12 great things to do in Atlanta for families in May

Outdoor sculpture, pony rides, meteorites, BMX stunts, an instrument “petting zoo,” princesses, and more
Photograph courtesy of Zoo Atlanta

Bruce Munro: Light in the Garden
Where: Atlanta Botanical Garden
When: 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. (Wednesdays through Sundays)
Cost: Free with admission ($18.95 for adults, $12.95 for kids 3 to 12, free for kids two and under)
What: Keep the kids up past their bedtime to see the Garden set aglow with hundreds of miles of fiber optic lights. The immersive art installation coincides with the opening of the Storza Woods expansion, with an oval garden, cascading water feature, and limestone bridge.

Fiesta Atlanta
Where: Centennial Olympic Park
When: 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Cost: Free
What: Celebrate Cinco de Mayo at this multicultural celebration, complete with mariachi music, Mexican folk dancing, arts and crafts, and international food vendors.

May Day Celebration
Where: Serenbe
When: 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Cost: $5 per person or $20 per family (suggested donation)
What: You’ll find live music, food trucks and farmstands, pony rides, bouncy slides, a dunk tank, face painting, and more at this 10th annual event.

Pick’n in Grant Park
Where: Grant Park, near the Boulevard entrance
When: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. (Friday); 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Saturday)
Cost: $5 or $7 per day (the latter includes a complimentary beer from Starr Hill Brewery)
What: Herd the little ones over to the “Kids Zone,” with crafts, live music, and storytelling, while you load your plate with barbecue, toss back a cold one, and groove to musicians on two stages.

Gem, Jewelry, Mineral and Fossil Show
Where: North Atlanta Trade Center
When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Friday and Saturday), 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. (Sunday)
Cost: Free
What: Pint-sized rock collectors can ogle museum-quality stones, meteorites, and sparklers, and watch the action during Saturday’s afternoon auction. Plus: Enter to win door prizes for your child’s school.

Mother’s Day at Zoo Atlanta
Where: Zoo Atlanta
When: 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Cost: Free with admission ($23 for adults; $18 for kids ages 3 to 11; free for kids two and under)
What: Bring the family and human moms will get in free with the purchase of an adult or child’s ticket. Watch as the zoo’s resident mothers receive special treats for the big day, and coo over their adorable offspring.

Nitro Circus Live
Where: Georgia Dome
When: 7:30 p.m.
Cost: $39 to $99
What: Skater boys (and girls) will get a kick out of the high-flying tricks from this daredevil action sports crew. Watch performers execute stunts on FMX and BMX bikes, skateboards, rollerblades, and even wheelchairs and other contraptions.

5/15 and 5/17
The Little Mermaid
Where: The Arena at Gwinnett Center
When: 7:30 p.m. (Friday), 3 p.m. (Sunday)
Cost: $13.50 to $16.50
What: Your kids likely know the underwater tale from the 1989 Disney animated film. Introduce them to another interpretation with this production from the Northeast Atlanta Ballet. 

Toddler Takeover: An Arts Festival For the Very Young
Where: Woodruff Arts Center
When: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost (per day): $30 for adults; $5 for kids 6 to 17; free for kids 5 and under
What: The three-day event includes a stroller gallery tour of the High Museum, drama and arts workshops for toddlers, a hands-on instrument “petting zoo,” and kid-friendly music and theater performances, including Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical, a one-act play based on Mo Willems’ popular children’s book.

The Secret Garden
Where: Serenbe Playhouse
When: 11 a.m. (Friday and Saturday) 2 p.m. (Sunday)
Cost: $20 adults; $15 students; $10 kids under 12
What: You read the story, now see it on stage. For this brand-new adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s children’s classic, Serenbe has planted an English garden that will immerse audiences in the play.

Mo Willems Day
Where: The High Museum
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: Free with admission ($19.50 adults; $12 ages 6 to 17; free for kids 5 and under)
What: Show up early for the High’s retrospective of drawings by award-winning children’s book author and illustrator Willems. (And bring your well-loved copy of “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!”) Starting at 9 a.m., the ticket desk will distribute a limited supply of tickets for a special book signing with Willems himself.

Princess Tea
Where: Atlanta Event Center at Opera
When: 1:30 to 4 p.m. (VIP); 2-3 p.m. (show only)
Cost: $50 per person (VIP); $20 per person (show only)
What: Treat your Disney devotee to a magical show featuring 15 (!) tiara-clad characters: Ariel, Belle, Rapunzel, Merida, Anna, Elsa, Giselle, Tiana, Jasmine, Pocahontas, Cinderella, Snow White, Aurora, Mulan, and Tinkerbell. VIP guests will also enjoy pre-show activities, a princess meet-and-greet, and tea served in porcelain cups.