Insider’s guide to vising many Georgia museums at no cost

Georgia public library cardholders can score free passes to visit the Worlds of Puppetry Museum in Atlanta to view iconic puppets such as Kermit the Frog and Big Bird. Courtesy Center for Puppetry Arts

Visiting a museum is a great way to get out of the scorching heat on a July afternoon. It’s even more enjoyable when you can do it for free.

To help you plan a cool getaway, Walton Gas has compiled a list of area museums you can visit at no cost anytime or on certain days. We also have the scoop on ways you can score free passes to several popular places.

Always FREE

• Atlanta Monetary Museum • Atlanta

The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s museum showcases the history of money and provides a view of the Bank's automated vault where millions of dollars are counted, sorted and shredded daily.

• Georgia Capitol Museum • Atlanta

Check out what’s under the magnificent gold dome with free, self-guided tours at this National Historic Landmark listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

• Fernbank Science Center • Atlanta

Operated by the DeKalb County School System, the museum features kid-friendly science and astronomy exhibits. There is a charge for the planetarium shows.

• Museum of History and Holocaust Education • Kennesaw, Kennesaw State University

Explore the lives and experiences of World War II and the Holocaust through interactive galleries, personal stories and a theater playing movies focused on this compelling era.

• Robert C. Williams Museum of Papermaking • Atlanta, Georgia Tech campus

This internationally renowned resource on the history of paper and paper technology features more than 7,000 books, as well as a collection of over 10,000 watermarks, papers, tools, machines and manuscripts.

• Georgia Museum of Art • Athens, University of Georgia campus

The official art museum of the state of Georgia houses more than 10,000 works alongside a host of temporary exhibitions. The outdoor property features a sculpture garden highlighting women sculptors.

• Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall Sports Museum • Athens, University of Georgia campus

Bulldog athletics, both men's and women's, are celebrated in exhibits featuring the greatest moments in Georgia sports history and favorite UGA athletes. See championship trophies and a Heisman trophy.

• Museum of Aviation • Warner Robbins

The second largest museum in the U.S. Air Force, the 51-acre facility includes four climate-controlled exhibit buildings housing 85 historic U.S. Air Force aircraft, missiles, cockpits and exhibits.

• National Infantry Museum • Columbus

More than 70,000 artifacts, monuments, interactive exhibits and video presentations cover nearly 250 years of history and pay tribute to Army infantrymen.

• National Prisoner of War Museum • Andersonville, Andersonville National Historic Site

Former prisoners of war helped to create this museum, the only one in the nation dedicated solely to interpreting the American POW experience from the Revolutionary War to today. The exhibits feature many touchable items.

Select free admission days

• High Museum of Art • Atlanta

The largest museum for visual art in the Southeastern U.S. offers free admission on the second Sunday of each month from noon to 5p.m. with special family programming. Visitors still must have a reservation and a timed ticket to enter. Children under six are always free.

• Booth Western Art Museum • Cartersville

Visit the world’s largest permanent exhibition space for Western art — in paintings, sculpture photography and artifacts —for free on the first Thursday of each month between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. The 120,000-square-foot facility is an affiliate to the Smithsonian Institution.

Free with Georgia public library card

Cardholders at Georgia’s public libraries can check out passes to visit museums, state parks and historic sites in the state. Ask your local library how you can get free admission to:

• Worlds of Puppetry Museum • Atlanta

Fans of the Muppets and Sesame Street will especially enjoy getting a behind-the-scenes look at their favorite Jim Henson creations that reside at this museum celebrating all things puppetry. Georgia library cardholders can reserve up to four free passes to the museum. Free admission does not include puppet shows.

• Georgia Sports Hall of Fame • Macon

In a building that resembles a turn-of-the-century ballpark, find high-energy, interactive displays covering the state’s history in prep, college, amateur and professional sports. Check out a Macon Museum Pass at your local library to visit for free.

• Tubman African American Museum • Macon

The Tubman African American Museum is the largest of its kind in the Southeast dedicated to educating people about the art, history and culture of African Americans. Check out a Macon Museum pass at your local library to visit for free.

Free under select conditions

• Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum • Atlanta

Explore the legacy of the nation's 39th president, and the only Georgian ever to be president, amid a 30-acre greenspace. This is a free museum for kids 16 and younger, however there is an admission cost for adults and seniors.

• Museums On Us • Select museums statewide

Bank of America and Merrill Lynch offer their cardholders free general admission — during the first full weekend of every month — to cultural institutions throughout the nation. Among the Georgia locations is the Tellus Science Museum in Cartersville. An affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, the 120,000-square-foot facility is a favorite for its fossils, minerals and science-in- motion exhibits.

• Southeastern Railway Museum • Duluth

Gwinnett County Public Library cardholders can receive a pass for free admission for two adults and two children to visit Georgia’s Official Transportation History Museum. It features a large collection of real, life-size trains, cars and buses that have been part of Georgia history; as well as an enormous collection of railroad memorabilia.

• SCAD Museum of Art • Savannah

Residents of Savannah or any of its surrounding counties (Chatham, Bryan, Effingham, Liberty, Beaufort and Jasper) can visit free of charge on the second Sunday of every month. Affiliate with the renowned Savannah College of Art and Design, this premier contemporary art museum features works by emerging and established international artists.


Remember to always check websites for hours of operation, free pass blackout dates, exclusions and other policies associated with free admissions at any museum you intend to visit.