I just love Athens! We’ve lived in the Athens area for about 10 years now and it’s awesome. So diverse, so educational, and so many things to do! If you’re looking for some free things to do with kids in Athens, here’s a roundup for you!
World of Wonder Playground: Climb, Walk, Jump, Slide, and enjoy this huge playground that Athens offers!
Lyndon House Arts Center: This is a very historic house. The interior has been restored and arranged with decorative art and furnishings of the period. All exhibitions are free and open to the public during regular gallery hours – Tuesdays and Thursdays from noon to 9:00 p.m., and Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Lyndon House Arts Center is closed on Saturdays when there is a University of Georgia home football game.
Bear Hollow Zoo: This small zoo is fun and easy to walk through with the kids. There are animal facts along your walk that you can read with the kids. There are often activities and open classroom times that you can find on their website. After the zoo, take a walk around Memorial Park next door, have a picnic, and play on the play sets.
Sandy Creek Nature Center: Consisting of over 225 acres and 4 miles of trails, you’ll have something to do all day long. If you prefer to stay indoors, the Visitor Center includes live reptiles, amphibians, marine and freshwater aquariums, interactive natural history exhibits, and an incredible resource library, all housed in an eco-friendly building. Often you can find special programs for free or sometimes an additional cost.
State Botanical Garden of Georgia: This is another one that is mostly outdoors but with a nice indoor greenhouse as well. Gorgeous plants and shrubs to look at and lots of great walking trails. Perfect spot for family photographs! They also have special programs available at an additional cost.
Athens Clarke-County Library: The library not only has books, but has plenty of computers for the kids to play on, dollhouses, puzzles, and more! Ask at the children’s section desk for the puzzles or games. Often they have puppet shows, story times, movie nights, and more. Great way to get out of the house on a rainy day.
The Tree That Owns Itself: This one is actually just a quick driveby, but my kids find it fascinating. The land on which the tree stands was originally owned by Col. William H. Jackson, a professor at the University of Georgia. Legend has it that in the early 1800s, Professor Jackson, out of love for the great oak, deeded to the tree ownership of itself and the land within eight feet of it on all sides. It is located at the Corner of Finley St. and Dearing St.
Bishop Park: This is one of our favorite parks to play at during the nice days. The only downfall is the bathroom is a little bit of a hike from the playground. There are tennis courts and swimming pools at this park as well.
Harris Shoals: This is located in Watkinsville, but I’m told it’s worth the short drive. Bring a picnic lunch and play clothes so the kids can play in the water and on the shoals. The entrance of the park is at Harris Shoals Drive, which is located on Highway 53 between Interstate 441 and VFW Drive.
Please let me know if you know of other great spots to add to this list!