15 Fun Things to Do in Atlanta This Spring

From festivals to beautiful rooftop drinks, here are the best ways to spend your time during the warmer months.

The weather is getting warmer and the calendar is filling up with festivals—so it must be spring. While the seasons don’t affect us too much in Atlanta, the city just has a different energy once the winter months are long gone. As the days get longer, it's time to shake off that winter chill and get outside. Our city is known for its beautiful skyline, and during the coming months, all of us in the ATL will flock to rooftop bars to take it all in. The Botanical Gardens, the Zoo, and the BeltLine are also perfect locations to bask in the sun during the day or admire the stars at night. And that’s not to mention all the outdoor live music and festivals hitting our calendars as well. As you gear up for outdoor activities and festival season, here are all the most fun things to do in Atlanta this spring.

Bounce around the businesses in East Atlanta Village

East Atlanta
One of the city’s hidden gems lies within the confines of East Atlanta and is home to some great bars, award-winning restaurants, and cool novelty shops for whatever your interests may be. With the weather warming up, you can hop from spot to spot throughout the day. The newly opened Southern Feedstore has become a one-stop shop for many, serving food, drinks, and live music to whomever is in attendance. Places like Blu Cantina, EAV Thai & Sushi, and Argosy serve great dishes to fuel you up for the night ahead, while the Midway Pub, Flatiron, and The Elder Tree Public House are all prime locations for a tasty cocktail while you watch the game. With smoke shops, coffee houses, and the totally addictive Insomnia Cookies, it’s hard not to spend hours in this Atlanta suburb.

SkyView Atlanta
Photo courtesy of SkyView Atlanta

Atlanta’s skyline is a beautiful sight to behold. Whether you’re at a rooftop bar or looking from a highrise apartment, an unhindered view of the 404 is second-to-none—but there’s one way you can take it up a notch. Towering nearly 20 stories above Centennial Park, the SkyView Ferris provides guests with breathtaking panoramic views of downtown Atlanta and the surrounding metropolitan area. It’s the perfect activity for any downtown adventure, and it’s paramount if you’re searching for a romantic date-night experience.

Atlanta Botanical Garden
Atlanta Botanical Garden | PQK/Shutterstock

During the spring season, the Atlanta Botanical Garden is home to tulips, daffodils, calla lilies and so much more. For the first week of April, visitors can experience Orchid Daze, the ABG’s annual event that features beautiful, inventive murals by three Southeastern artists created especially for this highly anticipated exhibition. Located in the heart of Midtown, the Garden includes 30 acres of outdoor greenery, an acclaimed Children’s Garden, a Canopy Walk, and more.

Shaky Knees Festival
Photo courtesy of Shaky Knees Festival

Have a blast at one of the city’s music and arts festivals

Various locations
As soon as April arrives, the inhabitants of Atlanta know exactly what that means: festival season. Throughout the year, ATL hosts several outdoor events, but there’s nothing quite like the three- to four-month stretch we’re about to encounter. Later this spring, people of all ages will flock to shindigs such as the Shaky Knees Music Festival, the Sweet Auburn Springfest, and the Chastain Arts and Crafts Festival, among others. This time of year is also the perfect opportunity to explore the city’s beautiful communities during its many neighborhood festivals, culminating with the Jazz Fest on Memorial Day weekend.

Support the home team on their quest for another MLS Cup

The ATL United FC season kicked off in February, so fans will be cheering them on all throughout the spring. If you haven’t already, head on over to the Mercedes Benz Stadium where you can join thousands of other supporters to experience an exciting matchup for the world’s most popular sport. Arrive early—and not just because the arena will likely be near capacity. You’ll want to feel the energy of The Home Depot Backyard’s tailgates during home games because there’s nothing like a parking lot party in the springtime.

Piedmont Park
Piedmont Park | Sion Hannuna/Shutterstock

Piedmont Park, one of Atlanta’s coolest attractions, is home to many different sites and activities. For the health enthusiast, the park offers weekly bike and walking clubs, or you can work on your green thumb with garden manager Matthew Bagshaw during interactive workshops. There is also a top-notch market where you can support local farmers and small businesses every Saturday, featuring the best in produce, meat, dairy, bakers, jams, and artisan goods. If you want to get a better feel for the park, there are guided history tours every other weekend and several upcoming outdoor events such as the Dogwood Festival, the Afro Street Market Fest, and more.

Zoo Atlanta
Photo courtesy of Zoo Atlanta

Grant Park
There’s something about seeing wildlife that brings out the kid in all of us. Open since 1889, Zoo Atlanta has become a staple in the city and a great place to spend your time this spring. April brings the popular Run Like Wild 5K, and in May, attendees can experience the return of the Brew at the Zoo with beer and wine samples from breweries all over Georgia, live music, and yard games.

Atlanta BeltLine
Atlanta BeltLine | Christopher V Jones/Shutterstock

Various Locations
Food? Check. Fun? Check. Art? Check. Anything you may want to do, the BeltLine has got you covered. This long, winding trail runs through different parts of the city and connects the culture of Atlanta in a beautiful way. You’ll always see people participating in picnics, playing games, and jogging, plus there’s plenty to do along the trail's many access points. Along the walkways, you can see some of the best works from local artists and eat at amazing restaurants such as Bazati, Two Urban Licks, Bully Boy, among many others. The rooftop at New Realm Brewing is the best spot to take in views of the city, and The James Room remains one of the best places in the city to hear live music.

Hampton + Hudson Community Bar and Restaurant
Photo courtesy of Hampton + Hudson Community Bar and Restaurant

Eat and drink in Atlanta’s first suburb

Inman Park
If you’ve never been to Inman Park, do yourself a favor and get over there as soon as possible. Recognized as one of Atlanta’s oldest neighborhoods, this bustling suburb is an amazing destination spot for the spring. It is home to swanky restaurants such as Char, BeetleCat and Barcelona Wine Bar, and the strip is almost always filled with the sounds of live music in front of Little Spirit. Throughout the city, there are many places to watch sports, but Hampton + Hudson is one of the better locations to check out the game with friends. Its surrounding homes and apartment buildings give Inman Park an intimate feel, while the aged trees are a little dose of nostalgia for an area of the city that continues to expand.

Battery Park is an all-purpose destination, to say the absolute least. It is home to the Atlanta Braves’ stadium, so the atmosphere is always energetic, regardless if there's a game going on or not. The restaurants are amazing, and it can definitely satisfy anyone’s palate. The place is a dream for those adventurous spirits (Punch Bowl Social and PBR have games galore), and you can even catch a show or two at the Coca-Cola Roxy and the state-of-the-art Silverspot Cinema. Saturday evenings are when the place is really lively—especially in the main courtyard. Hundreds of people can be found having a great time with a drink in hand, and if you love sports, Live!’s big screen TV definitely makes you feel like you’re actually in the arena.

Ponce City Roof
Photo courtesy of Ponce City Roof

Old Fourth Ward
The Roof at PCM is the place to be all year round. Pull up throughout the week to play some fun carnival-style games at Skyline Park and sip on some specialty cocktails from 12 Cocktail Bar or 9 Mile Station while overlooking Atlanta’s awe-inspiring skyline. During the warmer months, the outdoor portion of the Rooftop is obviously the place to be, but don’t miss the slate of vendors inside.

Illuminarium Atlanta
Photo courtesy of Illuminarium Atlanta

Old Fourth Ward
The Illuminarium’s immersive WILD experience helped the new Atlanta attraction make an incredible debut in 2021, and this spring it has even more multisensory spectacles for visitors to enjoy. Now, guests can immerse themselves into the digitally projected worlds of SPACE: An Experience Beyond Earth (an extraordinary journey across the galaxy), and Waking Wonderland (a dreamlike adventure inspired by Lewis Carroll's Wonderland.). The Illuminarium also regularly hosts special events like sports watch parties and 21+ After-Dark experiences, so if you’re ever looking for something to do, don’t overlook Old Fourth Ward’s unique multisensory attraction.

Photo courtesy of Puttshack

West Midtown
Keep the summer fun going after dark by having a late-night game of miniature golf at Puttshack. The entertaining Atlanta attraction is an upscale, tech-infused mini-golf hangout where you can eat, drink, and compete with friends for putt-putt bragging rights. Puttshack is a 21+ affair every day from 8 pm to midnight (and 1 am on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays), so don’t hesitate to squeeze in some late-night practice sessions and a couple of Puttshack’s incredible cocktails.

Virginia Highlands & Sandy Springs
For an art experience that is sure to get your creative juices flowing this spring, head over to Splatter Studio. Previously housed at Ponce City Market, the innovative space has expanded to locations in Virginia Highlands and Sandy Springs, and regardless of whether you opt to visit the ITP or OTP location, Splatter Studio will welcome you into space where anything—like literally getting splattered with paint—is possible. Each session at Splatter is one hour long, and each participant gets a disposable poncho, a pair of disposable shoe covers, sterilized gloves and goggles, a 16 x 20-inch canvas, and access to splatter paint. Go unleash your creativity and create a wondrous mess before the season ends.

InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta
Photo courtesy of InterContinental Buckhead Atlanta

Locations vary
Whether it’s work or the state of the world stressing you out, sometimes you just need a staycation. Luckily for anyone living in Atlanta, this city has a wealth of impressive boutique hotels. The Interlock in Midtown is home to the Bellyard Hotel, where customers can enjoy Drawbar’s themed cocktail selection or bask in the stunning aesthetic of Rooftop L.O.A. Find a relaxing respite in-town at The Candler or Hotel Clermont or head OTP to a hotel like The Hamilton to really get a break from Atlanta—either way, there are plenty of incredible boutique hotels to enjoy the spring season.

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Okla Jones is an Atlanta-based journalist who writes about food, fine arts, and entertainment. His work also appears in ESSENCE, Creative Loafing Atlanta, and Consequence of Sound. Follow him on Instagram at @coolhandoak.
Joshua Robinson is an Atlanta-based contributor for Thrillist. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter at @roshrisky.