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Our Top Kid Friendly Activities & Restaurants in Savannah

18 May 2017
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Things to Do

Having a go-to list of kid friendly activities is essential to enjoying your visit to Savannah with kids. While Savannah has a ton to offer, here’s our list of recommendations to keep your short ones amused, entertained, and ultimately - content. Read up on our top things to do for kids and kid friendly restaurants in Savannah sure to provide fun for the whole family. 

 

Kid Friendly Places to Go

Sometimes you have to sacrifice and do an activity that's just for the kids, but a few of our recommendations will provide fun for the whole family as well.

Savannah Children’s Museum

655 Louisville Road

Savannah Children's Museum Adjacent to the Georgia State Railroad Museum, in what was originally the Railroad Repair facility, the Children’s Museum s made up of more than a dozen interactive exhibits, including a life-size maze and an off-the-hook playground where kids can climb, run, jump, scale, bounce, slide, explore, discover, and yell to their heart’s content. Turn them loose and a watchful staffer will keep them safe and entertained playing and discovering. Currently, the museum is entirely outdoors and relatively small, so it’s not an all-day commitment, but the museum does have plans to grow. Pack your own snacks/drinks/SPF. Cost: $7.50 per person. 


Surf Lagoon Water Park

I-95 and Pooler Parkway

It’s cooler in Pooler. The longer you stay in Savannah, the more likely it is you’ll hear someone say the town’s motto. Pooler has come a long way in the last 10 years, and since the opening of Surf Lagoon Water Park, they’ve definitely started cooling off. Located on Towne Center Drive and accessible via I-95, Surf Lagoon has slides, pools, and plenty of refreshments for you to really make a day of it.

 


Forsyth Park

With over 30 acres of shady groves, manicured lawns, gardens, beautiful fountains and flowers, Forsyth Park is Savannah’s largest green space, and a popular location for events, festivals and weddings. This historic gem is situated at the southern border of the Historic District between Drayton and Whitaker Streets to the East and West and Gaston and Park on the North and South.

A great place to stroll, skate, bike, scooter or jog, its paths crisscross the park making it an ideal place to relax and recharge while the kids, hopefully, run their batteries down a little. With two playgrounds (one toddler friendly and the other for bigger kids), a delightful café, and a fragrant garden, Forsyth Park is a great place to enjoy the beauty of lovely Savannah. On Saturdays you’ll also find the Forsyth Farmer’s Market, great for picking up a few staples (or treats!) for your stay.

Why not make a day of it and experience downtown's largest green space with a catered and furnished picnic from Savannah Picnic Co? They bring the food, blanket, chairs - even a Bluetooth speaker! All you need to do is show up. Schedule your picnic today and don’t forget to mention that you’re a Lucky guest!  


Ellis Square Fountains

These fountains were made for splashing! Savannah has a plethora of fountains adorning squares, but none as much fun as the Splash Fountains in Ellis Square. Free and open to the public, these fountains have been keeping kids cool and parents entertained since the square was converted back from a parking garage to a social hub in the early 2000s. Waterspouts shoot roughly 6 or 7 feet high and make for great photo opportunities. There’s plenty of seating surrounding the fountains and nearby City Market often has live music on the weekends. Bonus: Wet Willie’s has a location in City Market, so parents can grab an adult slushy to keep cool.

 


Oatland Island Wildlife Center

711 Sandtown Road

Oatland Island Wildlife Center, Savannah GA

Celebrating 40 years, the Oatland Island Wildlife Center is approximately 5 miles east of the Historic District. Open every day of the year (except Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve Day, Christmas, and New Year’s Day) from 10am-5pm, you’ll find yourself captivated by the exhibits of native animals in their natural habitats. Very peaceful and beautifully maintained, the grounds are lovely for taking a walk meandering through groves under oak tree canopies and over marshlands on gravel paths, asphalt sidewalks, and boardwalks.

You’ll receive a map of the totally walkable trail system that winds you through exhibits of wolves, cougars and various birds of prey. You can get up and close to most of the animals and even get hands-on in the barnyard. Check their website for annual events like the sheep shearing in April and the Fairy & Gnome Festival in May. Bring bug spray, pack snacks. Cost: $3-$5 per person


Savannah Bananas Baseball Games

Victory Drive at Daffin Park

Fans First Entertainment, which owns the Savannah Bananas, is known for a unique combination of baseball and non-stop entertainment like dancing players, blindfolded pillow fights, dunk an intern, and ATV-riding mascots. They also host an array of specialty theme nights like Bark in the Park, a dog friendly event, Strike Out Cancer Night, Thirsty Thursdays, and Fourth of July Fireworks. Gates open one hour before the game, parking is free, and tickets can be purchased in advance online


Savannah Bee Company

Broughton Street

Okay, so it’s not technically a museum, zoo or playground, but at the same time, it kind of is. Sure, Savannah Bee sells everything related to honey, including t-shirts, books, chocolates, lotions and the best-tasting honey ever. But it’s also the place my daughter begs to go whenever we have some time to kill. Here’s why: 1. The honey bar, and 2. The educational element. You can sample their wares and they aren’t stingy (the Broughton Street location also offers mead tastings to the grown-ups), and visit the Wilmington Island Showroom for a tour of the bee garden (unless you’re allergic). Just call ahead to make the request. “Petting” the bees and eating honey straight from the comb blew my kid’s city-slicker mind. Cost: Free, but bring $$$ because you’re going to buy lots of great stuff


Tybee Island Marine Science Center

It’s easy to forget that the waterways and marshland that surround Savannah and Tybee Island are teeming with life: sea turtles, crabs, sharks, jellyfish, and even dolphins call these waterways home. Kids can learn about tides, seashells, dunes, marine animals and more at the Marine Science Center, which features include a touch tank, turtle exhibit, and coral reef. They offer a one-hour Turtle Talk walk appropriate for all ages, and is a great way to learn more about sea turtles. They even let you excavate a mock nest. The walks are $10 per person, and you can call 912-786-5917 or stop by the center to reserve space. Get to know more about Tybee’s marine life here


Kid Friendly Places to Eat

These Savannah restaurants are great for bringing the kids, and the whole family will enjoy them too.

World Famous Clary’s Cafe

Abercorn Street at Jones Street

Happy, homey and anything but trendy. Clary’s serves breakfast and lunch daily and expect a line out the front door most days. Abuzz with community regulars and a hustling wait staff, Clary’s will take you back to a simpler time when, on a hot day, you could sit at the counter and enjoy a cold drink and some conversation.

Over the last century, this landmark has evolved from being a drugstore with a soda fountain into a memorabilia and photograph adorned mecca for a no nonsense kind of meal. Be sure to check out the handmade rag dolls and hair ties at the front counter – and ask for coloring books and crayons for the kids.

Black and white checkerboard floors greet you inside the green and red striped awnings. Lots of ceiling fans keep the air moving almost as fast as the wait staff.

For breakfast, rest assured. They serve all the favorites like Two eggs to order; scrambled, Sunnyside up, over easy or poached with Ham, bacon, or sausage and grits or breakfast potatoes, toast or a buttermilk biscuit. French toast, Omelets, Waffles, etc. However, for those in the know, the Corned Beef Hash, and the Crab Cake Benedict are the stands outs. You won’t go wrong ordering the kids chocolate chip pancakes, some of the best pancakes in town!

Speaking of the kids, at lunch you have all the regulars to keep the peace; Cheeseburgers, Chicken fingers, Hot dogs, Grilled cheese, Peanut butter and jelly. All served with French fries and a drink for $5.95 (This menu would also please about 99.99% of my friends including the very discerning.)

For the 10 years + crowd, hands down the Reuben sandwich is the crowd favorite. Burgers, sandwiches, soups, salads, (including their famous Greek Salad) give you plenty of options. 

True to their past, Clary’s also serves Soda Shoppe Specialties like Malted Milkshakes, Egg Creams, Banana Splits and Sundaes.  Still not full? Check out the Dessert case. FULL OF PIES. Lemon Meringue, Coconut Cream, Pecan, Apple, and a homemade Éclair big enough to take out a squirrel.

Breakfast or lunch-comfort food at its best.


B&D Burger

2 locations: Broughton Street and City Market

Slide into a booth and read the profound wisdom on the wall:

There’s no place like this place, anywhere near this place, so this must be the place.

Well, one of two places, to be more exact- both in the Historic District. One is at 13 E. Broughton Street (between Drayton and Bull), the other is at City Market, 209 W. Congress Street. In addition to the great food and drinks, the City Market location has a rockin' patio, a huge screen projecting movies onto an adjacent building, a big chalk board for young Dali’s, and the COLDEST AC IN TOWN. A local restaurant with a deep regard for the Lowland Alligator, this restaurant delivers a great burger, and you can eat it plain or try one of their over 20 options, allowing you to craft your own personal Burger Heaven.

Choose from Angus Beef, Bison, Elk, Turkey or a veggie patty and then encase it in a white, multi-grain, pretzel or gluten free bun. Embellish with a dizzying array of toppings- 12 cheeses ranging from good old American to fancy Italian Mozzarella; Sauce- 8 total to pick from- including BBQ, Teriyaki, Jamaican and all in-between- add some Veggies, like the classic lettuce, tomato, and onion or go wild with jalapenos or fresh basil, and then further decorate with the “Others” items like a fried egg, slice of pineapple or maybe some horseradish. Finish it off with a choice of one of their ten sides for a full meal that’s sure to please.

Floats and shakes, Nehi and IBC sodas, cocktails and beer- how you can NOT have fun here.

Burgers too bourgeois for you? Ok. Try the Alligator Fritters. Gator tails and Cajun spices are rolled together and deep fried, then served with zesty gator sauce. Or, for a southern fix, the fried green tomatoes, a southern classic, are tempura batter-dipped and fried, and served with the diet busting staple of the south, pimiento cheese (also available as a burger topping!!). For the kids, of course there are chicken fingers and grilled cheese and cheeseburgers and hotdogs and fries- as well as a place-mat/coloring puzzle kid occupier and lots of Gator Lore. Their reasoning for worshiping the humble gator is:

  1. Like B&D, gators are native to Georgia
  2. Gators never walk backwards, ever (only forward thinking here)
  3. Gators have no natural enemies (it’s all about friends and family at this spot)
  4. Gators have been around a LONG time (just like Savannah)

Leopold’s Ice Cream

Broughton Street

You may have to cue up to get inside this landmark shoppe (circa 1919), but once you’re inside you can parade past all the cases of ice cream on display and choose a cone, a cup, a sundae, a float or a split. Place your order to take out or enjoy inside. Sit down in the adjoining room and indulge in some fun. Marble topped tables, cool air conditioning, and a classic jukebox set the scene for a great trip to the past.

The owner, Stratton Leopold, has also made a name for himself as a producer in Hollywood, so Leopold’s also has a nice selection of movie posters and props from his many blockbusters. You can even check out one of the original “self-destructing” messages from Mission Impossible!

Seasonal flavors keep things interesting. In March, Guinness ice cream anyone? Or how about Japanese Cherry blossom in May? Frozen Hot Cocoa in the fall? And naturally, Sugar Plum Fairy in December. For purists there is, of course, your classic Vanilla, Chocolate, Chocolate Chip, Strawberry and Butter Pecan and all the rest of the best. For the historic minded, they have the flavor held responsible for the penning of Johnny Mercer’s song, “Tutti Frutti”.

For the kids, if you believe what the dippers have to say, the Peppermint Stick and Peanut Butter are the faves.


Spanky’s Pizza Gallery and Saloon

River Street

According to legend, Spanky’s is "The Home of The Original Chicken Finger". This makes me wonder what parents fed their kids before Spanky’s invented chicken fingers.

Seems to me, chicken fingers appeal to all children (and most adults), and judging from the restaurants I visited, this must be true, for each and every kid friendly restaurant had chicken fingers on the menu. Looks like a great opportunity for a chicken finger throw down. Anyway, according to the staff, pizza and chicken and hot dogs are a sure way to please the little ones. With a college pub feel and plenty of televisions broadcasting sports, Spanky’s is a great place to duck into after an exhausting day of sightseeing.

For Starters or “Munchies” don’t pass on the spuds- one of their signature dishes made from potatoes cut round and dipped into their signature batter, fried and served with creamy horseradish sauce or honey mustard-another Spanky’s classic which also pairs well with the ubiquitous chicken fingers. Fried pickles, nachos, hushpuppies- there’s a lot to love here. The pizzas are spectacular. They are prepared from scratch, as is the pizza sauce, and the ones going by looked GREAT.

Ferns and fans, posters and stained glass. The Cure, The Clash, The Cars, Bowie- again, so 80’s! Burgers, Stackers, Weenies, Porridge, Pizza and Greens-Spanky’s hits all the categories and keeps everyone happy.


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