Summer is not over yet, I (Victoria) made it my goal to provide visitors and residents in Gwinnett with the ultimate list of free or almost free (<$10) things to do in Gwinnett! Most free activities are noted, admission charges apply to some items of the list but they are minimal (<$10). If I leave any good activities off of the list, please add them in the comments section below. I hope you like it and if so, please share this with friends!
1. Free tour of the BAPS Hindu Mandir (Temple). No religious affiliations needed. This memorable tour is sure to rank high on you children’s “What I did this summer” school essay in August. Check the website before arrival due to dress code requirements (ie. no shorts, sleeveless tops, etc)
2. Calling all history buffs! Free admission is not the only reason to visit the Gwinnett History Museum and Lawrenceville Female Seminary. You can also see historic artifacts related to Gwinnett’s history, the very first typewriter from Gwinnett’s historic courthouse and artifacts such as desks from when the Female Seminary was still around. This location is listed on the National Register for Historic Places. Donations requested in lieu of admission.
3. Kudzu Art Zone (Norcross) is a quaint little volunteer-run art gallery off the beaten path. Kuzdu also offers art classes for your enjoyment. Summer 2012 exhibits include Nature’s Mysteries, Outer Dimension and the 12×12 Xtravaganza (August).
4. Fountains of Gwinnett: Cool off this summer by playing in the fountains of Gwinnett! Suwanee Town Park, Duluth Town Green and Mall of Georgia each offer interactive fountains for residents and visitors to use. Free.
6. Lionheart Theatre Presents Jungle Book: All seats $10 and proceeds benefit the Norcross Co-op (July 20-22)!
7. Kidgits Program at local malls: Sign your kids up for this program at Mall of Georgia or Discover Mills and your tots will be in-the-know on all the happenings for children. Kidgits members are invited to special members-only events and they receive VIP treatment at all other mall events. Contact each mall to sign up.
8. Southeastern Railway Museum: Just off Buford Highway in Duluth stands the state’s official transportation museum offering exhibits, education and events for the whole family.
9. GEHC trails and museum: The Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center has one of the best outdoor trails in Gwinnett. Walk from their building on a quiet, scenic trail near 985 through the woods near I-85. After walking the trail check out the museum featuring permanent and new exbibits regularly. GEHC also offers summer camps and classes for kids. Outdoor trails are free. See website for museum admission.
10. Hudgens Art Center Pulp Fashion: The Novel Art of the Paper Dress: This annual exhibit features dress designs crafted from books! This truly unique display will be featured through August 25th. Check out other exhibits here.
11. Tribble Mill Park: 700 scenic acres on the edge of Lawrenceville. Need I say more? Grab the kids, the tent and the sleeping bags for the August 17-18 Family Campout event at the Park. No entry free to visit the park.
13. Tennis at Parks: Gwinnett has numerous parks offering quality tennis courts for your use. Rates vary from $4/hour to $10 per 1.5 hours. The County also runs Hudlow Tennis Center, Mountain Park Tennis Center and Rock Springs Tennis Center.
14. Friday night badminton: Each and every Friday night at Best Friend Park in Norcross (unless there is a rental scheduled) for just $2 you can enjoy hours of badminton fun! All skill levels welcome.
16. Northeast Georgia Civil War Round Table: On the first Sunday of each month at 2PM you are invited to discuss Civil War topics with history enthusiasts at the Gwinnett History Museum.
17. Suwanee SculpTour: Take a free outdoor walking tour around Suwanee Town Center and enjoy the art work of some very talented folks! Vote for one piece to be added to the city’s permanent collection in 2013. Free.
18. Atlanta IceForum: Cool off this summer by ice skating at the Atlanta IceForum in Duluth.
19. FLW (Forrest Wood Cup) Fishing Weign-Ins and Outdoor Show: 46 of the nation’s top anglers compete for bass fishing’s biggest prize! See the live weigh-ins at the Arena at Gwinnett Center at 5pm daily (August 9-12). Full schedule here. Free to see the weigh-ins and attend the outdoor show.
20. Fruit Sushi: Yes, you read that right. Teens (grades 6-12) are invited to the Dacula Public Library to make sushi from fruit and to discuss Asian culture and Japan on July 31 from 3PM-4PM. Free
21. Calling all history buffs! Dust off your library card this summer and join the History Book Club. Each month a book selection is made and the group meets at the Lawrenceville Female Seminary to discuss. Next meeting July 16 to discuss “Sin in the Second City” by Karen Abbott.
23. Gwinnett Braves: For just $6-$15 per person you can enjoy AAA baseball at its best!
24. Oasis Bowling: Beat the heat by bowling this summer! With 2 locations (Buford & Loganville) to serve you Oasis Bowling is a great choice! Sign up online for the Summer Strike program where kids 16 and under bowl free all summer (ends 8/5/12).
25. Stars and Strikes (Dacula): Get away and play at Stars and Strikes! Bowling, arcade games, laser tag and bumper cars are the perfect recipe for fun this summer! Prices vary per activity.
26. National Kids Day Festival (Duluth): Celebrate and spend quality time with your children with free games and activities on August 5th.
27. McDaniel Farm Park: Former cotton farm, McDaniel Farm, has been recreated a passive park that resembles a 1930′s farm. Great educational experience. Free.
28. Pick-your-own (DJs Blueberries, Washington Farms, Briar Patch): Visit local pick-your-own farms to get fresh, affordable produce. Take this opportunity to teach little ones about gardening and nutrition!
30. Yellow River Game Ranch: View and feed hundreds of animals as you walk through a wooded trail along the Yellow River. Admission $8.
31. Skateboarding at park: Duncan Creek Park in Dacula and DeShong Park in Stone Mountain offer skating complexes for skateboarding. Free. If free admission is not a requirement, then try the new Black Diamond Skate Park at Discover Mills (admission $15)
32. Tannery Row Tour: View the eclectic pieces created by numerous local artists in the Tanner Row Artists Colony (Buford). This workspace also offers classes and tours.
33. Dog Day at Pinckneyville Park: Free. Bring your whole family (and don’t forget the dog) out for face painting, inflatables, pet portraits and doggie fashion show on July 21!
34. Plantation Houses Driving Tour: Complete this self-guided driving tour in the comforts of your vehicle’s air conditioning.
35. Veterans War Memorial Museum: Free museum honoring soldiers. Located inside the historic Gwinnett Courthouse in Lawrenceville.
36. Chateau Elan Wine tasting: Only $5 (weekdays) to $10 (Weekends) per person.
37. Gather a group of little ones for a chocolate making field trip play date: Chamberlain’s Chocolate Factory (Norcross) offers much more than just retail. They offer fields trips, birthday parties and team building. Field trips are $7.95 per person for a minimum of 8 people.
39. Indoor putt-putt at Discover Mills: Lunar Mini Golf offers indoor glow-in-the-dark mini golf for kids! $8 per person.
41. Brown Bag Concerts Lawrenceville: On Friday, August 3rd, bring your family, your lunch and a fun-loving spirit to the square for live music and free crafts for kids! Free.
42. Roller skating in Gwinnett: Visit 78 Skate (Loganville), Sparkles (Lawrenceville), Skate-a-longe USA (Lilburn), or Skate Country (Buford) for some affordable fun! Be sure to check out their specials online before heading out! Sparkles does free admission for families on Wednesdays from 6-9PM.
43. Chattapoochee Dog Park: Take your four-legged friend on a new adventure to Gwinnett’s newest dog park. (Duluth, free)
45. Duluth History Museum: For just $3 per adult and $1 per child you can learn the history of Duluth at the History Museum which is housed in the Strickland House (1898).
46. 19th Annual Asian Cultural Experience: Experience the music, dance, food, clothing and culture of 15 Asian countries. See cultural artifacts and sample food. 2012 promises to be the best year yet at the Asian Cultural Experience at Gwinnett Center.
47. Laser Tag of Buford: Get an all day pass for $5 on Wednesdays during the summer.
48. Suwanee Creek Greenway: Stroll through Suwanee on the Greenway which connects almost 400 acres of park land!
49. The Painted Penguin: New location at Mall of Georgia allows you to select a figurine fo your choice, paint it and then pick it up from the location once its dry. Figurine prices vary with selections beginning at $7 (which includes paint and supplies)
50. Q-Zar: Laser tag games in Duluth are only $8 each! Enjoy!