From in-town adventures to nearby outdoor fun, there’s always something new to do in the ATL. Here’s a peek at new things to see and do in Atlanta in 2018.
Centennial Olympic Park. The downtown park Atlanta loves is adding new features, all scheduled to be complete by year’s end. Here’s what to expect:
The site where the former Metro Atlanta Chamber once stood will house new Olympic-themed features, including an interactive medal podium plaza and an Olympic sport promenade.
Andrew Young International Boulevard will be raised to plaza level using bricks purchased during the park’s 20th anniversary capital campaign. A new interactive Olympic ring feature will create a focal point at Centennial Olympic Park Drive.
Water features along Centennial Olympic Park Drive will be extended to Baker Street Corner, creating a welcoming entry point for guests visiting neighboring attractions. The Androgyne Planet sculpture will move to be prominently displayed on this corner.
Center for Puppetry Arts:
Rainforest Adventures. Jan.23 - March 4. Explorers of all ages will experience traditional Brazilian-style music while coming face-to-face with more than 30 exotic plants and animals that live in the Amazonian ecosystem.
Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat. March 20 - May 13. Everyone’s favorite moments from the classic Dr. Seuss tale will come to life on stage.
Indian Puppets: The Great Stories and Dancing Dolls. Through July 15, 2018. Learn how puppetry has been used in India for over a millennium as an important storytelling tool, while seeing both traditional and contemporary pieces.
Children’s Museum of Atlanta. Healthyville, Jan. 27 - May 28, 2018. This bilingual (English/Spanish), interactive exhibit teaches health and wellness lessons through play-filled activities and educational messages that foster learning by doing. Designed primarily for children ages 5 – 12 and their parents, caregivers and teachers, Healthyville provides visitors with hands-on opportunities to explore health topics in ways that help them understand their bodies, the importance of making healthy choices and how to apply these concepts in everyday situations.
College Football Hall of Fame. SEC Media Days, July 16 – 19, 2018. Atlanta is the host for the 2018 SEC Media kickoff to the college football season. The College Football Hall of Fame will be home to primary coaches’ press conferences and serve as the live broadcast headquarters for ESPN and the SEC Network.
Georgia Aquarium. New puffins exhibit. Opens Jan 19, 2018. Guests will see two types of puffins – horned and tufted – in addition to two other types of seabirds – pigeon guillemots and common murres.
High Museum of Art. “Joris Laarman Lab: Design in the Digital Age.” Feb. 18 through May 13, 2018. Dutch artist Joris Laarman combines emerging technologies with craftsmanship to create, for example, furniture generated by algorithms. His lab is a multidisciplinary hub of scientists, engineers, programmers and craftspeople who explore the possibilities of design through research, experimentation and groundbreaking technology. Among the works to be displayed are Laarman’s maker chairs, which include 12 chairs assembled like 3-D puzzles from modular elements produced using relatively small and affordable machines.
Atlanta History Center. Battle of Atlanta, restored cyclorama painting, opens in the fall of 2018. The historic painting has moved from its longtime home in Grant Park to its new home in the 23,000-square-foot Lloyd and Mary Ann Whitaker Cyclorama Building at Atlanta History Center. Here’s more of what’s happening at Atlanta History Center in the new year:
¡NUEVOlution! Latinos and the New South. Jan. 6, - Dec. 31, 2018. This exhibition explores the ways that Latinos are shaping the South and the South is shaping Latinos. Developed by Charlotte's Levine Museum of the New South in collaboration with the Atlanta History Center and Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, NUEVOlution! examines this historic change by sharing powerful, personal stories behind the statistics.
Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace: The Doughboys, 1917-1918. March 16 - July 5, 2018. Photographic portraits of World War I battlefields illustrate the healed scars of the Great War through our only remaining living witness: the fields of battle themselves. Displayed outdoors in Goizueta Gardens, Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace features inspiring contemporary photography by Michael St Maur Sheil depicting the land on which America’s Doughboys fought and died.
Seeking Eden: A Collection of Georgia’s Historic Gardens. April 25 - Dec. 31, 2018. Seeking Eden showcases historic gardens in Georgia to promote an awareness of, and appreciation for, our state’s rich garden heritage. Dating from the mid-18th century to the early 20th century, these publicly and privately owned gardens include antebellum parterres, Colonial Revival gardens, Country Place Era landscapes, rock gardens, historic town squares and college campuses.
Barbecue Nation. May 5, 2018 - June 3, 2019. Opening during National Barbecue Month, this exhibition will represent barbecue as the most truly American food. The story will be told with an array of artifacts, images and oral histories from restaurants, festivals, community gatherings and various archives and museums. It will include historic photos and advertisements from the '50s and '60s. It also will feature cookbooks, postcards, matchbooks, menus, ashtrays, place settings and irresistibly obscure gadgets such as the Charcoal Exciter, a 1960s device for igniting briquettes.
Fernbank Museum of Natural History:
Museum Alive 3D. Feb. 9 – June 21, 2018. Showing on Fernbank’s giant screen theater, the movie, led by naturalist David Attenborough, takes viewers on an adventure through the Natural History Museum in London to discover what it would be like if the exhibitions came alive.
The Secret World Inside You. Feb. 10 – May 6, 2018. The exhibit explores the microscopic, non-human life in and on our bodies -- and the benefits of coexisting with them. Major themes of the exhibit are the skin, digestive tract and reproduction.
Backyard Wilderness 2D. March 23 – Aug. 2, 2018. Showing on Fernbank's giant screen theater, the movie was shot in suburban woods where humans and wildlife mingle. The film overturns convention by taking the viewpoint of the animals as they observe a human family living in their midst.
Food: Our Global Kitchen. June 9 – Aug. 26, 2018. This exhibit explores the complex and intricate food system that brings what we eat from farm to fork. In sections devoted to growing, transporting, cooking, eating, tasting and celebrating, the exhibition illuminates the myriad ways that food is produced, moved and consumed throughout the world.
Nature’s Superheroes. Sept. 29, 2018 – Jan 1, 2019. Nature's Superheroes offers a glimpse into the diversity of the natural world and the power of natural selection to shape exceptional responses to the challenges and opportunities of life on Earth.
"Don Quixote." Feb. 2 -- 10, 2018
"Beauty & The Beast." Feb. 8 -- 11, 2018
"Black Swan," March 16 -- 18, 2018
"TuTu & More." April 13 -- 15, 2018
"Bach to Broadway." May 11 -- 13, 2018
"Nutcracker." Atlanta Ballet will unveil a brand new Nutcracker in 2018.
For more things to do in Atlanta, take a look at our 50 fun things to do.
Journalist Carol Carter writes and edits for Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau.