29 sizzling events for Atlanta families in July

Beat the heat with animal encounters, kid-friendly flicks, history lessons, and more
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Reptile Day at Fernbank

Courtesy of Fernbank Museum of Natural History

Through 7/3
Big River
Where: Marietta’s Theatre in the Square
When: 8 p.m. (3 p.m. on July 3 and 10)
Cost: $30 to $45
What: See Huck, Jim, and Tom Sawyer on stage in this production of the Tony-winning musical based on Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

Through 7/10
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.

Through 7/17
The Little Pirate Mermaid
Where: Center for Puppetry Arts
When: Various
Cost: $20.50 ($10.25 for members); includes admission to the Worlds of Puppetry Museum
What: Finally, a play that appeals to your Jake & the Neverland Pirates fan and your Ariel fan. An adventurous mermaid princess hops aboard a pirate ship in this production for ages 4 and up.

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 7/23
Roswell Puppet Series
Where: Roswell Cultural Arts Center
When: 10 a.m. (Monday through Saturday) and 1 p.m. (Wednesday and Friday only)
Cost: $5; free for kids under 2
What: This summer’s series kicks off with Hansel and Gretel and ends with Jack and the Beanstalk, with a new show beginning each week.

Through 7/30
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.

Through 7/30
Pancakes, Pancakes!
Where: Alliance Theatre
When: 10 a.m. (Wednesday through Friday); 11:45 a.m. (Tuesday through Friday); 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. (Saturday and Sunday); 11 a.m. (Saturday only)
Cost: $15 for adults; $8 for ages 6 to 17; free for ages 5 and under
What: See the world premiere play based on Eric Carle’s kid-favorite picture book, then head across the piazza to check out the High Museum’s exhibition of Carle’s original hand-painted collages.

Through 7/31
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.

Through 7/31
teamLab Future Park
Where: Mall of Georgia
When: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Monday through Saturday); 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. (Sunday)
Cost: $12; $8 for kids ages 3 to 13; free for kids 2 and under. Adults must be accompanied by a child.
What: Japanese art collective teamLab brings this 3,7000-square-foot interactive art exhibit—which they describe as a “digital playground”—to the Mall of Georgia. The seven hands-on works include Sketch Aquarium (explore a virtual underwater world); Sketchtown Papercraft (turn crayon drawings into 3D paper sculptures); and Light Ball Orchestra (create a sound and light show by touching beach ball-sized globes).

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.

Through 8/14
Out of the Box: The Rise of Sneaker Culture
Where: High Museum of Art
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: Sneakerheads get fine art validation at the High’s new exhibition examining the shoes’ social and cultural currency. Expect to see kicks from top fashion designers, the deep archives of shoemakers like Adidas, Nike, and Converse, and private collectors like Darryl “DMC” McDaniels.

Through 11/27
Tiovivo
Where: Sifly Piazza at Woodruff Arts Center
When: All day
Cost: Free
What: Kids can climb and slide inside these four Instagram-ready structures by sculptor Jaime Haydon, each shaped like a familiar object like a pig or a bell, and painted with bright polka dots, stripes, or zig-zags.

Through 1/8/17
I See a Story: The Art of Eric Carle
Where: High Museum of Art
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Tuesday through Thursday, Saturday); 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Friday); 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. (Sunday)
Cost: Free with admission ($19.50 for adults; $12 for kids ages 6 to 17; free for kids 5 and under)
What: Even if your kid is too young to read, he or she would likely still recognize the distinctive hand-colored collages of children’s book author and illustrator Eric Carle, best known for The Very Hungry Caterpillar. See 80 original artworks from 15 of Carle’s most popular books in this career retrospective.

7/2
“Gatheround: Stories of Atlanta” Opening Celebration
Where: Atlanta History Center
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: Free
What: Be among the first to see the History Center’s new permanent exhibition, which highlights little-known episodes and new perspectives of Atlanta’s history. Sit in a vintage barbershop chair, try to lift a laundry bucket like the kind carried by washerwomen who went on strike in 1881, insert yourself into photos of historical events ranging from Freaknik to a circa-1890s Georgia Tech game, even duck inside a recording booth to share your own personal memories.

7/2-3
Meet the Holidays: Eid ul-Fitr
Where: Children’s Museum of Atlanta
When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Cost: Free with admission ($14.95; free for babies under 1 year)
What: Learn more about the Islamic holiday, which follows the month of Ramadan fasting, at this celebration hosted by the Islamic Speakers Bureau. Hear a story about Eid, learn a dance and enjoy traditional music, and make your own crescent moon chimes.

7/4
Peachtree Road Race
Where: Buckhead through Midtown
When: 7:30 a.m. (main start time)
Cost: Free
What: Cheer as racers sweat it out in the world’s largest largest 10K, which starts near Lenox Square Mall and ends at Piedmont Park.

7/9
Reptile 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: Get a close-up view of pythons, iguanas, tortoises, geckos, and more at Fernbank’s popular interactive animal day.

7/15-17
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Where: Cobb Energy Centre
When: 8 p.m. (Friday and Saturday) and 2 p.m. (Sunday)
Cost: $40.25 to $61.50
What: The Atlanta Lyric Theatre stages the family-friendly Broadway musical from Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. The show also plays Gwinnett’s Infinite Energy Center on July 30 and 31.

7/15-23
Georgia Mountain Fair
Where: Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds in Hiawassee
When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Sunday) 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (all other days)
Cost: $12 (free for kids 12 and under)
What: Find arts and crafts, live music, midway games, old-timey demonstrations (blacksmithing, corn milling, and, er, moonshine making), and a replica pioneer village complete with a log home, one-room schoolhouse, and mercantile store.

7/16
1996 Centennial Games 20th Anniversary Celebration
Where: Centennial Park
When: 5 p.m.
Cost: Free
What: Relive ‘96 and get your kids hyped for Rio at this anniversary event. Mayor Kasim Reed, former mayor Andrew Young, 10-time medalist Carl Lewis, and members of the gold medal-winning U.S. women’s gymnastics team (aka the Magnificent Seven) will be among those on hand to remember the 1996 Games. Also: Live music, food trucks, an Olympic volunteers reunion, and a fireworks show.

7/16
I Love the ‘90s
Where: Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
When: 7:30 p.m.
Cost: $19.50 to $79.50
What: “Salt N Pepa’s here, and we’re in a fit!” You know you danced to it at an inappropriately young age, so why not give your own kids the same opportunity? Bust out your best moves at the 1990s concert showcase, featuring Salt N Pepa, Biz Markie, Kid ‘N Play, All-4-One, Coolio, Tone Loc, Rob Base, and Young MC. (Okay, maybe take a bathroom break during “Wild Thing.”)

7/16
Rosie the Riveter
Where: The Little White House in Warm Springs
When: 1 p.m.
Cost: $8 to $12
What: Her image remains a feminist icon, but Rosie the Riveter wasn’t a real person. Instead, she represented all of the women who marched into the workforce in unprecedented numbers during World War II. Introduce your daughters (and sons) to these women who changed U.S. history as actress Carol Cain portrays seven different “Rosies” in this one-woman show.

7/16
An Evening Celebrating the Music of Taylor Swift
Where: Terminal West
When: 8 p.m. (doors open at 7 p.m.)
Cost: $10 to $12
What: This show—featuring bands and solo artists paying tribute to Swift’s music—benefits the Songs For Kids Foundation, which helps bring music into the lives of children facing serious illnesses. So your teen can reach her #squadgoals by singing along to hits like “Shake it Off” and support a great cause in the process.

7/19-31
Sleeping Beauty
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: An evil fairy casts a spell on Princess Aurora in this marionette production for ages 4 and up. Bonus: Ticket prices include admission to the Worlds of Puppetry Museum.

7/21
Shrek
Where: Fox Theatre
When: 7:30 p.m.
Cost: $10
What: See Shrek, Fiona, and Donkey on the big screen as part of the annual Coca-Cola Summer Film Festival.

7/23
LGBTQ Family Picnic
Where: Glenlake Park
When: 10 a.m. to noon
Cost: Free
What: Head to Decatur’s Glenlake Park for an LGBTQ-friendly morning of picnicking, kids yoga, games, and crafts.

7/29-31
Atlanta African Dance & Drum Festival
Where: Various
When: Various
Cost: From $15 for a class to $100 for an all-access pass
What: The three-day fest features dance and music workshops, an African-inspired craft market, and a finale concert. Youngsters ages 4 to 16 can attend the Kids Camp on 7/29, where they’ll learn drumming technique and dance moves.

7/30
Going For Gold!
Where: Atlanta History Center
When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Cost: $16.50 for adults; $11 for kids
What: For the 20th anniversary of the Atlanta Games, the History Center is offering visitors a chance to experience their own Olympic glory. See how you fare at Olympic events (winners will nab memorabilia from 1996), meet real Olympians, and check out the Centennial Games Museum before it closes in August for a major overhaul.

7/30
Drum Corps International Southeastern Championship
Where: Georgia Dome
When: 10:30 a.m.
Cost: $30 to $60
What: Watch as 27 of the country’s top-ranked drum and bugle corps strut their stuff on the field. Be sure to cheer for the three local bands competing: the Alliance, the Atlanta CV, and the Spirit of Atlanta, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.

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