Have Fun Celebrating The Holidays In Atlanta, Georgia

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Are you looking for a fun weekend away this holiday season? Of course, holidays feel different in a big city like Atlanta, Georgia! So head west with Melanie as she shares her suggestions for holiday fun in Atlanta and its surrounding areas. Huge light displays, immersive art experiences, fun in the snow, and more await you and your family just a few hours away!

For year-round fun in the state of Georgia, check out the Kidding Around Guide to Travel in Georgia.

Places To Enjoy a Day Of Fun In and Around Atlanta

The energy in a big city during the holidays is unlike anything else. I can still vividly remember the first time I stood in Rockafeller Center as a child, with colossal light sculpture angels towering over me and people rushing past. For me, that big city energy is synonymous with the holiday season. Since I’m only able to get back to New York every few years and rarely during the holidays, the next best thing is Atlanta. There is even a Macy’s with an over-the-top holiday display! So hop in the car, and let’s go to the big city of Atlanta for some festive adventure!

Spending The Holidays in Downtown Atlanta

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer™ at Center for Puppetry Arts needs to be on your holiday bucket list if you are a fan of the classic stop-motion animation holiday movie. The exhibit and show run from November 10th, 2021, through January 2nd, 2022. Guests can see the film recreated with puppets from the original production! The Center for Puppetry Arts is also a must-see for Jim Henson’s Muppets and Sesame Street fans.

ATL Holiday Lights at Atlantic Station is a holiday light display driven or walked through. ATL Holiday Lights runs from November 11th, 2021, through January 2nd, 2022. Prices start at $25 per carload (drive-thru) or $15 per adult for the walk-thru version. Kids 15 and under get in free, and more ticketing info can be found on the ATL Holiday Lights website.

The Sugar Plum, Fairy Forest in the Buckhead Village District is the perfect place for unique holiday photo opportunities. The Sugar Plum Fairy Forest features pastel floral canopies, life-sized whimsical trees, and larger-than-life-sized flowers. Visitors will also get to visit with Atlanta Ballet’s Sugar Plum Ballerinas each Saturday, November 27th through December 18th, from 12 PM-6 PM during the Holiday Shop & Stroll events.

Celebrations In Light at The Children’s Museum of Atlanta includes celebrating Hanukkah, Las Posadas, Christmas, and Kwanzaa throughout December. The Museum also offers a family NYE celebration if you find yourself in Atlanta to kick off the New Year.

Illuminarium is a new immersive experience with a winter wonderland exhibit. Like the Immersive Van Gough Art experiences, Illuminarium takes different themes and transports guests. This memorable experience runs through January 2nd, 2022. There are also ticket packages available that include tickets to Zoo Atlanta.

Holiday time in Georgia

Holiday Fun In Decatur, Ga

Decatur is one of my several home-away-from-home locations. Browsing through unique locally sourced shops, checking out the Holiday Happenings at Fernbank Museum of Natural History, and driving through the Avondale Christmas Tour of Homes are just a few of the things your family can enjoy when you visit the Atlanta suburb of Decatur. There are many Fun Things to do on a Day Trip to Decatur, Georgia!

coca cola bear / brook run park

Holiday Fun In Dunwoody, GA

Dunwoody is home to one of the largest malls in the Southeast! In addition to all the shopping opportunities you could desire, Dunwoody offers so much more in the way of holiday fun! Some of the events you can enjoy while visiting Dunwoody during the 2021 holiday season:

  • Holiday Lights at Brook Run Park
    See the playground come to life with over 25k lights! This display is free to visit and is open nightly from December 12th-27th, from 6-10 PM.
  • Gingerbread House Decorating
    Vino Venue invites all ages to enjoy this classic tradition of building a delicious gingerbread house. Whether enjoyed with family or as a couple, this activity will surely provide a taste of the holidays.
  • Annual Holiday Artists Market
    Shoppers can find unique gifts at Spruill Gallery’s Annual Holiday Artists Market. Open now through December 23; the Gallery will be transformed into a winter wonderland featuring handmade gifts from 100 local artists, including ceramics, jewelry, photography, and home décor
  • Holiday Lights at Ravinia Gardens
    Enjoy live music, llamas, and the gardens in the Ravinia high rise complex that includes Crowne Plaza Hotel. The event takes place Thursday, December 18th, from 5 – 8 PM.

Check out the Kidding Around Guide to Dunwoody, Georgia, for more info about Dunwoody.

Photo Credit: Robb Cohen Photography

The Downton Abbey Exhibition Is An Immersive History Lesson for fans and non-fans of the popular show! Visiting Downton Abbey During the Holidays is possible to see the Downtown Abbey Exhibition in nearby Sandy Springs, Georgia. Dressed up for the Holidays, guests can enjoy a Christmas tour of the exhibit and immerse themselves in the world of this well-to-do Crawley family. Select the Holiday Treat ticket package to receive a Cranberry Sparkler cocktail and British-themed sweet treat during your visit to Downtown Abbey.

Places To Enjoy Holiday Light Displays In Atlanta, GA

World of Illuminations is a mile-long drive-through attraction with nearly two million lights, all synchronized to music on a dedicated radio station. It will have you feeling like a kid, no matter how old you are! It will also have you feeling a bit in awe of all the work that must go into doing this on a homeowner level – this display had my eyeballs popping out! Don’t believe me? See for yourself! Two different presentations are available this year – one at Six Flags White Water and one at the Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Atlanta Botanical Garden Lights, Holiday Nights was voted the best holiday event in metro Atlanta by Atlanta Journal-Constitution readers. In 2020, the botanical gardens received nearly half of all the votes submitted! That’s quite a testimony! The walk-through tour is open through January 15th, 2022.

Lights of LIFE is one of the most under-rated light display attractions in the Atlanta area and one of the most budget-friendly! At just $10 a carload, this light display is a deal. There is also a walk-through portion that includes pony rides, a carousel ride, and more.

Festive Adventure Awaits at the Stone Mountain Christmas event, with a holiday-themed laser light show and visits with Santa. Then, after dark, you can hop on the train to see holiday lights and other surprises around the base of Stone Mountain.

Unique Holiday Experiences Near Atlanta, Georgia

Callaway Resort & Gardens Fantasy In Lights, voted one of National Geographic’s Top 10 Holiday Displays in the World, is a seven-mile drive-through display, plus a walkable village. Make the trip to Calloway Resort with the drive. In addition, You can stay overnight and make a winter-wonderful weekend trip!

Snow Island at Margaritaville provides guests with the chance to play in the snow and tube down one of the most thrilling snow tube hills in the country at 80 feet high and almost 600 feet long! Ice skating, smores making, and other winter fun await guests at this resort on Lake Lanier, between Atlanta and the Upstate.

The Blue Ridge Scenic Railway is just one more holiday train ride option for fans of the Polar Express movie. Situated in the North Georgia Mountains, the one-hour holiday train ride includes holiday music, a reading of “The Night Before Christmas,” and a gift to Children of a Blue Ridge Scenic Railway jingle bell, candy cane, and activity packet. In addition, hot cocoa and other concessions are available to purchase while on the “Holiday Express.”

About the Author
Melanie is a native New Yorker, who landed in the Upstate by way of Florida. She is the mom of two awesome kids, and the three of them love going on adventures!

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