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12 great bets for enjoying Memorial Day weekend around Atlanta

From festivals and long runs to family fun and beach time, there’s something for everyone

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As the unofficial kickoff to summer, Memorial Day weekend overflows with activities geared to all interests and ages around Atlanta. New and upcoming events join tried-and-true favorites in welcoming locals and visitors to get outside and play, learn new things, and celebrate some of their favorite interests.

To make the most of your long holiday weekend, check out this selection of happenings near and far, and start planning your itinerary right now.

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MomoCon

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Lovers of anime, gaming, and comics would be ill-advised to miss this celebration of “all-ages geek culture” at the Georgia World Congress Center.

From May 23 to 26, get a sneak peek at some of the newest anime available in the United States and Japan, compete in gaming tournaments, and check out the work of today’s comic artists. Don’t forget to don your favorite character’s costume before joining the fun. 

Amanda West/MomoCon

Summer Kickoff Party

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From 5 to 8 p.m. May 24, celebrate the arrival of summer at Atlantic Station with a variety of free activities like cornhole, ladder golf, contests, live music with LeeRoi and The Regulars, and tasty bites from several local food trucks. This free event is fun for the entire family. 

City Springs Live

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Celebrating the one-year anniversary of Sandy Springs’s new civic and cultural center, City Springs Live kicks off Memorial Day weekend with a free concert on May 24 by bluegrass band Steep Canyon Rangers. Festivities begin at 6:30 p.m., with music starting at 7:30 p.m. Bring your own picnic, blanket, or lawn chairs, or purchase a reserved table.

Food and drink vendors also will be on site. For complete details and future dates in the City Springs Live concert series, visit the website. 

Memorial Day Weekend Festival 

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From May 24 to 26, holiday weekend escapes are in full swing at Callaway Gardens, where you can relax at Robin Lake Beach, complete with live music, beach activities, and kids zones. That spot also affords a prime view of the 60th Masters Water Ski & Wakeboard Tournament as top athletes compete in a variety of water sports.

General admission starts at $34.95 for adults, $31.95 for seniors, and $24.95 for children ages 6 to 12. Special rates are available for military and veterans, along with weekend getaway packages. 

Treklanta

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Star Trek fans unite! From May 24 to 26 at the Atlanta Marriott Buckhead, this annual convention features a wealth of activities centered around this iconic sci-fi show, including the Miss Klingon Empire Beauty Pageant and the Treklanta Star Trek Fan Film Festival. The event also welcomes a number of guests, including actors from various Star Trek incarnations, performance artists, and a variety of specialty artists.

Admission starts at $30 for adults and $15 for children ages 6 to 12, and varies by day. Ticket packages also are available. 

Decatur Arts Festival 

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Start your holiday weekend with a celebration of all things art, starting with the ArtWalk on Friday, May 24, at 5 p.m. at the Decatur Arts Festival in downtown Decatur.

Then on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., take part in a number of activities ranging from the Kids Arts Festival and Friends of Library Book Sale to plenty of live entertainment and the Artists Market. Held rain or shine, this is a free event. 

Atlanta Caribbean Carnival 

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Now in its 32nd year in Atlanta, the Atlanta Caribbean Carnival brings together music, dancing, food, and much more to celebrate the people and culture of the Caribbean.

From May 24 to 27, weekend events include a parade May 25 at 11:30 a.m. near Central Park, carnival days on Saturday and Sunday, and a breakfast fete May 27. 

Admission varies by event, so check the website for full details on time, location, and admission. 

LEGO City Experience

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From May 24 to 27, grab the kids, and head to LEGOLAND Discovery Center Atlanta, where you can become a LEGO City Hero during the LEGO City Experience.

Make your own stop-motion police chase mini movie, race a LEGO helicopter, or create a police pursuit vehicle to conquer the bad guys. All activities are included in general admission, which starts at $22.95 per person. 

Salute to the Troops

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From May 24 to 27, enjoy all Stone Mountain Park has to offer throughout Memorial Day weekend, including the current MEGABUGS! exhibit, a special performance by the Xtreme Chinese Acrobats, and, of course, the ever-popular Lasershow Spectacular. Throughout the weekend, the Lasershow will feature a specially choreographed tribute honoring our military, followed by a patriotic fireworks finale.

The park is offering special admission this weekend starting at $19.95 per person. In addition, the park is giving a free All-Attractions Pass to all active duty, veterans, and retired service members and a special discount for their family members.

Georgia Renaissance Festival 

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This holiday weekend from May 25 to 27, visit the Georgia Renaissance Festival in Fairburn before it’s gone for another year.

Ye Atlantans can step back in time to 16th century England and explore the 32-acre village filled with more than 160 artisan craft shoppes and 10 stages of live entertainment. Sample the food and drink at a variety of pubs and taverns, and, of course, grab a front-row seat to watch live jousting.

Admission starts at $19.95 for adults and $9.95 for children ages 6 to 12. Special packages are available; see website for full details. 

Brew at the Zoo

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Leave the kids at home, party animals, and head to Zoo Atlanta on May 25 for this adults-only fundraiser featuring more than 70 selections of brews, plus a limited selection of wine. And live music throughout the grounds.

While the zoo is home to more than 1,000 animals from around the globe, they’ll be heading off to bed shortly after the event starts, so get there early to see your favorites. VIP early entry starts at 4:30 p.m. with main event entry at 5:30 p.m.

Tickets start at $55 if purchased by May 24, or will be $65 at the gate. Full details are on the website. 

UrbanTree Cidery 5K

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Kick off your Memorial Day on May 27 bright and early by competing in the UrbanTree Cidery 5K at the Westside hotspot.

Check-in and registration starts at 7:30 a.m., with the race beginning at 8:45 a.m. Participants will receive a T-shirt, complimentary cider flight, and entry into the UTC5K/Run Social Atlanta raffle. Following the race, enjoy bites from Buena Gente and LowCo Motion food trucks, plus a stand-up comedy show.

Registration is $39, and you must register by 5 p.m. Sunday, May 26. 

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MomoCon

Amanda West/MomoCon

Lovers of anime, gaming, and comics would be ill-advised to miss this celebration of “all-ages geek culture” at the Georgia World Congress Center.

From May 23 to 26, get a sneak peek at some of the newest anime available in the United States and Japan, compete in gaming tournaments, and check out the work of today’s comic artists. Don’t forget to don your favorite character’s costume before joining the fun. 

Amanda West/MomoCon

Summer Kickoff Party

From 5 to 8 p.m. May 24, celebrate the arrival of summer at Atlantic Station with a variety of free activities like cornhole, ladder golf, contests, live music with LeeRoi and The Regulars, and tasty bites from several local food trucks. This free event is fun for the entire family. 

City Springs Live

Celebrating the one-year anniversary of Sandy Springs’s new civic and cultural center, City Springs Live kicks off Memorial Day weekend with a free concert on May 24 by bluegrass band Steep Canyon Rangers. Festivities begin at 6:30 p.m., with music starting at 7:30 p.m. Bring your own picnic, blanket, or lawn chairs, or purchase a reserved table.

Food and drink vendors also will be on site. For complete details and future dates in the City Springs Live concert series, visit the website. 

Memorial Day Weekend Festival 

From May 24 to 26, holiday weekend escapes are in full swing at Callaway Gardens, where you can relax at Robin Lake Beach, complete with live music, beach activities, and kids zones. That spot also affords a prime view of the 60th Masters Water Ski & Wakeboard Tournament as top athletes compete in a variety of water sports.

General admission starts at $34.95 for adults, $31.95 for seniors, and $24.95 for children ages 6 to 12. Special rates are available for military and veterans, along with weekend getaway packages. 

Treklanta

Star Trek fans unite! From May 24 to 26 at the Atlanta Marriott Buckhead, this annual convention features a wealth of activities centered around this iconic sci-fi show, including the Miss Klingon Empire Beauty Pageant and the Treklanta Star Trek Fan Film Festival. The event also welcomes a number of guests, including actors from various Star Trek incarnations, performance artists, and a variety of specialty artists.

Admission starts at $30 for adults and $15 for children ages 6 to 12, and varies by day. Ticket packages also are available. 

Decatur Arts Festival 

Start your holiday weekend with a celebration of all things art, starting with the ArtWalk on Friday, May 24, at 5 p.m. at the Decatur Arts Festival in downtown Decatur.

Then on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., take part in a number of activities ranging from the Kids Arts Festival and Friends of Library Book Sale to plenty of live entertainment and the Artists Market. Held rain or shine, this is a free event. 

Atlanta Caribbean Carnival 

Now in its 32nd year in Atlanta, the Atlanta Caribbean Carnival brings together music, dancing, food, and much more to celebrate the people and culture of the Caribbean.

From May 24 to 27, weekend events include a parade May 25 at 11:30 a.m. near Central Park, carnival days on Saturday and Sunday, and a breakfast fete May 27. 

Admission varies by event, so check the website for full details on time, location, and admission. 

LEGO City Experience

From May 24 to 27, grab the kids, and head to LEGOLAND Discovery Center Atlanta, where you can become a LEGO City Hero during the LEGO City Experience.

Make your own stop-motion police chase mini movie, race a LEGO helicopter, or create a police pursuit vehicle to conquer the bad guys. All activities are included in general admission, which starts at $22.95 per person. 

Salute to the Troops

From May 24 to 27, enjoy all Stone Mountain Park has to offer throughout Memorial Day weekend, including the current MEGABUGS! exhibit, a special performance by the Xtreme Chinese Acrobats, and, of course, the ever-popular Lasershow Spectacular. Throughout the weekend, the Lasershow will feature a specially choreographed tribute honoring our military, followed by a patriotic fireworks finale.

The park is offering special admission this weekend starting at $19.95 per person. In addition, the park is giving a free All-Attractions Pass to all active duty, veterans, and retired service members and a special discount for their family members.

Georgia Renaissance Festival 

This holiday weekend from May 25 to 27, visit the Georgia Renaissance Festival in Fairburn before it’s gone for another year.

Ye Atlantans can step back in time to 16th century England and explore the 32-acre village filled with more than 160 artisan craft shoppes and 10 stages of live entertainment. Sample the food and drink at a variety of pubs and taverns, and, of course, grab a front-row seat to watch live jousting.

Admission starts at $19.95 for adults and $9.95 for children ages 6 to 12. Special packages are available; see website for full details. 

Brew at the Zoo

Leave the kids at home, party animals, and head to Zoo Atlanta on May 25 for this adults-only fundraiser featuring more than 70 selections of brews, plus a limited selection of wine. And live music throughout the grounds.

While the zoo is home to more than 1,000 animals from around the globe, they’ll be heading off to bed shortly after the event starts, so get there early to see your favorites. VIP early entry starts at 4:30 p.m. with main event entry at 5:30 p.m.

Tickets start at $55 if purchased by May 24, or will be $65 at the gate. Full details are on the website. 

UrbanTree Cidery 5K

Kick off your Memorial Day on May 27 bright and early by competing in the UrbanTree Cidery 5K at the Westside hotspot.

Check-in and registration starts at 7:30 a.m., with the race beginning at 8:45 a.m. Participants will receive a T-shirt, complimentary cider flight, and entry into the UTC5K/Run Social Atlanta raffle. Following the race, enjoy bites from Buena Gente and LowCo Motion food trucks, plus a stand-up comedy show.

Registration is $39, and you must register by 5 p.m. Sunday, May 26.