15 things to do this weekend in metro Atlanta: Nerf Wars, St. Patrick’s Day and more

Looking for something fun to do this weekend in metro Atlanta? Plenty of St. Patrick’s Day events are on the calendar, including a block party in Midtown and a parade, kids activities and more in Lilburn. Other happenings include the Atlanta Home Show at Cobb Galleria Centre and a Battle of the Bands at Dunwoody Nature Center.

Check out the following 15 things to do in metro Atlanta this weekend:

Intown Atlanta

Jeff Galloway Half Marathon Race Weekend

Credit: From runsignup.com

Credit: From runsignup.com

8 a.m. and 9 a.m. Saturday, March 18. Leprechaun Chase 5K and Fit Kids Dash. $39 5K, free Kids Dash. 8 a.m. Half Marathon. Sunday, March 19. $100, $150 for three-person relay. $125 for half marathon plus 5K. 11th Street and Peachtree Walk, Atlanta for half marathon, stage at Ansley Mall, 1544 Piedmont Ave. NE, Atlanta and walk to Westminster Drive on Piedmont for 5K.

Run or walk a 5K or half marathon and have fun at a family-friendly block party on Saturday with music and fun, or take part in both races over two days.

Center for Puppetry Arts: Penguin in My Pocket

11:30 a.m. Friday, March 17, 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday, March 18 and 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Sunday, March 18, plus additional dates. $16.50, which includes a 25 percent discount for using the code ASF. Center for Puppetry Arts, 1404 Spring St. NW at 18th, Atlanta. 404-873-3391.

Watch a quirky, fun-filled tale of a penguin scientist in a production that features marionettes, rod puppets, audience participation and a concertina.

Atlanta St. Patrick’s Day Block Party

5 p.m.-2 a.m. Friday, March 17. $20-$30. Politan Row at Colony Square, 1197 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta.

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with no cover charge at over 30 participating bars in Midtown’s Entertainment District with complimentary Irish-themed beverages or a shot, Irish-themed food and drink specials, live music, DJs, party beads and more.


Atlanta Home Show

Credit: From Atlanta Home Show’s Facebook page

Credit: From Atlanta Home Show’s Facebook page

10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday, March 17, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, March 18 and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, March 19. Adults one-day admission $11, $9 online; seniors 65 and older with ID and children age 12 and under free. Free admission on Friday for active military personnel, veterans, teachers, frontline workers and home building or renovating professionals with ID. Cobb Galleria Centre, Two Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. 800-395-1350.

Get inspired at the Atlanta Home Show, where you’ll find home improvement ideas, expert advice, over 200 booths to explore and unique feature displays.

Marietta Shamrock Shuffle 5K

8 a.m. Saturday, March 18. $45. 12 East Park Square, Marietta.

Race in the sixth annual Marietta Shamrock 5K to raise money to support Marietta Police Athletic League’s youth sports and recreation programs. Prizes will be given for St. Patrick’s Day-themed costume contests and top qualifiers.

Mother-Son Nerf Wars

6 p.m.-9 p.m. Friday, March 17. $60 with a $10 discount for city residents, $25 for additional sons. Community Center, 200 Village Green Circle SE, Smyrna. 678-631-5392.

Bring your own single-shot Nerf gun to have fun with your sons age 5-12 in glow-in-the-dark battle zones, an obstacle zone, target practice and more.


Goethe Frühlingsfest

Noon-6 p.m. Saturday, March 18. Free attendance. The Rail Arts District, downtown Avondale Estates. 404-892-2388.

Head to Goethe Frühlingsfest, a family-friend festival with 80 local artists, authentic German beverages and cuisine, live music, and new and vintage German cars on display.

Amphibian Foundation’s Annual Salamander Stroll

Credit: From atlantasciencefestival.org

Credit: From atlantasciencefestival.org

10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Saturday, March 18. Free. Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve, 2580 Pine Bluff Drive, Decatur. 678-466-0572.

Witness wildlife with regional experts from the Amphibian Foundation, become citizen scientists and perform an amphibian bioblitz inventory to document salamanders and frogs. Bring your cell phone along so you can upload images of what’s found to iNaturalist.

Battle of the Bands

11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, March 18. Adults 18 and older $10, $5 for children age 3-17, free for children 3 and under. Dunwoody Nature Center, 5343 Roberts Drive, Dunwoody. 770-394-3322.

Bring a chair or blanket to enjoy outdoor music with battling bands on one stage and Dunwoody Idol auditions on another. Food and drink will be available to purchase.

North Fulton

Shamrockin’ for a Cure

Credit: custom

Credit: custom

7 p.m.-midnight. Saturday, March 18. $115. Ameris Bank Amphitheatre, 2200 Encore Parkway, Alpharetta. 404-325-6973.

Sample dishes from over 25 restaurants, enjoy a top shelf open bar, dance to live pop music, shop an auction and more at this fundraiser for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Big and Little Chef: Savory Baked Goods

10 a.m. Saturday, March 18. $80 plus fees for a parent/child combo. Publix Aprons Cooking School, 4305 State Bridge Road, Alpharetta. 770-751-8560.

Bring your child age 5-12 so you can both work alongside chefs to make dishes including beef stew hand pie and three-cheese scones.

Wedding Expo

Noon-4 p.m. Saturday, March 18. Free admission to the expo as well as the Nature Center, reservations required. Chattahoochee Nature Center, 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. 770-992-2055.

Meet with over 30 vendors who can fill all the needs you’ll have when planning your wedding.


Najam Institute Ramadan Bazaar

2 p.m. to after Zuhr. Saturday, March 18. Free with registration, $5 per person donation is appreciated. 5365 Five Forks Trickum Road SW, Lilburn.

With Ramadan just days away, shop at a bazaar and enjoy a family barbecue, bouncy house, treats like cotton candy and more.

Coolray Field Carnival

Credit: From Dreamland Amusements’ Facebook page

Credit: From Dreamland Amusements’ Facebook page

Continuing 5 p.m.-11 p.m. Friday, March 17, noon-11 p.m. Saturday, March 18 and noon-10 p.m. Sunday, March 19, with continuing dates. Free admission and circus shows. Ride tickets $1.50 each, 20 tickets for $30 and 50 tickets (includes one free ride), unlimited ride tickets available. 2500 Buford Drive, Lawrenceville. 1-866-666-FAIR.

Head to Coolray Field for carnival rides, games, fair food and more fun.

Lilburchaun Parade

2 p.m.-5 p.m. (3 p.m. parade start) Saturday, March 18. Free admission with inflatables $2 per ticket and face painting cost that varies by design. City Park, 76 Main St., Lilburn.

Dress in your festive St. Patrick’s Day attire and watch or join in a parade around the park and enjoy dance tunes from DJ Matt, kids activities, performances and more.