Venues and attractions reopening

Across the state, venues and attractions are reopening in time for the Independence Day weekend. Many require advance ticket sales online and reserved time slots to limit the number of guests at any given time and enable them to stay an appropriate distance from one another. In addition, visitors may be required to wear masks and have temperature scans. It’s a good idea to check with the specific attraction ahead of time to learn what its policies are.

The Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta is now open and adhering to these requirements along with assigning visitors a specific entrance when they purchase tickets. The practice is designed to help guests maintain social distancing during entry.

Nearby, the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame reopens today. The nonprofit has fine tuned its interactive experiences and is featuring three new ones – the Air Force Air Raid QB Sim, Kia Performance Challenge and Goodyear Blimp Exhibit. Fan favorites like the ESPN GameDay Desk built by The Home Depot and Peach Bowl Field are ready to go. In addition to the new experiences, the Hall of Fame is debuting a curated exhibit that spotlights the stories of Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

The Atlanta History Center is welcoming visitors to its indoor exhibits on Friday, July 3. Guests will be able to enjoy all of the Center’s signature and traveling exhibitions, including Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow, which explores Black people’s fight for full inclusion and citizenship from the end of the Civil War through the 1920s. In addition, visitors can view the fully-restored cyclorama painting, The Battle of Atlanta, in the multimedia Cyclorama: The Big Picture exhibit. Learn more about the historic painting and its new home at the Atlanta History Center in “There and Back Again,” in our June issue. The center’s gardens are also open, as is the Atlanta Botanical Garden, which is featuring Alice’s Wonderland Reimagined.

The Columbus Botanical Garden has reopened. During the pandemic shutdown it made progress on three new additions. These include the Pollinator Garden, which boasts over 50 unique species of plants and grasses essential to the local ecosystem; the Perennial Garden, featuring rare wildflowers and grasses in partnership with University of Georgia’ State Botanical Garden; and the Ginkgo Shade Tree Garden, which will be glorious in the fall.

Georgia’s state parks are open and many have scheduled activities for the July 4th weekend. Visitors will want to check the events website for details.

Over in the Golden Isles, a number of events are occurring during the holiday weekend, although on St. Simons Island, the 1-mile Fun Run and 5K have been cancelled along with the fireworks display and live music. (A virtual 5K will occur.) St. Simons will have a Golf Cart Parade and the Annual Sunshine Festival will take place.

The 2020 Brunswick Independence Day Celebration has been postponed to Labor Day weekend, Sept. 6. And the Jekyll Island Independence Day Celebration has been cancelled. However, there are many other events and attractions throughout the Golden Isles. Learn more about tourism on the islands in our June feature, “Strategic Reset.”

Fireworks and celebrations are occurring throughout the state over the holiday weekend. For the most current information about what’s scheduled and what’s cancelled, check local websites.

Photo by Bo Shell. The Atlanta Botanical Garden provided the image of Alice’s Wonderland Reimagined.

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