Atlanta: Activities & Attractions
A guide to fun things to do in Atlanta from well-known tourist attractions to local favorites.
Explore all sorts of fun things to do in Atlanta whether you are visiting or looking for a new idea for a night out in your hometown. While many of the larger attractions are available to visit most days and times of the year, some of the smaller venues require checking the website to see the dates/times that various classes, performances, and tours are offered. But don’t worry – I have provided links to all of their websites so you can easily find something that falls during the time you are looking to experience Atlanta!
When looking for tickets and more information for activities and attractions, I usually start with the venue or organization’s website. But the downside is, you are really only going to find information about venues and activities that you already know about.
So, another great place to find activity ideas and purchase discounted tickets for those activities and attractions is Groupon. It’s an easy way to discover new ideas for a night out in Atlanta – and you can filter by date! Even if you aren’t comfortable making a purchase through a third party site, you can still use it to get some great new ideas.
One more way to get a discount on top Atlanta attractions is the Atlanta City Pass. Currently, the Atlanta City Pass gives you access to 5 top Atlanta attractions to use within 30 days for only $77 for adults ($63 for kids)! Because of the flexibility many of us locals use these passes too! Atlanta City Pass also has an easy to use mobile app, so there is no need to worry about printing out paper tickets for each attraction. That can be such a life saver while traveling!
I check out these type of passes anytime I travel, and have found them hit or miss for saving money depending on the cost of the pass and the attractions I want to visit. The Atlanta City Pass is one of the better ones for getting a good deal on many of the major attractions. Definitely check it out and compare with the ticket prices of the places you would like to see.
Use these quick links to scroll down to find out more about the activities and attractions available around Atlanta by category!
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Outside the Perimeter
- Yellow River Wildlife Sanctuary
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Art Classes & Workshops
One of my favorite artistic activities in Atlanta is glassblowing. Decatur Glassblowing offers mini group classes throughout the year where anyone can make a glass object to take home – no experience necessary!
So far I have made a glass heart, glass pumpkins, and glass ornaments. As you can probably tell, a lot of the public classes are centered around certain holidays. Next on my list are the glass egg class offered in April and the glass flower class offered in May.
For people who are more experienced or looking to become a pro, they offer additional classes and private lessons that increase in difficulty as you progress through the program.
See the Decatur Glassblowing website for more details.
Garage Door Studio is a small art space in Avondale Estates offering a variety of art workshops and classes mostly geared towards adults (unless otherwise noted). The classes are small and you are allowed to BYOB to enjoy while you work!
I have taken a brush lettering workshop and a calligraphy workshop at Garage Door Studio. For our classes, the cost of the workshop included lots of supplies and the 2+ hour hands on lesson.
Garage Door Studio is also home to a shop featuring all sorts of handmade goods and art.
Atlanta Clay Works is a clay and pottery studio offering a variety of classes and events for children and adults. If a certain class is adults only, it will be specified on the announcement. They offer classes in studio and in the local area.
One December, I met the instructors at Tapwerks to make a clay snowman for the holidays. It was a lot of fun.
Art Galleries, Art Museums, & Exhibits
ABV Art Agency & Gallery is a small art gallery just off the Beltline near Krog Street Market. ABV Gallery was founded by artist/designer Greg Mike and promotes work by both local and international artists. ABV Gallery is open every day except Sunday and features rotating exhibits.
One of my favorite events at ABV Gallery is the monthly Drink n Doodle featuring 12 local artists creating art in real time. The art is put up for auction at the end of the evening. The event is free to attend and I have seen amazing art pieces go for as low as $50 in the auction!
The main art museum in Atlanta is the High Museum of Art. With more than 15,000 works of art in its collection, the High has become one of the leading art museums in the Southeast. The High is located within the Woodruff Arts Center, alongside the Alliance Theatre & Symphony Hall.
The High Museum of Art features both permanent and rotating art exhibits, and also hosts many unique art related events and special guests.
One of my most memorable times at the High was getting to experience the Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors exhibit.
On the Atlanta Events page you can check out some of the High Museum’s annual events, such as the High Museum Atlanta Wine Auction.
I have been attending classes at the Cooking School at Irwin Street for years – long before I moved to Downtown Atlanta.
All of the instructors are fun to work with, very knowledgeable, and make excellent food! The class sizes are very small and private options are also available. They also offer gift certificates, so you could easily ask for a fun date night option as a gift!
Most of the classes are for adults only and you are welcome to BYOB! One exception is their Play with your Food series of classes which is geared towards children and adult pairs.
Classes are typically $85 per person, but occasionally go on sale for less. That price includes the cooking course, and you get to sit down and eat everything you helped prepare!
This class is adults only and includes everything you need to make your own BBQ sauce, dinner, and a craft beer flight from Orpheus Brewing. You also get a gift bag containing a $10 gift card for DBA BBQ and one of their house made BBQ sauces to take home. You will make enough BBQ sauce to enjoy with your dinner and take home.
The BBQ Sauce Making Class is $50 per person, with a discount of $90 for 2 people or $170 for 4. That cost includes tax and tip!
Theatres & Performance Venues
One of the most well known venues in Atlanta is the Fabulous Fox Theatre in Midtown. Established in 1929, the theatre is a beloved Atlanta landmark where patrons can enjoy anything from musicals and ballets to comedy shows and magicians.
The Fox Theatre also hosts hour long tours for people interested in learning more about the the history of the building. One of my favorites is the Fox Theatre Ghost Tour given every year around Halloween.
The Theatrical Outfit is a small performing arts venue just south of Downtown Atlanta. They focus on creating a sense of community and choosing works that encourage conversations that matter. Founded in 1976, the Theatrical Outfit is Atlanta’s 2nd oldest professional theatre company.
Aside from attending a performance, you can also schedule a tour of the historic Balzer Theatre as well.
The Horizon Theatre is a small contemporary theatre company that feels right at home in quirky Little Five Points. The mission of the Horizon Theatre is to connect people, inspire hope, and promote positive change through the stories of our times.
Atlanta Symphony Hall
The home of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Hall, is located in the Woodruff Arts Center complex. The Woodruff Arts Center is also home to the Alliance Theatre & the High Museum of Art.
Attractions Featuring Animals
One of the key attractions in Atlanta is the Georgia Aquarium. At 600,000 square feet & 10 million gallons of water, the Georgia Aquarium is the largest aquarium in the USA and one of the largest in the world as well.
You can easily spend most of a day at the aquarium exploring all of the tanks and catching some of the many shows and lectures included in the ticket price. Tickets to the main aquarium area are $32.95 per person.
The GA Aquarium also offers multiple classes, special events, behind the scenes tours, lectures, and travel opportunities.
Most recently, I attended a New Years Eve Celebration at the GA Aquarium, and a Science on Tap lecture for Valentine’s Day.
Zoo Atlanta began in 1889 when a traveling zoo went bankrupt near Atlanta, and has evolved into a effort to promote wildlife conservation and preservation around the world. Zoo Atlanta is accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums and is a member World Association of Zoos & Aquariums.
The zoo is open all year long, and aside from offering traditional zoo visits, there are lots of special events and behind the scenes opportunities as well.
While not exactly in Atlanta, a place that I have enjoyed since I was a little kid recently received a huge upgrade thanks to new owners, and is a short drive from Atlanta. And parking is free!
Started in 1962, to provide a place for injured and orphaned wildlife, the Yellow River Game Ranch (as it was called then) became a place for people to interact with local deer, rabbits, and goats. It eventually expanded to include other animals as well. In 2018, the animals came under the care of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources before the property was purchased and revitalized by the new owners.
The Yellow River Wildlife Sanctuary is open Thursday through Sunday from 10am – 6pm. Tickets are $18 per adult & $12 per child.