This is a natural history museum, a planetarium, a virgin forest trail with a waterfall, an education facility for local schools, an observatory and more at this wonderful spot in the middle of Atlanta. My sister-in-law got married on the forest trail at the waterfall, and you can see lots of birds and plants on the trail. The museum is first rate, and the planetarium is alot of fun.
Nowhere near the equal of the natural history museums in New York City or Washington D.C., this museum will be most interesting to younger children as there are several hands-on play areas dedicated to them. The central atrium has several re-creations of Argentinean dinosaur skeletons. There is generally one or more temporary exhibits on differing themes as well as an IMAX theater showing earth-science based movies.
Nearby is the sister Fernbank Science Center, also geared towards children.
On a hot day in August I was glad to go to the cool museum of Natural History at Fernbank. Besides displays such as dinosaur bones which fill the circular great hall all the way to its 3 story ceiling there are exhibits of all kinds from cultures, dress, and belief systems, to artifacts from pre-historic times, pottery, arrowheads and stone age hammers, animals, reptiles and birds, and insects, star patterns, and a walking display of how life evolved on Earth. A central drawing point is an IMAX theatre.
It's a journey for the whole family, from little kids to grandparents, because it's something for everyone whether you just like nature or you also like to learn hands on science facts that are the wonder of nature such as tornadoes, and how they are created, how sound carries, the delicacy and strength of bubbles! My personal favourite was the play with the bubbles, they had tables with bubbly solution in it with large circular wand you could make one so big to pull it down over your body even! Also this example of how the long glass tubes make sounds sound different, very nice for me because I am partial deaf so this made sound louder to be able to hear better.
Other things to be found inside: Very reasonable for lunch prices at the Fernbank Café! The Museum store also which average prices for souvenirs, and sale items as well.
Prices for entry: $13 for adults, $11 for children 5-12, and free for below this. Hours are Monday through Saturday 10am-5pm, Sundays 12-5, and closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas. The museum also has special events regularly, special displays or exhibitions from other museum collection traveling the country, and also which showed perfect for adults: FERNBANK's Martini's&IMAX 5:30-10pm, on Fridays, January through November. Get off after work on Friday, and start weekend in style with live music, film, cocktails and cuisine. Cash bar start at 5:30pm, with appetizers and entrées at 6pm, jazz bands begin playing at 6:30pm.
Fernbank is Atlanta's museum of Natural History. Most of the permanent exhibits highlight Georgia's Natural History. The Museum also houses an IMAX theater as well as a couple of Kids Rooms. A great Science Exhibit is also here and will captivate the older kids. All of the exhibits are housed around an exhibit of the largest dinosaurs in the world (Gigantosaurus and Argentinosaurus).
What really makes Fernbank Special are it's traveling exhibits. The museum gets first class exhibits that are traveling the world. They are Partnered with several older more established museums.