This year, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is reimagining a new holiday tradition to kick off the season.
The annual Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Christmas Parade will be replaced by a full day of fun for the entire family at Colony’s Square’s, “The Lighting at Colony Square” celebration held Saturday, December 4, 2021.
The Children’s Christmas Parade — known as the largest holiday parade in the Southeast — was canceled in 2020 due to COVID, and this reimagining is a great way to bring it back in a different way.
Although this is different than the traditional parade Atlantans are used to, The Lighting at Colony Square will still be full of family fun and holiday spirit. Look at the bright side — you don’t have to worry about the parade route, or getting bleacher seats in the TV Zone on 16th Street this year. Although there won’t be helium balloons bouncing down Peachtree, this year’s all day event is incorporating some parade highlights!
Here’s everything you need to know about The Lighting at Colony Square.
Photo Courtesy: Colony Square
THE LIGHTING AT COLONY SQUARE
The Lighting at Colony Square will take place all day on Saturday, December 4, 2021. From 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., you’ll find all sorts of events and performances that will get you and your crew excited for the holiday season. Colony Square is located at the corner of 14th Street and Peachtree Street in Midtown.
Beginning at 10 a.m., Children’s will bring an extravaganza of street performers, dance groups, and more to Peachtree Street in front of Colony Square. The marching bands and dance groups were some of the highlights of the Atlanta Christmas Parade from years past, so this is a great way to start the day.
Between noon and 3 p.m., Colony Square’s Festivity Loop (valet loop) will have face painting, balloon artists, live reindeer, and other surprises. Attendees can also visit The Grove (the urban pocket park at the corner of Juniper and 14th Streets) for photos with Santa Claus while enjoying a DJ along with live ice skating performances in The Plaza from Noon – 4 p.m.
The A-Town-A-List Band will take the Main Stage in The Front Loop at 4:30 p.m., and they are guaranteed to get you in the holiday spirit.
And then it will be time for the main event! Colony Square’s inaugural Tree Lighting Show will start at 5:30 p.m. Midtown’s official tree lighting ceremony will feature live musical showcases from the Atlanta Music Project Choir and Angelica Hale, former runner-up on America’s Got Talent and a Children’s patient, as well as guest appearances from local and international (Hint: The big, jolly guy!) celebrities alike.
Just before 6 p.m. the community will join in a countdown to the big moment when special guests from Children’s will flip the switch at the 52-foot tree will light up for all of Midtown Atlanta to see.
The tree, which will be located on the West Retail Roof above the soon-to-open Sunnies, will remain lit throughout the remainder of the holiday season.
There are several other events and sponsorships that will benefit Children’s, including Breakfast with Santa, and proceeds from the Colony Square ice skating rink ticket sales.
Here’s the complete schedule for the day:
- 10:00am – 10:30 am Children’s Strolling Entertainment on Peachtree Street & Colony Square Front Loop
- 10:00 am – 12:00 pm Children’s sponsor Touch a Truck
- 10:30 am – 12:00 pm Children’s Performance Groups on Peachtree Street
- 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm Festivity Loop at Colony Square – Reindeer, Face Painting, Balloon Artists, and more
- 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm Santa Photos in The Grove
- 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm DJ on The Plaza Stage for Public Ice Skating
- 12:30 pm – 3:30 pm Professional Ice-Skating Performances from Jack Frost at the top of every hour
- 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm Santa Photos in The Grove
- 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm A-Town-A-List Band takes the Main Stage
- 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm Tree Lighting Show Begins, hosted by Kelly Crull from Bally Sports South! Enjoy musical performances from Atlanta Music Project Choir, featured soloist Angelica Hale from “America’s Got Talent,” a special Santa moment, and more as we countdown to light the tree with Honorary Tree Lighter’s from Children’s. Following the tree light show, A-Town A-List will return to the main stage to close out the exciting evening.
As with any Atlanta event, parking is always on everyone’s mind!
Colony Square’s Parking Garage is located in front of the complex at 14th + Peachtree Streets as well as on 14th + Juniper Streets. The garage is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is available for a fee.
My suggestion would be to take MARTA! The Midtown and Arts Center stations are close. Kids love riding the train and you won’t have to walk far.
BREAKFAST WITH SANTA
If you and your little ones would like to really do the day up right, consider having Breakfast with Santa before the festivities begin.
Also on Saturday, December 4, 2021, Breakfast with Santa Claus will be held at Hotel Midtown (formerly The W Hotel at Colony Square). Breakfast will be 8:30 am – 10:00 am and will include a special visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus as well as other characters.
Tickets are required, and children 2 and under are FREE.
SEASON ON THE SQUARE
The Lighting at Colony Square is just one part of Colony Square’s Season on the Square that begins in November.
Kicking off the Season on the Square is the opening of the ice skating rink.
During the winter of 1973, Colony Square unveiled a unique office amenity, an indoor ice-skating rink known as the Colony Square Capades Chalet. The 8,000-square-foot rink sat within the formerly enclosed mall that connected the two original office towers (Buildings 100 and 400), which has since been replaced by The Plaza, a 10,000-square-foot open-air gathering space at the heart of the property. After much anticipation, the ice-skating rink will make its nostalgic return to Colony Square when it reopens in The Plaza this fall.
Skate on the Square will be open everyday from November 19 through January 17.
Also part of Season on the Square is a North Pole pop-up bar. Set atop Establishment overlooking 14th an Juniper Streets, The Grove Terrace will play host to a seasonal igloo-inspired speakeasy serving specialty holiday cocktails.
The merry North Pole pop-up bar will be open to the public Thursdays through Saturdays from 4-10 p.m. starting on November 19.
Entry is first come, first served for visitors 21 or older, and capacity is limited to 50 guests at a time. There is no admission fee, however the cost of beverages will vary.
MORE HOLIDAY FUN:
- BOTANICAL GARDENS: Atlanta Botanical Garden Lights: Brilliant Holiday Fun
- FREE CHRISTMAS EVENTS: 25+ Free Christmas Events In Atlanta
- ATLANTA CHRISTMAS EVENTS: 2021 Christmas in Atlanta: Your FESTIVE Guide To Only The Very Best Christmas Events
- CHRISTMAS LIGHTS: 25 Sparkling Christmas Light Displays Near Atlanta
- ICE SKATING: Ice Skating in Atlanta: The Best Rinks for Kids, Teens, and Adults