Y’all. It’s neither 103-degrees (yet) nor is there an inch of yellow pollen covering everything on the playground (most places), which means that this weekend is THE weekend to get out and play in Atlanta’s peak springtime. From the grand dame of Atlanta outdoor festivals—the Dogwood Arts Festival at Piedmont Park—to a kids race for everyone from crawlers to sprinters at Lake Lanier, we’ve got your best bests for outdoor fun, below. Keep reading for all you need to know about getting out and enjoying the weekend.

Photo: Porapak Apichodilok via Pexels


Dogwood Arts Festival at Piedmont Park
An Atlanta staple for over 80 years, the Atlanta Dogwood Festival plays host to every kind of art imaginable, including a Kids Village — full of hands-on arts and crafts projects and interactive pursuits — as well as a Midway, with rides like the Giant Wheel, the Grand Carousel, Delta Force, Tilt-a-Whirl, YoYo, Fun Slide and fun inflatables. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Yayoi Kusama at Atlanta Botanical Garden
Narcissus Garden is a signature work of contemporary art created by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. The installation is a joint effort between the Atlanta Botanical Garden and The High Museum, which hosts Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors through Feb. 17. Approximately 1,400 stainless steel spheres carefully arranged by staff from Kusama’s studio in Japan can be viewed in their current location at the Atlanta Botanical Garden from the Canopy Walk, and along many of the trails leading into and out of Storza Woods. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Design Club Day at MODA
Head to the Museum of Design Atlanta for free admission and to participate in design and STEAM activities that are fun and educational. Design Club Day (formerly Family Free Day) is free, but register in advance to ensure there are enough supplies for everyone! This month’s theme is building a better world with LEGOs! Sun. Event details.

The Wizard of Oz at Alliance Theatre
This 70-minute, family-friendly production features iconic songs like “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “Follow the Yellow Brick Road” from the original movie score.  While remaining true to the well-known story and familiar characters, the Alliance’s version of The Wizard of Oz uniquely draws inspiration from American Folk Art to create a magical production that reminds us that no matter what you’re searching for, you don’t have to look further than your own backyard. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Stone Mountain

MEGABUGS Adventure Encounters
Some colossal crawlers are taking over Stone Mountain Park, featuring more than 70 new exhibits of larger-than-life insects. MEGABUGS! Adventure Encounters is an immersive and interactive area for ‘bugologists’ of any age to explore. They can crawl like a spider, fly like a bee, and dig like an ant while interacting with these enormous insects. In a special habitat at the park, guests will come face-to-face with a giant 15-foot Emperor Dragonfly, a 20-foot Hissing Cockroach, a 50-foot Madagascan Fire Millipede, and more! Fri.-Sun. Event details. 


EcoTinker at Chattahoochee Nature Center
Head outdoors this spring for nature-inspired tech and tinker stations throughout the CNC, where you can experiment and explore. Exhibit stations focus on the science of water, taking you from a microscopic view to a global view, and you won’t want to miss the all-new Imagination Playground, where you can use blocks to engineer a river, bridges, and damns. Fri.-Sun. Event details.


Duluth Rotary Car Show
The 6th annual Duluth Rotary Car Show will sure keep your wheels spinning as exotic cars take over Main Street in Downtown Duluth on Saturday, April 13th from 10am-2pm. Antique Classics, Foreign Sports, Hot Rods, Muscles, and Pickups are the featured cars of the event. Enjoy music, a raffle, and food. The event is FREE for all to enjoy. Sat. Event details.


Check out thousands of creepy-crawlies, including reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, spiders and small exotic animals at this reptile show. Sat. Event details.


Toddler Ranger at Red Top Mountain State Park
This program is designed for toddlers to explore nature with a Ranger, using hands-on experiences, play, nature walks, and other interactive activities to facilitate learning and exploration. Call to register. Inclement weather or low attendance may cancel event. Sat. Event details.


Atlanta Spartan Kids Race at Lanier Islands Resort
Spartan Kids is a half mile (suggested age 4-6), one mile (suggested age 7-9), and two mile (required age 10-14) course with competitive racing available for age groups 10-11 and 12-14. Top three racers in each age group and gender receive a podium award ceremony with the adult Elite and Age Group winners, along with free entry into the 2019 Spartan Kids World Championships later this year. Children of all abilities are welcome to come climb, crawl, run, get muddy, and become a Spartan. Sat. Event details.

—Shelley Massey