guides

Free Museums, Tours, & Activities Around Atlanta

Updated December 7, 2019

December 7, 2019

The Atlanta area is home to some great museums and attractions. But did you know that several offer FREE ADMISSION?   Here are a bunch of Museums and Stores around Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, Chamblee, Doraville, and all-around Greater Atlanta that offer FREE ADMISSION!

American Girl Store:  FREE special events weekly. Check the website for dates and times.

Anne Frank Museum:  FREE TUESDAY - SATURDAY Closed on MONDAY
This exhibit uses over 500 photographs to tell the story of Anne Frank, a young Jewish girl who kept a diary while she hid with her family from the Nazis in Amsterdam. Anne grew up in Europe amidst the events that culminated in World War II and the Holocaust. Anne was one of the millions murdered during the Holocaust. Her story is used as a lens to examine this period of history and the lessons it teaches. Recommended for grades 5 and up.

Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, FREE TUESDAY- SUNDAY! See the website for hours. 

  • The Contemporary exhibits consequential contemporary works by local, regional, national, and international artists. Thursday evenings also often feature programs such as lectures, gallery tours, film screenings, and much more. The museum is closed on Mondays.

Atlanta History CenterFREE admission the first full weekend each month through Museums On Us to Bank of America cardholders

  • Explore the award-winning exhibitions in Atlanta History Museum, the 1860s era Smith Family Farm property, the 1928 Swan House mansion, and 22 acres of gardens.

Atlanta Monetary Museum:  FREE MONDAY-FRIDAY 9 AM-4 PM

  • The museum features a display about the history of money; interactive, multimedia exhibits explaining the Federal Reserve's role in the economy; and a view of the bank's automated vault and cash processing areas. In addition, most group tours include a stop in the bank's boardroom.

Autrey Mill Nature Preserve: FREE hiking trails and exhibits daily 8 AM to dusk

  • Enjoy 46 acres of woodlands, nature trails, creek, pavilions, animal exhibits & historic buildings. Grounds are open daily 8 am to dusk. Visitor Center open Mon-Sat 10 am-4 pm. 

BAPS Hindu Mandir (Temple): FREE 9 AM to 6 PM daily

  • This masterpiece of exquisite Indian design and workmanship is the largest Hindu Mandir in the United States. The Mandir is comprised of Turkish limestone, Italian marble, and Indian pink sandstone. More than 34,000 individual stone pieces were carved by hand in India, shipped to the USA, and assembled in Lilburn like a giant jigsaw puzzle. The Mandir is completely etched with intricate carvings, depicting a mosaic of tales of inspiration, devotion, and historic figures from Hinduism. The best times to visit are from 9 am to 12 pm and from 3:30 pm to 6 pm. Visitors are also welcome to participate in a traditional Hindu ritual known as Arti which takes place at 11:15 am each day.

Booth Western Art MuseumFREE every first THURSDAY each month from 4 pm-8 pm.

  • Booth Museum’s permanent collection contains Western art, Civil War art, Presidential letters and portraits.  They also host a number of temporary exhibitions throughout the year

“Caching Duluth” GeotourFREE Geocashing Adventure every day!

  • Learn something unique about the City of Duluth in an exciting and new way. Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants must navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location. If participants take something, they must leave something of equal or greater value for other participants. The GeoTour stretches across ten square miles of Duluth, GA showcasing their unique history, award-winning parks and must-see hot spots! You will experience quite a bit on this tour from hidden gems within the City and new adventures.

Centennial Olympic ParkFREE every day!

  • The 21-acre park is the city's lasting legacy from the Centennial Olympic Games. 

The Center for Puppetry Arts!  FREE Select Dates (See our Website for Dates) 

  • FREE admission to the Worlds of Puppetry Museum on select dates, if you live, or attend school in Fulton County, or are a Gov't employee. Show proof of residency (GA Driver’s License or ID card), a student ID, or a Gov't employee ID card to get in free. 
  • Passport to Puppetry Library Loan Program: Check out this pass from your local library and in addition to four FREE museum admissions, you can attend a performance at the Center and/or participate in a Create-a-Puppet Workshop at a 25% discount, when space is available.

Children's Museum of Atlanta: FREE Select Dates (See our Website for Dates) 

  • Family Free Days will include three two-and-a-half-hour sessions per day to maximize attendance, visitor experience, and impact; extended after-school and after-work hours designed to reach 1,800 guests each day; themed content, such as literacy, STEM, healthy living, social and emotional skills, etc., presented in a festival-like atmosphere; full access to the Museum; and more.

DeKalb Peachtree Airport:  FREE every day!

  • Watch planes take off and land from benches within a playground. There is also a covered picnic shelter resembling an airplane hangar.  

Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Young Eagles: FREE Plane ride on 3rd SATURDAY each month!

  • Kids 8-17 can learn about aviation and take a free introductory flight (usually over Lake Lanier, or Stone Mountain) at the Chapter 690 hangar each third Saturday of the month, weather permitting.

Ferst Center For The Arts at Georgia Tech:  FREE MONDAY-FRIDAY by appointment only, donations appreciated

  • The Westbrook and the Richards Gallery feature visual art exhibits that usually display original artwork or photography by contemporary and student artists. Monday-Friday, by appointment only. Please call 404-894-2787 from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. to make an appointment. Admission is free but donations are accepted.

Georgia State Capitol Museum:  FREE MONDAY-FRIDAY

  • Self-guided tours Monday-Friday, 8 am-5 pm. 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 MansionFREE TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY10-11:30 am

  • Georgia's Governor invites you to tour the mansion and learn the true meaning of Southern hospitality. Public tours are conducted throughout the year.  It is recommended that you arrive before 11:00 to allow enough time to complete the tour before the Mansion closes at 11:30 a.m.

High Museum of Art: FREE Second SUNDAY each month from 12 to 5 PM.

  • Everyone receives FREE admission to the Museum on the second Sunday of each month as part of Family Fun at the Woodruff Arts Center! Enjoy special family-friendly programming from 1 to 4 p.m. See website for schedule.
  • ALSO: FREE admission the first full weekend each month through Museums On Us to Bank of America cardholders

Historic Oakland Cemetery FREE from dawn to dusk, 365 days a year!

  • At Oakland Cemetery from early builders, to Civil War soldiers, to leaders of the industry, to Civil Rights pioneers, no matter where you turn, history surrounds you. It is a shining example of the “rural garden” cemetery movement of the 19th century.  The garden cemetery featured winding paths, large shade trees, flowers, and shrubs, and appealing vistas. The garden cemetery concept was a forerunner of public park development in America.  It is also a repository for stunning art and architecture.  Elaborate mausoleums, soaring sculptures, and effusive inscriptions speak of an age when the bereaved found consolation in extravagant expression.  Impressive art and architecture can be seen in many styles: Victorian, Greek Revival, Gothic, Neo-classical, Egyptian and Exotic Revival. Several mausoleums feature stained glass windows from Tiffany Studios. Bronze urns over six feet high were cast at Gorham Manufacturing Company in New York, the first art foundry in America. There is a fee for Guided Tours if you decide to take one.

Kids' Workshops at Home Depot:  FREE kid's workshop on 1st SATURDAY each month

  • On the first Saturday of each month, Home Depot offers free workshops, creating cool games and gifts. In addition to developing skills, kids will learn tool safety. No reservation required.

Lego Store at Sugarloaf Mills Mall: FREE mini LEGO build 1st TUESDAY each month

  • Build a cool mini model and take it home after for free, once a month. Open to ages of 6-14. Must register in advance. Open to registered LEGO VIP members. 

Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site: FREE every day!

  • Open 7 Days a Week.  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.

Noah's Ark Animal Sanctuary: FREE noon to 3 PM on TUESDAY - SATURDAY

  • Noah's Ark is a 250-acre sanctuary for abused, unwanted and neglected animals. A beautiful "park-like" setting with paved pathways to bring your family and enjoy an afternoon out. We have a beautiful picnic area and playground. Wear your walking shoes, pack a lunch and come spend the day with us!  

Shoot the 'Hooch!- FREE every day! 

  • The Chattahoochee River is a great place to cool down after being in the heat of the South! Bring your own tube and enjoy some of the best, free summer fun known to man in the Chattahoochee River.
    For rentals (tubes, kayaks, SUPs, return rides) try the following businesses for a fee: Shoot the 'Hooch in Roswell, or $10 River Tubing in Duluth. SUP, canoe rentals and guided trips are also available at the Chattahoochee Nature Center.

Stone Mountain Park Lasershow Spectacular! - FREE every night through August and Saturday nights through October

  • The Lasershow Spectacular is a not-to-be-missed Atlanta tradition that will wow your family with state-of-the-art digital graphics and awe-inspiring effects. The Lasershow features lights, iconic music, lasers and epic fireworks. Plus, three flame cannons add a punch to the show by sending a trio of flames nearly one-hundred feet into the air. Parking is $15 per car.

Sweetwater Creek State ParkFREE every day!

  • Sweetwater Creek State Park is a peaceful tract of wilderness only minutes from downtown Atlanta. A wooded trail follows the stream to the ruins of the New Manchester Manufacturing Company, a textile mill burned during the Civil War. Additional trails wind through fields and forest, showcasing ferns, magnolias, wild azaleas and hardwoods.  Park rangers lead informative hikes to these areas throughout the year.   Parking is $5 per car.

Tellus Science MuseumFREE admission the first full weekend each month through Museums On Us to Bank of America cardholders

  • The museum’s exhibits open minds and ignite a passion for science. Come see minerals from all over the world, including some that glow! You can stand under a massive T-Rex and imagine what it was like when the Wright brothers took their first flight next to our full-size replica of their flyer. Kids can interact and learn in the Collins Family My Big Back Yard and pan for gems and dig up fossils to take home. The museum also features various special exhibits throughout the year featuring everything from model trains to incredible photos from space.
We try to make the information in this newsletter and on the website as accurate as possible, but the event and venue information is subject to change without notice. Always call or check the link above ahead of time to confirm dates, times, locations and admission fees.

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