Get Familiar with the Fernbank Museum of Natural History
The Fernbank Museum of Natural History in Atlanta, Georgia, is more than just your average museum. With exhibits on everything from globally-sourced seashells to dinosaurs, plus a 75-acre wooded area filled with trails and educational displays, it brings science to life in the most enjoyable way possible.
Reserve a full day (or at the very least, a long afternoon) to admire its myriad of displays, take a stroll through WildWoods and Fernbank Forest, and catch a 3D flick on the 4-story screen in the spacious theater.
Fernbank Museum Exhibits and Outdoor Activities
As a museum filled with natural history exhibits, you’d logically expect Fernbank Museum to have displays featuring dinosaurs and the physics of the natural world. But Fernbank takes that one step further by including galleries on culture and art. At the Fernbank Museum, thousands of years of human activity is considered natural history. It offers both permanent and rotating exhibits; below you’ll find a description of the permanent museum exhibits.
- Fantastic Forces — Get an up-close-and-personal view of lightning, launch rockets, and even create your own wind tunnel in the newest addition to Fernbank Museum.
- NatureQuest — This kid-friendly area will transform your curious little ones into miniature scientists as they explore a multi-level clubhouse and examine the insides of a giant red oak tree!
- Dinosaur Plaza — Pose for a selfie with Georgia, Ferny, and Haddie, the bronze family of Lophorhothon atopus dinosaurs, or relax in the sunshine for a bit after wandering around the museum.
- Giants of the Mesozoic — Prehistoric Patagonia comes alive in an exhibit filled with dinosaurs battling it out to be the top of the food chain. You can’t miss the 123-foot long Argentinosaurus, the largest dinosaur ever discovered, as it stands guard over the Great Hall.
- A Walk Through Time in Georgia — More than 15 galleries and displays comprise the signature exhibition of Fernbank Museum of Natural History, which explores millions of years of geological and natural phenomena in Georgia.
- Reflections of Culture — Personal adornments from around the world and different eras are the focus of this intriguing exhibit. Examine how people of the world express themselves through their clothing, accessories, and body art.
- Conveyed in Clay — Using pottery as a lens, Conveyed in Clay: Stories from St. Catherines Island explores 5,000 years of human history, from the oldest pots discovered in North America to the introduction of Spanish majolica in the mission era.
- Curator’s Corner — This special gallery features a rotating display of intriguing items from Fernbank Museum’s permanent collection.
- World of Shells — Even non-shell fanatics will be fascinated by this collection of globally-sourced shells, supplemented by information on how shells are formed and the animals that use them.
WildWoods and Fernbank Forest are the new exciting outdoor additions to the museum. Open year-round, both areas overflow with florae and faunae that you can observe from above or via the snaking trails. Don’t miss the Nature Gallery inside WildWoods, an area that hosts giant sculptures illustrating the reproductive cycle of the sweetgum tree as well as special regularly changing nature-inspired exhibitions.
Learn more about special semi-permanent exhibits on the Fernbank Museum website.
The Best Time to Visit Fernbank Museum
The museum is open every day except for Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. If you’re planning to catch a movie and mosey around the outdoor section, you should probably get there when it opens so you’ll have enough time to explore at your leisure. Official operating hours can be found on the Fernbank Museum website. Definitely keep an eye on their online calendar for special programs (like Fernbank After Dark) and one-off events. You never know what’s going to pop up at Fernbank Museum.
Fernbank Museum Parking
Fernbank Museum does offer free parking, but space is limited. Overflow traffic can take advantage of street parking, but be sure to allow extra time to find a spot. One more reason to get there bright and early!
Can You Bring Food Into the Fernbank Museum?
While the Fernbank Cafe offers food and beverages, you can bring your own lunch for yourself and your family. Although no food is permitted in the exhibit galleries, you can eat in the cafe, on one of the museum benches, or outside on the patio.
Fernbank offers Sensory Mornings on one Saturday each month where they open early and movie is not as loud or bright as it typically plays. They also offer a series of special sensory events, designed for guests with sensory sensitivities, special needs or various physical abilities who might benefit from a less-crowded environment. These events will provide a quieter and calmer environment for guests to explore the full museum as well as experience a sensory-friendly movie in the Giant Screen Theater. Tickets can be purchased online using the links below or by calling 404-929-6400.
Learn more at the official Fernbank Museum website.
Where to Buy Fernbank Museum Tickets
You can purchase tickets for the Fernbank Museum ahead of time on the website or at the box office when you arrive. However, if you’re planning on visiting a variety of Atlanta’s most popular tourist attractions, check out Atlanta CityPASS. You’ll score tickets to the World of Coca-Cola, the Georgia Aquarium, National Center for Civil and Human Rights, and more, at close to half off their gate admission price.
The Fernbank Museum of Natural History in Atlanta is an experience you don’t want to miss. You’ll leave with a better understanding of how the natural phenomenon we take for granted actually works, as well as an appreciation for the incredible world of Mother Nature. If dinosaurs, hands-on scientific exhibits, treetop walkways, and more sound appealing, make sure to stop by the Fernbank Museum next time you’re in Atlanta.
To get the most out of your stay in Atlanta, we recommend finding lodging near Atlanta's top attractions like the Fernbank Museum of Natural History. Use this map to find the right lodging for you:
Explore the Fernbank Museum for Less With CityPASS
Why pay full price for admission when you can save up significantly on Atlanta’s top attractions? Your CityPASS admission grants you discounted access to must-see attractions like the Fernbank Museum of Natural History, Zoo Atlanta, College Football Hall of Fame, and more! Whether you’re a visitor or a resident, grab your Atlanta CityPASS so you can experience more for less.