Budget-friendly Activities for Groups with Kids in Atlanta

August 20, 2020

Atlanta offers dozens of exciting destinations for kids, from the Georgia Aquarium to Zoo Atlanta and World of Coke. But while those destinations are fun, they aren’t cheap. You may be able to swing buying tickets for a few kids, but admission for your entire scouting troop, class, or basketball team could quickly blow your budget.

Luckily, Atlanta also has museums, nature centers, and parks that your group of kids can visit for free or for a small fee. We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite budget-friendly attractions that children will love. And if you need a way to get there, give Falcon Charter Bus a call at 404-400-3545. We offer charter buses that can transport your entire group for less than the cost of multiple rideshares—and we’ll also ensure you don’t have to beg parents to drive!

Group of kids smiling


Atlanta has a rich array of museums, though most, like the High Museum of Art and the Fernbank Museum of Natural History, charge substantial admission fees. But the High Museum offers free admission every second Sunday, as does the Museum of Design Atlanta. Both also provide hands-on art activities for kids during their free days and feature stunning art in their galleries.

High Museum of Art

Price: Free every second Sunday of the month
Address: 1280 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30309
Where to park: Bus parking areas are shown here.

Outside of the High Museum of Art

Museum of Design Atlanta

Price: Free every second Sunday of the month
Address: 1315 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30309
Where to park: Bus parking areas are shown here.

Atlanta also boasts several museums that are always free. If you have coin collectors in your group, head to the Federal Reserve Bank’s Monetary Museum, where you can learn about how currency works and how it’s created. Got kids who have always dreamed of being firefighters? At the free Marietta and Roswell Fire Museums, your kids can see antique fire equipment and real fire trucks.

Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Monetary Museum

Price: Free
Address: 1000 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30309
Where to park: There is no designated parking for charter buses, so your bus will need to drop you off and park in one of several nearby paid lots.

Marietta Fire Museum

Price: Free
Address: Fire Station, 112 Haynes St #51, Marietta, GA 30060
Where to park: There is a free parking lot behind Marietta City Hall.

Little girl dressed up as firefighter

Roswell Fire Station #1 & Museum

Price: Free
Address: 1002 Alpharetta St, Roswell, GA 30075
Where to park: There’s a parking lot large enough for charter buses near Roswell City Hall and the Cultural Arts Center, which are located about half a mile from the fire museum.

If you’re willing to spend a little bit of money, catch a show at the Fernbank Science Center planetarium for only $7 for adults and $5 for kids. Let your kids lean back in plush chairs while stars and planets swirl overhead, and then take them outside to the picnic tables for lunch. Your charter bus will have plenty of storage space for coolers and brown-bag lunches.

Fernbank Science Center

Price: $7 for adults, $5 for kids
Address: 156 Heaton Park Dr, Atlanta, GA 30307
Where to park: The Fernbank Science Center has a parking lot where your charter bus can wait for you.

Image of sun during planetarium show at Fernbank Science Center

Image Credit

Historical Destinations

You don’t have to go to a museum to learn about the history of Atlanta. One of Atlanta’s most important areas, the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park, is completely free to visit. Take your group of kids to Dr. King’s birth home and the old Ebenezer Baptist Church where he used to preach (the new Ebenezer Baptist Church is also nearby).

Then, visit the King Center to see displays about Dr. King, Coretta Scott King, and Mahatma Gandhi. This is also where you can pay your respects at Dr. and Mrs. King’s tombs, which are surrounded by a beautiful fountain.

Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park

Price: Free
Address: 450 Auburn Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30312
Where to park: Since there is no designated parking lot, your charter bus will need to drop you off and park in one of several paid lots a few minutes away.

Dr. and Mrs. King's tombs

Image Credit

Another notable historical destination in Atlanta is Oakland Cemetery. First erected in 1850, it provides a resting place for famous Atlantans like Margaret Mitchell, Maynard Jackson, Bobby Jones, and Selena Sloan Butler. It’s also large, making it a great place to let your kids stretch their legs. The cemetery hosts a 5K run every year, and it’s always free to visit.

Oakland Cemetery

Price: Free
Address: 248 Oakland Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30312
Where to park: Buses can’t fit in the cemetery’s parking lot, so your charter bus driver will need to park along the street on Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive or Oakland Avenue.

Nature Centers

Atlanta has plenty of nature centers on the outskirts of the city where you can go for a hike or stop for a picnic with your group. Dunwoody Nature Center offers woods intersected by walking trails and a playground, while Autrey Mill Nature Preserve & Heritage Center combines its walking trails with historic buildings from the late 1800s that you can explore as you hike.

Dunwoody Nature Center

Price: Free
Address: 5343 Roberts Dr, Dunwoody, GA 30338
Where to park: The Nature Center has a small parking lot, and nearby Dunwoody Park offers additional parking if your charter bus won’t fit.

Autrey Mill Nature Preserve & Heritage Center

Price: Free
Address: 9770 Autrey Mill Rd, Johns Creek, GA 30022
Where to park: Multiple parking areas are available on Autrey Mill Road surrounding the preserve.

Historic house at Autrey Mill

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If you’d like to stay within the city, consider Blue Heron Nature Preserve. Located in northern Atlanta, this 30-acre wooded area includes the 3-mile Blueway walking trail, bike rental, a turtle sanctuary, and wildflowers.

Or maybe you’re willing to go a little farther out, but you want more space to explore in exchange. Try Chattahoochee Nature Center, which has 127 acres of woods filled with walking trails, creeks, and wildlife like owls, bats, and beavers. You can even treat your kids to canoeing or ziplining if you’re willing to spend a little extra money.

Blue Heron Nature Preserve

Price: Free
Address: 4055 Roswell Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30342
Where to park: The Preserve doesn’t have much parking, so your charter bus driver can drop you and your kids off and then park in one of the public lots in the North Buckhead neighborhood.

Chattahoochee Nature Center

Price: $10 for adults (18+), $7 for teens (13-17), $6 for kids (12 and under)
Address: 9135 Willeo Rd, Roswell, GA 30075
Where to park: Chattahoochee Nature Center has its own large parking lot where your bus can wait for you.

Chattahoochee Nature Center

Parks and Running Trails

You don’t have to go to a nature preserve to walk or have a picnic. If you’re with young kids who might get lost in the woods or you want to stay closer to the center of Atlanta, the city has a variety of parks and walking trails you can take kids to.

One of Atlanta’s most popular greenspaces is Piedmont Park. Located in the heart of Midtown, Piedmont offers abundant space for biking or picnics and also hosts free seasonal festivals like the Atlanta Dogwood Arts Festival and the Atlanta Ice Cream Festival. The paths are paved and many are wheelchair-accessible, making this a great option for kids with disabilities. You can request an ADA-accessible charter bus with a wheelchair lift, wider aisles, and wheelchair seating if you need one.

Piedmont Park

Price: Free
Address: 400 Park Dr NE, Atlanta, GA 30306
Where to park: Piedmont Park doesn’t have its own parking, but your charter bus driver can drop you off and find parking in a paid lot in Midtown.

People jogging in Piedmont Park

If you’re already going to Piedmont Park, you’ll want to check out the attraction nearly everyone in Atlanta recommends while you’re there. The Beltline, Atlanta’s most popular walking trail, runs from Piedmont Park in the north to Inman Park in the south and is always filled with groups biking, running, or just strolling.

On your way down the Beltline, take a break from exercising at Ponce City Market, a shopping/dining complex where you can treat your group of kids to ice cream or tacos. Your charter bus can even pick you up here if your kids are getting tired and need some AC.

Ponce City Market along the Beltline

Price: Free
Address: 675 Ponce De Leon Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30308
Where to park: Where your charter bus parks depends on where you want to be picked up from the Beltline. Piedmont and Inman Park have paid lots nearby, and Ponce City Market has pick-up areas and parking surrounding it.

Atlanta Beltline in the evening

Explore Atlanta with Kids on a Budget

You don’t have to spend a fortune on tickets to Six Flags or the Georgia Aquarium to have a great time with kids in Atlanta. The city has plenty of parks, walking trails, nature centers, and museums that you can visit with your art class or dance team for little or no money.

Once you finish drawing up your itinerary, give Falcon Charter Bus a call. We’ll help you transport your kids safely without worrying about carpooling or blowing your budget on rideshares. Contact us today at 404-400-3545 to start planning your trip.