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Kids & Teens Recreation
2017 summer bucket list for metro Atlanta families 

2017 summer bucket list for metro Atlanta families 

Photo Credit: Steve Schaefer
Rebecca Benator hits the breaks as she nears the end of the 1,000-foot water slide at the Slide the City block party in Atlanta on Saturday, June 25, 2016. STEVE SCHAEFER / SPECIAL TO THE AJC

2017 summer bucket list for metro Atlanta families 

"I'm bored!"

Have you heard it yet?

If not now, it will likely happen before summer ends.

But you’re in luck. We've compiled a list of summer things to to do around Atlanta that will banish those words forever−or at least until fall.

Here's an all-inclusive 2017 summer bucket list for metro Atlanta families:

Inside the Perimeter

The Dancing Granny. Now Until July 16. Adults $15, Children 6-17 $8, kids under 5 are free. Presented by the Alliance Theater at various locations. AllianceTheatre.org.

Conant Performing Arts Center at Oglethorpe University. June 10–18. 4484 Peachtree Road, NE, Atlanta, 30319.
The Galloway School June 24–July 2. 215 W. Wieuca Road, NW, Atlanta, 30342.
Spelman College July 8–16. 420 Westview Drive SW, Atlanta, 30310.

This world premiere show for youth and families is based on Ashley Bryan’s popular children’s book. A clever spider named Ananse tries to trick Granny into dancing away from her garden so he can take her vegetables, and soon becomes a dancer himself. The musical play is being presented in conjunction with the High Museum of Art exhibition of Bryan’s work. www.high.org/Art/Exhibitions/Ashley-Bryan

Summer Camp H2O. Mon.-Fri. now until July 28. Weekly pricing: $324.95-$360.95. Georgia Aquarium. 225 Baker St NW, Atlanta. georgiaaquarium.org.

A series of ocean-oriented camps for a wide range of ages, pre-K through 8th grade. Camps in four age groups, pre-K, (4 & 5 years), rising 1st - 2nd graders, rising 3rd - 4th graders, rising 5th - 6th graders and rising 7th - 8th graders. These age appropriate classes will combine fun and learning with a bit more learning for the older kids.

Steve Schaefer
Rebecca Benator hits the breaks as she nears the end of the 1,000-foot water slide at the Slide the City block party in Atlanta on Saturday, June 25, 2016. STEVE SCHAEFER / SPECIAL TO THE AJC

June 25, 2016

Photo Credit: Steve Schaefer
Rebecca Benator hits the breaks as she nears the end of the 1,000-foot water slide at the Slide the City block party in Atlanta on Saturday, June 25, 2016. STEVE SCHAEFER / SPECIAL TO THE AJC

Slide the City July 15. $25 for three slides, $58 for unlimited slides. Centennial Olympic Park. Centennial Olympic Park Dr NW & Andrew Young International Blvd NW, Atlanta. slidethecity.com.

This family-friendly slip-and-slide party is one day only. You can choose between three turns at the slide or the all-you-can-slide option. An urban block party will also be happening, with live music, food, drinks and other entertainment.

Coca Cola Summer Film Festival. July 16-September 3. $5-$20. Fox Theatre. 660 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta 30308. foxtheatre.org.  

The Coca Cola Summer Film Festival at the Fox Theater will present a great assortment of family-friendly features this summer. The lineup includes sing-a-long versions of Walt Disney’s animated gem “Beauty and the Beast,” as well as “Mary Poppins”, a timeless classic. All eight Harry Potter films will be shown as triple- and double-headers. Kids can also enjoy the popular Saturday morning cartoon series. Get there early for a magical pre-show experience, a sing-along with the world renowned Mighty Mo organ.

»RELATED: 2017 guide to free outdoor movies in Atlanta

DeKalb County


Visit the “Hoos” at the Dunwoody Nature Center

Great Backyard Campout. $20-25 per campsite. June 24. Dunwoody Nature Center. 5343 Roberts Dr, Atlanta 30338. dunwoodynature.org.

Here’s a chance to practice camping without going too far from home. You will learn how to pitch your tent and build a campfire. Traditional camping activities will also happen, like marshmallow roasting, nighttime hiking and singing corny camp songs. If you miss this event they’ll be doing it again the first Saturday in November. Dunwoody is home to one of many nature centers around the city. Find more nature centers here.

Brook Run Park. Dunwoody's 102-acre park includes an organic community garden, a dog park, a skate park, a 2-mile trail loop and a large playground that kids (and parents) will love – especially because of the shade awnings. The newest addition to this park is Treetop Quest. Swing through the trees on courses that include zip lines and treetop obstacles designed to challenge all levels of climbers. The park recently upgraded its course for children ages 4 to 6, now called the Chick Pea course.

Sleep in a yurt. $119 per night, two night minimum. Stone Mountain Park. 1000 Robert E Lee Blvd, Stone Mountain 30083. stonemountainpark.com.

There's nothing as amazing as waking up to a view of the lake after a comfortable night's sleep in a yurt. Three yurts include true beds, air conditioning, bunks, electrical outlets and more. Stone Mountain not in your neighborhood? Try these places to sleep in a yurt all over Georgia

»RELATED: 8 alternatives to tent camping around Georgia 

Cobb County

50th Anniversary Show. June 3- August 6.  FREE with General Admission. Six Flags Over Georgia. 275 Riverside Pkwy Southwest, Austell. sixflags.com.

Believe it or not, Six Flags Over Georgia is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year! A special new show will celebrate the park and the most popular hits of this era. The Crystal Pistol will be rocking with sounds from 1967 to the present, and you will see images of the park from back in the day.

Contributed by Georgia State Parks

The beach at Red Top Mountain in Acworth is part of the Georgia State Park system.

Photo Credit: Contributed by Georgia State Parks

Acworth Beach. Now through September 4. Head to Cauble Park, 4425 Beach St., Acworth for fun in the sun on the shores of Lake Acworth. Enjoy white sand and a roped area for swimming. There is also a playground, restroom area, picnic tables and more. There are no lifeguards on duty, so keep an eye on the kiddos. Swimming is free, and the park also offers boating and fishing. Parking is free weekdays and is $10 cash per car Saturdays and Sundays from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m if you aren’t a city resident. That $10 charge lasts until Labor Day weekend.

»RELATED:  Beaches near Atlanta: Head to these Cobb County beaches


Acworth Slide. Now through September 4. $16. Dallas Landing Park 5120 Allatoona Drive, Acworth. www.acworthslide.com.

Dallas Landing Park in Acworth is now home to a 36 foot high inflatable water slide that can be seen from clean across Lake Allatoona. At 175 feet long, it is advertised as the world’s longest inflatable water slide and is sure to entertain your family. Season passes are available for devoted sliders.

Andretti Indoor Karting & Games. Open year-round. Prices vary. 1255 Roswell Rd., Marietta.  

From racing to ropes courses, arcades to bowling, and motion theatre to laser tag, Andretti is full of fun and excitement. The great thing is, this facility is pay-as-you-go; only purchase tickets for what you want to play. Check the web site for a variety of enticing specials and promotions.

Gwinnett County

Mayfield Dairy. $4.50 adults, $3.50 kids, includes a scoop of ice cream. Love Mayfield milk and ice cream? Take the kids to tour the facility in Braselton. Tours begin every hour during open times (closed Wed. & Sun.) Be sure to take a selfie with the giant cow statue. There is also a dairy-themed gift shop and an old-fashioned ice cream parlor. www.mayfielddairy.com.


Minor leagues cast an allure of their own

Gwinnett Braves Friends and Family Night. June 24. 

$15 each. Coolray Field. 2500 Buford Dr., Lawrenceville. www.GwinnettBraves.com.

Coolray Field is a great place to introduce your kids to baseball. The Friends and Family Package includes a field box ticket, G-Braves hat and a voucher for a burger.

Splash pad and fountain fun. Let kids splish and splash in the water while letting go of some built-up energy. Try Big Splash at Suwanee Town Center Park, Village Pavilion at Mall of Georgia, Lillian Webb Park or Town Green Fountain at Duluth Main Street.

North Fulton

Roswell Summer Puppet Series

Various dates through July 22. $5 for ages 2 and up, under 2 free. Roswell Cultural Arts Center. 950 Forrest St, Roswell. roswellgov.com.

The Roswell Summer Puppet Series is one of the best things about summer for those in the northern suburbs. Six different shows are designed just for kids so a little noise and chaos is OK and it's VERY affordable. 

Matilda's Music Under the Pines. Various dates. $20 adults, 16 and younger, free. Matilda's. 77 S Main St, Alpharetta. matildasmusicvenue.com.

If you are looking for the perfect place to enjoy live music in Alpharetta — whether for a fun date night idea for couples or a family night out — Matilda's Music Under the Pines is your answer. Bring your kids (16 and younger are FREE) your dog, the beverage of your choice and your picnic blanket.

Webb Bridge Park. It's unlike most playgrounds, with unusual play structures, a musical keyboard, shady trees, a covered sand box and walking trails. The best part for summer is the Zone Spring, a man-made stream that flows through the play area, ideal for splashing in. It's fed from a deep well under the ground and flows to a lake for irrigation rather than being recirculated- regardless, the kids will have a ball at Webb Bridge. 4780 Webb Bridge Rd, Alpharetta.

In the Mountains

Swimming Holes. You can go to the neighborhood pool or hit the community splash pad, but nothing says summer like playing in Mother Nature's natural waterscapes. 

Here are 15 waterfalls, creeks and streams your kids will love to play in this summer.

»RELATED: Here are 5 easy hikes to Atlanta's hidden waterfalls

Adventure Parks. Head to Amicalola or Unicoi State Park for great family fun, with accommodations built right in. Packages include multiple adventures like survivalist camp, mountain biking, zip lining, kayak fishing, or GPS scavenger hunting. Not enough? What about s'mores and fire pit stories, guided hikes to the falls, archery and so much more! Adventure Lodges.

Brant Sanderlin
VIP guests were given a guided tour of the new zip line course at Amicalola Falls State Park in Dawsonville Thursday as part of the grand opening. The course is a canopy to canopy experience with 11 zip lines. BRANT SANDERLIN / BSANDERLIN@AJC.COM

A look at new zip line canopy tour at Amicalola Falls

Photo Credit: Brant Sanderlin
VIP guests were given a guided tour of the new zip line course at Amicalola Falls State Park in Dawsonville Thursday as part of the grand opening. The course is a canopy to canopy experience with 11 zip lines. BRANT SANDERLIN / BSANDERLIN@AJC.COM

Snorkel the Conasauga River. The Conasauga is the most biodiverse river basin in the world – right here in Georgia. Bring your snorkels to view over 70 different species of fish, but visit in summer because this water is COLD! Fill up on gas, bring plenty of snacks and prepare for an exciting adventure. Find directions and general info about snorkeling the Conasauga here.


Summer Camp. From a family camping experience at Callaway Gardens to overnight camp in Blue Ridge and from LEGO camp in Atlanta to PGA camp in Macon, there are plenty of summer camp options across the state. Find the best summer camps for kids here.

»RELATED: AJC's Atlanta Summer Guide

Free Reading Programs. Barnes and Noble.. Chuck E. Cheese...there are multiple summer reading programs for kids all around the state. The best part? These summer reading programs are FREE.

Free Outdoor Movies. Old classics under the stars are an ideal way to spend a summer night. Large screens are popping up in parks over the city. Pack a picnic and head to your favorite spot.

Adventure Beyond Atlanta. From Len Foote Hike Inn in the mountains to shell hunting on Cumberland Island, Georgia is filled with special memory-making opportunities for the family. Follow this list of 52 adventures every kid MUST experience from Georgia's family travel spokesperson.

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  • A woman was arrested after an explosive outburst at a Georgia Department of Driver Services office in Cobb County, according to a warrant. 'If I had a bomb,” the warrant alleges Polly Barfield said, “I'd blow this place up.” Barfield, 53, told Channel 2 Action News her children were present and she had no intention of actually carrying out the threat. She was just frustrated with how long it was taking to get her paperwork done Tuesday at the department’s Kennesaw office. But authorities told the news station the threat made in a state government building 'placed those that heard it in fear for their safety.” Barfield was charged with disorderly conduct, according to the warrant. She was released from the Cobb County Adult Detention Center after posting $4,000 bond. VIEW: Map of crime in metro Atlanta NEW: Join the discussion at the AJC's Crime & Safety Facebook group Know what’s really going on with crime and public safety in your metro Atlanta community, including breaking news, trial coverage, trends and the latest on unsolved cases. Sign up for the AJC’s crime and safety newsletter delivered weekly to your inbox.
  • Messages of condolence poured in for the family of young Tripp Halstead, who died on Thursday.
  • Update, 2:14 a.m. CDT Sunday: Austin police have arrested a man in connection with a bomb threat that led to the cancellation of The Roots’ show Saturday at South by Southwest.  The city of Austin tweeted the following statement early Sunday: Trevor Weldon Ingram, 26, was arrested on charges of making a terroristic threat, a third-degree felony, the release said. Police also tweeted Ingram’s booking photo: ORIGINAL STORY: A South by Southwest performance by The Roots at Fair Market in Austin, Texas, was canceled Saturday night due to a “security concern,” event organizers said. >> Visit Statesman.com for the latest on this developing story A police spokesman said around 9:30 p.m. that more information would be released via Twitter, but nothing had been posted by 11:30 p.m. CDT. However, the Austin Chronicle reported that it had two staffers at the event. One staffer heard event workers discussing the concern as a bomb threat, according to a report the weekly posted online, and 'a second Chronicle staffer spoke with someone working at Fair Market tonight, who confirmed that Austin police were canvassing the property to determine whether there is any validity to the threat.' The cancellation of the show on the final night of the South By Southwest Festival comes at a time of heightened concern in the city following three deadly package bombs – two on Monday – that have exploded in East Austin this month, killing two people and seriously injuring a third. >> Austin package explosions: 3 blasts appear connected, claim 2 lives, police say Representatives for the event issued the following statement Saturday night after the cancellation:  “Due to a security concern, we have made the difficult decision to cancel tonight’s Bud Light x The Roots SXSW Jam. After working proactively with SXSW, the Austin Police Department, and other authorities, Bud Light believes this is the best course of action to ensure the safety of our guests, staff, and artists, and appreciate your understanding. We are truly sorry to have to cancel the event, but we felt it was necessary to take all safety precautions.” >> Austin package bombings: Friends remember victims Draylen Mason, Anthony House In an Instagram post, Fair Market representatives said Anheuser-Busch made the call to cancel the event. In a tweet that was later deleted Saturday night, frontman Questlove wrote, “Uh, welp can’t say much but for those in Austin waiting in line to see us tonight. Tonight’s show has been cancelled. They’ll make official announcement but I’d rather save y’all the trouble of waiting in line.” >> On Austin360.com: Complete coverage of SXSW In response to fans who were upset after waiting in line for hours, Questlove also tweeted:
  • Bill Murray has arrived at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. >> The Roots SXSW show canceled following possible bomb threat, report says He’s in town for multiple reasons – the premiere of Wes Anderson’s “Isle of Dogs” on Saturday night, a dedication at the Belo Center for New Media at the University of Texas on Saturday afternoon and an appearance at the Long Center on Sunday night. >> On Austin360.com: Complete coverage of SXSW >> Read more trending news  In true Bill Murray fashion, he also appeared on Sixth Street on Saturday evening and recited a poem while wearing overalls and a bucket hat, likely to promote his Long Center show at which he’ll be sharing stories and poetry. Anderson made an appearance, too: >> Click here to watch
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Though the precise contents are unknown, the memos possibly could help substantiate McCabe's assertion that he was unfairly maligned by a White House he says had declared 'war' on the FBI and Mueller's investigation. They almost certainly contain, as Comey's memos did, previously undisclosed details about encounters between the Trump administration and FBI that could be of interest to Mueller. The disclosure Saturday came hours after Trump called McCabe's firing by Attorney General Jeff Sessions 'a great day for Democracy' and asserted without elaboration that McCabe knew 'all about the lies and corruption going on at the highest levels off the FBI!' In the last year, Trump has repeatedly condemned McCabe as emblematic of an FBI that he insists is biased against his administration. That sent former CIA Director John Brennan, an outspoken Trump critic, into a Twitter tizzy: 'When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history. You may scapegoat Andy McCabe, but you will not destroy America...America will triumph over you.' Sessions said he acted on the recommendation of FBI disciplinary officials who said McCabe had not been candid with a watchdog office investigation. McCabe was fired two days before his retirement date on Sunday. The dismissal likely jeopardizes his ability to collect his full pension benefits and, more broadly, could add to the turmoil that has enveloped the FBI since Comey's firing and as the bureau moves ahead with an investigation the White House has dismissed as a hoax. An upcoming inspector general's report is expected to conclude that McCabe, who spent more than 20 years with the FBI, had authorized the release of information to the media and was not forthcoming with the watchdog office as it examined the bureau's handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation. McCabe has vigorously disputed the allegations and said his credibility had been attacked as 'part of a larger effort not just to slander me personally' but also the FBI and law enforcement. 'It is part of this administration's ongoing war on the FBI and the efforts of the special counsel investigation, which continue to this day,' he added. 'Their persistence in this campaign only highlights the importance of the special counsel's work.' The firing set off dueling tweets between Trump, who called the termination a 'great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI,' and Comey, the director he fired 10 months ago. Trump called Comey 'sanctimonious' and said Comey made McCabe 'look like a choirboy.' Comey, referencing his highly anticipated book that comes out next month, responded with his own tweet: 'Mr. President, the American people will hear my story very soon. And they can judge for themselves who is honorable and who is not.' Also Saturday, Trump's personal lawyer, John Dowd, cited the 'brilliant and courageous example' by Sessions and the FBI's Office of Professional Responsibility and said Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein should 'bring an end' to the Russia investigation 'manufactured' by Comey. Dowd told the AP that he neither was calling on Rosenstein, who oversees Mueller's inquiry, to fire the special counsel immediately nor had discussed with Rosenstein the idea of dismissing Mueller or ending the probe. Mueller is investigating whether Trump's actions, including Comey's ouster, constitute obstruction of justice. McCabe could be an important witness, and his memos could be used by investigators as they look into whether Trump sought to thwart the FBI probe. Comey's own memos, including one in which he says Trump encouraged him to end an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn, have been provided to Mueller and are part of his investigation. McCabe, in a statement defending himself, asserted he was singled out by the administration because of the 'role I played, the actions I took, and the events I witnessed in the aftermath' of Comey's firing last May. He became acting director after that but clashed with the Trump administration, including when he publicly rejected White House assertions that Comey had lost the support of the rank-and-file. He abruptly left the deputy director position in January and went on leave. The firing arises from an inspector general review into how the FBI handled the Clinton email investigation. That inquiry focused not only on specific decisions made by FBI leadership but also on news media leaks. McCabe came under scrutiny over an October 2016 news report that revealed differing approaches within the FBI and Justice Department over how aggressively the Clinton Foundation should be investigated. The watchdog office has concluded that McCabe authorized FBI officials to speak to a Wall Street Journal reporter for that story and that McCabe had not been forthcoming with investigators. McCabe denies it. McCabe became entangled in presidential politics in 2016 after it was revealed that his wife, during her unsuccessful run for state Senate in Virginia one year earlier, received campaign contributions from the political action committee of then-Gov. Terry McAuliffe, D-Va., a longtime Clinton friend. The FBI has said McCabe received the necessary ethics approval about his wife's candidacy and was not supervising the Clinton investigation at the time of the contributions. ___ Associated Press writer Chad Day contributed to this report. ___ Follow Eric Tucker on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/etuckerAP
  • A business owner says thieves smashed a window of a Southern California pet store and made off with six birds worth thousands of dollars. Birds-N-Paradise co-owner Erik Schreiner tells the Press-Enterprise newspaper in Riverside that surveillance footage shows at least one shadowy figure stealing the birds early Friday. He says the thieves took three Patagonian conures worth $950 each; a caique parrot worth $1,400; a rose-breasted cockatoo worth $2,200; and a yellow nape Amazon parrot worth $2,500. Schreiner believes the theft at his shop in the city of Menifee is tied to other recent bird heists in the region. Thefts have occurred at a bird farm in Redlands and an exotic bird store in Cypress in the past few weeks. The Riverside County Sheriff's Department says it's not clear if the crimes are linked.