25+ Free Christmas Events in Atlanta To Ring In Holiday Cheer

Looking for FREE Christmas events in Atlanta? 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 events this holiday.  If you know of others, please share!
Free Christmas in Atlanta Ga



German Christkindl Market. The Christkindl Market at Atlantic Station is back by popular demand, and taking over Central Park just after Thanksgiving. This FREE outdoor festival features a Christmas village of wooden booths selling imported German indulgences, as well as handmade Christmas ornaments, and one-of-a kind gift items! The German American Cultural Foundation presents the event. Come for the mulled wine and hot chocolate, stay for the culture

A Victorian Holiday at Oakland CemeteryIndulge 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!

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 23rd with live music. After that, the lights will be on nightly for you to enjoy through December 31st ending with the town’s big New Year’s Party!

CHOA ParadeChildren’s holds a special place in our heart, and this parade is one of our favorite.  It recently moved to Midtown, but the quality is still  superior.  Bring blankets, a cooler of water or hot cocoa, chairs…whatever you need to enjoy the show! We splurged on bleacher seats one year…that was special.  Great memories are made here, and all for a great cause.

Chattahoochee Nature Center. We love CNC. It’s a “Top 10” attraction, in our opinion.  On December 1, 2018 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. Don’t forget cash for any goodies while visiting, there is no ATM onsite.

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 until Nov 30 and on Christmas Day (donations appreciated.) Festivities begin Thanksgiving.

Bass Pro Shop. 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.

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.

Mighty Mo & More. This cherished celebration at the Fox Theatre is full of singing and holiday cheer.  Tickets are FREE (all General Admission,) but there is a small processing fee for purchasing online. Snow will be falling…on Peachtree Street. The Christmas Carol Sing-A-Long is led the famous “Mighty Mo” organ, the largest working Mollër theatre organ in the world. Santa Claus will be on-site for family photo opportunities – doors open at 6:30pm.

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!

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 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.  Here are fun places: Holiday Lights Displays. If you know of more, let us know!

Blairsville, Ga Christmas Celebrations. November brings the Mistletoe Market and Annual Christmas Open House at Byron Herbert Reece Farm and Heritage Center with free admission to exhibits, door prizes, refreshments, author signings, seasonal music and decorations, and a well-stocked gift shop. Don’t miss the December festivities: Tour of Trees, Christmas Concert at the Courthouse, Kris Kringle Mountain Market, Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting on the Square, Union County Historical Society Open House and Live Nativity, Tree Lighting @ Vogel State Park, Holly Jolly Christmas with musical performances, children’s activities, refreshments & photo ops with Mr. & Mrs. Claus, and Old fashioned Christmas caroling on the square.

Christmas in Downtown Clayton, Ga. Thanksgiving weekend you can get Christmas shopping done in one evening! Santa is at the Rock House Park with Tree Lighting at the Rock House Park at 6 pm. Music, Victorian carolers, luminaries, hot chocolate and so much more. The next day, come talk to Santa in his antique sleigh at the Rock House Park on Main Street. And don’t miss the Christmas Parade in early December.

Christmas in Dahlonega, Ga. Holiday events begin in late November and include the Downtown Merchants Open House, a Visit with Santa on Visitor Center Plaza and Downtown, Extended Downtown Merchant Shopping Hours, Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony at Montaluce, an Old Fashioned Christmas Parade and Lighting of the Tree, as well as  “Miracle on 34th Street” at the Historic Holly Theater during December.

Christmas in Gainesville, Ga. Festivities kick off with Jingle Mingle, Santa arrives, lighting of the Big Chicken, carriage rides and lots more. Other events include Voices of North Georgia Annual Holiday Concert at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, Gainesville Ballet Company’s Nutcracker, Mingle with Kringle at Main Street Market, Christmas on Green Street, Family Day- Victorian Christmas with Northeast Georgia History Center, John Berry Christmas Concert and the Polar Bear Swim at the Lake Lanier Olympic Venue.

Tuba Christmas at Cumberland Mall. 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. Lucky you, their performance is just in time for the lunch break, so grab lunch and enjoy this one‐of‐a‐kind holiday spectacle.

Tour the Governors Mansion. Decorated for Christmas in all it’s glory. Please note that the Governor’s Mansion is also Toys for Tots drop off site.

Melting Pot Kids Eat Free Lunch with Santa. Get into the holiday cheer as Melting Pot opens early from 12:30-3:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8 for a special cozy celebration of the holiday season. Enjoy a scrumptious three-course special holiday-inspired menu, kids mocktails, plus a special visit from Santa! KIDS EAT FREE with each new, unopened toy valued at $10 or more for a patient at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta!  Be sure to make a reservation.

Christmas in ThomasvilleCelebrate the Christmas of Yesteryear at Thomasville’s Victorian Christmas December 13-14. This darling city is snuggled in the Red Hills region, located 35 miles northeast of Tallahassee 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. Enjoy carriage rides with jingle bells, stilt walkers, carolers and performers dressed in Victorian clothing. Aromas fill the air from food vendors dishing up scrumptious seasonal delicacies. Don’t forget to toast marshmallows on the open fire., or chestnuts if you prefer.

Tree Lighting and Movie at The Battery Atlanta. The fun starts early with free Santa photos from 4:00-9:30pm. Santa’s oldest helper Papa Elf will be on hand to entertain visitors from 4:00 – 8:00pm and guests are invited to snap a photo on Santa’s reindeer-drawn sleigh from 6:30 – 8:30pm. Immediately following the Tree Lighting, get the first peek at the new holiday light show throughout the Plaza. End the night with The Polar Express movie on the Plaza screen.

Ponce City Market.  Visitors can come to Ponce City Market take photos with Santa as well as the Grinch! Help the Grinch’s heart grow through the power of community. Expect three weeks of mischief all over the city of Atlanta, culminating in a “naughty vs. nice” Beltline face-off between Santa and the Grinch on Friday after Thanksgiving before the duo settles into their respective thrones on the second floor of Ponce City Market to greet their fans. The boldest holiday celebration in the Southeast is always free and open to the public..

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!


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Looking for FREE Christmas events in Atlanta? 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 events this holiday.  If you know of others, please share!

Looking for FREE Christmas events in Atlanta? Here are our favorite FREE community events this holiday season. Great ideas for kids, for teenagers, for toddlers, and for the whole family. The trees, the lights, and the cheer are sure to get you in the spirit. Give them the gift of experience and help them create #Christmas memories to last a lifetime. #holidays #atlanta #family #kids #free

Lesli Peterson

Lesli Peterson

Lesli made her way to Atlanta over 20 years ago, after living in Germany, Japan and six U.S. states. She relishes the discovery of obscure, offbeat and unwonted places, and she will chat up any willing stranger to uncover a new secret locale.

After 18 years in software development, Lesli bailed on the corporate scene. When she’s not traveling, she’s hiking in the mountains or checking out Atlanta’s culinary scene, whiskey in hand.

Lesli has two kiddos -Cooper and Elliot- plus two bonus kids currently at UGA, and she’s happily married to her soul mate.
Lesli Peterson

3 Comments on "25+ Free Christmas Events in Atlanta To Ring In Holiday Cheer"

  1. Velva Jones | 11/08/2016 at 10:14 am | Reply

    The date you show for the Chattahoochee Nature Center is incorrect. You show December 5th which is a Monday. Should be December 3rd.

    • Lesli Peterson Lesli Peterson | 11/14/2016 at 9:36 am | Reply

      Thank you Velva – that change from last year must have slipped by. I appreciate the help!

  2. some of the events you mention are not clear as to what is going on. I have no idea what the Tuba thing is.

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