savannah with kids

10 Best Free, Cheap, and Seasonal Things to do in Savannah with Kids

 River View Room in Savannah

This room was a much-needed peaceful respite with incredible river views.  You certainly don’t plan on having a sick child while traveling but when it happens and you have a river view to enjoy, staying inside isn’t so bad.  Just watching the ships go by can provide moments of visual pleasure and peace, especially during the fog and rain of a December day.

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This River View can be enjoyed at the Cotton Sail Hotel Savannah, Tapestry Collection by Hilton.  With clear views over Savannah’s renowned River Street, you won’t even realize you’re in an 1800’s cotton warehouse. Take some time to head up to the rooftop bar for more views. 

river street view from cotton sail hotel
River Street view from the Cotton Sail Hotel
cotton sail hotel river view room with balcony

I’ve only done a few official tours of Savannah since it is one of the easiest cities to create your own guide and just walk.  Although, I do believe that’s one of the best ways to learn more about a city and hear stories you may not get to read about.  I highly recommend the Bells on Bob Tails carriage tour for a short ride through Holiday Sights and Sounds. You’ll get to see all of the Holiday decorations around town riding on your own jingling “sleigh”.  You are encouraged to BYOB (blankets, hot cocoa, hot toddies, or egg nog) and even start caroling with new friends. Savannah Carriage Tours offers this tour and more from $22 per person ($12 for children 5 – 11). This is truly one of the best things to do with the kids in December.

Bells on Bob Tails Carriage Tour
Bells on Bob Tails Carriage Tour

What else can you do in December? Drive through the Holiday Lights at the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens. $25 per car.

Places to Visit in Savannah

Typically, I keep a long list of must see and do activities for each place I visit but after you’ve been to the same place a few times, you run out of new things to do.  This is also when you start to know the area a little better and get closer to living like a local.  You take a little more time to understand how things work instead of looking for things that work for you.

African-American Monument – Another River Street statue that pays homage to the city’s role in institutional slavery. At some point during a visit to Savannah, you really just have to start at King and walk the whole length to Bay St. You’ll pass the Waving Girl Statue, the Savannah Belle’s Ferry, cute gift shops, and of course Savannah’s Candy Kitchen.

Bonaventure Cemetery – download the self-guided tour before you go. An even better experience, would be the guided cemetery tour to point out specific references to Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (if you’re a fan) and highlight the history of notable residents.

City Market   Beautifully decorated for the Holidays. Be sure to eat, shop, look at art, and take a drink to go.

Crystal Beer Parlor – Another landmark diner that is always on the recommended lists. It was interesting, and the food was fine. Nothing that blew me away though.

Factor’s Walk – On a bluff above Riverwalk, sits a row of red brick buildings that where cotton brokers/factor’s bargained during the cotton trade. The iron bridges and walkways are my favorite part. Be warned, the stairs are steep, some are much steeper than others.

Factor's Walk at Night
Factor’s Walk

Forsyth ParkWhat is not to love here??? Beautiful backdrop for a photo and a large playground that’s hard to pull them away from.

Forsyth Park - kids in front of fountain
Forsyth Park foutain
Forsyth Park foutain

Fort Pulaski take the self-guided tour to become a junior ranger at this National Park.

Full – the hardest place to find since I didn’t actually see a sign the first time we tried to go here for takeout. We wound up just doing a DoorDash delivery instead.

Georgia State Railroad Museum  –a National Historic landmark and you can ride it!

Green Truck Neighborhood Pub OMG! Foodgasm and good service.

Green Truck Neighborhood Pub

Kayak Kafe I love this place, having been to both locations. YUM-Me!

Mercer-Williams House  –My favorite House in Savannah.

Oatland Island Wildlife Center – This is a perfect place to getaway for a few hours for a nature walk without going very far from the city.  This 175 acre environmental education center has a 2 mile nature trail through multiple habitats. 

marsh view with sky reflection

Owens-Thomas House and Slave Quarters – This historic home was the highlight of the Telfair Museums for me. Wonderful guided tour that my littles even loved. Start them early and it will be totally normal to walk through these historic places.

Owens-Thomas House garden

Sandfly BBQ at the Streamliner – My husband calls me the “shredder” in my reviews when I have a bad experience. I won’t say anything bad but let’s just say I haven’t returned and it’s not on my recommended list. But, it’s a landmark so don’t listen to my experience, try it for yourself.

Savannah Children’s Museum-I was so blown away with this museum the first time we visited. It’s a wonderfully creative use of outdoor space. It’s also an inexpensive good time for the littles.

Savannah Childrens Museum outdoor activities

Telfair Academy check out the American & European art here, and of course, the Bird Girl Statue. Remember, the price is $20 for adults but that gets you into all 3 Telfair Museums.

Telfair Academy front

The Jepson Center for the Arts– Beautiful museum with some good hand on activities for the family.

The Jepson Center for the Arts

The Pirate’s House the kids liked the kids menu that turned into a pirate’s hat.

pirate's house hat for kids

Treylor Park- three words: pickle back shot. Been to all locations and I love the menu here.

Tybee Island spend some beach time on this barrier island.

Tybee Island lighthouse

Wormsloe Historic Site – home to the oldest standing tabby ruin in Savannah and the most picturesque live oaks.

Wormsloe historic site iconic trees

Zunzi’s– south African inspired meals. I get weak for some grilled veggies, bring it on.

Free Stuff in Savannah

You can move around downtown Savannah for FREE! (During normal times, the Streetcar and DOT shuttle are free but currently OUT OF SERVICE, let’s hope they return again soon.)

  • Passenger ferry service between River Street and Hutchinson Island is provided by Savannah Belles boats departing from Rousakis Plaza on River St. Bike and stroller riders are welcome.
  • Currently Out of Service – River Street Streetcar: “Dottie” is a bio-diesel fueled Melbourne streetcar that has been lovingly restored in Savannah. The 43 passenger car makes a few stops on its roughly mile-long track on River Street.
  • At present, the dot Shuttle no longer operates, but it takes passengers to and from the city’s five public parking garages, as well as many cultural and historical points of interest downtown.

10 Free Things to Do Anytime

  • Visit all the Squares – by scavenger hunt or just wandering.
  • Take note of all the statues. 
  • Bonaventure Cemetery & Colonial Park Cemetery
  • Historic Churches – THe Cathedral of St. John the Baptist; First African Baptist Church, Independent Presbyterian, & Christ Church
  • Play at Tybee Island ($2 for parking)
  • Savannah Botanical Gardens
  • Skidaway Island State Park
  • Fort Pulaski National Monument
  • Enjoy viewing the historic homes.
  • Take a Free Savannah Tour.

There’s so many fun things to do with kids in Savannah, whether you go for the Holidays or a quick spring getaway.  Carriage rides and treats are a must right along with sweet tea and fried green tomatoes.  Wander and enjoy!

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