Fernbank Natural History Museum is a great place for kids and proms. I say that because both my junior and senior prom were held there. Sadly, the giant dinosaur replicas that prominently reside in the great hall were absent for those dances. Which is a shame because posing in formalwear with an Argentinosaurus would have been pretty sweet. It might have distracted from my horrible hair BOTH years. You can have a wedding reception there with the Mesozoic dinos, though. It’s almost as if they didn’t trust a group of high school students…
Adult admission is $18 and children ages 3-12 are $16. Those kind of admission prices add up quickly, so after getting the chance to attend as guests of friends who are members a couple times, I decided to get a family membership. If you want to take your kids frequently, it a good deal. Depending on the family package you choose, it’s $120-$160 (other options also available). To further our luck, the grandparents bought us the membership for his birthday.
Atlanta gets very hot in the summer, so having a cool place to go with a play area and activities to keep kids busy is a nice tool to keep in the back pocket. My son Connor has special needs including epilepsy, autism and developmental delay due to tuberous sclerosis complex, so it can be even harder to find suitable activities. I try to go at non-peak times, like right when it opens, and — before he started school — on a school day, so that he could have the place more to himself. This year he will go full day to a special needs pre-K, so it is at this time that I will sadly let the membership lapse as weekends are quite popular, and while fine for most kids, crowds are not the best fit for him (the building and exhibits are very handicap accessible). However, we’ve had great fun on our many trips thus far.
Permanent displays include A Walk Through Time in Georgia which includes dioramas of the different regions, as well as displays of the chronological development of Earth. Kids enjoy the representations of the animals and plants of the various regions.
Sensing Nature is filled with interactive displays to stimulate the senses. Connor is pretty happy to play in the bubble exhibit, though he doesn’t mind spending some time with the plasma globe.
Read here to learn about other permanent exhibitions. They also have temporary traveling exhibits. Some past ones I enjoyed were Women of Vision, which displayed photos from around the world by female photojournalists, and an exhibit on the brain.
The unique play area called the Nature Quest with its different habitats, includes a clubhouse, bridges and an underwater scene. Say hi to the snake, turtles and baby alligators.
Even the floors at Fernbank are historical exhibits. The limestone tiles contain fossils from 150 million years ago.
Visit Fernbank at
767 Clifton Rd. Atlanta, GA 30307