Blue Mark Studios thrives inside the refurbished halls of century-old St. James Church by regularly hosting exhibitions of newly discovered artists from around the U.S. In addition to traditional art exhibitions, Blue Mark's resident artists load the studio's calendar of events with countless openings, fashion shows, dance parties, and art lessons. They craft their works in private studios on the premises, ranging from ceramics to visual FX and 3D media. They often sell their pieces to people wishing to display art in their home or on their bumper.
At Hop Around Play and Party Center, kids clamber through plastic tunnels, zigzag around obstacle courses, and bounce off the walls of colorful inflatables. They slip down slides and burn off extra energy during open play times or activity-filled birthday parties. Parties can be customized to accommodate between 8 and 40 kids and include a party attendant, play time, and use of a private party room.
The friendly staff at PatchWerk will graciously introduce you to the beautiful acoustics of Studio 1019, where you will record final vocals or edit your project. A sound master will happily answer any questions you have about the studio. PatchWerk's state-of-the-art facilities have been used to record Annie Lennox, Ludacris, Beyoncé, Young Jeezy, Sting, Snoop Dogg, and many more. And with high-quality CD duplications included, you won't have to spend an entire year performing back-to-back CD burns.
More than 10 million gallons of water fill the gigantic exhibits inside Georgia Aquarium, making it the largest in the world when it opened in 2005. Most visitors, of course, will be far more interested in what's gliding and diving inside all those exhibits. Their journey through the world's diverse oceans begins just inside the entrance at The SunTrust Georgia Explorer, where visitors touch rays and marvel at the sea turtle's ability to keep from sliding out of its shell. To the right lies the Southwest Tropical Diver exhibit, a mesmerizing display of coral reefs and the creatures that wind among them.
Other areas of the aquarium blend education with entertainment. Dolphins leap, swim, and dance in time to music at the AT&T Dolphin Tales show, while Journey with Gentle Giants Immersion Programs let visitors dive with massive whale sharks. There's even a movie theater, although it blows most multiplexes out of the water by adding 3-D imagery and 4-D effects. Special effects built into the seats and the theater's surroundings mean that audiences don't just see ultra-real animals and rippling waters pass before them—they feel them, too.
That's just a sampling of the more than 60 exhibits and activities that fill Georgia Aquarium. But its staff do manage to make it outside of the massive facility. In addition to their exhibits and education initiatives, the aquarium houses the Correll Center for Aquatic Animal Health: a 10,000 square-foot facility dedicated to aquatic animal conservation. Its research stretches from the whale sharks of Mexico to the penguins of South Africa to the belugas of Alaska.
The Hawks migrated to Atlanta from St. Louis for the 1968–69 season and have since become a venerated local institution. Though the Atlanta club has never claimed an NBA title, they've appeared in the playoffs 27 times since 1969, stamping their punchcard frequently enough to receive free hot dogs for the whole team during their next postseason appearance. Since 1999, the Hawks have perched in the rafters of Philips Arena, where more than 18,000 fans cheer them to victory in the Eastern Conference's Southeast Division.
Shopping for groceries might sound like a chore, but it's actually one of the many fun, hands-on activities available at The Children's Museum of Atlanta. In the Fundamentally Food exhibit, kids can whip up tasty pretend meals in a playhouse kitchen and load fruits and veggies onto a delivery truck. Fundamentally Food is among the Children's Museum's year-round exhibits, whose interactive stations are geared toward children up to 8 years old. Children can mold sculptures from moon sand, create original paintings on the giant paint wall, or don raincoats before fishing in the stream of the Museum's magical forest.
The Children's Museum's troupe of professional actors and educators known as the Imaginators—considered "experts on entertaining children" by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution—specialize in performing original 20-minute musicals. Their other programs include Imaginator-led story-time, crafts, dancing, interactive music programming, and cooking activities based on Georgia produce. The Children's Museum also offers private birthday parties, summer camps, and family memberships.