9 free things to do with kids in Atlanta

Two girls in yellow dresses chat on bench
9 free things to do with kids in Atlanta | Honeycomb Moms | Credit: Eye for Ebony / Unsplash

I just love when the weather starts to warm up and spring flowers start to bloom. They’re my reminders that festival season is about to kick into full gear here in Atlanta. Luckily, you don’t have to drive all the way out to the suburbs for free family-friendly activities.

Here’s my list of free things to do with kids right here in Atlanta:

Atlanta Streets Alive

The Atlanta Bicycle Coalition started Atlanta Streets Alive in 2010 to reclaim city streets as spaces for people. Now, the event attracts thousands of attendees with 70 miles of open streets, according to the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition. Bring the whole family out to bike, walk or run in the street from 2 to 8 p.m. June 9 along an east to west Cross-City route or from 2 to 6 p.m. Sept. 29 in southwest Atlanta.

The June event will run on DeKalb Avenue, include West Howard Avenue and extend from Underwood Hills to Decatur. More details are pending on the southwest event.

Atlanta Dogwood Festival

This festival at Piedmont Park will feature loads of free activities and music from Friday, April 12th to Sunday, April 14. But if you don’t mind spending a little cash, check out ticketed offerings too. They include a $35 Mimosa 5K beginning at 8 a.m. Friday and a carnival of inflatables and rides from 2 to 9 p.m. Friday.

For other festival activities, stop by anytime from noon to 11 p.m. Friday, from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday or from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. The artist market closes at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Find more information here.

Inman Park Festival

I love any festival that pairs food trucks and nonstop music, so this fest held the last weekend in April does not disappoint. Find the musical lineup here, but if you’re not in it for the music check out the Kids’ Zone, a ticketed area home tour and a parade, which starts at 2 p.m. Saturday. You can also watch classical and contemporary dance performances starting at 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Trolley Barn.

Stop by the festival anytime from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.The home tour is the only event happening Friday, April 26th, and it will run from noon to 4 p.m.

Sweet Auburn Springfest

A Mother’s Day treat, this festival celebrates the rich history of one of Atlanta’s oldest predominantly black neighborhoods. It also features live music and brings attention to restoration efforts on Auburn Avenue.

Stop by anytime from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, May 11th or from 1 to 8 p.m. Sunday, May 12th at 230 John Wesley Dobbs Ave.

Find more information here

Atlanta Jazz Festival

This is by far my favorite way to bring in the Memorial Day weekend. With soulful jazz filling the air at Piedmont Park and plenty of open spaces for kids to roam, it feels more like a family reunion than a festival. Stock up on organic soaps and hand-made jewelry at one of the event’s vendors. Hit all your favorite restaurant tents or bring your own trays of homemade barbecue and soul food. Don’t worry about the music. The festival has that part covered. This year’s lineup includes musicians Kandace Springs, Richard Bona, Rhonda Ross and Rodney Kendrick and Alicia Olatuja.

Stop by the festival anytime from noon to 10:30 p.m. May 25th or from 1 to 10:30 p.m. May 26th.

Virginia-Highland Summerfest

Enjoy even more fun in the sun the first weekend in June at this neighborhood festival featuring local food vendors, an artist market, 5K races for kids and adults and live music. There will also be a Kidsfest with games, crafts and other free activities from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. It will be held in the western section of John Howell Park near the sand volleyball courts and Arcadia Street.

The festival will be held on Virginia Avenue between North Highland Avenue and Park Drive, and the adult 5K race will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday one block east of the intersection of Virginia and North Highland.

Stop by the Summerfest Artist Market anytime from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturday or from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Click here for more information or to register for the event races.

Atlanta Ice Cream Festival

This event is free, but beware. The ice cream is not, so skip this one altogether if you don’t want to buy your little one ice cream. But if you’re in the mood to splurge a bit, visit Piedmont Park Saturday, July 27th near 10th Street and Charles Allen Drive.

The festival will run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Find more information here.

Piedmont Park Arts Festival

Another ode to the arts, this festival features both visual and performing artists and also promises plenty of live music and entertainment for kids. According to organizers, the event will feature up to 250 painters, photographers, sculptors, leather and metalwork artists, glass blowers, jewelers and crafters.

Stop by the festival anytime from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 17th or from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 18th.

Find more information here.

Summer Shade Festival

The 17th annual Grant Park Summer Shade Festival is again making its way to Atlanta’s oldest city park the weekend of Aug. 24th, and I can’t wait. I went both days last year, and I just may do so again. This year’s event boasts a free Kids Zone with sensory tables and spin art, an aerial dance performance Sunday afternoon and plenty of local bands.And those are just the free offerings.

Stop by the festival anytime from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday or from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Sunday, but note the Kids Zone usually closes much earlier.

Find parking and free shuttle information here.

13 thoughts on “9 free things to do with kids in Atlanta”

  1. Can’t wait to take the kids to some of these festivals. The jazz one is going to probably be my favorite. It’s sad that I have lived in Atlanta for over 10 years and not been to one of these festivals smh

  2. Great post and thank you for the tips. As a mama who loves to travel with her kids free is always the best price. We might be going to Atlanta later this year and will check these sites.

  3. Wait, Atlanta has a lot of festivals that I need to be at. Ice cream and Jazz. I haven’t been to Atlanta in a while, and when I went, it was for NYE so it was cold. I need to go back during the summer months.

  4. Atlanta has so many festivals. I will be at Dogwood festival this weekend and Jazz Festival is my absolute favorite time of year!

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