Brand New Things to Do in Atlanta in 2016

The New Year brings new experiences. Here's what's new in Atlanta in 2016.
  • Dining and retail openings at Ponce City Market continue throughout 2016. (Joleen Pete Photography)
    Dining and retail openings at Ponce City Market continue throughout 2016. (Joleen Pete Photography)
  • SkyTower Atlanta will bring 3 new attractions downtown, near Centennial Park.
    SkyTower Atlanta will bring 3 new attractions downtown, near Centennial Park.
  • Save the Date: Beloved children's author and illustrator, Eric Carle, is coming to the High in April.
    Save the Date: Beloved children's author and illustrator, Eric Carle, is coming to the High in April.
  • The newly remodeled Children's Museum, focuses on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).
    The newly remodeled Children's Museum, focuses on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).
  • The new Sea Lion Gallery presented by SunTrust at Georgia Aquarium will include an exhibit and show.
    The new Sea Lion Gallery presented by SunTrust at Georgia Aquarium will include an exhibit and show.

It’s a new year, and 2016 promises to bring with it many new and exciting things to do in Atlanta. Whether you’re looking to dine at the new “it” restaurant, stay at the city’s swankiest new hotel or catch the latest in entertainment, this list will keep you up-to-date and in the know.

New Restaurants in Atlanta
We recently shared a list of Restaurants and Bars Coming to Atlanta in 2016 but here are a few more:

  • The Mercury - Opened Jan. 12 on the second floor of Ponce City Market, this restaurant offers an "updated take on mid-century American cuisine and classic cocktails inspired by the culture of the 1960s."

  • R. Thomas Deluxe Grill - This vegetarian and vegan favorite in the Brookwood neighborhood had to briefly shut their doors for renovations after a kitchen fire took place in October. They reopened on Jan. 9. R. Thomas Deluxe Grill has been an Atlanta establishment for 30 years, since first opening its doors in the fall of 1985.

  • Marcello’s - If you love Italian, you may have tried Marcello’s in Buckhead on Roswell Road. They’re opening a second location at Emory Point on Feb. 14, just in time for Valentine’s Day.

  • The Consulate - Honey Bubble Tea owners bring "global tapas and craft cocktails" to Midtown this April with The Consulate.

Hotels Opening Soon

  • Hotel Indigo - The new Hotel Indigo opened at the start of the new year and is located in one of downtown Atlanta’s first office buildings, 230 Peachtree St. The $60-million project converted the first nine floors of 230 Peachtree into 206 guest rooms and suites. The hotel is located near the Atlanta Streetcar route and also connects to AmericasMart Atlanta. It is Atlanta’s third Hotel Indigo, a lifestyle brand from InterContinental Hotels Group.
  • Springhill Suites Downtown - Marriott is planning to expand its Springhill Suites by Marriott brand into downtown Atlanta. The new hotel will be located across from Pemberton Place.

  • Home2 Suites - Hilton Worldwide is planning to expand its Home2 Suites by Hilton Brand to downtown Atlanta.

  • AC Hotel - Noble Investment Group and Simon Malls have partnered to bring the first AC Hotel by Marriott to Atlanta. The AC Hotel Buckhead will be located adjacent to Phipps Plaza and is scheduled to open early this year.

New Entertainment

  • Wild Music at Fernbank - Visit Fernbank Museum from Feb. 6 through July 31 to explore sound and music in nature and in our lives through whimsical and exciting activities.

  • SkyTower Atlanta - Coming this summer is a new 225-foot-tall attraction, located next to SkyView and across from Centennial Olympic  Park. It will feature three rides:
    • The SkyTwist - Carries up to 20 riders from the street-level to the top of a 225-foot tall tower in a giant all-glass gondola that rotates. ($13.50 per person)

    • The SkyDrop - Sends riders on a free fall from 225-feet in the air. ($11 per person)

    • The SkyShot - A sling ride that vaults riders more than 200 feet in the air. ($20 per person)

  • Sea Lion Gallery - This spring, Georgia Aquarium will open the new Sea Lion Gallery, which will include an exhibit and show.

  • Atlanta History Center - On April 2 Atlanta History Center will open a new permanent exhibit, interpreting the history of Atlanta by telling the stories of individuals and communities that helped create the city we know today.
    That exhibit will be located off the History Center's new 5,300-square-foot Louise Richardson Allen Atrium, which opened in November.

  • Six Flags Over Georgia - Two big new attractions are coming to Six Flags this spring, featuring 12 new rides and attractions. Bugs Bunny Boomtown will debut on March 12 and DC SUPER Friends will open in late May.
  • High Museum of Art - The High has four new and exciting new exhibits coming in 2016.

    • Vik Muniz Feb. 28 through May 29: A major retrospective of celebrated contemporary photographer Vik Muniz, considered one of the most innovative artists of the 21st century.

    • Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks Feb. 28 through May 29: An exhibition featuring rare notebooks created by Jean-Michel Basquiat, which offer an intimate look into the life of the influential contemporary artist.

    • Out of the Box: The Rise of Sneaker Culture June 11 through Aug. 14. Examines the sneaker's complex social history and cultural significance featuring approximately 160 pair of sneakers.

    • Eric Carle April 2 through Jan. 8, 2017; A retrospective of more than 80 of Carle’s signature collages from 15 of his most popular books, including many original works rarely on view.

Newly Renovated in 2015
Some of our favorite Atlanta institutions underwent renovations and reopened in 2015. In case you weren’t aware or haven’t had an opportunity to visit yet, here are three must-see attractions.

  • Worlds of Puppetry Museum - In November 2015, the new Worlds of Puppetry Museum at the Center for Puppetry Arts had its grand opening. The museum features puppets from around the world and includes the world’s most comprehensive collection of the work of Jim Henson.

  • The Children’s Museum of Atlanta - In August 2015, The Children’s Museum closed for an $8.2-million rebuild and face-lift to create an atmosphere with an enhanced emphasis on STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Math]. The museum reopened in December 2015 with both new and revitalized learning-through-play zones.

  • Scaly Slimy Spectacular: The Amphibian and Reptile Experience - Early in 2015 this new state-of-the-art amphibian and reptile complex opened at Zoo Atlanta. It features more than 70 species.


Joleen Pete is a Southern California transplant, living and loving it in the ‘burbs outside Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband and their toddler 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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