on a scavenger hunt. The preserve has geocaching activities too! There is no fee to visit, although donations are always welcome.

Lullwater Park

1463 Clifton Road Northeast, Atlanta GA 30329

This is a 154 acre nature preserve on the campus of Emory University. There are miles of walking trails where all sorts of animals can be observed in their natural habitat. A lake and suspension bridge provide plenty of photo opportunities for your family. Bring a tripod and get those holiday card photos checked off your to-do list!

Woodlands Garden of Decatur

932 Scott Boulevard, Decatur GA 30030

This is a beautiful garden, unfortunately it is currently closed to the public. It is slated to reopen in the fall of 2019, after the expansion is completed. We will update the article as soon as it is reopened.

Mason Mill Park

1340 McConnell Drive – Suite B, Decatur GA 30033

This community park has a nice playground with nearby restrooms. There is a family friendly trail that leads to a historic mill ruin. If your family plays Pokemon Go, this park has plenty to keep trainers busy.

Date Day-Trip to Decatur

If you are looking for a fun day-trip excursion with your main squeeze, there are a ton of grown-up places to enjoy in Decatur.

SOS Tiki Bar

Decatur Square

Decatur Square is the center piece of downtown Decatur and a venue for local music performances. It’s also a Marta Station, if you decide to hop a train into the heart of Atlanta for an adventure.

The Iberian Pig

121 Sycamore Street, Decatur GA 30030

This restaurant is great for a romantic meal. I’ve been several times and it’s by far my favorite restaurant in the Square. Be sure to try the B.W.D.! They are bacon wrapped medijol dates and they are so good! Everything is good, but these we order first every time we go.

Victory Sandwich Bar

340 Church Street, Decatur GA 30030

Famous with locals for the Whiskey & Cola slushies they serve. Pair it with a slider sized sandwich and the peanut ramen noodles for a nice afternoon snack.

The SOS Tiki Bar

Located behind the Victory Sandwich Bar, this little tiki bar has some really yummy drinks and a cozy atmosphere.

Decatur Ghost Tour

101 East Court Square, Decatur GA 30030

The south has seen it’s fair share of atrocities. This makes it a hot bed for (alleged) supernatural activity. Whether you are a believer of the paranormal or not, this tour led by a psychic medium comes highly recommended.

Date Weekend in Decatur

You can do a self-led brewery walking tour in Decatur.

Save this for a weekend away from the kids – because an Uber home from Decatur to the Upstate would not be a wise fiscal idea.

Wild Heaven Beer

135 B Maple Street, Decatur GA 30030

This brewery is offers weekly events that can be found on their social media account, from Yoga to sports game viewing. This brewery is family friendly during tasting room hours.

Three Taverns Brewery

121 New Street, Decatur GA 30030

Tours of this brewery are offered several times a day Fridays through Sundays, and do not require a reservation. The brewery is family friendly and on weekends has food available via food trucks.

Independent Distillery

731 East College Avenue- Suite D, Decatur GA 30030

This distillery produces small-batch rum, dark rum, whiskey & bourbon. You can enjoy flights and cocktails starting at $6.

We look forward to updating this with more fun things as we return to Decatur and seek new adventures!

Do you have a favorite place that we don’t know about yet? We’d love to know!

10+ Fun Things to Do with Kids in Alpharetta, Georgia

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Are you looking for the perfect place to spend a weekend of fun with kids close to Upstate, SC? You should consider Alpharetta, Georgia. Tucked between the Georgia mountains and downtown Atlanta, Alpharetta is a city with close proximity to many attractions and also with a number of local significant events, delicious dining options, and plenty of things to do for the whole family.
To prove it, here’s our list of over 10 fun things you can do with kids in Alpharetta.


On-location | Visiting Spots Seen On The Netflix Show Stranger Things in Atlanta, GA

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Are you a fan of Stanger Things? Originally filmed just around the corner in Atlanta, you can visit the filming locations of iconic scenes from the first seasons of Netflix’s Stranger Things.
The next Stranger Things season is probably Netflix’s most-anticipated title in the works. By the time the 80s science-fiction hit returns, it will have been well over two years since the last season’s release. Production was shut down for the season due to Covid-19, and safety concerns. You can still safely visit almost all of the locations we’ve included from production of Stranger Thing’s first three seasons, and maintain a social distance while doing so.

For more fun activities in the Atlanta area, check out the suburbs of Dunwoody and Decatur, Georgia.


Atlanta’s LEGOLAND – A Must See!

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Local mom Andrea Beam shares her family’s experience at LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Atlanta. Read her review! For more travel options near the Upstate, be sure to consult our Travel Near Greenville page.

My son decided he wanted to have his birthday dinner at Hard Rock Café in Atlanta. What 11 year old does that? Hey, it was cheaper than most venues, so count me in! We decided to turn it into an overnight trip and check out LEGOLAND Discovery Center while there. The overnight stay was an added bonus for our family, but LEGOLAND is completely doable as a day-trip.

I visited Trip Advisor and several other sites and found mixed reviews. I had no idea what to expect.

LEGOLAND is located at Phipps Plaza. I plugged the address into my Google GPS and had no problem. Driving through Atlanta is never high on my “To Do” list, but we survived. You’ll want to avoid morning rush hour traffic. If you don’t, pack a picnic because you’ll be eating lunch on 85!

We parked on the upper parking deck of the mall and entered through the door of one of the department stores. LEGO Land is located in the middle of the mall on the third floor. It doesn’t matter which door you use. Take the escalators. If your kids are anything like ours, they’ll enjoy this as much as the rides inside the building. Doors open at 10 am.

What to expect

The lines were well organized. Once you pay and walk through the front door, you’re pretty much on your own. Pick up a brochure/map at the entrance. There is SO MUCH to see! Most everything is interactive and hands on.

Space Mission is the newest addition and was a BIG hit with our crew. There are stations for the littles (and not-so littles) to build spaceships and a “control center” where they can fly their own ship. None of those compare to the space ship that actually launches every five minutes, complete with smoke and a countdown! I caught this magic on video. The boys have watched it multiple times.

Mini Land was really cool. While it’s not hands-on, we had fun looking at the replicas of the historical places around Atlanta. I had to keep reminding myself that everything is actually built out of LEGOS. It’s unreal.

Duplo Village is the perfect destination for the smallest visitors. There is a play zone as well as soft/hard blocks. Because my kids are older, we didn’t spend time here, but I poked my head in to see what it was about. Everything looked clean and kids were having a good time.

4D Cinema offers multiple movies featuring your favorite LEGO characters! Photos/videos are not allowed during the movie. This is unfortunate because the smiles on our kids’ faces were priceless. They LOVED getting wet! Oops… I hope I didn’t give anything away!

Rides are located inside LEGOLAND. I can’t tell you how impressed I was with the Merlin’s Apprentice. For a brief moment, I felt like I was at Disney World. Okay, that may be a stretch, but it was super cute. At one point a few of the adults were on the ride with NO children. To protect the identity of the guilty (or pitiful) I won’t list names.

Your kiddos will love the Build & Test area. This is the spot where you build your own car to race down the ramps.

If you asked our kids to tell you their favorite thing about LEGOLAND, Pirate Adventure Island would be the unanimous choice. You could easily spend half a day in this play area. There is a huge water table, a slide and several climbing sections. This area reminded me of The Children’s Museum of the Upstate.

One of the biggest complaints in the online reviews was how expensive the food is in the Café. There is another option – a Food Court right outside the entrance and we ate there. An employee, stationed at the exit, will stamp your hand for reentry. There is not an extensive selection of restaurants to choose from but it’s certainly the best option. There is a Moe’s and everyone loves Moe’s, right?!

Before you hit the road, click here to purchase your tickets. You’ll pay more at the door.

Plan your own trip to LEGO Land

LEGOLAND® Discovery Center
3500 Peachtree Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30326

Monday – Friday, 10 am – 7 pm (last entry 5 pm)
Saturday, 10 am – 9 pm (last entry 7 pm)
Sunday, 10 am – 7 pm (last entry 5 pm)

Visit their website.
Follow LEGOLAND on Facebook.

Online tickets start at $12.50 (prices may vary by time and date).

Has your family ever visited LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Atlanta?

Meet Andrea Beam
Andrea Beam works for the Greenville County School System, but her passion is writing! Greenville has always been her home. Her family enjoys exploring everything the town has to offer. In addition to Kidding Around Greenville, she blogs at Sunshine & Rain.