Christmas season in Atlanta is our family’s favorite time of year, and with all the hustle and bustle of the season, you are probably asking yourself, “Where are the best Christmas events near me?”
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.
Below you will find dozens upon dozens of options when looking for things to do this season in and around Atlanta, Georgia!
There’s nothing quite like the magic of Christmas in 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 and open for tours November 11th- 18th and November 28th – December 22nd, 2023. Join an evening tour of the Mansion with candles lit and choirs singing in the rotunda. Candlelight tours are at 6 p.m., 7 p.m., and 8 p.m. on December 2nd and 16th, 2023. Normal admission rates apply and reservations are required for the candlelight tours.
CHRISTMAS EVENTS NEAR ME: ATLANTA CLASSICS
STONE MOUNTAIN CHRISTMAS
DATES: November 12, 2022-January 1, 2023
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. Each day during Stone Mountain Christmas, you can enjoy park attractions including Summit Skyride, Scenic Railroad, and more.
Then, become immersed in holiday magic with evenings full of festive music, millions of dazzling lights, spectacular shows and visits from some of your favorite holiday characters!
Celebrate the spirit of the season with Stone Mountain’s World’s Largest Christmas Light Show complete with holiday songs, special effects, and a fireworks finale. 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.
Don't miss a special appearance from Santa himself as he flies overhead in his sleigh each night during the Enchanted Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony!
COOKIES WITH SANTA AT ZOO ATLANTA
DATES: December 3 and 4, 2022
Tickets are on sale now for Cookies with Santa at Zoo Atlanta – Santa’s annual stop in the home of more than 1,000 animals worldwide.
Santa will park his sleigh in the Michael & Thalia Carlos Ballroom inside Savanna Hall on Saturday and Sunday, December 3 and 4, 2022. Each ticket holder will receive one printed photograph. Digital copies will be available after the event.
Masks will be required while taking photos with Santa. Tickets include a personal visit; a professional photo; photo-ops with holiday mascot friends; harmonies from live carolers; and a festive take-home To Go Kit including hot cocoa fixings, cookies, and a special craft. Advance reservations are required.
SEASON ON THE SQUARE (FORMERLY CHILDREN'S HOLIDAY PARADE)
DATE: Saturday, December 3, 2022
Last year, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta reimagined a new holiday tradition to kick off the season. The annual Children’s Holiday Parade was replaced by a day of fun for the entire family at Colony’s Square’s Season on the Square.
Highlights of the parade, like bands and dance groups, will still play a role in the celebration with an hour-long street performance on Peachtree Street at Colony Square. Meet us on Peachtree Street in person or watch on Atlanta News First and Peachtree TV from 11:00 am-12:00 pm.
There are several events and sponsorships that will benefit Children’s, including a blend of two Children's traditions - Breakfast with Santa and Smiles for the Season.
In place of a Parade Grand Marshall, a Children’s patient will now have the honor of lighting the Christmas Tree at Colony Square to mark the official beginning of the holiday season on the evening of December 2.
This event takes place over the course of two days with holiday entertainment and the tree lighting on Friday, December 2 and more activities on Saturday, December 3, 2022!
FESTIVAL OF TREES
DATES: November 19, 2022 – November 27, 2022 (closed Nov 23-24 for Thanksgiving).
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 and children’s games, visit and crafts, and visit with Santa.
With great local food and fun shopping, you won’t want to miss out on this fun activity for the whole family.
GARDEN LIGHTS, HOLIDAY NIGHTS
DATES: November 12, 2022 – January 14, 2023
Garden Lights, Holiday Nights at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens are one of my favorite holiday light displays.
While plenty of the show’s fan-favorite features will return, guests can expect new twists, including an all-new exhibition in the Anne Cox Chambers Garden by French artist Cédric LeBorgne and three massive sculptures from the spring/summer exhibition, Origami In The Garden.
RUDOLPH THE RED NOSED REINDEER AT THE CENTER FOR PUPPETRY ARTS
DATES: Select dates November 9 - December 31, 2022
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer soars back into town for this faithful adaptation that speaks to the misfit in all of us. Based on the beloved 1964 stop-motion animated special, you won’t want to miss this fun experience at the Center for Puppetry Arts.
Rudolph and his friends Hermey the Elf and Yukon Cornelius brave the Abominable Snow Monster and the even more daunting fear of not fitting in before discovering that it’s okay to be just the way they are!
With fun holiday music, finely crafted puppets and an important prosocial message, Rudolph is sure to warm hearts even on the most blustery winter day.
LAKESIDE LIGHTS SPECTACULAR AT LAKE LANIER
DATES: November 19, 2022 - January 16, 2023
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.)
Make sure to visit License to Chill Snow Island! They have a 575-foot-long adrenaline-spiking snow tube slide, ice skating, carnival rides, snow play, holiday, and shopping.
FANTASY IN LIGHTS AT CALLAWAY GARDENS
DATES: November 18, 2022 – January 1, 2023
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. A beloved Christmas tradition shines even brighter! This season, experience the NEW Celebration Lake, a floating spectacular featuring 30 dancing trees honoring 30 years of Fantasy In Lights!
ROCK CITY'S ENCHANTED GARDEN OF LIGHTS
DATES: November 18, 2022 - January 1, 2023 (Closed Christmas Eve)
Warm your heart during this nighttime, family tradition as you walk through Rock City Gardens' winter wonderland, Enchanted Garden Of Lights.
Located a quick drive from downtown Chattanooga, this magical Christmas lights experience is one of Chattanooga's memorable winter events. Take a stroll down the lighted Grand Corridor in Yule Town, experience the twinkle of icy lights in the Arctic Kingdom, and the Magic Forest comes alive to reveal exciting enchantments!
HOLIDAYS TOURS AT THE WREN'S NEST
DATE: November 26, December 3, and December 17, 2022 from 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.
Tickets for Holiday Tours at the Wren's Nest are now available.
Take a festive step back in time at Atlanta’s oldest house museum. For three Saturdays this holiday season, The Wren’s Nest will host special tours highlighting the architectural history of the house, which will be decorated with Victorian-era holiday installations created by Old World Christmas Master Decorator Sarah Dyne.
In a period-inspired and photo-worthy experience, discover how this National Historic Landmark, built over a century ago, transformed over the years to become the special place that author Joel Chandler Harris and his family called home from 1881 to 1908.
Special tour rates apply, and advanced registration is encouraged.
WORLD OF COKE
DATE: No 2022 dates have yet been announced.
The most wonderful time of the year has begun at World of Coca-Cola!
The World of Coke 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.
CELEBRATION AT THE STATION AT ATLANTIC STATION
1380 Atlantic Dr NW | Atlanta | 404-410-4010
When: Nov. 19, 2022 – Jan. 3, 2023
View 250,000 lights within an 8-block radius at Atlantic Station. This is a wonderful FREE light display, and I love that you can walk around to see them all up close!
Set to the soundtrack provided by Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, they’ve integrated the holiday tree lights, cafe lights surrounding Atlantic Green, all-new custom jumbotron animated video, and snow shows into one spectacular celebration that occurs every hour from 5-9 p.m. Monday – Sunday this holiday season.
The best part of the Atlantic Station holiday lights (other than the lights and the snow) is there is a TON to do. Visit the ice skate rink, do a little shopping, or enjoy dinner at one of their many restaurants.
Looking for more things to do at Atlantic Station this holiday season? Try some of these:
- Atlantic Stations Holiday Fashion Show- Unwrap the magic of ATL on Thursday, Dec. 8 from 6 - 9 p.m. at the Atlantic Station Holiday Fashion show benefiting The Alzheimer’s Association, featuring the best holiday looks by Atlantic Station retailers and exclusive brands.
- Christmas Eve Makers Market - Maker’s Market is open on Saturday, Dec. 24 for any last-minute holiday shopping from 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. featuring Atlanta’s most talented creators. More information can be found here.
- Atlantic Station Menorah Lighting - Join Chabad Intown to celebrate Hanukkah with the traditional ceremony of the lighting of the Menorah on Tuesday, Dec. 20. From 6 - 7 p.m., family and friends can enjoy holiday-themed activities on Atlantic Green featuring traditional food and beverage offerings, live music, free giveaway items and more. Beginning Dec. 18 through Dec. 25, a candle will be lit each day to represent the eight nights of Hanukkah. To secure your spot, submit your RSVP here.
MACY'S TREE LIGHTING
DATE: No specific ceremony, but the tree can be seen at Lenox throughout the 2022 holiday season.
Returning to Macy’s Lenox Square for the 75th consecutive holiday season, the Atlanta Great Tree is an eco-friendly, reusable tree that stands 56 feet tall & is adorned with 45,00 multicolor sparkling LED lights that span more than eight miles from end to end.
The tree lighting was private this year, but you can see the tree in all its glory at Lenox throughout the holiday season.
OTHER COMMUNITY TREE LIGHTINGS:
- The Battery - Saturday, November 26 from 5:30-7:00 p.m.
- The Avalon - Sunday, November 20 from 1:00-8:00 p.m.
- The Outlet Shoppes - Saturday November 12, 2022, 3-7pm
- Vinings Jubilee - Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022 from 6-8 p.m
- Mall of Georgia - Saturday, November 19, 2022 from 4:00-8:00 pm.
- Milledgeville - Friday, December 2, 2022 from 6:00-8:00 p.m.
- Light Up Dunwoody - Sunday, November 20, 2022 from 2:00 - 6:00 p.m.
- Decatur - Thursday, December 1, 2022 from 6-8 p.m.
- Smyrna - Tuesday, November 29, 2022 from 5:00-8:00 p.m.
- Duluth - Saturday, December 3, 2022 from 2:00-7:00 p.m.
- Atlanta History Center - Friday, November 18, 2022 at 7 pm (more info below)
- Atlantic Station: November 19, 2022, 2-9:30pm
FESTIVAL OF TREES AT TOWN CENTER AT COBB
DATES: November 11 - December 26, 2022
North Atlanta Events is delighted to present the Festival of Trees at Town Center at Cobb! Each tree represents a local nonprofit. Enjoy beautifully decorated trees and find out how you can get involved and support their mission.
Trees will be displayed in the Belk wing from November 11 – December 26, 2022 during mall hours. Each tree will have information displayed and flyers to let you know how to support them.
HOLIDAY CONCERTS AND SHOWS
HOLIDAYS AT THE FOX
Three holiday shows are scheduled at the Fox Theatre and are sure to be iconic.
- Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis has been America’s favorite holiday tradition for over 35 years! Grammy Award winner Chip Davis has created a show that features Mannheim Steamroller Christmas classics in the distinctive Mannheim sound. DATE: November 27, 2022 (there are two showings)
- The Hip Hop Nutcracker is a unique and joyful holiday mash-up for the whole family, this is a contemporary dance spectacle set to Tchaikovsky’s timeless music. DATE: December 13, 2022
- Nutcracker! Magical Christmas Ballet gather friends and family to re-live your fondest childhood dreams, overflowing with larger-than-life puppets, breath-taking acrobatics, and dazzling costumes. Experience the exquisite artistry of the international cast, featuring stars of Ukraine ballet, performing at the highest level of classical technique. DATE: December 23, 2022 (there are two showings)
CIRQUE DU SOLEIL KURIOS - CABINE OF CURIOSITIES
DATES: October 6 - December 24, 2022
Ok, so this one isn't necessarily a show about the holidays, but the Cirque tent has been rising above Atlantic Station and helping Atlantans celebrate the season for many years.
Cirque du Soleil KURIOS - Cabinet of Curiosities takes place in an alternate yet familiar past, in a place where wonders abound for those who trust their imagination, a Seeker discovers that in order to glimpse the marvels that lie just below the surface, we must first learn to close our eyes.
CHRISTMAS WITH THE GEORGIA BOY CHOIR
DATES: December 16-17, 2022
The Atlanta Holiday Tradition returns! Join all five levels of the Georgia Boy Choir as they offer an unforgettable holiday concert.
You'll be captivated by the world-famous Georgia Boy Choir sound as they perform sacred classics, Christmas carols, and all your holiday favorites in the magnificent sanctuary of Peachtree Road United Methodist Church in Buckhead. A full orchestra and Mighty Mander organ accompany the Choir and raise the musical experience to a level you don’t want to miss!
MADELINE'S CHRISTMAS AT HORIZON THEATRE
DATE: Coming in 2023.
After a bout of the flu overtakes the old house in Paris, Madeline and her friends wonder if they will be able to go home for Christmas this year. A charming musical adaptation of Ludwig Bemelmans’ classic storybook Madeline’s Christmas featuring 24 local girls performing alongside professional actors.
CHRISTMAS CANTEEN AT AURORA THEATRE
DATES: November 25-December 23, 2022
Gwinnett’s longest-running theatrical holiday tradition returns to the lavish Clyde & Sandra Strickland Grand Stage Theatre at the Lawrenceville Arts Center.
Each year this stunning revue is an explosion of Christmas magic brimming with songs and comic sketches in this heartwarming yuletide treat that is sure to delight all ages. This cup of eggnog for the holiday soul will be the highlight of the festive season!
CHRISTMAS WITH THE ATLANTA SYMPHOY ORCHESTRA
DATES: December 15-18, 2022
Director of Choruses Norman Mackenzie leads the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in an evening of holiday carols, hymns, and more.
This timeless tradition begun by Robert Shaw is sure to inspire holiday cheer in listeners of all ages. Additional ensembles and special guests are to be announced.
ATLANTA BALLET'S NUTCRACKER
DATES: December 9-26, 2022
Atlanta Ballet’s newest version of The Nutcracker will be performed at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in December of 2022.
This production premiered in 2018 and features state-of-the-art technology combined with lavish sets and costumes creating an immersive fantasy world befitting the most popular ballet of all time. Based on the original book by E.T.A. Hoffmann, the story takes Marie and her magical nutcracker doll away from a family Christmas Eve party and into a fantastical realm, led by a mysterious inventor.
ROSWELL'S WINTER PUPPET SERIES
DATES: Trouble in Toyland, December 15-17, 2022, and Holiday Punch! December 20-22, 2022
Roswell's favorite family holiday tradition returns in 2022 with two shows to delight the young and young at heart! Roswell's Winter Puppet Series features two family-friendly shows this year -- Trouble in Toyland and Holiday Punch!
Tickets are required for everyone 2+, and advance purchase is recommended.
A CHRISTMAS STORY, A MUSICAL
DATES: December 2-18, 2022
A Christmas Story, A Musical at the Act1 Theater in Alpharetta is based on the movie classic that runs round-the-clock on television every Christmas.
Set in the 1940s in the fictional town of Hohman, Indiana, the musical follows 9-year-old Ralphie Parker and his quest for the Holy Grail of Christmas gifts -- an Official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot Range Model air rifle. Rebuffed at every turn with a similar echoing response, Ralphie plots numerous schemes to achieve his desperate desire for the coveted BB gun.
A CHRISTMAS CAROL AT SHAKESPEARE TAVERN
DATES: December 3-23, 2022
A Christmas Carol at Shakespeare Tavern has been a holiday tradition for over 20 years. Witness storytelling comes to life in a special adaptation of the classic Charles Dickens’ play about Ebenezer Scrooge, the three ghosts he meets, and a little boy named Tiny Tim.
The Alliance Theatre also puts on A Christmas Carol performance each year.
THE STRAND THEATRE: A CHRISTMAS TRADITION
DATES: Select days December 9-22, 2022
A Christmas Tradition will return to The Strand stage for another unforgettable year of sharing the holiday spirit through sparkling song and dance!
This hometown favorite holiday revue features costumed singers and dancers performing both traditional and funky Christmas favorites.
STRAND OLE OPRY: COUNTRY CHRISTMAS
DATE: Friday, December 23, 2022 at 8:00 pm.
Another cool event at the Strand Theatre is the Strand Ole Opry: Country Christmas. Enjoy your favorite Christmas hits with an extra dose of banjo and fiddle!
Following in the footsteps of great southern tradition, Opry's back porch style sing features a live band, local singers, and storytelling.
SHINE LIGHT SHOW AT COOLRAY FIELD
Coolray Field | Lawrenceville
When: November 18, 2022 - January 1, 2023
NEW FOR 2022! Get in the holiday spirit with a trip through the Shine Light Show at Coolray Field in Lawrenceville.
Featuring more than one million LED lights and making its debut in Georgia this holiday season, Shine Light Show is a drive-thru holiday light show running from November 18, 2022 – January 1, 2023. Timed & ticketed guests are invited to stay in their cars, tune their radio to a designated station and immerse themselves into a wonderland of synchronized light displays to music from the comfort of their cars.
We had a chance to drive through this new display and see it for ourselves -- and it's amazing! You'll definitely want to add a visit here to your holiday bucket list!
The dazzling show is a leisurely drive through archways & illuminated installations for all ages. Tickets are per vehicle, not per person, so you can bring your family and friends. Tickets are on sale now.
WORLD OF ILLUMINATION
DATES: November 16, 2022 - January 1, 2023
Grab your sled and join World of Illumination on a trek down Reindeer Road at Six Flags White Water in Marietta.
Whiz through mountainous terrain, traverse glacial peaks, explore the northern ice caves and make your way through the northern forests to the heart of it all - Santa’s Workshop - the world's largest animated toy shop. Be dazzled by reindeer, snowmen, and toys galore as you witness the most spectacular drive-through light forest this side of the arctic.
Who knows, you may even catch Santa and his elves making your present this year…if you’ve been nice!
VIRGINIA HIGHLAND WINTERFEST
DATES: December 9-10, 2022
Virginia Highland’s Winterfest was a hit in 2021 and is back in 2022.
Virginia Highland Winterfest will begin with a Tour of Lights on Friday to show off the neighborhood’s most vibrant holiday decorations. On Saturday, they will start off with a Jingle Jog, followed by a Holiday Parade. The day will rev up with one of the biggest in-town holiday markets, with live music to pair.
A SNOWLAND EXTRAVAGANZA AT GREAT WOLF LODGE
DATES: Nov. 18, 2022-Jan. 2, 2023
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.
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 a Snowland Package at Great Wolf Lodge! Only available from Nov. 18, 2022-January 2, 2023, choose from the regular package or the family package. Starting at $49.99, the package includes everything from ear muffs and blankets to cookie decorating sets and gingerbread houses!
CHRISTMAS DRIVE-IN MOVIE NIGHT IN SMYRNA
DATE: Dec. 17, 2022
Join Smyrna Parks & Recreation on December 17, 2022 for a showing of Elf! This will be a drive-in style movie with a Holiday Car Decorating contest. There will be a hot chocolate and apple cider station for participants.
The event will be held in the Smyrna Library parking lot at sunset, around 5:30pm.
Registration is open and required to participate in the contest and receive unlimited drinks! $10 per car.
HOLIDAY PJ PARTY AT TELLUS SCIENCE MUSEUM
DATE: December 10, 2022
Wear your favorite PJs and join Tellus Science Museum in Cartersville for a PAJAMA PARTY! Enjoy family activities, photo ops, a visit with Santa and the Grinch, and complimentary cupcakes and treat bags.
Your kids can make their own engineer hat, pickup giveaways from Operation Life Saver, watch The Polar Express, and take home a Christmas goodie bag. Included with regular admission.
In addition, the Holiday PJ Party also kicks off the Festival of Trains weekend! Northwest Georgia Piedmont Train Club will have train layouts set up in the Macke Great Hall and the Banquet Room. Festival of Trains will be on display Saturday, December 10 and Sunday, December 11.
VICTORIAN HOLIDAY AT OAKLAND CEMETERY
DATES: December 3-4, 2022, 10am-4pm
Indulge in the seasonal spirit at Oakland Cemetery! Visit the historical cemetery on December 3 and 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for Victorian Holiday, a unique seasonal open house that features holiday activities for the whole family!
During Victorian Holiday, you'll find decorated mausoleums, a wreath sale, a pop-up shop at the Bell Tower, mini tours, photos with Santa (for both kids and dogs!), and a children's craft area.
No tickets are required for this FREE event.
WINTER WATERLAND AT GEORGIA AQUARIUM
DATES: Begins November 11, 2022
The magic of the holidays is at Georgia Aquarium during Winter Waterland! Take in the sights and sounds of the holiday season in their atrium with holiday music, winter inspired projections, a water fountain display and our 30-foot live tree!
They are proud to bring back some of your holiday favorites in 2022, including photos with Santa. See the daily tree lighting at 10 am each day, keep an eye out for Scuba Claus, see The Polar Express or Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer 4-D Experience, and enjoy holiday treats and hot cocoa all season long.
The dolphins even get in on the fun! The Most Wonderful Time of the Year is an exciting new presentation showcasing the dolphins in a fun and festive way.
JOLLY JINGLE JAM IN ALPHARETTA
DATE: December 2, 2022, 10am-Noon
Get in the holiday spirit with the kiddos as you make amazing holiday crafts, play games, enjoy light refreshments, and take a photo with Santa at the Alpharetta Community Center during Jolly Jingle Jam.
Register early as this event fill up fast! This event is for parents and children. Pre-registration is required.
CELEBRATIONS IN LIGHT AT THE CHILDREN'S MUSEUM
DATES: (See below)
Join the Children's Museum of Atlanta throughout December as they explore several holidays, and be sure to bring your favorite pairs of fuzzy socks to skating in Sockefeller Plaza!
Explore the winter season with cool science, art, design, and stage programming. It's sure to be "snow" and much fun!
You'll love the celebrations of Hanukkah, Las Posadas, Christmas, and Kwanzaa throughout the month!
Celebrate Hanukkah: December 5, 2022
Celebrate Las Posadas: December 11, 2022
Celebrate Christmas: December 18, 2022
Celebrate Kwanzaa: December 26, 2022
ALPHARETTA CHRISTMAS MARKET
DATE: December 10, 2022, 9am-4pm
Visitors will enjoy shopping for holiday gifts and products for everyone on your list at the Alpharetta Christmas Market at the Alpharetta Community Center.
Enjoy a variety of crafts, food, decor, jewelry, and more! Get a free picture with Santa.
GINGERBREAD HOUSE CLASS IN ALPHARETTA
DATE: December 11, 2022, 10-11am
This Gingerbread Houses class allows you and your children (up to three kids) to decorate your own gingerbread house at the Publix Aprons Cooking School in Alpharetta.
One adult is required for each family group; children should be at least four years old. One gingerbread house per table of 4. They'll provide the materials, you bring your creativity and holiday spirit!
HOLIDAY EVENTS AT BUCKHEAD VILLAGE
This holiday season, Buckhead Village will celebrate the merriest time of year as it transforms into an abstract winter wonderland decked with illuminated sparkling globes in trees, fresh eucalyptus garlands, oversized pastel ornaments and larger-than-life floral sculptures.
Don't miss these at Buckhead Village:
- German Christkindl Market. This holiday market will be located on the corner of East Paces Ferry and Peachtree Road and feature over 50 vendors offering food and beverage treats and items to shop, plus live music and entertainment on the weekends. DATES: November 25-December 24, 2022
- Holidays In Technicolor: Celebrate the merriest time of year at Buckhead Village’s weekly Holidays in Technicolor events. Enjoy an open-air dining and shopping experience with special activities and crafts for the whole family, roaming performances, live music, appearances from Stylish Santa, s’mores by our fire pits, in-store events, and more. DATES: Every Saturday Nov. 26-Dec. 17, 2022, Noon-6pm
- Fire Pits: Buckhead Village will invite guests to stop by and cozy up beside complimentary fire pits next to The Veranda all season long. There will also be s’mores served during the Holidays in Technicolor events each Saturday. DATES: All season long.
- Atlanta Ballet 2 Performance: Buckhead Village will transform into a music- and dance-inspired holiday nirvana, inviting the community to enjoy magical performances by the Atlanta Ballet 2, presenting selections from classics like The Nutcracker and Snow White plus other contemporary works. Selected by audition from all over the world, Atlanta Ballet 2 represents the highest level of training in the Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education. Performance is free and open to the public. DATE: Nov. 26, 2022, 6pm
HOLIDAY WEEKEND CELEBRATION AT THE POINT
DATES: December 17 (adults) and December 18, 2022 (kids), 1-4pm
The Point, located in the Druid Hills area of Atlanta, comprises 120,000 square feet of unique restaurants and lifestyle offerings. This year, The Point hosts various FREE events to get you and your family in the holiday spirit.
During the Holiday Weekend Celebration at The Point, enjoy the hot cocoa or apple cider bar, wreath making, cookie decorating, crafts, letters to Santa, dreidel crafting, cocktails, and even an appearance from Santa on Sunday from 1-2:30pm.
PONCE CITY MARKET HOLIDAY HAPPENINGS
Ponce City Market will celebrate the most wonderful time of year with merry happenings for everyone. The lineup will include a holiday tree market, Misfit DIY Wrapping Co., fireside pods on The Yard, a Menorah lighting celebration, Selfie Saturdays with Santa, festive pop-ups, The Roof’s Skate the Sky, Igloos & Noon Year’s Eve Party and more.
- Igloos on the Roof. Cozy up this holiday season in private, six-person igloos on Ponce City Market’s Roof, located alongside the ice-skating rink and at 9 Mile Station! Skate the Sky’s rink-side igloos will be available for all age and 21+ parties (based on time and day). Opens November 25, 2022.
- Skate the Sky. Back for a sixth year, The Roof at Ponce City Market invites guests to “Skate the Sky.” Ten stories above Ponce de Leon Avenue, the Rooftop Terrace will feature a 3,500-square-foot ice skating rink open seven days a week. Opens November 26, 2022
- Holiday Tree Market in the Courtyard. Deck the halls with a holiday tree, garland and wreaths from Ponce City Market! Tradition Trees will host a holiday tree market complete with garland and wreaths for purchase throughout the season. DATES: Nov. 19-Dec. 18, 2022, 10am-9pm
- Fireside Roasting & Toasting Pods On The Yard. 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 complimentary marshmallows for toasting at fireside pods accommodating groups of up to four, plus magical falling snow and lawn games. DATES: Saturdays & Sundays, Dec. 3-18 & Wed.-Fri., Dec. 21-23, Noon-7pm
- Selfie Saturdays with Santa. Dash over to The Yard at Ponce City Market for a selfie with the jolly man in the red suit! Guests are invited to bring their own cameras to snap a photo with Santa in his sleigh and enjoy yard games. DATES: Saturdays, Dec. 3-17, Noon-4pm
ATLANTA HISTORY CENTER TREE LIGHTING
DATE: Friday, November 18, 2022 at 7pm
Join the Atlanta History Center in Veteran’s Park for a special tree lighting ceremony with their new 50 ft. Christmas tree followed by music, children’s activities, a cash bar, roaming pictures with Santa, and more in the museum.
ENCHANTED WOODLAND WONDERS
DATE: December 11, 2022, 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Create magical memories with family and get into the holiday spirit at Chattahoochee Nature Center’s most popular Family Fun Day, Enchanted Woodland Wonders!
This family favorite is bound to delight with live reindeer, seasonal festivities, partner booths, crafts, lawn games, and more.
WINTER WONDERLAND AT FERNBANK
DATES: November 19, 2022 - January 6, 2023
Enjoy a season of celebrations during Fernbank’s annual Winter Wonderland: Celebrations & Traditions Around the World. This holiday-inspired exhibit features trees and other displays decorated by local cultural partners that recognize celebrations including Christmas and Hanukkah, as well as traditions and practices like indigenous art and national symbols, located on Entry and Upper Levels.
Guests will enjoy after-hours access to all museum exhibits, special holiday-themed activities, access to new outdoor holiday features including oversized snow globes and a sock skating rink, and more.
Winter Wonderland also features iconic winter themes in giant “snow globe” scenes located outdoors.
WILDWOODS: AGLOW AT FERNBANK
DATES: Nov. 17, 2022-March 5, 2023
While you're visiting Fernbank during their Winter Wonderland events, make plans to see their all-new, limited-run nighttime experience -- WildWoods: AGLOW.
Transformative illuminations, large-scale projections and original music compositions beckon guests into a nighttime wonderland of biodiversity. Inspired by native flora and fauna – and unlike anything else in Atlanta – this multi-sensory experience reveals the wonder of nature through a range of glowing, interactive and panoramic scenes across five distinct zones.
“WildWoods: AGLOW” is a limited-run nighttime experience for visitors of all ages and abilities, offered on select evenings Nov. 17, 2022 –March 5, 2023.
HOLIDAYS AT THE HIGH: ANNUAL MEMBER CELEBRATION
DATE: December 3, 2022 from 5-9pm (Members Only)
It’s the season to spend quality time with family and friends at the High Museum of Art! Join in for a jolly evening of art making, live music, festive gallery tours, and more! Members of all ages are welcome.
From 5 to 7 p.m., enjoy family-friendly activities including art making, festive in-gallery activities, and sweet treats. From 7 to 9 p.m., enjoy music, seasonal cocktails, and winter merriment inspired by our collection and special exhibitions.
Capacity is limited and preregistration is required.
HOLIDAY TOURS AT HILLS AND DALES
DATES: December 2-30, 2022 from 10:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m.
This December, the Callaway family home in LaGrange, GA, known as Hills and Dales, will be decorated for Christmas both inside and out, using fresh plants and greenery complete with a grand vintage style, tinsel-laden Christmas tree.
Those who tour the house will enjoy the fragrance of real Fraser fir decorations and the sound of classic Christmas melodies like I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas. Specialty tour prices apply.
CHRISTMAS EVENTS IN HAPEVILLE AND COLLEGE PARK
Hapeville for the Holidays: Tuesday, November 22, Hapeville will host a family-friendly holiday extravaganza in Jesse Lucas Y-Teen Park. Starting at 5:30 p.m., guests of all ages can zip down the snow slides, play themed games and visit Santa Claus. Locals and visitors can cozy up and sip hot chocolate while watching the countdown at 7:15 p.m. for the tree lighting. After the tree lighting, all guests are invited to Hapeville First Baptist Church for its annual non-denominational Thanksgiving community service.
Light Up the City: Monday, November 28, the City of College Park Recreation and Cultural Arts and the College Park Main Street Association will illuminate the streets to bring in the holiday season. In the holiday spirit, locals have pre-ordered and decorated the trees being presented in the Tinsel Trail scattered from the front lawns of the Jack P. Longino City Hall to the city auditorium. The streets of College Park will be lit at 6 p.m. accompanied by live performances from artists like the talented saxophonist Victor Beasley and enjoy greetings from Mr. & Mrs. Claus. Each year Mayor Bianca Motley Broom and other city officials bring warm welcomes along with holiday refreshments (including warm cookies and a Hot Toddy station).
CHRISTMAS IN ATHENS
DATES: November 23, 2022 - January 8, 2023
The State Botanical Garden of Georgia will be transformed into an array of twinkling lights and light displays for the second annual Winter Wonderlights. The half-mile fully accessible trail weaves through Candy Cane Lane, through a tunnel of lights and in between tree forest ultimately ending at the holiday market. Visitors can purchase hot coffee, cocoa and even marshmallows for roasting at specific locations along the trail.
DATES: November 25, 2022 - January 8, 2023
GoIce Skating at Akins Ford Arena! The Classic Center’s NHL-sized indoor rink in the Akins Ford Arena is larger than other community rinks, so it has lots of space, making it the perfect place to show off one’s skills or learn how to skate.
DATES: December 1, 2022
Downtown Parade of Lights will take place at 7 p.m. in Downtown Athens to start off the holiday season. Spectators will line the streets and watch homemade floats as drive through the streets. These uniquely creative floats will be competing for various awards including “Most Original Float,” “Best Use of Theme,” and the ultimate prize for the best overall float, the “Mayor’s Award.”
Grabbing a hot cup of cocoa at Condor Chocolates is a must-try experience and perfect for a chilly day. At Condor, Athens born-and-raised brothers Nick and Peter Dale produce bean-to-bar chocolate bars, truffles and a variety of other confections to pay homage to their mother's Ecuadorian roots.
The holiday markets in Athens, Georgia are a favorite for locals and visitors every year. Each unique one hosts multiple vendors’ and artists’ works, creating the perfect opportunity for everyone, including kids, to find a special gift for everyone on their list. At each market, visitors can participate in the spirit of giving and enjoy the festive atmosphere all while supporting the local community.
CALLANWOLDE WINTER HOUSE
DATES: Select days from Nov. 25-Dec. 10, 2022
Callanwolde Winter House is a 10-day event where families can enjoy a welcoming, art-filled holiday experience that reflects our passion for arts education at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center in Atlanta.
Imagine twinkling lights, laughter, and delicious treats all in one place in their 27,000 square-foot historic mansion filled with holiday magic, Santa, live music, activities, and workshops for all.
Ticketed performances during Winter House are held in the beautiful indoor Courtyard of the Mansion. Beer, wine, soft drinks and snacks are available for sale before and during each performance.
CHRISTMAS AT THE MANSION (MILLEDGEVILLE)
DATES: November 20-22 and November 29-December 21, 2022
Take a step back in time and discover holiday traditions passed down from Milledgeville'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 and open for tours November 20 - 22 and November 29 - December 21, 2022.
Last year, Christmas at the Mansion was picked up by the New York Post as one of the top Christmas Tree Displays across America that are Larger than Life! You really don't want to miss it.
Join an evening tour of the Mansion with candles lit and choirs singing in the rotunda. Candlelight tours are at 6 p.m., 7 p.m., and 8 p.m. on December 3rd and 17th, 2022. Normal admission rates apply and reservations are required for the candlelight tours.
SIX FLAGS HOLIDAY IN THE PARK
DATES: Select dates November 19, 2022 - January 1, 2023
Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Over Georgia is an exciting way to get into the holidays! ‘Tis the season for glittering lights, festive performances, delicious hot chocolate…and s’more!
See the lighting of the 25-foot tree, enjoy holiday-themed shows, listen to Christmas carolers, make s'mores around the fire, enjoy the Christmas lights, take your photo with Santa, and...ride roller coasters too!
THE LIGHTING OF AVALON
DATE: November 20, 2022 from 1-8pm
The Lighting of Avalon in Alpharetta is a celebration for the season you won’t want to miss! Get in the holiday spirit with festive music and free activities for the whole family. From the annual opening of Avalon on Ice to the magnificent tree lighting and an appearance from Jolly Old Saint Nick himself, something is exciting for all to enjoy.
- 1:00-4:00 p.m.: Activity Row: Take the family for a stroll along Avalon Boulevard for face painting, balloon art, photo booth fun, and more!
- 1:00-9:00 p.m.: Avalon On Ice: Avalon on Ice kicks off with a magical ice skating performance at 1:00 p.m. and the rink officially opens to the public at 2:00 p.m.
- Starting at 1PM, enjoy seasonal performances from local entertainment throughout the day!
- 6:00-8:00 p.m.: Bogey and the Viceroy: Bogey and the Viceroy is BACK with another spectacular holiday performance you won’t want to miss!
- 7:00 p.m.: Tree Lighting Celebration
ADULTS-ONLY CHRISTMAS FUN
HOLIDAY HANGOUTS AT FERNBANK
DATE: December 9, 2022
Join Fernbank at Fernbank After Dark in December for its holiday party! Exclusively for those 21+, Fernbank After Dark is offered the 2nd Friday of each month.
You'll enjoy a variety of unique and physically distanced after-hours experiences for grown-ups, including outdoor explorations in WildWoods, museum exhibits, live music, full bars, tapas menus, and science demonstrations.
This year, the Holiday Party will also feature WildWoods: AGLOW. Journey into the magnificent, sometimes hidden, worlds of nature in Fernbank's outdoor, nighttime experience.
NAUGHTY OR NICE HOLIDAY TEA
DATES: December 2, 2022 at Noon; December 9 and 16, 2022 at Noon and 3pm
Santa is making a list, and checking it twice, to find out if you’ve been naughty or nice. The Naughty or Nice Tea at The Ritz-Carlton Atlanta encourages guests to indulge in a little of both.
For those looking to be nice, sip seasonal teas paired with classic afternoon offerings such as Egg Salad Sandwiches and Tea Pastries with homemade Warm Scones. Indulge your naughty side by adding a glass of Moët & Chandon Champagne, strawberries marinated in Grand Marnier and whipped cream. Reservations required.
HOLIDAY POP-UP BARS
'Tis the season for a bevy of Christmas-inspired cocktails and tons of decorations! Expect over-the-top decorations, seasonal cocktails, festive food specials, and plenty of photo opportunities at holiday-themed bars all around the city.
And don’t dawdle — most of the pageantry disappear after the new year. We've got 11+ FESTIVE CHRISTMAS BARS ATLANTA LOVES TO IMBIBE IN FOR HOLIDAY ‘SPIRIT’ IN 2022!
HOLIDAY EVENTS AT THE WALDORF ASTORIA
Christmas Merriment. Throughout the month of December, guests will be greeted by Waldorf Astoria Atlanta’s annual Gingerbread House display, a stunning creation by the hotel's culinary team that will also feature a Winter Wonderland theme.
Enjoy Christmas carolers and specialty cocktails in Peacock Alley December 18 and 19th at 5 p.m.; December 23rd at 1 p.m.; and December 24th at 5 p.m.
Afternoon Tea. Beginning in December, Afternoon Tea will reawaken for the holiday season offering a Winter Wonderland Holiday Tea service with added seatings on Fridays at 1 p.m. & 3 p.m. in addition to the three seatings on Saturday and Sunday through the end of January.
The perfect opportunity to escape from the holiday to-do list, this afternoon tea experience will feature elevated festive offerings like savory Caviar and Cucumber Blini sandwiches and Gingerbread Macaron sweets that are sure to spark feelings of holiday joy, alongside a glass of champagne. Reservations are required and can be made by visiting OpenTable.
POLAR EXPRESS TRAINS AND MORE
BLUE RIDGE SCENIC RAILWAY
DATES: November 25-December 23, 2022
Climb on board the Holiday 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! This is one holiday train you don't want to miss!
CANDY CANE EXPRESS TRAIN RIDE ON THE SAM SHORTLINE TRAIN
DATES: Saturday, December 3, and Wednesday, December 7, 2022
Enjoy the popular Candy Cane Express train ride excursion on the SAM Shortline Train in middle Georgia with a layover in Plains. The town will be dressed in its Christmas wrapping and ready for your visit.
Free candy canes for every passenger. Santa will be aboard for the ride!
GARDEN NIGHTS, HOLIDAY LIGHTS AT ATLANTA BOTANICAL GARDENS
DATES: November 12, 2022 – January 14, 2023
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 on select days at the gardens.
STONE MOUNTAIN CHRISTMAS TRAIN
DATES: Select days Nov. 12, 2022-Jan. 1, 2023
For me, the highlight of the Stone Mountain Park Christmas annual holiday 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 to Stone Mountain Christmas.
SOUTHEASTERN RAILWAY MUSEUM
DATE: November 19, 2022
It is a little-known fact that Santa’s reindeer get to take the month of November off to prepare for hard work in December. This means that Santa Claus travels by train and he will be at the Southeastern Railway Museum in Duluth!
Museum doors open at 9:00am and the holiday festivities will last from 11:00am to 4:00pm. Santa arrives promptly at 1:00 pm. There will be plenty of opportunities for photos with friends and family with Santa and around the museum so do not forget to bring your camera!
GEORGIA STATE PARKS CHRISTMAS CELEBRATIONS
A.H. STEPHENS STATE PARK
DATES: Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from November 25 until December 25, 2022
At A.H. Stephens State Park in Crawfordville, you can tour their 10-acre event field and see displays set up by a host of site partners, volunteers and area businesses. There will also be refreshments, a movie, and, weather permitting, a campfire.
Admission is free, with $5 parking.
Also, at A.H. Stephens State Park, see Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens' home, Liberty Hall, decorated with styles of the Victorian Christmas past. Enjoy a house tour, create a craft, and listen to the sounds of the Victorian Era. Refreshments will be served by the Friends of A.H. Stephens State Park. $4 - $8. DATE: December 3, 2022.
PANOLA MOUNTAIN STATE PARK
DATE: December 3, 2022, 1-3pm
Join in for a festive holiday celebration at the Panola Mountain State Park Nature Center in Stockbridge. Activities during the Holiday Elf Hike will include, sipping on hot cocoa, crafts, and hiking the Rock Outcrop Trail (0.75mi).
Must register in advance. $5/child (Ages 2-12). Adults are free. $5 parking.
VICTORIA BRYANT STATE PARK
DATE: Saturday, Dec. 10 from 1-4pm
Join guests at Victoria Bryant State Park in Royston for an afternoon full of Christmas cheer! Pictures with Santa, Christmas crafts, hot chocolate, and a hayride around the park!
The last hayride tickets will be sold at 3pm. $5 parking.
VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS AT HARDMAN FARM
DATES: Fridays & Saturdays from December 2-17, 2022, 4-7pm
Come see the Mansion at West End in period holiday decor and learn about Victorian Christmas traditions from docents dressed in their finest 1870s garb. This open house on Friday and Saturday nights in December is highlighted by twinkling candle lights and live music.
Adults: $12, Youth (6-17): $7, Children 5 and under: Free Family Rate (2 adults + their children) $40.
TALLULAH GORGE STATE PARK
Come and see Santa, make crafts, enjoy Christmas music and have a snack at Tallulah Gorge State Park in Tallulah Falls during Christmas at the Gorge. If you have a camera you can take your own photos with Santa. $5 parking.
DATE: December 3, 2022
Also at Tallulah Gorge, you'll find the fun Sunset Candy Cane Hunt! Hunt candy canes, enjoy a holiday movie, s'mores, and hot chocolate. Space is limited, and pre-registration is required.
Please call the office to sign up. Meet at the Interpretive Center. $5 parking.
DATE: December 12, 2022
PICKETT'S MILL BATTLEFIELD HISTORIC SITE
DATE: Dec. 17, 2022, 9am-3pm
Visit Pickett's Mill Battlefield Historic Site in Dallas, GA for Holidays on the 1860s Home Front.
Their expert volunteers will conduct an annual celebration of the holiday spirit at the cabin to demonstrate the traditions of decorating for the holidays during the 1860's. There will be crafts, games, and decorating activities for all to enjoy. Of course, Santa will be there too!
MORE ATLANTA HOLIDAY FUN:
- FREE CHRISTMAS EVENTS: 19+ Free Christmas Events in Atlanta To Ring In Holiday Cheer
- CHRISTMAS LIGHTS: 33+ Sparkling Christmas Light Displays Near Atlanta
- ICE SKATING: The Best Rinks For Kids, Teens & Adults In Atlanta
- CHRISTMAS TREES: 17+ Unforgettable Cut Your Own Christmas Tree Farms In Atlanta
- HELEN CHRISTMAS: 13 Reasons You Should Visit Helen GA This Holiday Season
- SNOW NEAR ME: 14+ Great Spots Atlanta Locals Can Find Winter Weather
- SANTA PHOTOS: 25+ Best Places To Take Pictures With Santa In Atlanta
- NEW YEARS: Fun Family-Friendly Things To Do On New Years Eve In Atlanta To Ring In 2023
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