Georgia is home to a variety of popular attractions, and many of them don’t cost a dime to enjoy. So next time you and the kids are looking for something fun and budget-friendly to do, use our guide to find a new destination. Here are six free things to do that the whole family will love near Buckhead.
Visit Arabia Mountain
Whether you’re looking for an exhilarating activity or some quiet time for peaceful contemplation, the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area is a terrific place to discover nature. Its 40,000-acre landscape offers guests access to many beautiful wonders, including the spectacular granite outcrops that dominate the park. Engage in some heart-pumping activity with a scenic hike along the 30-mile-long Arabia Mountain PATH. This 10-foot wide, paved trail runs through three counties and connects 21 must-see sites, like the quarry office ruins and the Serpentine Bridge.
You can even take a tour of the AWARE facilities. This outstanding operation rehabilitates injured and orphaned wild animals. Here you can learn how to peacefully coexist with Georgia’s native wildlife. It’s suitable for adults and kids in kindergarten and older and is led by a trained naturalist. You can join the group at 1:00 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday, weather permitting. Donations are accepted but not required. There are also opportunities for fishing, geocaching, and historical exploration, and it’s all free at Arabia Mountain.
- Location: 3350 Klondike Road in Stonecrest.
- Park Hours: Open daily from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Tour the Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum
The Atlanta BeltLine is much more than just a 22-mile-long former railroad corridor. It connects residents with neighborhood parks, trails, the light-rail transit system, and the Arboretum. A complimentary guided walking tour is the best way to get to know this greenspace. The organization Trees Atlanta created and now maintains this magical spot featuring 85 linear acres of trees and 9,000 plants along 13 miles of the Beltline.
This non-profit’s expertly trained guides will lead you down the Northeast, Southside, Eastside, and Westside trails, teaching you all about the vast horticultural collections and other interesting facts. Because each volunteer escort brings their unique perspective of the area’s native plants, architectural interests, and key historical events, every no-cost tour offers something different. So book your walk on Trees Atlanta’s website, and remember to bring water, bug spray, and sun protection.
- Location: Trees Atlanta is at 225 Chester Ave. in Atlanta.
- Hours: The Atlanta Beltline is open 24 hours a day. Tour hours vary.
Explore the Fernbank Science Center
The whole family can discover a brand new perspective of the world at the Fernbank Science Center. This spot is part of the DeKalb County School District and is the perfect place to experience the wonders of the universe, interact with animal residents, and see views that are out of this world for free. So gather your little explorers, scientists, and adventurers in the family and head over.
Take a walk through history with the Center’s world-class exhibits, including the original Apollo 6 Command Module, the “Small World” photomicrograph showcase, and a meteorite collection. Its exhibit hall spans 9,000 square feet across two levels to accommodate an extensive array of scientific concepts and numerous permanent displays featuring the many wonders of the natural world. There’s more to explore at this unique museum, like a live honey bee hive and its enormous taxidermy collection. General admission and parking are free. However, some activities do have a fee, like the planetarium show.
- Location: 156 Heaton Park Dr. in Atlanta.
- Exhibit Hall Hours: Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from noon to 4 p.m., Thursday and Friday from noon to 9 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Discover the Georgia Capitol Museum
If your family is interested in politics, history, or even architecture, the Georgia Capitol Museum has it all. The building is a National Historic Landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The impressive structure was built between 1884 and 1889 to symbolize the state’s economic recovery after the Civil War.
Whether you want to see government in action or examine the many historical flags and artifacts on display under the capitol’s gold dome, you can do so thanks to the free tour program. From stunning dioramas of Georgia’s major climate regions to relics from the area’s earliest settlers, you’ll find it here. If you want a time-flexible experience, consider a self-guided tour. Grab a copy of the Capitol tour brochure and wander the grounds anytime during open hours.
- Location: 206 State Capitol in Atlanta.
- Self-Guided Tour Hours: Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Visit the High Museum of Art
The High Museum of Art is the most prominent visual art destination in the Southeastern United States. It spreads across 312,000 square feet and showcases more than 11,000 pieces. This premier gallery features many examples, from photography and decorative styles to African and folk art. With this rich cultural resource, everyone in the family will find inspiration and discover new ideas. Start by exploring the High’s renowned collection of historical and contemporary art. Then, tour a special exhibition. Finally, participate in kid-friendly educational programs, like story times and art-making projects.
While there’s usually an entrance fee to access the displays at High Museum, you can get in free if you know how. Active duty or veteran military personnel and one guest never have to pay for admission. If you don’t qualify for the military rate, stop by on the second Sunday of the month. You’ll enjoy access to complimentary special programs, performances, collections, and special exhibitions at no charge. The staff puts together new activities and adventures each month that excite and expand your family’s hearts and minds.
- Location: 1280 Peachtree St. NE in Atlanta.
- Free Admission Hours: The second Sunday of each month from noon to 5 p.m.
Well, there you go. The staff at Crème de la Crème of Buckhead put together this guide to help you find the best free activities near Atlanta. Which one will you and the kids try first? Let us know. We love hearing all about the city’s best family-friendly activities. So drop us a line today.