The kids are almost out of school for Christmas break and it’s time to fill your days with holiday excitement! We absolutely LOVE this time of year! The lights, glitz and holiday cheer brings so much life to our days. Here in Atlanta, there are tons of things to do to make this holiday season the most memorable yet!
Stone Mountain Christmas
Millions of lights, Christmas shows and Rudolph create a night to remember at Stone Mountain Christmas. Don’t miss a five-mile excursion on the Singalong Christmas Train, featuring a track-side show about the first Christmas. Watch the nightly Christmas Parade featuring Santa and Mrs. Claus, and end your night with the magic of the Snow Angel flying high to create snow and fireworks.
Children’s Christmas Parade
Watch as Midtown Atlanta transforms into Santa Claus Lane with the sights and sounds of the season at the largest holiday parade in the southeast. Children’s holds a special place in our heart, and this parade is one of our favorite. It recently moved to Midtown, but the quality is still superior. Bring blankets, a cooler of water or hot cocoa, chairs…whatever you need to enjoy the show!
Macy’s Pink Pig
Hop aboard this 60-year Atlanta tradition and ride Priscilla the Pink Pig on train tracks through a life-sized storybook.
Rudolph at Center for Puppetry Arts
Adapted and directed by Jon Ludwig; Based on the classic television special. Rudolph soars back into town for this faithful adaptation of the wonderful holiday tradition that speaks to the misfit in all of us. Based on the beloved 1964 stop-motion animated special, Rudolph and his friends (including Hermey the Elf, Yukon Cornelius and the Abominable Snow Monster) take the stage in what the AJC describes as a “holly-jolly holiday adventure for theater-goers of all ages.” You won’t want to miss it! Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer runs at the Center of Puppetry Arts from November 10, 2017 through December 31, 2017.
Lanier Islands Christmas
Combining all the things you love about Christmas with the best traditions from our Magical Nights of Lights years’ past, it’s a celebration you won’t want to miss! Drive past the animated carousel, iconic candelabra and many more holiday favorites!
Fantasy in Lights at Callaway Gardens
Bundle up for a Jolly Trolley ride, or drive your own car through more than 8 million lights at Fantasy In Lights at Callaway Gardens. Named one of the “Top 10 Places to See Holiday Lights” by National Geographic Traveler, Callaway Gardens glistens with custom-built scenes. Inside the Christmas Village, shop for gifts from Georgia crafters and specialty treats.
Rock City’s Enchanted Garden of Lights
This award-winning light extravaganza continues to be a favorite holiday tradition for tens of thousands of visitors every year. Guests can also enjoy the nightly concert series in the North Pole Lodge while sitting by the fire, drinking hot cocoa or apple cider.
Mighty Mo and More.
This cherished celebration at the Fox Theatre is full of singing and holiday cheer. Tickets are FREE (all General Admission,) but there is a small processing fee for purchasing online. Snow will be falling… on Peachtree Street. The Christmas Carol Sing-A-Long is led the famous “Mighty Mo” organ, the largest working Mollër theatre organ in the world. Santa Claus will be on-site for family photo opportunities – doors open at 6:30pm.
Atlanta’s official winter wonderland, just minutes from downtown. Here you’ll find a snow-packed mountainside and action-packed excitement. Have a ball on five football fields of frosty joy, including 20 lanes of tubing. Snow Mountain will run November 18 through February 25, 2018 (weather permitting). NEW for 2017! Galactic Snow Tubing – an immersive nighttime experience starting at 5:30pm with great music, laser beams overhead and high-powered LED lights dancing all around to the beat of the music.
Deck The Halls at the College Football Hall of Fame and Chick-fil-A Fan Experience
This holiday season the Hall is decking itself out from December 15 through January 1. Downtown Atlanta’s most interactive attraction will kick off the most wonderful time of the year with activities, treats and holiday decorations.
The Hall will have special appearances by their own Fumbles the Elf. If you are still in need of the perfect family photo for the holidays, Santa will visit the Hall on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am – 2 pm, and we will have plenty of college-themed props for your very own team photo! On Fridays and Sundays during Deck the Hall, bring your family to enjoy classic holiday movies.
Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker
Add some sparkle and a little dash of magic to your holiday season with an incredible adventure into a glittering world of wondrous delights. Perfect for young audiences and the young at heart, Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker at The Fox Theatre is a must-see this December. It is your last year to experience this version of The Nutcracker before Atlanta Ballet unveils a brand new production in 2018, so get your tickets early! Performances run December 10 through December 28.
A Christmas Carol at Shakespeare Tavern
Witness storytelling come to life in a special adaptation of the classic Charles Dickens’ play about Scrooge, the three ghosts he meets and a little boy named Tiny Tim. Performances run December 1 through December 20, 2017.
Langston Hughes’ Black Nativity: A Gospel Holiday Celebration
Set in a modern African-American church on Christmas day, filled with testifying deacons, sanctified ladies and down-home preaching, Black Nativity takes us on a journey back to the Bethlehem of Mary and Joseph. Harlem Renaissance poet-playwright Langston Hughes authored this one-act musical retelling of the Christmas story from an Afro-centric perspective. Featuring African costumes, moving songs of worship, magnificent choreography and old-fashioned spirituals, the song-play explores the depths of cultural identity, pride and unity within the African-American community. Adapted by Robert John Connor with musical direction by Keith Wilson, Black Nativity brings the spirit of the season to Atlanta’s Southwest Arts Center. Performances run November 29 through December 17, 2017.
Roswell Winter Puppet Series
The Roswell Cultural Arts Center will host its annual Roswell Winter Puppet Series this December, featuring two nationally-touring puppeteers and their puppets. The Summer Puppet Series has been a summer tradition since 1997 and a favorite of our family, and this new series will extend the family fun into the holiday season. Productions include Twas the Night Before Christmas and North Pole Fa La La La La Follies.
The Hip Hop Nutcracker
A holiday mash-up for the entire family, The Hip Hop Nutcracker, a contemporary work set to Tchaikovsky’s timeless music, embarks on an international tour on the strength of last December’s sold-out performances of the world premiere at New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) and United Palace of Cultural Arts (UPCA) in New York City.
Festival of the Season at Georgia Aquarium
This winter season, gather the family and celebrate the holidays at the world’s most magical Aquarium! ‘Festival of the SEAson,’ Georgia Aquarium’s month-long celebration of the holidays, transforms the Aquarium’s galleries and exhibits into a winter wonderland. Festivities begin in late November with Wake Up Santa when you can help the Elves wake Santa from his slumber with snowballs! Other activities include SCUBA Claus, the holiday tree lighting, Holidazzle light and music, a symphony of snow and an underwater Menorah. Don’t forget to make reservations from a Wolfgang Puck breakfast with Santa in December.
Candlelight Nights at Atlanta History Center
The Atlanta History Center invites guests to step back in time and experience Christmases past during Candlelight Nights. During these family-friendly events, visitors can stroll wooded trails illuminated by the sweet glow of candlelight, connecting to the spirit of simpler holiday pleasures.
Guests will be welcomed by Santa Claus and a lively Holiday Market filled with local crafts and artist creations. Then they can visit each of the three historic houses to experience how Southerners celebrated Christmas during the Civil War era (Smith Family Farm), the 1930s (Swan House) and pioneer days (Wood Family Cabin). Timeless holiday music will resonate, and interpreters will bring characters from the pages of history to life at these historic abodes, each handsomely dressed in period holiday decorations and featuring activities of the season.
The Grinch is back for another year of holiday mis-behavior at Ponce City Market, and he begrudgingly invites you to come together, shop together, stay together, play together and misfit right in! Atlanta’s historic community destination in Old Fourth Ward announces its 2017 holiday spectacular. Help the Grinch’s heart grow through the power of community. Expect three weeks of mischief all over the city of Atlanta, culminating in a “naughty vs. nice” Beltline face-off between Santa and the Grinch on Friday after Thanksgiving before the duo settles into their respective thrones on the second floor of Ponce City Market to greet their fans. The boldest holiday celebration in the Southeast is always free and open to the public.
NAUGHTY VS. NICE PARADE – Are you naughty or nice? It’s time to choose a team! Will it be Team Santa or Team Grinch? . If you’re feeling naughty, the public is invited to meet him at The Shed at Ponce City Market at 10:30am on Friday, Nov. 24th, with raucous brass/hip-hop band JohnBoy & SurroundSound and his merry band of misfits in tow. Follow the Green Grand Marshall as he leads community participants with LED balloons. Feeling kinder? March with Santa instead on team nice! The parade will culminate with a grand finale arrival at Ponce City Market for the official holiday kickoff at noon.
SANTA CLAUS PHOTOS. Visitors can take photos with Santa while enjoying a rotating roster of choirs, musicians, and other festive weekend entertainers. Hot cocoa, peppermint bark, holiday popsicle flavors, cider, and more will be available from Williams Sonoma, King of Pops, and the Mercury to enjoy around cozy fire pits, and Santa’s hours will be 10:30AM-6PM on Nov 24-26, Dec 17, and Dec 21-24, and 3PM-9PM on Dec 2-3, Dec 9-10, and Dec 16.
Holiday Tea with American Girl
Start the holiday season with a special teatime together and a crafty project to decorate your celebrations! Holiday Tea events include a deliciously different menu of teatime treats, a sparkly snowflake craft, and fun conversation and laughter at every table—plus memories that are certain to make the holidays extra merry.
The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Rings in the Holidays with Handel’s Messiah
This masterpiece from Handel tells the Christmas story like no other, and we’ve brought it back this year for a very special performance featuring the Orchestra and the Chamber Chorus. From the overture to the final bars of the famous “Hallelujah!” chorus, you’ll be swept up in the magic of the season.
Back to Nature Holiday Market
Explore more than 40 vendors who have unique handcrafted and/or eco-friendly gifts for the holiday season. Art, Jewelry, Candles, Children’s Gifts, Bath Products, Food, Nature Gifts, and more. In addition enjoy a beautiful hike, be a part of a wildlife encounter and enjoy all that CNC has to offer for FREE.
Fernbank’s Winter Wonderland
From November 17, 2017 through January 7, 2018, twinkling with lights, glimmering with color and shining with a variety of cultural objects, more than 30 trees and other displays recognize the diversity of celebrations, holidays, traditions and events from around the world.
Teddy Bear Tea
Guests will enjoy tea, hot cocoa, tea sandwiches, and charming desserts. Callanwolde teddy bears available for purchase as well. Holiday sing-a-longs, and admission to tour the decorated home are included with ticket purchase. Santa will make a special visit to deliver gift bags to all the children.
A Victorian Holiday at Oakland Cemetery
Indulge in the seasonal spirit by enjoying holiday festivities at Oakland’s Bell Tower. Warm up with a cup of hot cocoa (or wassail for adults over 21) while listening to holiday carols. Settle down for a reading of The Night Before Christmas or join Oakland’s youngest visitors in learning the art of the Victorian ornament. Don’t forget to get a photo with jolly Saint Nick!