Atlanta has so many things to do during the holidays from festive shows to Holiday Christmas events and Santa appearances. Also check out our lists of Best Christmas Light and Tree Displays, 20+ Places to Meet Santa Around Atlanta, Best Ice Skating Rinks Around Atlanta, Best Things to Do for Hanukkah Fun in Atlanta, Cut Your Own Christmas Tree Farms, Favorite Holiday Craft Shows and Markets, and Holiday Events Beyond Atlanta. These top-notch attractions and events are fun for the whole family:
Please check websites for COVID-19 safety procedures or cancellations.
Atlanta’s Most Heartwarming Christmas Celebration
Stone Mountain Christmas, a family favorite tradition, is filled with festive music, dazzling lights and captivating shows. Celebrate the spirit of the season with the all-new Christmas Laser Show. Wander through the Musical Frosted Forest and be mesmerized by beautiful lights, sights and sounds. Marvel at the Enchanted Tree Lighting Ceremony, see a special appearance from Santa himself as he flies overhead and catch the exciting new Snow Angel’s Christmas Parade on the laser lawn! End the evening with Angelina the Snow Angel as she takes flight and creates one last magical snowfall! Nov. 14-Jan. 3 (select dates).
A Flurry of Fun
There’s “snow” much fun coming to Margaritaville at Lanier Islands this winter! License to Chill Snow Island features one of the fastest snow tubing hills in North America. Play in the snow and challenge friends to a snowball fight at Snowball Alley. Don’t miss the winter-themed carnival rides, ice skating rink, fire pit with s’mores, photos with Santa at his workshop and specialty winter drinks and snacks. Nov. 6-Feb. 21. The all-new Lakeside Lights Spectacular is a magical walk through an amazing lighting extravaganza with festive seasonal music, themed displays and light tunnels. Nov. 20-Feb. 21.
Holiday Overnight Fun Like Nowhere Else in Georgia
Lakeside fun is year-round at Lanier Islands in Buford! This beautiful resort located 45 minutes north of Atlanta hosts a myriad of lakeside holiday activities. Join them this year for an overnight stay with a holiday breakfast buffet and a visit with Santa included. Or sign up for their newest holiday package, the Elf PJ Story Time – kids will enjoy a socially distanced gathering with a bedtime story read by Santa’s favorite elves. For those looking for some adventure, the Winter Family Fun package is full of high speed, frozen fun with tickets to Snow Island included for a day full of snow tubing and carnival rides.
Holly, Jolly Fun
Pick your own Christmas tree, visit with Santa, go on a train ride, see animals at the petting zoo and more. Through Dec. 20.
Celebrations in Light at Children’s Museum of Atlanta. Learn more about the science of snow, build snowmen, play Winter Weather Bingo, make crafts, and celebrate Hanukkah, Las Posadas, Christmas and Kwanzaa with special science activities and crafts. Dec. 1-30.
Victorian Holiday at Oakland Cemetery. Explore mausoleums decorated for the holidays, shop the Holiday Green Market and Pop-Up Shop, go on a scavenger hunt, and enjoy photo opportunities. Dec. 5-6.
Toys and Tea at The Ritz-Carlton. Families can enjoy tea, hot chocolate, a cookie decorating station and more as Santa and Mrs. Claus drop by for a visit. Dec. 5-6, 12-13, 20 and 22.
Holiday Bricktacular at LEGOLAND Discovery Center. View MINILAND’s Winter Wonderland, taste seasonal offerings at the Café, take home a festive holiday badge and more. Dec. 5-31.
All Aboard for Holiday Fun at The Southern Museum. Come in PJs to watch the “Polar Express,” see a winter-themed model train layout and more holiday activities. Dec. 12.
What’s Under the Tree? at Pickett’s Mill Battlefield Historic Site. Experience holiday decorating and festivities of an 1853 home. Dec. 12.
Holidays at World of Coca-Cola. Enjoy a winter wonderland with dazzling lights and larger-than-life decorations, taste seasonal beverages, smell festive aromas, take a holiday-themed tour of Coke ads and more. Through Jan. 1.
Holiday in the Park at Six Flags. View more than one million LED lights and dozens of Christmas trees, visit with Santa Claus and ride the park’s popular attractions. Through Jan. 3.
The Holiday Hunt at Oakland Cemetery. Test your sleuthing skills and solve riddles on this scavenger hunt. Choose from three levels of difficulty. Through Jan. 3.
Winter Wonderland at Fernbank Museum of Natural History. A season of celebrations from around the world, including trees and displays representing Christmas, Hanukkah and a variety of other cultures. Through Jan. 8.
Holiday Model Trains at Atlanta Botanical Garden. G scale choo-choo trains and a holiday trolley chug along seven tracks on this landscaped mountain layout with tunnels, a lake, bridges, a holiday workshop and more. Through Jan. 9.
Socially Distant Christmas Activities
Atlanta Festival of Lights at Atlantic Station. Drive through this light show with colorful displays, twinkling lights and holiday tunes. Dec. 1-Jan. 18.
Alliance Theatre’s A Christmas Carol: The Live Radio Play at Summerhill’s GSU Stadium. Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by ghosts on Christmas Eve who offer him a chance at a better future in this drive-in experience. Dec. 4-23.
Christmas Jubilee Drive-Thru Parade of Lights in Woodstock. See the holiday floats and light displays from the safety of your car. Dec. 5.
Christmas Parade in Covington. This special drive-by parade has stationary floats for you to enjoy from your car as you listen to bands perform. Dec. 5.
Sparkle Drive-Thru Parade in Sandy Springs. Drive through a winter wonderland with snow, music, elves, Santa and more to see beautiful parade floats. Dec. 6.
Drive-in Menorah Lighting at Logan Farm Park. Attendees will stay in or next to their vehicle during the menorah lighting ceremony. Dec. 10.
The Nutcracker at Aviation History and Technology Center. The classic story presented by The Georgia Ballet as a drive-in experience. Dec. 11-13.
Sleigh-In Movies at Buckhead Village. Grab a meal from a neighboring restaurant to watch holiday classics. Dec. 11-13.
Breakfast with Santa at Chick-fil-A Avalon. This drive-in breakfast includes a visit with Santa, holiday crafts and music. Dec. 12.
Merry Little Christmas Experience & Fireworks Show in Lawrenceville. Celebrate the season with a “Christmas Classic” drive-in movie and fireworks show. Dec. 12.
Classic Christmas Drive-In Movie at Lilburn City Hall. Enjoy a holiday movie from the comfort of your own car. Dec. 12.
Drive-In Chanukah at Ponce City Market. Hosted by Chabad Intown, experience a Chanukah celebration with a menorah lighting, films and dinner. Dec. 13.
Drive-Thru Christmas Pageant at Trinity Presbyterian Church. Watch the Christmas story come to life as children recreate familiar scenes from Bethlehem. Dec. 16.
Lights of Life at Life University. Drive through tons of holiday lights on display around the campus. Through Dec. 31.
Candy Rush at Six Flags White Water. See sugar plum fairies, a gigantic gingerbread village, Christmas characters and more at this mile-long drive-through show featuring nearly 2 million lights. Through Jan. 3.
Fun Under $5
Carriage Rides in Downtown Norcross. Ride through the charming downtown on a horse-drawn carriage and take in holiday lights. Dec. 1-23.
Festival of Trees in Acworth. See trees decorated by local families, businesses and organizations to take holiday photos. Dec. 4-Jan. 1.
Olde Town Christmas Party in Conyers. Celebrate the holidays with carriage rides and train rides, visits and photos with Santa, sweet treats, marshmallow-roasting, ice skating and more. Dec. 4.
Snow in Alpharetta. See a flurry of snow, life-sized nutcrackers and winter décor. Dec. 4, 11 and 18.
Holiday Art Walk in Kennesaw. See decorated ornaments, trees, snowflakes and snowmen from individuals and businesses. Dec. 4-28.
Back to Nature Holiday Market at Chattahoochee Nature Center. Shop for unique handmade gifts by local artisans, including eco-friendly candles, bath products, food and more. Dec. 5.
Christmas on Main Street in Fayetteville. Watch the tree lighting, and visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus at this annual event. Dec. 5.
Holiday Trees in Kennesaw. See the decorated trees in this holiday contest. Dec. 8-31.
Holiday Drive-In Movie at Roswell City Hall. See the holiday favorite “Elf” from the comfort of your own vehicle, and purchase holiday refreshments from food trucks. Dec. 19.
Christmas on the Farm at Southern Belle Farm. Sip on spiced apple cider, treat yourself to homemade cookies, and listen to Christmas carols. On the weekends, Santa comes to visit. Through Dec. 20.
Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops. Families can make Christmas memories including free pictures with Santa, crafts and activities. Through Dec. 24.
City Celebrations and Parades
“Coming Home for the Holidays” and Tree Lighting in Smyrna. Watch the annual parade with Santa lighting the giant Christmas tree, and listen to choral performances by local schools, community and church groups. Dec. 1.
Hometown Holidays Parade in Downtown Forsyth. This lighted parade spreads holiday cheer with decorations and music. Dec. 3.
Holiday on the Town in Brookhaven. Enjoy Brookhaven’s virtual holiday celebrations with “The Nutcracker,” Santa reading “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” menorah and tree lightings. Dec. 3, 10, 17 and 21.
Christmas Parade in Loganville. Welcome the holiday season with this annual Christmas parade themed “Groovy Christmas.” Dec. 5.
Peachtree City Hometown Holiday. Meet with Santa, listen to holiday music, participate in children’s activities, enjoy s’mores, watch the tree lighting and more. Dec. 5.
Children’s Christmas Parade. See the best floats, giant balloons and marching bands from the last 40 years of the parade. Dec. 6.
Sounding Off the Christmas Season in Auburn. Join Elsa, Anna, the Grinch, Santa and his live reindeer for photos and a holiday celebration. Dec. 6.
Grinchmas Party at Alpharetta Community Center. Party like the Grinch with good eats, crafts and decorations. Dec. 12.
The Grinch Saves Christmas. Donate a toy to support the Acworth Police Department’s Shop with a Cop program, visit the Grinch, and enjoy festive activities. Dec. 12.
Winter Wonderland in Halcyon. Listen to Christmas music, meet Anna, Elsa and Olaf, make crafts, get your face painted, sip on hot chocolate and more. Dec. 19.
Dance and Theater
Gift of the Magi 2.0 at Marietta Theatre in the Square. An Atlanta Streetcar driver struggling to make ends meet goes to great lengths to buy a Christmas gift for his wife in this adaptation of O. Henry’s holiday fable. Dec. 3-13.
Christmas Canteen at The Bowl at Sugar Hill. Celebrate the holiday spirit with songs, comic sketches and trips down memory lane presented by Aurora Theatre. Dec. 4-6.
It’s a Wonderful Life Radio Play at ACT1 Theater. Listen to the story of George Bailey as a live 1940s radio broadcast. Dec. 4-20.
A Legacy Holiday Special at The Legacy Theatre. Enjoy an evening of holiday songs, stories and laughter from co-owner and executive producer, Bethany Smith and friends. Through Dec. 6.
A Sugarloaf Ballet Christmas at Infinite Energy Center. This Christmas celebration includes a baroque ensemble playing classical Christmas tunes and The Nativity Ballet. Dec. 11-12.
Home for the Holidays. From Cobb County’s Anderson Theatre, watch a new live show that looks back at the best holiday performances from past years. Dec. 11-13.
Santa’s Missing Mail at Roswell Cultural Arts Center. When two bad guys decide to stop Christmas, there’s only one superhero who can help in this performance from All Hands Production. Dec. 16-19.
A Christmas Carol at Aurora Theatre. This traditional tale of Mr. Scrooge is presented as a one-man show. Dec. 16-23.
Hope for a Holiday Show at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center. Roam the beautiful grounds and enjoy a evening of dancing under the stars. Dec. 17-20.
This Wonderful Life from Aurora Theatre. Stream this adaptation of “It’s a Wonderful Life” as performed by one actor. Dec. 17-Jan. 1.
A Christmas Carol at Elm Street Cultural Arts Village. Celebrate the holidays with this Dickens classic where a miser learns the error of his ways. Dec. 18-24.
Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre’s Digital Dance: A Christmas Carol. This festive holiday premiere features an original score and amazing choreography. Dec. 18-Jan. 22.
Improvised Made-for-TV Christmas Movie. From Dad’s Garage, this improvised play narrates live Christmas movies, analyzing tropes and the love of holiday romances. Through Dec. 19.
Trouble in Toyland at Roswell Cultural Arts Center. On Christmas Eve, the toys aren’t finished, the elves are on strike, Santa’s lost his laugh and Rudolph has a runny nose. How will Christmas be saved? Dec. 21-22.
Dashing Through the Snow at OnStage Atlanta. It’s a hectic four days before Christmas in the tiny town of Tinsel, Texas in this holiday comedy. Through Dec. 22.
A Very Terry Christmas. Presented by the Alliance Theatre, this virtual program explores Atlanta’s destinations, holiday stories and songs with Broadway icon Terry Burrell. Through Dec. 31.
Stan the Lovesick Snowman at Center for Puppetry Arts. This puppet performance follows Stan falling in love with a wood-burning stove, while a young snowwoman swoons over him. Through Jan. 3.
Cartersville City Ballet’s The Nutcracker. This filmed presentation of the classic ballet takes place in iconic locations in Cartersville and Bartow County. Available in Dec.
Gwinnett Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker at Infinite Energy Center. Gwinnett Ballet Theatre performs the classic story of Clara and her toy soldier. Dec. 4-20.
The Nutcracker at Tolbert Yilmaz School of Dance. Students from the Roswell Dance Theatre and Tolbert Yilmaz School of Dance present the story of Clara falling into a dream world. Through Dec. 6.
The Nutcracker at Roswell Cultural Arts Center. Watch the Atlanta Dance Theatre perform “The Nutcracker,” or view the livestream. Dec. 11-13.
Georgia Metro. Dance Theatre’s The Nutcracker. Dolls and toys come to life in this magical tale, and travel to an exciting world with the Kingdom of Sweets in this performance shown on the big screen. Dec. 12-13.
Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker. Stream this holiday classic with dazzling costumes, stunning sets, creative puppets and soaring birds. Dec. 19-Jan. 1.
Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. Everyday objects become extraordinary in this beloved story with unique virtual and in-person experiences. Through Dec. 27.
25 Days of Christmas. Join the Atlanta Concert Band for a new piece of holiday music each day on YouTube, Facebook or Twitter. Dec. 1-25.
The Barefoot Movement Christmas Show at Buford Community Center. Watch this bluegrass band perform your holiday favorites. Dec. 4.
Carols by Candlelight at First Baptist Church Marietta. Kick off the Christmas season with this concert. Dec. 6.
Holly Dolly Christmas at Buford Community Center. Celebrate Christmas with a salute to Dolly Parton and her music. Dec. 11-12.
Christmas Festival Concert from Roswell United Methodist Church. From traditional carols to popular Christmas songs, enjoy a virtual concert filled with favorite holiday music. Dec. 11 and 13.
Christmas Festival Concerts at Gainesville First United Methodist Church. Listen to the Chancel Choir and Festival Orchestra present holiday music and carols. Dec. 13.
Warm Wishes: A Holiday Celebration from Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Enjoy classic holiday favorites and carols with vocalists Talise Trevigne and Russell Thomas. Dec. 17.
Joy to the World from Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Watch a festive performance from the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Brass Ensemble. Dec. 17.
Jaimee Paul & Leif Shires Christmas at Buford Community Center. Enjoy a jazz Christmas special from this talented duo. Dec. 18.
Also check out these Top Holiday Events Beyond Atlanta
Victorian Christmas at Hardman Farm Historic Site. See the mansion dressed in period holiday décor, and learn about Victorian Christmas traditions from the 1870s. Dec. 4-5, 11-12 and 18-19.
Santa Express at Blue Ridge Scenic Railway. Ride the train to enjoy a storytime, songs and a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus in their Christmas caboose. Through Dec. 23.
Mountain Country Christmas In Lights at Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds. Enjoy caroling, arts and crafts, food, lights, decorations and entertainment throughout the event. Through Dec. 26.
North Pole Limited at Tennessee Valley Railroad. This road-trip journey to the North Pole features refreshments, storytelling and sing-a-longs. Through Dec. 27.
The Polar Express Train Ride at Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. Journey through the wilderness for a special visit to the North Pole while enjoying warm cocoa and listening to the story. Through Dec. 31.
Fantasy in Lights at Callaway Gardens. Drive through more than eight million twinkling lights and a garden decorated for the season. Through Jan. 4.
Christmas at Biltmore at Biltmore Estate. Holiday décor, more than 55 Christmas trees, thousands of ornaments, holiday blooms and an evening illumination display. Through Jan. 10.
A Very Grinchy Christmas at Infinite Energy Center. Southern Ballet Theatre performs this production inspired by Dr. Seuss’ classic children’s story about the ultimate holiday hater. Nov. 21-22.
North Atlanta Dance Theatre’s The Nutcracker. Watch this beautiful production from the comfort of your own home. Nov. 21-22.
Holiday Celebration & Live Nativity at North Georgia Zoo. A nativity scene, Christmas music, hot chocolate and more. Nov. 27-28.
Santa & Snow Tubing in the Park at First Avenue Park. Visit with Santa and meet his reindeer, and go snow tubing on the slide. Nov. 27.
The Nutcracker at Infinite Energy Center. The Northeast Atlanta Ballet performs this holiday favorite following Clara and her Nutcracker prince through a magical land. Nov. 27-29.
The Nutcracker: Land of the Sweets at Roswell Cultural Arts Center. Follow Clara as she dreams of a dance battle between mice and soldiers in the Land of Sweets. Nov. 28-29.
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