Best Family Festivals for Kids in Atlanta

There's a lot of fun to be had in Atlanta for kids. Here are our favorite family festivals.
  • Kids love getting up close and personal with butterflies at Chattahoochee Nature Center. (Benjamin A. Pete Photography)
    Kids love getting up close and personal with butterflies at Chattahoochee Nature Center. (Benjamin A. Pete Photography)
  • Nothing sweeter than ice cream at the Atlanta Ice Cream Festival. (Lethal Rhythms)
    Nothing sweeter than ice cream at the Atlanta Ice Cream Festival. (Lethal Rhythms)
  • Even the youngest of cosplay and comic fans love the Dragon Con parade. (Joleen Pete Photography)
    Even the youngest of cosplay and comic fans love the Dragon Con parade. (Joleen Pete Photography)
  • The Pumpkin Festival takes place each year at Stone Mountain Park. (Julia Hall)
    The Pumpkin Festival takes place each year at Stone Mountain Park. (Julia Hall)
  • Expose junior to the arts on family fun days at the Woodruff Arts Center. (Joleen Pete Photography)
    Expose junior to the arts on family fun days at the Woodruff Arts Center. (Joleen Pete Photography)

From arts and crafts to music to costumed parades, Atlanta's festivals encompass all types of fun and are a great way to get your kids outdoors, active and exposed to the arts. We’ve assembled a year-around list of our favorite kid-friendly festivals in Atlanta.

Spring

  • Atlanta Dogwood Festival – For more than 75 years the Atlanta Dogwood Festival has been a family favorite every spring. Ranked one of the top 50 festivals in the nation, this festival is chock-full of arts and crafts, activities, live entertainment and food. It’s also home to the U.S. Disc Dog Southern Nationals, a world-class Frisbee dog competition. Sure to be a great day out with the family.

  • Georgia Renaissance Festival – Huzzah! Renaissance festivals across the country are favorites for sending the entire family back to the days of knights and fair maidens, and the Georgia Renaissance Festival is no different. Enjoy eight weekends and 32 acres of 1,000 costumed characters, artisan booths, food, frivolity, entertainment, activities and more. It’s literally impossible to see everything in just one day. Your kids are going to love it.

Summer

  • Flying Colors Butterfly Festival at Chattahoochee Nature Center – This popular event is a fun and colorful way to kick off summer with your kids. Butterflies of all shapes and colors abound at the Flying Colors Butterfly Festival, where you can get up close and personal with this fluttering favorite. In addition, there are crafts, face painting, food trucks, entertainment, a plant sale and other activities to allow your family several fun and educational hours at the Chattahoochee Nature Center. Be sure to check for specific event times before your visit.

  • Grilled Cheese Festival – If you love grilled cheese (and really, who doesn’t?) then this is the festival for your family. It's tasty bites of grilled, cheesy concoctions by top restaurants and skilled amateurs vying for the title of “Best Grilled Cheese in Atlanta,” plus drinks, entertainment and fun -- all in one location. Be sure to check availability. Saturdays are usually reserved for the 21+ crowd while Sunday is Family Day.

  • Virginia-Highland Summerfest – Voted one of the Top 100 craft shows in the country, Summerfest is fun for the entire family. This June festival features arts and crafts booths, entertainment, a 5K race, tot trot, KidsFest, food and fun. The Friday prior to Summerfest highlights the Summerfest parade and a fun dinner and movie in the park.

  • Atlanta Ice Cream Festival – I scream, you scream -- most kids love ice cream. Head out to Piedmont Park for the annual Atlanta Ice Cream Festival in late July for all kinds of delectable frozen treats, including gelato and frozen yogurt. In addition, there are games and activities, demos, contests and entertainment for the entire family.

  • Grant Park Summer Shade Festival – By the end of August we all may be looking for a little shade, and not the bad kind. The Grant Park Summer Shade Festival is two fun-filled days of art and music, kids' area, fun run, food trucks and more. Say goodbye to summer while having fun with family and friends at this festival.

  • Piedmont Park Arts Fest – Another Top 100 festival, the Piedmont Park Arts Fest is a two-day festival featuring more than 250 fine artists and craftsmen, covering a full range of mediums from glasswork to painting, jewelry, woodworking, photography and more. In addition, there is plenty live acoustic music, along with artist demos, a children’s play area and good eats.

Fall

  • Dragon Con – Fantasy lovers of all ages enjoy Dragon Con, one of the leading pop culture conventions in the nation. From the Dragon Con parade to the convention itself, there is plenty to see in the way of cosplay, fantasy and gaming, activities, panels, booths and more.

  • National Black Arts Festival – One of the highlights of Atlanta’s festival calendar, the National Black Arts Festival showcases performing arts, literature and visual arts produced by creative artists of African descent. 

  • JapanFest – Explore Japanese culture at JapanFest each fall. Sample authentic Japanese food from vendors, experience a variety of performers in traditional Japanese dance, music and theater, attend workshops about Haiku and Ikebana. 

  • Yellow Daisy Festival – Celebrating 50 years in 2018, this world-class arts and crafts festival draws exhibitors from around the country. Taking place at Stone Mountain Park and featuring something for everyone in the family, it includes a “Men’s Den” with big screen TV and a children’s corner in addition to yummy festival food, live entertainment and, of course, shopping.

  • Candler Park Fall Fest – September winds down with one of the favorite festivals in the Atlanta area. The Candler Park Fall Festival features a tour of homes in addition to a 5K and fun run along with artisans, specialty food trucks, live music and free Sunday morning yoga.

  • Little 5 Points Halloween Festival & Parade – The Little 5 Points Festival is so much fun for the entire family. Don your favorite costume and head over to L5P for a wacky, over-the-top Halloween parade complete with outrageous costumes, fantastic floats and bands. Hang around after the parade for festival frivolity, food, entertainment, vendors and more.

  • Pumpkin Festival at Stone Mountain Park – Don’t miss the month-long Pumpkin Festival at Stone Mountain Park for tons of fall fun including pumpkin patching, pie eating contests, nighttime glow fun and other family-friendly activities and attractions. 

Winter

  • Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration – While not a true festival, the King Center observes a 10-day celebration of the life and accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Events range from performance art to lectures and charitable workshops in February each year as part of Black History Month. It's a great way to bring history into your kid’s life.

  • Groundhog Day Jugglers Festival – Share laughs and new experiences at the annual Groundhog Day Juggler’s Festival, where there are workshops, games, contests and lots of fun for the entire family. Enjoy entertainment by jugglers, unicyclists and more.

Ongoing

  • Family Fun Festival at The Woodruff Arts Center – On the second Sunday of each month, The Woodruff Arts Center hosts a family fun festival in conjunction with the High Museum of Art’s Second Sundays event. This is the perfect event to expose your children to the arts through fun activities, crafts, free admission to the High and special showings at Alliance Theatre. Visit the website for themes and to pre-register.

For a complete list of Atlanta festivals, check out our festivals page

Joleen Pete lives outside Atlanta with her husband and their 5-year-old son. On the weekends they enjoy going into the city for family fun and exploration. Joleen is the professional photographer behind Joleen Pete Photography and lifestyle/family blogger behind Love, Joleen.

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