Save The Date: Candlelight Nights at Atlanta History Center

The Atlanta History Center invites you to step back in time and experience Christmases past during Candlelight Nights on the evenings of December 13 and 20, 2019.

Courtesy of Jason Hales/Atlanta History

What’s It About

We adore strolling the wooded trails illuminated by the sweet glow of candlelight, connecting to the spirit of simpler holiday pleasures.

Your kids will be welcomed by Santa Claus and you’ll love the lively Holiday Market filled with local crafts and artist creations. Then visit each of the three historic houses to experience how Southerners celebrated Christmas during the Civil War era (Smith Family Farm),  the 1930s (Swan House) and pioneer days (Wood Family Cabin).

Timeless holiday music resonates, and interpreters bring characters from the pages of history to life at these historic abodes, each person handsomely dressed in period holiday decorations and featuring activities of the season.

A new way to explore this year includes the exhibit Locomotion: Railroads and the Making of Atlanta in the new Rollins Gallery. Kids will be able to climb into the cab of the 1856 Texas locomotive! What an exciting “polar express” to explore!

Light refreshments will be available for purchase. Cash bars will be open throughout the campus with adult and non-alcoholic beverages. Each bar will offer special holiday-themed drinks.

Courtesy of Jason Hales/Atlanta History


WHAT: Candlelight Nights, Atlanta History Center’s annual holiday tradition

WHEN: December 13 & 20, 2019, 5:30 PM – 9:30 PM

WHERE: Atlanta History Center; 130 West Paces Ferry Road; Atlanta, GA

ADMISSION: This special holiday program is $15 for members; $20 for nonmembers; $10 for children. Purchase advance tickets for find more info at

Courtesy of Jason Hales/Atlanta History

What We’re Excited About

At the Museum….

Shopping the Holiday Market and visiting with Ole St Nick at Santa’s Workshop in the Garden Overlook (bring your camera!)

On the Smith Family Farm….

Travel to Christmastime during the Civil War. Encounter characters from 1861, and participate in traditional crafts and activities as you help them decorate for a very special Christmas. You’ll see Popcorn and garland making, Salt-dough ornament activities, Candle-dipping, Blacksmithing, and Open-hearth cooking.

There’s also an 1861 Christmas tree lighting  in the Front yard each night.

In the Enslaved People’s Cabin, you can also listen to stories and songs by the fire as the enslaved community celebrates Christmas and hopes for the end of slavery. Afterward, visit with interpreters as they discuss resistance and the history of holidays for the enslaved.

At the Swan House….

Revel in the holiday season of 1930 as you are transported to a Jazz Age Christmas party at the lavishly decorated Swan House while the Inman family and their staff celebrates Christmas. The Joe Gransden Trio performs holiday standards in the Grand Foyer.

You can make a 1930s Holiday Postcard in the Grandchildren’s Room to send to your family and friends. There is also live music in the Grand Foyer each night.

At the Wood Family Cabin….

Stop at the bonfire and enjoy cider and s’mores. Atlanta Sacred Harp Singers perform at 7 and 8PM.

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The Atlanta History Center invites you to step back in time and experience Christmases past during Candlelight Nights on the evenings of December 14 and 21, 2018. Come read what it's all about, and why it's my favorite holiday event in Atlanta.

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

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