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Things to do in Atlanta year-round

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Looking for ways to entertain out-of-town visitors? Need ammunition for prying the kids away from their computers? Or maybe you want inspiration to help change up your own routine. Either way, we’re here to help keep boredom at bay with a list of 50 fun things to do.

No matter how long you have lived in Atlanta, there are sure to be things here you’ve always meant to do but never have. And if you’re new to Atlanta, then you’d better get busy. Whether your thing is outdoor adventure, family fun, culinary exploration or retracing history’s steps, you’re sure to find something fun to do.

1. If you like Sweetwater 420 Pale Ale, or any other of the popular brand’s beers, get thee to Sweetwater Brewing Co. to take a tour and visit the tasting room. Tours are free; tastings are $10. 195 Ottley Drive N.E., Atlanta. 404-691-2537, www.sweetwaterbrew.com.

2. Dine on a variety of cuisines, including soul food and Caribbean fare, or pick up some fresh produce, meat, seafood and flowers at the newly renovated Sweet Auburn Curb Market, where vendors have sold their wares since the early 1900s. 209 Edgewood Ave., Atlanta. 404-659-1665, www.sweetauburncurbmarket.com.

3. In the West End Historic District, visit the Wren’s Nest, the Queen Anne Victorian-style home of Uncle Remus author Joel Chandler Harris, and Hammonds House, a museum of 19th-century antiques and African-American art. www.atlantawestend.com. Wren’s Nest: $5-$8. 1050 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd., S.W. Atlanta. 404-753-7735, www.wrensnestonline.com. Hammonds House: $2-$4. 503 Peeples St., Atlanta, 404-612-0500, www.hammondshouse.org.

4. Take a guided bike tour of the city’s historic sites, little-known gems and public art with Bicycle Tours of Atlanta. Tours span 8-10 miles and take about three hours. $49, including bike and helmet. Studioplex Lofts, 659 Auburn Ave., Atlanta. 404-273-2558, www.biketoursatl.com.

5. Take the CNN Studio Tour, a 55-minute behind-the-scenes look at the cable-news operation, or the VIP Tour (ages 12 and older), which includes the control room and HD studio. $12-$35. 190 Marietta St. N.W., Atlanta. 404-827-2300, www.cnn.com/tour.

6. The Fox Theatre has survived the Great Depression, a devastating fire and a misguided effort to tear it down. Now you can tour it, thanks to the Atlanta Preservation Center. $5-$10, cash only. 660 Peachtree St., Atlanta. 404-688-3353, www.preserveatlanta.com.

7. Catch a flick under the stars at the Starlight Six Drive-inTheatre. $1-$7. 2000 Moreland Ave. S.E., Atlanta. 404-627-5786, www.starlightdrivein.com.

8. Enjoy the view of downtown Atlanta as you sip a martini or tuck into a lobster crepe while taking a spin in the Sun Dial Restaurant, Bar & View, a revolving restaurant atop the Westin Peachtree Plaza. Dinner entrees $30-57. 210 Peachtree St., Atlanta. 404-589-7506, www.sundialrestaurant.com.

9. Discover everything you ever wanted to know about the world’s favorite soft drink at the World of Coca-Cola -- everything, that is, except the more-than-125-year-old secret formula (but you can see the vault where the formula is secured). $12-$16. 121 Baker St. N.W., Atlanta. 404-676-5151, www.worldofcoca-cola.com.

1o. In Historic Roswell, visit the Southern trilogy of historic homes: the 1845 Archibald Smith Plantation and slave quarters, the 1842 Barrington Hall and the 1839 Bulloch Hall, childhood home of Theodore Roosevelt’s mother, Mittie Bulloch. $6-$8 per house. Roswell Visitors Bureau, 617 Atlanta St., Roswell. 770-640-3253, www.visitroswellga.com.

11. Spend the day immersed in the past at the Atlanta History Center. In addition to a 30,000-square-foot exhibition space, the institution includes the 1860s Tullie Smith farmstead and 1928 Philip Trammel Shutze-designed Swan House. $11-$16.50. 130 West Paces Ferry Road N.W., Atlanta. 404-814-4000, www.atlantahistorycenter.com.

12. Get a gander at what once was the largest painting in the world. Atlanta Cyclorama features an 1887 painting of the Civil War’s Battle of Atlanta, measuring 42 feet high and 358 feet long. It was embellished with a diorama in 1936. $8-10. 800 Cherokee Ave., Atlanta. 404-658-7625, www.atlantacyclorama.org.

13. Get a workout at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park by hiking the 1.1-mile uphill trail to the summit. Softies can take a shuttle to the top and walk down. Free. $1-2 for shuttle. 900 Kennesaw Mountain Drive, Kennesaw. 770-427-4686, www.nps.gov/kemo/index.htm.

14. Check out artifacts ranging from little Jimmy’s grade-school report card to his Nobel Peace Prize medal at the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum. Don’t bypass the lush gardens. $6-8. 441 Freedom Parkway, Atlanta. 404-865-7100, www.jimmycarterlibrary.gov.

15. See where civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was born and buried at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site and the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Non-Violent Social Change. Free. Auburn Avenue. www.nps.gov/malu, www.thekingcenter.org.

16. Between the granite outcrops, the hiking trails, the multi-use bike path, the historic homes and the Trappist monastery, if you can’t find something to do at the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area, you just aren’t trying. 3787 Klondike Road, Lithonia. 770-847-6744, www.arabiaalliance.org.

17. Drown some worms and snag a fish for dinner from Lake Clara Meer in Piedmont Park. Routinely stocked with largemouth bass and catfish, the lake features three piers and a dock. Near 12th Street gate and Piedmont Avenue. 404-875-7275, www.piedmontpark.org. A Georgia fishing license is required. www.georgiawildlife.com.

18. Go for a dip in the world’s largest aquarium exhibit and get up close and personal with whale sharks and manta rays at Georgia Aquarium. $224.95. Regular admission is $23.95-$34.95. 357 Luckie St. N.W., Atlanta. 404-581-4000, www.georgiaaquarium.org.

19. Get in free to Imagine It, the children’s museum of Atlanta, on Target Free Second Tuesday (1-7 p.m.) and check out “The Big Adventure,” an exhibition featuring crawl tunnels, a rock wall and a kid-size airplane, on view through Sept. 9. Regular admission $12.75. 275 Centennial Olympic Park Drive N.W., Atlanta. 404-659-5437, www.childrensmuseumatlanta.org.

20. Shop for antiques, collectibles, estate jewelry and more among the 3,000-plus exhibitors at Scott Antique Market, held Friday-Sunday on the second weekend of each month. $5. Atlanta Expo Center, 3650 and 3850 Jonesboro Road, Atlanta. 404-361-2000, www.scottantiquemarket.com.

21. The biggest monthly street party happens the second Friday of the month at the Castleberry Hill Art Stroll, when thousands turn out to see and be seen -- and also to see some art. 7-10 p.m. Peters Street, Walker Street and vicinity, www.castleberryhill.org.

22. Check out miniature replicas of Atlanta landmarks, including Turner Field and the Atlanta Botanical Garden, made from nearly 1 million Lego pieces at Legoland Discovery Center. $14.58-$20.52. 3500 Peachtree Road N.E., Atlanta. 404-848-9252, www.legolanddiscoverycenter.com.

23. Have giraffes eating out of your hands -- literally -- at the new Twiga Terrace deck at Zoo Atlanta. For $3, visitors can give the African natives a romaine lettuce snack between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. $15.99-$20.99. 800 Cherokee Ave. S.E., Atlanta. 404-624-9453, www.zooatlanta.org.

24. Stock your cupboards with exotic Asian vegetables, quail eggs, nut paste and Icelandic skyr (a kind of yogurt) at the 140,000-square-foot DeKalb Farmers Market. 3000 E. Ponce de Leon Ave., Decatur. 404-377-6400, www.dekalbfarmersmarket.com.

25. Visit the turn-of-the-century, three-story Tudor Revival Margaret Mitchell House, where the author lived and wrote "Gone With the Wind." $8.50-13. 990 Peachtree St., Atlanta. 404-249-7015, www.margaretmitchellhouse.com.

26. Swing through the air on zip lines and sky bridges at Lake Lanier Canopy Tours, offering a variety of options that include lakeside and nighttime tours. Weight limits and restrictions apply. $60-$100, plus $10 admission to Lake Lanier Islands Resort. 7000 Lanier Islands Parkway, Buford. 678-622-3990, 770-828-7654, www.lakelaniercanopytours.com.

27. Channel your inner Dale Earnhardt on the Superkart track at Andretti Indoor Karting & Games. If speed isn’t your thing, there are billiards, bowling, a ropes course and video games. $5-$24.95. 11000 Alpharetta Highway, Roswell, 770-992-5688, www.andrettikarting.com.

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