Mother’s Day freebies: things to do around Atlanta


Mother’s Day freebies: things to do around Atlanta

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The Dunwoody Art Festival on Saturday and Sunday should attract 60,000 visitors with art, music, food and fun for kids. Photo: courtesy Dunwoody Art Festival

We know you want to shower Mom with gifts but you’re broke.

No worries. We’ve got eight free excursions for you and Mom (and one excellent deal) over Mother’s Day weekend.

Don’t thank us. Thank Mom.

Smoke on the Lake

Some 10,000 visitors are expected at the eighth annual Smoke on the Lake BBQ Festival in Acworth over Mother’s Day weekend. It takes place 4-10 p.m. Friday, May 12, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 13. Local and professional teams will be cooking barbecue, and there will be music, a kids area and, on Friday night, a fireworks display. Admission is free. The event is at Cauble Park on Lake Acworth, 4425 Beach St., Acworth, Ga.;

The Smoke on the Lake BBQ Festival in Acworth provides free entertainment for Mother’s Day weekend. Photo: courtesy Smoke on the Lake The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Dunwoody Art Festival

At the Dunwoody Art Festival on the Dunwoody Village Parkway artisans will show off jewelry, sculpture, paintings, homemade soaps, baked goods and home décor to an expected 60,000 visitors. There will be food trucks offering gourmet lobster rolls, homemade doughnuts and other edibles, and a kids zone. On-site parking is free; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 13; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, May 14, rain or shine, at the Dunwoody Village, 1442 Dunwoody Village Parkway, Dunwoody, Ga.;

Barefoot in the Park

A free festival held at the Buford Town Park just outside the Buford Community Center and Theatre, Barefoot in the Park offers a juried fine arts market, student art exhibit, silent auction, free Binder’s Learning Village with classes and demonstrations and live performances of Taiwanese drums, jazz, a cappella vocals, Celtic music and bluegrass. Food, beer and wine will be provided by Proof of the Pudding Catering; there is limited free parking; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, May 13; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, May 14; 2200 Buford Drive, Buford, Ga.;

The 5 things Mom REALLY wants for Mother's Day with Elissa the Mom | Rare Life Elissa the Mom tells you the truth about what every mom wants on Mother's Day.

Sweet Auburn SpringFest

Sweet Auburn SpringFest honors one of the most celebrated African-American neighborhoods in the country. The festival offers a Sweet Auburn walking tour, kids’ activities (including a 150-foot zip line), arts and crafts, free health screenings, the Taste of Sweet Auburn food vendors and three stages of continuous entertainment; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, May 13; 1-8 p.m. Sunday, May 14; 230 John Wesley Dobbs Ave.;

College Football Hall of Fame

On Sunday, May 14, moms get free admission all day at downtown’s College Football Hall of Fame and will receive a complimentary massage, manicure and mimosa. At 2 p.m. Sunday, hear insights from Wilma McNabb and other guests as they talk about the life of the football mom before, during and after a child’s football career. Those with football moms in their families can visit the hall of fame’s FacebookInstagram and Twitter pages by May 10 to learn how to nominate their moms to win exclusive prizes at Moms and Mimosas; 250 Marietta St. N.W.; 404-880-4800; 

Mother’s Day at Zoo Atlanta

On Sunday, May 14, mothers who want to visit the pandas and lemurs at Zoo Atlanta will have free admission with a single regularly priced child’s or adult’s general admission ticket. If Mom is being treated to a visit by a Zoo Atlanta member, she’ll need to be accompanied by the member on arrival; 800 Cherokee Ave. S.E., 404-624-9453; 

Wheeled Warriors at the Marietta History Museum

Maybe Mom likes half-tracks and Sherman tanks. The Military Vehicle Preservation Association will be joining the Marietta Museum of History Saturday, May 13, for a free display of military vehicles from World War I to the present day. Visitors can also meet the men and women who restored these vehicles. Food, gifts, a swap meet and more will be available; 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 13. The event will be held at the Aviation Wing of the Marietta Museum of History, 555 Perrin Road, Marietta, Ga.;

Spectators line East Ponce De Leon Avenue during a past Decatur Lantern Parade. STEVE SCHAEFER / SPECIAL TO THE AJC The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Georgia Aquarium

The Georgia Aquarium is offering a discounted ticket 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday, May 14, to celebrate Mother’s Day. With the purchase of one full-price admission ticket, mothers will be treated to a $20 discounted ticket, plus tax. All purchases must be made at the on-site Georgia Aquarium ticketing window on May 14;

Decatur Lantern Parade

Celebrate the start of summer with the Decatur Arts Alliance and Decatur Education Foundation at the Decatur Lantern Parade, a free event on Friday, May 12. Gather at Color Wheel Studio at 508 E. Howard Ave. after 8 p.m. The parade steps off at 9 p.m., and, with the help of the Black Sheep Ensemble and the Wasted Potential Brass Band, heads toward the downtown square;

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