20 free things to do in metro Atlanta in September

People walk around the vendor booths the Sweet Auburn Music Festival in Atlanta on Sunday, September 26, 2021. (Photo: Steve Schaefer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Step into the dynamic urban tapestry of Atlanta, where the arrival of September ushers in a fresh wave of engaging and wallet-friendly experiences. As the city bids farewell to the summer heat, a mosaic of cost-free events emerges, inviting all to partake in the upcoming month’s cultural and recreational offerings. Unveiling an assortment of 20 exceptional activities, this guide is your key to navigating the Atlanta area without spending a dime. From captivating exhibitions to rhythmic musical evenings, serene park strolls to flavorful food festivals, the options are as diverse as the city itself. Join us as we uncover the no-cost marvels that await, and embrace September in Atlanta with open arms.

Dragon Con Parade - Peachtree St.

Join the excitement of the Dragon Con parade, freely accessible to all and set to begin at 10 a.m., drawing early crowds from 8 a.m. onward to secure the best viewing spots.

Location: Peachtree St. (Parade Route); Website: dragoncon.org/parade; Date: Saturday, Sept. 2; Time: 10 a.m.

iHeart Radio End of Summer Concert - The Camp at The Works

Celebrate the end of summer with the electrifying iHeartRadio Concert featuring a dynamic artist lineup from 3 to 8 p.m.

Location: Northeast - 1235 Chattahoochee Ave. NW; Website: theworksatl.com; Date: Saturday, Sept. 2; Time: 3 - 8 p.m.

37th Annual Art in the Park - Marietta Square

Experience the 37th annual Marietta Art in the Park, a prestigious Labor Day weekend tradition featuring a three-day fine art festival in the historic Marietta Square.

Location: Marietta - 99 S. Park Square NE; Website: artparkmarietta.com; Dates: Saturday, Sept. 2 - Monday, Sept. 4; Time: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Broad Street Boardwalk Lunchtime Performance Series - Downtown Atlanta

Elevate your lunch break in Downtown with live performances on the Broad Street Boardwalk every Wednesday from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m.

Location: Downtown - Broad St. NW; Website: atlantadowntown.com; Dates: Every Wednesday (Sept. 6, 13, 20 and 27); Time: Noon - 1:30 p.m.

AvalOM - Avalon (Alpharetta)

Experience the serenity of AvalOm at Avalon with special yoga, barre, or pilates classes led by different studios and instructors.

Location: Alpharetta (Avalon) - 2200 Avalon Blvd.; Website: experienceavalon.com; Date: Every Wednesday, Sept. 6, 13, 20 and 27; Time: 6 - 7 p.m.

Dirty Birds Rally - Atlantic Station

Join the excitement as Falcons football returns with a thrilling kickoff party, including musical performances, appearances by players and coaches, fun giveaways and a performance by T.I.

Location: Midtown - 1380 Atlantic Dr. NW; Website: atlanticstation.com; Contact: 404-410-4010; Date: Friday, Sept. 8; Time: 7 - 9:30 p.m.

YogaSix One Year Anniversary Celebration - The Battery Atlanta

Celebrate YogaSix’s one-year anniversary with free classes, cold plunges, themed sessions, local vendors, massages and exciting raffle prizes.

Location: Cobb - 800 Battery Ave. SE; Website: batteryatl.com; Date: Saturday, Sept. 9

Weekend Wind Down Concert Series - Avondale Estates Town Green

Kick off Hispanic Heritage Month with Latin group, COT Band, as they bring a lively blend of Caribbean Rhythms, funk, pop, and Brazilian beats to the Weekend Wind Down Concert Series.

Location: Avondale Estates - 64 N Avondale Rd.; Website: avondaleestates.org; Date: Sunday, Sept. 10; Time: 5 - 8 p.m.

9/11 Commemorative Ceremony - Roswell City Hall

Participate in the 9/11 Commemorative Ceremony at Roswell City Hall, where the Mayor and City Council will pay tribute to the lives lost.

Location: Roswell - 38 Hill St.; Website: visitroswellga.com; Date: Monday, Sept. 11; Time: 8:30 - 9:30 a.m.

A Night at Norfolk Southern - Midtown

Embark on an engaging evening at Norfolk Southern’s new Midtown office, delving into the intricacies of the train industry, sustainability and art, while enjoying culinary delights from their in-house food hall. Secure your spot with the required registration due to limited space.

Location: Midtown - 650 W Peachtree St. NE; Website: eventbrite.com; Date: Wednesday, Sept. 13; Time: 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Placita Latina Salsa on the Square - Decatur Square

Dance the night away to the vibrant rhythms of Salsa on the Square featuring live performances, dance instructions, food, drinks, vendors and an energetic after-dance-party.

Location: Decatur - 509 N McDonough St.; Website: placitalatinaga.org; Date: Saturday, Sept. 16; Time: 4 - 10 p.m.

Buckhead Fine Arts Festival - Buckhead Village

Explore the Buckhead Arts Festival, a two-day outdoor showcase of fine arts with a diverse array of artists, live demonstrations and acoustic music.

Location: Buckhead - 259 Buckhead Ave.; Website: buckheadartsfestival.com; Dates: Saturday, Sept. 16 - Sunday, Sept. 17

Fiestas Patrias Celebration - Plaza Fiesta

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at Plaza Fiesta with the lively “Fiestas Patrias” event, a 19-year tradition as the official venue for the Mexican Consulate’s “El Grito – Mexican Independence Celebration,” providing an engaging cultural experience that embraces heritage, entertainment and community.

Location: Chamblee - 4166 Buford Hwy. NE; Website: plazafiesta.net; Date: Sept. 17

Atlanta Dessert Festival - Grant Park

Dessert lovers are welcomed to Grant Park for the Atlanta Dessert Festival, a tantalizing celebration boasting a wide selection of dessert vendors and food trucks, perfect for satisfying every sweet craving.

Location: Grant Park - 840 Cherokee Ave. SE; Website: eventbrite.com; Date: Saturday, Sept. 23; Time: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Concert on the Green: Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month - Logan Farm Park (Acworth)

Join the festivities at Acworth’s Logan Farm Park for Concert on the Green: Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. Everyone can enjoy food, music and dancing from 5 to 10 p.m.

Location: Acworth - 4405 Cherokee St.; Website: travelcobb.org; Date: Saturday, Sept. 23; Time: 5 - 10 p.m.

Third Annual Hispanic Heritage Celebration - Downtown Smyrna

Experience the third annual Hispanic Heritage Celebration hosted by the City of Smyrna featuring live performances, a youth art contest, local vendors, entertainment, and a movie night.

Location: Downtown Smyrna - 2800 King St. SE; Website: smyrnaga.gov; Date: Saturday, Sept. 23; Time: 5 - 9 p.m.

Roswell Riverside Sounds - Riverside Park (Roswell)

Enjoy the captivating sounds of Jackie Venson at Roswell Riverside Sounds, a free outdoor concert series held every fourth Saturday of the month from April through September, showcasing her intricate and soulful blend of Blues, Rock, R&B and Soul.

Location: Roswell - 575 Riverside Rd.; Website: visitroswellga.com; Date: Saturday, Sept. 23; Time: 7 - 9 p.m.

Atlanta Streets Alive - Colony Square

Celebrate the revival of Atlanta Streets Alive as Propel ATL and the City of Atlanta team up to transform segments of Peachtree Street into pedestrian-friendly spaces for biking, walking and more. The Grove will offer a bike valet, flavored water, a King of Pops pop-up, live music and exclusive swag at the kickoff event.

Location: Midtown - 1197 Peachtree St. NE; Website: colonysquare.com; Date: Saturday, Sept. 24; Time: 1 - 5 p.m.

Sweet Auburn Music Fest - Historic Sweet Auburn District

Experience the essence of unity and diversity at the Sweet Auburn Music Festival, a dynamic event that blends music from various genres, culinary delights and family entertainment into a celebration of Atlanta’s community spirit.

Location: East Atlanta - 320 Irwin St. NE; Website: sweetauburnmusicfest.com; Dates: Saturday, Sept. 30 - Sunday, Oct. 1; Time: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

40th Annual Duluth Fall Festival - Downtown Duluth

Mark your calendars for the return of the Duluth Fall Festival, spanning two lively days, featuring delectable food, live performances, arts and crafts, a vibrant parade and a range of entertainment, making it one of the Southeast’s most celebrated events.

Location: Duluth - 3142 Hill St. NW; Website: duluthfallfestival.org; Dates: Saturday, Sept. 30 - Sunday, Oct. 1

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