2020 Christmas in Atlanta: Your FESTIVE Guide to Only the Very Best Christmas Events

Christmas in Atlanta is our family’s favorite time of year. We love every light show, the chilly temps in front of a fire with the Christmas tree glowing, photos with Santa, and working a holiday show (or three) into our schedule.

2020 Christmas in Atlanta: Your FESTIVE Guide to Only the Very Best Christmas Events

Below you will find dozens upon dozens of options when you’re looking for “the best Christmas events near me” for your Christmas in Atlanta celebrations.

Celebrate an Antebellum Christmas in Milledgeville

There’s nothing quite like the magic of Christmas in Milledgeville. Take a step back in time and enjoy exploring how the Antebellum era celebrated the Christmas season. Discover holiday traditions passed down from the city’s earliest families as Georgia’s Old Governor’s Mansion is transformed into an elegant Christmas residence beginning on Saturday, November 21. Candlelight tours are at 6 p.m., 7 p.m., and 8 p.m. on December 5, 12, and 19, 2020, complete with softly glowing candles and live choirs singing in the gold domed rotunda.

Milledgeville, Georgia

Tis the Season to Shell-ebrate

We invite you to enjoy the holiday season with us in Gulf County, Florida.  Can you think of a better way to celebrate the holidays than at the beach?  You can make new traditions and even bring some of the old ones with you.   Check out our calendar full of holiday events.

Gulf County, Florida

More Christmas Information:

Christmas Light DisplaysChristmas Tree FarmsPictures with SantaOutdoor Ice SkatingLive NativitiesFREE Christmas EventsBreakfast With Santa | Christmas Day | Christmas in Helen

Christmas in Atlanta Classics

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 favorites.  The parade will be on TV only for 2020; follow the link for more details.

Festival of Trees. Held at the Georgia World Congress Center each holiday season, the Georgia Festival of Trees cannot be missed. See the beautiful trees, enjoy live entertainment, children’s games and crafts, and visits with Santa. With great local food, and fun shopping, you won’t want to miss out on this fun activity for the whole family. Use code "GWCC10" to receive 10 percent off your total ticket purchase. The discount is valid for tickets and ticket packages purchased for Dec. 1- 4, 2021.

Garden Lights, Holiday Nights. The lights at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens are one of my favorite holiday light displays. Check out the new twist on “Nature’s Wonders” – the high-tech display of thousands of vertical strings of lights synchronized with music and sound effects to create the illusion of nature’s phenomena.

In addition, Garden Lights, Holiday Nights – presented nightly November 14, 2020 – January 16, 2021 – features several of the giant topiary-like plant sculptures from the recent Alice’s Wonderland Reimagined exhibition.

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. It's one of my most memorable holiday events from when the boys were young!

Stan the Lovesick Snowman at Center for Puppetry Arts. Adapted and directed by Jon Ludwig, this year CPA debuts a play based on the Hans Christian Andersen short story “The Snow Man".

Enter a winter wonderland with Stan the Snowman. A magical tale of fun and friendship. Alice the dog explains the wintry world to Stan. Ice Skating! Snowball fights! Hockey! Moose mail! Moose mail???! Discover a land right next to ours where tests of true friendship and courage abound. A bad cat, a clever dog, a smart snow woman who is a great writer, the Sun and the Moon, and a wolf.

Lanier Lights Spectacular. Kick start your holidays with a visit to Margaritaville’s all-new Lakeside Lights Spectacular for a night of nostalgic wintry fun. The Lakeside Lights Spectacular will take you on a magical walk through an amazing lighting extravaganza with festive seasonal music. Great for the whole family! (Formerly the Magical Nights of Lights on Lake Lanier Islands.)

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. This year will feature a brand new scene -- Magical Field of Lights! Masks are required on the trolley. Discount Tickets: Save up to 42% off single day tickets to Fantasy in Lights

Rock City's Enchanted Garden of Lights . This award-winning lighted display 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. Now through Jan. 2, 2021.

The World of Coke. The most wonderful time of the year has begun at World of Coca-Cola! Now through Jan. 1, 2021, the attraction is showcasing its holiday best and welcoming guests into a true winter wonderland. The twinkling lights, larger-than-life decorations and seasonal beverages are all back as part of World of Coca-Cola’s annual celebration.

Mighty Mo and More. Canceled for 2020. 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.

Snow Mountain. Canceled for 2020 Atlanta's official winter wonderland, just minutes from downtown at Stone Mountain Park. 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 runs November through February (weather permitting).

Galactic Snow Tubing is a new immersive nighttime experience  with great music, laser beams overhead and high-powered LED lights dancing all around to the beat of the music.

Macy’s Tree Lighting. Join local celebrities and musicians as they light the great tree in style with a visit from Santa! The official tree lighting ceremony, a holiday tradition in Atlanta, is set for Nov 24, 2020 (Not on Thxgvg as it usually does.)

Pre-show entertainment and behind-the-scenes interviews kick off at 6:30 p.m. The event ends with a fireworks finale. It's an invitation-only event for 2020, but you can still catch it on TV.

Other community tree lightings include:

  • The Battery. The Battery Atlanta will officially begin the holiday season on Dec. 4, 2020 by lighting the Plaza Tree with a special guest! Santa Claus will make a brief virtual appearance via the big-screen at the Georgia Power Pavilion to initiate the season. Stay to watch The Lorax after.
  • Avalon. Beginning November 22, 2020. The Lighting of Avalon: A Twelve Day Celebration will kick off the holiday season at Avalon, replacing their annual one-day tree lighting event with 12 days full of smaller, festive, fun events for the whole family!
  • The Outlet Shoppes.  The tree will be lit on Nov 22, 2020 and since The Grinch can't make it for 2020 they will be playing a free screening of the Jim Carey version of The Grinch at the food court. Free popcorn and cotton candy.
  • Vinings Jubilee. The most festive time of the year can officially begin with the announcement of Vinings Jubilee's Annual Christmas Tree Lighting on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020 from 6-8 p.m. Both in-person and live streaming options will be available this year, and attendees can expect this event to be full of holiday cheer from Singing Santa to on-the-go ornament bags to continue the fun and decorate at home. This year, masks will be required, social distancing will be encouraged and hand sanitizing stations will be plentiful.
  • Mall of Georgia. 2020 date has not yet been released. Includes free family activities.
  • College Park. November 30, 2020, 5:30-8 p.m.Tree lighting followed by hot chocolate, local vendors and live entertainment
  • Milledgeville Tree Lighting. Right in the middle of downtown Milledgeville, you will see the most beautifully lit Christmas tree! Santa will be on hand to light the tree at 6 p.m. on the first Friday in December. (Your kids can drop a letter to Santa off in the special mailbox while you're downtown, too!)
  • Light Up Dunwoody. The annual lighting of the Christmas tree and Menorah at Cheek-Spruill Farmhouse will be streamed live on Facebook this year. Those interested in watching can tune in at 5:30 p.m. EST on November 22 and mark the beginning of the holiday season.  Once the lighting is complete, the area will be open for visitors to take in-person photos, while practicing social distancing.
  • Virtual Tree Lighting in Kennesaw. On Saturday, December 5, at 5:00 p.m. the City of Kennesaw will instead host a virtual tree lighting on the City’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CityofKennesaw. The community is encouraged to tune in for Holiday carols from Bach to Rock, a message from Mayor Derek Easterling and the lighting of the 30 ft. tall Christmas tree on Main Street in Historic Downtown Kennesaw.

Love this amazing list of the best Christmas events around the US from Trekaroo

Holiday Concerts and Shows

Christmas Vacation at The Fox: An Evening with Chevy Chase. Light up your holidays with Chevy Chase live on stage plus an audience Q & A following a screening of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation at the Fox Theatre.

After the showing of the holiday classic on the big screen, the celebration will continue with actor Chevy Chase (Clark Griswold) sharing stories from his career and the making of his classic movies and legendary television programs. It all happens November 28th, 2021 at the Fox Theatre!

A Christmas Carol: The Live Radio Play at Alliance Theatre. JINGLE! JANGLE! DASH! The sounds of the season come to life in the Alliance Theatre's brand new, interactive experience A Christmas Carol: The Live Radio Play. ​

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Alliance will produce a new adaptation of the beloved Christmas Carol story that can be enjoyed safely from a car.  The Summerhill parking lot adjacent to Georgia State University’s Center Parc Credit Union Stadium will transform into a drive-in theater, with a stage for live actors and big screens providing a concert-style experience.

JINGLE! Hear the bells jingle on the streets of Victorian England as you're transported back in time with Ebenezer Scrooge, Marley, and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future.​ JANGLE! Watch and listen to how a sound effect artist creates the jangling of Marley's chains in real-time with the story. ​DASH!

Load up your sleigh (or car) in front of our drive-in theatre stage and big screen for an evening of stories, singalongs, and honking horns.​ December 4 - December 23, 2020. Tickets on sale now here.

Hope for a Holiday Show at Callanwolde.  This show follows Callanwolde's resident actor/percussionist Mark Little as he plays a Producer in search of enough magic, heart, and hope to make a Holiday show. A pursuit that is nothing short of a feat given a myriad of obstacles that at times mirror our current life circumstances.

“Hope For A Holiday Show" roams the beautiful grounds of Callanwolde with surprising moments that are sure to make you laugh, raise your spirits, and take your breath way.

For 2020, they will be using a physically distanced seating "pod" structure, and tickets will be purchased in 2 or 4 person pods. Find more details about their safety guidelines here. December 17, 19, and 20, 2020.

Aurora Theatre. Theatergoers can choose their own holiday adventure with a variety of performances at Aurora Theatre this year! Gwinnett’s longest running theatrical holiday tradition, Christmas Canteen Holiday Cabaret, will take place outdoors on Dec. 4-6 at The Bowl at Sugar Hill amphitheater with reduced capacity seating.

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, a solo performance starring Anthony Rodriguez, returns this year to the Aurora Theatre mainstage Dec. 16-23 with limited seating and additional safety measures.

Streaming Dec. 17-Jan. 1 is This Wonderful Life, a one-man version of It’s a Wonderful Life captured from the stage for broadcast.

Christmas with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Canceled for 2020. Begun many years ago by the beloved Music Director Robert Shaw, this concert has become a staple for Atlanta families during the holiday season. The Orchestra, Chorus and special guests, and the Gwinnett Young Singers will perform beloved Christmas carols and hymns to celebrate the season.

Atlanta Ballet's Nutcracker. From a drive-in viewing event at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre and on-demand access to a previously-recorded version of the production, to sharing short excerpts from past performances and exclusive dancer insights on social media, audiences will have the opportunity to get a daily dose of Nutcracker joy from Thanksgiving to Christmas Day.

For five nights in December, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre's surface lot will be transformed into a pop-up drive-in movie theatre, where audiences can enjoy a filmed version of Atlanta Ballet’s newest production of The Nutcracker from the comfort of their own cars.  December 2-6, 2020.

Roswell's Winter Puppet Series. Roswell's favorite family holiday tradition returns in 2020 with two shows to delight the young and young at heart! Reserve your tickets soon as seating is strictly limited. Face masks required for those over age 2. Santa's Missing Mail: December 16-19, 2020; Trouble in Toyland: December 21-22, 2020.

Madeline's Christmas at Horizon. A musical play adapted from Ludwig Bemelmans’ delightful book and a holiday treat for the whole family! Madeline’s Christmas runs 1 hour with no intermission. The play is recommended for children 3+.  Dates for 2020 have not been released.

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. No date announced for 2020.

The Strand Theatre Christmas Events. The Strand usually brings back holiday favorites like A Christmas Tradition, Christmas Royal Tea and Grand Yuletide Ball, and It’s A Wonderful Life movie marathon.  No dates have been announced for 2020.

Christmas Events


NEW FOR 2020! World of Illumination.  I love Christmas lights, so this new addition to the Atlanta holiday season is my idea of perfect.  World of Illumination is the world's largest drive-through animated light show, and it's breaking ground on a new theme park at Six Flags White Water.  The theme park -- Candy Rush -- will feature millions of lights that are synchronized to holiday music.

Hundreds of animated displays will also be featured at this candy-themed attraction. It will have a 500-foot long tunnel that doubles as Santa’s magic portal, a gingerbread village, sugar plum fairies and lit-up treats as far as the eye can see.

This is perfectly COVID-friendly, since you don't have to leave your car.  Online reservations are required. Dates: November 20, 2020 - January 3, 2021

A Snowland Extravaganza at Great Wolf Lodge. Features dashing décor and fun activities for both kids and adults alike – from daily snow showers and a Frosty Fest Family Dance Party to a special visit with Santa and a customizable Hot Cocoa Bar. This year, kids can also enjoy limited-edition Santa Hat Wolf Ears that will benefit the Make-A-Wish® foundation. The festivities continue to the 84-degree indoor waterpark which will surely warm you up no matter how chilly it is outside!

Want to go all out?  Book one of the limited number of holiday themed Snowland Suites during the Snowland celebration. With giant snowflakes hanging from the ceiling, an in-room Christmas tree and other seasonal accents, these special suites bring to the life the magic of Snowland and immerse families in the spirit of the holidays. Dates: Nov 29 - Jan 2, 2021

Jungle Bells. Join the annual lighting of Zoo Atlanta’s 20-foot holiday tree in Grand Patio. Bring the whole family for festive activities, treat stations, and gleeful performers! Jungle Bells activities are free with general admission; free for Members and children under 3.  Date: Canceled for 2020.

Holiday PJ Party at Tellus. Wear your favorite PJs and join Tellus Science Museum in Cartersville for a PAJAMA PARTY! Enjoy hands-on activities, photo ops, and a personal virtual visit with Santa. Your kids can make their own ornament, watch a live demo, visit with Santa via Zoom, and take home a Christmas goodie bag. Advance registration required.

Holiday Sip, Skate, and Stroll. Welcome the holiday season in Blue Ridge at their "Holiday Sip, Skate and Stroll" event, benefiting Fannin County Family Connection. Sip cider or hot chocolate as you stroll the historic grounds at INOLA Blue Ridge.  Tour the inside of Wetherburn's Tavern and the chapel, before taking a spin on the ice at the INOLA Blue Ridge ice skating rink.  (Note: The skating rink will not be available in 2020, due to COVID-19.) Purchase tickets in advance or at the door. Date: Saturday, December 5, 2020, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

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!  Dates Dec 5, 2020.

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. Dates Canceled for 2020.

Celebrations in Light at the Children's Museum. The Children’s Museum of Atlanta invites families to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year through the merry month of December. The Museum’s famous Sockefeller Plaza will be returning and kiddos will have the chance to put their sock-skating skills to the test on the ice-like surface.

Children of all ages can ring in the holidays with Celebrations in Light which will include various traditions from around the world, such as Hanukkah, Las Posadas, Kwanzaa and Christmas. Kids can tap into the spirit of the season with a winter-themed storytime, a snowman challenge, a snowstorm in a jar and polymer snow to capture the chilly weather all month long. Dates: Weekends in December.

Fireside Roasting and Toasting at Ponce City Market. Get warm and cozy with your nearest and dearest outside on The Yard this holiday season! Guests will be able to gather ‘round toasty fires and enjoy s’mores at socially distanced fireside pods. The Firepods will accommodate small groups and can be booked by the hour, and s’more kits and reservations (available beginning in late November] are complimentary. The open-air firepods will be sanitized thoroughly between seatings and will be available from 5-9pm on Fridays, 2-9pm on Saturdays and noon-6pm on Sundays. Dates: Weekends Nov. 27-Dec. 20, 2020

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.  Dates: Canceled for 2020.

Enchanted Woodland Wonders. This winter Family Fun Day at Chattahoochee Nature Center includes reindeer games, story time, winter crafts to-go, and hot cocoa around a campfire with Camp Kingfisher. Live reindeer will also make an appearance for part of the day.

Bring a picnic to enjoy at one of the many picnic tables and meadows on site, or they can purchase food from local food trucks that will be at the event. Dates: December 13, 2020, 12-4 p.m.

Winter Wonderland at Fernbank. From November through January at Fernbank Museum of Natural History, 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.

In addition to their Winter Wonderland, they are also hosing a Night of Wonder on Nov. 22, 2020. This ticketed event includes gallery strolls with a private viewing of decorative trees, cultural displays, and museum exhibitions. There will also be an outdoor sock-skating rink, giant outdoor snow globes, physically distanced activities, crafts, and a scavenger hunt. Holiday sweets, hot chocolate, and a limited bar will be available. Holiday attire is encouraged. Tickets must be purchased online in advance.

Holiday Tours at Hills and Dales. While you're in town for the Callaway Gardens lights this year, make a stop at the Hills and Dales Estate for a Christmas-themed tour. Tour the first floor of the Callaway home in LaGrange, GA -- all decorated for Christmas both inside and out.  They use fresh plants and greenery to decorate -- and it's a great way to get in the spirit of the holidays.

Regular tour prices apply. Tour sizes are limited to 6 visitors. For more information, visit their websiteDates: December 4 - 31, 2020

Christmas at Callanwolde. Visitors of all ages will enjoy touring the 27,000 square-foot historic mansion elaborately decorated with professional holiday displays, expansive artist market, and themed events for all ages. Every room inspires and captures the spirit of the season. Callanwolde holds something for every member of the family.

Don't miss the Teddy Bear Tea, also. 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.  Dates TBD.

Holiday at the High Artisan Market. Meet local artists and shop for the unique gift items including jewelry, textiles, home goods, accessories, and more. You'll be sure to find the best gifts on your Christmas and holiday list at the High Museum of Art. FREE entrance to Museum Shop and Market; admission tickets required for exhibitions. Dates: Nov 23-29, 2020 Virtual Only

Avalon's Christmas Market. Browse the local vendor booths for locally-made, Georgia grown products for all you holiday treasures and gifts.  Dates: Nov 22 - Jan 3, 2021

See our complete list of Atlanta-area Holiday Markets here.

Christmas at the Mansion, Milledgeville. Take a step back in time and discover holiday traditions passed down from our city's earliest families as Georgia's Old Governor's Mansion is transformed with 19th-century era Holiday decor. The Mansion will be fully decorated for the holidays. Dates: Nov. 21, 2020 - Dec. 23, 2020

Naughty or Nice Holiday Tea at Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta. Santa is making a list, and checking it twice, to see if you’ve been naughty or nice. The Naughty or Nice Tea encourages guests to indulge in a little of both.

For those looking to be nice, sip seasonal teas and apple cider paired with classic afternoon tea offerings like traditional Egg Salad with Truffle and tea cookies with warmed scones.  Indulge your naughty side with champagne, strawberries, whipped cream and Grand Marnier. Dates: Begins Dec 4, 2020

Copper Basin Olde Town Christmas. Celebrate Christmas in Blue Ridge! Join us for the First Annual Copper Basin 'Olde Town Christmas' - 1.8 miles of walkable festive family holiday fun! Celebrate Christmas in two states - Georgia and Tennessee! Step back in time for a Dickens-like holiday shopping and dining destination the whole family will enjoy! Dates: Friday, November 27 - Thursday, December 31, 2020

Adults-Only Christmas Fun

The Blind Elf at The Blind Pig.  The Blind Pig Parlour Bar will officially reopen in 2020 as a special popup named "The Blind Elf" to spread cheer throughout the holiday season.  They will offer an over-the-top, curated holiday-themed bar atmosphere decked out with twinkling lights and festive decor. Special seasonally-themed libations will replace the traditional craft cocktail menu, and will be served alongside a menu of light bites.

Check out these fun adult Christmas movies!

Tables must be reserved in advance, and the bar area will be first come, first served.  Additional food and drink packages and other a la carte offerings will also be available.  The Blind Elf will operate Wednesday-Sunday, 6 p.m.- late in the evening. The Southern Proper team is putting extra safety measures in place prior to the opening.

Waffle Palace Christmas. The Little Five Points theater is serving up a new holiday tradition. A sequel to the smash-hit show inspired by real events at Waffle House restaurants, the anticipated world premiere will include familiar faces as well as new, charming cast members dishing up heartfelt southern humor—scattered, smothered and covered in a spicy holiday sauce.  No dates have been announced for 2020.

Miracle at the Marquee Club. For the first time since March, the Fox Theatre is opening its doors again to ring in the holidays with Atlanta!  MIRACLE, a kitschy Christmas-themed pop-up bar, will be activating a safe, one-of-a-kind holiday experience for six weeks in the Fox's Marquee Club. Dates: Santa-approved festivities will take place Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout December at 5 p.m., 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Holiday Hangouts at Fernbank. Fernbank invites you to add a little Jurassic to your jingle bells during special after-hours events. Festivities include access to the holiday exhibit, Winter Wonderland; new outdoor experiences including giant snow globes and a sock skating rink; themed activities; and more. Cocktails, craft beer and small plates available for separate purchase. Dates: Holiday Happenings: Dec. 5, 12, and 19, 2020; Fernbank After Dark: Dec. 11, 2020.

Festive Pop-Ups at Ponce City Market. Visit the Biltong Bar at Ponce City Market as they transform their space into a holiday pop-up featuring Christmas decor and seasonal cocktails. Holiday Social Bar on The Roof will welcome Roof-goers with holiday-inspired drinks this season. And 12 Cocktail Bar is celebrating the season with a MixMas cocktail menu, including drinks like "Sleigh Fuel" and "This Christmas I Gave You a Daquiri." (Reservations are recommended.)

Winter Wine Tour in Dahlonega.  The new Winter Wine Tour of Tasting Rooms is the perfect way to enjoy tastings of Dahlonega's renowned wineries as you stroll around the square.  Visit the five Wine Tasting Rooms in Dahlonega's Historic District:  Canvas & Cork, Dahlonega Tasting Room, Georgia Winery Grapes & Ghosts, Kaya Tasting Room at Dahlonega Square Hotel and Naturally Georgia where tickets include three tastings at each stop and a souvenir Dahlonega Christmas wine glass. Dates: Wednesdays and Thursdays in December.

Polar Express Trains and more

Blue Ridge Scenic Railway. Climb on board the Santa Express Train and be whisked away to the winter wonderland that is the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway. Just 90 minutes north of Atlanta, off of 575, this Southern mountain town will charm guests as they chug along to lasting Christmas memories. While on board, hear "Twas' The Night Before Christmas," sing Christmas carols and, of course, enjoy a meet and greet with Jolly Ol' St. Nick! The train takes off in November and rides throughout December.

Garden Nights, Holiday Lights. Holiday cheer continues in the daytime at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, even when the lights are taking a rest. Enjoy a G-scale train and trolley winding through a mountain village town. The miniature metropolis is not the only train show; kids can enjoy a turn on The Botanical Express.

Stone Mountain Christmas Train. For me, the highlight of the Stone Mountain Park Christmas event is a ride on the Singalong Train. Carol with the other passengers along this five-mile route around the mountain. There is no extra charge; it’s included with admission! Discount Tickets: Save up to 42% off single day tickets to Stone Mountain Christmas.

Southeastern Railway Museum.When Santa’s reindeer are taking a breather, you’ll find him at the Southeastern Railway Museum where he can pick from more than 90 pieces of railway equipment, all perfect for delivering presents. Mingle with Santa and his elves, make holiday crafts and take a ride with Santa at the museum. On select days in December, families can dine with Santa for breakfast or lunch and watch a unique showing of Polar Express.

Holiday at the Museum. Kick start your holiday season at the Southern Museum! Bring the whole family to enjoy popcorn and the movie The Polar Express as well as a fun, interactive winter themed train layout at the Museum! Sit back, relax and enjoy the show in the Museum’s theater. Kids- feel free to come in your pajamas!

Georgia State Park Christmas Celebrations

Holiday Open House at Amicalola Falls Lodge. During the event, the Lodge will have crafts, music and the opportunity for children to meet Santa. It’s the perfect opportunity to gather up the kids or grandkids and head to the mountains with cameras in hand. Date: Canceled for 2020.

Kayaking with Santa - Black Rock Mountain. Join Santa on a short paddle on Black Rock Mountain Lake. Then enjoy Hot Chocolate and Smores. Pre-Registration required. Participants can sign up for a 1:00 pm paddle or a 2:30 paddle. Ages 6 to adults. Date: Dec. 12, 2020.

Holidays at the Cabin - Pickett's Mill Battlefield Historic Site. Come out and help us celebrate the holiday spirit 1860's style. Holiday festivities will be in full swing and Santa will be here!  Date: December 12, 2020.

Holiday Traditions Tour - Jarrall Plantation. Take a tour of the plantation decorated for the holidays with authentic décor inspired by traditions of the late 19th and early 20th Century and learn how families from this period celebrated the season. Tours are offered by reservation only 10am-4pm Thurs.-Sun. and are included with regular day admission. Dates: Dec. 3-22, 2020.

Victorian Christmas - Hardman Farm. Come see the Mansion at West End in period holiday decor and learn about Victorian Christmas traditions from docents dressed in their finest 1870's garb. This open house on Friday and Saturday nights in December is highlighted by twinkling candle lights, and live music. Dates: Fridays and Saturdays, December 4 - December 19, 2020.

Tree Lighting - Vogel State Park. Join us for an evening of fellowship and celebration of the true meaning of Christmas. Hayrides, music, and activities lead up to the Christmas Program and Lighting of the Tree. There is NO fee for programs. Please bring an unwrapped gift for a child 12 or younger for the Sheriff's Department. Date: December 12, 2020.

Christmas at the Cabin - Red Top Mountain. Yuletide celebrations of the 1800s come to life as demonstrators take you back in time to Christmas at the Vaughn cabin. Santa will be available for photos and Christmas wishes. Date: Dec 5, 2020

Holiday Elf Hike - Panola Mountain. Elf tired of sitting on a shelf? Fresh air is good for our magical friends too. Bring your elf, doll or favorite stuffed friend for a hike and craft. Get a goody bag and hot cocoa for you, and a special gift for your elf. Must register in advance. Date: TBD

Christmas at the Gorge - Tallulah Gorge. Come and see Santa, make crafts, enjoy Christmas music and have a snack here at the park. If you have a camera you can take your own photos with Santa. December 5, 2020.

Christmas by Candlelight - Chief Vann House Historic Site. In 1805, Cherokee Chief James Vann opened his new brick mansion to the Moravian missionaries to hold one of the first Christmas celebrations in the Cherokee Nation. To honor this tradition, visitors are invited to enjoy the sights and sounds of a 19th century Christmas in one of America’s best-preserved Cherokee Indian homes.

Holiday on the Hill - James H. Floyd State Park. Enjoy a drive through a winter wonderland at the picnic area by the lake. Several lit scenes will grace the roadside as we welcome the coming of the holiday season. If you would rather walk, park at the office and cross the boardwalk into the festivity of lights. Date: TBD

Cocoa and Caravans - Fort Yargo State Park. Grab the family, pack the car, and grab some hot chocolate for your winter lights drive-thru in the Fort Yargo Campgrounds. $1 hot chocolate will be available at the Interpretive Center to kick off your trip. Caroling and festive attire encouraged. Date: Dec. 18, 2020.

Santa's Broadcast - Victoria Bryant State Park. Santa will be broadcasting live via ham radio at the campground pavilion. Bring your top 3 gift wishes to tell Santa. Social distancing is required for all programs. Date: Dec. 5, 2020

Candy Cane Express Train Ride - SAM Shortline Train. Enjoy a popular excursion with layover in Plains. The town will be all dressed in its Christmas wrapping and ready for your visit. Free candy canes for every passenger. Santa will be aboard for the ride! Dates: December 18 and 19, 2020.

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