Explore Atlanta's science attractions

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Explore Atlanta's science attractions

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Jonathan Phillips
A group of visitors look over the fossils from the second story stair case during the Spring Egg-stravaganza event at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History in Atlanta on Saturday, March 28, 2015. Treat filled eggs were handed out in different sections of the museum during the event, which also featured a petting zoo, crafts, scavenger hunts and games. JONATHAN PHILLIPS / SPECIAL

When you're ready to explore the Earth and beyond, Atlanta's museums have exhibitions, special events and movies you'll want to see.

Fernbank Museum of Natural History (767 Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA) -- Located in Atlanta just minutes away from Candler Park and Emory University, Fernbank Museum of Natural History is Atlanta's largest science museum. Within its 160,000 square feet of exhibition space, visitors will be able to see skeletons of some of the world's largest dinosaurs, get hands on with science experiments that will test senses and learn more about Georgia's ancient natural history.

Large scale special exhibitions are installed every six months or so giving visitors another reason to experience their hometown museum. Check out current and future offerings on their special exhibitions page.

While the entire museum is kid-friendly, parents will want to leave time during their visit for their children to explore the immersive Fernbank NatureQuest exhibit that serves as a play and education space with hundreds of hands-on activities. As an added bonus, there is abundant space for parent seating while kids play their way through the exhibit.

Throughout the year, Fernbank hosts themed educational fun days like Reptile Day, Brains and Bots Day and their annual Dinosaur Birthday Bash. Most activities for these special days are included with admission.

In addition to the exhibitions, the natural history museum shows a variety of IMAX movies throughout the year in their theater. If you've never seen an Imax film you're in for a treat, if you've seen one you know why they are so popular. On Friday evenings (except holidays), the museum is open to adults for Fernbank's Martinis & IMAX events where guests also will have access to a special food and cocktail menu.

David J. Sencer CDC Museum (1600 Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA) -- More than just a destination during the first season of The Walking Dead, the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta is also a destination for the city's residents and visitors who want to learn more about the health of the world and the science behind keeping people healthy.

Free to visit, the museum tells the history of the CDC, and features permanent and changing exhibitions sharing information about the public health around the world. On permanent exhibit, guests will see a multimedia display sharing the CDC's involvement in the discovery, treatment, prevention and eradication of diseases like Ebola, polio and Legionnaire's disease and global health issues like obesity. The Story of CDC shares the history of the government organization.

Unlike other Atlanta area science museums, the CDC Museum is only open Monday through Friday and is closed on federal holidays.

Fernbank Science Center (156 Heaton Park Drive, Atlanta, GA) -- Situated on four acres deeded to the DeKalb County School System in 1967, the Fernbank Science Center is dedicated to introducing children to science topics like the solar system and biology.

The Center is home to an Aeronautics Education Laboratory, electron microscope lab, an Apollo spacecraft from the Apollo 6 Saturn V test flight and a planetarium.

It's not just the stars, planets, moons and sun that show up on the 70-foot planetarium screen; multiple times daily the Center shows movies fit for families. Movie offerings change frequently and times vary by day.

Best of all, admission to the Fernbank Science Center is free and parking is free!

Michael C. Carlos Museum (571 South Kilgo Circle, Atlanta, GA) -- Where in Atlanta can you see mummies? The only metro area science museum where they're on display in the Michael C. Carlos Museum, located on the campus of Emory University.

Though some would categorize the museum as an art museum, the museum features fine examples of historic Egyptian antiquities. Their mummy collection, the focal point for many museum visitors, gives museum goers a peek inside the world of Egyptian art, mummification practices and history.

Highlights of the museum's mummy collection include the coffin and coffin board of Tanakhtnettahat, nested coffins of Iawttayesheret and coffin of Nebetit.

Free, docent led tours are available for visitors each Sunday at 2 p.m. One unique Carlos Museum tour, called Museum Moments, invites people with mild cognitive impairment, early stage Alzheimer's disease or dementia to experience the museum in a way that may trigger memories. The program was designed based on the Museum of Modern Art's Meet Me program and can be given by appointment.

Throughout the year, the museum also hosts workshops introducing tweens and teens to art and history through hands on fun learning experiences. On select Saturdays, children are invited to Artful Stories time to hear a classic tale relating to the museum's current exhibits. Also during the year, The Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta invites families to performances with entertainment specifically geared toward child audiences.

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