Stone Mountain Christmas: Your Complete Guide to All the Holiday Fun (2023)

Let this sink in: You’ll never experience Christmas with your kids at this age again…ever. For me, with kids who are growing up before my very eyes, that hits home. These are the special years, when Santa and lights and falling snow are still magical.

Stone Mountain Christmas is the perfect place to unplug from your phone, forget about the laundry, put the stress of work behind you and simply enjoy Christmas in the city together.

Stone Mountain Christmas is full of holiday characters, lights, entertainment, fun shows, and more! Here’s everything you need to know about Stone Mountain Christmas in Stone Mountain Park in Georgia.

STONE MOUNTAIN CHRISTMAS 2023 UPDATES

Stone Mountain Christmas: Your Complete Guide to All the Holiday Fun (2023)
Courtesy of Stone Mountain Park

Stone Mountain Christmas begins Nov. 11, 2023, and runs on select dates through Jan. 2, 2024.

New in 2023, check out One Magical Night: The Story of Aurora the Princess of Light. You can be part of the story of Aurora, the Princess of Light, and see her and her friends dance their way into your heart. This 25-minute show cannot be missed.

In addition to the show, The Northern Lights 3D Immersive Experience: An Illuminated Journey with Princess Aurora is also new in 2023! You can experience the Northern Lights with Princess Aurora and her favorite furry friends. This fun walk-through experience is short and sweet, and we really had a great time here. The kids loved it so much, we walked through it twice!

Returning for the second year, the wonderful Christmas Drone Show will be back, plus the World’s Largest Christmas Light Show and millions of twinkling lights covering everything everywhere you look. Your favorite holiday songs will be brought to life with unique videos, new special effects and a fireworks finale!

We had a chance to see the new show, and it was amazing! More on that below.

OUR FAVORITE THINGS AT STONE MOUNTAIN CHRISTMAS

Stone Mountain Christmas: Your Complete Guide to All the Holiday Fun (2023)
Santa’s Winter Wonderland had some great photo op spots!

THE WORLD’S LARGEST CHRISTMAS LIGHT SHOW FEATURING THE MAGICAL CHRISTMAS DRONE SHOW

The World’s Largest Christmas Light Show featuring the Magical Christmas Drone Show can seriously not be missed. On the Memorial Lawn, you’ll join Aurora, the Princess of Light, as she lights the way for Santa’s sleigh. This experience will be followed by the Magical Christmas Drones and the World’s Largest Christmas Light Show.

The Magical Christmas Drone Show is amazing. You’ll see hundreds of drones light up the sky as they fly above the reflection pond. It’s so fun to see the aerial formations choreographed with color changing lights synced to holiday music.

Directly following the Drone Show, you’ll see the World’s Largest Christmas Light Show on the face of Stone Mountain set to amazing holiday music. Y’all, this was spectacular. The 20-minute show on the Memorial Lawn was filled with continuous songs, an amazing light show, lasers, and fireworks. Watching all the lights on the face of Stone Mountain was just really, really cool and my kids just loved it.

This year, the show will be held once each evening. Most nights, the show will be held at 8:20pm. There is reserved seating (with chairs) for VIP ticket holders, or you can pay an extra $5 for this seating.

Insider Tip: I always bring a pack of glow sticks for my kids to play with while we wait for the show to start!

Please note:  The Christmas Drone Show can be canceled due to winds and unfavorable weather.

THE SING-A-LONG TRAIN

My boys adore trains, so there is no doubt that this is our favorite.

Taking in the views around Stone Mountain Park, singing Christmas carols, seeing the lights along the way, and watching the telling of a very special story make this train ride one of the best. Make sure to bring extra sweatshirts, or maybe a blanket in your backpack — the open-air train car can get a bit chilly, especially after the sun goes down.

This is a popular attraction and even though it’s a big train, it can still be at capacity during very busy times. We were advised to come to the train at least 15 minutes before the departure time — but it seemed like 20 minutes ahead was probably best. It fills up fast! The times are listed at the train station each day.

Our tip: Sit on the left side of the train (the mountain side). If you sit on the left, you’ll have the best view of the Christmas lights and the show at Pebble Ridge. The train stops at Pebble Ridge and you can see the show from your seats — even if you’re on the right — but it’s easier if you’re on the left.

My son loved the sing-a-long portion of the train ride the best. A fun holiday-themed video gets you started and gives you all the words to the songs so you can sing along.

The train runs until closing time each night during the Christmas event — so you’ll be able to find a time that fits into your schedule.

STONE MOUNTAIN PARK CHRISTMAS PARADE

One of the best parts of the Stone Mountain Christmas experience is the Stone Mountain Park Christmas Parade featuring Princess Aurora.

The nightly parade features festive music, Bumble and Rudolph, spectacular floats, dancers and singers, the bubble man, and of course…Santa and Mrs. Claus! The parade takes place at 6pm each night in the Crossroads area.

We think the best viewing for the parade is in the Expo area. After the parade ends, head on over to the Memorial Lawn to catch the Tree Lighting Ceremony at 6:30pm. (The parade lasts about 15 minutes.)

ENCHANTED CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY

The Enchanted Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony is really, really great and it’s an absolute must-see. Spoiler Alert: Santa makes a high-flying entrance — and it is really something! All the kids around us were just completely amazed seeing Santa fly above us in his sleigh. Then watch as they light up the giant Christmas tree with holiday cheer.

This event happens nightly at 6:30pm on the Memorial Lawn, directly after the parade.

VISITS WITH SANTA & SANTA’S WINTER WONDERLAND IMMERSIVE EXPERIENCE

Not sure of Santa’s mailing address? Don’t worry! You can bring your Christmas wishes directly to the big man in red — live and in person! They’ll take professional photos for you, which you can purchase.

Speaking of Santa Claus, you cannot miss Santa’s Winter Wonderland Immersive Experience! Head to the North Pole for this SNOW-rific experience! You and your family will love everything this fun Winter Wonderland area has to offer. We thought the lights here were really fun, and made for some great photo ops (seen above)!

MORE ADVENTURES AT STONE MOUNTAIN CHRISTMAS

Stone Mountain Christmas: Your Complete Guide to All the Holiday Fun (2023)
The Skylights Spectacular walk-through experience was a huge hit! We loved the “snow” best!

There is so much to do at Stone Mountain Christmas! Here are some more of our favorites!

  • Mrs. Claus’ Cookie Kitchen. For little ones ages 2-8, head over to Cookie Corner and join Mrs. Claus for a Christmas treat!
  • Frosted Fables. I love this story time area for little ones! During Stone Mountain Christmas, you’ll hear Santa’s personal baker sharing the story of everyone’s favorite Christmas cookie.
  • MistleTAILS Reindeer Games. Dance and play some reindeer games at Character Circle.
  • A Christmas Carol. Check out this 20-minute show on the Azalea Stage featuring a hilarious take on Charles Dickens’ classic tale of redemption. We LOVED this show! Seriously, the acting was spectacular and was just an all-around fun event. Definitely recommend!
  • The Crossroads Carolers. Sing along with this fun group in The Crossroads area — they are amazing.
  • Jurassic Christmas. Hike through the trail at Dinosaur Explore and see how Christmas was celebrated by some of the dinos!
  • Skylights Spectacular. This immersive walk-through experience puts you in the middle of the celebration! And remember, at the North Pole, there’s always a chance of snow! This is quick, but one of my kids’ absolute favorites!
  • The Musical Frosted Forest. Stroll through this immersive walkway of magical lights synced to festive music.
  • The Polar Express 4D Experience. Go on an extraordinary adventure to the North Pole this holiday season on The Polar Express! Chance of snow: 100%! (Tip: Sit toward the front or back for more snow — the middle gets less.) Open until 9pm.

STONE MOUNTAIN PARK ATTRACTIONS

Stone Mountain Christmas: Your Complete Guide to All the Holiday Fun (2023)
Even the T-Rex got into the holiday spirit!

Some other classic Stone Mountain Park attractions will be open during the Stone Mountain Christmas events! Make sure to check some of them out.

  • Summit Skyride. This high-speed Swiss cable car provides a stunning view of the world’s largest relief carving as it transports you more than 825 feet above the ground to the top of Stone Mountain. It’s so, so fun, and you should absolutely do it if you can! It’s open until 5pm on party days.
  • Historic Square. Check out some of the historical homes and buildings on site. Open until 5pm.
  • Great Locomotive Chase Adventure Golf. Make your way through 18 holes of miniature golf in hot pursuit of the stolen locomotive! Open until 9pm.
  • Dinotorium. The Dinotorium is an indoor, four level, giant jungle gym featuring super slides, trampoline floors, climbing structures and interactive games. Open until 9pm.

DINING AT STONE MOUNTAIN CHRISTMAS

Stone Mountain Christmas: Your Complete Guide to All the Holiday Fun (2023)
Basecamp Café all lit up for the season!

I cannot go to Stone Mountain Christmas without grabbing some cinnamon bread from Basecamp Café. I suggest you do it too! In addition to the cinnamon bread though, there are some other great dining options at Stone Mountain Christmas that feature quick-service meals and snacks, including seasonal favorites.

  • Basecamp Café. They sell delicious cinnamon bread! They also serve coffee, specialty drinks, gourmet sandwiches, salads, and handmade pretzels. This building is also so beautifully decorated with lights!
  • Campfire Smokehouse. Campfire Smokehouse features home-style, southern BBQ in a fast, friendly environment. And y’all…they now serve beer, wine, and frozen margaritas here.
  • Marketplace. This open-style market offers plenty of grab-and-go meal and snack choices. My kids loved the chicken fingers here, and I love how much seating there is! You’ll even find heaters at the outdoor tables.
  • Other Snack Spots. In addition to the great dining spots, you’ll also find smaller areas serving drinks and great snacks. Funnel Cakes, Hydrate, Krazy Taterz, and Summit Snacks are all options.

WHEN TO GO TO STONE MOUNTAIN CHRISTMAS

Stone Mountain Christmas: Your Complete Guide to All the Holiday Fun (2023)
The Crossroads area looks like a Winter Wonderland!

Saturdays and holidays are the most crowded at the park. If you want to go on the weekend, consider Sunday and get there early.

Shows have limited seating and the park recommends you get there 15 minutes before each show to ensure a spot. The earlier shows are less crowded and you can likely walk up a little later.

We’ve also found that going earlier in the season — say, opening weekend — tends to have smaller crowds.

STONE MOUNTAIN CHRISTMAS TICKET INFO

Stone Mountain Christmas: Your Complete Guide to All the Holiday Fun (2023)
You’ll find fun photo ops around the park.

Stone Mountain Christmas tickets start at $19.99 and can go up to $39.99 depending on the day. Your ticket includes all the Christmas activities plus park attractions. They also offer special VIP tickets that give you front-of-the-line access to select attractions (like the Skyride, train, and 4D theater), special seating and 3D glasses for the Drone & Light Show.

Keep in mind, that in addition to your Stone Mountain Christmas ticket, you will also need to pay for parking. Parking at Stone Mountain Park is $20 a day, or $40 for an annual pass.

MAKE IT A WEEKEND WITH ATLANTA EVERGREEN LAKESIDE RESORT

Stone Mountain Christmas: Your Complete Guide to All the Holiday Fun (2023)
Courtesy of Atlanta Evergreen Lakeside Resort

If you live a ways from Stone Mountain Park like we do, consider making your Christmas experience a special weekend. We stayed at Atlanta Evergreen Lakeside Resort after our Christmas excitement.

COMFY ROOMS

The rooms were cozy, and we enjoyed a gorgeous view of the lake. Our room included two queen beds (which were VERY comfy!), a mini fridge, and a desk. Because the weather was nice, we also enjoyed sitting on the patio that looks over the lake.

TWO POOLS

When we were not enjoying Stone Mountain Christmas, we were playing at the hotel. We played at both the indoor and outdoor pools (both are heated!) and hot tubs. The boys also enjoyed a round of oversized chess next to the pool.

RESTAURANTS

While we were at the pool in the evening, hubby and I enjoyed a few drinks from Stonewall’s Lounge (which also includes light snacks and a pool table). For breakfast we indulged in our cinnamon bread, but picked up lattes from Mountain Brew Café (featuring Starbucks coffee).

If you’re not eating at SMP, then consider breakfast, lunch or dinner at Waterside Restaurant. This casual buffet also offers weekend specials of crab legs and prime rib – yum!

PARKING

The hotel is inside Stone Mountain Park, so you will be required to pay the one-time entrance fee into the park. Once there, you will receive a guest pass, allowing you to come and go from the park as necessary.

There is no shuttle to the Crossroads area where the Christmas events are located, but it is a short 5-minute drive with ample parking spaces.

Book It: Atlanta Evergreen Lakeside Resort

MORE ATLANTA HOLIDAY FUN IN ATLANTA

MORE PLACES TO STAY NEAR THE PARK

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Stone Mountain Christmas: Your Complete Guide to All the Holiday Fun (2023)