15+ Best Atlanta Christmas Events – 5 of Them are Free!

15+ Best Atlanta Christmas Events – 5 of Them are Free!

Updated November 6, 2017

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and the entire city of Atlanta is buzzing with holiday spirit. As the month of December unfolds, every day provides another chance to take advantage of a fantastic Atlanta holiday event, guaranteed to put you in a festive mood. Whether you’re trying to plan ahead for when the kids are on school break, searching for things to do with visiting family, or just need an idea for a holiday date night, take a look at our suggestions for what to do around town this month, including five free events that won’t make a dent in your holiday budget.

17 Christmas Events in Atlanta

It may not feel like it outside, but SKATE will be open in two weeks! Skate the largest outdoor rink in the Southeast right here in Atlantic Station ⛸

Posted by Atlantic Station on Saturday, November 4, 2017

1. Ice Skate at Atlantic Station

Bundle up in your coziest sweater and head out for a day of skating at the largest outdoor ice rink in Atlanta. Atlantic Station is all decked out for the holidays, and the crisp winter air and sight of fellow skaters will make you feel as if you’ve just stumbled into a holiday postcard. The Atlantic Station Christmas Tree lighting will be on November 18, 2017, with activities beginning at noon and skating will begin that day. For information on times and rates, visit the event’s website.

Posted by The Ugly Sweater Run on Friday, November 3, 2017

2.  Ugly Sweater Run/Walk at Piedmont Park

For some festive holiday exercise, don your best ugly sweater and your running shoes and head to Piedmont Park. On December 9, 2017, the park will be the scene of the merriest 5K you’ve ever imagined: a start line decked out with massive inflatables and pumping cheerful holiday music, themed stations at every mile of the course, hot chocolate at refreshment stations, and a Sam Adams beverage and other holiday goodies waiting for you at the finish line. Register at www.theuglysweaterrun.com

Posted by The Fox Theatre on Thursday, August 31, 2017

3.  See Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker at the Fox Theater

Each year, the Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker reminds all who see it of the magic and wonder the holiday season brings. The familiar story somehow never fails to transform into something new and exciting through exquisite choreography and remarkable execution. Perfect for a romantic night out, Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker runs December 8 to 28, 2017, and tickets are available for purchase through the Atlanta Ballet’s website.

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Posted by Stone Mountain Park on Wednesday, December 14, 2016

4.  Get Into the Festivities at a Stone Mountain Christmas

At Stone Mountain Park, there is no excuse to not be in the holiday season. The glow of more than two million lights creates a festive fairytale setting, favorite holiday music can be heard in the air, and beloved holiday characters are making appearances all month. Kids—both those young in age and young at heart—will find something to delight in, be it a visit with Santa, an impromptu Christmas concert aboard the Singalong Train, a frolic in “Snow Mountain, or great holiday shopping that includes hand blown glass ornaments and homemade fudge.

5 reasons Atlantans love Macy’s Pink Pig.

Posted by AJCaccessATL on Wednesday, November 1, 2017

5.  Take a Ride on the Pink Pig

The Pink Pig train is an Atlanta holiday tradition that dates back to the 1950s, when it debuted as a holiday attraction at Rich’s Department Store in downtown Atlanta. Rich’s is now shuttered, but the tradition lives on at Macy’s in Lenox Square. Priscilla the Pink Pig will be welcoming riders throughout the month of December, and taking them on a journey through a magical storybook land featuring her and all her friends. This is one Atlanta holiday tradition you don’t want to miss.  The Pink Pig is open between October 28 to January 1, 2018.  See here for the full schedule of the Pink Pig.  {And, if you want to see where the original Pink Pig was put up, head on the Downtown Southern Food Walk to see the original Rich’s store.}

Friday, November 17, 2017 to Saturday, January 6, 20188 million lights. 15 dazzling scenes. 1 magical…

Posted by Callaway Gardens on Wednesday, November 1, 2017

6.  Be Transported By Fantasy in Lights

For more than 20 years, Fantasy in Lights at Callaway Gardens has been dazzling visitors from all over the country with its spectacular light and sound show, and this year will be no exception. More than 8 million lights illuminate more than a dozen scenes, which also include music and often animation. Since ninety-nine percent of the frames used in Fantasy in Lights are custom designed for Callaway Gardens, it is truly a unique holiday event that’s hard to beat.  Lights begin on November 17, 2017, until January 6, 2018.

37 Amazing and Fun Tours in Atlanta

7. Entertain Family in Town with Tours in Atlanta

How do you keep family and friends visiting entertained during the holiday season?  Good question!  We opt for tours and, luckily, Atlanta has loads of amazing and fun tours to experience.  Check out some of our favorites in this list.

Acclaimed for the beauty, precision and expressive qualities of their singing, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Choruses…

Posted by Atlanta Symphony Orchestra on Thursday, October 26, 2017

8.  Hear the Music of the Season with the Atlanta Symphony

Throughout the month of December, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra will be performing a variety of concerts and shows perfect for putting you in the holiday spirit. The festive schedule begins with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in concert with the film playing in the background,  Messiah with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the the Chamber Chorus.  For the full list of performances and events, visit www.atlantasymphony.org

You're only a week and a day away from the highly-anticipated public premiere of Garden Lights, Holiday Nights featuring…

Posted by Atlanta Botanical Garden on Friday, November 3, 2017

9.  Be Dazzled by the Garden Lights at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens

The Atlanta Botanical Garden is always a magical place to spend an afternoon or evening, but during its annual Garden Lights celebration, the garden really shines. Light displays throughout the garden create a winter wonderland, and favorite features such as the Radiant Rainforest and Model Trains are back this year along with some new displays, such as the Nature’s Wonder display, touted as the world’s largest symphonic 3-d light curtains. Other festive events at ABG include a chance to meet Saint Nick, the annual Reindog Parade and the Holiday Model Train Show.  Garden Lights begin on November 11, 2017 to January 7, 2018.

Happy Holidays from the cast of "A Christmas Carol"

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the cast of this year's "A Christmas Carol."Thank you to all who have joined us in the production's 27 year history! Next year we're taking the show on the road at a new Atlanta venue to be announced. Stay tuned!

Posted by Alliance Theatre on Sunday, December 25, 2016

10.  Indulge in a Classic with A Christmas Carol at the Alliance Theater

A Christmas Carol is one of the most beloved holiday stories of all time, and this year marks Alliance Theater’s 27th staging of the classic tale. An all-Atlanta cast relays the story of Ebenezer Scrooge with a powerful performance that reminds us all what Christmas is truly meant to celebrate. Take the whole family and make it a holiday tradition, if it isn’t one already. More information and tickets are available on the Alliance Theater’s website.  The play will be staged from Dec. 8 to Dec. 24, 2017, at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer opens Tuesday! ⛄ Do you have your tickets yet? (Come see us in November and save with early bird pricing for November's performances!)

Posted by Center for Puppetry Arts on Saturday, November 4, 2017

11.  See Rudolph Come to Life at The Center for Puppetry Arts

At the Center for Puppetry Arts, stories come to life, and this December, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer™ will be one of those stories. Based on the classic television special, the Center for Puppetry Arts performs a faithful adaptation of the tale that honors the misfit in all of us, and celebrates those friendships that we cannot live without. It’s a perfect holiday outing that the whole family is sure to enjoy.

<>11.  View Centennial Olympic Park in a New Way (NOT AVAILABLE FOR 2017)

Every year, Centennial Olympic Park gets a holiday makeover thanks to Holiday in Lights. Thousands of lights are illuminated throughout the park, creating a holiday fantasy that’s guaranteed to delight in-towners and holiday visitors alike. Holiday in Lights is completely FREE to view throughout Centennial Park, making it a perfect outing no matter how big of a group you have to share the season with.  

Unfortunately, due to construction at Centennial Olympic Park, Holiday in Lights will not be held in 2017.

Posted by Christmas in the Grove on Thursday, November 24, 2016

12.  A Light Display Worth Driving By at Christmas in the Grove (FREE!)

Metro Atlanta has no lack of holiday spirit, as evidenced by the holiday lights that make every neighborhood throughout the city glow. In Decatur, one family’s love of Christmas has reached a new level, resulting in the spectacular light show they create every year. Christmas in the Grove began as simple animation in 2010, but has evolved into a spectacular light show set to great Christmas hits. The show runs from Thanksgiving Night through January 1 from 6:30-10:00 p.m. Monday-Thursday, and from 6:30 to 11:00 p.m. Friday-Sunday. Viewing Christmas in the Grove is completely FREE, but visitors are encouraged to make a donation to the ALS Association via the Christmas in the Grove website.

Posted by Atlantic Station on Thursday, October 26, 2017

13.  Get Snowed on at Atlantic Station (FREE!)

The weather in Atlanta is far from predictable, especially during the winter months. Luckily, you don’t have to rely on Mother Nature to get your winter snow fix this year. Atlantic Station has you covered with its daily “Snow Show,” where you can take in the beautiful lights and spectacular Christmas Tree display, all while listening to holiday music and being dusted by a festive, realistic snowfall. The Snow Show is FREE to experience, and show times can be found on the event’s website.

14.  Witness a Parade of Holiday Spirit with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (FREE!)

On December 5, the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Christmas Parade will once again roll through Midtown Atlanta, leaving a wave of holiday spirit in its wake. The largest holiday parade in the southeast, the Children’s Parade features floats, balloons, marching bands, and festive joy galore. Join fellow Atlantans on the streets of Midtown to watch the parade roll by for FREE, and consider making a donation to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. ‘Tis the season for giving after all.  (Check out this great guide from 365 Atlanta Family on how to park and other details on the CHOA Parade.).

Posted by Jeff Roffman Photography on Sunday, October 22, 2017

15.  Grab a Close Up With Santa Claus

No holiday season is complete without a trip with the kids to see Santa. It is what kicks off the Christmas season and gets everyone excited for the big day ahead. This year, Santa can be found in a number of places throughout the Atlanta area, including Lenox Mall and the Mall of Georgia. Through December 6, Lenox Mall will also feature a Caring Santa, so children with special needs can experience a magical visit. African American Santas can also be found around Atlanta at certain times at the South DeKalb Mall, the Greenbriar Mall, and the Mall West End. And, if you want a hilarious crying baby picture with a super funny Santa, book a session with Jeff Roffman Photography.

Sending out lots of love and joy to all of our amazing patrons this holiday season! Thank you for another year of support! We could not do what we do without you! HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Posted by Serenbe Playhouse on Sunday, December 25, 2016

16. Get Frozen with the Snow Queen at Serenbe

If your child is still obsessed with Frozen (ha, ha, who am I kidding?  Of course they are!), book your tickets early to the Serenbe Playhouse’s Production of the Snow Queen, the Hans Christian Anderson’ fable that inspired Disney’s Frozen.  It’s a lavish production with real snow and gorgeous costumes and the whole family will be delighted with this new holiday favorite.  Shows happen between November 30 to December 30, 2017 and tickets can be purchased here.

Just a few of Mighty Mo's pipes.

Posted by The Fox Theatre on Thursday, September 19, 2013

17. Warm Up with a Singalong with Mighty Mo (FREE!)

On December 19, get ready for a sing-along with Mighty Mo, the famed organ at The Fox Theatre, known as the largest working Moller theatre organ in the world.  This is always a fun event with snow falling on Peachtree Street, a sing-along to classic Christmas tunes, and the screening of Christmas movies and shows.  Tickets are free but must be purchased in advance with a $2.50 processing charge.

Happy holidays!


17 Christmas Events in Atlanta


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