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Atlanta, Georgia: Outdoor Movies and Music Events are Free
by Michael Maltsev
Movies to Music, Outings are Free
Penny-pinching doesn't have to be dull. No matter your fancy, there's plenty to do in metro Atlanta - without spending a dime. This is just a sampling of a free week of entertainment:
Mondays: Check out Acoustic Mondays at The Five Spot in Little Five Points. For a blend of live music and art, stop by this local shop. All kinds of music - from bluegrass to indie rock - are featured. It's also a showcase for artwork, described on its site as the area's premier gallery for grassroots artistic expression.
Specialty and deli sandwiches, as well as vegetarian dishes, highlight a menu that also includes more than 100 beers. 1123 Euclid Ave., N.E. 404-223-1100. www.fivespot-atl.com.
Tuesdays: It's still early in the week, but it's never too early for a good laugh. Every other Tuesday (June 16, 30, ), Urban Grind hosts stand-up comedians. The biggest expense might be your ego if you find yourself the butt of a joke; but otherwise, there's no charge. The same coffeehouse venue holds open-mike poetry readings for free on Thursdays. Both are from 7-10 p.m. 962 Marietta St. 404-724-0605. www.urbangrindatl.com.
Wednesdays: Have a picnic in the park. Pack loads of goodies - leave the alcohol at home, though - and listen to live music every Wednesday from 5:30-8 p.m. at Centennial Olympic Park. The concert series is in its 10th season and features everything from jazz to contemporary music. This series runs through September. 265 Centennial Olympic Park Drive, N.W.
Thursdays: Head over to Atlantic Station's Central Park, which launches its free outdoor movie series starting June 18 with A League of Their Own. The movies run through the end of the summer. Retailers and restaurants will also offer discounts from 5-9 p.m. Movies will begin around 8:45 p.m.
Another option: No need to gripe about Screen on the Green being at Centennial Olympic Park instead of Piedmont Park. Centennial is easy to get to on MARTA, there's ample parking in the area and the park is plenty spacious enough for you to spread out and enjoy a free flick outdoors. Two more movies are left: Home Alone on June 18; and on June 25, the viewers' choice - Big, Ghostbusters or The Princess Bride. 6 p.m. 265 Centennial Olympic Park Drive, N.W.
Fridays: Historic Marietta Square itself has plenty to offer, and not far away is the Avisca Fine Art Gallery. Specializing in work by African-American artists and artists of African and Caribbean descent, the gallery is currently featuring the work of April Harrison. The First Friday Marietta Art Walk will skip July, and resume in August. However, Avisca remains open and free Thursdays-Saturdays, from noon-6 p.m. There are works from 15 artists on display in the 2,500-square-foot gallery. 507 Roswell St., N.E., Marietta. 770-977-2732. www.aviscafineart.com
Another option: After a long week, what better way to shake off the blues than dancing? Touting itself as a solution to the Friday evening traffic crawl, Two to Tango + the City is a fun way to get tango demonstrations and instructions - the first Friday of every month at 5:30 p.m. The Buenos Aires Tango Academy provides the lessons at the north end of Woodruff Park near the Reading Room. No reservations required. At Auburn Avenue Northeast and Peachtree Street Northeast.
Saturdays: Stroll through Stone Mountain Village on a self-guided tour and stop for sips of wine along the way on the Walk and Wine Tour held from 6-8 p.m. the third Saturday of each month. As a bonus, Stone Mountain Village will host a free Memphis-style Grillin in the Village barbecue contest June 20. Fifteen professional grillmasters will compete for $7,000 in prize money. The all-day event includes classic cars and live music. 770-498-7334. stonemountain village.com
Sundays: Check out the Concerts on the Square through June 21 in Roswell. The free live music is from 3-4:30 p.m., featuring various genres of music. Starting July 11, the party moves over to Riverside Park, 535 Riverside Drive, also in Roswell, with future dates of Aug. 1, Sept. 5 and Oct. 3.
Another option: Ride the trolley for a history tour of Lawrenceville through June 28. You'll see historic homes, walking trails and parks. If you get the urge to hop off and make a purchase, the homes on the tour are currently for sale. The Annabel trolley carries up to 30 people at a time, with two scheduled tours each week at 12:30 and 3 p.m. 404-375-1496. newlawrenceville.com
By Rana L. Cash