12 things to do on Memorial Day weekend in Atlanta

Salute the troops, sip a beer among the pandas, take in some free jazz, and more
The Masters Water Ski and Wakeboard Tournament is part of Callaway Gardens's Memorial Day festivities

Photograph courtesy by Callaway Gardens

Atlanta Jazz Festival
Piedmont Park
When: May 26-28 (see lineup for showtimes)
Cost: Free
What: Listen to more than two dozen top jazz musicians, from Macy Gray to Freddy Cole, play at this funky jazz fest. (Plus, did we mention it’s free?)

Memorial Day Weekend Festival
Callaway Gardens
When: May 26-29
Cost: Adult: $20, senior: $25, children aged 6-12 $15, children aged 5 and under: free
What: Spend the weekend at Robin Lake Beach with live music, paddle boats, movies on the beach, and watch athletes compete in the annual Masters Water Ski and Wakeboard Tournament.

Memorial Day Weekend at Stone Mountain
Where: Stone Mountain Park
When: May 26-29, 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m.; lasershow and fireworks: 9:30 p.m.
Cost: $23.95; active duty, veterans, and retired military personnel can get a free Adventure Pass, plus 30 percent off admission
What: The Lasershow Spectacular fireworks show is always the biggest draw at Stone Mountain Park’s annual celebration, but don’t miss the 5k on Sunday morning.

Brew at the Zoo
Where: Zoo Atlanta
When: May 27, 5:30-9:30 p.m.
Cost: Non-zoo member: $50; zoo member: $45; VIP: $100
What: Sample more than 70 beers and a few wines while enjoying live music and visiting your favorite zoo residents, including giant panda twins Ya Lun and Xi Lun and new tiger Emerson.

Alpharetta Arts Streetfest
Where: Alpharetta Historic District
When: May 27-29, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Cost: Free
What: Shop for jewelry, paintings, pottery, and more from more than 90 artists. There will also be crafty activities for the kids (think sand art and clay painting) and live performances from Julie Gribble, Ben Wade, No Solution, and more.

Where: Georgia World Congress Center
When: May 25-28
Cost: 4-day pass: $70; Thursday or Sunday pass: $30; Friday or Saturday pass: $45.00
What: If Dragon Con still feels too far away, don your best cosplay and get your geeky fix at this 4-day salute to all things anime, gaming, and comic books. Meet voice actors and artists, shop at the exhibitor hall—there’s even a show for fanmade replica cars from different movies and TV shows.

Yaarab Shrine’s Shrine Circus
Where: Jim Miller Park in Marietta
When: Through May 29
Cost: General admission is $7.00 (children 10 and younger are free), midway rides are $1.25 each
What: Watch high-flying trapeze acts, bmx bikers, elephants, and clowns, and enjoy carnival rides while snacking on fried Oreos and snow cones. Veterans get free general admission on Memorial Day.

Decatur Arts Festival
Where: Decatur Square
When: May 26-28
Cost: Free
What: The weekend-long festivities, hosted by the Decatur Arts Alliance, include live performances, a children’s art festival, a juried art market featuring more than 150 artists, a book sale, and more.

Atlanta Game Festival
Where: Atlanta Marriott Perimeter Center
When: May 25-29
Cost: 5-day passes are $50 each, $90 per couple, and $100 per family
What: If the thought of spending the long weekend playing nothing but board games sounds like a dream, this is the place to be. Meet up with fellow gamers and even compete in the Southeast Regional Championships for Diamonds, Skull King, Nevermore, The Game of 49, Letter Tycoon, and Dimension.

Gwinnett Braves World War One Centennial Game
Where: Coolray Field in Lawrenceville
When: May 29, 1:05 p.m.
Cost: $8-$40
What: The Gwinnett Braves (as they’re still currently called) are teaming up with the World War One Centennial Commission for this special game against the Syracuse Chiefs. There will be a mini-flag giveaways and military vehicles on display.

Roswell Remembers
Where: Roswell City Hall
When: May 29, military program 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; picnic following
Cost: Free
What: The Memorial Day military ceremony includes a wreath laying, reflections from veterans, and 21-gun salute, followed by a barbecue picnic lunch and live music from the Chuck Nation Band.

VetFest Memorial Day Car Show and Health Fair
Where: Dave & Busters Duluth
When: May 27, 10 a.m-5 p.m.
Cost: Free
What: Get up close and personal with some snazzy vehicles. There’s also a free health fair that offers a variety of screenings.