Did you know that the month of June comes from the Latin word uniors—which, you guessed it—means the younger ones? Fitting that a month so loved for summer vacation and outdoor adventures is full of not-to-miss family activities. From the free Virginia-Highlands Summerfest to a hot air balloon race in Helen, the “uniors” in your family will love this first weekend of June.


Photo: Jim Pennucci via flickr


Mayor’s Summer Reading Club Kick Off at Children’s Museum
Don’t miss the kick-off to The Mayor’s Summer Reading Club for children ages birth to eight and their families, which designates a city-wide book choice for infants, children ages 2-4, and for children ages 5-8 to share with families at no cost to them. First Lady Reed kicks off the reading club with a special story time, followed by music and movement with the Imaginators and more stories. Held at Children’s Museum of Atlanta, 275 Centennial Olympic Park Dr. Sat. from 11 a.m. to 4:40 p.m. $14.95/ person, free for babies under 1. All ages. Event details.

Downtown and Druid Hills

Festival of the Chariots and Parade
The Festival of Chariots is an annual performance that dates back over 2,000 years in India, and you can celebrate it in Atlanta! The Festival will include a parade, face painting and henna art, yoga and meditation, children’s games, and entertainment. Parade: Downtown, Festival: Olmsted Linear Park in Druid Hills, The parade, Sat. at 11 a.m.: Marietta St. at Peachtree St.; The festivital, Fri., Sat., & Sun. from 6-9 p.m., 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.: Olmsted Linear Park in Druid Hills (1287 S. Ponce de Leon Ave.) Free. All ages. Event details.


Don’t miss this annual tradition in the Highlands with tons of local artists, entertainment, food, and a fantastic (and free) Kidsfest, complete with games, arts and crafts, and face painting. Held at Kidsfest located in John Howell Park from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day, North Highland Ave. and Park Dr. Free. Sat. from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sun. from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. All ages. Event details.


Toddler Takeover at The Woodruff Arts Center
The Alliance Theatre, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, High Museum of Art, and Young Audiences present Toddler Takeover, an arts festival for the very young, with artistic experiences and arts-based workshops for kids ages 5 and under. Featuring six original productions, stroller tours, an interactive play space, and a special exhibit at the High, you won’t want to miss this family arts affair. Held at Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St NE. Fri. & Sat. from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sun. from 12 to 3 p.m. Adult Day Pass: $30, Big Kid Day Pass (for children 6–17 years old): $5, Very Young Day Pass (0–5 years old), free. All ages. Event details.

Last Weekend of The Swan: An Ugly Duckling Tale at Center for Puppetry Arts
When a little bird is born and doesn’t look like the birds around him, he goes in search of his parents. A must-see performance based on Hans Christian Andersen’s, The Ugly Duckling. Held at Center for Puppetry Arts, 1401 Spring St. NW at 18th. Fri. at 10 a.m. & 12 p.m., Sat. at 11 a.m., 1 & 3 p.m., Sun. at 1 & 3 p.m. $20.50/ person, children under 2 are free, All ages. Event details.


Flying Colors Butterfly Festival
Flutter over to this annual festival that enchants when the air fills with the beating wings of hundreds of beautiful butterflies. Visitors can hand-feed more than 200 free-flying butterflies, and all ages will enjoy the live music, arts and crafts, face painting, butterfly parades and more. Kids can wear their butterfly costumes and join the daily butterfly parades. Pollinator and host plants will be on sale for garden enthusiasts. Food trucks will sell snacks on site. Held at Chattahoochee Nature Center, 9135 Willeo Rd. $12 General Public/$8 CNC Members/ Free under 2. Sat. from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sun. from 12 to 5 p.m. All ages. Event details.


Free Train Ride for Students with “A’s” on Report Card
Celebrate the end of the school year with a train ride, complements of the Southeastern Railway Museum in Duluth. Each student visiting the museum between May 25 and June 4 recieve a free train ride when the student presents a report card with at least one grade of “A” (or equivalent representing the highest possible standard) for this school year. Held at Southeastern Railway Museum, 3595 Buford Hwy. Free. Thurs. to Sat. from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. All ages. Event details.

Worth the Drive: Helen

Helen to the Atlantic Balloon Race
Head to the Alpine village of Helen for a hot air balloon spectacular the entire family will remember. Be sure to pack a picnic, and since it’s Helen, lederhosen are optional. Tethered rides will be available Saturday evening, beginning around 7:30 p.m., last approximately 10 minutes, and cost $10 per person. Held at The Helendorf River Inn, 33 Munich Strasse. Events all weekend long; check website for schedule. Admission is free, rides on Saturday evening are $10/ person. All ages. Event details.

How will you spend the first weekend of June? Tell us in the comments section below!

—Shelley Massey