Holiday Activities » Atlanta, GA

Holiday Activities in Atlanta, GA

The holiday season is about more than shopping, it's about spending time with loved ones and having a wintery blast! Here's the top ten ways to celebrate the season in Atlanta.
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Atlanta Botanical Garden

As if the Atlanta Botanical Garden wasn't beautiful enough, go there from mid-November to the beginning of January and see the gardens decked out in a million holiday lights. See an entire galaxy of stars in the woodland area, watch bees and butterflies made of lights in the edible garden and watch in wonder as the 200 color-changing topiary change in time to holiday music on the Great Lawn. And the garden isn't the only thing that's green during this holiday festival. The garden using energy-efficient lights "green energy" as well. The show also features an 18-foot-tall poinsetta tree as well as several wrapped trees throughout the garden. And if you get hungry, just stop by the garden cafe where hearty warming foods like soups and chilli are available, as well as the ever-popular holiday staple: hot cocoa. They also sell make your own s'mores kits that they encourage guests to make right there in the garden by the fires. So bundle up and grab some tickets to one of the most beauti

Festival of the SEAson

Celebrate the holidays at the world's largest aquarium throughout the month of December. The Georgia Aquarium's Festival of the SEAson is a relatively new attraction, but much like the 10 million gallon underwater world itself, has caught on fast and shows no sign of stopping soon. Enjoy musical performances from local choirs, visit with a seaside Santa at Santa's Bay, watch Christmas movies, and enjoy the sights of a festive Atlanta out the windows of the second floor where Santa's Bay is located. You can even enjoy the aquarium's own Scuba Claus. Not only does your ticket include all of these spectacular extras, but you also get to enjoy the beautiful aquarium while you visit. Take your family, your friends or a date to the aquarium this year and start a new holiday tradition that's bound to bring smiles to all faces for years to come.

Centennial Olympic Park

Every year Centennial Olympic Park transforms from a summer playground to a winter wonderland. At the beginning of November -- which is when Fall really starts in Atlanta -- the lights go up and the park is decked with thousands of tiny lights that stay up through Christmas. And just before Thanksgiving the ice rink opens up as well, staying open through the end of January. Atlanta's only outdoor ice skating rink, thousands flock to the park to get a real winter experience in a town where the holidays can often be warm and the Christmas' are rarely white.

The park is open daily from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m. -- including Christmas Day -- and there is no charge for admission. Typically hot chocolate can be found from local venders, so even if skating isn't you thing, grab a cup of cocoa and take a stroll through the 21 twinkling acres at Centennial Olympic Park.

The Nutcracker Ballet

For over 50-years, Atlanta Ballet's The Nutcracker has been thrilling audiences at The Fabulous Fox Theatre. The annual event begins just after Thanksgiving and goes through December 24. For two-hours, visitors are lost in a world where toys come to life and a brave little girl and her trusty nutcracker must defeat the Mouse King before living happily ever after. A tradition for many, the ballet company never fails to bewitch audiences. Choreographed by John McFall, with music by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsry, and vocals provided by the Atlanta Youth Choir, the performance is not one to be missed.

It also allows for a little dress up around the holidays. Get fancy with a date and enjoy one of the many restaurants around The Fox before settling in for the show. Bring a designated driver and have a couple of drinks during the performance with some girlfriends, or bring your kids to start a family tradition all your own.

Holiday Performances at Underground Atlanta

Enjoy free music, a chance to get some holiday shopping done and even visit with Santa Dee -- The Real Black Santa -- at Underground Atlanta. Beginning mid-November through Christmas Eve, there are regular concerts of holiday music from local choirs and school choruses to entertain shoppers as they browse through the stores in the historic former train station, on the look-out for that perfect present. For pictures, Santa Dee's workshop is open near the information booth inside Underground Atlanta. Picture prices vary and so does the Santa, but all have their own special flare that makes for a perfect picture for you or your kids. Open Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. and Sunday from 12-5 p.m., plan to spend the day "underground." Along with the holiday happenings and shopping, there are also tons of places to eat and usually some street performers to keep everyone entertained. And you can't beat the mural gazing just outside the station.