If you’re looking to pull the kids away from the television screen this weekend but can’t stand the thought of visiting the same dull museums, consider a stop into the Wren’s Nest House Museum. One of Atlanta’s oldest museums, the former home of Joel Chandler Harris educates tykes on the life of the author of the famous Brer Rabbit stories. Every Saturday afternoon, one of several local readers thrills children by re-enacting one of Harris’s popular tales. The walls of the small home are lined with mementos from the author’s life, and the rich, green brocade and period furniture give a welcoming atmosphere that your children will warm to quickly. You may find yourself enchanted by the stories as well, and you’re guaranteed to come away with a new appreciation for the classic stories of Joel Chandler Harris.
The Museum of Design Atlanta educates design enthusiasts through subtle and brazen examples of design through rotating exhibits and conversational programs. In the small boutique museum's airy rooms, exhibits showcase design across a wide spectrum of objects. Guest speakers regale MODA audiences once a month with discussions of their work, divulging where they get their inspiration, how they started in design, and current projects they're developing.
When the Center for Puppetry Arts opened its doors in 1978, Jim Henson and Kermit the Frog were on hand to cut the ribbon. Fittingly, one of its first major exhibitions, The Art of the Muppets in 1981, attracted more than 50,000 attendees. Since then, the center has matured into a multifaceted complex equal parts museum, performance center, and hub for working artists.
Confined to plutonium-powered DeLoreans and unwieldy telephone booths, time travel is a dangerous and mischief-baiting activity. Instead, let history repeat itself as often as you can stand it with today’s Groupon: $42 gets two adults and up to four children or grandchildren (under 18) a yearlong family membership to the Fernbank Museum of Natural History (an $85 value). Individuals can purchase solo museum membership, including admission and member benefits for one person, for $30 (a $60 value).
Snuggled beside the Jimmy Carter Library, the museum explores the Carter administration through photographs, memorabilia, and multimedia installations. Museum guests are immersed in a modern American presidency as they peruse exhibits, watch videos, and re-enact their favorite executive orders in an exact replica of the Oval Office. Permanent exhibits display diplomatic gifts and detail the significant events of President Carter's life, political career, and little known stint as a ventriloquist. Rotating exhibits and special events explore American political history—the current special exhibit, Mixing Metaphors, displays more than 90 works of art from African American artists.
The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia preserves the Peach State's vibrant creative culture in a showcase featuring more than 600 original works from more than 200 area artistes. As members, art appreciators gain a year of free admission to the museum's expansive permanent collection—an enriching array of paintings, sculptures, embarrassing yearbook pictures, photographs, and digital media dating back to the 1940s—as well as admission to all special exhibitions, which include Georgia-based projects as well as the masterpieces and avant-garde papier-mâché volcanoes culled from international artists. If time spent among the collection makes your inner salmon jump merrily upstream, be sure to capitalize on members-only museum events and take museum memorabilia home from its online store, which offers member discounts.