Atlanta on the Cheap-ish

We had a new experience a few weeks ago, something that was new to our children since moving from PA to TN.

Spring Break.

When I found out the girls were having Spring Break I was wracking my brain trying to figure out how what kind of trouble we could get into that week! Then when I found out that, that same week the Ranger had a training in Atlanta I thought, “Hmmm, we’ve never been there before.” One of the perks of the Ranger having a training is that it affords the rest of the family a free hotel room (yes, we got approval from the company for us to stay in his room) for the duration.

We have to pay for everything except the room, but I’m an accomplished “on the cheap” traveler.

Apparently my children have fairly cheap tastes themselves (so long as it includes a gift shop or playground).

So, here is my guide to Atlanta on the Cheap(-ish).

  1. Travel with spouse who already has a prepaid hotel room. This will save you lots of money and you will probably get a nicer hotel room that you would have sprung for (at least it was nicer than I would have paid for out of my personal budget). The view was pretty incredible!

2. Drive if is within driving distance and cost effective. For us it was.


3. Go to the playground at the Olympic Park.

4. Go to the National Center for Puppetry on Thursday afternoon when it’s free. There was a huge display of Jim Henson puppets including Big Bird, Kermit, Fraggles, Doozers, Ernie, Dr. Teeth, Sam the Dog, and characters from Labyrinth and the Dark Crystal. It does not take long to tour, so be sure to go on the free afternoon. Unfortunately, they would not let us take pictures inside the museum. But, they did have a gift shop!

5. Go back to the playground.

6. Get a CityPass and go to the aquarium, see the animals and get a squished penny.

7. Go back to the playground.

8. Go to the Fernbank Natural History Museum (using CityPass) to see the dinosaurs and get a squished penny.

9. Go back to the playground.

10. Eat at CNN and get a squished penny.

11. Look at sculptures surrounding playground. (I actually have met this artist, Peter Calaboyias, visited his studio and hung one of his exhibits).

12. Then, go back to the playground.

13. Visit the Coke Museum (using CityPass), see the Coca Cola Bear, visit the tasting room and get a squished penny. Big is the only person I’ve ever met who would go to the Coke Museum and have a taste of WATER in their tasting room. Big doesn’t like soda or flavored water and didn’t want any juice. Sigh. She just doesn’t understand that Coca Cola is the elixir of life!

14. Head back to the playground.


15. Go to the ZOO (using the CityPass) to see Panda Bears and get a squished penny! Big LOVES Panda Bears. They are her favorite animals!


16. And then make one more visit to the playground before heading home.

If you read everything, instead of just looking at the pictures, you might have noticed 2 major repeats – the playground and squished pennies. I swear we could have bypassed everything else and just spent the week at that playground! And, squished pennies are this Cheap-O Mama’s dream souvenir (especially since their Uncle Bubba got my girls each a special folder to keep their pennies in). 

Anywho, there you have it, the Accidental Family went to Atlanta and all they brought you was their guide to (attempting to) do it on the cheap!


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