Many parents love Sugarloaf’s charming, small-town atmosphere. It’s truly one of the best places to raise a family in Georgia, and thanks to its many kid-centric amenities, children love the area as much as adults do. So when you’re stumped for something fun to do, use our handy guide. Here are the seven best family-friendly attractions that everyone will enjoy near home.
The Duluth Town Green
The Duluth Town Green hosts a variety of events throughout the year. The Duluth Spring Arts Festival in May features dozens of vendor booths set up on the Green. Shop for quality handmade wares ranging from paintings to glasswork and jewelry.
During the summer, the Duluth Town Green comes alive with events like Food Truck nights and live music concerts. Residents come out on select Fridays for Flicks on the Bricks; family-friendly outdoor movie showings. The last weekend of September ushers in the Duluth Fall Festival, complete with a parade for your little ones. That’s when the city hosts roughly 200 vendors from all over the Southeast. These talented creatives sell their arts and crafts to an estimated 100,000 attendees.
The Historic Duluth Calaboose
The original 1909 Duluth Calaboose still sits on the south end of Main Street, just a few minutes from the Town Green. This fascinating stucco-clad attraction is only open to visitors during the Duluth Fall Festival mentioned above. During the rest of the year, you and the kids can peek through the barred windows to get a look at the relics on display inside this tiny jailhouse, including the antique wood-burning stove used to heat the two holding cells over a century ago.
The Chattahoochee River
Whether your family loves adventure or you’re simply looking for a way to cool off with the kids on a hot summer day, head to the water. The Chattahoochee River is a prime playground for outdoor enthusiasts, with loads of ways to have fun close to home.
Access the Chattahoochee River in Duluth on Abbotts Bridge Road off GA 120. This spot offers visitors facilities like a covered pavilion, grills, a boat ramp, restrooms, a drinking fountain, and an excellent grassy field for games of all sorts. You can park your vehicle in the large gravel lot and:
- Go tubing.
- Rent a kayak.
- Take a hike.
- Photograph wildflowers.
- Spot wildlife.
- Angle for fish.
- Walk the dog.
- Have a picnic.
- Play Frisbee.
The Southeastern Railway Museum
Railway buffs from all over the state visit Duluth’s Southeastern Railway Museum. If you love trains, plan to spend the entire day here. This museum offers extensive exhibits on the history of transportation, plus dozens of retired railway passenger cars, cabooses, and locomotives.
You don’t need to know anything about trains to enjoy this attraction. Kids love this pick because they’re allowed to climb on some of the train cars, and everyone loves touring the Pullman Superb. This private passenger car is a stunning example of this once luxurious mode of transportation. Your admission ticket even gets you a ride on a historic train, plus entry to the tiny Historic Duluth Train Depot next door. This building is also home to the Duluth Historical Society.
McDaniel Farm Park
Duluth has many lovely outdoor spaces, and McDaniel Farm Park is a local favorite located off McDaniel Road. This destination sits on the site of a once-thriving cotton farm. It’s a prime spot for a relaxing walk with your better half or a yummy family picnic. There’s a rustic pavilion and a grill for your convenience.
Go ahead and wander down the 3 miles of multi-use trails and discover several historic structures and pieces of equipment scattered throughout the grounds. In addition to modern restrooms, a farm-themed playground, and a dog park, there’s a:
- Furnished farmhouse.
- Original barn.
- Well house.
- Carriage house.
- Chicken coup.
- Blacksmith shed.
This 1,186,000-square-foot shopping mall in nearby Lawrenceville is the largest outlet mall in Georgia. There’s a lot for families to do at Sugarloaf Mills, from shopping to dining. For more than 20 years, parents have flocked to this massive institution for some retail therapy and so much more. Some companies even offer kid-friendly perks like student discounts and freebies on your birthday.
Browse 180 different stores like Adidas, Forever 21, and Spencer’s Gifts, all inside a climate-controlled oasis. Then, when you get hungry — and you will after walking around the Mills — dine on anything you’re craving from an ice cream cone from Cold Stone or an upscale lunch at Rising Roll Gourmet. Find world-class entertainment here, too, with an AMC movie theater, video arcade, and a medieval dinner show complete with live jousting.
The Hudgens Center for Art and Learning
Connect your family with art at the Hudgens Center on Sugarloaf Parkway. The curators of this community-funded, non-profit organization dedicate their time to spreading a love of art and learning through visual arts pieces, all-ages art enrichment classes, community outreach programs, and a tranquil sculpture garden. This award-winning, 28,000 square-foot outdoor space features a waterfall, a rotating selection of sculptures, a cobblestone courtyard, tree-shaded benches, wildlife, and flowers.
Take a self-guided tour of the Georgia Gallery’s annual Juried Members’ Exhibition held each year between November and January. This facility also helps its youngest visitors discover the power of imagination in the Kids Zone. Children can explore their artistic side with various make-and-take stations. Join other Sugarloaf parents for events like Toddler Friday. Staff designed the session for children ages 1 to 4, and it includes crafts, music, dance, and storytime.
Well, that’s a wrap! Crème de la Crème of Sugarloaf put together this list of the seven best kid-friendly attractions for the family near home. Of course, this is just a taste of what our city has to offer. Did we miss your family’s favorite attraction — one that locals will love? If we did, let us know! Drop us a line; we’ll be sure to add it to our list.