Free Fun

Explore Georgia’s past by viewing the exhibits in public buildings such as historic courthouses and the state capitol. Self-guided tours are available free of charge, although donations are always welcome.


The DeKalb History Center Museum

The DeKalb History Center Museum

Hours: Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 101 East Court Square, Decatur. 404-373-1088.
Visit the main floor of the historic DeKalb County Courthouse (Old Courthouse on the Square) for three different exhibitions. Throughout August you can see “Dairies in DeKalb,” a history of dairy farming in the area; “Highlights from the Guy Hayes Collection,” a collection of more than 30 black-and-white photos – many taken in the 1950s and 1960s – by a prominent photojournalist; and “Scottdale Mills,” a look back at the textile mill that operated in DeKalb (1901-1982). These are all temporary exhibits; watch for other free exhibits at this same location.

The Georgia Capitol Museum

Hours: Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m.-5 p.m. 206 Washington St., Atlanta. 404-656-2846.
Have you ever seen a two-headed cow? How about a two-headed snake? Kids will be amazed when they see these preserved animals on display in our state capitol. A museum was started here in 1890 as one way to illustrate Georgia’s resources. Today, the entire fourth floor of the capitol houses various exhibitions and artifacts from Georgia’s earliest populations. Visitors can try the self-guided “Fun with Miss Freedom” activity tour; pick up materials at the tour desk.

Gwinnett Veterans Memorial Museum

Hours: Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sat., 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 185 Crogan St., Rm. 118, Lawrenceville. 770-921-1326.
Pay tribute to veterans everywhere by learning about their years of service and their varied experiences. This permanent collection includes uniforms, artifacts and other memorabilia that pay tribute to the men and women who have defended our land from the Revolutionary War to the present. The Gwinnett Veterans Council assembled each exhibit.

Douglas County Museum of History and Art

Hours: Tues.and Thurs., 1-5 p.m. 6754 West Broad St., Douglasville. 770-949-4090.
The old Douglas County courthouse was once for sale and disposal, but now you will find rotating exhibits from the mid-20th century here, as well as artifacts from private collections. Enjoy glimpsing everything from old lunch containers and cocktail shakers to phonographs and Coca-Cola collectibles.
– Sarah Egan