Looking for affordable family fun? With summer slowly creeping upon us, it's important to have exciting, family activities planned for the months ahead. Whether you're trying to beat the heat or have fun in the sun, check out these free and low cost Athens adventures that will complete any family's summer agenda!


1. Escape!

Escape the Space


Test your skills and experience an adventure unlike any other at one of Athens' premiere escape rooms this summer. Escape the Space and Urban Enigmas are two of Athens' most crazed, summer experiences. Escape rooms are unique and interactive challenges where you find clues, complete riddles, and connect with others. Do you have what it takes to escape? 


2. Kayak

Big Dogs on the River

Cool off this summer by taking advantage of the only river trip in Athens. Big Dogs on the River will guide you down the marvelous Oconee and surround you with the natural beauty of Athens, GA. Enjoy a 2-3 hour kayak trip with friends and family, open to beginners and experienced kayakers alike.  


3. Active Climbing

Active Climbing


Whether you have been rock climbing for years or are eager to learn, Active Climbing is the perfect place to escape the heat and stay active. Open to all ages, this indoor climbing facility offers traditional boulder climbing, rope walls, and a wide range of courses for any skill level of climbing. Friday night is Family Night, so come climb with your family and get a free belay lesson!


4. Music Festivals

AthFest 2016 home page banner


Summer is the best time of the year for the family to sample Athens' world-famous music scene. Come celebrate 20 years of Athfest! June 24-26th, Athens will be hosting a music and arts festival in downtown Athens that has been named a Top 20 Event by the Southeast Tourism Society. Enjoy food trucks, vendors, and live music on free outdoor stages. Don't think Athens has forgotten about its youngest community members. Kidsfest is a special area of the festival for kids, including kid-friendly bands, arts and crafts, a Kids Dance Party and more!

*UPDATE: This year's AthFest will be on June 23-25. 

The music doesn't stop there- the Sunflower Music Series will be playing in its 16th season this summer. The State Botanical Garden of Georgia will be hosting both world-renown and new artists in the amphitheater and terraced lawns of its lovely Flower Garden. Come enjoy original music and a beautiful, botanical environment with company of your family.


5. Rush Athens Trampoline

Rush Athens


Add a little bounce to your step by visiting Rush Athens Trampoline Park this summer vacation. Immerse yourself in the fluffy foam pits or get active on one of the many trampoline courts, such as the dodgeball court, slamdunk court, and Georgia's only ninja court. Rush Athens is open to all ages, including special Toddler Time for your youngest family members and a Parent's Lounge where parents can relax and watch their kids.


6. Sandy Creek Park & Lakeside Trail

Sandy Creek Park


Athens' "beach" at Sandy Creek Park is truly a coveted spot in our classic city. Enjoy the sunshine and pack a picnic with friends and family, or take advantage of one of Athens' top fishing spots. Canoe, kayak, and paddle board rentals are all available, as well as the use of one of the many athletic courts. Whether you choose to lay out and relax or participate in outdoor activities, the scenery itself is worth the trip. 


7. The Rook & Pawn

Rook & Pawn Wall


Take Family Game Night out on the town and to a whole new level! If you need a break from draining summer activities, stop by the Rook & Pawn board game café. With over 400 tabletop games for all ages, The Rook & Pawn will serve your inner child, along with great food, gourmet coffee, and a wide variety of beer, wine, and spirits. 


8. State Botanical Garden

State Botanical Garden of Georgia Tropical Conservatory


The State Botanical Garden of Georgia is indisputably one of the most beautiful spots in Athens. The serene atmosphere provides a family-friendly setting where you can enjoy your surroundings and learn about plant collection, the natural area, and the trails. The State Botanical Garden serves as a venue for several concerts and family festivals, such as Insectival. The Garden even hosts a full moon hike, where you can be educated on the moon, constellations, and noctornal creatures.


9.  Sandy Creek Nature Center

Sandy Creek


Open the gateway to outdoor exploration and experience the Sandy Creek Nature Center. With 225 acres of woodlands and wetlands, a planetarium, and a newly-expanded exhibit hall, there's always something new to discover. Don't forget to mark your calendar on June 4th for Snake Day, where you can participate in crafts, games, and interact with animals!

*UPDATE: Snake Talk date for this year is TBA. 


10. Memorial Park & Bear Hollow Zoo



Memorial Park & Bear Hollow Zoo is home to black bears, bobcats, and several other species of Georgia's native wildlife. Get a glimpse of the various wild, free-living animals that call this zoo home. Every Saturday from 1-4 p.m., the exhibit hall is open to the public featuring live animals to see and touch. Best of all? It's free!


Want even more ideas for affordable things to do for families in Athens? Check out our events calendar and family fun page for special happenings!