Fernbank After Dark is just for people age 21 and older.

Things To Do Near Emory University

As a student at an in-town university, you have the best of both worlds. Your first world, of course, is the campus of Emory University where you, quite naturally, spend most of your time. And what a pretty campus you have. Lucky for you, many of Atlanta’s best attractions are in close proximity to Emory; a couple, in fact, are right outside your door. Take a look at our picks of things to do near Emory University – because sometimes you just need a break.

If you are 21 or older, relax with friends at Fernbank After Dark. (Photo courtesy Fernbank Museum of Natural History)


Michael C. Carlos Museum

As an Emory student, you get into the Michael C. Carlos Museum for free. (Photo courtesy Michael C. Carlos Museum)

Wow. The Michael C. Carlos Museum is located right on the Emory campus, and because you are an Emory student, you get in for free. Not only are there fabulous exhibits at the Carlos, frequently there are fascinating events. For instance, you might enjoy the afternoon tea and scones lecture series. Also note that the bookstore is really great.

David J. Spencer CDC Museum

Double wow. This one is a med student’s dream come true. Affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution and, of course, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the CDC Museum is free for everyone. And that means that, since it’s just down the street, you can wander in frequently. After you’ve seen the permanent exhibits, keep a watch for the four temporary exhibits on display each year. The museum is designed to educate about the value of prevention-based public health and also present the CDC’s heritage and accomplishments.

Georgia Aquarium

See sharks and lots of other sea creatures at Georgia Aquarium. (Photo courtesy Georgia Aquarium)

Imagine being just a hop, skip and a jump away from Georgia Aquarium, the largest aquarium in the Western Hemisphere. If you are a Georgia resident, bring your ID and get free admission on your birthday. (Unfortunately, this does not apply to students who are out-of-state residents going to school in Georgia.) The aquarium houses thousands of species of animals on the premises. It’s going to take a few visits to take it all in.

Decatur Square

Well, of course, you can spend money at the shops and restaurants on Decatur Square, but you don’t have to. It doesn’t cost a thing to walk around and breathe the air off campus.

Lullwater Park

If you don’t already know about this treasure right here in your midst, then get moving to change that. It’s a wonderful place to refresh amid the wonders of nature. Take a walk. Take a run. Sit by the lake. See if you are quick enough to snap a photo of a resident owl.

Glen Lake Park

It’s very near Emory University, in a residential neighborhood in Decatur. Ah, enjoy the serenity.

Ask Your Parents

Fernbank Museum of Natural History

Fernbank After Dark is just for people age 21 and older. (Photo courtesy Fernbank Museum of Natural History)

Since Fernbank Museum of Natural History is so close to Emory University and there are so many things to do here, maybe your parents would buy a membership for you so that you can go often. Besides the world’s largest dinosaurs and fascinating permanent exhibits, there are Giant Screen films that change regularly, Fernbank After Dark on the second Friday of each month (adults only), and WildWoods and Fernbank Forest for nature walks.


Fernbank Science Center

Fernbank Science Center grants free admission to students. There’s a planetarium where admission is only $5 for students. Bring your student ID.

Alliance Theatre

Located in Midtown, the Alliance Theatre is not too far away from Emory University. And, depending on availability, student tickets can be purchased for $10, including all taxes and fees. Student Rush tickets require your student ID to be presented and must be purchased in person at the Woodruff Arts Center Box Office on the day of the performance. You may call the Box Office at 404-333-5000 in advance to check availability.

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Georgia college students can get a $20 pass to enjoy concerts by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. (Photo by Jeff Roffman)

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra invites Georgia college students to enjoy up to 20 classical concerts (some restrictions apply) for $20 with the new ASO College Pass. All you need to sign up is a valid .edu email address. Once enrolled, you may redeem your tickets 48 hours in advance of a performance. Look for monthly reminders featuring all the eligible concerts.

High Museum of Art

Discover more than 18,000 works of art at the High Museum. (Photo courtesy High Museum of Art)

The High Museum of Art offers free admission on the second Sunday of each month. See what the director of the museum had to say about it: Arts ATL: Must See Plays, Performances and Exhibits in Atlanta.

William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum

The Montag Blue Horse is part of the History with Chutzpah exhibit at The Breman. (Photo courtesy William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum)

The William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum is known around Atlanta as The Breman. Student admission is only $6. Tour the Holocaust exhibit and check to see about new exhibits that appear regularly. Sometimes there are free lectures.

Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum

Admission to the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum is $10 with your valid student ID. Not only that, it’s wise to check the website from time to time because events are often free. To cite just one example, The Carter Center sometimes hosts meet-and-greet author appearances, and many are free. Of course, if you want a book, you’ll have to pay (but you’ll get an autographed copy).

Fox Theatre

Keep checking the Fox Theatre. You might snag a discount ticket to a big show. (Photo courtesy Fox Theatre)

If you love Broadway shows, then keep your eye on the Fox Theatre because the theater often offers discount tickets to college students when Broadway comes to Atlanta.


When you volunteer at Dad’s Garage Theatre Company, you get to see that night’s show for free. You’ll also get free snacks and affordable drinks. You will be invited to quarterly volunteer appreciation events. And, you’ll earn credit for every shift you work that can be applied toward improv classes, gift certificates and Dad’s Garage merchandise

Want to know the best student discounts in Atlanta? Check out this guide. For more things to do in Atlanta, take a look at our calendar of events.

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

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