13 Completely Free Things to Do in Atlanta
Here are all of the priceless experiences waiting for you in Atlanta.
It’s hard to argue with the age-old saying that the best things in life are free. The world can get pretty expensive at times, and whether you’re financially down on your luck or just not in the mood to go out and spend all of your hard-earned money, we understand. That’s why we’ve put together a list of Atlanta’s more cost-efficient moves. From free admission days at some of the city’s most important attractions and public hangout spots to recurring weekly events and major festivals, here are 13 completely free but totally fun things to do in Atlanta.
The Battery hosts an Xfinity-sponsored outdoor movie series on its Plaza Green every single Friday, and if you’re interested in attending one of the open-air screenings, you don’t have to worry about spending a penny. Boasting a solid line-up of classics like Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, Back to the Future, Jurassic Park, and Pitch Perfect, The Battery’s outdoor movie series is nothing to scoff at, and considering that parking is free for the first three hours in the Red, Purple, Yellow, Green, and Silver decks, you can really enjoy a cost-free Friday night—which is rare in Atlanta.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find an Atlantan who doesn’t sing the BeltLine’s praises, and whether you have realized it or not, you have likely already seen many parts of it while traveling through the city. The extended network of parks, trails, and greenspaces is public and free for anyone who wants to utilize it. Plus, if you’re interested in getting even more familiar with the BeltLine, you can also sign up for a free one-hour walking tour of the Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum.
The Bakery is the crown jewel of Atlanta’s DIY art scene, and as a result, it regularly hosts some of the most creative free events—where donations are still suggested and appreciated—in the city. One of its recurring monthly events is its figure drawing class, and if you’re artistically inclined and respectful of all body types, you should give it a shot.
One of the most well-known free deals in Atlanta is the High Museum of Art’s UPS Second Sundays. As its name suggests, the second Sunday of every month is a special day at the renowned art museum when admission is completely on the house. From noon to 5 pm on Second Sundays, art enthusiasts who are sticking to their budgets can explore the High’s current collection and special exhibitions, and thanks to the museum’s slate of special programming and art-making activities, Second Sundays make for a priceless family outing as well. Due to the popularity of the High’s UPS Second Sundays, online advanced timed-ticket reservations are most certainly recommended.
If you have been looking for a fun way to relieve some stress, then this free monthly event may be exactly what you need. Although it’s called Laughter Yoga, Celeste Greene’s interactive is actually a full-body experience that’s just centered around laughing. Held the first Wednesday of every month at the Trolley Barn in Inman Park, Laughter Yoga is a fun, playful, and rejuvenating experience, and if that doesn’t you smile, you’ll definitely let out a victorious laugh when you arrive because there is plenty of free on-street parking available as well.
Atlanta’s Westside has an exceptional and dense assortment of breweries, and one of the best ways to get familiar with a nice chunk of them is by taking advantage of the Atlanta Beer Bus’ Sunday HOP-on/HOP-Off special. Rather than paying for the typical $60 Ale Trail Tour that’s offered on Saturdays, you can catch a free ride from the Atlanta Beer Bus every other Sunday—with the next handful of dates being November 6, November 20, December 4, and December 18—and go on a self-guided tour of eight different breweries, including Scofflaw, Second Self, Round Trip, Bold Monk, Fire Maker, Steady Hand, Urban Tree Cidery, and Monday Night Brewing.
For those who are interested in going to a more traditional yoga session for free, Colony Square has you covered during the warmer months. From April to October, Yoga On The Square is held in The Plaza every single Wednesday evening. The free outdoor yoga experience requires no reservations or tickets, and to make the recurring event even more pocket-friendly, guests who attend get their parking validated as well. Furthermore, if you do feel like spending money after saving all that money on the class and parking, Yoga On The Square guests 25% off all merchandise at the Sunnies in Colony Square.
Increase your knowledge at Atlanta’s museums
Learning is fun—especially when it’s free and not for the sake of a grade. That’s why every single person in Atlanta should be taking advantage of the city’s museum specials. During the first weekend of every month, you can increase your knowledge of history and civil rights at the Atlanta History Center and the Center for Civil and Human Rights—both of which offer free admission for Bank of America cardholders thanks to Bank of America’s Museums on Us initiative. The former also offers free admission every Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and thanks to sponsors, the latter has become known to regularly offer free admission for everything from Pride Month to Black History Month. That being said, plenty of museums and attractions—including the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, the Atlanta Fed's Monetary Museum, the Georgia Capitol Museum, and the David J. Sencer CDC Museum—are 100% free, 100% of the time.
While the Fernbank Science may not throw a monthly adult-only cocktail party like the Fernbank Museum, it does boast free general admission and free parking, so don’t sleep on it. The DeKalb County School System-powered museum, classroom, and woodland complex has space and natural science exhibits, live animals, gardens, a seismology lab, and a full-fledged observatory on site, so take advantage of the fact that all of that—and more—is accessible for free.
Piedmont Park is one of the largest parks in Atlanta, and if your pockets are ever tight, rest easy knowing that you can kick it at the beautiful Midtown green space. Whether you feel like going for a walk with your dog, playing soccer, reading a book, taking pictures, or packing a lunch for an impromptu picnic, Piedmont Park is the place for you, with several different sections and areas for you to explore.
Go to some of the coolest free festivals in the country
Atlanta is known for huge festivals like Music Midtown, ONE Musicfest, and Shaky Knees, and while all of those weekend-long events are great in their own rights, they all do cost a pretty penny for music lovers to attend. Thankfully, for every great festival held in the A, there is an equally great free one as well—with the Dogwood Festival in April, Atlanta Jazz Fest on Memorial Day Weekend, the Grant Park Summer Shade Festival in August, and the Oakhurst Porchfest in October being just a sample of the amazing free festivals that Atlanta has to offer.
Although leaving the house typically means spending money in one way or another, you can ensure that your wallet remains intact by simply going to an outdoor recreation area and reconnecting with nature. If that sounds like a move to you, our recommendation is the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area, a gorgeous landscape that’s packed with deep woods, a winding river, and a picturesque rocky mountain trail. And if you already go to Arabia Mountain all of the time, no worries. There are a bunch of other beautiful places in Atlanta and the surrounding areas for you to check out, too.
One of the most low-key park experiences is available at Woodruff Park. Nestled into one of the busiest nooks of the Downtown area, Woodruff Park has a lot to offer, from larger-than-life art installations to a host of free events. However, if you’re just passing through, feel free to check out Woodruff Park’s Game Cart. Loaded with a bunch of technology-free games like Connect 4, Sorry!, Uno, Chutes and Ladders, Battleship, Jenga, and Dominoes, the Game Cart is absolutely free for anyone who’s looking to take a break from their daily routine and simply enjoy a tabletop game in one of Atlanta’s most slept-on parks.