Visit the Georgia Aquarium in the Heart of Atlanta

The public aquarium, known to be the world’s second largest, boasts 60 animal habitats and 10 million gallons of water filled with 1,000 species of marine life.


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Gaze upon a whale shark at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta.

Photo courtesy of Adrian H. Wood

The Georgia Aquarium, located in downtown Atlanta across from Centennial Olympic Park, covers 550,000 square feet in an expanse of sea wonders. The public aquarium, known to be the world’s second largest, boasts 60 animal habitats and 10 million gallons of water filled with 1,000 species of marine life. Here, your family can experience a rare view into the hidden treasures of the sea.

Tunnel Through the Ocean

The Ocean Voyager gallery contains 6.3 million gallons of saltwater and accommodates four whale sharks, four manta rays and many other varieties of fish. Make your way through the exhibit’s 100-foot tunnel, complete with a moving walkway, where you can gaze upon fascinating sea life through 4,754 square feet of acrylic viewing windows.

There are also four touch tanks located throughout the aquarium where you can push up your sleeves and slip your hands into fresh and saltwater habitats to touch stingrays, sand sharks, starfish and hermit crabs.

Watch the ‘Waddle Walk’

Not only can you climb into tunnels that run beneath the penguin habitat, located in the aquarium’s Cold Water Quest gallery, but you also can delight in the “Waddle Walk,” which happens every day at 11 a.m. That’s when trainers lead the penguins through the main atrium and visitors learn about preservation of these amazing creatures.

Swim With Whales, Dolphins and Sharks

Take advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to swim with the aquarium’s beluga whales as part of the Beluga Interaction Program. Though there is no set age restriction, participants must be at least 60 inches tall, and anyone under age 15 must be accompanied by an adult. Be sure to take a bathing suit to wear under a provided wetsuit so you can brave the chilly waters. There is a $154.95 per-person fee (plus tax) for this activity.

Ages 7 and older can enjoy a Dolphin Encounter for $69.95 per person, which allows participants to go backstage to meet, touch and feed one of the aquarium’s dolphins.

For a true aquarium quest, ages 12 and older can go on a Journey With Gentle Giants, which allows participants to swim with whale sharks in the aquarium’s 10-million-gallon tank and is the only place in the world where this can be done. The cost is $235.95 per person (a scuba option is also available).

Reservations for all of these encounters are limited. Call 404-581-4000 to reserve a spot, or purchase tickets at georgiaaquarium.org.

Be Dazzled During a Show

Learn about dolphin behavior as trainers incorporate educational messages during the new “AT&T Dolphin Celebration,” included with general admission. Sit in one of the higher rows to avoid getting wet, and be prepared for loud music and a dazzling light show, as dolphins show off for the crowd.

California sea lions put on a show in SunTrust Pier 225’s live presentation, “Under the Boardwalk,” also included with general admission. You won’t be disappointed in the sea lions’ antics and trainers’ creative educational lessons. Make sure you arrive early as seats fill up quickly.

Round out your Georgia Aquarium experience by taking in a few movies in The 4D Funbelievable Theater — included with general admission — and by going on a scavenger hunt using your mobile app.

Family-Friendly Perks

Members of the North Carolina Aquarium or Zoological Society receive a discount on admission to the Georgia Aquarium. Order tickets online ahead of time to avoid waiting in line. Strollers are allowed and there is a room for breast-feeding moms to pump or nurse if they desire.

Families can bring in their own snacks, but the aquarium’s Café Aquaria and Seaside Delights restaurants offer lunch and dinner options as well. Download the free Georgia Aquarium app, available via the App Store and Google Play, so you’ll know where to go first and when the aquarium’s many shows begin. Learn more about the Georgia Aquarium at georgiaaquarium.org.


Adrian H. Wood, Ph.D., is a North Carolina writer who lives in Edenton with her husband and four children, the youngest of whom has extra-special needs. Read more of her writing at talesofaneducateddebutante.com.

 

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October 2018

Run Club meets every Sunday at 8 a.m. in Midtown Raleigh or Wake Forest. Stroller friendly; children invited. 

Cost: $10/run or $100/annual pass

Where:
Optimist Park Community Center/Greenways
5900 Whittier Drive
Raleigh, NC  27609
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Sponsor: FIT4MOM
Telephone: 919-348-0472
Contact Name: Missy Currin
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Cost: See website for fees

Where:
N.C. State Fairgrounds
1025 Blue Ridge Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
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Cost: $30-$75. Free for ages 5 and younger.

Where:
The Angus Barn
9401 Glenwood Ave.
Raleigh, NC  27617
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Cost: Free

Where:
Cedar Creek Gallery
1150 Fleming Rd.
Creedmoor, NC  27522
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Cost: Free

Where:
Erwin Road
Durham, NC  27705
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Sponsor: Mindful Families of Durham
Contact Name: Adam, Laura, Josh, Sumi
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Cost: Free

Where:
Fidelity Bank Parking Lot
100 W. Chatham St.
Cary, NC  27511
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Contact Name: Leslie & Jessica
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Cost: $8/resident, $10/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
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Telephone: 919-387-5980
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Cost: $5

Where:
Wilkerson Nature Preserve
5229 Awls Haven Drive
Raleigh, NC  27614
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Sponsor: City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Telephone: 919-996-6764
Contact Name: Wilkerson staff
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Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Rd.
Apex, NC  27539
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Cost: $15-$75

Where:
Weaver Street Market Carrboro
101 E Weaver St
Carrboro, NC  27510
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Sponsor: TABLE
Telephone: (919) 636-4860
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Providence Baptist Church
6339 Glenwood Avenue
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N.C. State Fairgrounds
1025 Blue Ridge Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


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Cost: $10/adult, $5/youth, one free youth per adult ticket

Where:
Providence Baptist Church
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Cost: See website for fees

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N.C. State Fairgrounds
1025 Blue Ridge Rd.
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Kids hike, make projects and engage in nature activities. Ages 5-8. Register online.

Cost: $9/resident, $12/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC  27518
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Cost: Free

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N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences
11 W. Jones St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Cost: $10/adult, $5/youth, one free youth per adult ticket

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Providence Baptist Church
6339 Glenwood Avenue
Raleigh, NC  27612
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Cost: See website for fees

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Cost: $5/person

Where:
Renaissance Centre
405 Brooks St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
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Cost: $10/adult, $5/youth, one free youth per adult ticket

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Providence Baptist Church
6339 Glenwood Avenue
Raleigh, NC  27612
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Cost: See website for fees

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N.C. State Fairgrounds
1025 Blue Ridge Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
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Ages 1-5 and caregiver take a relaxing stroll to experience nature. Register online. 

Cost: $8/resident, $10/nonresident

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Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
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Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
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108 Morris St.
Ste 2
Durham, NC  27701
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City Market
306 Parham St
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Sponsor: Raleigh Night Market
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Join the Raleigh Community Orchestra as it presents its fall concert, “Where Have I Heard That? Music from Cartoons, Commericals, and Classics” for all ages.

Cost: $10/adult, $5/youth, one free youth per adult ticket

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Providence Baptist Church
6339 Glenwood Avenue
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1025 Blue Ridge Rd.
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Cost: $10/person

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Raleigh Convention Center
500 S. Salisbury St.
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Cost: $18

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Open Arts
1222 Copeland Oaks Dr
Morrisville, NC  27560
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Open Arts
1222 Copeland Oaks Dr
Morrisville, NC  27560
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Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Telephone: 919-856-6675
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Cost: $9/resident, $12/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC  27518
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
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Cost: $5-$20

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Koka Booth Amphitheatre
8003 Regency Pkwy.
Cary, NC  27511
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Cost: $21/parent and child pair; $11 additional child

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Middle Creek Community Center
123 Middle Creek Park Ave.
Apex, NC  27539
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Cost: Free

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TheeDesign
7901 Strickland Dr.
Suite 112
Raleigh, NC  27615
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Sponsor: TheeDesign
Telephone: 919-341-8901
Contact Name: Lauren Elliott
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Cost: $1/Person

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Road
Apex, NC  27539
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Telephone: 919-662-2850

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Join the Raleigh Community Orchestra as it presents its fall concert, “Where Have I Heard That? Music from Cartoons, Commericals, and Classics” for all ages.

Cost: $10/adult, $5/youth, one free youth per adult ticket

Where:
Providence Baptist Church
6339 Glenwood Avenue
Raleigh, NC  27612
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Website »

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Show Less...

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Cost: See website for fees

Where:
N.C. State Fairgrounds
1025 Blue Ridge Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

Take part in a walk to benefit the Triangle Festival of Hope. Proceeds benefit and support caregivers and families living with dementia in North Carolina. The event features live music, kids'...

Cost: Free

Where:
Knightdale Station Park
810 N. First Ave.
Knightdale, NC  27545
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Sponsor: Dementia Alliance of North Carolina
Telephone: 919-832-3732
Contact Name: Kacy Hall
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Enjoy a craft fair presented by the Junior League of Raleigh. See website for hours and to purchase advance tickets.  

Cost: $10/person

Where:
Raleigh Convention Center
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Website »

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Cost: Free

Where:
The Aspen School for Exceptional Children
1050 A NW Maynard Road
Cary, NC  27513
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More information

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Cost: $8/resident, $10/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
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More information

Step back in time with 19th-century costumed interpreters and watch the millstones at work grinding corn into meal. Preregistration encouraged. Purchase tickets at the mill. 

Cost: $5/Adult, $4/Senior (ages 60 & over), $3/Child (ages 7-16), Children ages 6 & un

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

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Children's booksellers read their favorite picture books. All ages.

Cost: Free

Where:
Quail Ridge Books
4209-100 Lassiter Mill Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27609
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Website »

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Join costumed interpreters Jon and Karena Potter to learn 19th-century country dances. Drop-in program; registration not required.

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Telephone: 919-856-6675
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Cost: $5/person. Free for ages 2 and younger

Where:
Historic Stagville
5828 Old Oxford Hwy.
Durham, NC  27712
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Cost: $5-$20

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Koka Booth Amphitheatre
8003 Regency Pkwy.
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Cost: $10 for adults; $5 for children under 12

Where:
Sunny Acres Pet Resort
5908 US-70 BUS
Durham, NC  27705
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Sponsor: Triangle Beagle Rescue of NC
Telephone: 919 760 0025
Contact Name: Leann
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Cost: Free

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Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Telephone: 919-856-6675
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Cost: $9/member, $12/nonmember. Free for accompanying adult.

Where:
North Carolina Botanical Garden
100 Old Mason Farm Rd.
Chapel Hill, NC  27517
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Sponsor: North Carolina Botanical Garden
Telephone: 919-537-3770
Contact Name: Elisha Taylor
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Cost: Adults (18+) $10; Youth (7-17) $4; Children (6 & under) Free.

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City of Raleigh Museum
220 Fayetteville St.
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Cost: Free

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Lake Crabtree County Park
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Telephone: 191-946-03355
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Cost: $100 per person

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The Farm at 42
1075 Lynch Road
Selma, NC  27576
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Telephone: 919 589 2523 x707
Contact Name: Jacqui Pomales-Moody
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Cost: $3

Where:
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5229 Awls Haven Dr.
Raleigh, NC  27614
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Sponsor: City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Telephone: 919-996-6764
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Cost: $10/adult, $5/youth, one free youth per adult ticket

Where:
Providence Baptist Church
6339 Glenwood Avenue
Raleigh, NC  27612
View map »


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Cost: Free

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11 W. Jones St.
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