Things You Can Actually Do in Atlanta during Summer 2020

Here's what we're up to this summer in Atlanta.
  • Alice's Wonderland Reimagined will have you twirling into Atlanta Botanical Garden.
    Alice's Wonderland Reimagined will have you twirling into Atlanta Botanical Garden.
  • Give Dad a trip around the track at Porsche Experience Center Atlanta.
    Give Dad a trip around the track at Porsche Experience Center Atlanta.

School's out for summer and your kids probably aren’t the only ones celebrating this year. It may not look like the typical summer in Atlanta, but it’s still going to be a fun one. From learning new skills to visiting old favorites, celebrating national holidays to experiencing our city in a new way, there are lots of things to do. Here’s what our Atlanta summer bucket list looks like this year. 

Take a cooking class


Charcuteries are all the rage right now and are such a unique way to feed your family or entertain (when it's safe to do so). The Iberian Pig in Decatur is offering a charcuterie class that will help you take your board creation to the next level.  

Celebrate National Lasagna Day on July 29 by taking a lasagna class at Double Zero, instructed by chef Zachary Lanier. Create a delicious pan lasagna while sipping a glass of wine. Enjoy the fruits of your labor after class with lasagna, focaccia and salad plus a recipe card to take home.   

Go for a scenic Atlanta hike 

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Atlanta is nestled within an abundance of green space and offers plenty of great places to take a hike. Here are our 10 easy hikes in metro Atlanta and 7 Georgia hikes that are a drivable distance. Enjoy spectacular views, fresh air and exercise with the entire family. 

Treat yourself

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Donut Day is one of those made-up national holidays that you don’t want to forget. Enjoy this delectable pastry on June 5 from one of Atlanta’s top doughnut spots. Call ahead to check for new hours because of COVID-19. 

You’re going to want to add these delicious foods synonymous with Atlanta to your bucket list, STAT. Yum! 

Binge on movies and TV shows filmed in Atlanta

Atlanta boasts a long résumé of popular television shows and movies that were filmed here. On those days when the heat keeps you indoors, pop a batch of popcorn and settle in for a streaming marathon of Atlanta-filmed movies or TV shows. 

There are options for the entire family. This ultimate list of things to do for Atlanta kids at home includes several kid-approved shows and movies for every age.  

Experience a summer Atlanta festival

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(Note: Due to the current state of affairs, many festivals are changing plans as their dates get closer.)

The calendar for Atlanta is filled with outdoor festivals to appeal to a variety of interests. From arts and crafts to microbrews and music, your calendar could be full. Many have online options for those not wanting to attend in person. Keep an eye on the festival calendar for upcoming events and details. 

By August, we’re all craving a little shade. The Grant Park Summer Shade Festival is a music and art festival that welcomes Atlanta families for fun, food and frolicking.

This year’s Atlanta Dogwood Festival has been rescheduled for August and is celebrating 84 years of nationally acclaimed art in every category. Don’t miss the online art auction this year. 

I scream, you scream, we all scream for this perennial favorite. The Atlanta Ice Cream Festival is celebrating 10 years with 10 days of Check in for a walk down memory lane and other surprises.

Comedy lovers and bored adults won’t want to miss Dad’s Garage Big Stupid Parking Lot Carnival on its new date in August. Carnival booths like Redneck Wine Tasting, Wheelchair Obstacle Course, Bad Caricatures and Improvised Erotic Fanfiction will be accompanied by beer and food, rides, games and other weirdness. 

Visit a favorite Atlanta attraction

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Atlanta Botanical Garden brings back a whimsical favorite with a twist, in the new Alice's Wonderland Reimagined exhibit. 

While not all of Atlanta’s most popular attractions are open, many of those that are open are implementing social distancing precautions. Visitors should check attraction websites prior to visiting to be sure they can comply with guidelines. 

Plan on staying home this summer? You can still visit many of your favorite attractions virtually through at home programming, webcams and more. Don’t miss our guide to virtual field trips to Atlanta’s top attractions.

Zoo Atlanta has gone to timed ticketing, one-way “travel” outdoor kiosks and paperless transactions among other changes. Please visit the site for specific ways to visit the animals while practicing safety. As always, you can watch the Panda Cam for a live feed of the adorable pandas in their habitat.

The Porsche Experience Center continues to offer unique and exciting driving experiences with temperature checks, mandatory masking, high-level sanitation measures and more to keep all participants as safe as possible. 

Chattahoochee Nature Center is open for limited, timed admission only. Tickets must be purchased in advance. There are no cash transactions plus separate entrance and exits and other operational changes. Be sure to review the website when purchasing tickets. 

SkyView Atlanta is open with social distancing, temperature checks and full sanitation via disinfectants and UV light between rides. All transactions are cashless. Check the site for all updated procedures and prepare to enjoy some impressive views.

If you venture out to one attraction this summer, don’t miss the Alice’s Wonderland Reimagined exhibit at Atlanta Botanical Garden. Getting outside to see this inspiring garden is just the ticket. The garden has switched to prepurchase, timed ticketing, social distancing and mandatory masking for all indoor spaces. Please review all garden guidelines when purchasing your tickets. 

Take a virtual bike tour of the city

While you can hop on your bike to tour Atlanta, you can choose from one of several virtual tours, too. If you have a cycling bike to ride at home, enjoy several tours of various Atlanta neighborhoods and these 9 cool things on the brand new FlyCycle virtual tour

Hop in the car and go for a scenic drive through Atlanta

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Take a scenic drive through Atlanta and see what the different neighborhoods have to offer. Grab lunch to go from your favorite Atlanta restaurant and picnic at the park or on the go. 

Have more time on your hands? Consider taking a day trip. Road tripping is the way to travel this summer. Several of these 10 best day trips for Atlanta families are among our favorite options this year. After driving a couple of hours, you might enjoy hiking a bit of the Appalachian Trail from Amicalola Falls State Park. Kids will love visiting the Rock Ranch this summer with a multitude of activities like zip lines, tractor rides and plenty of seasonal events from concerts and camping to festivals.

Joleen Pete lives outside Atlanta with her husband and their son. Joleen is the family travel and lifestyle blogger behind Love, Joleen.

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