Rosie the bulldog and Claire Garrett wait for the start of the kids’ parade that kicked off the Decatur Arts Festival last May. This year’s festival will be held May 25-27. CONTRIBUTED BY STEVE SCHAEFER
The flowers are blooming, and the days are longer. What better way to relish the warm weather than by making your way to one of Atlanta’s many outdoor activities?
From film and music events to food and art celebrations, the city has plenty of offerings to help you delight in the beauty of the colorful season.
Don’t let the pollen keep you inside. Grab your best allergen protectant, and take a look at our annual list of can’t-miss spring festivals, which include some excuses to get away from pollen and heat.
Atlanta Film Festival
Calling all movie lovers! The Atlanta Film Festival is returning with a plethora of screenings, which often include insightful dialogue with filmmakers, artists and other industry professionals. The 10-day showcase draws nearly 25,000 attendees from all over and is known as one of the largest and longest-running festivals in the country.
April 13-22. Screenings, $10-$12 (individual screenings), $50 (opening and closing screenings). Ten-day pass, including Atlanta Film Society membership, $75-$750. Various locations including Plaza Theatre, 1049 Ponce de Leon Ave., Atlanta. atlantafilmfestival.com .
Atlanta Dogwood Festival
The three-day occasion has been a staple in Atlanta for more than 80 years. Hundreds of creatives flock to Piedmont Park to exhibit their jewelry, sculptures, paintings and photography. Locals can partake in the yummy dishes and dance to music blasting as they add new items to their art collections.
Noon-11 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. April 13-15. Free. Piedmont Park, along 10th Street and Piedmont Avenue in Atlanta. dogwood.org .
Georgia Renaissance Festival
Head over to the Georgia Renaissance Festival, where every weekend is a new adventure. This year, one of the themes is the Highland Fling Weekend, where you can listen to the sounds of bagpipes and drums played by musicians decked out in kilted skirts. You can also nosh on good eats and watch balancing acts, juggling and hypnosis at the medieval-inspired affair.
10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays and Memorial Day. April 14-June 3. $19-$22, adults 13 and older; $8-$10, children 6-12; children 5 and younger free. 6905 Virlyn B. Smith Road, Fairburn. garenfest.co m .
SweetWater 420 Festival
This year, Colorado-based bluegrass-rock jam band the String Cheese Incident will headline the 14th annual bash, playing two sets. They will be joined by more than 40 other acts, including Sturgill Simpson, Vulfpeck and Joe Russo’s Almost Dead. The festivalgoers will also have access to food trucks and loads of crafts.
1-11 p.m. Friday, noon-11 p.m. Saturday, noon-10 p.m. Sunday. April 20-22. $138 (three-day pass), $56-$66 (single-day pass). Centennial Olympic Park, 265 Park Ave. W. NW, Atlanta. sweetwater420fest.com .
Big Shanty Festival
Kennesaw’s rich history meets the Civil War era for the Big Shanty Festival. With more than 70,000 visitors each year, the two-day gathering brings live entertainment, edibles and merchants to the downtown area. And don’t forget about the parade at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, April 21. It kicks off all of the festivities.
9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday. April 21-22. Free. Downtown Kennesaw, 2829 Cherokee St., Kennesaw. kennesaw-ga.gov .
Sandy Springs Artsapalooza
The two-day fest will include local musicians, interactive art stations and more than 100 artists and crafters across several disciplines. Bring the kids along, too. There’s a play area that will keep them engaged all weekend long.
10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. April 21-22. Free. 6100 Lake Forrest Drive, Sandy Springs. sandyspringsartsapalooza.com .
Smyrna Spring Jonquil Festival
Featuring about 175 arts and crafts booths, lots of grub and an entertainment stage, this festival has something for the entire family. Score some major deals during the Smyrna Library book sale, and learn about the life of an Alaskan grizzly bear at the educational demonstration.
10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday. April 28-29. Free. Village Green, 2800 King St., Smyrna. smyrnacity.com .
Inman Park Festival
Touted as Atlanta’s favorite street festival, the 47th annual event is one of the most anticipated. Coordinators organize musical acts, parades, kids activities and the renowned Tour of Homes, where attendees can take in the beauty of the historic homes in the area.
Tour of homes preview: noon-4 p.m. April 27. Tour of Homes: noon-6 p.m. April 28-29. Festival: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. April 28-29. Free admission for festival. Tour of Homes, $20-$25. Various locations. inmanparkfestival.org .
Snellville Days Festival
Celebrating its 45th anniversary, the Snellville Days Festival is inviting the community to the two-day jamboree, which will provide tons of crafts, treats and entertainment for all. Want to avoid the traffic? A shuttle will be available throughout the day on Saturday.
10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday. May 5-6. Free. Briscoe Park, 2500 Sawyer Parkway, Snellville. snellvilledays.org .
Sweet Auburn SpringFest
There are so many interactive activities to try at the Sweet Auburn SpringFest, including rides on the mechanical bull and zip lining. Attendees can also stroll the downtown streets to shop, eat and dance to the live music.
11 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, 1-8 p.m. Sunday. May 12-13. Free. Historic Auburn Avenue District, 230 John Wesley Dobbs Ave., Atlanta. sweetauburn.com .
Decatur Arts Festival
The annual market features more than 150 artists ready to display their creations during Memorial Day weekend. As visitors walk from vendor to vendor, they will also enjoy live musical acts, improvisational and stand-up comedy, and dance performances.
5-10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. May 25-27. Free admission. Downtown Decatur, 101 E. Court Square, Decatur. decaturartsfestival.com .