Start the day with the kids’ favorite breakfast-a stack of pancakes-at one of several area restaurants or head over to Splendid Events on Bull Street for a homemade biscuit sandwich that cannot be beaten.
Load into the car and head to the Explorations in Antiquity Center, the only facility of its kind in North America. Two live roosters will accompany you on your stroll around an ancient village with catacombs, goat hair tent, an oasis and an olive press. The “Kids Dig Area” allows budding archaeologists a chance to sift through dirt to find actual shards of pottery and other artifacts.
As you head back to downtown LaGrange for lunch, stop at The Medicine Cabinet on Vernon Street for toy shopping. Stash the bags in the car and head up the street to the LaFayette Square park at the heart of downtown. Everyone needs two pennies for an old custom. Stand back to back with the statue of Revolutionary War hero General LaFayette. Make a wish as you throw a penny over your shoulder. Then stand facing LaFayette and make a wish while tossing the second penny forward. This custom is supposed to double your wish.
Lunch at Charlie Joseph’s on Bull Street will delight the kids. Counter-style lunches of hamburgers and hot dogs have been served up here since the 1920s. Order a Coca-Cola in a bottle with a straw!
The afternoon will be spent at the best thing this side of Africa. Head 15 minutes south to the 500-acre Wild Animal Safari. Be prepared for a camel to put his head in the car window, looking for a snack! Children and adults will giggle through this drive filled with hundreds of free-roaming wild and exotic species from around the world. After the drive, stroll through a petting zoo and see other exotics such as monkeys, bears, alligators and tropical birds.
Dinner at Mighty Joe’s Pizza on LaFayette Parkway, right near the Square, is the ideal casual setting for the family to reminisce about the day’s activities. Walk around the corner to Cakes by Debbie for homemade baked goods to top off this great family outing in Troup County.