After splurging during the holidays, we're all about free things to do during the rest of winter. Lucky for us, that happens to include wandering through art museums and exploring the beauty of the swamp on a Saturday morning. So, if you don't want to spend the next few months hibernating, here are 10 things for $10 or less to do in Augusta and the region. You can also check out our Free Things to Do page for more year-round suggestions!
Local Pro Tip: Comfort Food = Messy Food. Make sure you grab plenty of napkins for your Drive-In Dinner night!
1. Aiken Train Museum : Inside the reconstructed Aiken Railroad Depot, history buffs and train lovers can browse interactive displays and nine dioramas that depict towns as they were in the year 1916 along the original South Carolina Canal and Railroad Company right of way - which eventually became the longest railroad in the world. Cost per person: FREE
2. Augusta Museum of History : Journey through Augusta's Story - beginning more than 12,000 years ago with prehistoric artifacts and Native Americans. Step aboard a real 1920's Trolley Car as well as a 1914 Steam Locomotive and passenger car in the Transportation Corridor. And don't miss one of the Museum's most popular exhibits - The Godfather of Soul, Mr. James Brown. This exhibition is the first of its kind and features rare memorable and personal artifacts which vividly tell the story of Browns rise to worldwide fame. Cost per person: Adults $6 / Seniors $3 / Child (6-18) $2 / Children (under 6) FREE
3. Swamp Saturday Hikes : Bundle up and explore Phinizy Swamp's diverse wildlife and plant life during this two and a half mile guided hike through the Nature Park. Cost per person: $2
4. Augusta Canal Discovery Center : Located in a former textile mill on the Augusta Canal, this museum tells the story of the industrial revolution in the American South with a short film and interactive displays. In addition to exhibits that demonstrate how the canal's turbines create hydro-power, you'll also learn how it was built, how it was used during the Civil War, and how it contributed to an industrial economy in the heart of one of the South's largest cities. Cost per person: Adults $6 / Seniors, Students, and Military $4
5. Laurel & Hardy Museum : Just a short drive from Augusta in the small city of Harlem, you'll find the country's only museum dedicated to the classic comedy duo Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. The double act became well known during the late 1920s through the mid-1940s for their slapstick comedy and are still considered one of the greatest comedy teams in film history. Inside, the museum is packed to the brim with hundreds of dolls, comic books, posters and other memorabilia. The museum also has two hats worn by Laurel and Hardy — a helmet from the 1935 film Bonnie Scotland and a fez from the 1933 film Sons of the Desert. Cost per person: FREE
6. Artsy Me : Grab a coffee and head inside this DIY ceramic and art studio to spend an hour or two creating something beautiful to take home. Choose from ornaments, mugs, miniature bowls and more. The best part is - you can walk right in! No appointments are necessary. Cost per person: Starting at $6
7. Morris Museum of Art : Wander through galleries of intricately crafted baskets made in North Carolina, richly textured and color saturated paintings of New Orleans, Victorian portraits, Civil War scenes, iconic Southern places and landscapes, and more. Take the free guided tour offered each Sunday afternoon and hear the stories behind some of the Museum's most interesting pieces. Cost per person: Adults $5 / Youth (13 - 17) and Seniors (65+) $3 / Children (under 12) FREE
8. Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History : Established as a tribute to the life's work of one of Georgia's most influential educators, the Museum honors the dedication of Lucy Craft Laney to providing educational opportunities for black youth in Augusta and the region. Hear the stories of Ms. Laney and other significant African Americans during a guided tour through permanent and rotating exhibits. Cost per person: Adults $5 / Seniors $3 / Children $2
9. Boyhood Home of President Woodrow Wilson : Before he was called Mr. President, we knew him as little Tommy Wilson. Growing up in Augusta during the Civil War, he experienced things that changed his life. Tour the Boyhood Home of President Woodrow Wilson and hear about how he grew his leadership skills, learned to speak publicly and shaped his world view. Cost per person: Adults $5 / Seniors $4 / Children $3 (Under 5 FREE)
10. Drive-In Dinner : Indulge in comfort food like Chili-Cheese Fries or Mac n' Jac Bites at the old fashioned Sno-Cap Drive-In and wash it all down with a Root Beer Float. The most expensive thing on the menu (a whopping 10 oz burger) is $9.19 and pretty much everything else is $6 or less - making it the perfect family friendly dinner spot.