A family-friendly guide to getting the most out of an Atlanta summer

Lake Lanier is close to Atlanta, making it the undeniable choice for a day trip. Lake Sinclair has 10 golf courses, more than 15,330 acres of water and more than 400 miles of scenic shoreline, winding coves and inlets. Lake Hartwell is perfectly situated to allow residents and guests to split their time between the iconic waterfront, and all the land based fun that both East Georgia and South Carolina have to offer. The Ritz-Carlton Lodge at Lake Oconee is one of the most serene and beautiful waterfron

Climbing temperatures, longer days and what every kid's been dreaming of - summer vacation has officially arrived!

»RELATED: 2019 guide to free outdoor movies in metro Atlanta

If you can't take another summer of whiny "I'm bored" sentiments, browse below for some suggestions of fun things to do with your family in and around our beloved home, Atlanta.

April 8, 2019 Meigs - Mike Hamm operates a John Deere utility tractor Hickey Farms for harrowing cotton field at Hickey Farms in Meigs on Monday, April 8, 2019. Congress' delay in finalizing an aid package for Hurricane Michael victims has had a real impact on the ground in Georgia. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM



Explore all of Georgia with a Farm Passport

It's hard finding the time (and money) to travel around the globe, but the Certified Farm Market program in Georgia can satisfy that itch by allowing you to explore farms around Georgia. Not only will you earn prizes as you rack up stamps in your farm passport, but you'll also discover where your food comes from and support those who make it possible.

Pick up a passport at any of the participating farms or at your local county farm bureau office.

Georgia Farm Bureau, 2850 Powder Springs Road SW, Marietta, 770-943-3531

Become an Atlanta history guru

The city of Atlanta is actually full. But rather than spending another afternoon griping about traffic, take a little time to stop and smell the roses, maybe even learn about the city's roots and what it took to get us where we are today.

Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, 450 Auburn Ave. NE, Atlanta, 404-331-5190

Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History, 2829 Cherokee St., Kennesaw, 770-427-2117

Atlanta History Center, 130 West Paces Ferry Road NW, Atlanta, 404-814-4000

Plaza Theatre in Atlanta November 10, 2017. STEVE SCHAEFER / SPECIAL TO THE AJC

Catch a flick

Whether you're trying to watch a summer blockbuster or an indie flick, there's not much better than catching a movie in the summer. Check out what's happening at the Plaza Theatre, the drive-in or find the best deal at the dollar theatre. Just don't get caught sneaking candy in your bag!

Starlight Six Drive-In, 2000 Moreland Ave. SE, Atlanta, 404-627-3641

Picture Show at Merchant's Exchange, 4400 Roswell Road, Marietta, 770-321-7818

AMC DINE-IN Buckhead 6, 3340 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta, 404-467-9619

Welcome to Zoo Atlanta!

Credit: Courtesy of Zoo Atlanta

Credit: Courtesy of Zoo Atlanta

Play tourist for a day

Whether you have guests in town or you just want to experience the classics, you can't go wrong with these Atlanta icons. Kids or no kids, don't forget to stop at The Varsity.

Zoo Atlanta, 800 Cherokee Ave. SE, Atlanta, 404-624-5600

Georgia Aquarium, 225 Baker St. NW, Atlanta, 404-581-4000

World of Coca-Cola, 121 Baker St. NW, Atlanta, 404-676-5151

Be kind and volunteer your time

Summertime means longer days, which gives you more time to make a difference. Atlanta boasts plenty of ways for kids of all ages to lend a hand, alongside their parents. Choose an area of interest and shine on.

Furkids Animal Rescue and Shelters Cat Shelter, 2650 Pleasantdale Road, Atlanta, 770-613-0880

Atlanta Community Food Bank, 732 Joseph E. Lowery Blvd. NW, Atlanta, 404-892-3333

Hands On Atlanta, 600 Means St. NW, #100, Atlanta, 404-979-2800

An Atlanta United mural located in Decatur, Georgia

Credit: Courtesy of Wikimedia

Credit: Courtesy of Wikimedia

For sporty kids

The Atlanta Braves play 81 home games between April and September, Atlanta United has $1.50 hot dogs and there are tons of college and minor league games. The little ones will love all the action and your wallet won't bust.

Atlanta United, 1 AMB Drive NW, Atlanta, 470-341-5000

Atlanta Braves, 755 Battery Ave. SE, Atlanta, 404-577-9100

Gwinnett Stripers, 2500 Buford Drive, Lawrenceville, 678-277-0340

Adopt the pace of nature

Hiking and camping and nature, oh my! There are so many places in Georgia to take advantage of the outdoors. From the Little Grand Canyon to the start (or end) of the Appalachian Trail, don't miss what Mother Nature has to offer.

Sweetwater Creek State Park, 1750 Mount Vernon Road, Lithia Springs, 770-732-5871

Red Top Mountain State Park, 50 Lodge Road SE, Cartersville, 770-975-4226

Morningside Nature Preserve, 2020 Lenox Rd. NE, Atlanta, 404-546-6788

The Water Park at Margaritaville at Lanier Islands has been rebranded. CONTRIBUTED

Jump in!

If you need a nice getaway on a budget, Georgia's rivers and lakes have got you covered, whether tubing, rafting or just chilling with a tropical drink in hand.

Margaritaville at Lanier Islands, 7650 Lanier Islands Pkwy., Buford, 470-323-3440

Dallas Landing Park, 5120 Allatoona Dr., Acworth, 770-917-1234

Cool River Tubing, 590 Edelweiss Strasse, Helen, 706-878-2665

More to do with the little ones this summer:

ExploreNo ocean, no problem: 7 refreshing lake beaches near Atlanta
ExploreFive unusual things to do with older kids in Georgia
Explore10 often-overlooked beaches near Atlanta
ExploreAn Atlanta guide to everything to do with kids this summer
ExploreHow your kid can get a movie ticket, drink and popcorn for $4 this summer in Atlanta

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