We visited Tiny Towne a few years ago when both boys were young. From that fun adventure, we have touted them as an incredible place to have fun, especially on a hot, cold or rainy day. BUT…now that Cooper is 9 yo, he is able to experience Tiny Towne in a different, more robust way. So whether your kids are 3 yo, 9 yo, or 15 yo there is something for them. Read on about why we love this place -even more now!
For children 3-8 years old
My Elliot is 5 years old. He can’t yet read…so I’m just bringing him for the fun, right? Yes and no. He definitely thinks Tiny Towne is fun! He has a blast…but I know that he is learning when he is there, too. He’s learning to identify signs and colors, he’s practicing gross and fine motor skills, and he’s building confidence.
I also love that there is something for him to do while older brother takes it to the next level (see those deets below the video.)
Tiny Towne Express. Elliot loves trains – he always has! Kids and parents can take a ride around the building on the Tiny Town Express train.
Two Levels of Driving Options. For younger kiddos, there are two levels of cars. Kids 3-6 yo are considered Beginner Drivers and can take a slower, smaller car around the short track. They learn about wearing a seat belt and keeping their hands on the wheel.
Kids 6-9 yo are Intermediate Drivers and ride on the same track in a larger car that offers a little more speed. They learn about staying in their own lanes and controlling the car.
Carcade. The “carcade” offers driving-inspired video games for kids. There are also smaller cars that tilt and lean, but they are stationary. Great for really small kids.
For kids 9-15 years old
Once your kiddo turns 9 yo, they can advance to the Smart Cars, which are bigger and include more features…and they are on a more advanced track.
Age alone does not permit them there, though. They must also complete a short video, take a 101 computer driver’s test, and practice in a simulator -see that in our video above.
GDOT report that there were over 1500 fatalities on the road in Georgia last year. And most incidents happen with NEW drivers. Starting children on an awareness and safety campaign as young as possible can ONLY help them when they begin driving, and minimize their chances of being a statistic.
11 Levels of Driver Safety Courses. As I mention above, older kids must take the 101 test before driving the Smart cars. But that’s just the beginning…there are 11 levels of courses to help your child advance their skills.
These tests (and a few other perks) are free to those holding a Tiny Towne ID Card. Interestingly, hubby and I could not have passed the 101 test the first time. It took Cooper twice, though the owner told us it usually takes about four times to pass. The standards as Tiny Towne are high, and we love that!
Simulators and Smart Cars. After passing the 101 test, kids will move to the simulator where they learn about following the lines on the road, using their right foot for both the gas and break, using turn signals, etc.
From there, they progress to the Smart Car, which they drive on an advanced track. Here kids learn about road markings, road signs, traffic signals and more.
7 Levels of Driving Preparedness. When your child first starts on the advanced track, he or she will ride with a staff member for a few laps as they get their bearings. Then they will take to the track on their own for 20-30 minutes.
Once they complete their first 30 minutes, they’ve completed level 1 and can now take a rider with them in level 2, and access a few additional areas of the advanced track. Dan rode with Cooper first, and then I was able to ride around with him. He was so happy and confident, and that made such a HUGE impression on me! I loved seeing him be excited about learning something new and stretch his boundaries outside his comfort zone.
There are 7 levels…each one allows the driver to increase their speed a smidgen. But don’t get to relaxed! Drivers still must follow all the rules of the road, or you’ll be served a “ticket.” Wear your seatbelt! Come to a complete stop at the signs! You know the drill.
The Smart Car uses RFID technology so it knows what level your child is on, how fast they can go – cool, right? It also keeps track of any violations, how they’ve progressed in their driver’s classes and testing, and more.
Interactive Model. With the driver’s permit, kids can practice on the Interactive Model. My boys enjoyed this because it gave them an “in real life” way to understand a number of sign markings. FREE if you have the permit.
Passion For Safety and Awareness. I was honored to talk with the owner for a while, and his passion is contagious! I love that he told me that he wants to affects kids by “brainwashing them with awareness.” What a cool mission!
Pierre is working behind the scenes on a number of projects – with the DMV, schools, insurance companies and more. I can’t tell you about anything yet, but he is working to make sure that the efforts kids are taking toward safety here at Tiny Towne are recognized by other authoritative businesses in the industry.
Keep pushing for progress Pierre! We believe in you and Tiny Towne! Like I said, the standards here are high – let’s reward kids for their work!
The Grill. Don’t worry about spending all day here, because there is plenty of food to chow on. Love the healthy selections here like salads and fruits and wraps — and the boys loved the pizza!
Birthday Parties. Looking for a unique place for a birthday party? This is it!
Wifi and Lounge Area. There is FREE Wifi in Tiny Towne, and a lounge area for parents. So, if you’re not following a little one around like I am, then bring your computer and do some work while your older one is progressing through the levels. You can see them driving while your waiting.
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Disclosure: We were hosts of Tiny Towne in order to facilitate this review. It did not impact my opinion here at all. In fact, the oldest loved it so much that he journaled about it on his own in his gratitude journal that evening. If it wasn’t killer, we wouldn’t share it. #keepingitreal
After 18 years in software development, Lesli bailed on the corporate scene. When she’s not traveling, she’s hiking in the mountains or checking out Atlanta’s culinary scene, whiskey in hand.
Lesli has two kiddos -Cooper and Elliot- plus two bonus kids currently at UGA, and she’s happily married to her soul mate.