Here come the spring flowers: 6 ways to enjoy April

By the time April rolls around, and temperatures start to rise, the urge to get out and about hits. It’s spring, and Atlanta offers so much to do whether you’re looking for a date night, a day out with friends, or a family-friendly festival in a local park.

A pig with wings is not something you see every day, but this is just one of the artistic lanterns swinging brightly at the Sandy Springs Lantern Parade.


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Schedule a night on the town

Sandy Springs Lantern Parade

6 p.m. Saturday, April 13. Free admission. Parade starts at Steel Canyon Gold Club, 460 Morgan Falls Road, Sandy Springs. Parade ends at Morgan Falls Overlook Park, 200 Morgan Falls Road, Sandy Springs.

The combination of giant lantern puppets and live music parading around Morgan Falls Overlook Park make this a memorable event. Get up close and personal with larger-than-life lanterns as you kick off the night with food trucks and children’s activities. The parade starts after dark at the Steel Canyon Golf Club, heading to the park. The path lights up in a wide palette of colors featuring designs by artist Chantelle Ritter.


7:30-10:30 p.m. on select dates, Thursday-Sunday, April 18-April 28. Advance tickets are $20 for adults, $25 at the gate. Students, children and seniors 65+ are $15 in advance and $20 at the gate. Children 3 and under are free. Oakland Cemetery, 248 Oakland Avenue, SE, Atlanta.

Stroll through Oakland Cemetery as the sun sets accompanied by musical performances, lighting and art installations, and interactive experiences. You can explore the cemetery itself and stop to grab a drink from any of the multiple bars. A pop-up shop makes it easy to pick up a souvenir. This event has rolling access each night, but a limited number of tickets. The VIP experience is also available for an up-charge and includes drink tickets, glow-in-the-dark accessories, and exclusive access to parts of the cemetery.

Happy gardeners find the perfect selection of plants at the Garden Faire.

Credit: North Fulton Master Gardeners

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Credit: North Fulton Master Gardeners

Welcome in spring

Earth Day at Atlanta Botanical Garden

10 a.m.-noon Friday, April 19. Free admission with purchase of garden admission. Atlanta Botanical Garden, 1345 Piedmont Avenue, Atlanta. 404-876-5859.

Celebrate Earth Day surrounded by plants at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. This family-friendly event includes activities that celebrate nature and focus on all the plants that live around us. Take in the sights of the Botanical Garden as everything begins to bloom while you connect with this nature-inspired holiday.

Garden Faire

9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, April 20. Free admission. The Grove at Willis Park, 175 Roswell Street, Alpharetta.

Sponsored by the North Fulton Master Gardeners, this plant sale features more than 2,000 plantings to add to your garden at home. Native, ornamental, and edible plant varieties are available along with vendors selling garden accessories and tools. Sit in on a guest speaker, visit the Ask-a-Master Gardener booth, or hang out in the Children’s Corner with the grandkids. The Fleatique offers additional shopping and, of course, there’s food. While admission is free for this event, proceeds of the plant sale provide scholarships and support community education and project gardens throughout the area.

There’s no better way to announce the arrival or ARTucker than with some chalk art.

Credit: ARTucker Facebook

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Credit: ARTucker Facebook

Explore a local festival

Big Shanty Festival

9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, April 20, and noon-5 p.m. Sunday, April 21. Free admission. Downtown Kennesaw near the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History, 2829 Cherokee Street NW, Kennesaw. 770-423-1330.

More than 200 arts and crafts booths fill up downtown Kennesaw for the Big Shanty Festival. Additionally, you’ll find food stalls, a beer garden, and multiple stages with live entertainment waiting for you. The weekend kicks off with a parade at 9:30 a.m. Saturday. Floats, high school bands, and youth sports teams will march down Main Street. Grab a seat along the route before checking out the variety of artisans and crafters selling their creations. A children’s area features bounce houses while food booths offerenough menu items to satisfy anyone’s hunger.


10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, April 27. Free admission. Church Street Green Space, 4316 Church Street, Tucker.

Focused on showcasing Georgia artists and makers, this annual festival will entice any art-lover to spend the day walking among the booths. Free children’s activities, which include face painting and chalking, food, music, and dance performances add to the event. It’s a day for the whole family to enjoy together.