Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site

Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park

20 Free Things to Do in Metro Atlanta

Some of metro Atlanta's most well-known attractions are also some of its most affordable. Below are 20 free things to do the whole family will enjoy.

To reduce the spread of COVID-19, some attractions are closed or have changed hours and operating procedures. Before your trip, confirm your destination's visitation information and COVID-19 precautions, many of which are linked below.

Sunset on Arabia Mountain

Arabia Mountain

At the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area and Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve, roam the mountain, farmland, lakes, hiking trails and a nature preserve on more than 2,000 acres. Before your trip, review the area's COVID-19 precautions.

Atlanta BeltLine at Ponce City Market

Atlanta BeltLine

Take a guided walking tour of the Atlanta BeltLine, a transit, trails and parks project connecting Atlanta's neighborhoods. Fridays and Saturdays. Bus tours also are available on Saturdays for $25 per person. Before your trip, review the path's COVID-19 updates.

Money

Atlanta Monetary Museum

Self-guided tours of the Atlanta Monetary Museum explain the history of money and the Federal Reserve's role. The museum is free and open weekdays. Museum tours and walk-in visits were suspended through the end of 2020. Before your trip, check the museum's visitation information.

Autrey Mill Nature Preserve and Heritage Center in Johns Creek, Georgia

Autrey Mill Nature Preserve and Heritage Center

At the Autrey Mill Nature Preserve and Heritage Center, walk two miles of trails, see animal exhibits, and tour buildings reminiscent of rural Georgia in Heritage Village. Before your trip, review the preserve's COVID-19 precautions.

Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum in Atlanta

The Carter Center

Take a free stroll through the grounds to see the Circle of Flags from all 50 states, a rose garden, Japanese garden and koi pond. The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum costs $8 for adults; children under 16 are free. Before your trip, review the museum's visitation information.

View of Centennial Olympic Park from the Omni Hotel in Atlanta

Centennial Olympic Park

On warm days, kids cool off by cavorting in the Fountain of Rings at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta. Relax in the well-groomed park that pays homage to the 1996 Olympics. The park hosts a wide variety of free events all year. Before your trip, review the park's visitation information.

Nearby ticketed attractions include the Georgia Aquarium, Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame, World of Coca-Cola and the National Center for Civil and Human Rights.

Jim Henson Collection at the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta

Center for Puppetry Arts

Georgia residents with library cards can check out the "Passport to Puppetry" at any participating public library to receive free admission for four people to Center for Puppetry Arts museum exhibits. The passport also can be used to receive 25% off an all-inclusive ticket, which includes a Family Series Performance, a Create-A-Puppet Workshop, and the museum. Fulton County residents also receive free museum admission on select dates. Read complete details online. Before your trip, review the center's visitation information.

CDC Museum in Atlanta

David J. Sencer CDC Museum

Learn about the history of the Centers for Disease Control and how scientists work to crack the cases of mystery diseases at the David J. Sencer CDC Museum. Admission and parking are free on weekdays. Before your trip, review the museum's visitation information.

Fernbank Science Center in Atlanta

Fernbank Science Center

Visit the Fernbank Science Center observatory and exhibits for free; planetarium shows are $7 adults, $5 students. Before your trip, review the center's visitation information.

Georgia Capitol in Atlanta

Georgia Capitol Museum

See government in action under the Gold Dome, constructed from 1884-1889. The Georgia Capitol Museum and Tour Program includes historic flags and artifacts. Before your trip, review the museum's visitation information.

Georgia Governor's Mansion in Atlanta

Georgia Governor's Mansion

Tours of the 18-acre estate and 24,000-square-foot Governor's Mansion with antique furnishings offer lessons in history, from 1780-1820. Before your trip, review the mansion's visitation information.

High Museum of Art in Atlanta

High Museum of Art

The High Museum of Art, Atlanta’s premier art museum, has more than 11,000 pieces, from African and folk art to photography and decorative art. Admission is free for everyone on the second Sunday of each month from 12 - 5 p.m. All active and veteran military personnel along with one guest are free every day. Before your visit, reserve your timed tickets and review the museum's COVID-19 precautions.

Kennesaw Mountain. Photo by Candy Cook

Kennesaw Mountain

Seventeen miles of interpretive trails, monuments and a museum at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park help visitors understand the Battle of Atlanta during the Civil War. Before your trip, review the park's visitation information.

Marietta Fire Museum

Marietta Fire Museum

At the Marietta Fire Museum, antique firefighting equipment and five trucks are on display, including an 1879 Silsby Steamer. Before your trip, review the museum's COVID-19 precautions.

Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park in Atlanta

Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park

Pay respects to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park. The great civil rights leader grew up in a modest two-story home, preserved closely to as it was when he was a child. Tour King's birth home, visit the King Center and explore Atlanta's Sweet Auburn Historic District, the center of one of the city's most important historical African American communities. Before your trip, review the park's visitation information.

More: How to Spend a Day in Atlanta's Sweet Auburn Historic District

Noah's Ark Animal Sanctuary in Henry County

Noah's Ark Animal Sanctuary

See animals of all stripes at Noah's Ark Animal Sanctuary, a wildlife rehabilitation center. Tuesday through Saturday 12 - 3 p.m. Call before visiting. Before your trip, review the sanctuary's COVID-19 precautions.

Piedmont Park in Atlanta

Piedmont Park

In Piedmont Park in Atlanta, children can play on a work of art or the restored Noguchi Playscape with slides, swings and seesaws. Take Fido for off-leash fun in the dog park area. Stroll around Lake Clara Meer and along the paths through the 211-acre park's green spaces. Cool off in the free Legacy Fountain Splash Pad, and swim for free in the swimming pool 3-5 p.m. weekdays Memorial Day through Labor Day. Before your trip, review the park's COVID-19 precautions.

Roswell Fire Museum

Roswell Fire Museum

See a 1945 Ford American LaFrance Pumper Truck and learn about the Roswell's firefighting history at the Roswell Fire Museum. Before your trip, review the city's COVID-19 precautions.

Biking on the Silver Comet Trail

Silver Comet Trail

Joggers, walkers, in-line skaters, horse riders and bicyclers flock to the 61-mile paved Silver Comet Trail, which begins in Smyrna and extends through Polk County. It then connects with Alabama’s 33-mile Chief Ladiga Trail. Keep an eye out for these seven surprising sights along the way.

Yellow River Park in Stone Mountain, Georgia

Yellow River Park

Explore 566 acres of forests and wildflowers along the Yellow River at the Yellow River Park. Also enjoy mountain biking, hiking and horse trails. Before your trip, review the county's COVID-19 precautions.

Published: January 2021