Atlanta with Kids: A Downtown Atlanta Vacation

View of Centennial Olympic Park and Downtown Atlanta
View of Centennial Park and Downtown Atlanta from the Omni Hotel at CNN Center

What: Atlanta with Kids: A Downtown Atlanta Vacation
Where: Base out of the Omni Hotel at CNN Center
When: Anytime
Cost: Through Dec. 31, 2011, Enjoy the Partridge in  Peachtree Package beginning at $129 per night.
For other times, be sure to check travel deal sites like,, and for deals
Donate: Starting Nov. 30, donate $10 to Passports with Purpose for a chance to win this trip or one of more than 100 other vacations and outings.

At the invitation of the Omni Hotel, my boys and I had a wonderful opportunity to experience Atlanta as a tourist. Downtown Atlanta is a perfect family vacation destination packed with fun and instead of wasting hours in the car or on a plane with inquires of “are we there yet?”, we were able to enjoy our destination and just being together.

Where to stay with kids in Downtown Atlanta
Fresh cookies and ice cold milk await guests traveling with children, so be sure to indicate when there are children in the room!

Where to Stay in Downtown Atlanta with Kids
We based our stay out of the Omni Hotel at CNN Center and everything we wanted to do was within a one mile radius, safely accessible by foot. Down the elevators and into CNN Center is the Georgia Dome, home of the Atlanta Falcons, and Philips Arena, home to the Atlanta Hawks. Both venues also welcome family friendly shows year round, so check to see what’s playing while you’re in town.

Out the front doors of the hotel is Centennial Olympic Park, built for the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games. Our room had a fantastic view of the park and the Fountain of Rings. The bird’s eye view made my son realize the fountains he loved playing in were in the shape of the Olympic Rings – sometimes you just have to change your vantage point to see something new.

Where to Stay with Kids in Downtown Atlanta Omni Hotel at CNN Center
Upon check in, kids receive a Omni Kids Discovery Backpack

The hotel itself is a luxury convention hotel, perfect for a weekend family escape. My youngest was thrilled to receive his very own kid’s club backpack upon check in. The backpack included treats and games similar to a nice birthday party goodie bag. For warmer months, there is an outdoor pool and even a spa if mom needs to get away. There are also the simple pleasure’s of hotel visits, like riding up the glass elevators with a regal view of the CNN Center.

Upon returning from our first evening out, we were greeted with fresh, homemade chocolate chip cookies and ice cold milk, which we enjoyed nestled in the many pillows and under the multiple covers while we watched a movie.

Georgia Aquarium Spider Crabs
Spider Crabs at the Georgia Aquarium

What to do in Downtown Atlanta with Kids
Centennial Olympic Park is an amazing destination. Bring a frisbee or football and enjoy some time relaxing in the park playing on the green expansive field. On warm days, splash in the Fountain of Rings. At the south side of the park there are two children’s playgrounds including one made for all abilities. Chances are, you’ll happen upon special events in the park too. The day we were there, they were setting up for the Holiday Ice Rink and a holiday movie was being promoted with real snow to play in and a tube run.

Behind the Scenes CNN Studio Tour
Channeling Harry Potter with his invisibility cloak, my son learns how a green screen works.

Located on the edges of Centenial Olympic Park are numerous family attractions including: CNN Studio Tour, Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola and the Children’s Museum of Atlanta. Eventually this area will also house the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. The CNN Tour is guided and takes about 1.5 hours, but leave at least two to three hours to visit any of the other attractions and depending on your families interests, maybe a bit more time.

Where to Eat in Downtown Atlanta with Kids
The Prime Meridian in the Omni Hotel at CNN Center offers an extensive breakfast buffet with fresh omelets, artisain breads and lots of fresh fruit, including a variety of berries and pineapple, not just melon. The restuarant even has signifcant gluten free items, although I wouldn’t recommend them unless you are gluten intolerant – or interested in seeing the look on your children’s face as they bite into a uber-dry muffin.

Making Pizza at Max's Coal Oven Pizza Downtown Atlanta
Making Pizza a Max's Coal Oven Pizza

Max’s Coal Oven Pizza is located a short walk from the Omni Hotel at CNN Center within a strip of resturants in the Luckie Marietta District. Max’s offers a kid-friendly atmosphere, inside and outside seating, with simple pies for the kids and more diverse ingredients for more sophisticated palattes. Pizzas are tossed in front of you and kids can amuse themselves while they wait by drawing on the blackboard walls with chalk left in a bowl by the wall.

Googie Burger is located inside Centennial Olympic Park near the Fountain of Rings. Delicious fresh cut fries, hand pattied burgers, and a very affordable and tasty kids menu make this a surprising must do while downtown. For a quick and cheap bite, CNN Center has a food court with a variety of familiar chains.

Although we were provided a complimentary room for the purpose of reviewing it (as is common in the travel industry), we only recommend places we would stay and products we would use.

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