Summer is in full force, and let's face it: The heat is on! The kids are looking for ways to have fun, and you're looking for inexpensive memory-making opportunities. Here are 10 Atlanta-area events that guarantee fun without breaking the bank.
Little Acorns at Avalon (FREE) – Bring your pre-school aged kiddos to the Plaza at Avalon for pint-sized adventure each Tuesday from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. You relax while the Avalon Experience Makers entertain the kids with story time, face-paint, magicians and more.
CreateATL (FREE) - Family-oriented programming led by the Alliance Theatre, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and High Museum of Art feature free activities starting at 1 p.m. every Sunday, including art-making activities, interactive musical story times, composers-in-training sessions, instrument making, drop-in acting classes and more.
Second Sunday Fundays (FREE) – Beginning in June, High Museum offers free admission to families on the second Sunday of each month from noon – 5 p.m.. Pair this with CreateATL (above,) and you've filled the day. Each Sunday features a different theme, with a promise for exciting forms of expression for your little ones.
Georgia State Parks ($5 per car) – Take a hike! If that's not your thing, you can relax at a lake beach, play disc golf, hunt for a geocache, paddle a canoe and much more. The state parks are an endless supply of fun for only a $5 daily parking pass. Plan to visit more often? A Friends of Georgia State Parks membership includes an annual parking pass and additional benefits.
Book Nook Series (FREE) – Jimmy Carter Library offers a free Book Nook program every Wednesday in June and July at 10 a.m.. All ages are welcome, but the half-hour program focuses on children 2-5 years old. Afterward, tour the gardens for free. You can also see a full-scale replica of the Oval Office if you visit the museum; kids 16 and younger are free with a paid adult.
MODA (Varies) – Children younger than 5 years old are always free, and kids 6-17 (and college students!) can enjoy the Museum of Design Atlanta for only $5. Still too much? MODA offers free admission every second Sunday, with fun for the whole family.
Regal's Summer Movies Express ($1) – For nine weeks of summer, participating Regal Cinemas offer 10 a.m. children's movies for only $1. From Paddington to Mr. Peabody, there is something for everyone. Atlanta's closest locations include Medlock Crossing, Avalon, Town Center and Austell.
Roswell Summer Puppet Series ($5) – Roswell's beloved puppet series is back for another year. Artful puppeteers perform especially for kids, with shows like Sleeping Beauty and The Emperor's New Clothes. Often times after a show, the puppets are available for kids to see and touch. New this year is a puppet-making workshop on Tuesday and Thursday following the 10 a.m. show.
Saturday Morning Live (FREE) – The Earl Smith Strand Theatre plays Saturday morning movies for the whole family in June and July, and it's free for the whole family. Shows play at two times so you don't miss the fun.
Splash grounds (Varies) – Nothing helps beat the heat like playing in the water. Splash grounds are practical for parents of little kids because there is generally very little water accumulation. Many splash grounds are free like the Rings at Centennial Park or the Town Green Fountain in Duluth. Others, like those at East Roswell Park or Riverside Park are $2 per person, and kids under 1 year old are free. Don't forget a swim diaper and picnic lunch. If you prefer a pool to a splash ground, get the skinny here.