18 cool events for Atlanta families in June

Spinning sculptures, soapbox racing, nighttime bike rides—and Weird Al!

Now through 6/17
Typical American Families
Where: Emory’s Center for Ethics
When: Monday through Thursday (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and Friday (8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
Cost: Free
What: What exactly is a “typical” American family—and who decides? This photographic series, the winner of the 2014 One Region Atlanta IDEAS challenge, celebrates a diverse, all-inclusive definition, with beautiful images of Atlanta-area families and their stories.


Now through 11/29
Los Trompos (Spinning Tops)
Where: High Museum of Art
When: All day
Cost: Free
What: It’s time to get dizzy. Everyone from babies to their gray-haired grandparents can enjoy these candy colored interactive sculptures at the High’s Sifly Piazza, outside the museum (translation: no ticket required). Just hop in and give ‘em a whirl.

Art Gone Wild Paint-Out Week
Where: Zoo Atlanta
When: 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Cost: Free with admission ($23 for adults; $18 for kids ages 3 to 11; free for kids two and under)
What: Watch more than 30 artists at work as they paint animal portraits and other scenes throughout the zoo all week long. (The works will later be presented at the Art Gone Wild Art Show and Silent Auction on June 13.)

Roswell Summer Puppet Series
Where: Roswell Cultural Arts Center
When: 10 a.m. (Monday through Saturday) and 1 p.m. (Wednesday and Friday)
Cost: $5, free for kids under 2
What: A new puppet or marionette show—from Peter and the Wolf to Sleeping Beauty to The True Story of the Three Little Pigs—debuts each week in this tot-friendly fest.

Civil Rights Milestone Celebration
Where: Center for Civil and Human Rights
When: 10 a.m.
Cost: Free
What: So your seventh-grader saw Selma, but you want to give him more history and context? RSVP him for this youth event (for ages 11 and up) that takes a look back at the civil rights movement—including a panel discussion of “The Story Behind Selma.”

Dunwoody Soapbox Derby
Where: First Baptist Church Atlanta
When: 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Cost: Free
What: These days, the cars are built from kits rather than soapboxes, but 80 years after the first soapbox derby, the thrills remain the same. The winners of the Dunwoody derby—and they’re often girls, so bring your STEM-loving daughters—get a shot at the national title in Akron, Ohio.

Flying Colors Butterfly Festival
Where: Chattahoochee Nature Center
When: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Saturday), 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. (Sunday)
Cost: $12 ($8 for members)
What: Gaze as hundreds of colorful butterflies are released into the air or hand-feed them in a special tent. Plus: Face painting, sidewalk art, crafts, food trucks, and more.

Brain: The Inside Story
Where: Fernbank Museum of Natural History
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Monday through Saturday), 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. (Sunday)
Cost: $18 for adults; $17 for students; $16 for kids 3 to 16; free for kids 2 and under
What: Discover what’s going on inside your noggin—from how memories are formed to the neuroscience of love—at this interactive exhibit, complete with a games and an eight-foot-tall, glowing model of the brain.

Blub Blub
Where: Alliance Theatre
When: 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. (Saturday); 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m. (Sunday)
Cost: $10; free for kids 5 and under
What: This “playscape” is designed to introduce babies and toddlers to an underwater world using sensory experiences. Pet coral, meet sea creatures, and groove to original tunes.

The Atlanta Dream season opener
(vs. the Connecticut Sun)
Where: Phillips Arena
When: 3 p.m.
Cost: $15 and up
What: WNBA games are perfect for kids—maybe even more so than NBA matches. Cheaper tickets mean you can get better seats—no “I can’t see anything Daddy!” whining—and still have money left over for hotdogs and sodas. Plus: Title IX power!

Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type
Where: Center for Puppetry Arts
When: 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. (Tuesday through Friday); 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. (Saturday and Sunday); 11 a.m. (Saturday only)
Cost: $16.50 for ages 2 and up; free for kids under 2
What: Note-typing cows have a few, er, suggestions for the farm in this new adaptation of the award–winning children’s book by author Doreen Cronin.

Peachtree Corners Festival
Where: The Corners Parkway
When: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Saturday), 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. (Sunday)
Cost: Various
What: Show up bright and early on Saturday for the 5K family bike ride, then hit the kids play area for cotton candy and face painting. Plus: Live music, food vendors, and a classic and exotic car show.

Babies on Bikes Parade
Where: Atlanta BeltLine
When: 12 p.m.
Cost: Free
What: Whether you’ve got a trailer, a baby seat, or a bicycle-built-for-two, this family ride—part of the weeklong Atlanta Cycling Festival—includes a (slow-paced) two-mile ride along the BeltLine eastside trail, and a celebratory picnic at Piedmont Park.

Atlanta Moon Ride
Where: Piedmont Park (starting point)
When: 6 p.m.to 11:30 p.m.
Cost: $30 per rider
What: Invite your teenager to explore intown Atlanta on two wheels during this 6.5-mile traffic-free night ride (metro police will block off the route). Costumes and headlamps encouraged!

Southern-Fried Gameroom Expo
Where: Atlanta Marriott Century Center
When: 4 p.m. to midnight (Friday); 10 a.m. to midnight (Saturday); 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Sunday)
Cost: $20 adults, $10 kids (Friday); $25 adults, $15 kids (Saturday); $15 adults, $10 kids (Sunday)
What: Introduce your “Call of Duty”-obsessed teen to the pinging, bleeping lure of classic arcade and pinball games. Expect movie screenings, a free play game area, guest speakers (including King of Kong’s Billy Mitchell), and a pinball tournament.

Weird Al: Mandatory World Tour
Where: Chastain Park Amphitheater
When: 8 p.m.
Cost: $39.50-$49.50
What: Whether you can sing along to his entire ’80s-era catalogue—“Like a Surgeon,” “Eat It”—or just know him from last year’s “Tacky,” the three-time Grammy winner has something for everyone. Bonus: He plays a mean polka.

Where: Atlanta History Center
When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Saturday), 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. (Sunday)
Cost: Free
What: This year marks the 150th anniversary of Juneteenth, a holiday that commemorates and celebrates the abolition of slavery. The History Center event combines family-friendly activities, crafts, and a performance of The Order of Freedom, a theatrical look at the events of June 19, 1865, when news of emancipation and the war’s end reached Galveston, Texas.

Where: Athens, Georgia
When: For KidsFest: 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. (Friday); 12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. (Saturday); 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. (Sunday)
Cost: Free for most events
What: Head up 316 to downtown Athens, where you can hear live music on three stages, browse the artists market, hit the comedy showcase, and screen rock documentaries. Bring the youngsters over to the KidsFest, with child-friendly bands and arts and crafts.