Martinis and IMAX at Fernbank


Looking for something to do for Halloween? Dress up in costume and go to Fernbank. It’s definitely one of my top recommended Halloween picks, especially if you don’t like crowds but still want to do something fun (and educational at the same time).

This year, I dressed up as Minnie Mouse (because why not) and had fun with my boyfriend and my friend.

From their website:

Fernbank’s Martinis & IMAX® is one of the most unique “culture and cocktail” opportunities in Atlanta. Guests enjoy special cocktail menus, small plates, live entertainment, dancing and a chance to see a film on the biggest screen in town, Fernbank’s Giant Screen IMAX® Theatre. This popular event, the first of its kind in Atlanta, is held every Friday (excluding holiday weekends*) from 7pm to 11pm. Live entertainment begins at 7:30pm.

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

You will be forking out more money than you probably intended.

Essentially, you pay a $13 fee to be in the main atrium area, plus one IMAX ticket. This doesn’t allow you to actually browse the museum, though, so don’t expect a ticket for the full museum – save that for during the day.

If you want to actually indulge in martinis, then prepare yourself to spend even more than the admission fee.

Sometimes there are two films playing that night, so if you are feeling exceptionally scholastic, you’ll have to buy the second IMAX movie at an additional cost.

If you’re not feeling like you want to learn that night, you can always pay an $8 cover charge without watching the IMAX movie (but you’ll still have to pay for your own drinks).

There is no difference between the IMAX movie that night and the IMAX movie during the day.

The difference between watching the IMAX movie during these Friday night events versus a regular showing during the day is that you can do it while sipping alcohol – it’s the same movie no matter what.

The two movies showing the night we went this year were Dinosaurs Alive! and Search for Life in Space.

About Dinosaurs Alive!:

Five-story-tall dinosaurs roar onto Fernbank’s giant screen for a captivating adventure of science and discovery. See the earliest creatures of the Triassic Period to the monsters of the Cretaceous in a “life-sized” presentation. Join renowned paleontologists as they discover new fossils and uncover evidence that dinosaur descendants are still among us. Realistic and scientifically-accurate computer generated animation brings dinosaurs back to life…in a big way!

This film covers a broad range of life science and earth science and is a great complement to fossil studies.

Overall, the dinosaur film was pretty interesting and educational. My biggest “omg” takeaway was when they showed the process of finding new dinosaur fossils, pieced them together, and realized that they might have found an entirely new dinosaur species. Or just seeing the paleontologists on the screen and realizing, oh my god, they are all probably my age right now and they’re out their discovering dinosaur fossils. Oh hai there, quarter-life crisis.

About The Search for Life in Space:

Journey from the depths of the Pacific Ocean into the far reaches of space on a quest to find something that changes everything—signs of life, somewhere else in the universe.

With cutting-edge imagery from the world’s most powerful telescopes, this new giant screen film takes audiences from the surface of Mars and the icy moons of Jupiter and Saturn, to the extreme lava fields of Hawaii and the thermal vents deep beneath the sea. In these harsh environments, astrobiologists look for clues to how life takes hold. As this immersive adventure into the universe reveals the possibility of planets like ours, The Search for Life in Space will make you re-examine such fundamental questions as: “Where did we come from?,” “How did we get here?” and “Are we alone?”

Compared to the  dinosaur film, this one was (at least to me) a little more wishy-washy. There was beautiful imagery of space, direct from space telescopes, but a lot of “what-ifs” and grand statements, so coming out of the dinosaur film into this one, I found it slightly more underwhelming. Maybe I was IMAX’ed out at this point. The biggest “omg” moment here for me was showing some of the surfaces of the planets and moons, and how signs of even a little bit of water or soil could mean some sort of life, even if it’s microscopic.

Fernbank tends to be a great Friday night activity, although…

I love this event, don’t get me wrong. But I would also say (as someone who loves museums), I do find it sad that we can’t actually browse the museum itself during this time (which you can do at High Museum of Art during their First Fridays).

With that said, though, Fernbank also has Martinis and IMAX salsa nights, which I haven’t done yet. It’s on my bucket list and something I think would be fun to do (salsa dancing with dinosaurs? Heck yeah).

Don’t get this mixed up with the other Fernbank museum.

There are two Fernbank museums in Atlanta: the museum of natural history (more of a prehistoric, paleontology focus) and the science center (more children-focused, smaller, with a planetarium).

All in all…


Fernbank Museum of Natural History is a great Atlanta institution and definitely something that I highly recommend visiting. But I would probably recommend visiting the museum first during the day, so you can see the beautiful outdoor facade as well as enjoy everything the museum offers, and then plan on a Friday night adventure once you’ve already seen Fernbank during the day. Otherwise, all you’ll be seeing will be what’s in that picture above.


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