You've graduated. Now you can truly experience Atlanta. (Gene Phillips,

Georgia Aquarium's Sips Under the Sea are evening events for adults only.

There's always a festival going on in Atlanta. (Gene Phillips,

8 Things to Do in Atlanta After Graduation

Can you believe it? You have graduated. Wow. No more all night study sessions. Seriously, you are finished with college. And that also means that you no longer are a poor, starving college student. No more tuition to pay. No more books to buy.

If you plan to stay in Atlanta, you will be thrilled to learn that there’s a whole world here that you probably didn’t notice when you were so busy studying and living on a tight budget. A few ideas:

1. Martinis and IMAX

Every Friday night (except holidays), Fernbank Museum of Natural History throws a party. Expect special cocktail menus, small plates, live entertainment, dancing and a chance to see a film on IMAX, the biggest screen in town.The fun runs from 7 to 11 p.m. with live entertainment beginning at 7:30 p.m. Cost is $13 or just $8 if you skip the film. Get your tickets online as some evenings do sell out.

2. Sips Under the Sea

Every now and then, the Georgia Aquarium opens in the evenings with a cocktail party for adults only. For just a few dollars short of $30, you get two drink tickets and two tickets for small plates. You can pay cash for more if you like. Coming up May 20, the theme for Sips Under the Sea is Fiesta. More upcoming Sips nights are Game Night, Aug. 12; Masquerade, Oct. 21; and Jingle Mingle, Dec. 9.

3. Friday Jazz

Every third Friday, the High Museum of Art offers live jazz in the High’s atrium. For only $10, you get music, drinks and art.

4. Brew at the Zoo

This Memorial Day tradition at Zoo Atlanta, for adults only, features live music on five stages and samplings from 70 beers and wines. Oh, and, the animals will be there, too. Basic non-member tickets cost $43.

5. Beer Lovers

If you are all about the brew (not the bass), then consider touring one of Atlanta’s many breweries. Here’s a list to help you decide. And, to make sure you don’t miss anything when it comes to beer, look at this list of beer festivals in and around Atlanta. 

6. Brunch Anyone?

Maybe you can afford to splurge every now and then to have brunch out with friends.

7. Festivals Galore

You may not have realized it while you had your head in the books, but Atlanta is home, month after month, to lots of fun and festive festivals. Check here to see if one is coming up that might be just right for you.

8. Spend Some Time Downtown

Grab your buds and head to one of these hot spots in downtown Atlanta

Journalist Carol Carter writes and edits for Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau.

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