2017 summer bucket list for metro Atlanta families 

  • Lesli Peterson
  • For the AJC
12:18 p.m Tuesday, June 20, 2017 Things to Do in Atlanta

"I'm bored!"

Have you heard it yet?

If not now, it will likely happen before summer ends.

But you’re in luck. We've compiled a list of summer things to to do around Atlanta that will banish those words forever−or at least until fall.

Here's an all-inclusive 2017 summer bucket list for metro Atlanta families:

The Dancing Granny. Now Until July 16. Adults $15, Children 6-17 $8, kids under 5 are free. Presented by the Alliance Theater at various locations. AllianceTheatre.org.

Conant Performing Arts Center at Oglethorpe University. June 10–18. 4484 Peachtree Road, NE, Atlanta, 30319.
The Galloway School June 24–July 2. 215 W. Wieuca Road, NW, Atlanta, 30342.
Spelman College July 8–16. 420 Westview Drive SW, Atlanta, 30310.

This world premiere show for youth and families is based on Ashley Bryan’s popular children’s book. A clever spider named Ananse tries to trick Granny into dancing away from her garden so he can take her vegetables, and soon becomes a dancer himself. The musical play is being presented in conjunction with the High Museum of Art exhibition of Bryan’s work. www.high.org/Art/Exhibitions/Ashley-Bryan

Summer Camp H2O. Mon.-Fri. now until July 28. Weekly pricing: $324.95-$360.95. Georgia Aquarium. 225 Baker St NW, Atlanta. georgiaaquarium.org.

A series of ocean-oriented camps for a wide range of ages, pre-K through 8th grade. Camps in four age groups, pre-K, (4 & 5 years), rising 1st - 2nd graders, rising 3rd - 4th graders, rising 5th - 6th graders and rising 7th - 8th graders. These age appropriate classes will combine fun and learning with a bit more learning for the older kids.

Steve Schaefer
Rebecca Benator hits the breaks as she nears the end of the 1,000-foot water slide at the Slide the City block party in Atlanta on Saturday, June 25, 2016. STEVE SCHAEFER / SPECIAL TO THE AJC

Slide the City July 15. $25 for three slides, $58 for unlimited slides. Centennial Olympic Park. Centennial Olympic Park Dr NW & Andrew Young International Blvd NW, Atlanta. slidethecity.com.

This family-friendly slip-and-slide party is one day only. You can choose between three turns at the slide or the all-you-can-slide option. An urban block party will also be happening, with live music, food, drinks and other entertainment.

Coca Cola Summer Film Festival. July 16-September 3. $5-$20. Fox Theatre. 660 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta 30308. foxtheatre.org.  

The Coca Cola Summer Film Festival at the Fox Theater will present a great assortment of family-friendly features this summer. The lineup includes sing-a-long versions of Walt Disney’s animated gem “Beauty and the Beast,” as well as “Mary Poppins”, a timeless classic. All eight Harry Potter films will be shown as triple- and double-headers. Kids can also enjoy the popular Saturday morning cartoon series. Get there early for a magical pre-show experience, a sing-along with the world renowned Mighty Mo organ.

One of the “Hoos,” works of art using natural materials will be on display at the Dunwoody Nature Center. CONTRIBUTED.

Great Backyard Campout. $20-25 per campsite. June 24. Dunwoody Nature Center. 5343 Roberts Dr, Atlanta 30338. dunwoodynature.org.

Here’s a chance to practice camping without going too far from home. You will learn how to pitch your tent and build a campfire. Traditional camping activities will also happen, like marshmallow roasting, nighttime hiking and singing corny camp songs. If you miss this event they’ll be doing it again the first Saturday in November. Dunwoody is home to one of many nature centers around the city. Find more nature centers here.

Brook Run Park. Dunwoody's 102-acre park includes an organic community garden, a dog park, a skate park, a 2-mile trail loop and a large playground that kids (and parents) will love – especially because of the shade awnings. The newest addition to this park is Treetop Quest. Swing through the trees on courses that include zip lines and treetop obstacles designed to challenge all levels of climbers. The park recently upgraded its course for children ages 4 to 6, now called the Chick Pea course.

Sleep in a yurt. $119 per night, two night minimum. Stone Mountain Park. 1000 Robert E Lee Blvd, Stone Mountain 30083. stonemountainpark.com.

There's nothing as amazing as waking up to a view of the lake after a comfortable night's sleep in a yurt. Three yurts include true beds, air conditioning, bunks, electrical outlets and more. Stone Mountain not in your neighborhood? Try these places to sleep in a yurt all over Georgia

50th Anniversary Show. June 3- August 6.  FREE with General Admission. Six Flags Over Georgia. 275 Riverside Pkwy Southwest, Austell. sixflags.com.

Believe it or not, Six Flags Over Georgia is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year! A special new show will celebrate the park and the most popular hits of this era. The Crystal Pistol will be rocking with sounds from 1967 to the present, and you will see images of the park from back in the day.

Contributed by Georgia State Parks

Acworth Beach. Now through September 4. Head to Cauble Park, 4425 Beach St., Acworth for fun in the sun on the shores of Lake Acworth. Enjoy white sand and a roped area for swimming. There is also a playground, restroom area, picnic tables and more. There are no lifeguards on duty, so keep an eye on the kiddos. Swimming is free, and the park also offers boating and fishing. Parking is free weekdays and is $10 cash per car Saturdays and Sundays from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m if you aren’t a city resident. That $10 charge lasts until Labor Day weekend.

Acworth Slide. Now through September 4. $16. Dallas Landing Park 5120 Allatoona Drive, Acworth. www.acworthslide.com.

Dallas Landing Park in Acworth is now home to a 36 foot high inflatable water slide that can be seen from clean across Lake Allatoona. At 175 feet long, it is advertised as the world’s longest inflatable water slide and is sure to entertain your family. Season passes are available for devoted sliders.

Andretti Indoor Karting & Games. Open year-round. Prices vary. 1255 Roswell Rd., Marietta.  

From racing to ropes courses, arcades to bowling, and motion theatre to laser tag, Andretti is full of fun and excitement. The great thing is, this facility is pay-as-you-go; only purchase tickets for what you want to play. Check the web site for a variety of enticing specials and promotions.

Mayfield Dairy. $4.50 adults, $3.50 kids, includes a scoop of ice cream. Love Mayfield milk and ice cream? Take the kids to tour the facility in Braselton. Tours begin every hour during open times (closed Wed. & Sun.) Be sure to take a selfie with the giant cow statue. There is also a dairy-themed gift shop and an old-fashioned ice cream parlor. www.mayfielddairy.com.

Chopper, the groundhog mascot of the Gwinnett Braves, hands out T-shirts to fans at a game. Credit: Karl Moore/Gwinnett Braves.

Gwinnett Braves Friends and Family Night. June 24. 

$15 each. Coolray Field. 2500 Buford Dr., Lawrenceville. www.GwinnettBraves.com.

Coolray Field is a great place to introduce your kids to baseball. The Friends and Family Package includes a field box ticket, G-Braves hat and a voucher for a burger.

Splash pad and fountain fun. Let kids splish and splash in the water while letting go of some built-up energy. Try Big Splash at Suwanee Town Center Park, Village Pavilion at Mall of Georgia, Lillian Webb Park or Town Green Fountain at Duluth Main Street.

Roswell Summer Puppet Series

Various dates through July 22. $5 for ages 2 and up, under 2 free. Roswell Cultural Arts Center. 950 Forrest St, Roswell. roswellgov.com.

The Roswell Summer Puppet Series is one of the best things about summer for those in the northern suburbs. Six different shows are designed just for kids so a little noise and chaos is OK and it's VERY affordable. 

Matilda's Music Under the Pines. Various dates. $20 adults, 16 and younger, free. Matilda's. 77 S Main St, Alpharetta. matildasmusicvenue.com.

If you are looking for the perfect place to enjoy live music in Alpharetta — whether for a fun date night idea for couples or a family night out — Matilda's Music Under the Pines is your answer. Bring your kids (16 and younger are FREE) your dog, the beverage of your choice and your picnic blanket.

Webb Bridge Park. It's unlike most playgrounds, with unusual play structures, a musical keyboard, shady trees, a covered sand box and walking trails. The best part for summer is the Zone Spring, a man-made stream that flows through the play area, ideal for splashing in. It's fed from a deep well under the ground and flows to a lake for irrigation rather than being recirculated- regardless, the kids will have a ball at Webb Bridge. 4780 Webb Bridge Rd, Alpharetta.

Swimming Holes. You can go to the neighborhood pool or hit the community splash pad, but nothing says summer like playing in Mother Nature's natural waterscapes. 

Adventure Parks. Head to Amicalola or Unicoi State Park for great family fun, with accommodations built right in. Packages include multiple adventures like survivalist camp, mountain biking, zip lining, kayak fishing, or GPS scavenger hunting. Not enough? What about s'mores and fire pit stories, guided hikes to the falls, archery and so much more! Adventure Lodges.

Brant Sanderlin
VIP guests were given a guided tour of the new zip line course at Amicalola Falls State Park in Dawsonville Thursday as part of the grand opening. The course is a canopy to canopy experience with 11 zip lines. BRANT SANDERLIN / BSANDERLIN@AJC.COM

Snorkel the Conasauga River. The Conasauga is the most biodiverse river basin in the world – right here in Georgia. Bring your snorkels to view over 70 different species of fish, but visit in summer because this water is COLD! Fill up on gas, bring plenty of snacks and prepare for an exciting adventure. Find directions and general info about snorkeling the Conasauga here.

Summer Camp. From a family camping experience at Callaway Gardens to overnight camp in Blue Ridge and from LEGO camp in Atlanta to PGA camp in Macon, there are plenty of summer camp options across the state. Find the best summer camps for kids here.

Free Reading Programs. Barnes and Noble.. Chuck E. Cheese...there are multiple summer reading programs for kids all around the state. The best part? These summer reading programs are FREE.

Free Outdoor Movies. Old classics under the stars are an ideal way to spend a summer night. Large screens are popping up in parks over the city. Pack a picnic and head to your favorite spot.

Adventure Beyond Atlanta. From Len Foote Hike Inn in the mountains to shell hunting on Cumberland Island, Georgia is filled with special memory-making opportunities for the family. Follow this list of 52 adventures every kid MUST experience from Georgia's family travel spokesperson.

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