Atlanta and its surroundings are living proof that the sleepy days of Thanksgiving weekend are over. An awesome agenda of sites, music, tastes and even an educational museum for children fill the city. Thanksgiving Day offers family fun at the half marathon at Turner Field, and the Georgia Aquarium is open for a one-of-a-kind visit to a sea of fascinating creatures. Friday, Saturday and Sunday offer opportunities to explore the entire Atlanta environs.
Atlanta Half Marathon and Thanksgiving Day 5K
Atlanta Track Club
3097 E. Shadowlawn Ave.
Atlanta, GA 30305
Date: Nov. 28, 2013 at 7:30 a.m.
Across the country, Thanksgiving Day races have become “constitutional,” and Atlanta’s Thanksgiving Day half marathon is one of the largest in the US, attracting 1,500 to 2,000 runners and walkers each year. It starts and finishes outside of the Turner Field downtown on Capitol Avenue/Hank Aaron Drive. Race time is 7:30 a.m. If you’d like to exercise on Thanksgiving morning but are not a marathoner, the 5K, “Mashed Potato Mile” and “Gravy Gallup” give you and your young children your own events for fun with no age restrictions. Start times are from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. If you’d rather just cheer racers on, join the 1,400 volunteers needed for the event. Race fees for the half marathon start at $75 per person, and increase to $95 depending on when they’re purchased. Fees for the 5K are $35 to $45, and the Gravy Gallup and Mashed Potato Mile are $10 to $17, all depending on purchase date.
Cirque Dreams: Rocks
Woodruff Arts Center of Atlanta Symphony Hall
1280 Peachtree St. N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30309
Date: Nov. 29-30, 2013 at 8 p.m.
If you’re up for some rockin’ holiday entertainment for November 29th or 30th, right after Thanksgiving Day, the Atlanta Symphony Hall presents “Cirque Dreams: Rocks” each evening at 8 p.m. It’s a toe-tapping dance experience with the acrobatics, colorful costumes and the smooth moves the Cirque genre is known for. It’s a fresh take on holiday music and theatre. If a dance beat is something you love, it’s sure to please. You’ll probably end up busting moves in the aisles. Tickets at various venues start at $64 each for Friday’s show, and $69 for Saturday’s production.
The Children’s Museum of Atlanta
275 Centennial Olympic Park Drive N.W.
Atlanta, GA 30303
Date: Nov. 29-30, 2013
Friday, November 29th and Saturday, November 30th can be engaging days for children with a visit to this museum dedicated to programming for developing their minds, skills and knowledge, combined with entertaining activities. Check out the mini-musical “We’re In The Money” at 11 a.m. Friday, where they’ll learn about money and its importance. If your child’s interest is in science, a session on Friday at 2:30 p.m. will give them an adventure with Professor Labcoat at the Exploration Station. On Saturday, bring the kids to the puppet show “Where’s Penny: A Journey of Self Worth” at 1 p.m. Children under the age of one are free and tickets are $12.75 for ages one and older.
Three Sisters Vineyards
439 Vineyard Way
Dahlonega, GA 30533
Wine country is not far north of Atlanta, and Georgia boasts some vineyards that attract visitors year-round, as well as locals who enjoy their festivals and tastings. Three Sisters winery is closed the day after Thanksgiving, but open Saturday, November 30 and Sunday, December 1st for its “Pre-Christmas Tasting Room,” starting each day at 11 a.m. The winery began production in 2000 and currently produces 4.000 cases per year. The grapes used are 100 percent Georgian, and aging and production are done using French and American oak barrels and stainless steel tanks. The wine grapes are farmed at 1,800 feet above sea level, and the farm features Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc, three distinctive clones of Chardonnay and the French-American hybrid Vidal Blanc. The winery is known for its slightly off-dry “Fat Boy Red.”
225 Baker St. N.W.
Atlanta, GA 30313
Atlanta boasts the largest aquarium in the world, and its displays of different ocean environments do not disappoint. You can visit the aquarium Thanksgiving Day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This experience is thrilling for the entire family. Experience the amazing glass aquarium with sea creatures of all shapes and sizes, including sharks swimming in tanks that arch above your heads on the paths that wind through the space. Enjoy the young penguins as they nestle on the laps of the biologists doing their jobs and join you for a priceless experience. Prices are $29.50 for children to $39.50 for adults.
Di Chapman has been writing professionally for trade journals, audiobooks and a global business clientele since her early 20s. A coauthor of four books and a regular contributor to numerous blogs, she currently lives in the historic district of Roswell, Georgia, in the greater Atlanta area. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.