Looking for FREE Christmas events in Atlanta? We’ve got them!
Christmas can be so expensive — the gifts, the decorations, the food, the events. Any time there is opportunity to enjoy Christmas festivities for free, we’re all over it! Here are our favorite FREE Christmas events.
Old Fashioned Christmas in Dahlonega. Visit Dahlonega in the North Georgia mountains this Christmas season. A town that is literally straight out of a Hallmark movie! The festivities will begin with the lighting of the town on Friday, November 26, 2021 with live music. After that, the lights will be on nightly for you to enjoy through January 9, 2022. DATES: Nov. 26, 2021 – Jan. 9, 2022
CHOA Parade Reimagined . 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” holiday celebration. DATE: Saturday, December 4, 2021
Chattahoochee Nature Center. We love CNC. It’s a “Top 10” attraction, in our opinion. On December 4, 2021 they offer a holiday gift to everyone – free admission! While you are there, check out the Holiday Market and Festival with artisans selling local, handmade products. DATE: Dec. 4, 2021
Ravinia Holiday in Lights. Ravinia Gardens in Dunwoody looks forward to welcoming the local community to their 2021 Ravinia Holiday in Lights celebration event. Participants can expect a holiday light display, 360-degree photo booth with Santa, free hot chocolate bar, keepsake ornaments, live music, and the cutest llamas on Earth.
Guests are encouraged to bring a donation for the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Children’s Holiday Wish List program or drop off a donation anytime between Nov. 18 and Dec.16 in the lobbies of One, Two, or Three Ravinia or at a drive-through donation site at the main entrance of The Crowne Plaza Atlanta Perimeter. The event is FREE of charge to all attendees, but space will be limited to ensure a safe environment. DATE: Dec. 16, 2021, 5-8 p.m.
The Rock Ranch. Country Christmas in Lights at The Rock Ranch offers families a drive-thru showing of over a mile of Christmas lights on the farm. The price is free Christmas Day (donations appreciated). Festivities begin Thanksgiving. We are sad to report The Rock Ranch has closed.
Snow in Alpharetta. Spend the most wonderful time of the year in Alpharetta by planning a relaxing Alpharetta holiday retreat to get you and your crew in the joyous spirit. Kick off the holiday season in Downtown Alpharetta as celebration fills the streets with include falling snow, photos with Santa, caroling, marshmallow roasting and various family photo opportunities with the Alpharetta Nutcrackers. DATES: Dec. 3, 10, and 17, 2021
Bass Pro Shops / Cabela’s. During Santa’s Wonderland, you can pose with Santa and receive a photo for FREE. There are also games, activities and crafts, and much more. Online reservations required. DATES: Nov. 7 – Dec. 24, 2021
The Lighting of Avalon. 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, there’s something exciting for all to enjoy. DATE: Nov. 21, 2021
Visit the Holiday Markets. Shop local and find unique holiday gifts for those you love at some amazing Atlanta-area Holiday Markets! Whether the markets are being held virtually or outside this year, there is guaranteed to be a holiday market that you’ll adore. Most of the markets offer food, beverages, and family-friendly activities too!
Holiday Extravaganza at The Fox (Mighty Mo & More). The Fox Theatre invites the community to celebrate the iconic venue’s 15th annual ‘Holiday Extravaganza’ – a FREE event on December 21, 2021. (Note: It’s free but you must have a ticket!) This iconic show, formerly known as ‘Mighty Mo and More,’ will celebrate the beloved Mollër organ like never before with entertainment and activities that pay tribute to both “Mighty Mo” and the Fox Theatre’s rich history. A special screening of “The Polar Express” will follow. Tickets are FREE and available Friday, November 12th at 10am. Guests must reserve at the Fox Theatre ticket office or at FoxTheatre.org. DATE: December 21, 2021
Light Up Blue Ridge. Kids will enjoy the petting zoo, pony and train rides, and more. There’s a gingerbread house and window decorating contest, and the lighting of the Great Tree. Not free, but worth every penny, you can also ride the Santa Express or the Night Train to Santa’s Pavilion on the Blue Ridge Railway. I love the shops in Blue Ridge for holiday presents, too! DATE: Nov. 27, 2021
Hunter’s Tree Farm. Come on the weekends after Thanksgiving for Santa visits and pony rides (donations appreciated). There is also complimentary hot cocoa and cookies. When you visit, find the perfect Christmas tree that you can cut yourself.
“Drive By” Light Displays. We love jumping into the car in our jammies, and driving around the neighborhoods looking at Christmas lights. We’ve found some fun places around Atlanta that we’ve posted here: Holiday Lights Displays. If you know of more, let us know!
Blairsville, GA Christmas Celebrations. November brings the Mistletoe Market (Nov. 20-21, 2021) and then the fun continues. Don’t miss the December festivities: Tour of Trees, Kris Kringle Mountain Market, Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting on the Square, Blairsville Holiday Stop & Shop, Holly Jolly Christmas, and the annual Tree Lighting at Vogel State Park. DATES: Various
I want to bring special attention to Blairsville’s Holly Jolly Christmas event, because it is full of free family fun. It includes pics with Santa (9-11 a.m.), games, the Mayor’s Christmas train, Gingerbread Villages, family photo ops, live music, and refreshments. DATE: Dec. 4, 2021
Christmas in Downtown Clayton, GA. Thanksgiving weekend you can get Christmas shopping done in one evening! On Black Friday, shops will be open until 8pm, with door prizes and special sales. Clayton will have music to get everyone in the holiday spirit! Restaurants will be cooking up some fabulous food, and in the evening there will be luminaries lining the streets. DATE: Nov. 26, 2021
BEST CHRISTMAS LIGHTS: 33+ Christmas Light Displays Near Atlanta
Christmas in Gainesville. The Jingle Mingle and the Lighting of the Chicken is one of the Southeast’s quirkiest, fun, family-friendly events and is the perfect way to start your holiday season in Gainesville, GA.
The Downtown Square will be alive with the holiday spirit including open houses in most of the stores, live music, carriage rides, kiddie train rides, Santa and his arrival on a Gainesville Fire Engine, the Coca-Cola bear, entertainment and the grand LIGHTING OF THE CHICKEN! (In case you’re unfamiliar, it’s a 25-foot metal chicken sculpture on top of Main Street Market on the Downtown Gainesville Square.) DATE: Nov. 20, 2021, 4-8 p.m.
Tuba Christmas at Underground Atlanta. Music lovers won’t want to miss the annual Tuba Christmas in Atlanta and Blue Ridge. What began in 1974 as a tribute to artist/teacher William J. Bell has continued around the country over the years and is now one of Atlanta’s most beloved holiday traditions. This local favorite is back again for an outdoor show by adults and children of all ages. DATES: Underground Atlanta: Dec. 3, 2021 at Noon; Blue Ridge: Nov. 27, 2021 at Noon
Tour the Governors Mansion. Decorated for Christmas in all its glory. Please note that the Governor’s Mansion is also Toys for Tots drop off site. 2021 Update: All public tours continue to be cancelled this year.
Christmas in Thomasville. Celebrate the Christmas of Yesteryear at Thomasville‘s Victorian Christmas. This darling city is snuggled in the Red Hills region, located 35 miles northeast of Tallahassee, FL and 45 miles west of Valdosta, Georgia. Each night, 15,000 visitors stroll the streets each night while listening to live music and stopping in storefronts dressed for the season.
Victorian Christmas is a two-night event, and both nights will feature: live reindeer, carriage rides, a live nativity presented by First Baptist Church, visits with St. Nick, marshmallow toasting, chestnut roasting, live entertainment on The Ritz Amphitheater stage, delicious food vendors of all types, and more! Unless noted, all activities and attractions are free. DATES: Dec. 9-10, 2021
Santa Photos at The Battery. The Battery Atlanta is pleased to announce the return of Santa’s Post Office, presented by Truist. From Friday, November 26 to Thursday, December 24, Santa will continue the time-honored tradition of greeting local children. Santa will set up shop every Friday through Sunday in the Community Corner presented by Truist, located at the corner of Power Alley and Battery Avenue.
Families are invited to bring their handwritten letters to Santa – postage not required – in person at his official Atlanta outpost. Santa’s helpers will take care of the rest! There will not be a professional photographer on-site, so parents are encouraged to take photos of their children interacting with Santa, from a safe distance, as he listens to their wish lists. Santa will be stationed behind a countertop for a contactless experience. Please note that masks are required inside the Community Corner. DATES: Weekends Nov. 26-Dec. 24, 2021
Ponce City Market. From 12pm to 4pm on Saturdays in December, join Ponce City Market on the Trestle for selfies with Santa, Christmas carolers, a sweet treat popup by a different area restaurant each week, and The Getaway Bar by King of Pops.
With live trees and falling snow, Saturdays with Santa provides a winter wonderland experience the whole family can enjoy. Plus, we’ll be giving out complimentary Misfit Mystery Kits to the first 200 attendees each week! DATES: Saturdays in December.
Visit with Santa at Southern Belle Farm. Bring the kids to visit with Santa Claus as he stops by Southern Belle Farm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. He’s quite photogenic, so bring a camera for some special holiday memories. Take a festive hayride around the farm, enjoy cups of our hot apple cider, and meet friendly farm animals — all for no admission charge during the Christmas season! DATES: Nov. 26-Dec. 19, 2021
MORE HOLIDAY FUN:
- MORE CHRISTMAS EVENTS: Christmas in Atlanta: Your Festive Guide To The Best Holiday Events
- LAKE LANIER ISLANDS LIGHTS: Lakeside Lights Spectacular Returns
- GARDEN LIGHTS: Atlanta Botanical Garden Lights: Brilliant Holiday Fun
- STONE MOUNTAIN CHRISTMAS: Tips & Tricks for Maximum Fun At Stone Mountain’s Christmas Event
- ICE SKATING: The Best Rinks in Atlanta for Kids, Teens & Adults
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