By Sue Rodman
What: A Percy Jackson Tour of Atlanta
Where: Throughout Atlanta
Cost: Varies by attraction
Recently I wrote a Percy Jackson Tour of New York City post based on a trip my boys and I did over the summer. It garnered so much interest, I thought I’d try a Percy Jackson Tour of Atlanta. To get ideas, I turned to the awesome Field Trips with Sue community on Facebook and thanks to Ken Christianson, I’m super excited to share the Percy Jackson Tour of Atlanta, which is based on the third book in the Heroes of Olympus series, The Mark of Athena.
To give you some background, Percy Jackson is a Greek demigod, and the son of Poseidon. In the Heroes of Olympus series, we are introduced to several Roman demigods. In The Mark of Athena book, the Greeks and Romans must work together on their quest to close the Doors of Death, which is easier said than done. All that brings us to Atlanta where our heroes land their ship, the Argos II, at the Carter Center and our adventure begins.
Percy Jackson Tour of Atlanta
Land your ship at the Carter Center: In The Mark of Athena, Percy and his friends land their ship, the Argos II, on a hill overlooking Atlanta. It also happens to be the site of the Carter Presidential Library and Museum. The Carter Center museum includes memorabilia from President Jimmy Carter’s political career. There is a replica of the Oval Office as it was when Carter was president, as well as heads of state gifts given to the Carters during that time.
The second half of the museum focuses on the issues that Carter has championed since he left office. For younger children, the Carter Center has special programming including, a Book Nook and Garden Safari for preschoolers. Leave a little extra time to explore the beautiful gardens, and bring a fishing pole to fish in the catch and release pond on site. There is a gorgeous view of Atlanta from the pond. It’s the same spot, if not the same view, the Union General William Tecumseh Sherman had as he planned his Atlanta campaign during the Civil War.
Consult with Kings: The Greek and Romans consulted with gods, but in Atlanta, it’s easier to consult with a King. After a picnic at the Carter Center, head to the corner of Highland and North and enjoy a locally made Popsicle from the King of Pops. If you don’t see the King of Pops cart in the Chevron parking lot, go inside. King of Pops is stocked in the convenience store.
Find Saltwater in Atlanta: The demigods arrived in Atlanta in search of salt water. Not an easy task in a landlocked city. However, their quest finally brings them to the Georgia Aquarium where they get a backstage tour from a strange creature. A behind the scenes tour of the Georgia Aquarium doesn’t showcase mythical creatures, but it does give you a better idea of how the Aquarium works and what it takes to keep such a large operation going.
On our visit, we talked with the commissary staff and watched them put together meals for the fish. We saw the Tropical Diver exhibit from the back and watched how the giant waves you see in the exhibit were created. We also got a top down view of the beluga whales. The Backstage Tour is available for ages 10 and up, but if you have younger children, enjoy the aquarium itself. There are lots of exhibits and fun for every age.
Captain Your Ship: Across the street from the Georgia Aquarium is a restaurant arcade called Game X. In The Mark of Athena, Leo captains the Argo II using a Wii remote. You won’t find Wii’s, but you will find a pirate ship to captain. You’ll also find pop-a-shots, a giant Connect Four game and multi-puck air hockey to name just a few games. Games X has a kid-friendly menu and a full bar for the adults.
Where to stay on your Percy Jackson Tour of Atlanta: If you want to stay downtown near Game X and the Georgia Aquarium, try the Omni CNN Center. It’s centrally located and often offers great deals for leisure travel and great extras for kids and adults. See our post on the Omni CNN Center Hotel for more information.