1. There Can Be Only One…Kind of Stroller
Savannah was designed to cross on foot, so parents can be forgiven for thinking that strolling will be a cinch. Lots of kids get pushed through Savannah in strollers, but you’ll want to think hard about what kind you bring. Even if your plan is to mosey, coffee up, shop, sit and admire, my recommendation is a jogger. With tires built to withstand bumps at a clip and an excellent turning radius, the jogger is the perfect vehicle for the uneven, cobblestoned, on-and-off the curb kind of walking you’ll be doing in Savannah. If you don’t have one, you know someone who does. Don’t be shy — this will up your vacation trekking game considerably!
2. Allowing for Loudness
There are a lot of restaurants out there that are listed as kid-friendly, but there’s nothing worse than walking into one of them and realizing that your Littles are going to be the main source of sound in the place. Here are three options that may not jump out at you on Tripadvisor, but work great whether you’re in the market for breakfast, lunch or dinner!
This fun, atmospheric breakfast place in a rehabbed garage is perfection when you’ve got kids in tow. It’s such a cavernous space that it has that super-busy-and-full-of-happy-customers-din that even kid squeals will have difficulty topping. The menu hits every breakfast, lunch and brunch item you could desire, it’s open seven days a week and it’s right downtown!
Though it’s just a stone’s throw from Forsyth Park, this little gem inside the historic American Legion Post 135 feels a smidge off the beaten path (in a good way). With tons of neat memorabilia to look at and plenty of space, this joint is perfect for filling up empty tummies before hitting more central sites. The kids’ menu includes chicken fingers, hot dogs and grilled cheese, plus Betty Bomber’s has floats, peanut butter pie and other wonderfully indulgent old-timey desserts!
Green Truck Pub
Despite the cool, hipster-meets-diner vibe, the draft beers and the handmade ketchup and desserts, this is a place where kids are more than welcome. Your only trouble with this hot spot will be getting a table, so go at an off-hour or call ahead. If you do have to wait, trust me when I tell you it’s worth it! The “Little Truckers Menu” features grilled cheese, the classic pb&j, burgers, hot dogs, and choices of french fries or apple slices!
3. Not All Parks Have Equal Perks
Savannah is FULL of great parks for kids (Lake Mayer! Hull Park!), and of course there is none more famous than the lovely and energetic Forsyth Park. But if you have children that are too small to always be counted on to listen, letting your guard down may be difficult there. Forsyth is hemmed in by two Savannah thoroughfares and its playground for small children has three separate exits to slip out of! Parents of tinier tots know that the way to go is to find a park that is completely enclosed. Here are some ideas, no matter what side of town you’re on.
Memorial Park Playground (Tybee)
The gate doesn’t close super tightly, but it is the sole entrance/exit and it’s right by the benches where parents take a load off. Plus, this park has shade and sun, swings and things to climb for kids of all sizes, picnic tables nearby, and that spongy stuff that makes falling a tad less awful. It’s also right behind Tybee’s adorable little public library and a three-minute walk to the ocean.
The Savannah Children’s Museum (Downtown)
Okay, this isn’t exactly a park (there is an entrance fee), but it is a wonderful two-tiered play space where kids can explore and parents chill a bit (and those with littles know that any parental relaxation is at a premium). A sand table, crafts, giant blocks, plenty of shade, slides, a maze, things to climb and even a dress up station and an indoor reading nook make this a place your Little ones may actually wear themselves out!
J.F. Gregory City Park (Richmond Hill)
It’s a bit of a hike out to Richmond Hill, but this park has a ton going for it. It’s on more than 300 acres, has a lake, walking trails, picnic tables, restrooms, and yes, a fenced-in playground!
Baldwin Park (Savannah, East Side)
This is a sweet and modest (old school) neighborhood park. Nothing fancy, but fenced!
4. Cross with Care!
It’s been said that the American South moves at a different pace than the rest of the country, and this can sometimes feel very true in Savannah. But speeding is still a thing. And while locals have got the quirky roundabouts down to a science, there are plenty of non-locals navigating them at any given time, often in unfamiliar rental cars. Mostly, vehicles stop when they should and yield to pedestrians, but don’t make the mistake of counting on it. Tourists and recent transplants still getting used to the constant crosswalks will be flustered and can end up stopping well into the white stripes. Bottom line: always proceed with caution!
For more ideas about Savannah with older kiddos, see 10 Family Friendly Activities in Savannah.
Article written by Dani Ray.