Having lived in Atlanta for over six years, Kevin and I have you covered on the best spots around the city to spend your holiday season. Whether you’re looking for a date night activity, Christmas lights to look at, or a day trip to a town nearby, we have you covered. Read our post on the top 9 places to grab a limited-time holiday drink here, and read about festive day trips out of the city here. Hope you enjoy these fun activities this holiday season!
Things to See in Atlanta during the Holidays
Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker
Showing December 7 through December 24 is the Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker. This is final year of the show at the Fox Theatre, making this year’s show extremely significant. Come and be awed by the beauty of the music, dancing, costumes, and lights.
Holiday Lights at Atlanta Botanical Gardens
Garden Lights, Holiday Nights presented by the Atlanta Botanical Gardens is by far one of our favorite Christmas traditions. This year is the eighth annual “electrical extravaganza,” and this year’s show offers new features, music, and crowd favorites.
Pro tip: Visit the Gardens after 9:00 PM for half off entry. It’ll still give you 2 hours to explore before closing time, which is plenty!
A Christmas Carol at Shakespeare’s Tavern
From November 30 through December 23, you can catch Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol for $20 at Shakespeare’s Tavern. This show has been put on for over 20 years at this location and boasts a wonderful cast and crew.
Watch a sing-along version of the movie Elf at the Fox Theater. The showing will feature a live organist playing “Mighty Mo” the organ. This free event is being held on December 17 this year and offers fun for the entire family, so come out and sing along to your favorite tunes and experience a winter wonderland in Atlanta.
Winter Wonderland at Fernbank Museum of Natural History
Fernbank’s Winter Wonderland exhibit offers a beautiful view of the museum decorated for Christmas from November 22 through January 12. This is the 10th anniversary of the festive celebration.
Stone Mountain offers fun attractions, millions of beautiful lights, spectacular shows, and visits from your favorite holiday characters. This year they have a new The Polar Express 4D experience that you’re sure to love. Stop by from November 16 to January 5 to see the holiday celebrations.
Christkindl Market at Centennial Olympic Park
Presented by the German American Cultural Foundation, this event is first and largest winter holiday festival in the city. At the market, you’ll find authentic German food and drinks, along with a craft market to buy festive gifts for your family and friends. You’re sure to be entertained at this event, and the proceeds benefit education on German language and culture. It’s open from November 21 through December 23 and admission is free.
Things to Do in Atlanta during the Holidays
With so many options in the city, you really can’t go wrong, but our favorite rink this season is the one on top of Ponce City Market. Read our post on where and when to go ice skating in Atlanta this holiday season here.
Visit a Christmas Cocktail Bar
Like with ice skating, Atlanta offers several spots for grabbing a holiday drink. Our favorite is the tiki Miracle Christmas Bar (Bon Ton location). We’ve put together a list of the top 9 places to grab a limited-time holiday drink here.
Holiday Tea at the Ritz-Carlton
Sit down for a cup of tea at the Ritz and have your choice of the “naughty” or “nice” version. Go at either 2:00 PM or 4:00 PM on either Friday, December 6, December 13, or December 20 for tea and light bites. Either option sounds delicious, but the “naughty” tea comes with champagne and strawberries. Be sure to call for a reservation.
On Saturday, December 14 Atlanta Bar Crawls is hosting its fourth annual Ugly Sweater Bar Crawl. The crawl offers discounted drinks, a raffle, prizes for best dressed, and a t-shirt.
This year’s Atlanta Christmas 5K is taking place in Piedmont Park on December 21. Join for a morning of fun on the new course. Be sure to dress up for the costume contest and stay after for Christmas music, cookies, hot chocolate, and more!