The Centennial Olympic Park is a beautiful representation of Atlanta's Olympic legacy and premier entertainment district. Constructed in preparation for the 1996 Olympic Games, the park is now an energetic live-learn-work-play area surrounded by popular attractions such as the Georgia Aquarium, the World of Coca-Cola, and Mercedes Benz Stadium.

There's plenty of things to do in and around the park. You can enjoy a free audio walking tour that highlights the growth of Atlanta before and after the Olympic Games. Signature festivals such as Sweetwater 420 and Shaky Knees bring in internationally renowned artists annually.

If you're looking to fill a fun family day, attractions such as the SkyView Ferris Wheel, CNN Studio Tours, and the Fountain of Rings Splashpad will keep everyone occupied. The Centennial Olympic Park is the city’s dynamic gathering place, bringing together the local community and visitors in the shadow of the downtown skyline.

Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta - one of the highlights of 10 Best Free Things to Do in Atlanta and 10 Best Family Things to Do in Atlanta (Read all about Atlanta here)

What are the highlights of Centennial Olympic Park?

The Centennial Olympic Park is broken down into segments, each honouring a different aspect of Atlanta’s Olympic and cultural legacies. The main highlight of the park is the Fountain of Rings Plaza, home to the iconic Olympic Rings, and the world’s largest interactive fountain – complete with water, sound, and light effects. Just adjacent is the West Lawn Promenade, a wide-open green space with plenty of trees.

At the southern end of the park is the Southern Company Amphitheatre, an outdoor music/events venue used for everything from school graduations to music festivals, as well as community discussions. Make a pit stop at the Visitor Centre to check for upcoming events.

North of the Olympic Rings is the tranquil Garden Walk, winding through tall, lush oak trees and 5 unique fountains where locals can be found reading or playing chess. The walk ends at the Children’s Garden & Playground and the Paralympic Plaza – the latter honours the 3,000-plus athletes who participated in the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games.

What are the best events in Centennial Olympic Park?

The Centennial Olympic Park welcomes an incredible array of annual events. Sweetwater 420 Festival is the marquee music event of Georgia, hosted on the closest weekend to Earth Day. The festival not only brings in top-tier alternative and rap acts, together with great food, but also hosts charities, non-profits, and environmental workshops in its Planet 420 Non-Profit Village.

Centennial Olympic Park also hosts the largest 4th of July Celebration in the entire Southeast. Mostly known for its epic fireworks display, this completely free event also has many food trucks, music acts, and inspiring speakers.

If you happen to be in Atlanta during the winter holidays, make sure to check out the park’s multi-week Winter Wonderland, a festival hosting a Christkindl Market, a Chinese Lantern Festival, and a massive ice-skating rink.

Good to know about Centennial Olympic Park

Parking in downtown Atlanta can be challenging, so opt for a taxi or take the MARTA train, which can take you all the way to the airport if needed. For food options, either head into the CNN Centre Food Hall or check out one of the numerous eateries on Marietta Street.

The Centennial Olympic Park’s expansive grass areas provide a great opportunity to pack a picnic lunch and refuel between visiting some of the nearby attractions. Free wireless internet is available in and around the Visitor Centre, so use that time to research your next moves.

For the best views of Centennial Olympic Park and the surrounding skyline, take a ride on the SkyView Atlanta Ferris wheel – best experienced at night. Finally, after a day of exploring the area on foot, combine your visit with a live professional sports game at either the Mercedes Benz Stadium or State Farm Arena.

Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta

Location: 265 Park Ave W NW, Atlanta, GA 30313, USA

Open: Wednesday–Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm (closed on Mondays and Tuesdays)

Phone: +1 404-223-4412

Ryan Thomas McNutt | Contributing Writer