Some of our best childhood memories are made on vacation. From that funny nonsense thing someone said that made everyone laugh so hard they cried to the photos that say much more than 1,000 words, getting away from our day-to-day routines gives us the freedom to actually enjoy each other for a little while. So if you’re in need of some quality time but you’re short on paid-vacation time, a weekend with the kids in Savannah is exactly what you need. What will you do? Let’s just dive right in.
Consider this your à la carte reference guide to pick and choose what excites you and your kiddos the most. You could try to fit it all in to one weekend, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Instead, experience some this trip and leave some for the next (‘cause you’re gonna want to come back, I promise). In fact, one entire day could be spent exploring the city with an on-off trolley tour care of Old Savannah Tours. When they say “we bring Savannah’s history to life” they mean it as realistic looking and acting characters periodically join your tour so you can hear “first-hand” (so to speak) from the historical figures themselves.
This tour is perfect for kids thanks to the characters who infuse some excitement into the ride and the option to get off and explore and hop back on to the next stop as you please. Kids ages 5 and under ride for free and those ages 6-12 receive a special child’s rate. If it’s your first time in Savannah, I highly recommend making this a top priority to help you get a lay of the land and figure out what you want to do next – without asking for directions.
Speaking of next, let’s talk museums. There are multiple options for museums in Savannah but for the younger crowd, three stand out as top picks: The Savannah Children’s Museum and Georgia State Railroad Museum (all in one location); the Jepson Center for the Arts; and the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force.
If you love the outdoors, the Savannah Children’s Museum is all outside and filled with more than a dozen exhibits designed for imaginative play. It’s located downtown in the old Central of Georgia Railway Carpentry Shop and mere steps from the Georgia State Railroad Museum, where you can explore historic railcars and even ride an historic steam or diesel locomotive!
Also located downtown is the Jepson Center for the Arts on Telfair Square. The architecture of this stunning building will impress even the littlest of tourists but inside, the Jepson’s ArtZeum invites children to “rethink their ideas about art” with two opportunities to actually walk into the art on display.
Just a short drive from downtown is the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force with full-size aircraft to see up close and exhibits that help visitors recreate what the brave members of the Mighty Eighth faced in World War II. As educational as it is exhilarating, this is one experience young visitors won’t soon forget.
If you’re ready to explore our coastal ecosystems, Savannah also has plenty of opportunities – and amazing weather – to do just that. For your little nature lover, be sure to visit the University of Georgia’s Marine Education Center and Aquarium on nearby Skidaway Island all about our coastal waters and marshlands. There’s also the Oatland Island Wildlife Center, a favorite among kids and grownups alike with animal exhibits, walking trails, and special events throughout the year (check their Facebook page and website for updated information).
Who wants a boat ride? Savannah’s coastal location makes it ideal for having some fun on the water. Of course, nearby Tybee Island is Georgia’s authentic beach town and a great spot to laze away the afternoon. You could also reserve your spot on a dolphin tour with Dolphin Magic Tours to get out on the water and see these elegant acrobatic wonders up close and in their natural habitats. If a bigger boat is more your size, Savannah River Boat Cruises is just for you. With its larger-than-life paddle wheel and outside decks to take in the sights and salt air, you can book a narrated cruise that boards at River Street and takes you down the Savannah River and even past Old Fort Jackson for an added bonus (plus kids 4 and under ride free!).
Then there’s the beauty of Forsyth Park – complete with a fantastic playground! The jumping, shooting, oh-so-fun fountains to play in at Ellis Square near City Market! And who doesn’t love a pedicab; only the coolest way for a kid to ride from the hotel to dinner (cue the memories).
Let’s just say, if you thought you might run out of things to do on a weekend with the kids in Savannah, we assure you, you won’t! Unexpected adventures are yours to enjoy at every turn – the most unexpected of all is you throwing caution and routines to the wind and allowing yourself to be a kid again.
Ready to book your stay in Savannah and have some fun?
The Lady & Sons Restaurant
Paula Deen’s famous Lady & Son’s Restaurant, as seen on the Food Network, is open daily for lunch and dinner. Choose from the southern buffet or order off the menu. Looking for some memorabilia? Paula Deen’s store is located on-site as well!