31 splendid spring events for Atlanta families in March

Step into spring (and festival season) with fairy houses, dinosaurs, science fun, and cherry blossoms galore
The Atlanta Science Festival's Exploration Expo

Courtesy of the Atlanta Science Festival

Through 3/5
The Phantom of the Opera
Where: Fox Theatre
When: Various
Cost: $30 to $125
What: “Sing once again with me our strange duet” when this new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s gothic musical—including updated special effects, staging, and choreography—hits the Fox.

Through 3/12
The Adventures of Mighty Bug 
Where: Center for Puppetry Arts
When: Various
Cost: $20.50 ($10.25 for members), free for kids under 2
What: In this comic book-style show, Mighty Bug must rescue the citizens of Bugville from the villain Scorpiana. For ages 4 and up; attendees can also make a lightning bug rod and string puppet.

Through 3/19
Exit Strategy 
Where: True Colors Theatre at Southwest Arts Center
When: Various
Cost: $20 for adults over 30, $10 for those age 30 and under
What: Recommended for teens ages 15 and up, this play explores the neighborhood tensions that arise when a Chicago public high school is slated for closure.

Through 5/7
Wild Weather 
Where: Fernbank Museum of Natural History
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Monday through Saturday); noon to 5 p.m. (Sunday)
Cost: Free with admission ($18 for adults; $16 for kids 3 to 12; free for kids 2 and under)
What: Have you ever wondered about the forces that create severe weather events like tornadoes or hurricanes? In this interactive exhibition, you can whip up your own storm and learn how scientists are learning how to better predict extreme weather.

Engineering 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: Want to get your little one excited about STEM? Fernbank’s event, inspired by the museum’s new “giant screen” movie Dream Big, will include crafts, games, and other activities, and the chance to meet real-life engineers.

The Phoenix Flies
Where: Various
When: Various
Cost: Free
What: Each year, the Atlanta Preservation Center offers a peek inside some of the city’s most beautifully preserved historic structures and landmarks—from the Callanwolde mansion to Castleberry Hill—in this series of free guided events.

Gunthman Musical Instrument Competition
Where: Ferst Center for the Arts
When: 7 p.m.
Cost: Free
What: Every year, Georgia Tech hosts a competition to find the world’s best new musical instruments. Semifinalists will demonstrate their creations at what may be the Ferst Center’s weirdest concert, and a winner is crowned at the end of the night. Just be prepared: your kid might just come home asking to play the “guitarbot.”

Sesame Street Presents: Follow That Bird
Where: Center for Puppetry Arts
When: 7 p.m.
Cost: $10.50 (free for members)
What: The Center for Puppetry Arts screens the 1985 Jim Henson film in which Big Bird runs away from home. Ticket prices include admission to the Worlds of Puppetry Museum, and (bonus for parents!) there will be a cash bar available leading up to the show.

Harlem Globetrotters
Where: Philips Arena
When: 2 p.m., 7 p.m.
Cost: $22 to $160
What: The basketball-comedy team returns, this time with a “four point line” located 30 feet from the basket. The Globetrotters will also perform at Infinite Energy Center on 3/18.

Daffodil Day
Where: Oakland Cemetery
When: 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Cost: Free
What: Ring in spring with storytelling, children’s activities, and guided garden walks in the peaceful Victorian cemetery.

Peter and the Wolf and Friends
Where: Symphony Hall
When: 3 p.m.
Cost: $15 to $20
What: The ASO performs the Prokofiev symphony, Peter and the Wolf, plus Flight of the Bumblebee, “Elephant” from Carnival of the Animals, and other kid-friendly classical compositions.

Poetry Out Loud State Final Competition
Where: Atlanta History Center
When: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Cost: Free
What: Watch as Georgia high school students perform great works of poetry and spoken word—the winner will go on to represent the state in the national competition in D.C.

The Dragon King
Where: Center for Puppetry Arts
When: Various
Cost: $10.25 for members; $20.50 for nonmembers
What: In this marionette show based on a Chinese folktale, a grandmother sets out to find the Dragon King, who rules over water from the bottom of the sea, and ask him why he won’t bring rain to her drought-plagued village. For ages 4 and up.

Where: Alliance Theatre
When: 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. (Tuesday through Saturday); 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. (Sunday)
Cost: $10 for adults; $5 for kids ages 6 to 17; free for kids 5 and under
What: Developed in collaboration with Fernbank Museum of Natural History, this world premiere production gently introduces kids to the giants of the prehistoric world.

Atlanta Science Festival
Where: Various
When: Various
Cost: Various
What: One of the coolest events for kids and teens in Atlanta (in our humble opinion), the ASF is a weeklong celebration of local science and tech. Drop by one of the dozens of events held in venues across the city—this year’s lineup includes a talk by astronaut captain Mark Kelly, a demonstration of the science of circus tricks, a mock crime scene investigation, a 3D-printed pancake design challenge, and an astronomer-led tour of the night sky. On Saturday the 25th, Centennial Olympic Park hosts the free Exploration Expo, with more than 100 interactive exhibits, demonstrations, and performances.

DRUMLine: Live!
Where: Ferst Center for the Arts
When: 8 p.m.
Cost: $28 to $38
What: This touring show brings the HBCU halftime experience to the stage, with a high-stepping drum major leading a cast of percussionists, other musicians, and dancers.

Atlanta St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Where: Midtown
When: Noon
Cost: Free
What: Atlanta was a baby city when this parade first began in 1858—making it one of the country’s oldest St. Pat’s celebrations. Show up early to race (or cheer on runners) in the parade’s 3rd annual 5K, which starts at 10 a.m.

Where: Fox Theatre
When: 8 p.m. (Friday and Saturday), 2 p.m. (Saturday only), 1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. (Sunday only)
Cost: $30 to $75
What: The Tony-winning musical stops by the Fox, where you can introduce your kids to Ms. Hannigan, Daddy Warbucks, and all the classic songs—from “Tomorrow” to “It’s a Hard Knock Life.”

White Woman in Progress
Where: 7 Stages Theatre
When: 8 p.m. (Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday), 5 p.m. (Sunday)
Cost: $22.50 for adults, $15 for students
What: After Atlanta actress Tara Ochs played the role of civil rights activist Viola Liuzzo in the film Selman, she was inspired to create this one-woman show that tackles issues of privilege, race, and social justice. Teens may find inspiration in message, which stresses the power of the individual to spur change.

Secrets of Slave Songs
Where: Porter Sanford Performing Arts Center in Decatur
When: 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Cost: $20 for adults, $10 for students and children
What: This expressive, full-length work by Threads Dance Project founder and artistic director—and Georgia State alum—Karen Charles is a moving reimagination of traditional Negro spirituals. The theater will host a discussion after each performance.

Forest Fairy House Trail
Where: Chattahoochee Nature Center
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Monday through Saturday), noon to 5 p.m. (Sunday)
Cost: Free with admission ($10 for adults, $7 for students ages 13 to 18, $6 for kids ages 3 to 12, free for kids 2 and under)
What: Tinkerbell would feel quite at home in a Fairy House—a tiny, magical-looking abode made from moss, leaves, and other natural materials. As you wander the Homestead and Kingfisher Pond trails, see how many you can spot.

Cinderella and Fella
Where: Alliance Theatre
When: Various
Cost: $32 for adults, $18 for kids
What: Janece Shaffer is known for writing plays that feature strong female characters, and this world-premiere musical is no exception. Expect a spunky take on the classic fairy tale, in which Cinderella is a high-tops wearing gal ready to join her new best friend (aka the prince) in fun and adventure.

The Price is Right Live
Where: Fox Theatre
When: 7:30 p.m.
Cost: $35.50 to $75
What: Have you ever wished for a chance to spin the Big Wheel, prove yourself at Plinko, or place the winning bid on a Showcase? Well come on down to the Fox for this touring interactive stage show, in which audience members have a chance to win real prizes. (You must pre-register with the producer to be eligible to play.)

Atlanta International Auto Show
Where: Georgia World Congress Center
When: Noon to 9 p.m. (Wednesday and Thursday), noon to 10 p.m. (Friday), 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Saturday), 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Sunday)
Cost: $12 for adults, $6 for kids ages 6 to 12, free for kids ages 5 and under
What: Is there any kid alive who doesn’t like to slide into the driver’s seat and pretend to take the wheel (or at least fiddle with all the controls)? This 400,000-sqare-foot auto extravaganza will feature hundreds of futuristic concept cars, classic cars, off-road vehicles, and more. If that’s not enough, Spiderman, Scooby-Doo, and Captain America will make special guest appearances.

International Cherry Blossom Festival
Where: Macon, Georgia
When: Various
Cost: Various
What: Did you know that one of the world’s largest cherry blossom festivals is in…..Macon, Georgia, whose streets are lined with more than 300,000 of the pink-blooming trees? Make the trek, and you’ll find concerts, amusement rides, puppet shows, a butterfly encounter, an open-air market, pink pancake breakfasts, and more. The 35th annual (free) cherry blossom parade kicks off at 4 p.m. on March 26.

Rescue Dog Olympics
Where: Brook Run Dog Park
When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Cost: Free
What: Bring the family pet (pre-registration is free, but not required) to compete in games like “toss and fetch” and “Scooby says.” Don’t forget to stop by the kissing booth for a drooly smooch.

Brookhaven Cherry Blossom Festival
Where: Blackburn Park
When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
If Macon is a little too far (see above), you can hit this ITP festival featuring a classic car show, live music, pet costume contest, and children’s village (think face-painting, balloon art, and bounce houses)—plus 140 cherry blossom trees.

Conyers Cherry Blossom Festival
Where: Georgia International Horse Park
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: Free ($5 to $8 for parking)
What: ‘Tis the cherry blossom season! This annual weekend event will host plenty of live entertainment (including traditional Japanese dance), arts and crafts booths, a newly redesigned children’s area with climbing walls and obstacle courses, and lots of festival treats.

Atlanta’s Young Artists Concert
Where: Michael C. Carlos Museum
When: 4 p.m.
Cost: Free
What: Some of the city’s best middle- and high-school musicians show off their chops in this one-hour concert.

Side-By-Side Concert featuring the ASO and ASYO
Where: Symphony Hall
When: 8 p.m.
Cost: $10
What: This annual concert features student performers from the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra playing alongside professionals from the ASO.

Two Boys Kissing
Where: Druid Hill Presbyterian Church
When: 8 p.m. (Friday and Saturday), 2 p.m. (Saturday only)
Cost: $12.50 to $30
What: The Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus performs a new work based on the critically-acclaimed YA book of the same name, which follows the interlocking stories of gay teenagers.