The holiday season brings lots of lights.

Holiday classics abound during the season.

Everybody loves a fair.

Ice skating returns soon.

Volunteer to help someone this season.

Cool Things to Do in November in Atlanta

The holiday season is starting to get in gear and there are so many fun things to do around Atlanta. Put on your holiday sweater and enjoy.

Fiddler on the Roof

“Fiddler on the Roof” comes to the Fabulous Fox Theatre. (📷 Fifth Third Bank Broadway in Atlanta)

The Fabulous Fox Theatre and Fifth Third Bank Broadway in Atlanta are bringing back one of Broadway’s classic musicals, “Fiddler on the Roof,” which features some of the most heartwarming and haunting songs ever sung on Broadway. Go to the Fox Theatre from Nov. 9 to the 14th and be enthralled with the story of fathers and daughters, husbands and wives, and the traditions that define faith and family. Clap your hands to “If I Were a Rich Man” and “Matchmaker, Matchmaker.” It’s Broadway at its best — and even better since it’s on Peachtree Street.

See Lady Houdini at the Atlanta Fair

Who doesn’t love a fair? Rides, games, food and entertainment like Kristen Johnson aka Lady Houdini who will perform on weekends. (📷 Lady Houdini)

The Atlanta Fair is back at the Gray Lot across from Georgia Stadium (formerly Turner Field) through Nov. 7. It’s packed with rides, food, games and special attractions. Weekend shows feature escape artist Kristen Johnson aka Lady Houdini who is an incredibly versatile magician, escape artist and entertainer. Her jaw-dropping act occurs every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Practice your Double Axel

Lace up your skates and twirl around the rink. There are several skating rinks open during the season. (📷 Park Tavern)

With the colder weather, it’s time to take up more seasonally appropriate activities like ice skating. Get out your skates (or rent them) and glide smoothly around the ice (or clutch the rink’s wall) wearing your mittens and cute holiday sweater. This year, Colony Square will have a rink as well as Atlantic Station. Park Tavern, next to Piedmont Park, always puts up a skating rink and has adult-only hours. The rink, powered by Pepsi Zero, brings unobstructed views of Piedmont Park and the Midtown skyline. Skaters stay warm under a heated garden tent while observers can sit back and enjoy the stone firepits and warm beverages.

Shop the Christkindl Market

Shopping is always fun during the holiday season. Buckhead Village is hosting the German Christkindl Market with more than 50 vendors offering merchandise plus food and beverage treats. (📷 Jamestown)

Atlanta is the shopping capital of the Southeast — if not the nation — so it’s the perfect time to hit the malls (Phipps Plaza, Lenox Square) or walk around the neighborhoods, such as Virginia-Highland, Kirkwood, Westside, Buckhead and the Old Fourth Ward to see what local merchants offer. Don’t forget to go to Colony Square, which has a lot of new restaurants and shops, or head out to Buckhead Village, which will be home to The German American Cultural Foundation’s 2021 German Christkindl Market. Open to the public starting Nov. 26, the German holiday market will be located on the corner of North Fulton and Buckhead avenues and feature more than 50 vendors offering food and beverage treats and merchandise plus live music and entertainment on the weekends.

Alongside the market, 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.

Take in a Holiday Show

The Alliance Theatre is presenting a re-imagined version of “A Christmas Carol.” (📷 Alliance Theatre)

Can anyone get through the season without seeing the “Nutcracker?” We can’t. Atlanta theaters, ballets, symphony and other arts group all are in the holiday spirit. The Alliance Theatre is presenting a new re-imagined version of “A Christmas Carol.” The Fox Theatre is offering a unique 21-years-and-older pop-up experience, “Miracle,” with drag nights twice a week. The Center for Puppetry Arts is returning a favorite, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra presents a beloved Christmas comedy “Home Alone” in concert. Throughout the metro area are performances of “The Nutcracker,” so be sure to look.

Lights! Lights! And More Lights!

Atlanta Botanical Garden’s Garden Lights, Holiday Nights is a breathtaking holiday display, one of several around Atlanta. (📷 Atlanta Botanical Garden; Photographer Joey Ivansco)

Atlanta is ablaze with the holiday spirit and on every street corner — and just about every tree — there are lights and decorations celebrating the season. The World of Illumination offers the world’s largest drive-through animated light show at the Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton where the theme is Arctic Adventure. Meet Sunny, a 32-foot tall snowman and his tundra friends. It’s a mile-long journey with more than 350 snow-themed installations and millions of animated lights. Arctic Adventures runs through Jan. 2, 2022, and a portion of the proceeds are donated to Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Other places to see holiday lights include IllumiNights at Zoo Atlanta, Holiday Lights at Barnsley Resort, Stone Mountain Christmas, Woodruff Park and Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Over Georgia.

It’s not about you!

The holidays are a perfect time to volunteer to make others have a happy holiday. Second Helpings Atlanta has many volunteer opportunities throughout the year but especially during the holidays. (📷 Second Helpings Atlanta)

Thanksgiving and the holidays are stressful for many, so why not call Second Helpings Atlanta or other nonprofits and see how you can make someone’s life a bit merrier? It is the gift that keeps on giving.

Film Festivals — Oh, the Horror

Atlanta is an international center for the movie and television industries (plus music) so it’s only natural that the city has several important film festivals. In November we have the DocuFest, which highlights the best documentary filmmaking from around the world, and the Buried Alive Film Festival where fans can see a variety of blood-curdling independent horror films ranging from a slasher, ghost story, a zombie flick, a horror comedy, a suspenseful thriller or a horror documentary. Beware! This is not for the faint-of-heart — and it’s only for those 17 and older.

Check our calendar for a complete list of Atlanta events.

Get your Chili on

Satisfy your craving for chili at the Cabbagetown affair. (📷 Chomp & Stomp Atlanta)

Do you love a good bowl of chili? The Cabbagetown Chomp & Stomp Chili Cookoff is back and happening on Nov. 6. Enjoy an artist market, live music, beer and chili from more than 70 teams. The best part is that the money raised from this festival goes toward maintaining Cabbagetown’s neighborhood parks. Enjoy a bowl of chili and help maintain the beauty of the ‘hood.

It’s a Winter Wonderland

Fernbank gets all dressed up for the holidays. (📷 Fernbank Museum of Natural History)

Get into the wintry spirit at Winter Wonderland. This exhibition at Fernbank Museum of Natural History recognizes traditions and celebrations from a variety of cultures. Winter Wonderland opens Nov. 20 and runs through Jan. 9, 2022. Wander through two floors of holiday décor and admire festive trees and displays. Step into giant snow globes or slide around on the sock skating rink and capture the perfect seasonal photo.

Holiday Shop ’til you Drop

Buckhead Village is a good place to start your holiday shopping. (📷 Jamestown)

A little retail therapy never hurt, right? 😉 Check out these new shopping spots around the city and get your holiday shopping done early. Buckhead Village features the first brick-and-mortar location of Jerrimiah James, a luxury personal shopping service and showroom. YOUNG BLOOD, a floral studio selling jewelry and home goods, opened its new location at the Atlanta Dairies complex in Reynoldstown. The Los Angeles-based clothing label, Buck Mason, known for its T-shirts, recently opened its first Atlanta location at Ponce City Market.

See Zoo Atlanta’s New IllumiNights

📷 Zoo Atlanta

IllumiNights at the Zoo: A Chinese Lantern Festival features more than 80 animal lanterns, some more than 20-feet tall. Each lantern is made and hand painted by Chinese artisans. This new event opens Nov. 22 and runs through Jan. 16, 2022.

Journalist Mary Welch writes business and lifestyle stories for local and national publications. 

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