As the holidays take hold, house guests arrive for seasonal gatherings and that slight chill in the air becomes more of a permanent fixture in the South. Parents of young Atlantans may want to have a few tricks up their sleeves in order to keep little ones entertained. While a few extra layers may suffice for a chilly day trip to a local park, the occasional dreary, rainy and cold day will likely require something a little more imaginative and climate-controlled. Fortunately, life in a vibrant city like Atlanta means lots of delightful distractions and dry destinations.
Fernbank Museum of Natural History
767 Clifton Road N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30307
For families with kids who have a particular fondness for outdoor play, a visit to Fernbank’s NatureQuest® exhibit is the perfect answer for a chilly, dreary day spent indoors. They can while away hours exploring the natural world through hundreds of hands-on experiences inside the trunk of a red oak, throughout each corner of a multi-level clubhouse and beneath a virtual waterfall. Just across the hall, the Sensing Nature exhibit provides even more interactive fun with stations designed to stimulate their senses. Guests of all ages can also enjoy a larger-than-life show at Fernbank’s IMAX Theater, take a load off in the shadows of soaring dinosaur skeletons in the museum’s Great Hall and while away an afternoon exploring the various exhibits of this terrific local treasure.
LegoLand® Discovery Center Atlanta
3500 Peachtree Road N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30326
Located at Phipps Plaza in Buckhead, LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Atlanta promises so much more than a respite from the rain. Visitors and LEGO® enthusiasts alike can learn tips on how to construct LEGO masterpieces from the Master Model Builder, take a teensy-weensy tour of Atlanta in MINILAND®, build a race car in LEGO® Racers, hop aboard the Kingdom Quest Laser ride, catch a show in the 4D cinema and much more. Afterwards, some of the city’s best shops and restaurants await at both Phipps Plaza and Lenox Square – conveniently located just across the street. It’s the makings of a win-win kind of day for both kids and parents despite the weather outside.
225 Baker St. N.W.
Atlanta, GA 30313
Boasting the reigning title as the largest aquarium in the world, Georgia Aquarium tops just about everyone’s Atlanta play day “to do” list – cloudy skies or not. Each exhibit hall showcases delightful aquatic creatures from nearly every corner of the planet as they glide gracefully through the water and their human guests stay blissfully dry. Of course, a little water never hurt anyone – so those looking for front row seats to the live-action show “Dolphin Tales” won’t have their spirits (but may have their seats) dampened. Each visit to the aquarium can be enhanced in a truly meaningful way thanks to behind-the-scenes tours and live animal interactions such as the dolphin or sea otter encounters. With the Pemberton Place Promo, guests can head next door to the World of Coca-Cola and enjoy $1 off admission by showing their Aquarium ticket stub for a particularly memorable and remarkably refreshing day.
Imagine It! Children’s Museum of Atlanta
275 Centennial Olympic Park Drive N.W.
Atlanta, GA 30313
Designed specifically for kids eight and under, Imagine It! offers rain-free room after room of interactive learning through play. Year-round exhibits like Fundamentally Food, Leaping Into Learning, Tools for Solutions and Let Your Creativity Flow are enhanced further by a traveling exhibit that changes three times a year – providing pint-sized patrons with a completely different adventure each time they visit the museum. Parents will want to mark their calendars and check the website often for a slew of special events.
Related: Best Permanent Exhibits In Atlanta
Center for Puppetry Arts
1404 Spring St. N.W.
Atlanta, GA 30309
There’s nothing quite like curling up with a good book on a rainy day… especially if that book comes to life. A beloved Atlanta institution since 1978, the Center for Puppetry Arts has been bringing stories to life through masterful puppeteers and fancifully wrought puppets for countless wide-eyed audiences. The remainder of the 2013-2014 season at the Center includes remarkable performances of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Stan the Lovesick Snowman, Weather Rocks! (ironic title, is it not?), 1001 Nights and Charlotte’s Web. After the show, guests can partake of puppet-making workshops and tours of the puppet museum in climate-controlled comfort.
Kasie Bolling is a freelance writer covering all things Atlanta. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.