If you’re traveling to Savannah, you’re probably eager to soak up the city’s rich history and Southern charm. But let’s face it, if your kids are traveling with you, they may not be able to sit through endless tours of the city and its many historical buildings and monuments. Fortunately there’s no need to plan two separate vacations. Savannah has numerous activities, historic sites and restaurants that will please both children and adults alike. And the good news is that a fun and interesting tour of the city can easily be done in one day!
Juliette Gordon Low ferry boat — Photo courtesy of rjones0856Start your day on River Street. The cobblestone- and brick-lined street features monuments and historic markers that adults will find interesting. Your kids will enjoy taking a ferry ride to Hutchinson Island and back, and it won’t even break the bank. The city-run ferry is free for kids under 10 and just $1 for adults for a round-trip journey. Be sure to walk east on River Street to find the echo chamber, a nearly invisible spot where your kids will be able to hear their echo. (You may need to ask a River Street regular for directions. The spot of this hidden treasure, which is marked by the convergence of lines to form an “X,” is hard to find!) When your kids start to get hungry, head to Huey’s for brunch. The café’s beignets–sugary, delicious New Orleans-style donuts–are sure to be a big hit.
Next head on over to the Roundhouse Railroad Museum, the largest existing 19th-century railroad repair facility in the country. While adults will enjoy learning the history of the former Central of Georgia Railroad, kids will have fun climbing on board some of the trains, playing in the special kids’ Baggage Car and watching an elaborate model train make its rounds around a miniature version of the city.
One of several trains at the Roundhouse Railroad Museum. — Photo courtesy of Coastal Heritage Society
After spending time mostly outdoors at the Roundhouse, you’ll undoubtedly be ready for some AC, and there’s no better place to cool off than at the Telfair Museums’ Jepson Center for the Arts. The modern art museum, which has an impressive permanent collection featuring artists such as Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg, also has a fantastic kids area called ArtZeum. Children young and old always enjoy the interactive exhibits, including the magnetic wall, glass house, architectural building blocks and more.
The architectural blocks are one of several interactive exhibits at the Jepson Center's ArtZeum. — Photo courtesy of Telfair Art Museums
Before the sun goes down, trek on over to Forsyth Park to get great photos of the iconic fountain (the one made famous in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil). While you’re enjoying the scenic park, its monuments and green space, let your kids burn off steam on one of two playgrounds. If it’s warm out, they’ll also enjoy getting their feet wet in the kids’ splash fountain.
The kids' splash fountain in Forsyth Park is a big hit with kids during Savannah's hot summer. — Photo courtesy of Britt Reints
Cap off your day with dinner at the Pirates’ House, a Savannah institution that’s been serving up Southern cuisine and delighting children for decades. Your kids will be enchanted by the pirate memorabilia and underground tunnels in the 18th-century building, and they’ll even have a chance to interact with a pirate who roams around the restaurant.
Kids love to interact with the roving pirate while they enjoy a meal at the Pirates' House. — Photo courtesy of The Pirates' House
After such a fun-filled day, your kids will practically be asleep by the time their heads hit the pillow, while you will undoubtedly have sweet dreams of antebellum times in one of the country’s most beautiful cities.