60+ Fun and Free Things to Do in Atlanta

Cheap things to do with kids today
Cheap things to do with kids today

Free Kid-Friendly Indoor Things To Do in Atlanta

We love Atlanta and the endless options for family fun. But many of these magical moments come at a price. Good news: there are plenty of venues, parks, nature preserves and even museums where you can take the kids for free. Read on to find out our favorites spots for truly free things to do.

Martin Luther King Jr. Historic Site – Learn about the life and legacy of the Civil Rights Leader. See the historic Ebenezer Baptist church and even tour his boyhood home.

Babyland General Hospital – Head to Cleveland, Ga. for every Cabbage Patch fan’s dream come true. See where it all begins by watching a Cabbage Patch baby being born.

Anne Frank Exhibit – Learn all about Anne Frank in this powerful exhibit in Sandy Springs.

Kids Eat Free – Check out our list of all the places where kids can get free meals with the purchase of an adult entrée.

Mall Playgrounds – These soft play areas are perfect for kids to get their wiggles out when the weather isn’t great for outside play.

GA State Capital Tours – Take a self-guided tour and learn about the history of our state’s capital.

Marietta Fire Museum

Marietta Fire Museum and Roswell Fire Museum – Both of these museums have interesting firefighting related artifacts and vintage equipment. Roswell’s has a 1947 Ford American LaFrance Pumper Truck.

Fernbank Science Center – While the planetarium shows will cost you, visiting the observatory and science center are free.

Atlanta Monetary Museum – Look inside their cash-processing operations, where millions of dollars are counted, sorted, or shredded daily. Kids will love to get a glimpse into the bank’s automated vault and see the robotic transports that do the heavy lifting. Self-guided free tours happen on weekdays only.

The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum – This fascinating and educational museum, which sits on a beautiful 30-acre green space, is always free for kids 16 and younger; adults pay $12.

Museum of Aviation – Take a little trip down to Warner Robins to see the second largest museum in the United States Airforce. Budding pilots will love to learn about the history of aviation and see things like helicopters and fighter jets.

Toy Stores in Metro Atlanta – If your kids have trouble visiting toy stores without making a purchase, this could be tricky. But if not, feel free to browse and play at our favorite local toy stores.

Kid-Friendly Bookstores in Metro Atlanta Atlanta is home to tons of bookstores, several of which are kid-focused, like Little Shop of Stories in Decatur. Many of our favorites include free story times.

High Museum of Art – Visitors to the High get free admission the second Sunday of every month from noon-5 p.m. Plus, they have family programming on those days. Have a Bank of America card? Admission is free for those customers the first weekend of every month on both Saturday and Sunday.

Libraries – Visit your local library to borrow free books and movies. Plus, most of them offer free programming, like story times, reading to dogs and puppet shows.

National Infantry Museum – This free museum on the base of Fort Benning near Columbus, Ga. focuses on educating the public on the role of the U.S. Army Infantryman in securing the freedoms we all enjoy.

Handy Workshops – Check your closest Home Depot and Lowe’s stores for free building workshops for your future DIY’ers.

Fast Food Indoor Playgrounds – Technically, these elaborate climbing structures are for customers only, but with the purchase of a coffee or soda for yourself, kids can play for free.

Tours of Working Businesses – Kids will love learning how stuff is made during these tours of working businesses. Visit Chick-fil-A, Whole Foods, fire stations and more.

Roller Skating – Select Sparkles Family Fun Center locations participate in the Kids Skate Free program for ages 12 and younger. Register at kidsskatefree.com, and you’ll receive passes to skate at designated “free skate” times. Each center sets its own hours and skate rental is not included.

Bowling – During the summer, kids ages 15 and younger can play two free games on select days of the week. Visit kidsbowlfree.com for more information.

Museum of Design Atlanta – MODA offers free admission for ages 11 and younger; adults pay $10.

Free Kid-Friendly Outdoor Things To Do in Atlanta

Centennial Olympic Park – The iconic Fountain of Rings – the largest interactive fountain in the world – is a can’t-miss crowd pleaser at Centennial Olympic Park, and the playgrounds make this park a winter winner as well.

Decatur Toy Park – Scooters, tricycles, small slides, push cars galore – this toy park is filled with toys families decided to donate, and is a great place for toddlers to play. If your older kids want to slide, swing or hang from monkey bars, they have that, too.

Downtown Norcross – Walk the charming streets of downtown Norcross, known for its train history, and then play at nearby train-themed Thrasher Park.

Morgan Falls Overlook Park Playground – Families enjoy the unusual climbing elements, AstroTurf ground cover and the super cool spider web rope structure, all overlooking the Chattahoochee River at this Sandy Springs Park.

DeKalb-Peachtree Airport Playground – Kids love to play on this playground while watching planes take off at the nearby runway.

Ponce City Market – Ponce City Market is a fun place to explore with your family. There is enough to see that you don’t have to spend a dime if you don’t want to.

Atlantic Station Playground – Atlantic Station isn’t just for spending money; their playground is a great place to get out the wiggles. Other than two traditional slides, every piece of equipment is more modern and inventive than typical playground options.

Piedmont Park – The crown jewel of parks in Atlanta. Take a stroll or a bike ride through the park or enjoy the two fun playgrounds: The Mayors Grove Playground features a playscape with structures for younger kids. The Noguchi Playscape is both a work of art and a fun place for kids.

Hunt for Tiny and Secret Doors – Go on a family scavenger hunt for the tiny and hidden doors of Atlanta. They are hand-crafted and painted to go along with their locations; some even include tiny figurines and pets.

T.W. Briscoe Park – 87 acres of green space make up T.W. Briscoe Park in Snellville, an ideal place to spend an outdoor day. Fishing is permitted in the lake; plus, it has two playgrounds, a fitness trail, tennis courts, basketball courts and more.

Marietta Square – Explore the charming city northwest of Atlanta. Historical sites and tree-filled parks blend with contemporary attractions and huge festivals.

Ashford Park Playground – The recently renovated park includes two new play structures, tall slides, tons of swings, a seesaw, a huge sand box and toy park area. Watching the MARTA trains speed by is an added bonus for kids.

Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area – Take a self-guided bike tour or explore the terrain of Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area on foot. Two massive granite outcrops and dozens of rare plants provide plenty of views, and more than 40 geocaches can be found along the way.

Mason Mill Park – Two separate playgrounds sit right across from each other. The larger is best suited for older kids, ages 5-12. A giant pirate ship-shaped play structure with a three-level tree house provides lots of playing, climbing and sliding opportunities.

Autrey Mill Nature Preserve and Heritage Center – Here at this nature preserve in Johns Creek, families can spot box turtles, a midland water snake or a carnivorous lady slipper orchid. Kids can easily trek the two miles of trails and the teepee replica is a favorite.

Atlanta BeltLine Eastside Trail – The BeltLine allows Atlantans to see their city in a new way, from trails and walkways connecting local neighborhoods. The most popular part of the Beltline is the Eastside Trail, running from Piedmont Park to Memorial Drive.

Atlanta BeltLine Westside Trail – The 3-mile Atlanta BeltLine Westside Trail has many of the amenities of the Eastside Trail minus the large crowds. We love the playgrounds and the artwork and murals along the paved trail.

Peachtree Heights/Garden Hills Duck Pond – Peachtree Heights/Garden Hills Duck Pond is an open-to-the-public oasis tucked inside a historic neighborhood, where duck and geese roam, along with turtles, birds and other wildlife.

Silver Comet Trail – The expansive Silver Comet Trail is designed for casual walkers, hikers, joggers, bicyclists and inline skaters. Direct access to Heritage Park by a peaceful 1.7-mile soft-surface walking trail makes it picnic-perfect.

Decatur – Decatur is a hub of good food, lots of fun, and ample places to enjoy fresh air. Even better, it’s super easy to walk or bike to everything.

Inman Park – Spend an afternoon with your family at historic Inman Park. Enjoy the vibrancy of the city, while you and your kids enjoy parks, beautiful treelined streets with Victorian and Craftsman homes.

Historic Fourth Ward Park Playground – It’s packed with climbing elements, slides, swings, rock walls and even a trampoline kids can jump on. The spider-like ropes course and large swings shaped like bowls are two favorites. Don’t miss the nearby splash pad on hot days.

Become a Junior Ranger – Kids ages 6-12 can earn badges to become a Junior Ranger through the Georgia state parks and historic sites program. Stop by a Georgia state park and pick up the free Junior Ranger Activity Book or download the book from the website.

The Big Chicken – Located at the intersection of Cobb Parkway and Roswell Road, the “Big Chicken” stands tall. The chicken and KFC was recently renovated, keeping the signature eye roll and moving beak, but also adding a voice. Tune into 820 AM to hear the chicken speak.

Avalon – Spend the day at this outdoor shopping center in Alpharetta without spending a penny. Activities for kids include a children’s play area, bean bag toss games and a green space for running around that turns into an ice skating rink in the winter.

Oakland Cemetery – Tours and walks through the cemetery reveal the rich history behind each gravestone. Maynard Jackson, Atlanta’s first African-American major and Margaret Mitchell, author of “Gone with the Wind” are both buried here.

Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary – Visit farm and exotic animals at this free sanctuary in Locust Grove.

Movies in the Park – In the summertime, Atlanta has lots of places where families can see free movies like “Movies in Central Park” at Atlantic Station and “Movies on the Town” at Town Brookhaven.

Dunwoody Nature Center – Kids can climb trees, slide down the great playground, play with the frogs or romp up the river bank at this 22-acre preserve.

Jones Bridge Park – On the Chattahoochee River banks, Jones Bridge Park in Norcross offers a playground for kids, open green space for pick-up games of kickball, and grills to barbecue. The highlight of the park is the terraced stairs leading down to the river.

Heritage Sandy Springs – Families love to gather at this prime spot with grand green space for recreation, concerts and festivals.

Old Mill Park – Hike the trails of Old Mill Park in Roswell, where you can see a waterfall that was created when Vickery Creek was dammed to give waterpower to the Roswell textile mills in the late 1830s. Walk on a covered pedestrian bridge and view the only mill building that survived the Civil War.

Reynolds Nature Preserve – Connect with nature at this 146-acre preserve, tucked into the heart of Clayton County, which includes four miles of hiking trails, historic buildings dating back to the Civil War, and an environmental center with live animals and displays.

Chastain Park Playground – Kids can climb and explore in the treehouse, slide down one of the three large roller slides or play on the natural playscapes. Three giant “oodle” disc swings allow two children to recline and swing together. Therapeutic elements are featured and the area is wheelchair accessible.

Big Trees Forest Preserve – This urban forest in Sandy Springs has three hiking routes, including a one-mile loop trail beneath white oak trees. Be sure to grab the nature trail guide at the entrance of the forest.

Lullwater Park – On Emory’s campus, this park is amazingly fun for kids. They love to explore the old mill, water falls and a 210-foot suspension bridge.

Paper Mill Ruins – Sope Creek trail in Marietta offers a family friendly hike with a scenic lake and creek. Kids love to explore the paper mill ruins.

Woodruff Park Playground – Anyone with “ATL” pride will love this playground shaped like the famous letters, in downtown Atlanta. Kids can climb all over the walls, monkey bars, slides or play with the springs and spinners.

Blue Heron Nature Preserve – This 30-acre nature preserve includes the 3-mile Blueway Trail for woodlands, wetlands, riparian areas and meadows.

State Botanical Garden of Georgia – A short drive to Athens, the highlight of the University of Georgia’s free garden is the Alice H. Richards Children’s Garden with 2.5 acres of teaching about nature in an interactive way with garden plots and edible plants, along with a playground-like area.

For more free fun, find our favorite playgrounds here.