Atlanta every day is an opening day
Whether you've got a few hours or days, stay and play your way with these free things to do in Atlanta! Whether you're searching for family fun, romantic getaways or even educational adventures, keep it cheap and fun with free things to do in Atlanta. See below for a list of free or discounted things to do in Atlanta. Stay and play the Atlanta way, and even have enough left over for a unique souvenir!
Once you've planned your trip, check out our hotel vacation package deals. And for a bonafide taste of Atlanta, fill your visit with sweet treats and delicious deals from Atlanta restaurants.
Atlanta Contemporary Art Center
The Contemporary exhibits consequential contemporary works by local, regional, national, and international artists and is free every Thursday from 11 am until 8 pm. Thursday evenings often feature programming such as lectures, gallery tours, film screenings, and much more.
From the Atlanta Dogwood Festival and Atlanta Jazz Festival in the spring to Virginia Highland Summerfest and the National Black Arts Festival in the summer, Atlanta is alive with outdoor festivals throughout the year. Almost every weekend brings arts and crafts, live music, parades, children's activities and much more!
Atlanta-Fulton County Library
The Atlanta- Fulton County Library system offers complimentary education, networking and other events. With more than 30 branches, the Atlanta-Fulton Co. libraries are always at your service. The searchable calendar narrows down events by location, age and topic.
There's so much to do in Atlantic Station that the area created its own zip code. Relax without spending a dime! Window shop or check out free movies and the open air market.
Stroll through the historic Castleberry Hill neighborhood and take in the trendy art galleries, restaurants and meeting places.
- First Thursdays ArtsWalk - Self-guided tours of Downtown galleries occur the first Thursday of every month throughout the year. View the arts, tour historic districts of Downtown and enjoy discounts at Downtown restaurants.
Centennial Olympic Park
The 21-acre park is the city's lasting legacy from the Centennial Olympic Games and hosts some of Atlanta's most exciting free events:
- Wednesday Wind Down - In the Park, experience Wednesday Wind Down each Wednesday evening from 5:30-8 p.m., April-September, with performances varying from jazz to reggae.
- Fourth Saturday Family Fun Days - The fourth Saturday of each month, from noon-4 p.m., May September, enjoy an afternoon of FREE family fun. This event is full of activities including educational programming, specialty workshops, performances, contests, prizes and more.
- Music at Noon - Every Tuesday and Thursday from noon-1 p.m., April-October, enjoy Music at Noon, which features a variety of live music including R&B, jazz and reggae. ?Make a lunch date with Music at Noon as relaxing tunes float over the city. Be sure to take a quick dash through the Fountain of Rings!
Center for Puppetry Arts
Visit the permanent museum exhibit, Puppets:The Power of Wonder, and our special exhibits including Jim Henson: Puppeteer, Jim Henson: A Man & His Frog and Jim Henson: Wonders From His Workshop, free of charge every Thursday from 1-3 p.m.
Beef up your brain muscles by learning more about the many colleges and universities that help make Atlanta a smart place. Great places with rich histories include Spellman College, Morehouse College and Oglethorpe University.
The Federal Reserve Bank Money Museum
Visit the Federal Reserve Bank in Atlanta and learn that money doesn't grow on trees.
Ferst Center For The Arts at Georgia Tech
The Westbrook and the Richards Gallery feature visual art exhibits that usually display original artwork or photography by contemporary and student artists. Open Tues.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-1 p.m., during performances, or by calling 404.894.2787.
Futon County Free Saturdays at the High Museum of Art
Walk-up admission to the High Museum of Art is free for Fulton County residents on the first Saturday of each month. Tickets are subject to availability. Fulton County residents may view the High Museum's current exhibitions as well as the permanent collection. Current exhibition admission is subject to availability.
Georgia State Capitol
Self-guided tours include a history of the building and lawmaking process, the public galleries of the House of Representatives and Senate and the Georgia Capitol Museum.
The Governor's Mansion
Georgia's Governor invites you to tour the mansion and learn the true meaning of Southern hospitality.
Visit the Grant Park Pool, which offers free swimming Monday through Friday from 1:30-4 p.m. The pool will reopen on May 27, 2013.
Historic Oakland Cemetery
Atlanta was the final resting place for many Civil War soldiers and you can honor their legacy without charge.
Kids' Workshops at Home Depot
The first Saturday of each month, Home Depot offers free workshops, creating cool games and great home ware gifts. In addition to developing skills, kids will learn tool safety.
Martin Luther King Jr. Historic Site
The National Historic Site includes year-round tours of Dr. King's birth home, the church where his father preached, Ebenezer Baptist Church, his and wife Coretta Scott King's final resting places, the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame and the Visitor Center exhibiting civil rights memorabilia.
National Archives and Records Southeast Region
The Southeast Region of the National Archives is a center of study and offers endless opportunities to climb the nation's family tree.
Located just 2 miles from downtown, Piedmont Park is one of the largest green spaces in the city, which includes playgrounds for children of varying ages, baseball, soccer and football fields, and public tennis courts.
- Piedmont Park's sidewalks are one of the many PATH trails for pedestrians, bikers and rollerbladers. Other in-town PATH trails include the South Decatur Trolley Trail, the Westside Trail and the Chastain Park Trail.
- Your pup can get in on the free action too, at the Piedmont Park Dog Park, an enclosed area where dogs can play off-leash.
- Lake Clara Meer is routinely stocked with fish, including Large Mouth Bass, Crappie, Bream and Catfish, and attracts anglers of all ages. A valid State of Georgia fishing license is needed to fish in Piedmont Park.
Savannah College of Art & Design Galleries
The ACA Gallery, located in the Woodruff Arts Center, showcases contemporary art that represents diverse cultural backgrounds, aesthetic interests, intellectual perspectives and artistic practices. The gallery organizes up to eight temporary exhibitions each year that emphasize work by artists of national and international repute. Other SCAD galleries include Dewberry Gallery of SCAD, Trois Gallery, ShopSCAD, Gallery See, and Gallery 1600.
Sweet Auburn District
The Sweet Auburn Historic District reflects the history, heritage and achievements of Atlanta's African-Americans. Auburn Avenue was once dubbed the richest black street in America by FORTUNE magazine.
Underground Atlanta is located in the heart of Downtown and features shopping, dining, history, city festivals and entertainment.
Woodruff Park is one of downtown Atlanta's most significant green spaces and a great place to soak up Atlanta.
- The Woodruff Park Reading Room is an open-air reading room in the northern portion of Woodruff Park. In partnership with the Fulton County Library, carts are stocked with a selection of books, periodicals and newspapers, with readings and programs at lunchtime.
$10 & Under
Atlanta Contemporary Art Center
The Center exhibits consequential contemporary works by local, regional, national, and international artists. General admission: $5 for adults, $3 for students and seniors, free for children under 12, and free on Thursdays.
See the world's largest diorama painting that revolves around viewers as it depicts the 1864 Civil War Battle of Atlanta. Adult tickets are $10 year-round. Tour guides conduct a 40-minute, two-part educational program on the Battle of Atlanta every hour on the half hour from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The program includes special lighting, sound effects, music and narration (available in English, French, German, Japanese and Spanish).
Atlanta Preservation Center
Take a walking tour of Atlanta's neighborhoods and historic sites as guides provide an informative look into the history of the city. Tours include historic Downtown, Sweet Auburn/Martin Luther King, Jr. Historic District, Inman Park and Druid Hills, the neighborhood featured in the movie "Driving Miss Daisy," and more. Adult tickets are $10 and seniors and students are $5.
Center for Puppetry Arts Museum & Special Exhibits
General admission: $8.25 adults, and children; senior and student discounts available.
Hammonds House Museum
Explore the galleries and resource center of African American Art. Hammonds House is one of the three oldest houses on the West End and is the site of the first kindergarten in Atlanta. The collection features more than 250 art works, mainly by African American artists dating from the mid-19th century. Admission is $4 for adults and $2 for children, students and seniors.
Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum
Adult admission is $8, seniors (60+) $6, students and military are $6 with ID, 16 and Under admission is FREE. Open every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Day. FREE parking is available.
Michael C. Carlos Museum
This museum maintains the largest collection of ancient art in the Southeast with objects from ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome and the Americas at Emory University; $8 adult admission year-round, $6 for students, seniors and children ages 6-17.
Piedmont Park Aquatic Center
$4 adults, $2 for children ages 6-16, $1 for children ages 5 and $2 for seniors ages 55 and over. The ADA accessible pool features lap lanes, beach entry with a current channel for floating, concessions and pool level locker rooms and showers.
Planetarium Shows at Fernbank Science Center
While admission and parking to the Fernbank Science Center observatory is free, ticket prices for the planetarium shows are $5 for adults and $4 for students and seniors.
Starlight Six Drive-In Theater
Six outdoor screens show current major motion pictures year-round; $7 adult admission and $1 for children 9 years old and younger.
Stone Mountain Park
Visit Georgia's most popular attraction with the world's largest mass of exposed granite, featuring the world's largest high-relief carving. During Saturday evenings in the spring and fall, plus nightly during the summer, see the face of the mountain light up at the Lasershow Spectacular in Mountainvision. Park entry is only $10, which includes parking and access to the natural areas.
Sun Dial Restaurant, Bar & View
Travel to the top of the Westin Peachtree Plaza for a revolving view of Atlanta. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children ages 6-12. There is no charge for the scenic elevator for diners of The Sun Dial restaurant or for patrons of the bar ($8 minimum at the bar.)
Twilight Tours of Historic Oakland Cemetery
These walking tours offer inside info on the more than 70,000 histories and mysteries interred at the historic cemetery. The tours are offered on Saturdays and Sundays from March until October. The cost is $10 for adults (ages 18-64) and $5 for students (with ID), seniors (65 and older) and children (ages 6-17).
Underground Atlanta's History Tour
The tour takes participants around the many historic buildings and sites that define the original Atlanta; $6 adult admission year-round.
The Wren's Nest House Museum
$8 adults, $5 for children and $7 for seniors and students. Storytelling every Saturday at 1 p.m. The Wren's Nest was the home of Joel Chandler Harris, creator of the Uncle Remus Tales. The structure itself is one of only a few remaining Queen Anne Victorian homes in Atlanta and is a unique example of upper middle class living around the turn of the 20th century.
Cheap and Discounted Tickets
7 Stages Theatre
7 Stages is your neighborhood international theatre, known around Atlanta for producing and presenting groundbreaking works from all over the globe. Use discount code "ACVB" and save 20 percent off tickets.
Agatha's - A Taste of Mystery
Take $5 off each ticket when you mention Atlanta.net. The discount is valid Sunday through Friday per reservation (not per person) and it is not valid on holidays or during the month of December.
Alliance Theatre Company
Rush tickets can be purchased at the box office the day of any given performance. They are $20 each, can be purchased after 5 p.m. for evening shows (12 p.m. for matinees), and are subject to current availability.
Student tickets can be purchased for $10, including all taxes and fees. Student Rush tickets require your student ID to be presented and must be purchased in person at the Box Office on the day of the performance.
Don't get caught on the sidelines! Save up to 40% with the Chevron Family Value Plan at Turner Field. Packages start at just $69 and include four game tickets, hot dogs and soft drinks, plus one parking pass and a game program.
Choose five attractions at one low price, and receive a 45 percent discount on the combined admission prices. CityPass booklets will be valid for nine days from the first day of use and may be purchased in advance online or at the first attraction visited. Choose from the Georgia Aquarium; World of Coca-Cola; Inside CNN Atlanta; Fernbank Museum of Natural History or High Museum of Art; Zoo Atlanta or Atlanta History Center. Atlanta CityPass is $69 for adults and $49 for youth. (Ages 3-12.)
AtlanTIX: Same Day, Half Price Tickets
Get same-day, half-price tickets through AtlanTIX. You will find tickets to hundreds of theater, dance and music performances and more than a dozen cultural attractions. There is also an AtlanTIX booth located at Underground Atlanta which is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday from noon-4 p.m.
$15 tickets to every production's Thursday night preview performance.
World of Coca-Cola
The story of Coca-Cola is told through a fully-functioning bottling line, thrilling 4-D theater, interactive exhibits and a Taste Room with more than 60 different products to sample; $12 youth (3-12 years old.)
A discounted rate of $16.99 is available to senior citizens (55+), military personnel (with ID) and students (with ID).
Buckhead's free shuttle service has 26 stops to take visitors around the Buckhead area, including Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza.
Atlanta's bus and rail system is $2.50 per person. Rail service stops at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and in the major business and tourist areas of Downtown, Midtown, Buckhead and Perimeter Center. Bus service includes the A to Z Route, connecting visitors with the Georgia Aquarium and Zoo Atlanta.
- "The Peach"/MARTA Bus Route 110 - Travel from Lenox Square to the Georgia State Capitol on "The Peach." Bus Route 110 offers more frequent stops, many at some of the city's most popular shopping and historic locations. "The Peach" features specially designed buses and will run every 30 minutes between 6 a.m. and 1 a.m., seven days a week. Fare is $2.50 and includes one transfer to a MARTA rail or bus line.
This free Midtown trolley is sponsored by the Georgia Institute of Technology and takes riders to various places in the Midtown area.
Peachtree Trolley System's newest route, the Midnight Rambler, provides nighttime transit service, connecting west to east campus. The route includes convenient stops at the Clough Undergraduate Learning Center and the North Avenue Dining Hall, both of which are open 24 hours.