Free Things to Do that the Whole Family Will Enjoy!
(Plus Fun Things for $5 and under)
Visiting Columbus, GA doesn’t have to break your piggy bank! The Columbus-Phenix City metropolitan area in the heart of the Chattahoochee Valley offers plenty of fun things that are FREE or very cheap for you and your family to enjoy.
This list was compiled with the help of Columbus newcomer Ruchi Garg. If you know of any cheap activities that are not listed, then please leave a comment and we will definitely add them to this list.
Home Depot Kids Workshop
Participate in a free Home Depot Kids Workshop– Home Depot offers free workshops for kids on the First Saturday of each month. You can register online or can walk in the store.
Columbus Ice Rink
Get your skate on at the Columbus Ice Rink. (Public Skating on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 5 – 7 pm for $3 admission and skate rental). You can even try out for Hockey lessons.
Michaels Kids Club
Try one of Michaels store hosts the Passport to Imagination and Kids Club programs for kids.
Roller Skating at Xanadu Skate Center – Family Night on Sundays (Between 6-9 pm, skate admission is $3 with $2 Skate Rental or $3 for Inline or Speed Skate Rental)
Catch the latest movies at the Dollar movie theatre at Peachtree 8 for $2.25 from Sun – Thurs and $2.50 on Fri – Sat.
Bowlero Columbus offers Free Bowling for kids during the summer, up to 3 free games per day.
Sculpture Walk on Broadway
Look for original sculptures and artwork on the corners of Broadway between the blocks of 9th-13th Streets and also in the median.
Columbus Parks & Recreation
Columbus Parks & Rec provides passive and active recreational, educational, and cultural programming services for all age groups.
Looking for a cheap way to have fun at a water park? The leisure pool at Psalmond Road Super Center and Pool has water fountains, water buckets, and water slides.
You can cool off at the following Columbus Outdoor Pools: Shirley Winston pool, Ringdon Park pool and Double Churches pool.
Like to skateboard? Check out the Jonathan Hatcher Skateboard Park next to the Columbus Civic Center. Open daily. Users under the age of 12 MUST be supervised by a parent or guardian. Skate at your own risk.
Flat Rock Park –Slide down the rocks or go biking on marked trails at this beautiful local park located on Warm Springs Road.
Feed the ducks at Cooper Creek Park, located on Milgen Road.
Columbus Aquatic Center
The Columbus Aquatic Center located on Macon Road features two pools: an Olympic size swimming pool and a smaller Warm UP Pool. The center is open year round.
RiverWalk Splash Pad
The RiverWalk Splash Pad provides loads of fun for little ones and the older ones. The Splash Pad is open mid-April to Labor Day weekend.
Phenix City Splash Pads
Phenix City has two splash pads for your family to enjoy. Visit the Southside Park Splash Pad (2625 Sandfort Road) or visit the Idle Hour Splash Pad (900 Airport Rd). Both pads are connected to playgrounds. Both are open seven days a week from 10 am to 8 pm, weather permitting.
The Columbus RiverWalk has a 22-mile liner paved trail that follows the Chattahoochee River. The path takes you from Downtown Columbus to the drill fields of Fort Benning, with lots of stops interesting stops in between that include parks and attractions.
Bike Rentals. Take a leisurely bike ride along the Chattahoochee Riverwalk to see the rich heritage of Columbus. Bikes are available to rent on Broadway in Uptown Columbus.
The RiverWalk Island is one of the best places to view kayaking and whitewater rafting. You’ll find it directly below the Eagle and Phenix apartment complex. The Island is open daily from 9 am – 8 pm, depending on the weather.
Lounge in a hammock in the new hammock park, located at Woodruff Park next to the Dillingham Street bridge. The pocket park is composed of eight wooden posts with hooks for stringing up hammocks. At least eight people can use the area at once, and perhaps more if tension straps are used instead of the hooks.
Chattahoochee Valley Libraries
The Columbus Public Library provides hours of reading and has free events all week long. Be sure to check out the free family passes for Atlanta Zoo, Go-Fish, and Georgia State Parks.
Established in 1988, the corner features five preserved homes representing different eras of Georgia history. Among them is the Pemberton House, once the home of local pharmacist Dr. John Pemberton. He is renowned today as the inventor of Coca-Cola.
Bridging the Gap playground
Columbus has many playgrounds for some outdoor fun. The Bridging the Gap playground (located behind the Columbus Public Library) is specially designed so that it is accessible by children of all abilities and help stimulate kids’ senses to help them work better.
RiverMarket Antiques & Lunchbox Museum
Take a walk down the memory lane at RiverMarket Antiques. Rivermarket Antiques includes the Lunchbox Museum, the Museum of Southern Stoneware, the Museum of Transportation Memorabilia, and the Antique Mall.
Historic Linwood Cemetery
Tour Historic Linwood Cemetery-Tour Columbus’s first cemetery. See the grave of such notables as Dr. John S. Pemberton: the pharmacist who concocted the secret formula to Coca-Cola.
Check the many free music and other events throughout the year in Uptown Columbus.
Check out the Industrial Heritage of Columbus at the Heritage Park. Also be sure to take a walk along the 11th street to visit the Historic homes.
Young Eagles Program
Check out the Young Eagles Program (Free airplane rides for kids ages 8-17) and Flightaways Tours (Tour of the Airport and ARFF Fire Station) at the Columbus Regional Airport.
The RiverCenter for Performing Arts hosts many free and cheap performances by Columbus Youth Orchestra and Schwob Music Center and other performers. Check the calendar for these events.
Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center – It has wildlife exhibits featuring snakes, fish, alligators, turtles, and tortoises among other animals. Do not forget to register for the Treetop Canopy trail in advance for the older kids.
National Infantry Museum and Giant Screen Theatre
National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center at Fort Benning- Meet the soldier face to face and see how the Infantry makes a man into a soldier. Visit the Family Gallery and try on uniforms and explore the interior of a tank.
The Patriot Park Giant Screen Theatre inside the National Infantry Museum offers free kids movies during school breaks (summer and Christmas).
National Civil War Naval Museum
The Civil War ships at National Civil War Naval Museum is a not free, but during special events, they have free admission.
Go Skateboarding at the Jonathan Hatcher Skateboard Park near the Columbus Civic Center.
Check out the American art exhibits and Transformations –which is a special Children’s wing for a hands-on play — at the Columbus Museum. It’s always changing and always free!
Second Saturdays. Free-Family programs that include anything from hands-on art creating with the kids, scavenger hunts and story time (10 am-12 pm)
Teen 3rd Sundays. Free-Special guest artists talk to teens about their works then they get to take part in art-making activities with the artist (2-4 pm)
Columbus Botanical Garden
Columbus Botanical Garden – It has something for everyone-whether you’re looking for a quiet place to read, start a family adventure or some brisk exercise on their walking trails and paths and of course beautiful gardens.
Columbus Black History Museum
Find out more about the Black history and its contribution to Columbus’s heritage at the Columbus Black History Museum and Archives.
Kadie the Cow
Kadie the Cow is a reminder of the dairy farm, Kinnett Farms. You can now see the larger-than-life cow at the Best Buy store, renamed to Bebe, but still Kadie to those that knew her.
Black Heritage Trail
Drive the Black Heritage Trail, an urban trail connecting 30 African American Heritage Points of interest in Uptown Columbus. The Trail features many contributions and significant events in African American History of Columbus.
Take a self-guided tour of Fort Benning and learn more about the history of the post and its historic buildings.
Fall Line Trace
Starting at the Rails to Trails parking area (3690 Manchester Expw) and walk or bike the Fall Line Trace. There is a playground adjacent to the rest area parking lot.
Burger King Train Station
Visit the Burger King Train Station (3103 Gentian Blvd). This chain restaurant resembles an old train depot, with a ticket booth and train cars.
Participate in Family Night at participating Chick-fil-As. Kids eat free with the purchase of a kids meal, plus there is usually a craft or special activity for the little ones.
Barnes & Noble
Barnes & Noble hosts a Saturday reading program. Every Saturday a book is read and there is a free activity.
The Landing Pad
Visit the Landing Pad children’s play and rest area at the Landings on Airport Thruway. Then enjoy a frozen treat at the adjacent Freeze Frame Yogurt Shop.
Visit the Under the Sea play area at Peachtree Mall. Located next to Macy’s.
Disclaimer: This contest is provided for informational purposes only as a service of Satantenka LLC. Please call ahead and confirm the hours and admission fees (if any) before going.