Living in Atlanta affords a multitude of opportunities to take in cultural landmarks, and the High Museum is at the very top of that list! If you haven’t visited the High Museum, or haven’t been in awhile, it’s SO much more than just an art museum (although their carefully curated collections will always remain the highlight of your visits.)
The High is accessible to avid art enthusiasts, as well as families looking to expose their young ones to the world of artistic expression. We’ve compiled 30+ ways your family can enjoy Atlanta’s quintessential art museum.
Regular Events At The High
Second Sundays. On the Second Sunday of each month, the High Museum hosts a day of family fun that includes FREE admission for every member of your family. In addition to taking in all the amazing exhibits within the museum, there are many special activities created for children and families. Exploring these opportunities adds still another chapter to the High adventure.
Family Tours. For an even greater experience, take advantage of the Weekend Family Tours for FREE on Saturdays and Sundays. From 2:00 – 3:00 pm, your family will be guided on a memorable interactive tour by a museum Docent.
Toddler Thursday. Join the High each Thursday for special programming aimed at your toddler age children. Themed activities and art projects take place from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. Explore the museum through Toddler Tours and learn about the world with Story Time. All activities are FREE with museum admission.
Teen Nights. Create original pieces with hands on art projects; local artists will help guide you in well-planned workshops. Listen to live performances and explore the art galleries through fun scavenger hunts. The High Museum becomes a very special place for teens for a night.
Friday Jazz. The Museum enhances the sensory experience on the third Friday of every month. Make a date to enjoy the live and lively jazz at the High Museum. Included in your museum admission, you can take in art and live music performances, with food and drink offerings. It takes places in the Atrium, but you are welcome to roam and take in all of the High’s current collections on display.
Summer Camps. Summers without school can be long and monotonous for kids. Art Camp at the High Museum is the perfect way to give your children something fun to do, while expanding their mind and learning about creating art at a major metropolitan museum. See our full list of summer camps here.
Toddler Takeover. For one magical day each year, toddlers take over the Woodruff Arts Center! In conjunction with the Alliance Theater and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the High Museum puts on a one-of-a-kind arts festival specifically for little ones. Your infant through five-year-olds will enjoy art making stations, story time and guided tours. Mark your calendar for this special annual event!
First Fridays. On the first Friday of every month from 6-9 pm, the High Museum holds a party to kick off a new month! You’ll find places to create your own art, live music and much more. It’s all FREE with a paid museum admission or museum membership…a great added value! Cash bar available.
Open Studio. If you have a teenager in your home that enjoys creating, this is a great wonderful opportunity for them! The High Museum offers an Open Studio time for teenagers on the first Friday of each month. Local artists and museum staff lead this hands-on time. Learn new techniques, use different mediums and make some new friends in a unique setting!
Studio Spring Break. Spring Break is a time of celebration for our kids, but let’s be honest, the beach is hot and Disney is crowded. If you choose to stay in town for Spring Break, the High Museum offers drop-in studio workshops. Your family can enjoy creating something beautiful together, while exploring the museum. This is also FREE with a paid admission or membership.
Winter Art Break. Take a timeout from the holiday hustle and head to the High Museum to create a one-of-a-kind piece. The hands-on workshop this year features a lantern, visit the High’s website for dates and times.
Day After Thanksgiving. Instead of battling the black Friday crowds, check out the High’s special Day After Thanksgiving event from 1-4 pm. You’ll be able to hear live music, create artwork, listen to story times and make memorable photographs at the Around the World photo booth! This special event is FREE with admission.
Saturday Studio. This monthly event designed for children ages 6-18 explores a different theme as well as the opportunity to view the High’s galleries, create works of art and learn from professional artists. Preregistration is required for this event.
Greene Family Learning Gallery. My boys absolutely LOVE this area of the museum. There are several different stations set up in a circular room designed to engage children’s’ imaginations. You will find everything from manipulatives, to books, to one-of-a-kind puppets. There are several different areas setup that your child can easily move between. We usually spend at least 30-45 minutes in this gallery, there’s so much to do!
Kids Love Anish Kapoor. Think your kids don’t appreciate art? Take them to see Kapoor’s piece in the Wieland Pavilion on the Skyway Level. It’s stainless steel, polished to look like millions of tiny mirrors. Kids will love to see themselves in the reflection – it’s one of the museum’s most #selfie’d pieces.
SmARTboxes. The High offers a free Kids Club program where you receive a SmARTbox upon registering. Our box contained the art project for the month, along with crayons and paper. It all came in a wonderful, sturdy box that latched closed and had a handle for carrying. My three-year-old toddler loved the box almost as much as the contents inside! The program includes boxes for younger children, and older children alike.
There’s An App For That. Did you need a little help understanding the art? Maybe you kiddo sees a piece you like that is new to you? Use the FREE app! ArtClix allows you (or your kiddo) to snap a photo, and the app uses image recognition to bring up the art piece and some back story on it! Shhh! Don’t tell them they’ll be learning something, too!
Membership Is Key. With a membership, you’ll receive FREE unlimited admission to special exhibitions, museum collections and Friday Jazz events. You will also receive invitations to members’ only events and previews. You’ll have no trouble finding friends to join you with $5 admission for up to five people per visit.
Picnics. The High Museum has a beautiful; grass front lawn, as well as an outdoor seating area. Both are perfect for an afternoon picnic! You’re welcome to bring your own food, or grab something from the Café inside the High. It’s a great way to help break up the day if you’re attending with little ones, who may need a break to run off some energy.
Free admission for 5 and under. The High Museum has made it affordable to be able to expose your children to exceptional art at an early age. Any child age 5 and under gets free admission and can enjoy everything the museum has to offer…one of my favorite perks!
Coffee & Snacks. If you need to grab a water or cup of coffee, visit CJ’s Coffee Cart in the Margaretta Taylor lobby. They also offer light snacks and baked goods. If you’re in the mood for something a little more substantial, find your way to the Octane Coffee Bar. You’ll find everything on the menu from espresso and coffee to beer and cocktails, as well as sandwiches, salads and pastries. If you’re in need of some kid friendly cuisine, head downstairs to the High Café, located in the Lower Level of the Stent Family Wing. Sample tasty soups and sandwiches, plus items from a children’s menu.
New Exhibitions. The High Museum offers a different experience each time you visit. With an ever-changing collection of artists and their works, there will almost certainly be something new for you to take in! Past exhibitions include the work of Andy Warhol, Paul Graham, Eric Carle, Alex Katz and SO much more.
Stroller-friendly Exhibits. To our delight, strollers are welcome in most areas of the museum. We took our jogging stroller and were so pleasantly surprised at how accessible each area of the museum was to us. I thought for sure we’d have to park it at some point and carry my youngest, but that wasn’t the case at all! The only time we took him out was to explore the Greene children’s area. We strolled him up and down the ramps to every floor. He was able to view the beautiful artwork, without us having to worry about his little fingers touching them. It also made it super easy to carry around our water, snacks, diapers and goodies we collected along the way. For those with toddlers, this is a great enhancement to the High experience!
Gift Shop. Make sure to stop in the Museum Shop located on the Lobby Level of the Wieland Pavilion before your visit ends. You’ll find apparel, books, jewelry, art kits and more. You’ll find items that you won’t find anywhere else, what a great place to do some Christmas shopping! Members also receive 10% off in the Museum Shop, as well as purchases made in the online shop.
Friendly Staff. If you have a question during your visit, there will most likely be a High Museum staff member very close by to help answer it. Their informed and friendly staff is strategically placed throughout the exhibits to assist in making your experience top notch. They can give directions or share information about the collections. Be sure to take advantage of these knowledgeable resources while you’re there!
Discovery Packs. These are such a wonderful addition to any visit to the High with children! Each Discovery Pack is filled with puzzles, art projects, games and books to ignite your child’s imagination, as well as help them make connections with the museum’s exhibits. These backpacks will lead your family on a 30-45 minute adventure, so be sure to factor that time into your visit. The packs are FREE and available to borrow from the coat check desk in the Taylor Lobby.
Affordable Parking. Did you know that Members can park for only $8 during museum hours! It goes up to $25 during special events.
Best Time For A Visit. Keep in mind that weekday mornings are filled with school children on a field trip, so the afternoon is best if you’re looking for a little quiet. Friday nights the museums is open until 9pm, which might be best with older kids or on a date night. Sundays are always filled with families, and are when families are most encouraged to come for programming and fun.
Family Restrooms. There’s nothing more stressful as a parent than to be in a public place and face a bathroom emergency with your child. The High has a very convenient family restrooms that are large enough to fit you, your child and a single stroller. We visited one in the main lobby after purchasing our tickets, as well as another on the second floor. Both were very clean and fit our needs perfectly.
Dedicated Nursing Rooms. The High has provided so many ways to welcome families, including a room designated for nursing mothers. Located in the Greene Family Education Center, the nursing room contains a changing table, comfortable seating, and reading materials for both mom and child, along with a door that locks to ensure privacy.
Photos Allowed! If you didn’t take a picture, did it really happen? The High not only allows, but also encourages their guests to document their visit to the museum. They do ask that you don’t use a flash, but other than that, snap away!
Re-Entry. If you need to grab something from your car, or want to leave to grab a bite to eat at a nearby restaurant, no need to worry. You can take a break and return for still more fun!
The High Museum is open Tuesday-Sunday; closed on Mondays. The operating hours on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday are 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. Friday offers extended hours until 9:00 pm, and Sunday opens a little later at 12:00 pm. They are centrally located at 1280 Peachtree Street, N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30309. Paid parking is available at the High Museum’s garage, as well as many others nearby. Depending on when you visit, you may be able to score a parallel street spot, but these go quickly.
Atlanta has a burgeoning culinary scene, and a trip to the High offers many of the city’s best restaurants within a one-mile radius. Check out places like Twelve Eighty, South City Kitchen Midtown, Bar Margot, Einsteins, and so many more!
With ALL the supplemental events that the High offers throughout the year, a museum membership is a tremendous value. There are multiple different membership options to suit different needs. Members gain free admission to all the special events, discounted parking, savings in the Museum Shop, and deeply discounted tickets for guests. Visit the High Museum’s Membership page to learn more!
The High Museum offers first-rate family fun, all year long! Be sure to check their event calendar online as they update things regularly and you definitely don’t want to miss out on a single thing they have in store.
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Disclosure: We are happy to work with the High Museum of Art as a 365 Atlanta Family Ambassador. The High is an amazing place for kids (and adults) to enjoy world class art.
After 18 years in software development, Lesli bailed on the corporate scene. When she’s not traveling, she’s hiking in the mountains or checking out Atlanta’s culinary scene, whiskey in hand.
Lesli has two kiddos -Cooper and Elliot- plus two bonus kids currently at UGA, and she’s happily married to her soul mate.