dogwoodIt’s Spring festival season! And if you are lucky enough to be traveling with kids and happen to be in Atlanta this weekend, you will not want to miss what The Society of American Travel Writers named as one of the Top 10 Spring Festivals in 2012, The Atlanta Dogwood Festival.

If that recent statement or accolade was not enough, let me give it to you straight as a parent and Atlanta resident-this is one of the best festivals that I have attended in the U.S. The festival takes place on the verdant lawns and meandering pathways of Atlanta’s Piedmont Park-our version of NYC’s Central Park.

For starters, Atlanta’s foliage comes to life in Spring. In fact, the long-running festival’s  (in it’s 77th year), namesake is non other than the pretty sapling that produces the delicate white blooms.

Here is a highlight of this year’s festival events:

The Kids Village boasts popular slides and jumps, a climbing wall, fee arts and crafts and interactive areas to keep young minds and bodies working off all that energy.

-Over 260 artists in the Artist Market featuring original works of art such as sculptures, jewelry and paintings.

-Five different rides including a mini roller coaster and an obstacle course.

-Live concerts from today’s top artists Sara Evans and the Kurt Thomas Band. (Concert general admission is free.)

-The crowd-pleasing favorite event, The disc dog competition (sorry, festival attendees will need to leave their pooches at home unless they are competing.)

-A food truck area for those foodies and the pickiest of eaters (This is a first this year.)  

Cost:  Admission to the festival is free. However, rides and other attractions may require an additional cost.

Dates: Friday: Noon – 10 pm, Saturday: 10 am – 11 pm, Sunday: 10 am – 6 pm. Artist market closes at 7 pm on Friday & Saturday.