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20 Festive Ways To Celebrate Christmas In Atlanta

Victoria Green

If you’re looking to spend Christmas in Atlanta, you might wonder what kind of holiday events and activities you can attend.

Atlanta, Georgia isn’t known for its freezing temperatures and snowy Christmases, but we still know how to celebrate. 

We’ve created a festive list of all our fun Christmas activities, from exciting stuff for the kids and family-friendly excursions to brilliant concerts and shows.

There are many Christmas activities in Atlanta throughout December, and the city is bustling. 

Whether it’s outdoor activities, Christmas lights, or good food and drink you’re after, we have it all. You’ll find plenty of events, places to visit, and Christmas things to do in Atlanta.

20 Festive Ways To Celebrate Christmas In Atlanta 

Here are our favorite ways to experience Christmas in Atlanta! They are sure to bring out the holiday cheer in you and your family!

1. Taste Authentic German Food at the German Christkindl Market

the German Christkindl Market is one of the popular things to do in Atlanta for Christmas
the German Christkindl Market is one of the popular things to do in Atlanta for Christmas

Always a popular event for those looking for things to do in Atlanta for Christmas, the German Christkindl Market is an annual favorite, offering you the best in authentic German food and drink. Grab a chimney cake and some roasted nuts and enjoy shopping for the best Christmas gifts.

With carolers, Santa, and a massive range of food, drinks, and crafts, you’ll have no trouble getting into the Christmas Spirit. The market opens daily at noon and closes at 8 pm, and admission is free.

2. Treat Yourself to Christmas-themed Cocktails at Miracle Pop-Up Bar

Treat Yourself to Christmas-themed Cocktails at Miracle Pop-Up Bar for a Festive Christmas in Atlanta

Atlanta’s own festive-themed pop-up cocktail bar gives you the kitschiest, most fabulous way to experience Christmas in Atlanta. 

Filled with nostalgic, over-the-top décor and presenting festive cocktails, Miracle is sure to get you in a cheerful mood.

Open from late November to late December, Miracle pop-up bar is an experience that shouldn’t be missed if you want to try their famous cocktails like Bad Santa and Elfing Around. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis, so pop into the pop-up and get jolly. 

3. Enjoy A Christmas Carol at the Alliance Theatre

Enjoy a Festive Christmas in Atlanta by listening to Christmas Carolers in Alliance Theatre
Enjoy a Festive Christmas in Atlanta by listening to Christmas Carolers in Alliance Theatre

What would the holiday season be without Dickens’ famous A Christmas Carol

Every year, the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta puts on one of the most iconic and memorable performances of this Holiday Classic.

A Christmas Carol will wow you with fresh takes, fantastic set design, and gorgeous costumes. 

With an impressive cast and a musical score, this is a sure-fire way to enjoy Christmas in Atlanta.

The Alliance Theatre has been hosting performances since 1968 and is proudly part of the Atlanta community.

4. Have Family Fun at the Atlanta Christmas Parade

Marchers in a Christmas parade wearing striped tights

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta organizes a yearly children’s parade to celebrate the season. 

Recently they’ve changed plans and will now celebrate the start of Christmas in Atlanta with a new favorite holiday tradition filled with fun events for the whole family. From December 2021, the new event will be the Lighting at Colony Square celebration.

It will include all the old favorites of the traditional parade, such as bands and dance group performances, along with Breakfast with Santa and the Colony Square season ice rink. 

DJs, bands, face painting, balloon art, and the tree lighting ceremony will be part of the attractions. 

5. Go Snow Tubing at Stone Mountain

Snow tubing is one of the festive ways to celebrate Christmas in Atlanta

The seasonal Snow Mountain at Stone Mountain offers tube runs and sledding hills, snow play areas, and a snowman center. 

The park also has many live holiday events, shopping, and entertainment, so grab a day ticket and enjoy!

The Snow Mountain experience usually runs from Late November through February and offers all the winter fun you could want—a real holiday treat for your family.

From huge tubes coasting down Avalanche Alley to smaller hills for the little ones like Little Angels Hills, and even nighttime Galactic Snow Tubing with music and lights, there’s sure to be something to get everyone excited.

6. Enjoy a Hot Chocolate at ChocoLate Coffee

Enjoying a hot Chocolate at ChocoLate Coffee is one of the best ways to celebrate Christmas in Atlanta

ChocoLate is a great place to grab a coffee, but if you’re in the mood for decadent hot chocolate to warm you up, you can’t go wrong here. 

While Christmas in Atlanta may not get very cold, we still love having hot chocolate, and this friendly, local café makes a range of hot and cold drinks.

Grab a pastry or dessert, a mug of creamy hazelnut Host Chocolate, and settle down in one of their comfy sofas when you need to take a break from your Christmas shopping. 

With two venues in the Metro area, you’re bound to find a warming drink to perk you up.

7. Rejoice in Christmas Carols with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Listening to Atlanta Symphony Orchestra play is one of the timeless holiday tradition of Christmas in Atlanta

Enjoy the timeless holiday tradition of Christmas in Atlanta with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus as they perform classic hymns and carols. 

Experience the ASO versions of old and new Christmas songs, including delightful sing-alongs at Atlanta Symphony Hall.

Enjoy a celebration that has been running annually since the 1970s and has become an Atlanta tradition filled with holiday magic and arrangements of Christmas carols and stories. This collection of carols and hymns will fill you with a joyful Christmas spirit.

8. Go Skating at Ponce City Rooftop Market

Skating at Ponce City Rooftop Market is a fun way to celebrate Christmas in Atlanta

Located in the Old Fourth Ward – a charming historic district — The Roof is an Atlanta amusement park and entertainment center with seasonally-themed events. Their annual winter event boats outdoor dining igloos and a ‘Skate the Sky’ ice rink.

With markets selling vendor-only products, eating and drinking areas, and fun games for the family, this is a definite day out for your Christmas vacation. 

Friday and Saturday nights feature ice skating discos for the over 21s, with live DJs.

A daily ticket for The Roof runs from$7 for kids to $15 for adults.

9. Marvel at the Botanical Garden Lights

Holiday lights on display at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens
Holiday lights on display at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens – Rob Hainer / Shutterstock

Experience the dazzling beauty of stunning light displays set in the gorgeous Atlanta Botanical Garden

This annual ticketed holiday light display is not to be missed, and is a fantastic way to spend a winter evening and offers many sights.

With nearly two billion lights used to create these shimmering, fantastical exhibitions, you can easily spend hours wandering through this wonderland. 

This is a splendid way for families to enjoy Christmas activities in Atlanta as you stroll together down twisting paths of lights.

You can watch the model trains chuff by as they loop through the Christmas-decorated display or see the orbs light up and pulse in musical patterns.

10. Explore Stone Mountain’s Christmas Display

The imposing Stone Mountain Park in Atlanta, Georgia

Stone Mountain Park offers an excellent place for recreation and exploration, with adventure and hiking trails suitable for all ages and a Skyride trip up the mountain. 

In winter, the park plays host to seasonal celebrations, with additional nights of music, thousands of lights, and shows.

Stone Mountain Park is a fabulous family event with holiday shows filled with sing-alongs, Christmas light displays, Santa’s Big Flight, and A Christmas parade. 

Little ones can visit Santa Claus and meet holiday favorites like Rudolph, experience a scenic ride on the railroad, and thrill at the light displays.

11. Tour the Governor’s Mansion and Tree Lighting

Lighted Christmas Trees Outdoors

The Georgia Governer’s Mansion has group tours available, as well as seasonal Holiday tours, which include Christmas lighting. 

For a bit of history and culture, this is one for those who love antiques and exploring the past.

Public tours are usually only available between February and October, but special Christmas tours are available to see the lighting of the governor’s tree. 

Booking usually includes the lighting ceremony, a tour, and some light refreshments, so check the website for ticket availability. 

12. Ice Skate On A Seasonal Outdoor Rink

A couple skating in an outdoor skating rink

If ice skating at the top of a rooftop isn’t for you, you can try some outdoor skating instead. 

Every year the Sugar Hill Ice Rink sets up a rink from November through to February, where you can experience outdoor skating on a properly frozen rink.

If you’re looking for Christmas activities in Atlanta, go skate with the Have an Ice Day rink downtown Sugar Hill. 

If you don’t have skates, rental is available, with free rental for specific groups like Scouts in uniform and military. Skate to music, get lessons, and have fun this Christmas.

13. Drive Through The Holiday Lights at Atlantic Station

Dramatic scene at the Atlantic Station at dusk in Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta, Georgia, USA city skyline from Atlantic station at dusk with autumn foliage.

Atlanta’s most popular drive-through light display is an excellent way to tour an incredible, dazzling light show, with lights inspired by holiday movies and a mini Atlanta neighborhood.

You can also do walking tours of the Holiday Lights show on Thursday nights if you prefer to take a festive stroll. 

With a drive-thru, you can experience the light displays whatever the weather, and the drive takes around 18-25 minutes.

Afterward, grab a festive bite at the restaurants in Atlantic Station.

14. Take the Perfect Festive Instagram pic at Santa’s Fantastical

A young girl with painted face posing for a picture

Looking for the perfect festival pic for Instagram – then head to Santa’s Fantastical

A unique interactive experience that uses art and technology creates a fantasy holiday world filled with light shows, rocket sleighs, strange creatures, and a face paint studio as you journey to the North Pole.

Santa’s Fantastical will have you returning to your childhood in a dream-like sense of wonder and is perfect for family fun or adult events. It makes a wonderful holiday fun event to add to your calendar.

Grab a seasonal pass, visit as often as you like, or get a day ticket. Prices vary depending on the day, so check in advance.

15. Go on a Winter Carriage Ride in Downtown Norcross

A horse-drawn carriage in an alley

Norcross offers free carriage rides through the village streets as part of their winter market festival. The carriage rides are offered on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights from 6:30-8:30, so be sure to dress warmly.

You couldn’t ask for a more nostalgic, fairytale way to celebrate the festive holidays than riding in an illuminated carriage drawn by a pair of white horses. You can also grab a photo with Santa in the market afterward.

Check the annual Norcross event listings for updated times for this recurring Christmas event.

16. Chill at Lake Lanier Christmas Lakeside Experience

Lake Lanier is one of the best day trips from Atlanta

For a full day and evening of family fun, drive to Lake Lanier – about an hour north of Atlanta. There you will find activities ranging from snow tubing at Snow Island, visiting with Santa and his elves, or taking a long evening walk through their seasonal light show.

Margaritaville’s Lakeside Lights Spectacular will wow you with its gorgeous illuminated display, taking you on a winter wonderland adventure with carnival rides, ice skating, and snowball fights.

One of the best winter holiday attractions in South East Georgia, Lake Lanier has something for everyone, whether you want outdoor fun or are in the mood to toast s’mores by the firepits.

17. Explore History in the Marietta Pilgrimage Christmas Home Tour

Welcoming Christmas decorations by the door

Intrigued by the idea of getting a peek inside five historical private homes – then book a ticket for the annual Marietta Pilgrimage Christmas Home Tour

For season five, gorgeously restored homes are opened to the public and decorated with Christmas cheer.

Suppose you’re looking for more historical Christmas activities in Atlanta. This is a perfect opportunity to glimpse these stunningly restored homes and several historic public buildings.

You may visit the tour homes in any order you prefer, but please note that this event is unsuitable for children under eight, who are not permitted.

18. See Santa at the Marietta Square

Beautiful flowers in Marietta Square in Atlanta, Georgia

Marietta Square also hosts many other Christmas activities, and although it is a city, many consider it a suburb of Atlanta. 

With yuletide balls, Christmas markets, and festive high teas, there are loads of fun things to do with the family.

Visiting Santa is a must for the little ones, so take your children to see Santa, and you’ll find him at the Marietta Museum of History during the holiday season.

19. Snuggle Up For Winter Cocktails In A Pop-Up Igloo

close up Shot of a pop-up igloo

The newly created seasonal pop-up garden bar, Wonderland at Willow, is an amazing little place to grab festive cocktails in a cozy outdoor igloo. 

With delicious nipples and a winter-festivities-inspired drinks menu, you’ll find this the perfect place to chat and hang out for a merry hour or two.

Igloos are by booking only and can be booked for a maximum of two hours. Located in the Kimpton Sylvan Hotel Willow bar, you’ll need to ensure you book an outside table to get an igloo.

This pop-up bar will become a favorite with comfortable seating, warm knit blankets, and a custom record player that lets you spin your soundtrack. Be aware that igloo reservations require a minimum $50 bill per person.

20. Catch a Christmas Extravaganza at the Fox Theatre

Performers bowing after the show

The Fox Theatre always has something special for its Christmas performance, so if you want to catch a fantastic show and be dazzled by circus artistry, musical numbers, and exuberant family entertainment, head to the theatre.

Christmas in Atlanta inspires a show that will give you glamor, whimsy, and delight and will be first-rate fun for the little ones and their parents alike. 

Check out the Fox Theatre timetable for updates on these and other Christmas-themed shows over the holiday season.

Did you enjoy reading about Christmas in Atlanta? Then share the holiday spirit (and this post) with your dear friends and help us spread the word. After all, Atlanta Christmastime is unique, and everyone should experience it once!