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Travel

Atlanta Family Break

Atlanta may be known for its hustle and bustle, but it’s a great place to relax with the kids, too. The next time you’re looking for a family weekend getaway, consider heading to Georgia’s capital city.

With so many attractions in one central location, downtown Atlanta is ideal for walking. We set up a temporary home at the Omni Hotel at CNN Center. Attached to the CNN Center, the Omni Hotel overlooks Centennial Olympic Park and offers beautiful views of the city’s skyline.

Eating at the hotel is easy on families as well. We started each day with breakfast at Prime Meridian Restaurant, the hotel restaurant, where each family member chose his or her favorite from the buffet. A bonus? The buffet is free for children 5 and younger.

For lunch or dinner, guests can eat at Prime Meridian Restaurant, or they can head to the adjacent CNN Center food court, with eateries such as Chick-fil-A, Moe’s Southwest Grill and Dunkin’ Donuts.

When venturing out, families can start in Centennial Olympic Park. Kids love playing in the Fountain of Rings, as well as watching the Fountain of Rings musical and light show (visit http://www.centennnialpark.com for current schedule). Kids also can play in the park’s grassy areas or at the playgrounds.

Next, head across the street to the Georgia Aquarium, the World of Coca-Cola or The Children’s Museum of Atlanta. We opted to take the kids to the children’s museum. While my 3-year-old son loved the train sets, my 6-year-old daughter headed for more artistic pursuits. She painted on the wall and built sand castles in the “Let Your Creativity Flow” year-round exhibit. While the museum welcomes children of all ages, exhibits are developed for children ages 8 and younger.

That evening, we headed to Underground Atlanta just a couple of blocks up from the hotel for dinner at Johnny Rockets. Modeled after ’50s diners, Johnny Rockets serves up traditional burgers, fries and milkshakes, among other old-fashioned menu items. The kids’ favorite part, though, was dropping nickels in the tabletop jukebox and choosing songs from the playlist.

The next day, we headed to Zoo Atlanta, about a five-minute drive from the Omni Hotel. As expected, the kids had a blast seeing all the animals, riding the zoo train, playing on the playground and climbing the rock wall.

If your family loves sports, check to see who’s playing the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena or the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome. Both are within walking distance of the Omni Hotel. Baseball fans can catch the Atlanta Braves at nearby Turner Field, which is just five minutes away.

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