In the midst of summer, we are all about getting outside to play with the family punctuated with breaks to beat the heat. Cool down from the week with a Friday night forest walk at the Fernbank. Or, bring your balnket and the babes to enjoy the ASO’s All American Celebration at Verizon Wireless Encore Park. Enjoy an early morning canoe trip Saturday then take a respite in the heat of the day with a craft class at the Beehive or Michael’s—or swing by the NBAF book fair for a bit of culture. Go climb a tree in Blackburn Park Sunday afternoon, or wrap things up with storytime if that is more your speed. Enjoy!


Fernbank Forest Night Walk
Join Fernbank Museum educators on a guided tour of Fernbank Forest to experience the unique nocturnal world that awakens at dusk. Listen for owl and frog calls, search for bats using a special echolocation detector, find organisms that glow under UV light, and much more. This program is suitable for ages 8 and up. Fri., 7:30 to 9:30 pm, Fernbank Museum of Natural History, $5 for Fernbank members, $10 for non-members. Ages 8 and up. Event details.

All American Celebration with Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra will perform an All-American Celebration on Friday, July 5, 2013 at 8:00p.m. ASO Staff Conductor Jere Flint will lead the Orchestra and a chorus in a program of patriotic songs, beloved anthems and sing-alongs capturing the heart of freedom.  Light up your July 4th weekend at the Orchestra’s annual holiday tradition. The evening will conclude with a post-concert finale featuring soaring fireworks. Fri., 7 pm, Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park, $45.00, $35.00, $25.00 Reserved; $15.00 Lawn. All ages. Event details.

Morning River Canoe Trip
There is no need to travel afar when the Chattahoochee River is in your own backyard. Take an urban adventure and experience rich wildlife through the CNC river canoe trips. Join experienced and knowledgeable river naturalists as you re-imagine the river through a canoeing experience.  Learn the history, habitat, ecology and recent issues impacting the local watershed – all while enjoying the serenity the river offers. CNC provides all equipment for participants. Sat., 8 to 11 am, Chattahoochee Nature Center, $30 General Public/$25 Members. Ages 6 and up. Event details.

Screenprinting for Kids
Your budding Picasso will let their creative juices run free in Beehive’s Kids Screenprinting Print Gocco workshop! Their instructor will help your crafty kids create their own masterpiece then learn how to set up a no mess screen to transfer their design onto a t-shit, tote bag or a set of note cards. All materials are included. Snack and drinks will be provided. Sat., 11 am to 2 pm, The Beehive, $48 for instruction & materials. Ages 8 and up. Event details.

Summer Games Craft Class
Let your kids explore their creativity while you shop! Only $2 per child reserves 30 minutes for your creative kid. Sessions starting every half hour from 10:30am – 11:30am. See a store associate to join the fun! Sat., 10 am to 12 pm, Michael’s, $2. Ages 5 and up. Event details.

National Black Arts Festival Family Book Fair
NBAF has always sought to bring the wonders of the African Diaspora to children and their families through its educational programming.  This year we will host book fairs at 20 libraries in communities throughout Fulton County.  Kuumba Storytellers and special guest readers will tell the folk stories of West Africa, the Caribbean and the American South and allow the children to create their own stories.  Additionally, books from the NBAF vault will be given to children at no cost when they present a library card. Multiple locations and dates. Click on website for more information. Sat., 1 pm, East Atlanta Library, Free. All ages. Event details.

Tree Climbing in the Park
Come climb with Tree Climbers International! Bring your friends or your family, and a camera. Climb “their” tree using a rope and saddle, and relax in the treetops while you get a bird’s eye view of the surroundings. This safe, unusual activity is for “kids” of all ages, from 5 to 95! They provide all the gear and instruction, you provide the enthusiasm! No reservations required. Visit website for more details and a demonstration video. Sun., 2 pm, Blackburn Park, $25 per climber. Ages 5 and up. Event details.

Sunday Storytime
Join the imaginators for story time, and go on all different types of adventures found in books. Sun., 3 pm, The Children’s Museum of Atlanta, Free with admission. Ages 8 and under. Event details.

Where will you and your kids play this weekend? Tell us below!

–Phebe Wahl

Photo courtesy of The Fernbank Museum of Natural History