INK – Interactive Neighborhood For Kids – A Hidden City in Gainesville, GA

Little Aussie, usa travels

Tucked away behind the train station and across from the Hall county’s recycling center is a hidden little city, and one of the most wondrous places I’ve ever taken my child.

INK (Interactive Neighborhood for Kids) in Gainesville, GA is an interactive museum set up to resemble a town – but a perfect little village where everything is just right for children. It’s quickly become our favorite stop when in town visiting Grandma, though Hushpuppy and I can only go when we have a minimum of three hours, preferably more, to get lost in a day’s worth of work.

When you enter the play area, you step onto a main street with rooms on either side, each one a different work space. There’s the diner, the bank (with an actual ATM), the dentist’s office, the animal hospital, the hairdresser, the courtroom, the ever-popular grocery store, and a “Broadway” stage with costumes. Each room is full of items from real offices and shops, and many have outfits that the kids can wear, like doctor’s coats or chef uniforms.

Hushpuppy is partial to imaginary-transporting herself from one shop to another on a motorcycle that sits in the middle.

A little further in town is a section devoted to all things train (important in Gainesville). There’s an old fire engine. And, on the outskirts, is a farm with a cow that you can milk and a talking chicken.

Then, there’s the real police car. With lights and the whole thing. 

And, tucked away in the back room is a post office, a Red Cross shelter, a city building room, and … wait for it … an airport with an actual airplane. I know, right?

And if all of that is not entertaining enough (as if), there’s also a toddler room chock full of toys for under 3’s and a climbing structure for older kids.

The kids are free to explore every nook in any (safe, non-destructive, reasonable) way that they see fit.

I read online a criticism that someone found the toys to be “old” and “dirty.” Well, listen, they’re not new, everything is well loved, and the space is clearly an old warehouse, but I’ve never seen anything that’s dirty, unacceptable, or in any way unsafe.  My kid has plenty of new toys at home that she professionally ignores, so previously used items that spark her imagination for hours on end are more than acceptable for my standards.

I wish we had something like INK in Sydney.
Truth be told, we do have something like this, but truly, it’s *nothing* like this, if you catch my tone.
They just need real coffee – for adults – and it would be the world’s most perfect town.


If you go…
INK – Website
Location: 999 Chestnut St, SE, Gainesville, GA
Admission: $8 per person (including adults)/ $6 on Sundays
Bring your own food and eat in a designated lunch area inside or at picnic benches outside. 

4 thoughts on “INK – Interactive Neighborhood For Kids – A Hidden City in Gainesville, GA

    1. Cristin Post author

      I think I’ve read about this place – looks good, and perhaps better for kids than most of the museums we have in Sydney. I’ll have to plan a trip when we get home. Thanks for reminding me!

  1. Kelli Horner

    I love that she has new toys she ‘professionally ignores.’ That made me chuckle! We have one of these places here, but I’ve never taken the girls. I might add it to the list for the weekend!

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