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 one of the live nativity scenes around Atlanta. It wasn’t as easy as you might think. Now I’ve heard of several.
If you know of other places to see live nativities around Atlanta, please post a comment. Don’t forget to wear warm clothes.
All of these activities are held outside and free unless otherwise noted.
NOTE: We are still updating for 2019 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
When: Dec 14, 2019
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.
The village will be open from 4-6:30 p.m. in the Dining Room, Chapel building. The Presentation of the Nativity will be at 4:30 pm. This is a free event for all ages and is open to the community; a suggested donation of $10 per family is appreciated.
St. John’s United Methodist Church
550 Mt. Paran Rd., NW, Atlanta, GA 30327 | (404) 255-1384
When: December 14 & 15, 2019 | 6 – 8 pm
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 – Bethlehem Walk
2300 Jamerson Road, Marietta, Georgia 30066, United States | 770-928-0050
Date: Dec. 7-9, 2019| 7 – 9 pm
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: Sunday, December 8, 2019, 2-5pm
Bethlehem Village and Live Nativity. On 4th and Peachtree, 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 | (770) 972-9360
Date: Dec. 7 & 8, 2019 | 6:30 – 8:30 pm
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
Date: 2019 TBD
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.
Hope Crossing Church
2106 Old Pendergrass Rd. Jefferson , GA 30549 | (706) 387-0003
Date: Dec. 13, 14, 15 & 18 2019| 7 and 8 pm
Info: Live nativity shows begin at 7:00 pm & 8:00 pm. and 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 Walk Through Bethlehem
4500 Jones Bridge Cir, Norcross, GA 30092 | (770) 441-2181
Date: Dec. 13, 14 & 15, 2019 | 7 – 9 pm, (Dec. 15 is 6 – 8 pm)
Info: Hundreds of candle lights line the path to the Walls of Bethlehem. Roman guards, shopkeepers and merchants pin 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: 2019 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.
Rock Spring Presbyterian Church
1824 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta, GA 30324 | (404) 875-7483
Date: December 23, 2018; 7pm and 7:45pm
LAST SEASON. Since 1954, the Live Nativity Scene has been held in front of the church as Rock Spring Presbyterian’s way of celebrating the birth of Christ with the community. 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. This is the last year that they will perform the live nativity, so don’t miss it!
St Vincent de Paul Catholic Church
680 W Memorial Dr, Dallas, GA 30132 | (770) 443-0566
Date: 2019 TBD
Info: This year they will have not only the Living Nativity re-enactment but also a town of Bethlehem with 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 will have a children’s crafting corner where the kids can create holiday crafts. This year the children can meet and greet St. Nick! The Red Apron Cafe is open for dinner again, 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
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 enticing passers-by to stop, reflect and enjoy.
Live Nativity at North Georgia Zoo
Dates: Nov. 22 & 23, 2019
Info: 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 Tues – Sat, December 3 – 20th; A Visit with Mary and Joseph: Saturday, December 14th. 10am – 6pm
During the month of December, come Follow the Shepherd and Visit with Mary and Joseph in the most authentic Christmas setting this side of Israel. Follow the Shepherd Walks (reservations required) focus 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. A Visit with Mary and Joseph is a special one-day event with animals, church choirs, a living nativity, and more! Individuals from the Christmas narrative will be Garden for visitors to interact with.
Ferst Center of the Arts | 2019 TBD
Black Nativity is a soul-stirring rendition of the Christmas Story that fills the theatre with thrilling voices, exciting dance and glorious gospel music. The play tells the story of Mary and Joseph’s journey through song and dance, culminating in a rousing finale surrounding the birth of Christ. The importance of the play is that, though an expression of Christian belief via the African-American perspective, the show appeals to all walks of life.
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