Discover the best family-friendly activities in Athens, GA, for a memorable getaway. From wildlife encounters at Bear Hollow Zoo to exploring the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, this guide has you covered. Explore educational museums, enjoy downtown delights, and immerse yourself in the heart of Athens' culture. Uncover outdoor adventures, entertainment options, and natural wonders perfect for kids of all ages. Your ultimate family escape awaits in Athens, Georgia!
Thank you to Visit Athens for hosting us.
Are you seeking a family vacation with a perfect fun, learning, and exploration blend? Athens, GA, is your answer! Nestled in the heart of Georgia, this vibrant city is brimming with exciting family-friendly activities that cater to all ages. Whether revisiting old memories or discovering Athens for the first time, this guide will help you make the most of your family getaway.
Where to Stay
1. Prime Location: Hyatt Place Athens Downtown is situated in a convenient and vibrant location, making it an ideal starting point to explore the city's attractions, dining, and entertainment options. You'll have easy access to historic sites, cultural landmarks, and the local atmosphere of Athens. Check out our room tour here.
2. Modern Comfort and Amenities: The hotel offers modern rooms designed to provide comfort and relaxation after a day of exploring. Enjoy amenities like plush beds, spacious bathrooms, and in-room entertainment options for leisure and business travelers.
3. Complimentary Breakfast: Start your day on the right foot with a complimentary breakfast that offers various options to suit many dietary preferences. It's a convenient way to fuel up your adventures in Athens.
4. Stylish and Functional Spaces: Hyatt Place Athens Downtown blends stylish design and functional spaces. Whether you're looking to relax in the lobby lounge, work in a collaborative setting, or unwind by the pool, the hotel provides versatile areas that cater to different needs.
5. Hyatt's Commitment to Safety: Hyatt is known for its commitment to guest safety and well-being. The hotel follows enhanced cleanliness protocols and safety measures, providing guests with a comfortable and secure environment during their stay.
6. Proximity to Attractions: Depending on your interests, you'll find yourself within walking distance or a short drive from attractions like the University of Georgia campus, vibrant downtown Athens, local boutiques, art galleries, and a diverse culinary scene.
7. Friendly and Knowledgeable Staff: A warm and welcoming staff can greatly enhance your travel experience. The Hyatt Place Athens Downtown team is dedicated to attentive service and can recommend local activities, dining spots, and hidden gems.
8. Hyatt Loyalty Program: If you're a member of the World of Hyatt loyalty program, staying at Hyatt Place Athens Downtown can earn points you can redeem for future stays, experiences, and benefits across the Hyatt portfolio.
9. Well-Equipped Fitness Center: Maintain your fitness routine with access to a well-equipped fitness center. Whether you prefer a morning workout or an evening session, the facilities cater to your needs.
Overall, staying at Hyatt Place Athens Downtown offers a blend of convenience, comfort, and a welcoming atmosphere that can enhance your travel experience and make your visit to Athens memorable.
Where to Eat
Dining at Big City Bread Cafe in Athens, GA:
Charming Atmosphere: Big City Bread Cafe offers a warm and inviting atmosphere that fits the essence of Athens' local charm. The cafe's cozy interior and welcoming staff create a relaxed ambiance perfect for enjoying a meal.
Locally Sourced Ingredients: The cafe is committed to using locally sourced and fresh ingredients whenever possible. This dedication to supporting local producers ensures the quality of the food and contributes to the community's sustainability.
Artisanal Baked Goods: One of the standout features of Big City Bread Cafe is its artisanal bakery. From freshly baked bread to delectable pastries, the cafe's baked goods showcase the skill and dedication of their bakers.
Farm-to-Table Philosophy: The cafe's farm-to-table philosophy means that the menu reflects the changing seasons and local availability of ingredients. This approach guarantees that the dishes are flavorful and highlight the best of the region's produce.
Diverse Menu Options: Whether you're in the mood for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, the cafe offers a diverse range of menu options. From hearty breakfast plates to sandwiches, salads, and entrees, there's something to satisfy every palate.
Vegetarian and Vegan-Friendly: Big City Bread Cafe is known for its thoughtfully crafted vegetarian and vegan menu items. It's a great choice for those with dietary preferences or restrictions, as the cafe provides ample options that don't compromise on taste.
Outdoor Seating: Enjoying your meal al fresco is a pleasure at Big City Bread Cafe. The outdoor seating area offers a wonderful setting to soak in the Athens atmosphere while savoring your food.
Artisanal Coffee and Beverages: The cafe's attention to detail extends to its coffee and beverage offerings. Enjoy a cup of expertly brewed coffee or explore their handcrafted beverages complementing the menu.
Support for Local Artists: Big City Bread Cafe often showcases the work of local artists, adding an artistic and cultural touch to your dining experience. It's a great way to immerse yourself in the local creative scene.
Community Hub: The cafe has established itself as a gathering place. You'll find a sense of community as you share a meal in a space that has become a hub for conversations and connections.
Dining at Big City Bread Cafe offers a delectable culinary experience and provides an opportunity to support local agriculture, artisans, and the vibrant Athens community. The cafe's commitment to quality, sustainability, and a welcoming atmosphere makes it a must-visit dining destination in Athens, GA.
Wildlife Encounters and Outdoor Excursions
Begin your Athens adventure at the captivating Bear Hollow Zoo. Immerse your family in the animal kingdom with up-close encounters with black bears and awe-inspiring bald eagles. This free zoo provides a unique opportunity for your kids to learn about native wildlife and conservation efforts. The zoo is very small, so you can plan an hour or two to be there. Also, make sure you arrive before they close. We arrived an hour before they closed, and most of the animals were already off exhibit already.
For those seeking outdoor thrills, the Sandy Creek Nature Center is a paradise waiting to be explored. Wander through nature trails that meander through serene landscapes while participating in educational programs enlightening you about local ecosystems. Sandy Creek Park offers a picturesque setting with a large lake perfect for fishing, paddle boating, and lakeside picnics.
Sandy Creek Park: A Waterside Oasis
When it comes to waterfront fun, Sandy Creek Park takes center stage. This sprawling park is home to a picturesque lake that invites you to indulge in various water activities. Cast your line and try your luck at fishing, or hop onto a paddle boat and cruise the tranquil waters, taking in the scenic beauty that envelops you.
Lakeside picnicking adds a touch of charm to your experience. Spread out your picnic blanket, savor a delicious meal, and create fun memories with your loved ones as you enjoy the serenity of the surroundings. Whether it's children's laughter or the gentle lapping of the water, Sandy Creek Park offers a sense of peace and relaxation that's truly rejuvenating.
The Spirit of UGA and Downtown Delights
A visit to Athens would only be complete with exploring the iconic University of Georgia campus. Embark on a self-guided tour that leads you through historic landmarks, including the renowned football stadium and the picturesque Herty Field. Reliving your college days while sharing stories with your family adds a personal touch to your Athens adventure. Don't miss sorority and fraternity roads. The houses are so beautiful. My daughter was ready to commit to going to UGA after seeing my Pi Phi house.
University of Georgia (UGA) campus. This iconic institution isn't just a place of higher learning; it's a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be discovered. Here's how you can make the most of your UGA experience:
Embarking on a self-guided tour of the University of Georgia campus is like stepping into a living history book. Begin your journey at the heart of campus, where the bustling streets are lined with majestic oak trees. As you stroll, you'll encounter impressive architecture that seamlessly blends tradition with innovation.
Make sure to stop by the legendary football stadium, where the crowd's roar and passion for the game are palpable. Your family can stand on the hallowed grounds where countless victories have been celebrated and experience the sense of camaraderie that fills the air on game days.
Herty Field, another iconic spot, echoes the university's past. As one of the oldest collegiate playing fields in the United States, it's a testament to the enduring spirit of education and athletics that has shaped UGA for generations.
Wander along bustling Broad Street to discover unique shops and local eateries that cater to every palate. The Athens Farmers Market offers a family-friendly atmosphere where you can sample fresh produce, indulge in artisan crafts, and partake in engaging activities that resonate with visitors of all ages.
When engaging your family in educational adventures, Athens, GA, goes above and beyond. Here are some incredible places that will enrich your family's experience and create lasting memories:
Georgia Museum of Art: A Journey Through Creativity
Ignite your family's artistic side at the Georgia Museum of Art. This cultural gem provides an excellent platform to introduce your kids to the world of art. Engaging in gallery tours allows them to explore various artistic styles, from classical to contemporary. Walking through the museum's galleries, your family can have conversations about the meaning behind each artwork, encouraging critical thinking and expression.
One of the unique aspects of this museum is its focus on local artists. By exposing your children to the work of artists from your community, you support local talent and inspire creativity. This experience might spark an interest in painting, sculpture, or other forms of artistic expression that your kids can explore themselves.
Georgia Museum of Art: A Cultural Oasis on Campus
While exploring the UGA campus, take advantage of the opportunity to visit the Georgia Museum of Art. Nestled within the heart of the university, this museum offers a dynamic collection of artistic treasures from around the world.
As you step inside, you'll find yourself surrounded by various artworks that span multiple eras and styles. The museum provides an ideal platform for introducing your family to the art world and fostering an appreciation for creativity. From classical masterpieces to contemporary creations, the Georgia Museum of Art is a gateway to imagination and cultural understanding.
Downtown Athens beckons with its vibrant energy, unique charm, and family-friendly activities that captivate kids and adults. Here's a guide to help you make the most of your downtown exploration:
Downtown Athens: A Hub of Urban Adventure
Downtown Athens is a bustling epicenter of culture, commerce, and community. Begin your adventure by meandering along Broad Street, where historic architecture harmonizes with a modern atmosphere. This street has eclectic boutiques, local shops, and inviting cafes, making it a haven for window shopping and finding unique treasures.
Athens Farmers Market: A Feast for the Senses
For an authentic taste of Athens, don't miss the Athens Farmers Market. This vibrant market celebrates the rich bounty of local produce, artisan crafts, and delicious treats. Stroll through the bustling aisles and introduce your family to the joys of supporting local farmers and producers. Engage in conversations with vendors, sample fresh fruits, and discover unique products that capture the region's essence.
Lyndon House Arts Center: Nurturing Creativity and Imagination
The Lyndon House Arts Center offers an enchanting haven for families seeking artistic experiences. Engage your kids in hands-on art activities that encourage creativity and self-expression. From painting to crafts, these activities ignite the imagination and provide a space for your little ones to unleash their artistic talents.
The center also hosts captivating story times that transport your kids into the realm of storytelling and imagination. As they listen to enchanting tales, your children will develop a love for literature and the magic of storytelling that will stay with them for years to come.
Athens-Clarke County Library
Where Learning Comes to LifeThe Athens-Clarke County Library isn't just a place for books; it's a vibrant hub of family-friendly events and activities. Attend special events that cater to kids of all ages, from toddlers to teens. Engage in craft workshops, interactive exhibits, and educational presentations that nurture a love for learning engagingly and enjoyably.
One of the highlights is the library's selection of story times. As your kids listen to captivating tales, they cultivate their language and be transported to worlds beyond their imagination. These story times create cherished memories and instill a lifelong appreciation for literature and the magic of books.
Parks and Recreation: Embrace Nature's Playground
Athens, GA, is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and families seeking a breath of fresh air. The city's parks offer a tapestry of recreational opportunities that cater to all ages. Here's a closer look at some of the parks that promise memorable adventures and cherished moments:
Southeast Clarke Park: Where Adventure Awaits
Embark on an adventure-filled day at Southeast Clarke Park. If your family loves a challenge, the rock climbing facilities here will test your mettle and provide a thrilling experience for beginners and seasoned climbers. The feeling of accomplishment as you scale the walls and conquer new heights is unmatched.
For those seeking tranquility, the park's serene picnic areas are the perfect spot to relax, enjoy a meal, and soak in the natural beauty surrounding you. And for your little explorers, visiting the chestnut tree house is a must. This unique play structure encourages imaginative play and provides a safe space for kids to climb, slide, and create their adventures.
Oconee Forest Park: Unveil the Secrets of Nature
For those eager to explore the wonders of nature, Oconee Forest Park is a haven of discovery. Nature trails wind through the park's lush landscapes, allowing one to observe local flora and fauna up close. The highlight of your journey might be the fascinating fossil wall, where remnants of ancient life tell stories from a time long past.
As you navigate the trails, take the opportunity to teach your kids about the importance of preserving our natural heritage. Discuss the ecosystems that thrive within the park and spark their curiosity about the delicate balance of nature. Your adventure in Oconee Forest Park is not just an outdoor ex but an educational journey fostering fosters a deep appreciation for the environment.
Entertainment and Culture: Unveiling Athens' Creative Spirit
Athens, GA, isn't just a city; it's a canvas of creativity, a stage for live performances, and a hub of artistic expression. Delve into the vibrant entertainment and culture scene that awaits you, offering a diverse range of experiences for the whole family to enjoy:
Georgia Theatre: A Symphony of Music and Memories
Step into the legendary Georgia Theatre and prepare to be swept away by a symphony of live music that resonates with hearts of all ages. This historic venue has witnessed the rise of local talents and welcomed renowned musicians worldwide. The music that fills these walls isn't just sound; it's a celebration of unity, rhythm, and shared experiences.
From folk tunes that sway your soul to rock anthems that ignite the spirit, the Georgia Theatre offers a lineup of live music events suitable for the entire family. Gather under the twinkling lights, sway to the melodies, and let the harmonies create moments that become part of your family's soundtrack.
Morton Theatre: Where History and Art Converge
Steeped in history and infused with artistic flair, the Morton Theatre is a cultural gem that's more than just a building – a testament to Athens' heritage. Attend special events that transport you through time while immersing you in the magic of live performances. From theatrical productions to concerts and spoken word performances, this historic venue breathes life into stories, connecting generations through the power of art.
Walking through the doors of the Morton Theatre is like stepping into a time capsule where past and present coexist in harmony. As you share these experiences with your family, you're not just attending events; you're partaking in a piece of local history that adds depth and meaning to your journey.
Athens Area Arts Council: Nurturing Creativity and Community
If you're eager to discover the heartbeat of Athens' art scene, the Athens Area Arts Council is your compass. This council bridges artists, audiences, and the community, fostering an environment where creativity thrives. Explore local galleries that showcase the talents of Athens' artists, connecting you with the stories, visions, and inspirations that shape the city's culture.
Supporting local artists isn't just about admiring their work; it's about investing in the vibrancy of your community. Engage with exhibitions, interact with artists, and bring a piece of Athens' artistic spirit into your home. The Athens Area Arts Council invites you to join the creative conversation and contribute to the tapestry of culture that makes this city unique.
Unforgettable Experiences: Creating Memories That Last
Athens, GA, is a canvas of experiences waiting to be painted with laughter, wonder, and joy. Unveil a world of unforgettable adventures that will become the highlight of your family getaway:
Family-Friendly Amenities: Where Convenience Meets Enjoyment
Athens, GA, is dedicated to ensuring families can access many amenities catering to their needs and desires. From shopping to educational activities, the city offers a range of options to make your family's stay comfortable and enjoyable:
Georgia Square Mall: Retail Therapy and Entertainment
The Georgia Square Mall is a haven of possibilities for families seeking a dose of retail therapy and entertainment. Stroll through its corridors lined with diverse stores, from well-known brands to local boutiques. Let your kids explore toy stores, fashion boutiques, and more, allowing them to express their style and preferences.
The mall isn't just about shopping; it's a comprehensive experience with dining options to satisfy every palate. After a day of shopping, treat your family to a delicious meal at one of the restaurants or enjoy a movie at the mall's theater. The Georgia Square Mall caters to your practical needs and desire for leisure, ensuring every family member finds something to enjoy.
Athens Farmers Market: A Feast for the SensesIndulge your family's senses at the Athens Farmers Market, a vibrant space that celebrates local produce, artisan crafts, and community engagement. Beyond the stalls laden with fresh fruits, vegetables, and delectable treats, the market offers a family-oriented atmosphere that invites you to immerse yourself in the culture of Athens.
Watch your children's eyes light up as they sample juicy fruits and crunchy veggies, learning about the origins of their food. Engage in conversations with local artisans who infuse their crafts with passion and creativity. The market's family day events allow kids to interact, play, and discover new things in a lively and welcoming environment. The Athens Farmers Market isn't just a market; it's an experience that invites your family to connect with the city's heartbeat and the local community.
Natural Wonders: Exploring Athens' Breathtaking Landscapes
Athens, GA, is a treasure trove of natural wonders waiting to be uncovered. From serene habitats to lush gardens, here are two destinations that allow your family to immerse themselves in the beauty of nature:
State Botanical Garden of Georgia: An Eden of Tranquility
The State Botanical Garden of Georgia beckons with its expansive landscapes and captivating features that offer a tranquil escape from the craziness of daily life. Your family's journey begins with the awe-inspiring original tree, a living testament to the history and vitality of the region. The age-old tree serves as a reminder of the deep roots that Athens holds in its heart.
Wander through the scenic trails that wind through diverse habitats, each offering a unique tapestry of flora and fauna. Amidst the garden's beauty, your family will experience a sense of wonder that only nature can provide. The gardens' peaceful ambiance allows for quiet reflection and exploration, making it an ideal place to reconnect with your loved ones and the essence of Athens.