When we say that Atlanta attractions are meant for all ages, we mean it: even Millennials and adults looking for kid-free date nights. From the Atlanta History Center’s Party with the Past nights to Sips Under the Sea at Georgia Aquarium, there’s fortunately no shortage of ways for grownups to get in on the fun.
The freshest series on the scene is hosted by Fernbank Museum of Natural History. While Martinis and IMAX was beloved and long-running, even trusted standbys can benefit from a refresh. Enter Fernbank After Dark, a monthly after-hours series that blends science activities, art, mixology, live music, and more.
We were able to check out the July installment, themed “Art + Science.” Each level of the museum featured activations, such as live demonstrations by local street artists, including Evereman. We caught the “Free Art Friday Atlanta” documentary screening in the museum’s Star Gallery before getting a firsthand look at some of the #FAFATL pieces. Tip: search this hashtag each week, as Atlanta artists continue to drop art around the city!
Beyond activations that change each month, entry to Fernbank After Dark means you have access to the museum’s permanent and rotating exhibitions, including the current “Mammoths and Mastodons” and the recently opened WildWoods and Fernbank Forest.
Patrons can enjoy light bites in the café and drinks from one of the many cash bars set up in the space (prices range from $6-10 for beer, wine, and cocktails).
Paying the slightly higher admission rate ($20 + tax for non-members) that includes a Giant Screen Theater movie showing is well worth it, we feel. With an hour leading up to our screening of Mammoths and Mastodons, we were able to grab drinks, make some silly faces in the museum photo booth, explore the artist demonstrations, and learn a little about mastodons. Seeing the film really did put the exhibit in context.
On the whole, Fernbank After Dark is an ideal date night experience for those who may not have been back to the museum in quite a while (anyone else have fond memories of those eighth grade field trips?). You’ll get nostalgic about the things that haven’t changed—The World of Shells is still a cool exhibit, hands down—and revel in the “21 and up” takeover of what is traditionally a family-friendly space.
We recommend getting tickets to the August installment—themed “Ecology + Mixology”—ASAP, since these events have been selling out. If it’s an option, ditch driving and hop on a MARTA bus or call rideshare. The crowds were big and parking was scarce!
Start planning your August night out, and see below for more information about the Ecology + Mixology lineup:
Fernbank After Dark’s Ecology + Mixology theme will take guests on a tour of how local brewers work to conserve the environment while brewing their best beer. Event partners, including Terrapin Beer Co., Urban Tree Cidery and Sweetwater Brewing Company, will detail practices that better the environment.
Urban Tree Cidery will invite visitors to experience the fermentation process firsthand as they hand-press apples from Urban Tree’s North Georgia orchard. In a UV light experiment, Terrapin Beer Co. will demonstrate how canned beer is not only better for the environment, but also better for the beer itself.
Additionally, Sweetwater Brewing Company will host a station on the importance of maintaining clean water and discuss how their Water Keeper project works to ensure a healthier supply. They will also discuss their new barrel-aging program, The Woodlands, and how discarded barrels are reused to brew small-batch sour style beers.
Furthermore, Fernbank will head up activities highlighting water filtration and restoration efforts in Fernbank Forest. Fernbank After Dark’s Ecology + Mixology musical guest will be announced soon.
Disclosure: Thank you to Fernbank for hosting us for Fernbank After Dark. Opinions here are our own.