5 family friendly spring break ideas near Atlanta

Hike these 5 beginner-friendly waterfall trails in North Georgia. Video produced by Fiza Pirani/AJC.

When public schools close in metro Atlanta for spring break, some Atlantans go elsewhere. But if you’re staying in town or visiting metro Atlanta during the week off, there are many places to visit, both indoors and outdoors.

Here are some ideas to get you started. For locations that charge admission, you should call ahead or check the website for any special restrictions during spring break.

One bonus: Traffic is generally lighter for the week until Thursday.

Explore the Chattahoochee River

Hike, walk, fish or raft in one of the 15 riverside units of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area — one of the nation’s premier urban greenways and one of the National Park Service’s most biologically diverse parks, according to Charles Seabrook, who writes an outdoors column for the AJC. The network of related parks includes choices as near as Sandy Springs and Roswell, or you can explore closer to Lake Lanier and Buford Dam north of Atlanta. Note: The Interstate North Parking Lot and Entrance are closed for repaving.

Been there, done that? Here are more of Seabrook’s selections for where you can spend time in nature, from the Wild Georgia column.

Walk near Anna Ruby Falls

The shortest route to this stunning double waterfall is paved, less than 1 mile and stroller-friendly. Hike the Anna Ruby Falls Trail near Helen, about 75 miles north of I-285 at Ga. 400. The walk follows a beautiful creek. At the end of the trail, you’ll see this double waterfall as York Creek and Curtis Creek fall from a tall, rocky bluff.

Chasing waterfalls at a beginner-level pace? Here are four more that are a short hike from your car.

Enjoy Lullwater Park in Druid Hills

Sand and water, mill ruins and a 210-foot suspension bridge — it doesn’t get better than that for families who like to explore. The best part is you never have to leave the city. Officially, Lullwater Park trail access is limited to Emory students and faculty with Emory identification. Unofficially, it’s a magical city oasis adjacent to Hahn Forest Park that beckons families to explore.

If you’ve already checked that off your list, here are 4 other family-friendly places to hike near Atlanta.

Experience the Millennium Gate Museum at Atlantic Station

Some people visit Atlantic Station for food or shopping. There’s also a museum option. The Millennium Gate Museum, at the arch, is dedicated to preserving Georgia history, art, culture and philanthropic heritage. There are tons of galleries that feature artifacts, documents and photographs from figures of the 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.

For those who prefer the indoor option: Here are seven more museums to sample in metro Atlanta.

See a free movie at Colony Square

Colony Square in Midtown Atlanta pulls out a jumbo screen to show movies “on the square” outside the office and dining complex on select Thursdays from April to October. Weather permitting, the April 4 show is “A Bug’s Life.” Admission is free, but you’ll either pay to park or take MARTA.

Check out more free things to do in April from accessAtlanta.com.