We all scream for ice cream at the Atlanta Ice Cream Festival. (Photo curtesy of Benjamin A. Pete Photography)

20+ Totally Free Things to Do This Summer in Atlanta

Ready for some summer fun in Atlanta? From music festivals and movie nights to chilling in the park, there are plenty of cool things to do that don’t cost a thing. Here are 20+ totally free things to do in Atlanta this summer.

Atlanta Farmers Markets

Visit the Ponce City Farmers Market all summer long
Visit the Ponce City Farmers Market all summer long. (Photo courtesy of Jamestown)

Farmers Markets are a fun way to spend a morning or afternoon out and about in Atlanta. Pick up fresh fruits, veggies and other goods in addition to a meal or artisan goods for yourself or as gifts. Check out our list of Atlanta Farmers Markets.

Atlanta Ice Cream Festival

Atlanta Ice Cream Festival
See if you can win the ice cream-eating contest at the annual Atlanta Ice Cream Festival. (Photo by Benjamin A. Pete Photography)

The city’s sweetest summer festival is the annual Atlanta Ice Cream Festival at Piedmont Park. It’s completely free to walk the grounds and enjoy the entertainment. Spend a little money to support local vendors and try delicious ice cream and other treats. Kids will love the KIDS Zone. 

AJC Peachtree Road Race

AJC Peachtree Road Race is free to attend to cheer on the runners
Cheer on your favorite runner at the annual AJC Peachtree Road Race. (Photo by Paul Ward)

Even if you’re not running in Atlanta’s most popular race (for 50+ years), there are still ways to get involved. Sign up to volunteer or join the crowd at Piedmont Park to cheer on runners from around the globe on Independence Day.

Atlanta Monetary Museum at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Ever wonder about how money is made, distributed and regulated? Learn all about money at the Atlanta Monetary Museum, which features exhibits of historical artifacts as well as interactive, multimedia exhibits explaining the Federal Reserve’s role in the economy.

David J. Sencer CDC Museum

In association with Smithsonian Institute, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Museum offers award-winning displays and exhibits about diseases and how doctors and scientists work to identify and contain them. The museum, open on weekdays, features permanent and changing exhibitions that focus on a variety of public health topics, as well as the history of the CDC.

Explore the Atlanta BeltLine

The Atlanta BeltLine stretches over 22 miles as it works to become a closed loop of multiuse trails for walking, biking and skating. Explore the BeltLine and enjoy public art, parks, public markets and so much more as you meander through Atlanta’s quaint and diverse neighborhoods. Before you go, check out our ultimate guide to the Atlanta BeltLine trails.

Fernbank Science Center

Fernbank Science Center features both permanent and visiting displays and exhibits on space, wild animals and more, including an observatory. Admission is free. For a fee, you can visit the planetarium for entertaining and informative shows.

Free Hours at Piedmont Park Aquatic Center

Take advantage of weekday free admission hours at the Piedmont Park Aquatic Center
Take advantage of weekday free admission hours at the Piedmont Park Aquatic Center.

Get the kiddos out of the house for a little splashing and swimming. The Aquatic Center at Piedmont Park offers free admission Monday through Friday from 3 to 5 p.m. 

Free Outdoor Movies

One of the most fun rites of summer in Atlanta is free outdoor movies offered at sites throughout the city. Check out spots like Atlantic Station, Colony Square and Newtown Park, north of the city, for schedules.

Georgia Capitol Museum

Built to symbolize Georgia’s reemergence after the Civil War, the Georgia State Capitol continues to be one of the most impressive buildings in the state. Visitors may tour this beautiful building and see exhibitions on Georgia’s early populations, natural resources, regions and history for no cost.

Grant Park Summer Shade Festival

Grant Park’s goodbye to summer culminates with the Summer Shade Festival offering two days of art and music. Great for a day out with friends or family, this free festival offers a variety of events and activities including a 5K Fun Run, Kids Zone, food trucks, craft beer and more. The festival is free to attend; bring money to spend.

Library ParkPass for the Georgia State Park System

The Georgia Public Library System has partnered with Georgia State Parks to offer the Library Loan Program enabling Georgia residents the opportunity to check out a ParkPass – good for free parking at 48 state parks, plus admission for up to two people at 16 state historic sites.

Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park

History buffs and those passionate about the Civil Rights Movement won’t want to miss an opportunity to learn about Martin Luther King Jr. Visit his birth home and hear recordings of his famous speeches. The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park is a national park with several buildings and sites to visit. 

Miami Circle Gallery Stroll

The galleries located in Miami Circle represent some of the Southeast’s top artists, making Miami Circle a fun and informative spot to tour while enjoying a glass of wine and nibbles. Join the bi-monthly gallery strolls for a fun date night in Buckhead. The events are free but online RSVP is requested.

Piedmont Park Summer Arts Festival

This popular annual festival puts an emphasis on family fun and visual arts with more than 250 vendors showcasing photography, ceramics, jewelry, sculpture, glass, paintings, crafts and more. In addition, visitors can enjoy artist demonstrations, live music, children’s play area, and festival food and drink.

Stroll the Grounds of The Carter Center

The Carter Center is located on 35 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds making it a wonderful spot to take a stroll. Stop and enjoy colorful flowers, take pictures or chat with your bestie in this colorful landscape. 

Tiny Doors and Public Street Art Tour

TinyDoors ATL has become an art institution in Atlanta. Visitors of all ages love seeking out and visiting these tiny works of art located throughout the city. Download a map and set out on a photo safari or walking adventure while seeking out these colorful doors. Thanks to public art initiatives like Living Walls, you can visit hundreds of murals and other public street art around Atlanta. See the best Atlanta street art by neighborhood

UPS Second Sundays at The High

A great way to expose your family to art is by visiting the High Museum of Art during Second Sunday events, which offer free admission from 12 to 5 p.m. on the second Sunday of each month. The High is full of a wide selection of art from around the world. 

Visit the Best Atlanta Playgrounds

Explore awesome playgrounds in Atlanta for free
Kids love playing in the middle of a forest at Dunwoody Nature Center. (Photo by Joleen Pete)

Take the kids to play and explore the most awesome playgrounds in Atlanta.

Woodruff Park Game Cart

Visit the Game Cart at Woodruff Park for a fun and quiet way to spend a weekend afternoon. Located at Woodruff’s south end, near the gazebo, the game cart offers a variety of technology-free games to check out for play with a date, your kids or friends. It’s the perfect way to unplug for a few hours.

Zoo Atlanta Library Pass

Due to an exciting partnership with the Georgia Public Library System, Georgia residents can check out a Zoo Atlanta library pass, which is good for free zoo admission for a family of three (does not include parking).

Joleen Pete lives outside Atlanta with her husband and their son. On the weekends they enjoy going into the city for family fun and exploration. Joleen is the family travel and lifestyle blogger behind Love, Joleen.

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