Can’t Miss Atlanta Events: May 2017

In the month that includes National Kids to Parks Day, it’s easy to sense a theme: May is all about getting outside. From a magical evening wandering through the Atlanta Botanical Garden to wandering through wildflower fields and Oakland Cemetery, relish these warmer and longer days with loads of family fun.

atlanta events may

All of May: Atlanta Braves Games at SunTrust Park – Promotions

Weekly favorites including Friday Night Fireworks presented by Georgia Lottery, Kids Run the Bases presented by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Alumni Sundays presented by Hyundai will return for the 2017 season. The 2017 promotional schedule includes more than 10 giveaways, with one scheduled for every Friday home game this season. From bobbleheads to t-shirts to koozies, fans won’t want to miss any of the inaugural season giveaways. In addition, every Saturday home game, starting with the May 6 contest against the St. Louis Cardinals, will be a Star Wars theme night in the ballpark. Theme nights will give fans the chance to enjoy pregame and in-game activities related to the theme, limited-edition concession and merchandise items, and the option to purchase a ticket package that comes with a themed giveaway or experience.

All of May: Panola Mountain State Park Mountain and Wildflower Hikes

Wonder why Panola Mountain is a restricted area? Come on a guided hike for a look at the granite mountain’s ecology and see how outcrop plants scrape out a living in this harsh environment. We’ll look for Diamorpha, Carolina Jessamine, Atamasco Lily and Trout Lily, depending on dates. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and bring water. Register in advance. Saturdays and Sundays in May, plus Memorial Day. Ages 10 & older for this moderately strenuous hike. $5 plus $5 parking.

May 1: Toddler Time – Mother’s Day

Parents, grab your toddlers and head out to a fantastic day as we host Toddler Time at Georgia Aquarium. This fun and educational voyage includes story time, crafts, and much more! You and your toddler will see views of beluga whales, whale sharks, manta rays and many more exciting aquatic animals during a special introduction to marine life. May’s theme is Mother’s Day!

May 2: Jazz for Kids Jazz Jam at the Rialto

Experience the future of jazz as the next generation of jazz musicians from metro Atlanta middle schools debut on the Rialto stage!  Rialto Jazz for Kids Jazz Jam showcases Atlanta’s most talented young jazz artists. Each band will play three jazz selections, complete with individual solos. The evening will culminate with a performance by the Rialto Jazz for Kids All-Stars, comprised of select students from the Jazz for Kids program’s five partnering middle schools. Don’t miss the opportunity to see these up-and-coming stars perform! The Rialto Jazz for Kids Jazz Jam performance is FREE and open to the public.

May 6: Second Annual Food That Rocks

With 1,500 attendees at last year’s inaugural event, Food That Rocks returns in 2017 showcasing more than 20 Sandy Springs restaurants. This culinary celebration invites foodies to sample the epicurean delights of the city, as well as enjoy three live bands. The event benefits three local charities, and New York Times bestselling author Mary Kay Andrews will also be in attendance offering tastings of recipes from her new cookbook.

May 6 (and beyond): The Curious Garden at the Atlanta Botanical Garden

The Curious Garden, presented May 6 – October 29, features 14 site-specific installations created to share a story about the Garden’s plant collections and plant conservation work by prompting visitors to make a discovery, ask questions and provoke a discussion. Bold, often unexpected, manmade and altered natural materials are employed to direct the eye to focus on the simple beauty of nature.  The unique and unconventional installations are the work of guest artist and design director Adam Schwerner, known for his bold, and sometimes evocative, enhancements to city parks in Chicago and elsewhere.

May 12: National Public Gardens Day at Oakland Cemetery and the Atlanta History Center

This annual tradition of celebrating public gardens historically takes place on the Friday preceding Mother’s Day weekend each year. The intent is to raise awareness of public gardens and the important role they play in their communities and on a global scale. On May 12, enjoy a free guided walking tour of Oakland Cemetery’s Victorian gardens, urban arboretum, and nature preserve. At the Atlanta History Center, enjoy free admission to the Center’s Goizueta Gardens and Cherokee Garden Library. Free tours will be offered throughout the day.

May 13: The Great Gatsby Lawn Party at the Wren’s Nest

Nestled under towering greenery, ensconsed behind the charming birthplace of the famous children’s trickster, Br’er Rabbit, return to an older era of flapper dresses, boater hats, and the big band scores of the 1910’s, 1920’s, & 1930’s. 11 piece orchestras will warm up your feet or join in the dance lessons, performances and contests! Lawn games including croquet, bocce, and Tug O’ War, a gigantic dance floor, vintage paper moon photo sets, food & beverage, specialty alcoholic Prohibition cocktail bars, and much more await! Period attire strongly encouraged. Our youngest fans under 14 years attend for FREE!

May 13: M.A.Y. Fair at Woodlands Garden

Our family-friendly event for the spring, M.A.Y. (music, art, & youth) Fair, is back and will be better than ever. Come join the fun to hear live music and shop the Artist Market on Saturday, May 13th from 11am to 2pm.  This is Mother’s Day weekend, so bring mom by and find her a very sweet handmade gift during this showcase of local youth talent!

May 13-14: Mountain Art & Craft Celebration

Enjoy the Mountain Art & Craft Celebration, presented by the Friends of Cloudland Canyon State Park.  This family-friendly event features over 100 exhibitors displaying quality arts and crafts for sale.  Food vendors will offer snacks and full meals. Find the perfect gift for Mother’s Day!

May 18 (and beyond): Movies at Atlantic Station’s Central Park

Nothing says summertime like watching your favorite movies under the stars in the glow of Atlanta’s skyline. The 2017 season of Movies in Central Park will feature films from 1990-2000. The films will begin promptly at dusk. Movies in Central Park begins on May 18 and lasts through Aug. 3. Kick off the series on May 18 with Tremors.

May 19: Endangered Species Day at Georgia Aquarium

Georgia Aquarium is committed to saving species! Visit us on Friday, May 19, 2017 to learn what we’re doing and what you can do to save species during our Endangered Species Day activities. You’ll see some of our endangered species’ exhibits as you’ve never seen them before and participate in our Endangered Species Scavenger Hunt through our galleries with a fun prize at the end! All Endangered Species Day activities are FREE for annual members and guests from 11am-2pm!

May 19-29: The Magari Theatre Presents Always A Bridesmaid

Join us as The Magari Theatre stage on May 19th through May 28th, performing Always A Bridesmaid at their Downtown Duluth location, The Red Clay Music Foundry. This comical stage play tells the story of friends who made vows to each other, for better or worse, to find love and walk down the aisle. This famous play was written by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope, and Jamie Wooten. This hilarious marriage go-round of comedy is perfect for women audiences.

May 20: National Kids to Parks Day

Join families across the nation for ranger-led hikes, guided kayaking trips, geocaching, a snake program, archery classes and more in Georgia’s State Parks. Sponsored by the National Park Trust, the celebration encourages children to explore public lands.

May 20-21: Ride the Rails

A five-mile round-trip ride by railroad motor car traveling through the Iron Bridge over the beautiful Toccoa River to the Hogback Road crossing at Murphy Junction, then returning over the bridge back to the Historic Mineral Bluff Depot. Take a ride on the genuine railroad handcar, fun for all ages!

May 26-28: Atlanta Jazz Festival

The Atlanta Jazz Festival is regarded as one of the country’s largest free jazz festivals. It is an annual musical showcase that celebrates jazz legends and up-and-coming jazz greats in venues throughout metropolitan Atlanta. The festival culminates each Memorial Day weekend with show-stopping performances at Piedmont Park.

May 26-28: Decatur Arts Festival

Downtown Decatur comes alive on Memorial Day weekend for the annual Decatur Arts Festival. The festival takes over downtown, extending from the Decatur Recreation Center to the downtown square, including East and West Ponce de Leon Avenue, Clairemont Avenue and the Dalton Gallery at Agnes Scott College. This year’s festival will be bursting with artful opportunities and events — artist market, live musical performances, improvisational and stand-up comedy, a children’s festival and parade, literary events, dance performances and more.

May 29: Memorial Day at Georgia Aquarium

In honor of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, Georgia Aquarium will commemorate this Memorial Day as part of our Military Salute programming. At 12:00 p.m. on Monday, May 29, 2017, please join us in the Aquarium’s main Atrium for the presentation of colors, playing of “Taps” and a Moment of Silence.

Find an annual list of Atlanta events here.

Paige Sullivan | Travel and Calendar Editor

Paige Sullivan recently completed her MFA at Georgia State University, where she studied, wrote, and published poetry. She now works as a marketing professional in the nonprofit sector, and in her spare time, she freelance edits and dabbles in food and travel writing. Find her on social media at @bpaigesullivan.

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