Littles in Historic Savannah

It was another great day down South!  I typically blather on about all the luscious eats and enviable shoppes in historic Savannah and, outside of Forsyth Park and the free water taxi that runs from River Street to the Westin, I’ve neglected to talk much about what to do with your littles downtown.  I get loads of emails asking about this and today we spent a whole day in the historic district having fun with the kids.

Savannah Children’s Museum
We were thrilled to spend our morning at the brand spanking new Savannah Children’s Museum.  Phase one of the project, the Exploration Station, has just been open less than two weeks and is positively outstanding!  Located in one of the original structures at the Georgia Railroad Museum, it’s a stunning and whimsical place where you and your littles can lose yourself for hours.
June 2012 409 June 2012 405 On the upper level of the Exploration Station, we sifted through a sand and water table for shells and constructed dams and played with the water valves to see what would happen!
June 2012 469 We built a “Pokemon Machine” with life sized tinker toys…
June 2012 410 June 2012 411 June 2012 413 June 2012 412 …and had a grand time building a ball course with foam blocks, mats, wagons, fabric and crates at the Imagination Playground.
June 2012 416And before sliding down the giant green swirly slide to the lower level, we belted out some big music.
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June 2012 424The lower level is literally overflowing with things to engage minds and imaginations.  Our first stop was the Exploration Maze – you never know what’s around the next corner and we found everything from Lego stations to chalkboard walls!
June 2012 426 June 2012 403 June 2012 428 The dress-up closet had loads of fun costumes and Cookie adored parading around like a knight.June 2012 430 June 2012 466 June 2012 463We spent a great deal of time playing the life-sized games – tic tac toe, connect four, dominos, chess and checkers.  This is an aerial view of that portion of the museum.June 2012 417
June 2012 432 June 2012 434 June 2012 435 Mother and I ogled the four tiered planters, lush grass and container vegetable gardens with everything from herbs to squash! June 2012 418 June 2012 420The Storybook Nook was incredibly darling.  Of course, my fast-paced crew didn’t sit long enough to enjoy it.  I think this was the point in our visit when Mother suggested we visit without them next time :-)
June 2012 431 We all loved cooling off in the misting stations…multiple times in our visit.
June 2012 438 And we spun like silly on this strange but fun contraption.
June 2012 445 There were tons of areas for constructing and deconstructing (of course) with blocks of all sorts.
June 2012 449 June 2012 452 June 2012 457 The baby spent a good long while “painting” at the chalkboard tables.  One of these would be a fabulous addition to our back yard play things.  (Catch that, Honey??)
June 2012 454All in all, it’s like no place I’ve ever been.  And the whole time you are just marveling over all the things these walls have seen over the last 160ish years.

If you go:

  • The museum is only open from 10AM – 2PM so add it to your morning agenda.
  • Every part of the museum is outside.  Dress appropriately and consider being there when they open.  Savannah is HOT and HUMID!
  • Outside food and drink are not permitted.  There are water fountains and water is available for purchase.
  • Tickets are $7.50 and are purchased in the Railroad Museum gift shop.
  • Parking is free!

Georgia State Railroad Museum
The Children’s Museum is connected to the Georgia State Railroad Museum – the world’s largest and most complete Antebellum railroad repair facility still in existence.  If you have a train lover in your midst, it’s worth a visit! 
June 2012 378 The huge and historic trains were just awe inspiring.  And the littles loved seeing a “real live” fully operational turntable like we’ve learned so much about from our “cheeky” friend Thomas.
June 2012 473 June 2012 383 June 2012 380 The grounds were also quite impressive and Mother and I loved reading all of the plaques explaining what the train yard was like back in it’s heyday.
June 2012 387 June 2012 395 June 2012 396 June 2012 397 June 2012 393 The architectural features of the smokestack were quite lovely and certainly unexpected for a train yard.
June 2012 398 June 2012 399 June 2012 401
The museum offers various daily programming – from guided tours of the office cars and rolling stock to turntable and blacksmithing demonstrations, it’s a ride into our country’s past! 
If you go:

  • The museum is open from 10AM – 4PM.
  • It’s hot and humid and entirely outside so dress appropriately.
  • There are tons of fine gravel paths and I hated that I had on flip flops.  Wear closed toe shoes!
  • Check the Train Ride Schedule for dates and times.
  • Parking is free!

The Express Cafe
Afterwards, we headed over to City Market and enjoyed a delish lunch at The Express Cafe.  This has been one of my favorites for as long as I can remember and it’s barely changed a lick in twenty-five years.  I always looked forward to Sunday lunch here after mass at the Cathedral.  Just like always, I dined on the Hermitage sandwich (cream cheese, avocado, sprouts, tomato, cucumber on sourdough) and a Heath Bar cookie.  Note: there is no kids menu but mine split a ham sandwich.
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Ellis Square Sprayground
We wrapped up our day downtown at the Ellis Square sprayground.  It’s free and open seasonally.  While the littles let out their last bit of steam (I wish), Mother and I sat in the shade and sipped on Italian Peach Sodas from lunch.
June 2012 485 June 2012 489 June 2012 495 June 2012 504 So that, my friends, is how to entertain youngish kids in downtown Savannah.  Not nearly as glamorous as shopping at the Paris Market and lunching at The Gryphon Tea Room, but fun nonetheless!

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4 thoughts on “Littles in Historic Savannah

  1. Thanks for sharing this information. We will be at Tybee with our grands in the near future and this sounds like a fun way to spend a morning!!

  2. looks fun~so glad to see things for kids to do. i was in my early 20's last time i was there ( my best friend went to SCAD, so i had a built in tour guide, not to mention, she drove one of the carriages for the the tour company!) and was not the least bit concerned about children's activities!!! considering savannah/tybee as possible fall break destination this year. how is the weather in october would you say?

  3. I took my son a few years ago and we went to Leopolds Ice cream parlour It was fantastic I had a coke float that I hadn't had in years so awesome..Cheers FRances

  4. Amy – October is a wonderful time to visit!! Much cooler than this time of the year but very nice.

    Frances – We LOVE Leopolds! In July they are giving away free cones to kids that recite the Pledge from memory. How cool is that?!?!

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