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 Atlanta's Winter Wonderland
The trees are bare, the temperatures chilly and the kids want to go out and play. While Atlanta does not see much snow the city does have plethora of activities for families. With great sporting teams and a large number of museums, you will never run out of things to do in Atlanta! We have picked out a few unusual and traditional winter activities.

Best Sporting Event (you may not know about): The Atlanta Thrashers. Traditionally a northern sport, the Thrashers debuted in 1999 and brought hockey to Atlanta for the first time in 19 years. The team went to the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the 2006-2007 season. The games are played at Phillips Arena. View their schedule.

Best way to get some culture and be entertained: The Atlanta Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker. Sugar plums, fairies and princes dance their way across the stage as children watch with delight. The performance of Tchaikovsky’s classic is a tradition for many Atlanta families. And with 24 performances between December 5-28, everyone is likely to find a show to fit their schedule. The Atlanta Ballet is one of the countries top companies and the oldest in the United States. Learn more at www.atlantaballet.com.

Another Christmas event you don’t want to miss (and it’s free!): This event is the official kick off the Christmas season. Join thousands beneath the tree at Macy’s Lenox Square, located at 3393 Peachtree Road NE on Thanksgiving night, which is Nov. 27 in 2008. Celebrities perform at the event, which has been an Atlanta tradition for more than 40 years. For more information, visit www.atlanta.net.

Learn more about how the world works (and the world beyond this one!): Fernbank Science Center. For more than 30 years Georgia school children have been entertained by the great shows in the Planetarium. The museum also has great exhibits and activities all winter for kids. The science center is located at 156 Heaton Park Drive. Fro more information, log onto www.fernbank.edu.

See the ocean without leaving Atlanta: The Georgia Aquarium. More than eight million gallons of water and 100,000 animals call 20 acres of downtown Atlanta home. Opening in 2005, the Georgia Aquarium is one of the world’s largest. In July 2008, the Aquarium began a program that will allow divers to swim with the sharks. Take a sneak peek at www.georgiaaquarium.org.

Get up close and personal with a former president: Jimmy Carter Museum and Library. Located just two minutes from downtown Atlanta, the presidential library will serve as nostalgia for parents witnessed the presidency of Georgia peanut farmer Jimmy Carter and as a great history lesson for children. Go to www.jimmycarterlibrary.gov to see what new exhibits are featured and learn more.

Learn more about the only war fought on American soil: The Southern of Civil War and Locomotive History. Kids will want to come and see the trains. Parents will love the history lesson the kids receive at this museum located just north of Atlanta in Kennesaw. Details about special holiday events (include a “Polar Express”) can be found at www.southernmuseum.org.

Drink in history: The New World of Coca-Cola. Learn more about the soft drink giant’s Southern Roots. Explore the soda fountains that spawned the legendary beverage. The tour is fun but kids will love tasting the hundreds of soft drinks from around the world at the end. Find out hours and directions at www.worldofcoca-cola.com.

Learn more about Atlanta’s favorite pastime and black history: Turner Field During February, which is Black History month, children 13 and under can tour Turner Field and the Atlanta Braves Museum for free if they read a book about African American contributors to the sport. Run the bases where “America’s Team” has played its championship games. To learn more visit www.atlanta.braves.mlb.com.

The best new winter venue: Snow Mountain Park: Stone Mountain, one of Atlanta’s beloved attractions, turns into Snow Mountain beginning on New Year’s Eve. Snow days are sparse in Atlanta and many children have never seen a significant amount of snow. Kids can slide on soft (but fake) snow and see a winter wonderland. Find out more about Snow Mountain here www.snowmountainpark.com.


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