CNN Center Behind the Scenes Tour Fieldtrip Review
The kids were really excited to visit the CNN Center in Atlanta for a Behind the Scenes Tour. Before the field trip, I printed out some of the lesson sheets from the CNN website so the kids could learn a little about what they would see before we arrived.
We did the tour with a large homeschool group but we still had people from the general public mixed in with us. I’m just going to say right now that I was very disappointed with this tour and I would not recommend it.
First, they put everyone through a queue to take a picture that they will then try to sell you at the end of the tour. Next, you go into a small auditorium and listen to a very rushed speech about the news room operations.
Then you go to a room with a mock news desk and a large TV on the wall and the tour guide tells you how the magic wall (big TV) works and how newscasters use it. We had read this same information in the education materials beforehand and learned nothing new here. I thought the kids would at least have a chance here to pose at the news desk for pictures, but alas, they rushed us to the next area.
The rest of the tour consisted largely of peering into news rooms through glass walls - some were empty, others were full of life with lots of people working and moving around. The information was interesting but was delivered in a very rushed fashion. Tours run every 20 minutes so I’m sure the tour guide is under pressure to keep everyone moving.
I was hoping that the tour would be geared toward a school aged audience and would be more kid relevant. But it appears that they have a one size fits all tour that you can’t escape, even if you book the tour several weeks in advance.
The tour lasted for less than an hour. Including parking, the roughly 45-minute tour cost the 3 of us around $50. This was not a good value for what we got. Also, just know that if you have littles, be prepared to carry them – no strollers are allowed on the tour.
So if you are touring Atlanta or thinking of taking a school group on the CNN Behind the Scenes Tour, I would save that money for something else. I do not recommend this field trip.