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Athens is a vibrant and eclectic college town about an hour northeast of Atlanta. It's full of free things to do!
The Georgia Museum of Art
houses a permanent collection of more than 9,000 works of art as well as a variety of highly regarded traveling exhibitions. Admission is free, though donations are gladly accepted. Monthly Family Days, typically the first Saturday of the month during the school year, provide an excellent opportunity for children to learn about art through gallery activities and hands-on craft projects related to the theme of a current exhibit. Gallery Hours: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. Wednesday, and 1 – 5 p.m. Sunday. Closed Mondays and most state and federal holidays.90 Carlton St., University of Georgia Performing and Visual Arts Complex, 706-542-4662, http://www.uga.edu/gamuseum
The Lamar Dodd School of Art, UGA’s art school, hosts revolving shows of student, faculty and professional work. Free admission. 8 AM-5 PM Mon.-Fri. Closed during UGA holidays. Visual Arts Bldg., Jackson St. and Gallery 2, 257 W. Broad St. 706-542-1511. www.visart.uga.edu.
The Tate Student Center Gallery/Room 309 displays artwork by students and local artists as well as international exhibits. Closed during summer and UGA holidays. Free. 8 AM-midnight daily. Sanford Dr., Tate Student Center. 706-542-6396.
The Hugh Hodgson School of Music at the University of Georgia maintains a full calendar of performances not only by students, but also by faculty and renowned guests. Concerts are free unless otherwise indicated in the event’s description. 250 River Rd., UGA Campus, 706-542-3737, www.music.uga.edu
Athens’ world-renowned music scene is also one of the most affordable, with a variety of music playing nightly in local clubs. Tickets or cover charges are typically nominal. For a weekend of FREE outdoor music, head to town in June for AthFest (12th Annual is June 18-22, 2008). The sounds of Athens will pour out from a stage set in the middle of downtown’s action. In addition to over 100 bands with local ties, AthFest also features a juried artists exhibition and plenty of festival activities for the family. Want to head into the clubs after the outdoor stages shut down for the night? All-access festival wristbands are just $15 for the weekend. www.athfest.com
Athens is home to several house museums, two of which are free to tour.