Taking in local attractions doesn’t have to cost you and you can get in free to many cultural institutions. Here’s your guide to getting free admission, as well as additional information on offers and discounts.
1. Atlanta Contemporary Art Center. 535 Means St. N.W., Atlanta. 404-688-1970, www.thecontemporary.org. Free Thursdays: ACAC waives the $5 admission fee every Thursday from 11 a.m.- 8 p.m. You may be able to catch lectures, gallery tours, film screenings and more for free.
2. Atlanta History Center. 130 W. Paces Ferry Road N.W., Atlanta. 404-814-4000, www.atlantahistorycenter.com. Museums on Us: Bank of America/Merrill Lynch debit or credit cardholders receive free admission every first full weekend of each month. The offer is only for the cardholder.
4.The Children’s Museum of Atlanta. 275 Centennial Olympic Park Drive, Atlanta. 404-659-5437, www.childrensmuseumatlanta.org.
Target Free Second Tuesday: On Target Free Second Tuesday, anyone can attend the Children’s Museum of Atlanta for free. There is usually a line, particularly during the summer and when the Tuesday falls on a school vacation. Check the website for dates and FAQs.
Fulton County Days: Fulton County residents can buy one admission ticket and receive one additional general admission ticket for free on the opening day of each feature exhibit. Tickets are available for walk-in visitors only and are subject to availability. You also must have proof of residency such as a Georgia driver’s license or ID with a county code of 60, student ID from a Fulton County-based school, or Fulton County employee identification card.
5. Georgia Aquarium. 225 Baker St. N.W, Atlanta. 404-581-4151, www.georgiaaquarium.org. It’s Your Birthday: Georgia residents get free entry to the aquarium on their birthdays. Just show proof of your birthday (ID or birth certificate) at any ticket window and you get a Total Ticket, which gives you access to all galleries and shows.
6. Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites: Show your library card at any Georgia public library to check out the ParkPass or Historic Sites pass. Use it to get free parking or admission at any of the 63 parks and historic sites in the state. The ParkPass exempts you from paying the daily $5 parking fee at state parks, and the Historic Sites Family Pass gets free admission for up to four visitors to any historic site in the state.
7. High Museum of Art. 1280 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta. 404-733-4400, www.high.org. Fulton County First Saturdays: Walk-up admission to the High Museum of Art is free for Fulton County residents on the first Saturday of each month, but tickets are subject to availability.
Museums on Us: Use your Bank of America/Merrill Lynch debit or credit card to receive free admission on the first full Saturday and Sunday of each month. The discount is offered for the cardholder only.
Half Price Friday Nights: Get half-priced admission on Friday Nights after 4 p.m. New extended hours mean you can enjoy the museum until 9 p.m.
8. The Center for Puppetry Arts. 1404 Spring St. N.W., Atlanta. 404-873-3089, www.puppet.org.
Free Museum Thursdays: Visit the museum exhibits free of charge every Thursday from 1-3 p.m.
Fulton County Free Museum Saturdays: Fulton County residents, students and employees get free admission to museum exhibits on the first Saturday of every month. Complete the form online and bring it in the day of your visit.
GPL Passport to Puppetry: Get free museum admission when you check out the “Passport to Puppetry” at any participating public library in all 159 Georgia counties. The passport is valid for up to four museum admissions and you get 25 percent off a puppet show and the create-a-puppet workshop. The show discount must be redeemed the same day of the museum visit and excludes Summer and Holiday Mainstage Productions. Some other exclusions apply.
9. Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day Live: Each year in September, the Smithsonian Magazine sponsors this event which grants free admission to various institutions. Sign up online for a ticket which admits two into the attractions. Some past participants have included: Bulloch Hall in Roswell, Bartow History Museum in Cartersville, Chieftains Museum in Rome and other institutions both inside and beyond city limits. This year, the event takes place on September 26. Tickets are available for download on August 1. Check the website this summer for a list of participating institutions.
10. Tellus Science Museum, 100 Tellus Dr., Cartersville; 770 – 606-5700. www.tellusmuseum.org
Museums on Us: Tellus Museum is currently among the museums offering free admission on the first full weekend of the month to Bank of America or Merrill Lynch credit or debit cardholders. The offer is for the cardholder only.
11. The World of Coca-Cola. 121 Baker St. N.W., Atlanta. 404-676-5151, www.worldofcoca-cola.com. My Coke Rewards: When you join the My Coke Rewards loyalty program sponsored by the Coca‑Cola Co., you can collect points toward general admission tickets for adults, seniors and youths. Just purchase and enter codes from select Coca-Cola brands marked with “My Coke Rewards” on caps, labeling or other packaging to earn rewards. Sometimes there are special promotions or offers to help you accumulate additional points.
12. Zoo Atlanta. 800 Cherokee Ave. S.E., Atlanta. 404-624-5600, www.zooatlanta.org.
Fulton County Family Free Days: The zoo is free for Fulton county residents during one weekend in August. Check the website for details and dates.
Zoo Atlanta Family Pass: Adults with a valid library card from any branch of a participating public library system throughout the state of Georgia (except the Auburn Avenue Research Library) can check out this pass once per year, per household. You check out the Family Pass DVD at the front desk, and when you return it, you get a receipt. The receipt is valid for seven days. Show it at the gate to get free admission for two adults (ages 12 and up) and two children (ages 3-11). If you have more than four people in your party, general admission rates apply. The pass cannot be used for fee-based events at the zoo.
Anytime the temperature is 45 degrees or less, admission to Zoo Atlanta is 50 percent off. The trade-off? Only half of the animals are likely to be on exhibit (the others will be inside staying warm).