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MLK Day projects and lunar eclipse watch: 16 things to do in metro Atlanta this weekend 

For some, the upcoming weekend will be a long one and an opportunity to honor Martin Luther’ King Jr.’s birthday with commemorative services and volunteer projects. For others, the weekend’s milder temperatures will be a time to dedicate their weekend to an array of activities — from 5ks to supporting the Braves. 

» RELATED: From service projects to parades, here are the best ways to celebrate MLK Day in Atlanta

However you plan to spend your weekend in Atlanta, we offer up the following 16 options to add to your agenda. Here are some of the best events and things to do this weekend in Cobb, DeKalb, North Fulton and Gwinnett.


Street Fighting Band: A Rolling Stones Tribute. 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18. $20 general admission, $45 VIP. Earl and Rachel Smith Strand Theatre, 117 N. Park Square, Marietta. 770-293-0080. https://earlsmithstrand.org/.

The Atlanta rock, blues and soul veterans of Street Fighting Band deliver the swagger and power of Rolling Stones' hits like Jumping Jack Flash and Wild Horses.

Chop Fest. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 19. Free admission, with some activities requiring a fee. SunTrust Park and The Battery Atlanta, 755 Battery Ave. SE, Atlanta. 800-745-3000. https://www.mlb.com/braves/fans/chop-fest.

Celebrate the National League East Champion Atlanta Braves at Chop Fest, which features player autograph sessions and photo opportunities, question-and-answer panel discussions with players and coaches, family attractions and games and more.

»RELATED: Braves will unveil 'refreshed' uniforms at Chop Fest

Switzer Saturdays for Kids. 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 19. Free. Switzer Library, 266 Roswell St., Marietta. 770-528-2320. http://www.cobbcat.org/event/switzer-saturdays-for-kids/2019-01-19/.

Kids and their parents can enjoy Martin Luther King Day story time, followed by Akeelah and the Bee, a family-friendly movie.

The Beach Boys. 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20. $47 and up. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. 770-916-2800. https://www.cobbenergycentre.com/.

Led by Mike Love and Bruce Johnston, The Beach Boys are still enjoying their version of an "endless summer" and have earned their status as American music icons.


If you're looking for something fun for the family to do this weekend in DeKalb, you'll have several events to choose from – including volunteering to work at senior citizens' homes or viewing the lunar eclipse with the help of the Southeast's largest telescope.

Add the following four events to your calendar this weekend if you live in DeKalb:

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Service Project. Saturday, Jan. 19-Monday Jan. 21. Work at various locations in Oakhurst. Meet at the Solarium at the Community Center of South Decatur, 321 W. Hill St. 770-652-8593. https://www.mlkserviceproject.com/.

Sign up with the family to make home repairs, do yard work, help with logistics or help the food committee as Decatur volunteers work at senior citizens' homes.

Fernbank Science Center's telescopes will help you see the lunar eclipse this weekend.
Photo: Hyosub Shin/For the AJC

Lunar Eclipse Viewing. 9:30 p.m.-midnight, Sunday, Jan. 20. Dr. Ralph Buice Jr. Observatory, Fernbank Science Center, 156 Heaton Park Drive, Atlanta. 678-874-7102. http://www.fernbank.edu/.

If the skies are clear, you'll be able to view the lunar eclipse through Fernbank's reflecting telescope (the largest in the Southeast) or one of the center's smaller telescopes. The FSC planetary geologist will also be on hand to answer questions and share information.

RELATED: January's super blood moon: The only total lunar eclipse of 2019

Livvy's Love Fun Run/Walk. Packet pick-up 3-7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18 Big Peach Running Co., 1565 Church St., Suite 520, Decatur. Race at 8 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 19. $40. Stone Mountain Park, 1000 Robert E. Lee Blvd., Atlanta. https://livvysloveinc.org/.

The eighth annual run/walk lets you take part in a 5K or 8K and help raise money for Livvy's Love, Inc. projects and foundation activities. The organization provides scholarships and grants to deserving youth.

Family Fun Movie: Guardians of the Galaxy. 1-3:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19. Free. Flat Shoals Library, 4022 Flat Shoals Library, Decatur. 404-244-4370. https://events.dekalblibrary.org/event/1411103.

Watch the first movie in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, which stars Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana.

North Fulton

Whether you'd like to lace up your skates for the last weekend of this season's Avalon on Ice or would rather attend a cosplay workshop, you'll find a family-friendly event to suit your interests this weekend in North Fulton.

The following four North Fulton events are some of this weekend's highlights:

Avalon on Ice. 3-10 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19 and noon-10 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20. $14-$18. Avalon, 400 Avalon Blvd., Alpharetta. 770-765-2000. https://www.experienceavalon.com/.

Lace up your skates for the last weekend of the season at Avalon on Ice as you glide around the Rockefeller Center-inspired ice rink.

Cosplay Workshop and Discussion with Cosplay for a Cause. Noon. Friday, Jan. 18. Ocee Library 5090 Abbotts Bridge Road, Johns Creek. 770-360-8897. https://www.calendarwiz.com/calendars.

Wear a costume if you'd like and discuss the craft of cosplay, along with learning how cosplay can help give back to the community.

Mommy & Me Unicorn Painting Party. 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18. $50 for mom and child. 11770 Haynes Bridge Road, #801, Alpharetta. 470-294-0051. https://www.paintingwithatwist.com/.

Invite the whole family to paint their own unicorn and bring some finger foods to enjoy during the break if you'd like.

Annual Oldies Show. 7-10 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19. $5 suggested donation. Unitarian Universalist Church, 11420 Crabapple Road, Roswell. http://coffeehouse.uuman.org/events/annual-oldies-show-just-because-mockingbirds-wing/.

Listen to the sounds of Just Be'Cause and Mockingbird's Wing – and bring some pantry items to help support North Fulton Community Charities.


Get out and about this weekend in Gwinnett by racing through downtown Sugar Hill, exploring Bangladeshi culture or trying another fun event.

The following four things to do are worth checking out this weekend in Gwinnett:

Chilly Willy 5K/10K/Half Marathon. 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 19. $30-$55. Sugar Hill City Hall, 5039 W. Broad St., Sugar Hill. https://runsignup.com/Race/GA/SugarHill/ChillyWilly5K10KHalfMarathon.

Race through downtown Sugar Hill and score a Chilly Willy long sleeve shirt. You'll also have the chance to go ice skating afterward.

Atlanta Model Train and Railroadiana Show and Sale. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19. $9, children 12 and under free. Print coupon for $1 off admission. Infinite Energy Center, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth. https://www.infiniteenergycenter.com/events/detail/56th-atlanta-model-train-show-and-sale.

Admire many working layouts and browse through over 350 tables with dealers offering model items in all gauges as well as railroad antiques for sale.

Atlanta Pitha and Cultural Festival. 4-11 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19. Berkmar High School, 405 Pleasant Hill Road, Lilburn. 404-604-0845. http://www.khabar.com/events-calendar/Atlanta-Pitha-and-Cultural-Festival.

Celebrate the community's rich Bangladeshi and American culture with food and more.

Dad's Garage Improv. 7:15 and 9:15 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18 and Saturday, Jan. 19. $10. Aurora Theatre, 128 East Pike Street, Lawrenceville. 678-226-6222. https://www.auroratheatre.com/.

Atlanta improv group Dad's Garage Theatre Company creates comedy scenes and games on the spot from audience suggestions.

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