It feels like summer just arrived in Atlanta, and already it’s winding down and kids are heading back to school! But fear not, because we always keep the fun going in all four seasons. This month, we are celebrating all things The Dark Crystal (including opening our brand-new special exhibit!), offering educational workshops for all ages, and presenting two shows: one for adults and one for audiences as young as two. Read on to see what all we have in store for this August, and make your plans to come see us!

On stage in the Family Series beginning August 14: The Tortoise, the Hare & Other Aesop's Fables. (Ages 2+; a Theater for the Very Young show). Aesop’s circus is in town and the animals are ready to take the stage in this cheerful, interactive production specifically designed for the very young. This show is presented in the Downstairs Theater, and the Create-A-Puppet Workshop is the Happy Hare Tabletop Puppet. Come early to hear some of your favorite fables and to color a special puppet that you can use during the show!

On stage in the New Directions Series for Adults and Teens beginning August 31: National Puppet Slam. For one weekend only, experience the beauty, ingenuity, and hilarity of original short-form puppetry by talented artists from across the United States. These contemporary pieces for adult audiences have been nominated by their respective slams and curated for an evening of short works that aspire to be as varied as the vast national network of independently produced puppetry slams it celebrates. Tickets include free admission to the Worlds of Puppetry Museum, and beer and wine bar will be for sale.

In the Worlds of Puppetry Museum all month: Guided tours of the Global Collection take place Tuesday-Friday at 1 pm, Saturday at 11 am. Guided tours of the Jim Henson Collection take place Tuesday-Friday at 3 pm, Saturday and Sunday at 1 pm. Behind-the-scenes tours take place Saturdays and Sundays at 3 pm.

New exhibit! On display in the Special Exhibit Gallery beginning August 31: Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal: World of Myth and Magic. Immerse yourself in a world of fantastical creatures and pure imagination: the world of Jim Henson’s visionary masterpiece The Dark Crystal. This exhibit will feature original Brian Froud artwork, animatronic prototypes, as well as iconic puppets, costumes and props. (Celebrate this new exhibit opening with us during The Dark Crystal Ball on Aug. 30!)

Aug. 2: Discovery Days: Africa (Grades K-5). Join us as we celebrate puppetry traditions in other cultures through intimate, interactive programs.

Aug. 3: Preschool Puppetry Playshop. (Ages 3-5) These workshops enhance motor skills, increase language and social skills, and develop self-confidence.  Programs feature reading activities, songs, fingerplays and puppet-making.  These high-energy, engaging experiences support early childhood literacy by bringing to life a terrific book for early readers, and celebrate creativity and the arts in developmentally-appropriate ways.

Aug. 4: Wow Weekends (ages 4+)  Join us for Wow Weekends select Saturdays and Sundays throughout the season. Explore different puppetry types and traditions from around the world with our interactive, hands-on Puppet Pop Up! gallery programs, then create and perform with your very own one-of-a-kind puppet in a special version of our popular Create-A-Puppet Workshops™!

Aug. 4: The Dark Crystal film screening. On another planet in the distant past, a Gelfling embarks on a quest to find the missing shard of a magical crystal that can restore order to his world. Included with paid museum admission. (And don’t forget to pop into the Worlds of Puppetry Museum to see items from the film!)

Aug. 5: Wow Weekends  

Aug. 7: Toddler Tuesday! This interactive museum program is designed for ages 2-4, and includes special games, puppet making, dancing, story time and more!

Aug. 9: Discovery Days: Africa.

Aug. 10: Preschool Puppetry Playshop.

Aug. 11: Wow Weekends


Aug. 11: Puppet Party Series presents: Puppets and Pints! (Ages 21+) Foamy heads for everyone! Join us for a cold, craft beer and chill out on a hot summer’s night. Enjoy the music of The Possum Kingdom Ramblers,  beer and wine for purchase, plus FREE lights bites, bar games, and a chance to visit our Worlds of Puppetry Museum in a relaxed, child-free environment. Buy tickets in advance and save!

Aug. 12: Wow Weekends 

Aug. 17: Mae West was born on this day in 1893. See her puppet made by Jimmy Rowland now on display in the Global Collection of the Worlds of Puppetry Museum!


Aug. 20: Explore Puppetry Series—Breath in Motion: Mask Puppetry WorkshopWorkshop participants will work with puppets that have a mask, head, and scarf body. Through the integration of Lecoq clown exercises and puppetry, participants will learn how to isolate look, breath, and approach to create clean expression; how to connect vocalization and object movement to an object's emotional expression; how to make a scarf feel like a hand or a torso and how to switch lead from the hand to the nose; and how to breathe an object. This is a physical workshop focused on bringing clear and emotive life to objects.


Aug. 25: Podling Preview Party. With a Dual Level Membership ($75) or higher, you can receive free admission to our special Members Only Podling Preview Party for our brand-new special exhibit Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal: World of Myth and Magic. Be the first to see the mesmerizing collection of puppets, prototypes, and artwork and get a behind-the-scenes look at how the planet Thra came to be!

The Podling Preview Party includes:

6:00 - 10:00 PM

•  Preview of the special exhibit Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal: World of Myth and Magic

•  The Dark Crystal interactive unveiling: be among the first to pose with the Center's Dark Crystal replica. Touch the shard, illuminate the Crystal, and share your photo!

6:00 - 9:00 PM

•  Special puppet building activity: build your very own Little Fizzgig Hand Puppet puppet to take home!

•  Admission to the Worlds of Puppetry Museum featuring the largest collection of Jim Henson puppets, props, and costumes in the world

•  Complimentary light bites

•  Beer and wine available for purchase

8:00 - 9:45 PM

•  Screening of the cult classic film, The Dark Crystal, in the Center's Mainstage Theater

Aug. 26-30: Dark Crystal exhibit Member previews. All week, Members get first access to our new special exhibit Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal: World of Myth and Magic before it opens to the public on August 31. Become a Member here.

Aug. 30: The Dark Crystal Ball. Join us for an auspicious celebration of our new special exhibit Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal: World of Myth and Magic. The evening will include celebrity guests, a costume contest, heavy hors-d'oeuvres, beer and wine bar, and a New Year’s Eve-style countdown to the Great Conjunction! Guests are encouraged to wear Dark Crystal-inspired costumes or fantasy masquerade attire and masks. This year's celebrity guests will include Brian Henson (Chairman of the Jim Henson Company, and Jim's son); Halle Stanford (President of Television for The Jim Henson Company and Executive Producer for The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance); and Kirk Thatcher (judge of Jim Henson's Creature Shop Challenge, writer and director (Dinosaurs, Muppets Tonight, and more!). These VIPs will also judge the costume contest!