There’s no doubt that little ones love to play in their imaginary worlds. For my son, Little A, that means pretending to be a little chef in his cherry-red, pint-sized kitchen. A ninja or warrior adventure gets my daughter, Big A’s creative juices flowing. And parents caught up in the exhausting chaos of work, end-of-the-year school activities, and schlepping to birthday parties and playdates can also benefit by taking refuge in an imaginary world from time to time.
There’s no better place to do so than at the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s new exhibit, Imaginary Worlds, open now through October. One of the most grandiose exhibits to hit the Garden since Dale Chihuly’s glass sculptures, Imaginary Worlds features a “menagerie of magical creatures casting an enchanting spell over the Garden with 19 monumental living sculptures of fantasy and delight.” Children of any age will be mesmerized by these massive mosaicultures, or three-dimensional living gardens. Frolic around the Garden and discover the pair of giant cobras and the friendly ogre. Little A delighted in the 7-foot-tall whimsical berries celebrating their season in the edible garden. A magical unicorn greets you right before the entrance to the Canopy Walk, which eventually leads to the piece de resistance, Earth Goddess towering over the Cascade Garden.
Don’t forget to take a respite at Metrofresh in the Garden. It gets my vote for the freshest and healthiest selections of any major attraction or museum in the city. This is a second location for Metrofresh Midtown, run by Souper Jenny protégé and former Doogie Howser, M.D. actor, Mitchell Anderson. The modern, ghost-chair-clad garden café features a selection of fresh soups (e.g., Mexican Chicken and Tomatillo, Mitchili (Mitchell’s Turkey Chili), etc.), a rainbow-array of salads and specialty sides (Chicken Salad w/ Mangos, Black Beans & Bell Peppers w/ a Citrus Herb Vinaigrette, Lentil & Cucumber, Faro & Beet Salad, etc.), and sandwiches (Cucumbers & Feta Cheese w/ Tomatoes, Arugula and Hummus, Turkey and Havarti w/ Tomatoes, Greens and Basil-Arugula Pesto, etc.).
A lunch special comprising your choice of two items, which are always rotating to feature the freshest ingredients in season, plus a drink and cookie, is plenty for two Little Foodies to split. For picky eaters, opt for a kid’s meal featuring Peanut Butter, Banana, and Honey on Multigrain, or Roast Turkey & Havarti Roll-Ups. Upon clean-up, take the opportunity to teach your Little Foodies about composting, as 90% of all waste at the café is compostable and used in organic farms.
On your way out, stock up at the GORP (Good Ole Raisins and Peanuts) Bar to create your own personalized trail mix with both salty and sweet goodies. Finally, head to the Children’s Garden for your Little Foodies to beat the heat dancing in the fountains of this magical oasis smack dab in the middle of the city.
Lunch Special (Any 2 Soups, Salads, Specialty Sides, or 1/2 Sandwiches; Cookie, & Drink)-$12.00
GORP (Good Old Raisins & Peanuts)-$4.50
Mini MetroFreshual (Turkey & Havarti Roll-Ups; Cookie, Fruit, & Drink)-$6.25
1345 Piedmont Ave
Atlanta, GA 30309