28 awesome January events for Atlanta families

Celebrate Chinese New Year, see Ariel at the Fox, cheer as HBCU marching bands enter the Dome, and more

Courtesy of the Progressive Insurance Atlanta Boat Show

Through 1/1
Mr. Popper’s Penguins
Where: Synchronicity Theatre
When: 7 p.m. (Friday); 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. (Saturday); 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. (Sunday)
Cost: $21 for adults; $16 for kids
What: Kids ages 3 and up can enjoy this play based on the 1938 children’s book about a house painter who befriends a family of penguins. Bonus: You can wear your jammies and enjoy milk and cookies during Friday evening performances.

Through 1/1
Macy’s Pink Pig
Where: Macy’s Lenox Square
When: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Monday through Friday); 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Saturday); 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Sunday); check website for special holiday hours
Cost: $3 for 1 ride; $5.50 for 2 rides; $7.50 for 3 rides
What: Priscilla makes her annual porcine debut under the big tent outside of Macy’s Lenox Square.

Through 1/2
The World’s Largest Dinosaurs 
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). IMAX movies require additional ticket purchase.
What: Fifteen years ago, the permanent “Giants of the Mesozoic” exhibit opened at Fernbank, featuring fossil casts of the world’s largest meat-eating and plant-eating dinosaurs. Now, in a new temporary exhibition, you’ll have a chance to examine life-sized bones, muscles, and internal organs of the biggest dinos that ever lived. Marvel at the size of their teeth, how much they ate, and the force of their heartbeats, and hit the IMAX theater for a showing of Dinosaurs Alive!

Through 1/7
Garden Lights, Holiday Nights
Where: Atlanta Botanical Garden
When: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Cost: $17 to $41
What: See the Botanical Garden in a whole new way when it gets bedazzled with millions of twinkling holiday lights. New this year: The Walk of Flames, featuring 21 oversized candles.

Through 1/7
Fantasy in Lights
Where: Callaway Gardens
When: 6 p.m.
Cost: $19 to $28 for adults; $9.50 to $14 for kids ages 6 to 12; free for kids 5 and under
What: Eight million lights spread across 15 scenes make this one of the region’s top holiday displays. Hop out of your car and aboard the open-air Jolly Trolley for an extra-festive viewing.

Through 1/8
Winter Wonderland
Where: Fernbank Museum
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: The natural history museum gets decked out with more than 30 trees, each representing the holiday traditions of a different culture or country.

Through 1/15
Chinese Lantern Festival
Where: Centennial Olympic Park
When: 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. (Sunday through Thursday), 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. (Friday and Saturday)
Cost: $16 for adults and $12 for kids (in advance); $18 for adults and $14 for kids (at the door)
What: See the south portion of Centennial Park, including the Southern Company Amphitheatre, lit up with 25 colorful lanterns, an enormous pagoda, and a 200-foot-long Chinese dragon—all handmade by artisans in China. Each night will also feature acrobats, dancers, artisan demonstrations, and more.

Through 1/16
Magic Tree House
Where: Children’s Museum of Atlanta
When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday), 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Saturday and Sunday)
Cost: Free with admission ($14.95; free for babies under 1 year)
What: Learn about three periods of American history—the first Thanksgiving, the Civil War, and life on the 19th century prairie—in the 2,000-square-foot interactive exhibition, based on (and created by the minds behind) the Magic Tree House children’s book series. Among the hands-on experiences: climb inside a horse-drawn Civil War-era ambulance; crawl into a storm cellar and imagine what it was like to survive a tornado in the 1800s; or set the Thanksgiving table for the first feast.

Through 2/12
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 ($14.50 ages 6 and up; 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.

Through 2/26
Snow Mountain
Where: Stone Mountain Park
When: Various
Cost: $28; free for kids ages 2 and under
What: Make it a white Christmas (er, New Year) at Stone Mountain’s annual winter wonderland, with tons of trucked-in snow for sledding, tubing, and snowman making. Work up an appetite for warm drinks and roasted marshmallows.

Resolution Run
Where: Brookhaven MARTA station
When: 10 a.m.
Cost: $10 to $40
What: Did you resolve to get your whole family moving this year? Kick off 2017 with this three-in-one race, which includes a 4-mile run for ages 9 and up, a 1-mile run for ages 7 and up, and a 50-meter dash for ages 6 and under.

The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by A. Wolf
Where: Center for Puppetry Arts
When: Various
Cost: $20.50 ($10.25 for members), free for kids under 2
What: Based on the children’s book by Jon Scieszka, this show reimagines the story of the three little pigs from the wolf’s point of view. For ages 4 and up; includes a wolf puppet craft activity.

Meet the Holidays: Three Kings Day
Where: Children’s Museum of Atlanta
When: 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Cost: Free with admission ($14.95; free for babies under 1 year)
What: Learn about the traditional Mexican holiday with a special themed story time and craft project, a Three Kings Day parade, and a dance performance by Alma Mexicano.

Schoolhouse Rock Jr.
Where: Infinite Energy Center
When: 7 p.m.
Cost: $12.50 to $22
What: The entire 300-person student body of North Metro Academy of Performing Arts—led by a cast of 12 students—will take the stage at Infinite Energy Center in this live show based on the Gen X kids series. Expect to hear favorite songs like “Three Is the Magic Number” and “Conjunction Junction.”

Atlanta Boat Show
Where: Georgia World Congress Center
When: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Thursday and Friday), 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Saturday), 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Sunday)
Cost: $14 for adults, free for kids ages 15 and under
What: Learn to tack and jibe on a “sailing simulator,” peer inside a 12 foot-by-40 foot aquarium, score fishing tips and tricks from pro anglers, see a working replica of James Bond’s submarine car from The Spy Who Loved Me, and (on Saturday and Sunday) meet the begoggled stars of the Minions movie. A kids zone will also have bounce houses, face painting, a ball pit, balloon art, and more.

Shen Yun
Where: Cobb Energy Centre
When: 7:30 p.m. (Thursday through Saturday), 2 p.m. (Saturday only), 1 p.m. (Sunday only)
Cost: $70 to $200
What: This New York-based classical Chinese dance and music company pulls out all the stops with animated backdrops, elaborate costumes, and a full orchestra.

Disney’s The Little Mermaid
Where: Fox Theatre
When: 7:30 p.m. (Thursday only), 8 p.m. (Friday and Saturday), 2 p.m. (Saturday only), 1 p.m. (Sunday only)
Cost: $33.50 to $128.50
What: Ariel’s “Under the Sea” spectacle makes a splash on the Fox Theatre stage when the touring musical comes to Atlanta.

Monster Jam
Where: Georgia Dome
When: 7 p.m.
Cost: $15 to $120
What: Watch as giant trucks with names like Grave Digger, Brutus, Stone Crusher, and (yes) Fluffy fly, flip, and bulldoze their way across the Dome.

Flying into the Future
Where: Chattahoochee Nature Center
When: Noon
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: This STEM-themed event will include a live birds of prey show, biomimicry activities, guided hikes, nature-inspired “eco tinkering” stations, and more.

MLK Day 5K and Drum Run
Where: Piedmont Park
When: 8:45 a.m. (music begins at 8 a.m.)
Cost: $25 early registration fee ($30 registration fee beginning in January)
What: Leave your headphones at home. The best part about this Peachtree Road Race qualifier, which takes place entirely within Piedmont Park, are the 250-plus drummers stationed all along the race course. There will also be music and dancing before the race, and a post-race party immediately following the run.

The Dream Lives!
Where: Atlanta History Center
When: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Cost: Free
What: On MLK day, get free admission to the History Center and the Margaret Mitchell House, where you can learn more about his life and those of other prominent African Americans in Atlanta.

Just Like Us
Where: Theatrical Outfit
When: 2:30 p.m.
Cost: $10
What: Part of Theatrical Outfit’s new Unexpected Play-Reading Festival, this script is based on a nonfiction book by Helen Thorpe and deals with a critical issue in post-election America: immigration. The play chronicles the lives of four Latina girls—two who are documented immigrants, and two who are undocumented—from their teenage years through young adulthood.

Meet the Holidays: Chinese New Year
Where: Children’s Museum of Atlanta
When: 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Cost: Free with admission ($14.95; free for babies under 1 year)
What: It wouldn’t be Chinese New Year without a dragon parade, music, and (bubble wrap) firecrackers! Plus: Hear a story about one Chinese-American family’s holiday celebration, enjoy a performance by the Atlanta Chinese Dance Company, and make a fire-breathing dragon craft.

Peter and the Wolf
Where: GSU Perimeter College Clarkston Campus Gymnasium
When: 3 p.m.
Cost: $5
What: The Dekalb Symphony Orchestra performs the Prokofiev classic, narrated by WSB-TV’s Jovita Moore, in their annual one-hour children’s concert.

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.

Raiders of the Lost Ark
Where: Symphony Hall
When: 8 p.m.
Cost: $25 to $125
What: Screen the Spielberg classic as the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra performs the score live.

Wild Kratts Live!
Where: Cobb Energy Centre
When: 6:30 p.m. (Friday), 1:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. (Saturday)
Cost: $27 to $97
What: In this all-new stage show based on the popular PBS Kids series, a villain steals one of the Kratt brothers’ inventions, and the animal-loving duo has to get it back.

Honda Battle of the Bands
Where: Georgia Dome
When: 3 p.m.
Cost: $10 to $21
What: See eight marching bands from historically black colleges and universities give (undoubtedly flawless) performances at the Dome.