Things To Do Near Emory University

Hey there, Emory students. Classes and studying come first. But sometimes you need to relax.
  • Georgia residents get into Georgia Aquarium free on their birthday.
    Georgia residents get into Georgia Aquarium free on their birthday.
  • Check with the Alliance Theatre for student discount tickets.
    Check with the Alliance Theatre for student discount tickets.
  • See IMAX films at Fernbank Museum of Natural History.
    See IMAX films at Fernbank Museum of Natural History.

As a student at an in-town university, you have the best of both worlds. Your first world, of course, is the campus of Emory University where you, quite naturally, spend most of your time. And what a pretty campus you have. Lucky for you, many of Atlanta’s best attractions are in close proximity to Emory; a couple, in fact, are right outside your door. Take a look at our picks of things to do near Emory University – because sometimes you just need a break.


  • Michael C. Carlos Museum – Wow. This gem is located right on the Emory campus, and because you are an Emory student, you get in for free. Not only are there fabulous exhibits at the Carlos, frequently there are fascinating events. For instance, you might enjoy the regular afternoon tea and scones lecture series.

  • David J. Spencer CDC Museum – Double wow. This one is a med student's dream come true. Affiliated with the Smithsonian and, of course, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the CDC Museum is free for everyone. And that means that, since it’s just down the street, you can wander in frequently. After you’ve seen the permanent exhibits, keep a watch for the four temporary exhibits on display each year. The museum is designed to educate about the value of prevention-based public health and also present the CDC’s heritage and accomplishments.

  • Georgia Aquarium – Imagine being just a hop, skip and a jump away from the largest aquarium in the Western Hemisphere! If you are a Georgia resident, bring your ID and get free admission on your birthday. (Unfortunately, this does not apply to students who are out-of-state residents going to school in Georgia.) The Aquarium houses thousands of species of animals on the premises. It's going to take a few visits to take it all in.

  • Decatur Square – Well, of course, you can spend money at the shops and restaurants on the square, but you don’t have to. Doesn’t cost a thing to walk around and breathe the air off campus.

  • Lullwater Park – If you don’t already know about this treasure right here in your midst, then get moving to change that. It’s a wonderful place to refresh amid the wonders of nature. Take a walk. Take a run. Sit by the lake. See if you are quick enough to snap a photo of a resident owl.

  • Glen Lake Park – It’s very near Emory, in a residential neighborhood in Decatur. Ah, enjoy the serenity.

Ask Your Parents

  • Fernbank Museum of Natural History – Since Fernbank is so close to Emory and there are so many things to do here, maybe your parents would buy a membership for you so that you can go often. Besides world’s largest dinosaurs and fascinating permanent exhibits, there are IMAX films that change regularly, Friday night Martinis and IMAX (if you are of age) and two brand new outdoor areas, WildWoods and Fernbank Forest.


  • Fernbank Science Center – There are free things to do here. For example, planetary observations are free every Thursday and Friday night from 9 p.m. (or dark) until 10:30. And an astronomer is on hand to answer questions. There’s also a planetarium where admission is only $7.

  • Alliance Theatre – Located in Midtown, the Alliance is not too far away from Emory. And, depending on availability, student tickets can be purchased for $10, including all taxes and fees. Student Rush tickets require your student ID to be presented and must be purchased in person at the Woodruff Arts Center Box Office on the day of the performance. You may call the Box Office at 404-33-5000 in advance to check availability.

  • High Museum of Art – Also in Midtown in the same arts complex as the Alliance Theatre, find the High Museum. Half-price off the admission price (meaning you pay $10) gets you into Friday Jazz at the High.

  • Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA) – Directly across the street from the High Museum is MODA. Admission is $5 for college students. You never know what might be happening at MODA, but if things like 3-D printing interest you, then check it out.

  • William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum – Also in Midtown, this museum is known as The Breman. Student admission is only $6. Tour the Holocaust exhibit and check to see about new exhibits that appear regularly. Sometimes there are free lectures.

  • Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum – Admission is only $6 with your valid student ID. Not only that, it’s wise to check the website from time to time because events are often free. To cite just one example, The Carter Center hosts several meet and greet author appearances each month, and most are free. Of course, if you want a book, you’ll have to pay (but you’ll get an autographed copy).


  • Theatrical Outfit – Volunteer at this downtown theater and get complimentary tickets to shows. In addition, sometimes volunteer work brings discounts to restaurants and to various events at the theater.

  • Fox Theatre – If you love Broadway shows, then keep your eye on the Fox because the theater often offers discount tickets to college students when Broadway comes to Atlanta.

  • Dad’s Garage Theatre Company – Here is what the folks at this Atlanta improv theater say about the advantages of volunteering: “You'll see the show for free, the drinks are cheap, the staff is awesome and it's a heck of a lot of fun!”

Spiritual Sanctuaries

  • Emory Office of Spiritual and Religious Life – This office provides a comprehensive list of nearby churches.

  • Emory University Catholic Center – There’s a lot going on here, so it’s best to sign up for the newsletter so you don’t miss anything.

  • Emory Presbyterian Church – Here’s how this North Decatur Road church describes itself: “When we say, 'There is room for everybody,' we mean it! We welcome those in the LGBTQ community to worship with us. What we do NOT have room for is exclusion or marginalization based on race, ethnicity, gender, ability, spiritual path or sexual identity.”

For more things to do in Atlanta, look at our list of 50 Fun Things.

Journalist Carol Carter writes and edits for Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau.



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