Thursday, July 3, 2014

Georgia Travel Log - July 2014 Edition + A Giveaway For World of Coca-Cola Tickets

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We have been super busy lately traveling around Georgia and experiencing some of the newest exhibits and attractions. Because there are so many wonderful things I need to update you on I came up with a brilliant idea (well I think it's brilliant). I am calling it the "Georgia Travel Log." Once or twice a month I will give you an update on several of the newest attractions, exhibits etc. Most of them will be ones that we actually get to experience that way I can share our personal experiences and show you some personal photos too. I hope you enjoy this first edition of the Georgia Travel Log. Please leave comments with information on any other new attractions or exhibits that you know of. Also remember to follow us on Instagram to keep up with our daily adventures!

Children's Museum of Atlanta - Out Of The Box Exhibit:
Both of my children love the Children's Museum of Atlanta. You can read a full review here.

About three times a year The Children's Museum features a special traveling exhibit in the back of the museum. Currently Outside The Box is on display and it is a must see exhibit. The exhibit will be on display through December 31st.

My children love boxes...especially my son. Anytime a package arrives in the mail he confiscates the box so he can use it to create a race car, fort, boat, etc. The opportunities are endless with a simple box!!! The Outside The Box exhibit taps into the imaginative minds of children to encourage “outside of the box” thought, innovation and exploration.

As a homeschool mom I am always encouraging my children to think outside the box. They learn best when they are able to think outside the box and explore through hands on experiences. Which is why The Outside The Box exhibit is so amazing. All children and even adults will become creative thinkers while discovering the building blocks of math, engineering and technology.

The exhibit entrance is a giant open box of course. Once inside there are three creative play areas for families to enjoy.

The Box Zone is the first area the children gravitated towards. In this area children can let their imaginations run wild as they build with giant and small cardboard boxes, tubes and cylinders. The boxes are so large you can build a house with them that even adults fit into. Or build the boat or car of your dream. Or perhaps you want to become a live jack-in-the-box?

Next up was the Imagination Playground. This area has large, blue foam blocks, tunnels, tracks and pillars that children can build and play with. There are also balls. Again the fun and building options are endless. Whatever your child can dream up they can create. My children built one awesome marble maze track, a horse and even a chair.

Maker's Space is not only fun for children, but adults too. Yes I must admit that my husband and I had tons of fun playing on the Maker's Space computers. In this section children can experiment and turn their dreams into realities. There are fun craft projects that the very helpful staff will assist children with. When we visited we made cardboard telescopes with city scenes. To a basic CAD program set up on 2 computers where you can create houses, airplanes, cars, robots, etc. My 7 son enjoyed it so much he asked us if we could get a program like it for our computer at home. There is also a Duplo Lego building area for the little tykes.

Feature activities and programming during Outside the Box will change monthly and each month will feature a new exhibit theme. Check the website for details.

Fernbank Museum - 97 Days of Play and Great White Shark Imax:
Last weekend we attended Fins and Flippers Day at Fenbank Museum. Fins and Flippers Day is part of the summer-long celebration of fun called 97 Days of Play. 97 Days of Play events are included in general admission and FREE for members. Through Memorial Day families can be entertained and inspired with a variety of fun-filled unique activities and events at Fernbank Museum.

Here are some of the activities we got to do during Fins and Flippers Day:
  • Circus Fanta-Sea Puppet Show - one of our favorite puppet presenters Lee Bryan aka That Puppet Guy performed yet another fabulous show for families. The 45 minute show was entertaining, funny and taught some great lessons too! In the show Captain Tater Tot the Pirate Captain and Ringmaster loses his circus cargo at sea. But as they say in the circus, the show must go on! The under the sea circus adventure features a tap dancing Octopus, a unicyclist Seahorse, a tightrope walking Starfish Captain Tater Tot, and the very hungry Shark Seymore. Before the show Lee explained to the children how he created all his puppets using recycled plastic containers and encouraged them to create their very own rod puppets. Afterward he let the children get up, close and personal with Seymore. 
  • Biofacts Table - children got to get up close and touch a real shark jaw, fish skeleton, nautalis shell, sea turtle and more. There were educators and volunteers available to answer questions and provide fascinating facts.
  • Life-size Inflatable Right Whale Calf - The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association provided this amazing inflatable so families could appreciate the magnitude of these special creatures. Did you know that the Right Whale is Georgia's State marine mammal? Do you know why it is called a Right Whale? We learned these facts and more from the helpful Fernbank staff member that was stationed by the whale.
  • Photo Ops - The children went crazy over the two special visitors which included Domino the Georgia Aquarium's whale shark mascot and Giggy, Fernbanks Dinosaur mascot.
  • The Georgia Bubbleman - We are always in awe of the bubbles that The Georgia Bubbleman creates. The Bubbleman is fabulous with children and encourages them to interact with the bubbles by catching them on their tongue and blowing on them to create bubbles inside of bubbles. 
  • Shark Craft, Temporary Tattoos, Scavenger Hunt and of course the fabulous exhibits and IMAX.

You can read more about the Whales Giants of the Deep Exhibit here.

The next 97 Days of Play event, Reptile Day, will be held Saturday July 12th from 10 am -2 pm. Visitors will have an opportunity to get up-close with dozens of lizards, snakes, turtles and even a few amphibians.

Check out all the 97 Days of Play events here.

We also had the opportunity last month to check out the newest IMAX show at Fernbank, Great White Shark. This film will be on display through  September 18th.

The film is about 45 minutes long and unravels the mystery of the creature we love to fear-the much maligned, misrepresented and misunderstood Great White Shark. The inspiring documentary is narrated by acclaimed stage and film actor Bill Nighy and produced by Yes/No Productions, Liquid Pictures 3D and Giant Screen Films. The cinematography was amazing at times you actually felt like you were in the ocean with the sharks. And the soundtrack was reminiscent of what you would hear from a JAWS film. The films is rated G so it's perfect for the entire family. 

Throughout the ground-breaking documentary you will follow alongside several scientists who go to great depths to tell viewers the true story about "The King of the Ocean," and their role at the top of the ocean's food chain. The film took 3 years to make and takes viewers around the world to great white hotspots: the crystal clear waters of Mexico’s legendary Guadalupe Island; newly-discovered sharkterritory around Stewart Island off the southernmost tip of New Zealand; the bone-chilling waters of South Africa’s “flying” great whites; and finally to the California coast near heavily-populated Los Angeles. 

Steve McNicholas (co-director of the film) stated, "our mission is to change people's attitudes toward the Great White." Well as someone with a phobia of swimming in the ocean because of sharks, I can tell you it definitely changed my attitude. Steve goes on to say, "
“It’s not the menacing, evil predator it’s made out to be. It’s simply performing its crucial role at the top of the ocean’s food chain. Great whites are not monsters any more than the polar bears or lions that we revere.”

We all learned so many interesting and fascinating facts during this documentary and my personal views on them will be forever changed. Like did you know that the Great White's are very vulnerable right now and near extinction and that they are one of the few global species? It is very sad to think that one day these fascinating, smart, beautiful creatures who play such an important role in our ocean's ecosystem may not be around much longer. But thanks to the efforts of hardworking, brave scientists Great White's are now Federally protected. South Africa was the country to protect these giants of the deep. Some other interesting facts we learned are that sharks can dive over 4,000 feet deep, that they have 300 teeth and grow thousands over their lifetime, that they have no bones, that they give live birth to pups, that they are slow growing and that they have impeccable immune systems which researchers are studying in hopes of curing life threatening diseases. We left the film with an sparked interest to learn more, so we have added sharks to our long list of topics to study. 

D.J. Roller, a former Atlanta resident who served as Producer and Director of Photography for 
Great White Shark, said the film dazzles partly because of his uniquely designed camera that enabled him to capture much higher resolution and better slow motion than ever before available underwater.

People tend to fear the unknown, which is why films like Great White Shark are so amazing! After just 45 minutes your thoughts about these fascinating creatures will be forever changed starting the ripple needed to help their preservation instead of their extermination.

More Details:
Fernbank Museum of Natural History and the 5-story-tall Rankin M. Smith Sr. IMAX® Theatre are located at 767 Clifton Road NE in Atlanta. Call 404.929.6400 or visit the website to purchase your tickets. The film will be shown daily through September 18th. IMAX tickets are $13 for adults, $12 for students and seniors, $11 for children 12 and under and $8 for museum membersExtended show times available Fridays during Martinis & IMAX.

Center For Civil and Human Rights:
There's a new attraction in Atlanta!!! We have been patiently waiting for this spectacular center to be completed and each time we made a visit to Atlanta we would check on its progress. Well on June 23rd the center opened its doors to the public. The week before it opened to the public though we got a sneak peek inside. Because we were one of the first visitors inside the center they didn't allow us to take photo's, because they wanted the amazing exhibits to be a surprise for the public! There were also a few exhibits that were not up and running yet. I am hoping we can return soon so we can share some photos and further thoughts.

The Center For Civil and Human Rights is beautiful inside and out. It is conveniently located in the same vicinity as the Coca-Cola Museum, Georgia Aquarium, Children's Museum of Atlanta and Centennial Olympic Park.

This attraction is unlike any other in Atlanta, because it has a very unique mission. The National Center for Civil and Human Rights will empower all who walk through its doors to take the protection of every human's rights personally. Through amazing stories of courage and struggle the center encourages visitors to gain a deeper understanding of the role they play in helping to protect the rights of all people.

There are four galleries in the center:

  • Voice to the Voiceless: The Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection
  • Spark of Conviction: The Global Human Rights Movement
  • Rolls Down Like Water: The American Civil Rights Movement
  • Temporary Exhibition: Selections from the Benny Andrews’ John Lewis Series

Due to the nature of the center there is security and metal detectors that you will need to pass through to enter. Once inside you will be greeted by two beautiful murals one on the first floor and one up above on the second floor.
Image courtesy of Center for Civil and Human Rights.

We made our way through "The American Civil Rights Movement" first.  This gallery focuses on The American Civil Rights Movement of the 1950's and 1960's. Through deep sights, sounds and interactive displays you will learn about the courageous struggles of the individuals who worked to transform the United States from Jim Crow laws to equal rights for all. My children loved the old televisions featured throughout the exhibit, many of which you could turn the dials on to change the video clips. They also loved the Martin Luther King exhibit. My personal favorite was the Freedom Riders Theater.

Featured exhibition spaces:
  • Entry Tunnel
  • Intro to the 1950s/Urban South
  • The Movement Catches Fire
  • Freedom Riders Theater
  • March on Washington
  • Three Hymns
  • On That Day (The King Assassination)
  • Requiem
Image courtesy of Center for Civil and Human Rights.

Next we headed to "The Human Rights Movement" gallery. My favorite part was the first room you enter where you stand in front of a mirrored wall and select a person's story to listen to. While watching the video interview, projected through the mirror, you still see a reflection of yourself. This reminds visitors that these issues affect all persons on a global scale and that no one person, ethic group, or nation is exempt from them. There are lots of interactive features to help visitors gain a deeper understanding of human rights and how they affect the lives of every person. My daughter really enjoyed the What are Human Rights video. Did you know there are 30 Human Rights? She had so many questions afterwards and could not believe how limited some peoples rights are. Every human right was covered including women's rights, children's rights, religious rights, homosexual rights, educational rights, etc.

Featured exhibition spaces:
  • Who, Like Me, is Threatened?
  • What are Human Rights?
  • Human Rights in Action
  • The Move, Free, Act Gallery
We did not make it down to the last exhibit which is "The Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection" gallery. This gallery features a rotating exhibition of items from The Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection, where visitors can view the personal papers and items of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Visit the Office of the Morehouse College King Collection online here.

If you are techie person like me you will absolutely love all of the interactive exhibits. I have never seen so many TV's, touchscreen computers, iPads, etc in a museum before! It was fabulous!

The center teaches children and adults very important lessons in civil and human rights. It is a place to reflect on the past, transform the present and inspire the future. When you leave you will have a better understanding of what some people go through and have gone through on a daily basis. You will leave with a whole new look on life and will definitely be inspired to change the way you think and act towards others. It is the most inspirational museum I have ever been to and I hope that it opens all visitors eyes and hearts like it did ours and starts a ripple of caring and compassion in communities around the world. Warning you will tear up at several points throughout the center, so bring a tissue and don't wear mascara!

Note to parents:
This is a serious museum and one that will raise many questions from children. There are plenty of hands on, interactive exhibits, but much of the center involves reading and watching videos. I would recommend it for children ages 7-8 yrs and older only. There are no child play areas. You may also want to have a conversation with children about civil and human rights prior to entering so they know what to expect. There are several exhibits that are very sad and some that mildly disturbing. Keep an eye out for the upcoming family guide. You can also find a K-12 Teacher Guidediscussion questions for children and more on the website.

Treetop Quest July Deals:
Last month we had a blast at the NEW Spider Quest Course at Treetop Quest in Buford. Be sure to read our review here. Treetop Quest is offering 20% off Treetop Quest Course tickets Monday-Friday for the entire month of July. Grab your code below then head to their website to reserve your tickets.

July 1-4: WEEK1JULY
July 7-11: WEEK2JULY
July 14-18: WEEK3JULY
July 21-25: WEEK4JULY
July 28-Aug 1: WEEK5JULY

Cumming Stars and Strikes - Grand Reopening:
Bowling is a great way to beat the summer heat and spend time together as a family! As a child I spent a lot of time at bowling alleys because both of my parents were on leagues...actually my father still is! All I remember about that time was how BORING it was. There was nothing for me to do but eat lousy bowling alley food and watch my parents roll their balls down the lane. BUT thankfully times have changed and bowling alleys have come a long way and now offer something for the entire family. 

Earlier this year we got to attend the NEW Stars and Strikes location in Sandy Springs. Before we bowled we had a blast playing the arcade games and laser tag. I must admit I totally fell in love with laser tag and had such a blast with my children. There was a variety of arcade games for all ages ranging from skee ball to motorcycle racing. Many of the games allowed players to earn digital tickets which could then be cashed in for fun prizes.....yes you read that right digital tickets!!!! Say goodbye to those annoying paper tickets forever! For our bowling event we got to bowl in the blue room which features ultra comfy seating, a bar and several lanes. The children loved bowling on the twilight lanes and found the animations on the score monitors to be really silly! The food was terrific and so was the family friendly, upbeat music. The Sandy Springs location was really clean and the staff was very friendly and polite. Stars and Strikes is definitely our top choice for bowling alleys around Metro-Atlanta! And no child will ever need to be bored again at a bowling alley! For Stars and Strikes specials visit this link.

So now that I told you about the NEW Sandy Springs location let me tell you about the original location which opened 9 years ago in Cumming. Well after 9 years of providing families and businesses across Metro-Atlanta with the ideal destination to ‘Getaway-N-Play,’ Georgia-based Stars and Strikes has unveiled a new, fresh look for their original location.

Located on Highway 9, just west of GA 400, Stars and Strikes’ Cumming location first opened its doors in the summer of 2005. The 52,000 square foot entertainment center has recently amped up its image with a brand new exterior featuring updated signage and a impressive, sleek façade.

“We have been so honored to serve the Cumming area for the past nine years,” said Chris Albano, Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Stars and Strikes. “We know our guests will feel right at home in our newly- renovated space.”

Stars and Strikes has put nearly $1 million into improving their Cumming location over the past several years, including significant investments in the following areas: laser tag, boutique bowling lanes, front façade, bumper cars, carpet, arcade games, lazer maze and general updates. Additionally, Stars and Strikes has donated over $1 million in cash, merchandise, services and event space to the local community in the past nine years.

On Saturday, July 12, Stars and Strikes Cumming will host a grand re-opening and ninth anniversary celebration from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony to commemorate the occasion, as well as discounted games including $2 laser tag, bumper cars, shoe rental and bowling on twilight lanes. Guests will also enjoy food and beverage specials including $2 hot dogs, baskets of fries and more. The celebration continues outside with impressive giveaways, inflatables, face painting, team mascots and a silent auction benefiting the American Cancer Society.

Since opening in 2005, the Stars and Strikes Cumming location has been busy keeping guests entertained and active. Over the past nine years guests have enjoyed:

• 3,292,020 games of bowling

• 54,504 pizzas
• 220,083 games of laser tag
• 182,898 games of bumper cars
• 11,502 birthday parties with a total of 108,406 friends

About Stars and Strikes

Stars and Strikes is a Georgia-based company headquartered in Alpharetta, Ga. The five Metro-Atlanta Family Entertainment Centers provide a fun and friendly atmosphere for the whole family to enjoy. In addition to state-of-the-art bowling lanes, attractions include bumper cars, laser tag, arcade games and a bar and restau- rant with healthy choices and classic American favorites. There’s something for everyone at Stars and Strikes. For more information, visit or call 678-965-5707

The Adjacent Log:
I can't leave out our adjacent Southeast friends so here are updates from TN, NC, SC, AL and FL.

Titanic Museum:
You can read our review on the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge here. Through August you can view the only Bible saved from the Titanic. The Bible belonged to passenger from Knoxville, TN. While visiting this amazing artifact crew members will also share the many Titanic spiritual stories with you.
Image courtesy of the Titanic Musuem.

I hope you enjoyed this edition stayed tuned for more Georgia Travel Log updates!

Now time for the giveaway: 
One lucky winner will win 4 tickets to World of Coca-Cola. Tickets expire 12/31/3014.

Only the first entry is mandatory. Other entries are optional and give you extra chances. This giveaway is not affiliated with Facebook in any way. The winner will be posted on the blog and will be emailed. Winner must reply within 24 hrs with their contact information or another winner will be chosen. Prize will be mailed via me.

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Kym Thorpe said...

My favorite Coke beverage remains Coca-Cola! My DH and I have been collecting Coca-Cola memorabilia since we started dating, so we especially love the museum.

fibia said...

Coca-Cola is our favorite!

Leigh Anne Borders said...

We have always been a fan of Coca Cola. Nothing quite compares to the refreshing taste of an ice cold Coca Cola!

Ashley McLure said...

Regular Coke.

Mary Jenkins said...

I love Cherry Coca Cola. I try not to drink it as often as I did as a kid, but sometimes I have to give into the craving!

Celeste said...

I'm a Diet Coke fiend!

Mommy Octopus said...

Cherry coke!

Lauren H said...

I love cherry coke

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