Things to Do Near Atlanta University Center

When studying gets you down, take a break and enjoy some of Atlanta's best attractions.
  • Volunteer at Theatrical Outfit and see shows for free.
    Volunteer at Theatrical Outfit and see shows for free.
  • If you are a Georgia resident, get into Georgia Aquarium free on your birthday.
    If you are a Georgia resident, get into Georgia Aquarium free on your birthday.
  • Many events at The Carter Center are free.
    Many events at The Carter Center are free.

One of the great things about being a student at one of the four Atlanta University Center schools is that your school -- Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Morehouse School of Medicine or Spelman College -- is located right in the heart of so many of Atlanta’s top attractions. Of course, many of them are beyond your starving-college-student budget. But, take heart, there are free things to do nearby and MARTA can get you close to many others. And, hey, for the pricier venues, keep your grades up and maybe your parents will reward you with a bonus every now and then.


  • Centennial Olympic Park – This legacy from the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta is a magnet for runners, walkers or people like you who want to sit and chat with friends in a beautiful setting.

  • Woodruff Park – Also downtown, Woodruff Park even has an outdoor reading room. And check the website for the dates of free yoga in the park.

  • Little 5 Points – There are restaurants in L5P and lots of fun shops. So you can fork over a little money there. But one of the best things about this eclectic neighborhood is that it’s a fun place for walking around and taking in the sights.

  • Krog Street Tunnel – Escape to another world here, where you’ll find lots of street art (along with tags for things to do).

  • Ponce City Market – Similar to Little 5 Points, Ponce City Market has shops and eateries to temp your pocketbook, but it’s such a bustling place that it is invigorating just to walk through and not spend a dime.

  • Atlanta BeltLine Eastside Trail – Now here is an Atlanta treasure. Walk it. Bike it. Breathe in fresh air and renew your spirit.

  • The King Center – You can spend hours here, and it’s extremely inspirational. Even better, it’s a unit of the National Park Service, so all the attractions are absolutely free.

  • Georgia Aquarium – If you are a Georgia resident (and that doesn’t mean if you are from out of state and live in Georgia because you are a student), bring your ID that shows that you, in fact, reside in Georgia and get free admission on your birthday.

  • Atlanta Monetary Museum -- Located at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, the museum features a display on the history of money; interactive, multimedia exhibits explaining the Federal Reserve's role in the economy; and a view of the bank's automated vault and cash processing areas.

Spiritual Sanctuaries

  • Central Presbyterian – It’s right across the street from the state capitol. Make mom and dad proud and attend a service or two. Sunday service at 11 a.m.

  • Big Bethel AME – Right on Atlanta’s famous Auburn Avenue, Big Bethel has two Sunday morning services.

  • Ebenezer Baptist Church – You can attend Sunday services at the newer Ebenezer Baptist Church, and you also can visit the historic church where Martin Luther King Jr. and his father were pastors. The historic church is part of The King Center.

For the Thespian in You

  • 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!”

Not Too Pricey

  • 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).

  • CNN Studio Tours – If you’re a news junkie then fork over $15 with your valid student ID and see how the news is made.

  • Center for Civil and Human Rights – This museum is ultra-inspirational. You will leave hoping you can help make the world a better place. With $2 off admission price with your valid student ID, your entry price is $14.

  • Alliance Theatre – When they are available, student tickets can be purchased for $10, including all taxes and fees. These 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 404-733-5000 in advance to check availability.

  • High Museum of Art – Half-price off the admission price (meaning you pay $10) gets you into Friday Jazz at the High. Go, and meet new friends.


  • Philips Arena and Georgia Dome – OK, we know that tickets to musical performances are way outside your budget. However, if your favorite artist is coming to Atlanta, chances are he or she will perform at one of these arenas. Now is the time to beg your parents. If you are a basketball fan, the Atlanta Hawks also play at Philips.

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



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