Your outdoor guide to Atlanta’s spring festivals, markets and more

Beltline Eastside Trail in Old Fourth Ward on May 2, 2022
Katrina Merto

Springtime in Atlanta is a truly magical experience. The weather is perfect, the sunsets are stunning, and there are plenty of outdoor events, festivals and activities to enjoy.

CHECK OUT: Dash into spring: Atlanta races taking place from March through June

To help you make the most of everything Atlanta offers during this special season, we’ve put together a helpful guide with some of the best ways to enjoy the city. Check out our top picks below!

Concerts and festivals

Saturday’s Spring (music) Break: Come to westside Atlanta on Saturdays in the spring, starting at 4 p.m., for The Works’ FREE music series at The Camp. Enjoy local and regional bands for the perfect weekend activity. This event is fun for all ages!

Brookhaven Cherry Blossom Festival: The Brookhaven Cherry Blossom Festival is a must-visit neighborhood event, and it gets even better with its impressive music lineup. Catch HANSON, Band of Horses, Don McLean, and The Fray, all in one single weekend in March, making it a not-to-be-missed FREE festival for music lovers. March 25-26.

Spring Fling at The Avenue Peachtree City: Welcome the spring season with The Avenue’s annual Spring Festival on Thursday, April 6, from 6-8 p.m.! This event is packed with exciting activities including an appearance from the Easter Bunny, face painting, a mini petting zoo and more.

Atlanta Dogwood Festival: Now in its 87th year, the Atlanta Dogwood Festival is one of the city’s oldest and most beloved festivals. This FREE event features a variety of activities, including an artist market, live music, and a kids village. The festival takes place in Piedmont Park and attracts thousands of visitors every year. April 14-16.

Georgia Renaissance Festival: Step back in time to medieval Europe and join hundreds of festival-goers at the Georgia Renaissance Festival. Immerse yourself in a world of costumes and characters, and enjoy live music, comedy, jousting performances, animals, games, and much more! April 15 through June 4.

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SweetWater 420 Fest: Normally taking place downtown, this music fest has downsized to the brewer’s headquarters at Armour Yards this year due to safety concerns over Georgia’s gun laws. The lineup features talented bands such as Shakey Graves and Neal Francis, and a variety of delicious food and drink options from local vendors. April 22-23.

Taste of Marietta: This annual food festival is beloved by foodies and families alike, with over 70 restaurants and food vendors participating each year. Festival admission is FREE, and “tastes” range from $1 to $5 each. You can also enjoy musical entertainment, a Kid’s Alley area, chef spotlight stages, and more. April 30.

Shaky Knees Music Festival: Celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, jam out with the sounds of The Killers, The Lumineers, Muse, Hozier, and more at Shaky Knees Festival. This festival takes place in Central Park, in the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood. Other acts include The Black Angels, Grouplove, The Flaming Lips, Father John Misty, and many others. May 5-7.

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Chastain Spring Arts and Craft Festival: Head to Chastain Park this May for one of the largest and most enthusiastic arts and crafts festivals in the country. This FREE festival features a variety of handmade crafts, art, jewelry, and other unique items from local and national artisans. The festival also includes live music, food vendors, and a fun family-friendly atmosphere. May 13-14.

Virginia Highland Porchfest: The Virginia Highland Porchfest is a one-of-a-kind music festival that takes place in the charming neighborhood of Virginia Highland. This FREE event features over 100 musicians performing on neighborhood porches, creating a festive atmosphere that’s perfect for music lovers and families alike. May 20.

Atlanta Jazz Festival: The Atlanta Jazz Festival at Piedmont Park is back for its 46th year and is not just for your grandparents! This is one of the country’s largest FREE jazz festivals, and this year it’s jazzing things up with a “31 Days of Jazz” event series and the all-new Jazz Spot, which includes exclusive amenities and guaranteed good views. May 27-29.

Juneteenth Atlanta Parade & Music Festival: Celebrate Juneteenth in Atlanta with the annual Juneteenth Parade & Music Festival at Centennial Olympic Park! This three-day event features live music, inspiring speakers, a parade, films, an art market, delicious food trucks, and much more. Don’t miss out on this incredible celebration of freedom, community, and culture. June 16-18.

Markets, games, art and more

Creator’s Market at Atlantic Station: Every Saturday and Sunday throughout spring, head to the Atlantic Green to enjoy the Creator’s Market. Shop for handmade art, jewelry, soaps, and other items.

Learn and discover: Learning is fun — especially when it’s outdoors. The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park offers a unique opportunity to explore the places where Dr. King was born, lived, worked, worshipped, and is buried. Meanwhile, at Fernbank’s Forest, you can immerse yourself in 75 acres of outdoor exhibits, awe-inspiring walking trails, a canopy walk, native wildlife, and nature playgrounds. Don’t forget to include the Atlanta Botanical Garden and Zoo Atlanta on your list of outdoor discoveries. Even if you have visited before, there is always something new and exciting to explore.

Get your hands dirty: If you’re looking to play in the dirt, check out Trees Atlanta. This organization has tons of events throughout spring, including its native plant sale on Saturday, April 8, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at The Carter Center. For more plant options, the Historic Oakland Foundation’s spring sale is at Oakland Cemetery on Saturday, April 15 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. This popular event offers a wide variety of plants that are not commonly found elsewhere.

Find fresh everything at a farmers market: Discover a wide variety of fresh produce and products at the numerous farmer’s markets in Atlanta, which are aplenty. Some of these include the East Atlanta Village Farmers Market, the year-round Freedom Farmers Market at the Carter Center, Grant Park’s Farmers Market, Piedmont Park’s Green Market, and the Decatur Farmers Market, among others.

Check out Woodruff Park for tech-free fun: Enjoy a technology-free activity with your family at Woodruff Park’s Game Cart. Located in the heart of Downtown, Woodruff Park offers a range of free events and gorgeous art installations. However, if you’re in a hurry, drop by the Game Cart and try out classic games like Connect 4, Sorry!, Uno, Chutes and Ladders, Battleship, Jenga, and Dominoes. This is an excellent opportunity to spend quality time with your loved ones in one of Atlanta’s most underrated parks. Best of all, it’s completely free!

Get moving

Explore Georgia’s hiking trails and state parks: Just about an hour’s drive away from Atlanta, the North Georgia mountains offer a plethora of scenic hiking trails. But if you’re looking for a quick and easy hike in the fresh air, check out these three amazing trails located within the metro: Sope Creek Trail, Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, and Sweetwater Creek State Park.

Foster a dog for the day: Consider fostering a dog for a weekend through LifeLine Animal Project, a no-kill shelter. One of its programs, “Weekend Warriors,” (any three days of the week, not just weekends) allows you to temporarily care for a dog that deserves a much-needed break from the shelter. Take advantage of this opportunity to do a good deed and plan an exciting activity outdoors with your furry companion.

Walk the Beltline: Check out the Beltline! It’s an awesome park and trail network that Atlanta locals adore. You might be super familiar with parts of the trails, but did you know you can take a free Arboretum Walking Tour to get to know it even better? Best of all, it won’t cost you a dime to enjoy this public gem.

Discover your inner zen: Every Wednesday from April to October, you can indulge in an outdoor yoga session at Colony Square. Soak up the fresh air and find your balance amidst the bustling cityscape. Don’t miss out on this FREE yoga experience!

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