13 Reverent Live Nativity Scene Locations Every Christmas Needs

Several years ago I decided we needed to do something that represented the real reason for Christmas, not just visiting Santa and riding the Pink Pig. So I set out to find a live nativity near me. It wasn’t as easy as you might think — but in doing my research, I’ve now found quite a few.

If you know of other places to see live nativities around Atlanta, please post a comment.

All of these activities are held outside and free unless otherwise noted.

NOTE: We are still updating for 2020 as we get notice. If you see an error, please don’t hesitate to reach out and tell us!

Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more.

Free Church-Sponsored Live Nativity Scenes Around Atlanta

Roswell United Methodist Church

814 Mimosa Blvd, Roswell, GA 30075 | (770) 993-6218

Experience a Christmas like no other! Journey through an indoor reenactment of an authentic first century marketplace, then praise with the shepherds, rejoice with the angels, and bow down with the Magi as we experience the Christmas story together.

St. John’s United Methodist Church

550 Mt. Paran Rd., NW, Atlanta, GA 30327 | (404) 255-1384
When: TBD

We have been to this nativity several times and it’s quite elaborate. Take a walking journey along a torch lighted path to the ancient city of Bethlehem. Be prepared to “make your mark” for the census in order to enter the city gates, guarded by Roman soldiers. Inside is a bustling street, lined with stalls full of bread, drinks, and herbs for sale.

Watch as a blacksmith finishes refining a sword for a soldier, or listen as school children learn Hebrew and recite stories. A fortune teller picks stones and holds them to the light to tell the future.

There is a place to hitch the camels before entering the palace of King Herod which is guarded by more soldiers. The sound of angels singing brings guests outside the city. Out of the hustle and bustle, there is a barn with Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus. The couple’s donkey is hitched close by and the three kings wait patiently for their queue to bring the gifts.

The Fellowship Hall is transformed into an inviting Angel Wing Café where visitors can warm up and refresh with complimentary hot cider, hot cocoa, and fresh baked cookies.

Mountain View United Methodist Church

2300 Jamerson Road, Marietta, Georgia 30066, United States | 770-928-0050
Date: TBD

Each year since 1992, Mountain View UMC in Marietta, GA has presented this interactive event to the community.

You can walk through the streets of Bethlehem and haggle with the shopkeepers, sign the census and pay your taxes to Caesar Augustus’s tax collector. You can also sample the fine dried fruits, enjoy a tasty cup of hot apple cider, and try out the freshly made samples of bread at the bakery.

At the end of your journey you will find God’s most precious gift. His newborn son will be wrapped in swaddling clothes and found in the stable on the edge of town.

Lutheran Church of the Redeemer

731 Peachtree St. Atlanta, GA 30308 | 404-874-8664
Date: TBD

On 4th and Peachtree, you can experience Bethlehem Village and an annual Live Nativity.

Come experience the town of Bethlehem 2000 years ago, told by current day witnesses, musicians, choirs. Witness the event that that changed our world forever.  See the Great Star above a humble manger keeping lowly animals,  a virgin, a God-fearing man and the baby, whose miracle of life began the greatest story of everyone’s lifetime.  Hear the songs of Angels and Feel the awe of shepherds, royal wiseman, Roman soldiers, tax-collectors, artisans and villagers, all as they recount the birth of a King.

Free Admission and parking along 4th Street.

Snellville United Methodist Church

2428 Main St E, Snellville, GA 30078 | please call (770) 972-9360
Date: TBD

Take a journey to Bethlehem accompanied by a family traveling to pay their taxes. Along the way, they’ll tell you the story of the birth of the Christ child.

As you go, take part in an ancient marketplace where merchants peddle their wears (including live chickens), and storytellers pass down traditions. Try your hand at dipping candles, making dolls, or sample wears from local merchants.

Witness Mary and Joseph traveling by donkey, Roman soldiers, the no-vacancy signs on all the inns, shepherds, sheep, goats, angels, Wisemen traveling by Camel (there is a live camel along with the other animals) and even a tax collector.

Sardis United Methodist Church

3725 Powers Ferry Rd., Atlanta, GA 30342
December 12 and 13, 2020; 6:00 pm, 6:30 pm, 7:00 pm, 7:30 pm

This is a great, laid back production complete with camels, goats, and a furry bunny. There are straw seats in front of the stable and after the production, you can pet the animals then go into the beautiful church for homemade cookies and hot cider.  A perfect way to celebrate the holiday season.

Hope Crossing Church

2106 Old Pendergrass Rd. Jefferson , GA 30549 | (706) 387-0003
Date: TBD

This great community church has live nativity shows that last about 20 minutes. This is an outdoor live nativity program depicting the birth of Jesus, suitable for all ages, so please dress appropriately and bring a blanket just in case.

Complimentary hot chocolate and cookies will be provided.

Simpsonwood United Methodist Church

4500 Jones Bridge Cir, Norcross, GA 30092 | (770) 441-2181
Date: TBD

Hundreds of candles line the path to the Walls of Bethlehem. Roman guards, shopkeepers and merchants in costume are in the streets. Care has been taken to ensure that the good in each shop are realistic.

See live farm animals, a camel, shepherds, angels and Wise Men during your visit.

Saint Mark Lutheran Church 

2110 Brockett Rd, Tucker, Ga. | 770-938-4546
Date: TBD

Walk Through Bethlehem is a one of a kind, stroll-through village and nativity scene, that recreates the atmosphere of Bethlehem as it might have been the night Jesus was born.

Visitors of all ages are inspired by hundreds of luminaries lighting the way to the entrance to the interactive village and live nativity.  After the census taker registers visitors you can visit with our live camels.  Roman guards allow visitors to pass through the gates to experience some 16 interactive shops lining the street.

Visitors find that the story teller, campfire and live animals add to the atmosphere of the village.

St Vincent de Paul Catholic Church

680 W Memorial Dr,  Dallas, GA 30132 | (770) 443-0566
Date: TBD

About 45 minutes west of Atlanta, you’ll find St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, which features a living nativity re-enactment and town of Bethlehem with shops.  You’ll find shops such as a basket weaving shop, bread shop, herb shop, a blacksmith who will be doing some demonstrations and a few other shops as well.

They have a children’s crafting corner where the kids can create holiday crafts. They also have a spot where children can meet and greet St. Nick!

The Red Apron Cafe is open for dinner, and the Christmas Craft Marketplace will be going on in conjunction with the event. They will have carolers singing classic holiday tunes, hot cocoa and marshmallow roasting available as well.

Live Nativity Scenes Around Atlanta as Part of an Attraction

Callaway Gardens Fantasy in Lights
Dates: November 20, 2020 – January 4, 2021

After viewing Callaway Gardens Fantasy in Lights, sit around Robin Lake Beach and enjoy Twas The Night before Christmas and The Nativity, light and sound shows. Although technically not a live nativity, it does entice passers-by to stop, reflect and enjoy.

Live Nativity at North Georgia Zoo
Dates: Nov. 27 and 28, 2020

A Live Nativity will be set up so you can remember the “Reason for the Season.” Spend time with family and friends being thankful for what God has given us and enjoy activities that will bring families and friends together!  There will be a Marshmallow Roast, Wool Jump and other Holiday activities that are FREE with admission to the farm!

Biblical History Museum
130 Gordon Commercial Dr., LaGrange, GA 30240 | (706) 885-0363
Dates: Follow the Shepherd Walks November 17 – December 23, 2020

During the month of December, come Follow the Shepherd in the most authentic Christmas setting this side of Israel. Follow the Shepherd Walks (reservations required) focuses on Mary and Joseph’s journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem, why Mary was turned away from the inn, and what the first nativity scene may have actually looked like.

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Sue Rodman | Co-Founder

Sue came to Atlanta after finishing the Walt Disney World College Program where she was a tour guide then guest relations hostess (and no she did not moonlight as Snow White). Sue spent 25 years in PR before adding freelance travel writing to her resume. Prior to 365 Atlanta Traveler, Sue published an award winning family travel blog called Field Trips with Sue for eight years, and produced a TV segment with the same name on CBS Better Mornings Atlanta. Her favorite place to visit is anywhere with her husband and three sons. Sue believes anytime is a good time for dessert and there are no bad field trips, just better stories. @SueRodman

20 Comments on "13 Reverent Live Nativity Scene Locations Every Christmas Needs"

  1. Marge Henson | 11/27/2016 at 8:35 am | Reply

    This is excellent to keep us up with what’s happening. I have a 5 1/2 year old grandson who comes from New York for 7 days at Christmas & loves live nativity scenes. He also comes in June,after school so I’m most interested in keeping posted as to what is happening in summer months.

  2. Dana Taylor | 12/05/2016 at 8:17 pm | Reply

    Saint Mark Lutheran Church also has a Live Christmas nativity!
    Saturday, December 17, 2016 6 – 9 pm.
    Travel back in time to Bethlehem and experience the story of Christ’s birth from Caesar’s decree to the arrival of the Wise Men at the manger!
    Live Animals – Christmas Caroling – Cookies, Coffee & Hot Chocolate

    Saint Mark Lutheran Church
    2110 Brockett Rd
    Tucker, Ga.

  3. Sue Rodman | 12/06/2016 at 7:25 am | Reply

    Thank you Dana. I’ll add it to the list.

  4. Luane Thomson | 12/09/2016 at 10:11 am | Reply

    Thank you SO MUCH!! I so appreciate this info being compiled and enabling us to enjoy the true meaning of Christmas.

  5. Hi, our Rock Spring Live Nativity is Dec 23 and Dec 24. It is not Dec 22 this year. The times are as follows Dec 23 7-8:30pm and Dec 24 7-9pm. I hope you can update this on your wonderful website.

    • Sue Rodman | 12/12/2016 at 1:29 pm | Reply

      Thanks for letting us know Mary and thank you for the kind words. Please let your friends know this is a great resource for them:)

  6. Hi, our Rock Spring Live Nativity is Dec 23 and Dec 24. It is not Dec 22 this year. The times are as follows Dec 23 7-8:30pm and Dec 24 7-9pm. I hope you can update this on your wonderful website.

    More info: Rock Spring’s Live Nativity Scene-Watch or take part!
    On Friday December 23rd from 7:00-8:30pm and on Saturday December 24th from 7-9pm. Rock Spring Presbyterian Church enacts the story of Jesus’ birth in half hour tableaus. Church members and neighbors dress up and play the parts of shepherds, angel, kings and the holy family. Live animals fill out the scene as well a narrated sound track with music. During the Live Nativity Scenes folks warm up with hot cocoa and snacks in the church fellowship. AS a special treat on Friday night Dec 23rd there will be a Christmas Bluegrass Jam in fellowship hall as well. Please call the Rock Spring church office (404-785-7483) if you and your family are interested in participating in the Live Nativity Scene, many shepherd slots are still available. Hope to see you at the Bethlehem manger at Rock Spring Presbyterian Church at 1824 Piedmont Rd.

  7. Curious, there is one in BETHLEHEM, GA’s pocket park that is a collaboration between Bethlehem First UMC and Bethlehem Nativity Lutheran churches in December. Is it happening?

  8. High Point Baptist Church
    Christmas Alive!
    December 8-10, 6-8 pm
    drive thru live nativity, free
    12025 Highway 36
    Covington GA 30014
    United States

  9. This is a wonderful collection! Thank you for updating for 2017. Excellent blog article!

  10. Bethel Baptist Church
    Live Nativity Program
    December 7th & 8th, 6PM-9PM
    Admission if free
    Dres warmly for the tractor drawn hayride journey which lasts approximately 45 minutes.
    From downtown Dawsonville, follow Shoal Creek Road to Highway 136. Church is located on the left at 2659 Hwy 136 West

  11. Thank you so much for sharing a great post and article you write up. Loved this post.

  12. Very grateful for this updated list! Bookmarking for future years, too! Thank you! Merry Christmas!

  13. The Live Nativity at the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer has been postponed due to rain. The new date is Sunday, December 16 from 3pm-6pm.

  14. David Kesinger | 12/19/2018 at 8:40 pm | Reply

    Prospect United Methodist Church in Lawrenceville, GA hosted our 10th annual Live Nativity and Musical tonight. Our church, founded in 1830, caters primarily to the surrounding Lawrenceville, Dacula and Hamilton Mill area. Three shows at 600, 640 and 720 with cookies and hot chocolate after each show. We have shepherds, angels, wise men and even goats, donkeys and a camel! I’ll try to post next year BEFORE the show!

    Thank you and Merry Christmas!

  15. High Point Baptist in Covington Ga has an awesome drive thru nativity town w/ 6 fantastic scenes. Live animals ( Camel, alpacas, donkeys,sheep,goats horses,chicken, quail). Over 75 actors with authentic looking biblical period scenes. A must see Dec 6,7,8 from 6-8:30 pm. Movie trailer on High Points Facebook.

  16. Nicole Solomon | 11/30/2019 at 10:13 am | Reply

    I have been reading this every year at Christmas for years now since you started writing it. It has been my only source of finding what my family also considers to be the main reason for the season! I can’t thank you enough for updating this year after year for all those of us who are SO grateful to have it! Many of my friends have been also glad I put them in touch with your guidance here for their families too. Please keep it up!! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for this!!!!

    • Thank you for the kind words Nicole. I’m glad we’ve become a part of your holiday traditions! And thank you for sharing. Merry Christmas.

  17. Hi just moved to blackshear Ga is there a live nativity scence in blackshear or near there thank you it’s great to have a great place to show the children the real reason for the season…..

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