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Atlanta on a Budget: Top 20+ Free Things to Do in Atlanta

Atlanta on a Budget: Top 20+ Free Things to Do in Atlanta
Written by Irina Vasilescu

Atlanta: it’s steeped in history, bustling with art and artists, and packed with fun outdoor things to do. You can easily fill up your visit with activities that are absolutely free! Whatever you’re into, Atlanta has it, and you CAN do Atlanta on a budget and have so much fun for free that you’d have been willing to pay for it. So, what blows your hair back?

Get Artsy in Atlanta

Atlanta Art Walk

If admiring world-class art is your favorite thing, Atlanta has plenty to offer. Try these fun and free activities for artsy inspiration.

1. Castleberry Hill Art Stroll

On the second Friday of every month, the Castleberry Hill Art Stroll hits the roads. Enjoy checking out the neighborhood and popping into a host of galleries that give you free access on the day. The route keeps changing too, so don’t forget to get the latest map for your self-guided tour.

2. Downtown First Thursdays Art Walk

Once again, it’s an ever-changing itinerary of arty things to do and see, and what isn’t absolutely free is heavily discounted. Get your program from the Central Atlanta Progress website and decide whether you’re going to do the whole thing or cherry-pick your favorites.

Live Music for Free

Centennial Olympic Park

Wanna get into the Atlanta groove? You’ll find free live music performances in Atlanta if you know where to look.

3. Wednesday Wind Down at the Centennial Olympic Park

From May to September you can catch free music performances in the gorgeous park setting. It happens every Wednesday evening from 5:30 pm and you could be in for just about any genre of music. Who’s playing this week? Be there to find out!

4. Music at Noon at Centennial Olympic Park

In the mood for a little lunchtime music? Tuesdays and Thursdays are the summer days to hit the park at noon to see who’s playing for free. And while you’re there, take the kids to enjoy the interactive Fountain of Rings. The combination of music and water plays four times a day all year round.

Enjoy the Festival Vibe

St Patrick’s Day Parade

Atlanta loves its festivals, and so will you. And no matter what the season, there’s bound to be one on the program.

Just to give you a taste, here’s a sampling of the free spring festivals. Get the full festival calendar for the time you’re visiting Atlanta, be it summer, fall, or winter. You’ll find out what’s on, and what’s free, by following the links.

5. St Patrick’s Day Parade

St Paddy’s day is an excuse for partying on a large scale, and it all begins with the parade! Hit Peachtree Street to see Irish dancing, hear Irish music, and see some crazy, costumed leprechauns. Fun for the whole family!

6. The Dogwood Festival

When the dogwoods begin to bloom in April, it’s time to head for Piedmont Park. There are musicians, art displays, Frisbee-catching dogs and more. So, whether you want something thought-provoking or just want to have fun, this festival is not to be missed!

7. Inman Park Festival

Atlanta celebrates its heritage with a festival in one of its most beautifully preserved historic neighborhoods. Visit the street market and admire the gracious buildings for free. Interior tours cost a ticket, but you can still enjoy the festival atmosphere for $0.

8. Chastain Park Arts Festival

All kinds of art, plenty of crafts market stalls and free live music are all part and parcel of the Chastain Park Arts Festival. It’s happening in May, so be sure to pop by if you’re visiting Atlanta then.

9. Atlanta Jazz Festival

If you’re in Atlanta on Memorial Day weekend, you absolutely can’t miss the free jazz festival in Piedmont Park. Top musicians will be doing their thing, and you don’t have to pay a cent to enjoy it.

10. The Decatur Arts Festival

From decorative arts to performing ones you’re in for a show to remember at the Decatur Arts Festival. Free entry? You bet!

11. Sweet Auburn Spring Fest

Springtime is party time in Atlanta, and the Sweet Auburn Spring Fest is there for free fun and music. This is Martin Luther King’s neighborhood, so look out for the landmarks while you’re in the area.

Soak up the Amazing History of Atlanta for Free

Oakland Cemetery

We said Atlanta is steeped in history, and you should definitely get at least a taste of it while you’re there. Check out thee opportunities to learn interesting historical facts for free.

12. Atlanta Monetary Museum

Who doesn’t love money? Find out more about it while you’re saving it with your free visit to the museum. It’s fun for the kids, and you’re bound to learn a thing or two while you’re there.

13. Georgia State Capitol Museum

It’s one of the most beautiful and imposing buildings in the city, but you don’t have to stop at an outside view. Enter the Capitol building to visit the museum where you’ll see historic flags, documents and more on display. Free tours are available!

14. Visit the Governor’s Mansion

Have you ever wanted to see the splendid interior of a historic governor’s mansion? In Atlanta, the invitation is open to all and completely free of charge. Enjoy the building’s grandeur, authentic historic furnishings and beautifully maintained gardens.

15. Oakland Cemetery

Civil War Battles were fought on this very spot, and some of Atlanta’s greatest historical figures have been laid to rest here. Pay your respects amid a beautiful garden setting. Check out the program; there are occasional festivals here too!

16. Martin Luther King National Historic Park

No visit to Atlanta would be complete without sparing a thought for one of its finest sons. See the buildings and streets that shaped Martin Luther King, a man who changed the world for the better, and be inspired by his incredible life story.

Enjoy the Outdoors

Piedmont Park

Between all the frenetic festival-going and thought-provoking museum tours, you might find the need to pack a picnic and relax with some outdoor activities.

17. Piedmont Park

Walk, bike, or just relax in a superb setting featuring some of the best views of the Atlanta skyline. Piedmont Park is the place to be – and if you’ve been looking at the festival schedule, you’ll have seen that it’s also home to tons of free events.

18. Woodruff Park

Situated in the heart of downtown Atlanta, Woodruff Park provides everything from tree-lined walks to outdoor chess games. It’s a great place to escape the round of restaurants with a delicious but cost-effective picnic lunch. Are the kids driving you crazy? The renowned play park will take the edge off their excess energy! Meanwhile, you can chill in the outdoor reading room with a good book to keep you company.

19. Go Fishing at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Gardens

Getting into the Jimmy Carter Library will cost a small admission fee, but visiting the gardens is free! What’s more, you’re allowed to try your luck catching fish in the ponds. Who said fishing was only a rural activity?

20. Walk, Jog, Skate or Bike the Atlanta BeltLine

An unused railway track has been turned into a place for people! The Atlanta BeltLine will link you with a lot of the places you’d like to see in Atlanta, and it even doubles as a display area for even more artworks than you’ve already seen on your rambles.

21. Azalea Park

When the weather’s hot, you can cool off in the Chattahoochee River! You can rent boats, paddle boards or tubes, but why not bring your own tubes and go drifting down the river together? That way, it’s free.

Just a Taste of the Free Things to Do in Atlanta

Piedmont Park

There are so many fun things to do in Atlanta for free that we couldn’t possibly cover them all – but as you can see, there really is something for everyone. No matter what the weather, no matter what your mood, Atlanta seems to go all out to keep its budget visitors entertained.

One thing is certain: regardless of how tiny your budget may be, there is absolutely no excuse to be bored! Ask a local, check the newspapers, and don’t miss out on all the freebies. 

Take the kids along and remember that there’s no shortage of free things to do that your kids will love no matter where you are.

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Atlanta on a Budget: Top 20+ Free Things to Do in Atlanta

About the author

Irina Vasilescu

Irina Vasilescu is our crafty designer. She joined the team three years ago and is also involved in the writing process.

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