Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Atlanta Attractions: Fernbank Museum

Being a tourist is tons of fun. Being a tourist in your own city? Even better! I always forget how much Atlanta has to offer, and then we do something fun in the city and I remember all over again. This past weekend we made a spontaneous trip to the Fernbank Museum, and it was so much fun! I think the last time I had been was when I was a child. So, it was fun to re-discover it all over again with my own children.


We had other plans on Saturday, but at the last minute Mr. Cute decided we should ditch those and go on an adventure. After doing some quick brainstorming we landing on Fernbank. It hit all the majors: it had dinosaurs, interesting movies, things for the kids to do or touch with out getting into trouble, and a cafe in case all of our snack reserves were depleted early. 


We arrived mid-afternoon after we had done our workouts for the day and a few errands. We were nervous it would be a little crowded since it was a Saturday, and it was an air conditioned activity available here in the deep south. Surprisingly it was quite empty. The kids were beyond stoked the moment we pulled into the parking lot and saw life sized dinosaurs. 


Dinosaurs in their world are already a huge thing. Dinosaurs in real life - minds blown. 


So from moment one of walking into the museum we were "the coolest parents ever". 


Now for those of you not familiar with Fernbank, it is a natural history museum located in a historic part of Atlanta. It is surrounded by 65 acres dubbed Fernbank Forest, and it one of Atlanta's most revered attractions. Aside from being the host to a large dinosaur collection, it has a variety of Native American and European artifacts, a science exploration area, a large indoor and outdoor children's play area, a few movie theaters (one being an IMAX theater) and more. There is also a special exhibition that appears every few months. 


We loved how hands on everything is. The kids had so much fun exploring and touching each and every exhibit offered. 


The current main attraction is the Mammoths and Mastodons exhibit. We watched a show in one of the theaters about Mastodons and then toured the exhibit afterwards. 


This was the perfect schedule for my kids because they loved being able to touch and feel what they just saw in the documentary. 


The area was tons of fun and definitely geared towards young exploring minds and hands. 



The wildlife exhibits and the dinosaurs were also major hits, but I think the Mastodons made it for them.


We learned about this baby Mammoth in the movie, and I still can't believe that an almost complete baby Mammoth was found buried in the snow almost 42,000 years later. 


The little baby was approximately one month old, and the documentary tells all about her, how she was found, and how that answered a lot of unknown questions about prehistoric animals. The kids were in awe and it was one of the things they've talked about the most post visit. 


All the exhibits are wonderfully done, but The Cutes had a few clear favorites over some others. 


We didn't get to explore the Reflections area for too long, but historic jewelry and fashion across different cultures...I'm in! 


I snuck a quick peek or two, but then it was off to explore the Sensing Nature exhibit next door. This was more the kids speed as everything was completely hands (and feet, and arms, and ears, and eyes) on. 



The kids could have stayed in this area for hours! 


And they probably would have if they hadn't caught wind of NatureQuest


This little area was a kids dream! It was filled with 100s of little activities for them to do all wrapped up in one of the coolest play spaces ever! Kids can explore, check out live animals, and play all in one. 


Each one of our children ran off into a different direction the moment they entered the play space. Normally this would have stressed me out, but the space is well set up to where you can see the majority of it and there is an attendant manning the entrance at all times. 


The Cutes loved this and didn't want to leave. So, we didn't. 


We let them play and explore their little hearts out, and ended up staying in NatureQuest until it was officially closing time. 





They were so sad when we told them we had to go home. And so were we! There was still so much of the museum we didn't catch and we heard there is an amazing outdoor area to explore. 


We had SO much fun! We definitely know we will be back soon! 


We are thinking of getting a membership. If anyone in Atlanta has one, do you think it is worth it? We are trying to see which family membership we would get the most use out of, so any insight would be greatly appreciated! 

For those of you not in Atlanta, but are planning to visit soon, definitely plan to put Fernbank on your itinerary!

Jen 


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