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College Guide - If your parents are coming to visit, you should ...

Hide the bong and go out for a nice meal

Hide the bong

This one is pretty obvious. Even if the soundtrack to your conception was the second side of Master of Reality, think of the stashing of paraphernalia as the tip of the iceberg of you pretending to be a semi-responsible adult in your parents' eyes. It's a skill you'll be refining for years. So dismantle Mt. Papa John's. Open a window. Put on a clean shirt. They'll worry less and it will make the holidays more pleasant for everyone.

Re-energize at Aurora Coffee

Have your parents come see where you get the energy to study for all those exams you're acing, and taste of some of Atlanta's best coffee. Aurora offers organic fair trade beans and an extensive list of specialty drinks, and the "Bear Menu" includes some seriously addictive concoctions. If you're hungover from the night before, make it a Grizzly Bear, coffee concentrate that's three times stronger than iced coffee, or a Wounded Bear that adds a shot of espresso. Sit on the patio and impress them with the notorious weirdness of Little Five Points.

Distract them with a day in Decatur

When moms and dads come to town, they want to eat dinner. And they want to talk about your classes. And your future. If you're going to be forced to discuss life plans, you might as well have them pay for a meal at one of the metro region's best restaurants, such as Cakes & Ale, Kimball House, or No. 246. There's Brick Store, the nationally known brewpub, and cocktail bars like the Pinewood Tippling Room if you or your folks need a stiff drink. Decatur's also got outdoor concerts in the spring and fall, boutiques aplenty, and a charming and walkable downtown.

Educate them at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights

The long-awaited civil rights museum has finally opened its doors just north of Centennial Olympic Park. Don't miss out on either the historic collection of Martin Luther King Jr.'s personal papers or the interactive exhibit recreating the experience of a sit-in.

Eat brunch at Sun in My Belly

Sun in My Belly is an old hardware store turned cozy breakfast cafe in Kirkwood. If you're up early enough to beat the weekend crowd, then feast on the Southern-inspired menu famous for the PBLT and hashed potatoes or the shrimp and grits. On the first Sunday of each month, the café hosts a live jazz brunch with BYOB champagne. If you're on a time crunch, stop in and bag an assortment of pastries for a quick snack.

Visit the College Football Hall of Fame

Once you've toured all of Downtown's other museums, kill some hours with mom and dad in thrall of pigskin. Located near Centennial Olympic Park, the new football museum, which opens Aug. 23, promises to offer exhibits and activities for sports fans of all ages. The hall will feature a 45-yard replica football field where your father can relive his days as a bench-warmer and Game Day Theater where you can potentially sneak in a few hours of sleep to ease your hangover.

Go full corn dog

So the family's in town: grandpa and grandma, the nieces and nephews, in-laws, et al. Y'all have done the High Museum of Art, stood atop Stone Mountain, endured the Georgia Aquarium, the World of Coca-Cola, and taken in the awe-inspiring Battle of Atlanta depicted at the Cyclorama. What now? Two things: You need a milk shake and french fries, and you want to go where the real locals hang out. Pallookaville Fine Foods is just a quick jog away in Avondale Estates. The old folks in the car will point and swoon at the Tudor-style architecture along the drive, and the kids will be beside themselves amid Pallookaville's sensory overload of cartoons, toys, and old-school soda fountain décor.



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