Outdoor & Family Fun
Wild, wacky, rollicking, frolicking. Atlanta METRO is all about the merrymaking and the making of wonderful memories: Hiking, biking, wading, rafting, rocking and rolling, a few sets of bowling, swimming, beaching, walking, go-karting, birding, fishing—dare we say wishing for a new American Girl doll, two-foot banana split sundae on the side? Outdoors or in, Atlanta METRO is off-road, hands-on family fun with parks for playing and spreading picnics, stages for theatre productions to move you and for music to soothe you and miniature golf courses and tennis courts to amuse you.
Alpharetta has two arboretums. The seven trees included in the Alpharetta Arboretum at Cogburn Road Park function as a living museum that can be used for education, research and enjoyment. The park includes a .2-mile walking path, play area, playground and picnic pavilions. Established in 2008, the Alpharetta Arboretum at Wills Park showcases the natural setting and beauty of 26 tree species native to the Southeastern United States. Stop by the Downtown Alpharetta Welcome Center to pick up a complimentary brochure about both arboretums and embark on a self-guided walking tour where you will learn about this collection of trees.
Address: 12825 Cogburn Road, Alpharetta, GA 30004 and 11925 Wills Road, Alpharetta, GA 30009
Alpharetta Big Creek Greenway
A lush green haven in the midst of the city, the Alpharetta Big Creek Greenway is a 6.1-mile, 12-foot wide concrete path that includes additional mountain biking trails and meanders through the city, providing an ideal place to walk, run, bike and inline skate while enjoying the nature around you.
Address: Alpharetta Recreation & Parks Department, 1825 Old Milton Parkway, Alpharetta, GA 30004
American Girl Boutique and Bistro
A true girl’s world: Every woman in your life will appreciate this unique store dedicated to dolls. Don’t miss a visit to the in-store doll hair salon and definitely take time to grab a bite at the Bistro, famous for its two-foot long banana split sundaes.
Address: 1202 North Point Circle, Alpharetta, GA 30022
The Cooler Family Skate Center
Show off your salchow, waltz jump and double axel. With two 85’ x 200’ ice arenas and one 85’ x 185’ roller arena, The Cooler Family Skate Center is bound to provide hours of family fun.
Address: 10800 Davis Drive, Alpharetta, GA 30009
Motorcycle Safety Foundation Campus
Fine-tune your off-road skills at the Motorcycle Safety Foundation Campus. Instructors offer classes for everyone from novices to experts, providing hands-on fun to help you safely navigate the world on a motorcycle, ATV or dirt bike. Equipment and riding gear are provided and the experience is open to kids and adults.
Address: 1450 Morrison Pkwy., Alpharetta, GA 30004
Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park
This 12,000-capacity outdoor amphitheatre located in the heart of Alpharetta is the outdoor home of the award-winning Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and plays host to big-name acts like the Eagles, Dave Matthews Band, Kenny Chesney and Rod Stewart.
Address: 2200 Encore Parkway, Alpharetta, GA 30009
Atlanta Botanical Garden
Atlanta Botanical Garden is 30 acres of outdoor display gardens located adjacent to Piedmont Park in the heart of Midtown Atlanta. The Children’s Garden and Storza Woods, with a permanent display of tropical orchids in the Fuqua Orchid Center and Conservatory, is home to rare and endangered tropical and desert plants.
Address: 1345 Piedmont Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30309
Opening November 2005 as the world’s largest aquarium, Georgia Aquarium features more animals than any other aquarium in eight million gallons-plus of water. Through a path of more than sixty exhibits, the Aquarium tells a global water story, with features modeled after the greatest zoos and aquariums in the world. Each majestic exhibit is designed to inspire, entertain and educate.
Address: 225 Baker St. NW, Atlanta, GA 30313
The oldest cultural institution in Atlanta, Zoo Atlanta inspires value and protection of wildlife through a unique mix of education and outdoor family fun and is home to four Giant Pandas, gorillas, orangutans, lions, giraffes, elephants, birds and more in natural habitats.
Address: 800 Cherokee Avenue SE, Atlanta, GA 30315
Clayton County International Park
CCIP offers a spring-fed, six-acre swimming lake, slides and a sandy beach. The surrounding park is inviting with volleyball courts, a 17-acre tennis court facility, outdoor playground, fishing lakes, walking and biking trails, plus group picnic areas.
Address: 2300 Highway 138 SE, Jonesboro, GA 30236
Newman Wetlands Center
This 32-acre center comprises exhibits, auditorium and wetlands trail. You may catch sight of beaver, river otter, fox, raccoon, muskrat, deer, wild turkey, opossum, mink and many species of birds, reptiles, insects and amphibians as you wander the half mile wetlands trail whose surface alternates between crushed stone through forested areas and boardwalk over the swamp. Wheelchairs and baby strollers can be accommodated on the trail.
Address: 2755 Freeman Road, Hampton, GA 30228
Reynolds Nature Preserve
Perfect for a summer’s day: Enjoy the Preserve’s 146 acres with four miles of hiking trails, ponds, birding and picnic areas. The Interpretive Center houses a collection of native amphibians, reptiles and educational exhibits.
Address: 5565 Reynolds Road, Morrow, GA 30260
Lake Allatoona and Lake Acworth
Spend a day swimming, boating, fishing, hiking or camping around lakes Allatoona or Acworth. Dip into more than 1,200 acres of water and stretch out on one of several sandy beaches. Several parks are located right on the beachfront with amenities including fishing dock, barbecue grills and children’s playgrounds.
Address: 4415 Senator Russell Avenue, Acworth, GA 30101
Dave & Busters
This lively 53,000-square foot entertainment facility includes restaurant, bars, billiards, shuffleboards and 200 state-of-the-art video games and simulators. Banquet facilities are available for 20 to 2000 people.
Address: 2215 D&B Drive, Marietta, GA 30067
Mountasia Family Funcenter
Three 18-hole miniature golf courses with obstacles like lush greens, wild waterfalls and wacky windmills; go-carts built for banked curves, hairpin turns and exhilarating straight-aways; bumper boats that go full speed ahead; and a game room where the last frontier is your imagination. Snack room and packages for parties and groups.
Address: 175 Ernest Barrett Parkway, Marietta, GA 30066
Sun Valley Beach
Splash about in the largest pool in the Southeast: Sun Valley is a one and a half acre pool surrounded by white, sandy beaches and situated on 40 acres amidst Georgia pines and shady hardwoods. Zip down 11 waterslides, play at the dolphin fountain and showering umbrella, enjoy the lumber Jack log roll, diving platforms and “Tarzan” swinging ropes. Also at Sun Valley: playground area, rental pavilions, picnic areas, grills and concession stand, plus miniature golf and new petting zoo.
Address: 5350 Holloman Road, Powder Springs, GA 30127
A fun-filled entertainment center that can host your next meeting, special event, team building activity or corporate outing. Come eat, meet and compete at U.S. Play: Bowling, billiards, state-of-the-art arcade, dining facility and banquet.
Address: 775 Cobb Place Blvd, Kennesaw, GA 30144
Six Flags Over Georgia
The Dahlonega Mine Train, the Georgia Cyclone, The Great American Scream Machine, Skull Island, Thomas Town Soft Play Area—from raging rolling coasters to gentle magical journeys for the littlest thrill seekers—you'll find affordable family fun at the Southeast's largest regional theme park.
Address: 275 Riverside Parkway SW, Austell, GA 30168
New Senoia Raceway
Visit the fastest 3/8-mile high-banked paved oval in Georgia, home of such races as the ASA Memorial Day 100, Southern Pro Late Model 100 and the Vintage Race Car Series, some of which also feature Outlaw Late Model, Sportsman and Mod. Mini Stock racing.
Address: 171 Brown Road, Senoia, GA 30276
Fernbank Museum of Natural History
Fernbank Museum of Natural History is Atlanta’s home to dinosaurs. Scientific discovery and exploration await in exhibits highlighting the world’s largest dinosaurs, the natural history of Georgia, objects of human culture, hands-on exploration of the world and more. Fernbank’s IMAX® films and special exhibitions change throughout the year, so there is always something new to discover.
Address: 767 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30307
Phone: (Info) 404-929-6300 or (Ticket Office) 404-929-6400
Stone Mountain Park
Georgia’s most visited attraction draws nearly 4 million guests yearly to its more than 3,200 acres of natural beauty. Battle dinosaurs in the debut of “Journey to the Center of the Earth 4D Adventure”; trek through the treetops on Sky Hike, the nation’s largest adventure course; and spend the evening watching the Lasershow Spectacular. Other attractions: Camp Highland Outpost, Summit Skyride, Scenic Railroad, Ride the Ducks, The Great Barn, The Antebellum Plantation and Farmyard. Stay and play at one of the two on-park Marriott Hotels, two 18-hole golf courses and the largest campground in Georgia.
Address: Stone Mountain, GA 30086. Due to its size, the park has several physical addresses. For the easiest directions to the Park, go to
Phone: 770-498-5690 or 1-800-401-2407
Hunter Memorial Park
Hunter Memorial Park is named for 1st Lt. Robert Gerald Hunter, a brave U.S. Air Force pilot who, in 1966, became Douglas County’s first casualty in the Vietnam War. The park contains swimming pool, wildlife pond with walking trails and children’s playground with a small train that operates during the summer.
Address: 8830 Gurley Road, Douglasville, GA 30134
Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center
The GEHC is a 59,000-square foot high-tech cultural museum known for hands-on science exhibits and educational programming. GEHC transforms the concepts of science, water and history into interactive, learning-by-doing experiences. Also features classes, camps, workshops, featured exhibits and walking/hiking trails.
Address: 2020 Clean Water Drive, Buford, GA 30519
Gwinnett Braves Baseball
The Atlanta Braves AAA affiliate, the Gwinnett Braves, kick off their inaugural season in the fantastic new $64 million Gwinnett Stadium. With 144 games, family-friendly pricing, excellent sight lines, great promotions and inexpensive parking, this is a must-do for your next visit.
Address: One Braves Avenue, Lawrenceville, GA 30045
Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament
Enjoy an exciting evening of quality family entertainment based on the glory of the Middle Ages. Guests experience pageantry, dramatic horsemanship, breathtaking swordplay, sorcery and romance while feasting on a four-course banquet served in true medieval fashion. Medieval Times has rolled out a new show, “The Harness of Love” for 2009. Check website (or the www.gcvb.org website) for regular discounted or special admission offers.
Address: 5900 Sugarloaf Parkway, Lawrenceville, GA 30043 (in Discover Mills)
The Yellow River Game Ranch
Stroll a mile-long trail on 24 wooded acres and encounter 600-plus highly sociable, “people-friendly” birds and animals indigenous to Georgia: white-tailed deer, bunnies, buffalo, sheep, kid goats, black bears and a bevy of newborn animals are waiting to be fed, admired and petted on a “nose-to-nose” basis. Explore “Billy Goat Gruff Memorial Bridge” and the “Bunny Burrows.” (Don’t miss the world-famous weather prognosticator, General Beauregard Lee.)
Address: 4525 Highway 78, Lilburn, GA 30047
Ghosts of Marietta
Embark on a lantern-led walking tour of Marietta and the Marietta Square and meet the ghosts of Marietta—perhaps a departed spirit of a Civil War soldier or a mysterious resident of one of Marietta's stately old homes or businesses. Hear the stories behind these mysteries and, as some tour guests have, you may even see them yourself.
Address: 131 Church Street, Marietta, GA 30060
Historic Marietta Trolley
Take a ride through history: Explore Marietta’s historic districts with their grand and gracious antebellum homes, its vibrant Downtown Square, Civil War cemeteries and the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park on a one-hour, narrated tour aboard the Historic Marietta Trolley.
Address: 131 Church Street, Marietta, GA 30060
Six Flags WhiteWater
One of the USA’s top 10 water parks, Six Flags Whitewater in Marietta steps lively with
50 amazing attractions, including Cliffhanger's 90-foot freefall and the turbulent Tornado and fun family areas like Little Squirt's Island and Atlanta Ocean wave pool. Enjoy snacks, sit-down meals, souvenir stands, well-stocked shops and games of skill, including long-range basketball, skee-ball and water gun races.
Address: 250 Cobb Parkway, Marietta, GA 30062
Andretti Indoor Karting and Games
Need an adrenaline rush? Two professionally designed SuperKart race tracks; a 30-foot rock climbing wall; seven element high ropes course; 120-plus electronic games; billiards. Take a breather afterward at Ethyl’s, an authentic American diner.
Address: 11000 Alpharetta Highway, Roswell, GA 30076
Chattahoochee Nature Center
The oldest and largest private, non-profit natural science learning center in the Southeast is inviting with forest trails, river boardwalk, native plant gardens, animals, family programs and, opening June 20, 2009, the new LEED certified Discovery Center featuring interactive exhibits, planted roof terrace, live native animals and a 65-seat, high definition theatre and rooftop garden—the interpretive center for the Chattahoochee River.
Address: 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell, GA 30075
Roswell Ghost Tours
Grand Greek Revival-style mansions and humble mill workers’ apartments are some of the haunted sites on this mile of easy walking featuring toilsome tales of the mill workers and the spirits said to dwell behind mansion walls. One of the guides, Dianna Avena, is the author of Roswell: History, Haunts and Legends. Reservations required. Paranormal Investigations available.
Address: Departs from the bandstand in Historic Town Square, Roswell, GA 30075
Vickery Creek Trail & Covered Pedestrian Bridge
An interpretive walk highlighting the 1853 Roswell Mill ruins and dam, it links to the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area by the Vickery Creek Covered Pedestrian Bridge. Wooded areas, creek beds and river banks await discovery. Check at the Visitors Center for a free Through the Eyes of the Cherokee booklet/journal that will help you enjoy the area even more.
Address: Roswell’s Historic District, Just off Mill Street, Roswell, GA 30075
Phone: 770-640-3253 or 1-800-776-7935
Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area
Take a solitary stroll into the heart of Nature. Raft leisurely through rocky shoals with friends. Fish the misty waters as the sun comes up. Have a picnic on a Sunday afternoon. Visit the Island Ford Visitor Center for maps and park information or Morgan Falls Dam with its 20 miles of river shoreline that you can raft, kayak, canoe or fly fish. (Rentals provided by local outfitters.) Parking is available.
Address: 1978 Island Ford Pkwy, Atlanta, GA 30350
John Ripley Forbes Big Tree Forest Preserve
The Forest is a remarkable urban forest with hilly topography featuring two creeks and a diverse middle growth forest, including specimen white oak trees between 100 and 200 years old. It is designed and managed as a forest education center offering passive recreation walks along 1 1/2 miles of wood mulched walking trails.
Address: 7645 Roswell Road, Sandy Springs, GA 30350