There's always something new to do in Atlanta. Here's what's coming up in 2020 at many of Atlanta's most popular attractions.
Atlanta Botanical Garden
Be amazed at Orchid Daze at Atlanta Botanical Garden. (📷 Atlanta Botanical Garden)
- Orchid Daze, Feb. 1-April 12
Step inside the tropical warmth of the largest orchid center in the United States for a special exhibition of thousands of gorgeous orchids.
Atlanta History Center
The Regimental Flag of the 127th United States Colored Troops is among the historical artifacts at the Atlanta History Center's "Black Citizenship" exhibit.
- "Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow," Jan. 18-June 30
This exhibit explores the African-American struggle for full citizenship and racial equality that unfolded in the 50 years following the Civil War. It highlights the ways African-Americans advocated for full inclusion in American democracy from 1865 through World War I. The exhibition features art, historical artifacts, photographs and specially created media pieces.
- Craftsoul Festival, April 4
Here's a chance to connect to the multicultural roots of craft in the South through demonstrations with contemporary artists who draw on traditional methods. Atlanta History Center showcases historic foodways, song, botanicals and other traditions.
- Olympic exhibition, opening July 9
Just ahead of the Tokyo Games, Atlanta History Center opens a signature exhibition to examine the city’s time in the global spotlight as host of the 1996 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Take a trip to Catfish Row when the Atlanta Opera performs "Porgy and Bess." (📷 Karli Cadel)
- "Salome" Jan. 25-Feb. 2
At King Herod’s palace, the young captain Narraboth admires the beautiful princess Salome, who sits at the banquet table with her stepfather, Herod, and his court. A page warns Narraboth that something terrible might happen if he continues to stare at the princess, but Narraboth won’t listen.
- The Gershwins' "Porgy and Bess," March 7-15
During an evening in Catfish Row, an African-American tenement on Charleston’s waterfront in the 1930s, Jasbo Brown entertains the community with his piano playing (“Jasbo Brown Blues”). Clara, a young mother, sings a lullaby to her baby (“Summertime”) and the workingmen prepare for a game of craps.
- "Madama Butterfly," May 2-10
Cultures collide when an American naval officer stationed in Nagasaki decides to take a Japanese wife.
- "Glory Denied," May 21-24
America’s longest-held prisoner of war dreams of coming home. But home is a place he will not recognize.
CENTER FOR PUPPETRY ARTS
Stellaluna learns that we all can be friends even if we are different from one another.
- "The Adventures of the Gingerbread Man," Dec. 31, 2019-Jan. 19, 2020
It's a fast-paced romp that combines "Hansel and Gretel," "Androcles and the Lion" and "The Frog Prince."
- "Stellaluna," Jan. 21-March 8
It's the story of a young fruit bat who finds herself dropped into a bird’s nest.
CHILDREN'S MUSEUM OF ATLANTA
Kids work in Donnie's Lab at the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" exhibit. (Photo: The Children's Museum of Indianapolis)
- "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Secrets of the Sewer," Jan. 18-May 10
Nickelodeon’s "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Secrets of the Sewer" invites children and their families to explore their individual and group potential, training as a team both physically and mentally, and then take on the villains of New York City.
HIGH MUSEUM OF ART
Paa Joe (Ghanaian, born 1947), Cape Coast Castle. 1653 Sweden, 1665 Britain, 2004–2005 and 2017, emele wood and enamel. American Folk Art Museum, New York, gift in memory of Claude Simard, 2018.13.1. (Photo © Paa Joe, courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.)
- "Paa Joe: Gates of No Return," Feb. 29 - May 31, 2020
This exhibition features a series of seven large-scale, painted wood architectural sculptures by Ghanaian artist and master craftsman Joseph Tetteh Ashong, also known as Paa Joe, the most celebrated fantasy coffin maker of his generation. The sculptures represent Gold Coast fortresses, which served as way stations for millions of Africans sold into slavery.
- Live Lab: Photography Residency and Exhibition
Residency: March 16 - 27, 2020
Exhibition: March 28 - April 19, 2020
Organized by the High in collaboration with the international photographic cooperative Magnum, the Live Lab is a residency and related exhibition that addresses contemporary life in Atlanta by involving the community in the realization of a new body of photographs. The residency will result in a pop-up exhibition of the work produced at the High.
- "speechless: different by design"
April 25-Sept. 6, 2020
"speechless" merges research, aesthetics and innovative new design to explore the spectrum of sensory experiences and new approaches to accessibility and modes of communication in the museum setting.
Selig Family Black Box Theatre
- "Gimme Please," Jan. 11-Feb. 16
A play about the evolving nature of friendship, "Gimme Please" follows the journey of two friends from initial meeting to lasting connection.
- "In My Granny's Garden," March 17-April 19
The youngest audiences watch as a tiny seed become a field of corn, green beans, collard greens and bright red tomatoes.
- "Maybe Happy Ending," Jan. 21-Feb. 16
Set in Seoul, Korea, two obsolete helper-bots live an isolated existence in a robots-only housing complex.
- "Sweat," April 22-May 17
In one of the poorest cities in America, down-and-out factory workers struggle to keep their lives in balance, ignorant of the looming financial devastation.
- "Seize the King," Feb. 14-March 8
With his country’s throne empty, Richard knocks down threats to his ascension, fueling his insatiable ambition and paranoia.
- "53% Of," March 28-April 19
Three collections of like-minded people try to find their place in the current political landscape.
- "Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: The Rock Experience," March 7-29
Wilbur, a clothes-loving mole rat with exceptional style, navigates the pressure to be just like everyone else
- "Heart/Beat," Feb. 7-15
Sweeping rhythms and the energy of jazz intertwine three works making their Atlanta Ballet debut.
- "The Swan Princess," Feb. 13-16 and April 10-12
A one-hour version of "Swan Lake" is presented by Atlanta Ballet 2 in a production designed for audience members ages 12 and younger.
- "Giselle," March 27-29
A young peasant girl is deceived by her true love, Albrecht, falls into a fit of despair and dies of a broken heart.
- "Firebird," May 15-17
Yuri Possokhov’s "Firebird," performed to Igor Stravinsky’s score, is an explosive production that can be enjoyed by all ages.
To find out more things to do in Atlanta, check our calendar. And check here to see 20 reasons to come back to Atlanta in 2020.
Photo caption for High Museum "speechless" photo in the carousel: Misha Kahn designed and produced 2019, plywood, vinyl, silk, paint, pastel, foam, metal, resin, toothbrush bristles, yarn, gel, glass, ceramic, water, blowers, pumps and fans, commissioned for speechless.Photography by John Smith.
Journalist Carol Carter writes and edits for Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau.