free in Atlanta

Centennial Olympic Park

Atlanta is known as a great convention city, but it’s also a great family friendly destination. In addition to the better known Atlanta attractions such as the Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola, Stone Mountain Park and Six Flags Over Georgia, there are lots of things to do in Atlanta that are easy on the wallet and big on fun. Here is a list of several free things to do in Atlanta to make your visit there an affordable family vacation.

1.Piedmont Park Piedmont Park could be a post all its own. This is a wonderful place to bike, rollerblade, walk, or toss a ball. There’s even a dog park for your four legged family members. Free guided walking tours offer a fascinating look at the park’s rich history. Once a month, enjoy guided bird watching hikes. The park has the only playground designed by internationally renowned sculptor, designer, and architect Isamu Noguchi. Each Saturday, enjoy the unique, open-air Green Market featuring Georgia-grown produce, fresh cut flowers, baked goods and herbs, along with chef demonstrations and live music. On the first and third Saturdays, kids can make a project to take home as part of the EnviroVentures Saturday Drop By.

2.Centennial Olympic Park Centennial Olympic Park was built less than two decades ago for the 1996 Games. It has become a must see destination for visitors and native Atlantans. The Centennial Olympic Park Fountain of Rings is the centerpiece of the Park and one of the most recognized and photographed landmarks in Georgia.When you go, be sure to take a towel and change of clothes because no one can resist jumping from ring to ring between the shooting water. Take a break from splashing during select times and watch the water show also featuring lights and music like the 1812 Overture or Under the Sea. Shows are daily at 12:30, 3:30, 6:30 and 9 pm. Enjoy a wide open area perfect for football, or Frisbee. There are two Centennial Olympic Park Playgrounds; one specifically designed for all children, including those with physical disabilities.

free in Atlanta

Cinderella Della Circus
credit: Center for Puppetry Arts

3.Imagine It! Atlanta’s Children’s Museum. The Children’s Museum is a fantastic place for the under 8 set to jump, crawl, paint, sculpt, fish and more. This interactive children’s museum is located in Downtown Atlanta and on the second Tuesday of every month, the museum is free from 1 – 7 pm as part of Target Free Days.

4.Center For Puppetry Arts Museum – The Center for Puppetry Arts offers world class puppet shows and a fantastic museum of all kinds of puppets including animal puppets from around the world, original puppets by the Center’s artists, and some from Jim Henson. The museum is FREE each Thursday from 1 – 3 pm.

5.Outdoor Movies – Each summer several of the parks around Atlanta host outdoor summer movies. There’s Screen on the Green in Downtown and Flicks on 5th in Midtown Atlanta. Both offer somewhat more mature fare but there is at least a few good kid movies on the list. East Cobb Park offers a more kid friendly line-up.

6.There’s Music in the Air – Local musicians play in neighborhood parks  around Atlanta, including Chastain Chill and East Cobb Playdate. Centennial Park hosts the free Wednesday Winddown and Music @noon.

7.Cool at the Pool – Chastain Park and Piedmont Park are free weekday mornings and charge $4 for adults and $2 for children in the afternoon.