Fun Free Things to Do in Atlanta: 17 Must-Do Activities

Do you hear that sizzle? Hotlanta is simply burning up with awesome attractions, iconic sights, and generous helpings of Mason Dixie charm. While the Big Peach may know no bounds when it comes to entertainment, a vacation to Atlanta isn’t always cheap.

Follow along to discover the 17 best free things to do in Atlanta GA.

Civil War History, contemporary art museums, and the sprawling Atlanta Beltline are just a few of the free things in Atlanta accessible to visitors.

Spend a day picnicking or playing around in Piedmont Park, or decide to brush up on the life and legacy of MLK at the Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site.

Treat your hunny to the greatest hits of the Walking Dead, or warm up those quads with some stunning mountain trails just a stone’s throw from the city’s limits.

Ready to conquer every last Atlanta complimentary tour, service, and attraction? Read on to uncover the top fun free things to do in Atlanta.

Atlanta Hotels

Whew, there are a lot of fun free things to do in Atlanta! Make sure you have budget-friendly accommodations to match your gratis activities when you book any of our Atlanta Hotels. Get a jump start on all of the free places to visit in Atlanta when you sleep just moments from the Atlanta Braves’ Truist Park, or the World of Coca-Cola.

Rest and rejuvenate in modern downtown Atlanta lodgings, or take advantage of complimentary breakfast and indoor pool facilities by the Ballpark. Wherever you decide to rest your head, sleep easy knowing you are always guaranteed our lowest rates online.

interior of the bar at Hotel Clermont in Atlanta, Georgia
Photo Credit: Hotel Clermont via Facebook

Things to do in Atlanta for Free

Got your sights set on A-town? Before you start endlessly googling free things to do in Atlanta this weekend and free things to do in Atlanta today, consult our epic guide. Regardless if you’re on the hunt for educational entertainment for kiddies or want to surprise your sweetheart with a tandem bike ride through the Silver Comet Trail, our compilation of the best things to do in Atlanta won’t cost you a cent.

Free Things to do in Atlanta with Kids

Fernbank Science Center

Travel to infinity and beyond when you fire up that imagination with the Fernbank Science Center. Embrace the ingenuity of the natural world as you explore live animal exhibits, starry night skies, and more. Little astronauts in training will flip over scoping out a real Apollo 6 Command Module on loan from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

Meanwhile, the critter curious can observe poison dart frogs, snakes, turtles, honey bees, spiders, and more. Wondering what all that buzz is about? Swing by the Center’s live honey bee exhibit and learn all about this colony of honey makers.

fountains with lights and ferris wheel in the background at twilight dust at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, Georgia, USACentennial Olympic Park

Grab a picnic blanket, pack up some snacks, and head over to Centennial Olympic Park for a slice of Georgia history. This resplendent green space has become a beacon for visitors and tourists alike since its debut during the 1996 Summer Olympic Games.

Topping out at 22 acres, you and your family can spend hours touring the park’s gardens, reflecting pools, and promenades. Rugrats will love frolicking in the Fountain of Rings or monkeying around on the playgrounds. This iconic 5 ringed fountain was crafted in honor of the Olympics and creates an interactive space where children can safely play in the water jets.

Marietta Fire Museum

Who doesn’t dream of snooping behind the scenes of a real fire department? Kids obsessed with these heroes of flame and soot will be mesmerized by the Marietta Fire Museum. Located just two blocks away from the historic Marietta Square, this museum showcases an impressive collection of antique fire apparatus tools, tools and gear dating back to 1854.

Spy a 1952 Chevrolet Panel Truck, antique helmets, nozzles, bells, hoses, and more. Enjoy a self-guided experience, or call ahead to schedule a professionally guided tour with the department.

exterior view of Hardin Vistor Center Atlanta Botanical Gardens in Atlanta, Georgia, USAAtlanta Botanical Garden

Fields of flora, detailed horticultural displays, and an award-winning Children’s garden. The Atlanta Botanical Garden is a go-to for those with a green thumb. Admission for children under three is free, and you’ll find lots to cover. Pass through the unique Canopy Walk, or take a peek into the serene Japanese Garden and Koi Pond.

Curious caterpillars will love singing and dancing along with Garden Grooves, or if you’re visiting on a Wednesday listen up for some Nature-inspired tales during Storybook Time.

Psst..into more live animal attractions? For a nominal fee, you and your kiddies can scope out awesome aquatic predators and giant gorillas at both the Georgia Aquarium and the Atlanta Zoo.

Free Things to Do in Atlanta for Adults*

Atlanta Contemporary

Art is awesome and free art is even better! Paint some culture into your A-town activities with the Atlanta Contemporary. For 50 years, Atlanta Contemporary has sought to broaden the scope of contemporary art within the local community. The museum presents over 100 local, national, and international artists and organizes over 125 programs annually.

Indeed, they are one of the few local art organizations to routinely commission new artwork. Meander through their current exhibitions and observe female interpretations of a new world, controversial ceramic installation, sculpture, printmaking, photography, and more.

brick sign at entrance to Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site in AtlantaSelf-Guided Tours of Sweet Auburn

Walk in the footsteps of the great MLK and uncover the rich culture and legacy of one of Atlanta’s most storied neighborhoods when you tour Sweet Auburn. From the Apex Museum to the churches where Martin Luther King Jr. preached, there’s so much to discover. Begin your journey into what was once referred to as the commercial center of Black America, with a visit to the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History.

Here you can find a robust collection of archives dedicated to the study and research of African American history and culture.

Next continue down Auburn avenue, stopping to snap a photo of a sign for the Royal Peacock. A well-loved hot spot back in the day, this black-owned nightclub hosted such famed entertainers as James Brown, Little Richard, Gladys Knight, B.B. King, and Aretha Franklin. Take a peek into the life of Dr. King with stops at the well-loved Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site.

Visitors can stroll through the Civil Rights Walk of Fame, or glimpse the original farm wagon that held his casket during the funeral procession. Don’t forget to see Martin Luther King Jr’s Birth Home, or appreciate the old-fashioned fire engine and equipment at Historic Fire Station No. 6.

Get in Nature

Limber up because it’s time to pull out those hiking boots and commune with nature. Abscond from the city limits and inhale some fresh Georgia mountain air when you plan an outdoor outing for any of the following nature reserves, parks, or areas:

  • Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park – marry some stunning scenery with civil war history when you traverse the many trails of this almost 3 thousand acre National Battlefield.
  • Autrey Mill Nature Preserve and Heritage Center – lovers of all sorts of cuddly creatures will be in heaven as they tour this nature preserve featuring 46 acres of forest, woodland trails, ravines, heritage gardens, and historic buildings. Meet rabbits, dwarf goats, turtles, and more.
  • Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area – lots of natural wonders, compelling history, and family-friendly activities come together at this mountain oasis formed over 400 million years ago. Spend the day biking, hiking, or fishing throughout their 40,000 acres.

*Please note that the Atlanta Anne Frank exhibit is no longer open.

exterior view of Ponce City Market at sunset in Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Keizers [CC BY-SA 3.0 (]

Free Things to do in Atlanta for Couples

Ponce City Market

Calling all foodie couples! Sneak away for some extra special solo time, when you plan a date night at Ponce City Market. Epicureans of all ilks will have a ball seeking out the most luscious bites and sweeping views of this former Sears building.

Walk hand in hand, as you take in the medley of restaurants, food stops, and retail. Stock up on paper goods and bespoke spice mixes, or eat your fill of Indian street food or Piri Piri chicken. Be sure to capture some sweet memories featuring the breathtaking backdrop of the Atlanta skyline when you head to the roof for some frozen drinks and skeeball.

Piedmont Park Picnic

A natural refuge in the middle of the city, Piedmont Park is a beacon of serenity. Both locals and visitors alike congregate here to appreciate over 200 acres of dedicated green space. Blooming Magnolia trees and stunning views of Lake Clara Meer make for impressive picnic window dressing.

Enjoy walks to the top of Oak Hill, or chillax at a picnic pavilion. Pack your own snacks and libations, or take advantage of the park’s many concessions and restaurants which range from Shake Shack to Willy’s Mexicana Grill.

Ground view of people riding bikes towards a tunnel at BeltLine Arboretum on a sunny day in Atlanta, Georgia, USA
photo credit: Atlanta BeltLine via Facebook

Atlanta Beltline

Whether you travel by two wheels or two feet, athletic couples will appreciate the breadth of this sprawling 22-mile railroad corridor. The Atlanta Beltline contains a network of public parks, multi-use trails, and transit, making it an ideal place to take part in a heart-pumping bike ride or arboretum tour. Please note that while the Beltline itself is free of cost to explore, professionally guided tours will require a small donation.

Silver Comet Trail

Training for that marathon? Or just looking to up that step count before you get back to guzzling sweet tea and BBQ? Thanks to a 2% grade the Silver Comet Trail is an excellent place to jump back on those fitness gains. Carve out a few hours to tackle this 61.6-mile paved pedestrian rail trail located just 13 miles northwest of Atlanta.

Accessible to hikers, walkers, cyclists, rollerbladers, and even horses this trail begins at the Mavell Road Trailhead in Smyrna, Georgia, and ends at the Georgia/Alabama state line near Cedartown and the Esom Hill Trailhead.

Self-Guided Walking Dead Tour

Bet you didn’t know that A-town was the epicenter of a highly contagious zombie outbreak? Score some major brownie points with your favorite Walking Dead fan, when you surprise them with a self-guided tour of the hit show’s most iconic shooting locations. Don’t forget to capture an IG-worthy selfie in front of the famed Jackson Street Bridge.

No matter the season, there’s always an overflow of free stuff to do in Atlanta today. Whether your A-town escape is with the kiddies or a romantic rendezvous with your forever plus one, you’ll never be bored in the city of Southern hospitality and history.

Brush up on your knowledge of Black History with a stroll through Sweet Auburn, or let your little one exclaim over real space modules and animal exhibits at the Fernbank Science Center.

The outdoor dining are at 9 Mile Station with wooden tables and benches with the city behind it in Atlanta, Georgia, USA
photo credit: 9 Mile Station via Facebook

Window shop and browse your way through the Ponce City Market, or work up a sweat as you power through the Silver Comet Trail.

Inhale the sweet smell of Hydrangeas and roses at the botanical garden, or savor some greasy burgers and fries in Midtown’s favorite park.

With our guide to the best free things to do in Atlanta Georgia, you can savor every second of your time spent in the Big Peach without spending a dime!

Tell us, Did We Miss Any of Your Top Free Things to Do in Atlanta GA?

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Written by Isis Maya Nissman

A New York native, Isis-Maya spent most of her professional life working in TV production until a vacation whisked her away to Central...

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