20 free things to do in metro Atlanta in January

Fans cheer during Braves Fest Opening Rally at Georgia Power Pavilion Stage in The Battery Atlanta, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023, in Atlanta. (Hyosub Shin / Hyosub.Shin@ajc.com)

After all the holiday spending, kick off the new year without breaking the bank with an enticing array of free events around Atlanta. From captivating art exhibits to invigorating fitness and wellness classes, engaging workshops, and the spirited Braves Fest, there’s something for everyone. As the birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr., Atlanta pays homage to its rich history with MLK celebrations that offer both reflection and inspiration. Get ready to explore the diverse and cost-free offerings that make Atlanta an exciting destination for an affordable and enriching January experience.

Total Fitness - Wills Park Recreation Center (Alpharetta)

Celebrate New Year’s Day with a lively and interactive step class featuring lightweight exercise, all equipment is provided.

Location: Alpharetta - 11925 Wills Rd.; Website: awesomealpharetta.com; Date: Monday, Jan. 1; Time: 9:30 - 10:30 a.m.

New Year’s Day Party: Living Room Sessions Live - indieDigs (Summerhill)

Continue the New Year’s Day celebrations at IndieDigs and Sounds Good ATL’s festive party for all ages, starting at 3 p.m. Enjoy snacks and drinks as part of the celebration.

Location: Summerhill - 55 Ormond St. SE; Website: creativeloafing.com; Date: Monday, Jan. 1; Time: 3 p.m.

Gifts of Yoga at Uptown - Buckhead

Join Priscila Baptista for a yoga series at Uptown Atlanta, focusing on the Gifts of Yoga with flexibility, strength, balance and relaxation. Be sure to register!

Location: Buckhead - 500 Lindbergh Dr. NE; Website: eventbrite.com/gifts-of-yoga-at-uptown; Date: Wednesday, Jan. 3; Time: 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Marietta Square Art Walk - Marietta Square

Take a stroll around historic Marietta Square for a free self-guided Art Walk as you explore Marietta’s cultural scene with live music and local art.

Location: Marietta - 99 S. Park Square NE; Website: mariettasquareartwalk.com; Date: Friday, Jan. 5; Time: 5 - 9 p.m.

Free First Saturday - Dunwoody Nature Center

Explore “Rivers and Streams” at Dunwoody Nature Center’s Free First Saturday with family-friendly activities and a guided hike. Stick around for a book signing with Sally Bethea, author of “Keeping the Chattahoochee” and founding director of Chattahoochee Riverkeeper.

Location: Dunwoody - 5343 Roberts Dr.; Website: dunwoodynature.org; Date: Saturday, Jan. 6; Time: 1-3 p.m.

Boxing Workshop - Rumble Boxing (Alpharetta)

Check out a free Boxing Workshop at Rumble, led by Pro Boxer Eric Lee. Learn fundamental boxing techniques, open to the public (ages 13 and up).

Location: Alpharetta - 6110 North Point Pkwy., Suite C; Website: awesomealpharetta.com; Date: Sunday, Jan. 7; Time: Noon to 2 p.m.

Dia de Reyes - Plaza Fiesta

Families can join the celebration of Three Kings Day at Plaza Fiesta, where there will be contests, plenty of entertainment and the shared joy of indulging in a Three Kings Cake.

Location: Chamblee - 4166 Buford Hwy. NE; Website: plazafiesta.net; Date: Sunday, Jan. 7; Time: 2 p.m.

Movie Mondays - Norcross

Experience the joy of free movies and light refreshments at Norcross Movie Mondays, held at the Cultural Arts & Community Center every 2nd and 4th Monday of the month, featuring Book Club and Book Club: The Next Chapter.

Location: Norcross - 10 College St. NW; Website: norcrossga.net; Dates: Monday, Jan. 8 and Monday, Jan. 22; Time: 1:30 and 6:30 p.m.

Bach’s Lunch: Handel with Care - First Presbyterian Church (Midtown)

Indulge in the musical delights of “Bach’s Lunch: Handel with Care,” featuring pianist Michael Gurt and members of the Vega Quartet, presenting the works and inspiration of G. F. Handel, the revered composer Beethoven considered the greatest. Enjoy this enriching experience co-presented by the Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta, with free admission upon RSVP.

Location: Midtown - 1328 Peachtree St. NE; Website: eventbrite.com/bachs-lunch; Date: Friday, Jan. 12; Time: Noon to 1 p.m.

Cubing at Ponce - Joan P. Garner Library

Calling all puzzle enthusiasts ages 9-17! Unleash your passion for the Rubik’s cube, delve into the math behind twisty puzzles and connect with fellow puzzlers at the Ponce Library for a fun-filled event to develop your speedcubing skills and make new friends.

Location: East Atlanta - 980 Ponce De Leon Ave. NE; Website: eventbrite.com/cubing-at-ponce; Date: Friday, Jan. 12; Time: 4:30-5:30 p.m.

“I Have a Dream” Viewing - Colony Square (Midtown)

Honor the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. at Colony Square’s Plaza with hourly viewings of the iconic “I Have A Dream” speech on the big screen.

Location: Midtown - 1197 Peachtree St. NE; Website: colonysquare.com; Date: Monday, Jan. 15; Time: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Art and Film Celebration - City Green (Sandy Springs)

Join the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Art & Film Celebration featuring interactive art projects and screenings of “Our Friend, Martin.” Explore themes of justice, love, liberty, equality and freedom.

Location: Sandy Springs (City Green) - 1 Galambos Wy.; Website: sandyspringsga.gov/mlk; Date: Monday, Jan. 15; Time: 1 p.m.

Puppy Playdate Paw-ty - The Works

Unleash the fun at Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming’s Puppy Playdate Paw-ty, an exciting gathering for new pet parents and their furry companions, featuring socialization, grooming tips, local pet vendors, photo opportunities, exclusive discounts and complimentary treats for your pups!

Location: Northeast - 1295 Chattahoochee Ave. NW; Website: theworksatl.com; Date: Saturday, Jan. 16; Time: 2  p.m.

Ordinary People Change the World Series - Morris and Rae Frank Theatre (Dunwoody)

Celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Ordinary People Change the World series with Brad Meltzer and Chris Eliopoulos, unveiling the latest “Hero” book, I Am Ruth Bader Ginsburg, at the MJCCA Book Festival. Enjoy a pizza party and book signing following the event.

Location: Dunwoody - 5342 Tilly Mill Rd.; Website: showclix.com; Date: Tuesday, Jan. 16; Time: 5:30 p.m.

Exhibition: Please Touch the Art - The Reeves House Visual Arts Center (Woodstock)

Embark on a groundbreaking art experience at the “Please Touch the Art” opening night reception, where rules are meant to be broken. This exhibit invites you to touch, play, and immerse yourself in a more sensory and inclusive art encounter, pushing the boundaries of the traditional passive viewing experience and creating a deeper connection with the artwork.

Location: Woodstock - 734 Reeves St.; Website: woodstockarts.org; Date: Thursday, Jan. 18; Time: 6 - 9 p.m.

Music Bingo: Early 2000s! - Urban Tree Cidery

Join the fun at Music Bingo with Dirty South Trivia where the theme is Early 2000s. Enjoy a free and engaging game with the chance to win gift cards and other fantastic prizes!

Location: Midtown - 1465 Howell Mill Rd. NW; Website: eventvesta.com/music-bingo; Date: Friday, Jan. 19; Time: 8 p.m.

Tiny Doors ATL Open Studio - Atlantic Station

We’ve all seen those famous Tiny Doors around Atlanta, and on Saturday, Jan. 20, the Tiny Doors studio will be open to the public. Get a behind-the-scenes look at how this iconic Atlanta-based art project comes to life.

Location: Midtown - 1380 Atlantic Dr. NW, Suite 14100; Website: atlanticstation.com; Date: Saturday, Jan. 20; Time: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Impactful Intentions with Kelley Knight - Modern Mystic (Ponce City Market)

Join Modern Mystic for a free workshop to discover your personalized theme for the year through oracle cards, gaining clarity and power. Don’t miss the chance to start the year with impactful intentions!

Location: East Atlanta - 675 Ponce De Leon Ave. NE; Website: poncecitymarket.com; Date: Sunday, Jan. 21; Time: 11 a.m. to noon

Braves Fest 2024 - The Battery Atlanta

Explore the excitement at Braves Fest celebrating the 6-time National League East Champions, offering a day filled with photos, interactive entertainment and exclusive player interactions.

Location: Cumberland - 800 Battery Ave. SE; Website: mlb.com/braves-fest; Dates: Saturday, Jan. 27; Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Gallery Reception: Earthbound - Alpharetta Arts Center (Alpharetta)

Explore the profound connection between humanity and the environment through the Earthbound exhibit, showcasing original artworks for sale with live music and light refreshments.

Location: Alpharetta - 238 Canton St.; Website: awesomealpharetta.com; Dates: Saturday, Jan. 27; Time: 5-7 p.m.

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