Cool Things To Do in April in Atlanta

Spring is in the air and Atlanta offers a lot of cool things to do — from Braves baseball to a wings festival to a rock opera. Do one. Do them all.

Atlanta Dogwood Festival: Sure Sign of Spring

Atlanta Dogwood Festival marks the unofficial beginning of spring in Atlanta. (Photo courtesy Atlanta Dogwood Festival)

Atlantans don’t need a calendar to tell us when spring starts. Spring in Atlanta begins with the annual Atlanta Dogwood Festival — and that has been true for more than 80 years. This popular festival, set in Piedmont Park offers something for everyone. Mark your calendar for the weekend of April 12-14 then don your festival clothes and head to Midtown. The Atlanta Dogwood Festival features sculpture, painting, pottery, jewelry, metal works and photography. In addition, the festival brings plenty of live music, a Kids’ Village and food — lots and lots of food.

SweetWater 420 Fest Parties in Pullman Yards

The SweetWater 420 Fest returns with an eclectic musical line-up that includes Beck, Gov’t Mule and Larkin Poe among many others. To accompany the music, there will be food trucks, an artists market, workshops, activations and, natch, beer from the largest craft brewer in the Southeast. The festival takes place for two-days (April 20-21) at Pullman Yards.

Catch a Two-fer at the Fox Theatre

See a Broadway play at the Fox Theatre in Midtown. (Photo courtesy of Fox Theatre)

Two fabulous shows come to the Fox Theatre in April, part of the Regions Bank Broadway in Atlanta Series. First up, April 6-7, is “Shrek the Musical,” which tells the hilarious adventure of our hero, Princess Fiona, and the wisecracking donkey. Also showing at the Fox in April is “Six,” which tells the musical tales of the six wives of Henry VIII. In this telling, the women come out of the shadows and take back their girl power. See it April 16-21.

Mozart’s Opera Rocks

7 Stages presents Mozart’s “Don Giovanni,” a rock opera. (Photo courtesy of 7 Stages)

Mozart’s “Don Giovanni” — a rock opera — begins its initial limited run beginning April 11 at 7 Stages Theatre. This production marks the first time a classic opera will be presented in English in Atlanta with a modern laugh-out-loud translation, accompanied by a rock orchestra. Yes, the notorious womanizer, Don Giovanni, still meets a supernatural end, but his licentious exploits are now portrayed with frankness and complexity reflecting today’s perspectives.

Atlanta Neighborhoods Come Alive with the Sounds of Festivals

Have a quirky good time at the Inman Park Festival. (Photo courtesy of the Inman Park Civic Association)

Atlanta has wonderful neighborhoods, each with its own personality — and many invite the public to festivals that feature artists, food, kids’ areas and music. The Spring Festival on Ponce at Olmsted Linear Park and the Little 5 Fest in Little 5 Points both take place on April 6 and occur just a few blocks from each other. Don’t miss the hot dog eating contest and skateboarding at Little 5. The Old Fourth Ward Arts Festival takes place April 20 and 21 while the Inman Park Festival and Tour of Homes, including a one-of-a-kind parade, is set for April 27.

Monster Jam

What’s that I hear? It’s Monster Jam roaring into town. (Photo courtesy of Monster Jam)

Monster Jam, an adrenaline-charged family entertainment event, features really big trucks — trucks so big they’re called monster trucks. They are bigger, louder and more exciting than ever this year, with BIGFOOT challenging War Wizard, Overkill Evolution and Black Stallion. Cheer them on as they compete in the wheelie contest, a doughnut competition and freestyle where each truck has two minutes to strut its stuff. See Monster Jam at Atlanta Motor Speedway April 13 and 14.

Atlanta Botanical Garden Features Orchid Daze and Atlanta Blooms

April brings orchids, tulips, daffodils, crocuses and hyacinths to Atlanta Botanical Garden. (Photo courtesy of Atlanta Botanical Garden)

Orchid Daze at Atlanta Botanical Garden’s Fuqua Orchid Center, home to one of the largest orchid collections in the country, is open through April 14. This year, the show features the works of Atlanta artist Lillian Blades. Her art complements three strikingly different orchid landscapes in the Fuqua Conservatory Lobby, Orchid Center Atrium and Orchid Center Display House. The warm colors of the Caribbean dominate the lobby with Epidendrums, slipper orchids and dancing lady orchids. The architectural centerpiece of the atrium will be a domed gazebo framed by jewel-toned orchid curtains and surrounded by Blades’ collages. In the Orchid Display House, bold Vanda and Phalaenopsis columns appear on a raised stage framed by a proscenium of Blades’ work and against a backdrop of her collages. While you’re at Atlanta Botanical Garden, look all around you because Atlanta Blooms, featuring thousands of tulips, daffodils, crocuses and hyacinths, is a sight to see through April 11.

Winging it

Taste of Atlanta invites you to the Atlanta Wing Fest at Uptown Atlanta on April 18. (Photo courtesy of Atlanta Wing Fest)

The award-winning television show “Atlanta” made our city’s lemon pepper wings famous (rightly so) so it may surprise you to learn there are other types of wings to enjoy in Atlanta. Taste them all at the Atlanta Wing Fest, presented by Taste of Atlanta, where more than 25 variations of wings will tempt appetites. Local chefs will grill, fry and smoke wings in a variety of flavors from spicy to sweet and savory. This all-inclusive event includes beer, wine, desserts and cocktails as well the wings. Bring your appetite to Uptown Atlanta on April 18.

Get Your Pin On

Pinterest comes to life at the Georgia Pinners Conference happening at Cobb Galleria Center on April 19 and 20. The Pinners Conference & Expo features more than 100 Pinterest-based classes and a show with 200 businesses involved in the world of crafts, cooking, fashion and more. The conference highlights creativity and women-empowerment so grab your girlfriends to make the most of this jam-packed event.

Virtual Wine & Pie Party

Enjoy a wine and pie evening. Photo credit: Esco Eats

Dive into Esco Eats Virtual Wine & Pie Party. Enjoy delivered imported wines from Europe that pair specially with their World Famous Apple Cobbler Pie with a DJ setting your vibe right from the comfort of your home. Turn your house into a party for just you or a group of family or friends. Log on the night of the event and enjoy the show with your fellow ATL family. The virtual event is happening on April 25. More information including purchasing tickets can be found here.

Next Year’s Oscar Goes to…

Now that the 2023 Oscars have been awarded, it’s time to start seeing films that might be nominated for a 2024 Oscar. The Atlanta Film Festival is here to help. (Photo courtesy Plaza Theatre)

Get an early view of potential Oscar-winning films at the Atlanta Film Festival (ATLFF), one of the largest and longest-running film festivals in the country. This influential festival received more than 7,500 submitted works from 118 countries including 59% of films by BIPOC directors, 49% by women and non-binary directors, and 24% from Georgia-tied filmmakers. It runs from April 25 through May 5 at Plaza Theatre.

ATLFF screenings often include in-person dialogue with filmmakers, providing audiences, artists and industry professionals with opportunities to network, interact and engage. Recent festival guests have included Josh Brolin (“No Country for Old Men”; Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam); Michael Ealy (“Barbershop”); Jasmine Guy (“Different World”); Gary Anthony Williams (“Malcolm in the Middle”); Pauley Chris Moore (“Good Will Hunting”); Howard Zinn (“The Peoples’ History of the United States”); Ray McKinnon (“The Blind Side”); Walton Goggins (“The Shield”); Margaret Cho (“Drop Dead Diva”); comedian Jeff Foxworthy; Pauley Perrette (“NCIS”); Tichina Arnold (“Everybody Hates Chris”); and John Sayles (“Passion Fish”).

Jousting Around

If you been wishing you could see a jousting match, you’re in luck. It’s time for the Georgia Renaissance Festival. (Photo courtesy of Georgia Renaissance Festival)

The Village of Newcastle returns to Atlanta, weekends April 13 through June 2, during the Georgia Renaissance Festival in Fairburn, Ga. Turn back your clock to the 16th century to enjoy turkey legs, Wishing Well Wenches, acrobatic daredevils, jousting, birds of prey, jugglers and other entertainment you won’t find anywhere else. Be sure to check out the games and rides including camel rides, tests of strength and Robin Hood Archery.

Batter Up

Baseball season returns. Cheer the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park. (Photo courtesy of the Atlanta Braves)

The Home Opener for the Atlanta Braves is April 5 vs. the Arizona Diamondbacks at Truist Park. That three-game series is followed by four-game home stand against the New York Mets, April 8-11. Later in the month, the Braves are home for games against the Texas Rangers, the Florida Marlins and the Cleveland Guardians. New for the 2024 season at Truist Park will be a Blue Moon Beer Garden inside the Roof. In left field, the Braves will debut a new group space called the Jim Beam Bourbon Decks. This will include private access to a new bar, which will also serve customers on the concourse.

SheBelieves, We Believe

The SheBelieves Cup is an elite competition featuring four of the world’s best women’s soccer teams (USA, Japan, Canada, Brazil). On April 6, the USA will face Japan, and Brazil will battle Canada at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Oakland Cemetery Springs to Life

Oakland Cemetery’s Illumine welcomes visitors for nighttime strolls. (Photo courtesy of Oakland Cemetery)

On Saturday, April 13, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Oakland Cemetery plans its first-ever Spring to Life family festival at Magnolia Square. You may even come early for the spring plant sale, 9 a.m. until 2:30 p.m., and stay for the festival. Another idea — come even earlier and participate in the Run Like Hell 5K.

Later in the month, April 18-21 and 25-28, visit Oakland for Illumine, where the cemetery is transformed with innovative lighting after dark. During Illumine, Oakland’s gardens bloom with captivating art, live music and interactive lighting installations.

Up on the Roof

Welcome spring with a refreshing drink at Chido and Padre’s in Buckhead.

Atlanta’s patios and rooftops beckon as the warmth of spring weather returns in April. Grab a friend or a date and spend some time at one of the city’s Top Patios and Rooftops in Downtown Atlanta or one of the Rooftop Bars and Restaurants in Buckhead. On The Roof at the Kimpton Overland Hotel, you can listen to live music, enjoy light bites and specialty cocktails while watching the planes take off and land at nearby Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport or you can observe the activity on the tracks at the adjacent Porsche Experience Center.

It’s a shame that April only has 30 days. Atlanta offers so much to do that’s fun, exciting and, yes, cool.

For more things to do in Atlanta, check our calendar of events.

Journalist Mary Welch writes business and lifestyle stories for local and national publications. 

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