29+ FREE CHRISTMAS EVENTS NEAR ME: RING IN HOLIDAY CHEER IN ATLANTA IN 2022

Looking for FREE Christmas events in Atlanta? We’ve got them!

Christmas can be so expensive — the gifts, the decorations, the food, the events — it can really add up. Anytime there is opportunity to enjoy Christmas festivities for free, we’re all over it.  You may be wondering, “Where are free Christmas events near me?” We’ve got some awesome options for you.

Atlanta, Georgia has so many budget-friendly options this holiday season. Here are 29+ free Christmas events in Atlanta that we know you and your crew will adore.

29+ FREE CHRISTMAS EVENTS NEAR ME: RING IN HOLIDAY CHEER IN ATLANTA IN 2022

FREE CHRISTMAS EVENTS NEAR ME: ATLANTA OPTIONS

PONCE CITY MARKET

Ponce City Market offers several free and fun options this holiday season!

  • Misfit DIY Wrapping Co.: Come one, come all and stop by Misfit DIY Wrapping Co. to jazz up gifts for giving! Open from Noon-7pm on Saturdays and Sundays during the holiday season, plus December 21-23, guests will be able to wrap gifts purchased at PCM with a misfit assortment of paper, ribbon and doo-dads at Ponce City Market’s do-it-yourself wrapping and decorating factory on the second floor of the Central Food Hall. Suggested donations will benefit a local nonprofit. DATES: Saturdays & Sundays, Dec. 3-18 & Wed.-Fri., Dec. 21-23, 2022 Noon-7pm
  • Fireside Roasting and Toasting: 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. Fires will be roaring on a first come, first served basis. DATES: Saturdays & Sundays, Dec. 3-18 & Wed.-Fri., Dec. 21-23, 2022 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. If the weather is frightful, he’ll be spreading holiday cheer on the second floor of the Central Food Hall next to The Village Retail and Bar Vegan. DATES: Saturdays, Dec. 3-17, Noon-4pm

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 them on Peachtree Street in person or watch on Atlanta News First and Peachtree TV from 11:00 am-12:00 pm.

Read More: CHILDREN’S HEALTHCARE OF ATLANTA CHRISTMAS PARADE REIMAGINED

LIGHT THE STATION AT ATLANTIC STATION

Date: Nov. 19, 2022

On Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, the community is invited to watch the lighting of the 50-foot Christmas tree on Atlantic Station’s central greenspace, Atlantic Green.

Light the Station is a free event includes live musical performances, Christmas crafts for the kids, a book reading by Tiny Doors founder Karen Anderson Singer and more!

At 7 p.m., break out your best dance moves in the Holiday Disco Parade that will flow through Atlantic Station and will lead to the magical tree lighting in Atlantic Green.

HOLIDAY EXTRAVAGANZA AT THE FOX

Date: TBD

The Fox Theatre invites the community the celebrate the iconic venue’s annual Holiday Extravaganza! This is a FREE event, but you must register. This iconic show, formerly known as ‘Mighty Mo and More’ celebrates the beloved Moller organ and pays tribute to the Fox Theatre’s rich history.

Guests must reserve at the Fox Theatre ticket office or at FoxTheatre.org

TOUR THE GOVERNOR’S MANSION

DATES: Dec. 5 – 13, 2022

Celebrate the holidays with a free tour of the Governor’s Mansion on West Paces Ferry Road in Atlanta.

The holiday tour is a hybrid of a guided and self guided tour.  They have docents stationed in each room to teach you about the collection, but you may go from room to room at your own pace.  Many of the docents have volunteered at the Governor’s Mansion under several Governors and are as much a part of the tour as the collection itself.

Holiday Tours are Monday, December 5 through Tuesday, December 13. Individuals and groups smaller than ten visitors can register here. Monday through Saturday tours are 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Sunday tours are 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. All visitors need to be registered to attend.

A group larger than 10 visitors can register for a tour here. Group tours times are the same as individual tour times. 

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.

Read More: 6+ SENSATIONAL REASONS TO VISIT OAKLAND CEMETERY BEFORE YOU DIE

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.

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. Admission is FREE. 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.

SANTA PHOTOS AT THE BATTERY

DATES: Nov. 25 – Dec. 24, 2022

Santa Claus is once again setting up shop at his Post Office in The Battery Atlanta!  From Friday, Nov. 25 to Saturday, Dec. 24, Santa will continue the time-honored tradition of greeting local children 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 – at his official Atlanta outpost. Santa’s helpers will take care of the rest!

Truist will have additional activities, photo ops and giveaways for the whole family to celebrate the holidays and the local community. Instead of a professional photographer, this free opportunity allows parents and guardians to take their own photos of their children interacting with Santa as he listens to their wish lists.

Read More: PICTURES WITH SANTA NEAR ME: 25+ OF THE BEST PLACES TO TAKE PICTURES WITH SANTA IN ATLANTA {2022}

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.

Read More: ATLANTIC STATION ICE SKATING TIPS AND TRICKS FOR 2022

FREE CHRISTMAS EVENTS IN THE ATLANTA METRO AREA

FREE ADMISSION & HOLIDAY MARKET AT CHATTAHOOCHEE NATURE CENTER

Date: Saturday, December 3, 2022 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

We absolutely adore the Chattahoochee Nature Center in Roswell, and we consider it a “Top 10” Atlanta attraction. Each year, they offer a holiday gift to everyone — free admission!

On this special day you can enjoy the CNC, and also visit their Back To Nature Holiday Market. Explore the goods of local artisans who have made unique, handmade, and/or eco-friendly gifts for the holiday season. Art, jewelry, candles, children’s gifts, food, and much more are offered.

Admission is free, but reservations are requested. However, they may be able to accommodate walk-ups on the day of the event.

Read More: CHATTAHOOCHEE NATURE CENTER: 20+ REASONS WHY YOU’RE GOING TO LOVE IT

TUBA CHRISTMAS

Music lovers won’t want to miss the annual Tuba Christmas! 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!

  • Blue Ridge, Georgia – 15th Anniversary – Saturday, November 26, 2022 at Noon.
  • Athens, Georgia – Sunday, December 11, 2022 at 2:15 p.m.
  • Porterdale, Georgia – Sunday, December 11, 2022 at 3:00 p.m.
  • Marietta, Georgia – Saturday, December 17, 2022 at 3:00 p.m.

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 on display 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.

DUNWOODY HOLIDAY FESTIVAL

DATE: November 12, 2022, 9am-3pm

The Dunwoody United Methodist Church Holiday Festival is a one-day, indoor event that features a juried show of beautiful arts and crafts items by talented artisans, in addition to a wide variety of other venues. They offer an Artist Market, Photos with Santa (fee), a Kid’s Outdoor Play Zone, Food Trucks, Live musical performances from their choirs, concessions, and a drop-off Kid’s Craft Corner, so you can shop on your own.

Their 80+ talented participating artists have been carefully selected from a long list of applicants for the Artist Market.

All proceeds from the festival benefit Atlanta Habitat for Humanity. The money raised will support DUMC’s 32nd Habitat build, which will benefit another deserving family in 2023.

RAVINIA HOLIDAY IN LIGHTS

DATE: TBD

The Ravinia corporate campus and gardens play host to a holiday light display and special holiday event that’s worth a visit.

Visitors 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.

ALPHARETTA SEASON OF CELEBRATION

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 at their Season of Celebration event!

2022 Activities Schedule:

  • Friday, December 2: Mayor Gilvin will speak as they kick off the Season of Celebration with the lighting of the tree, and North Fulton Community Charities food drive.
  • Friday, December 9: Inviting kids off all ages to get photos with Santa. Bring your best singing voice as we enjoy community karaoke of everyone’s favorite holiday songs. Need a little help with your gift wrapping? A gift wrapping booth will be available to help check off items on your “TO-DO” list.
  • Friday, December 16: Pack your coziest blankets and chairs and head over to the Town Green to view a holiday movie while enjoying hot chocolate from our vendors.

SANTA’S WONDERLAND AT BASS PRO SHOPS AND CABELA’S

DATES: Nov. 5 – Dec. 24, 2022

During Santa’s Wonderland event at Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s locations, you can pose with Santa and receive a photo for FREE!

There are also games, activities and crafts, and much more. Families can also enjoy the amazing aquariums and wildlife displays found in every Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s store. Online reservations recommended.

Read More: SANTAS WONDERLAND AT BASS PRO SHOPS / CABELA’S ATLANTA (FREE)

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.

  • 1-4 pm: Activity Row: Take the family for a stroll along Avalon Boulevard for face painting, balloon art, photo booth fun, and more!
  • 1-9pm: 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!
  • 6-8 pm: Bogey and the Viceroy: Bogey and the Viceroy is BACK with another spectacular holiday performance you won’t want to miss!
  • 7 pm: Tree Lighting Celebration

HOLIDAY MARKETS

DATES: Various

Shop local and find unique holiday gifts for those you love at some amazing Atlanta-area Holiday Markets! No matter what you’re looking for, there is guaranteed to be a holiday market that you’ll adore.

Most of the markets offer food, beverages, and family-friendly activities too!

Read More: YOUR COMPREHENSIVE ATLANTA CHRISTMAS MARKET GUIDE

HUNTER’S TREE FARM

DATES: Santa – Nov. 25, Nov. 26 and Dec. 3, 2022 from 9:30am – 1:30 pm
Pony rides – Nov. 25-26, 2022, 9am-1pm

Visit Hunter’s Tree Farm in Milton 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. They will open for the season Saturday, November 19, 2022 at 9 a.m.

LIGHTS OF JOY

1510 Ben King Road NW | Kennesaw
When: Usually starts the Sunday after Thanksgiving

You have GOT TO visit Lights of Joy in Kennesaw — it’s the Largest Residential Christmas Light Display in Georgia with more than 850,000 lights. I mean, it was a 2019 ABC’s Christmas Lights Fight Contestant! It’s an amazing walk-through Christmas lights display that you will have to see to believe.

The most prominent feature of the display is the lighting of the landscape. There are over 230 trees with lights in them. The trunks of the pine trees are wrapped in colored lights and the hardwood trees are filled with white lights. One tree has over 20,000 lights in it and there are three additional trees with approximately 15,000 lights each. And there are nine musical trees. It’s truly spectacular.

Lights of Joy is FREE, and donations are accepted. They encourage you to park across the street at the Influencers Church and walk to see the lights. The inside circle was new in 2018. It now contains 400,000+ lights and you cannot see it with a drive by. No pets, please!

Check out the link below for more Christmas light displays, including some free residential light shows that are worth a visit!

Read More: 37+ SPARKLING CHRISTMAS LIGHT DISPLAYS NEAR ME (+ 2022 RESIDENTIAL LIGHTS SHOWS)

VISIT WITH SANTA AT SOUTHERN BELLE FARM

DATES: Saturdays and Sundays Nov. 25 – Dec. 18, 2022

Bring the kids to visit with Santa Claus as he stops by Southern Belle Farm in Henry County on Saturdays and Sundays.  He’s quite photogenic, so bring a camera for some special holiday memories. You can also visit the animals in the Animal Barn for free.

In addition to the free activities, Southern Belle Farm also hosts other great farm activities for a fee.

Read More: Southern Belle Farm : Four Seasons of Festive Fun

CHRISTMAS IN GAINESVILLE

DATE: Saturday, November 19, 2022

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.

This event is the perfect way to start your holiday season in the Poultry Capital of the World!

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.)

FREE CHRISTMAS EVENTS AROUND GEORGIA

OLD FASHIONED CHRISTMAS IN DAHLONEGA

DATES: Nov. 26, 2022 – Jan. 8, 2023

Visit Dahlonega in the North Georgia mountains this Christmas season for their annual Old Fashioned Christmas. A town that is literally straight out of a Hallmark movie!

On Friday, Nov. 25th, the magic and charm of Christmas in Dahlonega begins with a day filled with Christmas music and activities. Live music will be performed by Radford Windham from the Visitor Center balcony and the Square and Tree will be lit at 6:00pm!  Christmas lights will remain lit every evening through January 8th.

LIGHT UP BLUE RIDGE

DATES: Nov. 25-26, 2022

Light Up Blue Ridge is now a two day event!

Blue Friday will be held on November 25, 2022, and will include downtown merchants store discounts, Christmas holiday cheer, food vendors and strolling entertainment.

Light Up Blue Ridge will be held on Saturday November 26, 2022 and is a day to welcome in the Christmas season. Stroll through Main Street and take in the Christmas entertainment beginning at noon. The parade starts at 5.30 pm and runs down E. Main from Church to Mountain, down Mountain and back up W. Main to Depot. Lighting of the Great Tree will be right after the parade, approximately 7 p.m.

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 Scenic Railway. I love the shops in Blue Ridge for holiday presents, too!

Don’t miss the Gingerbread Village that will be open to the public at noon on November 25th and will be open anytime the Arts Center is open until December 12. There are supposed to be 95 houses in their village this year!

Read More: 50+ BEST ADVENTUROUS THINGS TO DO IN BLUE RIDGE GA

CHRISTMAS ON THE SQUARE IN BLAIRSVILLE

DATE: Dec. 3, 2022, 3-8pm

If you’re looking for a fun day to get into the Christmas spirit in Blairsville, the first Saturday of December is definitely for you! Truly an event that the entire community gets behind, Christmas on the Square is a great way to spend an evening and is sure to create memories for years to come.

From 3 until 5 p.m. there will be photos with Santa at the Historic Courthouse on the Square, activities for kids like ornament painting and games, caroling and the tree lighting, and their night-time parade starting at 6 p.m.

CHRISTMAS IN CLAYTON

DATE: Nov. 25, 2022

Thanksgiving weekend you can get Christmas day shopping done in one evening in Downtown Clayton, GA! On Black Friday, shops will be open until 8pm during their Christmas in Clayton event, 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, too!

VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS IN THOMASVILLE

DATES: December 8-9, 2022 from 6-9 pm

Journey into the past as the turn-of-the-century Downtown Thomasville ushers you into the spirit of Christmas long ago during their Victorian Christmas event.

Both nights include: Carriage Rides – Jefferson Street next to First Baptist Church, Live Nativity, visits with St. Nick, arts and crafts for kids, marshmallow roasting by local Boy Scouts and Trail Life Kids, performances by school bands, street musicians, strolling carolers, delicious food, blacksmith demonstrations, live reindeer, pet adoptions by the Thomasville-Thomas County Humane Society, live entertainment on The Ritz Amphitheater Stage and beautiful, larger than life photo ops including snowflakes, wreaths, Santa’s sleigh, and more!

HOLLY JOLLY JEKYLL

DATES: November 25, 2022 – January 8, 2023

It’s the best time of the year! A time filled with lights, festive fun, and lots of cheer. Holly Jolly Jekyll is a great way to celebrate the season by visiting beautiful Jekyll Island and seeing the lights all over the island.

Drive through the Historic District to see the lights and The Great Tree. Jekyll Island is home to more than half a million lights during the Holly Jolly Jekyll season. This year Jekyll actually has over one million total light bulbs, 350 + light displays and 45,000+ lights on the Great Tree, which is more per square foot than the NYC Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.

Visitors can also enjoy the Twelve Days of Christmas light displays that run from Great Dunes Beach Park to the Historic District, along Shell Rd. Count the days until Christmas in this coastal wonderland! You can drive through and see the lights for free from your own vehicle, or you can take a tour with Holly Jolly Light Tours for a fee.

(Note: There is a fee required to enter Jekyll Island.)

Read More: JEKYLL ISLAND GA: PROTECTED COASTAL BEAUTY WITH RESORT FUN

MAIN STREET CHRISTMAS LIGHT EXTRAVAGANZA IN MACON

DATES: November 25, 2022 – January 1, 2023

Witness a colorful canopy of 500,000+ lights moving in time to Christmas music on the city streets of Macon with a visit to the Main Street Christmas Light Extravaganza! The best part? It’s FREE!

Hear your favorite Christmas carols, but with a new twist! Christmas lights are synchronized to music arranged and produced by Macon Pops, an innovative, high-energy, and world-class orchestra that performs with orchestral musicians from around the southeast and across the country.

Lights are on nightly from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., and each show lasts about 45 minutes. Shows begin at the top of the hour at 6:00pm, 7:00pm, 8:00pm, & 9:00pm.

The Main Street Christmas Light Extravaganza spans 4.5 city blocks in the center of downtown Macon. Nightly shows are completely open and FREE to the public. You can catch the lights in Downtown Macon on Poplar Street from First Street to MLK Jr. Blvd. and on Third Street from Poplar Street to Cherry Street.

Read More: Your Complete Guide To The Best Things To Do In Macon, Ga

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