Events in Atlanta are a big deal and scoring cheap tickets to attend them is usually a worthwhile pursuit. A quick online search can reveal details for upcoming concerts, events happening tonight and fun activities scheduled throughout the year. Many local events are annually-occurring and have developed a large following over the years. Free events are often scheduled at State Park venues, but most fun things to do come with a cost. Keep reading to learn about some of the metro area’s most popular events.
Atlanta Jazz Festival
Concert tickets are not required for the Atlanta Jazz Festival as this yearly tradition is one of Atlanta’s largest free events. Drawing jazz lovers from around the globe, the legendary music festival is hosted annually at Piedmont Park on Memorial Day weekend. One of the most famous free events in Atlanta, the festival showcases national jazz legends, local jazz musicians, a youth jazz band competition and other fun events centered around this genre of music.
A full month of jazz concerts is held at Piedmont Park throughout the month of May in preparation for the festival. Arts and crafts vendors, food and drink vendors and various merchandise vendors round out this festival on the Atlanta calendar of events. The Jazz Festival runs from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on the Saturday and Sunday preceding Memorial Day.
Atlanta Food and Wine Festival
When spring begins to feel like summer and searches begin for upcoming events in Atlanta, try not to miss the Atlanta Food and Wine festival. Held on the Atlanta BeltLine Eastside Trail and at the Loews Atlanta Hotel, this famous event in Atlanta showcases southern culture and cuisine. Visitors can enjoy exclusive food and wine tastings from over 250 restaurants, chefs and artisans. Nearly 100 classes, discussions, seminars and panel discussions are offered during the educational and entertaining event. Ticket pricing varies by the activities you choose and ranges from $65 for the Destination Delicious Night Market to $1,530 for the full Connoisseur Weekend experience.
Yellow Daisy Festival
For over 50 years, Stone Mountain Park’s Annual Yellow Daisy Festival has been one of the most popular fun things to do in Atlanta as summer draws to a close. Known as one of the best arts and crafts shows in the nation, the event showcases the work of hundreds of artists from across the United States each September. One of the more art-centric events in Atlanta, Georgia, the Yellow Daisy Festival is a big show with a small-town feel. Featured artists include painters, potters, crafters, woodworkers and jewelers.
The four-day event in Atlanta starts at 10 a.m. each day, with end times ranging from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Access to the festival is included with a paid parking admission of $20 per vehicle. For just $20 more, you may purchase an annual Stone Mountain parking permit that allows access for one calendar year.
The Atlanta Fair
Every spring since 1980 the city’s only urban fair returns to bring rides, games, favorite fair foods and entertainment to the heart of Atlanta. One of the best seasonal fun things to do in Atlanta, the fair is held across from the Georgia Panther Stadium in the Turner Field Gray Lot. A towering Ferris wheel, carnival game midway and various spinning thrill rides can be enjoyed by purchasing individual ride tickets for $1.25 each or a $25 unlimited ride wristband. Food and games are sold separately by independent vendors.
A general fair entrance admission fee is charged to all visitors and ranges from $1 for children under 42 inches tall to $9 for adults visiting on Saturday evenings. Students younger than age 18 must be accompanied by an adult older than 21 years of age on Friday and Saturday evenings. Monday through Friday, the gates open at 5 p.m. and close at 9 p.m. On Saturday and Sunday, the gates open at 1 p.m. and close at 9 p.m. Parking is available in nearby lots for an additional fee.
Georgia Renaissance Festival
For eight weekends each spring, this historic European-styled country fair displays what life was like during medieval times. With over 1,000 characters in period costumes, visitors can enjoy jousting tournaments, sword-swallowing shows and a wide array of acrobats, jugglers, musicians and dancers. The festival includes children’s activities, games and rides and can be reserved for weddings, birthday parties and other events. Tickets range in price from $9 to $25 and can be purchased online. The festival runs Saturdays, Sundays and on Memorial Day from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is located approximately 8 miles south of the Atlanta airport off I-85, near Fairburn and Peachtree City.
Chastain Park Arts Festival
Artsy things to do in Atlanta include the annual Chastain Park Arts Festival. Held each May in the largest public park in Fulton County, the event features approximately 185 artists displaying a huge variety of arts and crafts. Painters, sculptors, photographers, glass blowers, jewelers and metal craft artisans are included in the participants. A fall festival is held at the same location each November. Local acoustic musicians add flavor to the creative atmosphere and visitors can purchase concessions from food trucks and vendors. The event runs Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Annual Peach Drop
The Peach Drop is an annual New Years Eve event and one of the most memorable things to do in Atlanta as each year draws to a close. Concert tickets are not required to enjoy the live music that begins at 6 p.m. each December 31 and continues until after midnight on January 1st. Like the Times Square Ball Drop that happens on New Year’s Eve in New York City, the peach replaces the ball as a symbol of Georgia.
The Peach Drop is a free event in Atlanta, but attendees should arrive early to secure a good spot for viewing. Using MARTA is recommended to avoid parking difficulties. Street closures begin at 3:30 p.m. around the venue’s perimeter:
- Peachtree Street to Wall Street
- Wall Street to Central Avenue
- Central Avenue to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard
- Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to Peachtree Street