10+ ways to spend Memorial Day weekend in metro Atlanta

While many of Atlanta's favorite Memorial Day traditions are still absent in 2021, there are still several events, both old and new, happening this holiday weekend

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Things to do on Memorial Day Weekend in Atlanta
You can see artist Jason Gamrath’s mega flower sculptures at the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s new SUPERnatural exhibition.

Photograph courtesy of Atlanta Botanical Garden

Editor’s note: Please take note of the CDC Covid-19 guidelines for attending in-person events, along with the individual event/area’s guidelines for masking. Currently, the CDC recommends that those who are not fully vaccinated against Covid-19 should wear a mask in public. Learn more about the CDC’s guidance for various activities here and guidance for those who are fully vaccinated here.

Brew at the Zoo
When: May 27
Where: Zoo Atlanta
Cost: $60 zoo member, $65 nonmember
What: The popular night at the zoo is back for 2021 and will take place completely outdoors. Admission is timed to keep track of how many guests are in the park. Expect live music, beer and wine tastings, free carousel and train rides, and, of course, the incredible animals themselves.

Georgia Renaissance Festival
When: Through June 13
Where: 6905 Virlyn B. Smith Road, Fairburn
Cost: Adults: $19.95 online/$24 at gate; Kids 6-12: $9.95 online and $12 at gate, free for children under five
What: There are plenty of ways to stay entertained at this mostly outdoor annual event—watch jousting, devour one of those mammoth turkey legs, watch an acrobatics or birds of prey show, browse the vendors, watch an artist’s demonstration, ride a camel—there’s too much to list.

Alpharetta Arts Streetfest
When: May 29 and 30
Where: The Grove at Will Park (175 Roswell Street, behind the Alpharetta Community Center)
Cost: Free
What: If you’re looking to keep up your quarantine redecorating project, you’ll find plenty of paintings, sculpture, decor, and other art at this festival, along with jewelry, food, and activities for kids.

SUPERnatural: Aerial Art in Motion, Glass Art in Bloom
When:
Through September 19
Where:
Atlanta Botanical Garden
Cost:
Ticket prices start at $22.95-24.95 for adults and $19.95-$21.95 for children aged 3-12; children under 3 are free
What:
If you haven’t been to the Botanical Garden in awhile, the venue now books tickets for a certain date and entry time, with flexible options available. The Garden just unveiled a new attraction that includes a colorful “skynet” created by Patrick Shearn of L.A.-based public art group Poetic Kinetics, and awe-worthy, oversized glass plant sculptures from Seattle artist Jason Gamrath.

Decatur Arts Festival Fine Arts Exhibition
When: May 27 though June 13
Where: Dalton Gallery at Agnes Scott College
Cost: Free
What: While the Decatur Arts Festival won’t hold most of its typical Memorial Day weekend events, it will host a juried art exhibition at Agnes Scott College’s Dalton Gallery, featuring photography, sculpture, paintings, and other artworks from artists across the country. Admission is free, but you can reserve a ticket here.

Memorial Day Weekend at Stone Mountain Park
When: May 28 through 31
Where: Stone Mountain Park
Cost: Varies, but a one-day attraction pass is $22.95 for adults and $19.95 for kids aged 3-11 (children under 2 are free)
What: The park’s popular Memorial Day weekend fireworks and laser show is back this year, but will operate a little differently due to the pandemic. Families can purchase a socially-distant “square” (of up to four adults) for $20, or for $10 if it’s added onto a park pass. Walk-up squares can be purchased, but the park recommends buying in advance to guarantee a spot.

Atlanta Hawks vs. New York Knicks
When: May 28 and May 30
Where: State Farm Arena
Cost: Varies, but Ticketmaster had tickets starting around $99 for Friday and around $95 for Sunday as of press time
What: The Hawks are in the playoffs! Games 3 and 4 will be held right here in Atlanta, with the Hawks lead by star point guard Trae Young, who literally hushed the crowd at Madison Square Garden this past weekend as the Hawks won 107-105 in Game 1. State Farm Arena is operating at full capacity, so be mindful of that if you’re wary of big crowds.

Atlanta United vs. Nashville FC
When: May 29
Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Cost: Varies, but Ticketmaster had tickets starting around $50 as of press time
What: Just like State Farm Arena, Mercedes-Benz Stadium is also operating at full capacity, and that capacity is pretty high—the first full-capacity game brought out more than 40,000 fans. But the pandemic doesn’t seem to have weakened any of the energy coming out of the Atlanta supporters section. So if you’re ready to experience the chanting, standing, cheering fun of an Atlanta United game, it’s ready for you. (And yes, Josef Martinez is back on the field after recovering from a torn ACL last year.)

Live music at City Winery
When: May 28 through 30
Where: City Winery at Ponce City Market
Cost: Varies show to show, but ranges from $30 to $75 per seat
What: The restaurant/music venue will host two artists during Memorial Day weekend—R&B singer Tony Terry on Friday, and electric violinist Ken Ford on Sunday. Tables are distanced and tickets can be purchased in quantities of 2 or 4.

Memorial Day Tribute at Brook Run Park
When: May 31
Where: Brook Run Park, Dunwoody
Cost: Free
What: Just one of many of the in-person tributes to fallen service members on Memorial Day itself, this annual event in Dunwoody, held at the Brook Run Park Veterans Memorial, will this year feature DeKalb County District 4 Commissioner and Army veteran Steve Bradshaw as the keynote speaker. The event will also be livestreamed on Facebook. For more tribute events across the metro area, check out this AJC roundup.

Looking for more things to do? Check out these great bike paths for cyclists of all skill levels, our guide to the North Georgia mountains from last fall, or you could always spend the weekend eating your weight in tacos.

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