And so it begins. Summer is here, the kids are out of school, and you’ve got it all completely under control. Celebrate the start of the season with a trip to a nearby (really!) beach, the mountains, or a neighborhood festival. Read on for your weekend game plan.

Photo: Alison Mickelson via Flickr


Atlanta Jazz Festival
Don’t miss the annual Atlanta Jazz Festival, that includes a weekend of legends and up-and-comers in Piedmont Park. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Shows for Seedlings at Atlanta Botanical Garden
Enjoy a variety of live performances from some of Atlanta’s best storytellers and musicians. Shows are every Friday and Saturday from May until September. This weekend, hear enchanting stories full of appreciation for plants and animals. Fri. & Sat. Event details.

Druid Hills

Amazon Adventure Day at Fernbank
Embark on an Amazonian adventure to discover the wonders of the jungle. Enjoy rainforest-themed crafts, games and hands-on activities that highlight the inhabitants and history of the region. Inspired by the new giant screen film Amazon Adventure. Sat. Event details.


Decatur Arts Festival
In addition to the artists market, book readings, and live performances at the Decatur Arts Fest, don’t forget to visit the Kids Arts Festival, which kicks off with a parade. Lineup begins at 9:30 am at the corner of Commerce Drive and Church Street. Marching begins at 9:50 am. Dress up your kids and decorate your strollers, bikes, and trikes. The coolest decorated ride wins a prize. After the parade, enjoy arts and crafts, music, balloons, juggling, clowns, inflatables, and new this year, a gaming truck for kids of all ages. Sat. Event details.


Shriners Circus
The World’s Largest Shrine Circus & Midway Carnival is as classic a circus experience you can get, with high-flying trapeze acts, aerials and acrobats, show horses, elephants, bears, daredevil acts, thrilling carnival rides and, of course, world-famous Shriner clowns. There are also more than 40 carnival rides and attractions, plus all the carni food you can dream of. Be sure to check the schedule before you go. Fri.-Sun. Event details.


Canoe Trip
Kick off Summer, and your day, with a morning paddle down the ‘Hooch with a guide from the Chattahoochee Nature Center. You’ll be back in plenty of time to fire up the grill. Mon. Event details.


Alpharetta Arts StreetFest
Head to historic downtown Alpharetta for over 90 regional and national artisans, live music, entertaining and hands-on children’s activities (a clay experience at the potter’s wheel, liquid watercolor and pastel painting pieces, sand art, face painting, glitter tattoos, colorful parrots, fun science activities, crafts and splashy water ball fun in the park located at the corner of Milton Avenue and North Main Street). There will also be local eats available to purchase. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Callaway Gardens

Memorial Day at The Beach
Kick off Summer 2017 with a splash during Callaway Gardens’ Memorial Day Weekend Festival, featuring the 58th Masters Water Ski & Wakeboard Tournament®Presented by GM Marine Engine Technology and a host of other fun attractions at Robin Lake Beach including live music, the beach activities, kids zones, great food, drink specials and more. Fri.-Mon. Event details.

Stone Mountain

Memorial Day at The Mountain
For a special salute to the troops, head to Stone Mountain for a fireworks display, lasershow, 5K/1K Walk & Run (Sunday, May 28), and attractions that include SkyHike®, one of the nation’s largest adventure ropes courses, Geyser Towers®, a one-of-a-kind water adventure, Summit Skyride, where you can soar to the top of the mountain for unprecedented views of the city, Ride The Ducks™, where you can tour the Park in a splashy way, and more. Fri.-Mon. Event details.


The Renaissance Festival
Celebrating its 32nd year, the Georgia Renaissance Festival has been voted on of the Southeast’s Top 20 Events, and is an art and entertainment festival held each spring combining outdoor theater, circus-style entertainment, and an arts and craft marketplace, all set inside a re-created 16th-Century European village. Ten stages provide a continuous schedule of music, comedy, juggling, and amazing feats of skill, and roaming performers will keep the kiddos entertained all day long. Sat. & Sun. Event details.

How will you kick off summer this weekend? Tell us in the comments section below!

—Shelley Massey