Ultimate Guide to the Holidays in Atlanta

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Despite the dipping temperatures, Atlanta still offers a variety of fun, festive activities and experiences. From snow play to holiday performances, there’s plenty to see and do with our Ultimate Guide to the Holidays in Atlanta.

Family-Friendly Holiday Traditions

Make time for some of the more traditional aspects of the holidays in Atlanta. Holiday events and performances are a family tradition for many, and Atlanta has a variety of options.

Atlanta Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” returns. (Photo by Kim Kenney)

Atlanta Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” — Yuri Possokhov’s “The Nutcracker” by Atlanta Ballet will perform at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre every Saturday in December through Dec. 26. Possokhov’s energetic rendition returns to the live stage this year with larger-than-life sets, video projections and stunning costumes. 

Where: 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway

“A Christmas Carol” kicks off the season at Alliance Theatre. (Photo by Greg Mooney)

“A Christmas Carol” — Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” returns to the stage this year with an exciting new adaptation including brand new costumes and reimagined sets. Catch performances at Alliance Theatre on the The Coca-Cola Stage from Nov. 16 through Dec. 24. 

Christmas with the ASO — Celebrate the holiday with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus as they perform an evening of holiday carols and hymns and more in this family-friendly performance. Performances are set for Dec. 9 and 10.

Where: Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE

“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” is a beloved family tradition. (Photo by Clay Walker)

“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” — Families will enjoy visiting Center for Puppetry Arts for the family-favorite live puppet show of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” based on the classic television adaptation by Jon Ludwig, Nov. 16 to Dec 31. An accompanying Create-A-Puppet workshop and access to the World of Puppetry Museum is included.

Where: 1404 Spring St. NW

Stone Mountain Christmas promises to get the entire family in the Christmas spirit. (Photo courtesy of Stone Mountain Park)

Holiday in the Park — Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Over Georgia offers dozens of Christmas trees and more than a million LED lights in addition to special holiday performances and experiences, select nights Nov. 18 through Jan. 3, 2024.

Where: 275 Riverside Parkway, Austell

Stone Mountain Christmas — Become immersed in holiday cheer, millions of dazzling lights, holiday characters, Christmas carolers, special holiday events and more during Stone Mountain Christmas. Visit Stone Mountain’s calendar for all the magical events. Nov. 16 through Jan. 2, 2024.

Where: 1000 Robert E Lee Blvd., Stone Mountain

See trees decorated to celebrate holidays from around the world at Fernbank. (Photo courtesy of Fernbank Museum of Natural History)

Winter Wonderland at Fernbank Museum of Natural History offers a multicultural holiday experience from Nov. 18 through Jan. 7, 2024. Trees and other creations are decorated indoors to recognize Hanukkah, Christmas and celebrations around the world. The display includes indigenous art and national symbols. 

Where: 767 Clifton Road

Dive into the holiday spirit at Georgia Aquarium. (Photo courtesy of Georgia Aquarium)

Holidays at Georgia Aquarium invites visitors to enjoy the sights and sounds of the holidays surrounding a 40-foot live Christmas tree. In addition there will be winter-inspired projections, water fountains display, holiday music and photos with Santa from Nov. 16 through Jan. 1, 2024.

Where: 225 Baker St. NW

Festive Outdoor Exhibits

Atlanta offers a variety of festive open-air activities, complete with unforgettable light displays, winter treats and outdoor pop-up markets.

Atlanta Botanical Garden

The entire family will love the dazzling lights on display at Atlanta Botanical Garden. (Photo courtesy of Atlanta Botanical Garden)

Atlanta Botanical Garden presents its 13th Annual Garden Lights, Holiday Nights exhibition, which features dazzling light displays throughout the garden Nov. 18 through Jan. 14, 2024. Kids will also love visiting the Holiday Model Trains at Atlanta Botanical Garden. G scale model trains and a holiday trolley chug along seven tracks on landscaped mountain terrain complete with tunnels, a lake, bridges, a holiday workshop and more.

Where: 1345 Piedmont Ave. NE

Zoo Atlanta

See larger than life animal lanterns all season at the zoo. (Photo courtesy of Zoo Atlanta)

IllumiNights at the Zoo — Stroll the zoo after dark and explore the natural world illuminated by more than 80 large, handmade Chinese-inspired animal lanterns throughout the park, Nov. 16 through Jan. 14, 2024.

Where: 800 Cherokee Ave. SE

Here are more places to see holiday lights in Atlanta.

Holiday-Inspired Date Night Ideas

Twinkling lights, heated igloos and festive cocktails – the holidays can be quite the romantic time of year. If you’re looking for a fun and festive date night in Atlanta, here are some ideas. 

A visit to the best Christmas pop-up bars in Atlanta will leave you feeling holly and jolly. Experience the magic of the season. 

Rent an igloo to dine in comfort on the roof or patio at PCM. (Photo by Sarah Un)

Celebrate the holidays on The Roof at Ponce City Market. Skate The Sky Igloo reservations include admission to The Roof, two hours reserved in one of the heated, decorated igloos, skate rentals with 50 minutes of skate time, and unlimited games and rides at Skyline Park. Additional food and drink options are available for purchase inside the igloo. Guests also can reserve a heated igloo for 2.5 hours at 9 Mile Station for up to six guests. There is a rental fee plus $25 food and drink minimum per guest. The price includes general admission to The Roof.

Where: 675 Ponce De Leon Ave. NE

Ice Skating in Atlanta

Skate the Station is open for ice skating through Jan. 15, 2024. (Photo courtesy of Atlantic Station)

Though we don’t generally associate the South with ice and snow, Atlanta offers plenty of winter fun that requires bundling up to soak in the season well past the holidays. 

As the holidays approach, a number of ice skating rinks pop up throughout the area including Skate the Sky at Ponce City Market, Skate the Station at Atlantic Station, The Rink at Park Tavern and more. Check out our list of where to go ice skating in Atlanta

Miracle on Peachtree

There is so much to see and do during Miracle on Peachtree in Buckhead Atlanta. (Photo courtesy of Livable Buckhead)

Celebrate the season as the Miracle on Peachtree celebration returns to Buckhead. Festivities include holiday carolers, hot chocolate crawls, festive performances, music and more.

Pop-up Shops and Holiday Markets

Chattahoochee Nature Center

Enjoy the great outdoors with events at Chattahoochee Nature Center including the Back to Nature Holiday Market on Dec. 2 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. where you can buy from local artisans selling eco-friendly, unique, and/or handmade gifts. As a gift to the community, admission is free to enjoy the grounds during the market; online reservations requested.

Where: 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell

2023 Christkindl German Market

Shop and eat German fare at the 2023 Christkindl German Market. (Photo by Jamestown)

The German American Cultural Foundation’s 2023 Christkindl German Market will be set up in the Buckhead Village District. The market features more than 50 vendors offering festive food and beverage treats and items to purchase plus live music and entertainment on the weekends. This traditional holiday market will run daily from Nov. 17 to 19 and Nov. 24 through Dec. 24.

Where: 290 East Paces Ferry Road NE

Indie Craft Experience Holiday Market 2023

This year’s Indie Craft Experience Holiday Market takes place at Georgia Freight Depot on Dec. 2 and 3. The market features craft, art and vintage vendors as well as local food — perfect for holiday shopping. 

Where: Georgia Freight Depot, 65 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive

Piedmont Holiday Gift Market

Visit Piedmont Park for the Piedmont Holiday Gift Market on Nov. 25 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Nov. 26 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Shop for unique gifts from approximately 100 artists and crafters.

Where: Piedmont Park, 1320 Monroe Drive

Visit our Christmas and New Year’s Eve pages for even more holiday events.

Joleen Pete lives outside Atlanta with her husband and their son. On the weekends they enjoy going into the city for family fun and exploration. Joleen is the family travel and lifestyle blogger behind Love, Joleen.

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