Thursday, July 9, 2015

Hot, Hilly, Crowded: Atlanta For Kids


We just spent an extended 4th of July weekend in Atlanta, Georgia. While there in the beautiful home of longtime friends, we put a team together to train for and then tackle the Peachtree Road Race. Over 60,000 runners brave the heat and hills (there's one at every mile, with "Cardiac Hill" in your face at mile four for good measure!) in this annual 10k race. Prepared for searing heat, we were in fact surprised by cold and constant rain and lightning - no bands, no crowds. Half the battle in any organized running event is just herding a team of people through public transportation (in this case MARTA) to make it to the start line in time, all the while getting your head straight to go for your best time no matter the weather. The run and the weekend were a great success, but Atlanta... oh, Atlanta.

I try to always post positive on this site, but I have to confess Atlanta is not my favorite destination. Born in Augusta, Georgia, I've always tried to like Atlanta but I just can't put it on my list of top favorite cities. The book Hot, Flat, and Crowded always comes to mind in Atlanta. It's no wonder Atlanta's own Anne Rivers Siddons of Peachtree Road fame pulled up stakes and re-rooted herself firmly under the oaks here in Charleston (more here in The South Is Moving On). So here's a little list of what not to do when visiting Atlanta with kids:

  • Don't Be A Weekend Warrior - If you plan to try the Peachtree Road Race 10k, you must train for it. This is a serious 6.2 mile hill workout that requires a scheduled amount of training.
  • Don't Run With Your iphone: Don't wear your iphone in a "waterproof" sleeve on your arm in 6.2 miles of torrential rain. That's all I have to say about that.
  • Don't Take Your Best Camera: That's all I have to say about that too. Note the lack of pictures in this post.
  • Don't Go To Major Attractions Without A Ticket: Guesstimate your time to visit a public attraction, such as the Georgia Aquarium, and buy a prepaid ticket online to avoid crowds and long lines. This Atlanta City Pass is a great way to bundle 5 major attractions in downtown Atlanta.
  • Don't Leave Home Without Water: The best way to see downtown Atlanta with kids is to walk the blocks that surround the major sites such as the aquarium and the museums. It's hot and crowded, so take your own water!
  • Don't Miss: Here are some cool places to visit with kids in and around Atlanta...

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