24 Atlanta events for kids and families to enjoy in May

School’s (almost) out! Celebrate with canoeing, an arty block party, princess tea, and movies under the stars
Serenbe's May Day celebration.

Photo by J.Ashley Photography. Courtesy of Serenbe.

Through 5/22
Art AIDS America
Where: Zuckerman Museum of Art
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Tuesday through Saturday); 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. (Sunday)
Cost: Free
What: Teens can get a visceral sense of the AIDS epidemic’s impact in this groundbreaking show, which makes its only Southeastern stop at Kennesaw State University’s Zuckerman museum. The exhibition explores how AIDS affected American artists and their work from the early 1980s through today.

Through 5/31
Mystery of the Mayan Medallion
Where: Children’s Museum of Atlanta
When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday); 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Saturday and Sunday)
Cost: Free with admission ($14.95; free for kids under 1)
What: Budding archaeologists (and Indiana Jones fans) can decode Mayan glyphs, study jungle creatures, identify Mayan constellations, and uncover treasures in an ancient tomb in this traveling exhibition.

Through 6/16
National Parks Adventure
Where: Fernbank Museum of Natural History
When: Various
Cost: $13 for adults; $11 for children (plus the cost of museum admission)
What: The National Parks Service celebrates 100 years in 2016, and this IMAX film—narrated by Robert Redford—lets you experience the beauty of their caves, canyons, wetlands, mountains, and more.

Through 7/21
Wild Music
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: Free with admission ($18 for adults; $17 for students; $16 for kids 3 to 16; free for kids 2 and under)
What: Fernbank’s hands-on exhibition explores sound and music in nature. Hear the sounds of whales and underwater earthquakes; compose and play your own song; learn more about how birds communicate; and more.

Through 8/14
Creatures of Light: Nature’s Bioluminescence 
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: Free with admission ($18 for adults; $17 for students; $16 for kids 3 to 16; free for kids 2 and under)
What: You’re likely familiar with fireflies (aka lightning bugs), but nature is home to a whole host of other glowing creatures. Learn more about light-producing organisms by walking through their habitats in this exhibition.

Mother Goose Day
Where: Chattahoochee Nature Center
When: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Cost: Free with admission ($10 adults; $7 ages 13 to 18; $6 ages 3 to 12; free ages 2 and under)
What: Dress up as your favorite character and bring a picnic for this event, featuring storytelling and garden crafts.

May Day Festival
Where: Serenbe
When: 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Cost: $5
What: Celebrate spring at Serenbe with food trucks, live music, strolling performers—even an honest-to-God May Pole. A special children’s area will offer pony rides, face painting, bouncy slides, and other kid activities.

The Dapper Comes to the Walkers
Where: Atlanta Contemporary
When: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday); 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Thursday); 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. (Sunday)
Cost: Free
What: See artist Dapper Bruce LaFitte’s meticulously detailed drawings of New Orleans school marching bands.

National Train Day “Touch a Train”
Where: Georgia Veterans State Park
When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Cost: $2 for admission, $5 for train rides over Lake Blackshear (free for kids under 2)
What: Hop aboard the Heart of Georgia Engine, take pictures with train conductors, see tractors and big trucks, and take a short ride across Lake Blackshear. There will also be bouncy houses, mini-golf, Smokey the Bear, a bean bag toss, and plenty of eats.

5/7-8; 5/20-22
Beauty and the Beast
Where: Infinite Energy Center
When: Varies
Cost: Varies
What: Infinite Energy Center plays host to not one, but two ballet productions of the kid-favorite fairy tale this month: first by the Buford School of Ballet, then two weeks later by the Northeast Atlanta Ballet.

5/7; 5/28
Family Canoe Day
Where: Chattahoochee Nature Center
When: 10:30 a.m.
Cost: $15 ($10 for members), advance registration required
What: Get the whole gang paddling in this 90-minute introduction to canoeing at Beaver Pond. Ages 5 and up.

Mother’s Day at the High
Where: High Museum of Art
When: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: Free
What: Get gratis admission to the museum, have your family portrait taken, and catch an abbreviated family-friendly performance of the Atlanta Opera’s Pirates of Penzance. During a special members-only hour from 11 a.m. to noon, there will also be Eric Carle story times, art-making workshops, and yoga for adults and kids.

Decatur Lantern Parade
Where: Color Wheel Studio (kick-off point)
When: 9 p.m.
Cost: Free
What: BYO homemade lantern (or learn how at one of the city’s workshops) and let it shine as you march to Decatur Square. The Black Sheep Ensemble brass band will supply the soundtrack.

Endangered Species Day
Where: Atlanta Botanical Garden
When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Cost: Free with admission ($18.95 for adults; $12.95 for kids 3 to 12; free for kids two and under)
What: Learn about the garden’s local conservation work and get up close and personal with some unusual critters.

Fire in the Fourth Festival
Where: Old Fourth Ward, along Auburn and Edgewood Avenues
When: 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. (3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Auburn Avenue)
Cost: Free
What: See circus performers and antique fire trucks, build a phoenix puppet, play “fire in the corn hole,” take part in a guided bicycle tour, and enjoy live jazz and gospel music at this second annual celebration in the Old Fourth Ward.

Archaeology Day
Where: Fernbank Museum of Natural History
When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Cost: Free with admission ($18 for adults; $17 for students; $16 for kids 3 to 16; free for kids 2 and under)
What: Encourage your very own young Indiana Jones with archaeology-themed crafts, activities, and educational demonstrations.

Atlanta Dream vs. Chicago Sky
Where: Philips Arena
When: 3 p.m.
Cost: $14 to $46
What: When else can you get nearly-courtside seats for a pro basketball game for less than $50 apiece? Catch the WNBA team’s home opener, and you’ll have money leftover for hot dogs.

Mommy & Me Princess Tea
Where: Carter Center
When: 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Cost: $50
What: Fourteen Disney princesses will be on hand to pose for pictures and sing a musical medley, while little royalty-obsessed guests enjoy a sit-down tea (served in real porcelain cups) and participate in a princess parade. All proceeds benefit Girl Talk Inc., a peer-to-peer mentoring program for tween and teen girls.

Block Party
Where: High Museum of Art
When: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: Free with museum admission ($19.50 adults; $12 ages 6 to 17; free for kids 5 and under)
What: Check out the High’s Eric Carle exhibition, then bring your picnic blanket out to the piazza for food trucks, face painting, arts and crafts, and more.

The Swan: An Ugly Duckling Tale
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: $20.50 ($10.25 for members); free for kids under 2
What: Enjoy this sweet tale of what happens when the apple falls very far from the tree. Based on Hans Christian Anderson’s The Ugly Duckling, and performed by Théâtre de Deux Mains of Montreal.

Where: Georgia World Congress Center
When: 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.
Cost: $25 to $40 per day, or $70 for a four-day pass
What: This all-ages anime, gaming, and comics convention has costume contests, film screenings, workshops, and (let it goooooooooo!) a Disney sing-along contest.

Charlotte’s Web
Where: Serenbe Playhouse
When: 11 a.m. (Friday and Saturday); 2 p.m. (Sunday)
Cost: $20 for adults; $15 for students; $10 for kids under 12
What: See this adaptation of E.B. White’s classic children’s book in Serenbe’s picturesque farm, surrounded by live animals.

Decatur Arts Festival
Where: Downtown Decatur
When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Saturday); 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Sunday). Kids festival is 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.
Cost: Free
What: Learn about Dekalb county history, stop by the comedy tent, groove to live music, and stroll the artists market. The Kids Festival (at the Decatur Rec Center) kicks off on Saturday morning with a parade, followed by arts and crafts, juggling, balloons, inflatables, and other tot-approved activities.

Movies Under the Stars
Where: Mall of Georgia
When: 6:30 p.m.
Cost: Free
What: Bring a blanket for the free family concert and movie series, which kicks off on May 28th with Minions. Films begin at dusk, but show up early for live bands and bouncy houses. Food and drink will be available for purchase, too. For more outdoor movies, check out Candler Park’s Flick-Nic, Duluth’s Flicks on the Bricks, Mableton’s Movies at the Mable, and Atlantic Station’s Movies in Central Park.