Atlanta has so many things to do during the holidays from festive shows to Holiday Christmas events and Santa appearances. Check out our lists of Best Christmas Light and Tree Displays, 30+ Places to Meet Santa Around Atlanta, Best Ice Skating Rinks Around AtlantaBest Things to Do for Hanukkah Fun in Atlanta, Cut Your Own Christmas Tree Farms, Favorite Holiday Craft Shows and Markets, and Holiday Events Beyond AtlantaThese top-notch attractions and events are fun for the whole family:

Please check websites for COVID-19 safety procedures or cancellations.

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Rare Puppets and the Return of Rudolph

The Center for Puppetry Arts is thrilled to announce the return of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer™ live and in-person. This faithful adaptation of the beloved 1964 stop-motion special speaks to the misfit in all of us. This year, on exhibition for the first time since 2006, are rare puppets from the original Rankin & Bass production! Through Jan. 2.

Deck the Hall This Holiday

The Chick-Fil-A College Football Hall of Fame is the perfect place to celebrate the season! This December, the Hall lights up with bright holiday decorations and holiday cheer! Santa and his Elf will be at the Hall on Friday, December 3, from noon-2 p.m., with gifts for all fans, courtesy of the Georgia Festival of Trees.

The Most Sparkling Time of the Year

“Sparkle! A Celebration of Kids, Creativity and Magic” returns to the City of Norcross with activities, including a tree lighting on December 3. Enjoy carols performed by the local choir, hot chocolate, s’mores and “Jingle All the Way” on the big screen.

Magical Moments in Light

Holiday Road – Atlanta’s newest family tradition – is an entertaining half-mile outdoor, immersive walking experience set in the natural beauty of the Chattahoochee Hills and the HorseMansion at Bouckaert Farm. The trail reveals thousands of illuminated lights, larger-than-life installations, and iconic scenes to include all winter holiday celebrations. Nov. 26-Jan. 2.

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. 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. 24-Feb. 27.

Charming Holiday Puppet Shows

Don’t miss the delightful Roswell Winter Puppet Series at the Roswell Cultural Arts Center this winter! In “Santa’s Missing Mail,” Ominous Crook and his  sidekick, Skellmutt, are out to stop Christmas by stealing Santa’s mail. Dec. 17-18. See hilarious holiday hijinks in “North Pole Fa La La La Follies” – Santa has lost his laugh, the elves are on strike, and Rudolph has a runny nose. Dec. 21-22.

Holiday Overnight Fun Like Nowhere Else

Lakeside fun is year-round at Lanier Islands in Buford! This beautiful resort hosts a myriad of lakeside holiday activities. Join them this year for an ultimate overnight stay with the Ultimate Santa Package which includes your room, an Elf Tuck In with a bedtime story, cookies and milk, and a holiday breakfast buffet with a visit with Santa included.

Special Events

Holiday Luminosity at LakePoint Sports. Watch an indoor laser light show timed to festive holiday music. Nov. 26-27.

Holiday Road at The HorseMansion at Bouckaert Farm. This trail reveals thousands of illuminated lights, larger-than-life installations and iconic scenes to include all winter holiday celebrations. Nov. 26-Jan. 2.

Winterland at Illuminarium Atlanta. In this immersive experience, guests step into an interactive winter palace, where holiday animals respond to movement and sound, a frozen waterfall becomes the Northern Lights and ephemeral creatures roam the forests. Nov. 26-Jan. 2.

Christmas on the Farm at Southern Belle Farm. Sip on spiced apple cider, treat yourself to homemade cookies, listen to Christmas carols, and visit with Santa comes to visit. Nov. 27-Dec. 23.

Deck the Hall at Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame. Visit with Santa and his Elf, take photos in the photo booth, play like a legend on the 45-yard field, engage with exciting interactive exhibits, and go “caroling” with your school’s fight song. Dec. 3.

Celebrations in Light at Children’s Museum of Atlanta. Celebrate Hanukkah, Las Posadas, Christmas and Kwanzaa with special performances, storytimes and crafts. Dec. 5, 11, 18 and 26.

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. 11.

Grinchmas Party at Alpharetta Community Center. Party like the Grinch with good eats, crafts and decorations. Dec. 11.

Breakfast with the Grinch at Acworth Community Center. Enjoy breakfast with the Grinch, themed ornaments and crafts. Dec. 11.

Holidays on the 1860’s Home Front at Pickett’s Mill Battlefield Historic Site. Experience holiday decorating and festivities of the past. Dec. 18.

Stone Mountain Christmas at Stone Mountain Park. Immerse yourself in holiday magic with festive music, dazzling lights, spectacular shows, holiday characters and more. Through Jan. 2.

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. 2.

The Holiday Hunt at Oakland Cemetery. Test your sleuthing skills and solve riddles on this scavenger hunt. Through Jan. 2.

Holidays at World of Coca-Cola. Enjoy a winter wonderland with dazzling lights and larger-than-life decorations, taste seasonal beverages, smell festive aromas, a scavenger hunt and more. Through Jan. 7.

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. 9.

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. 15.

IllumiNights at the Zoo at Zoo Atlanta. Wildlife lights the night at this Chinese lantern festival with more than 80 lanterns. Through Jan. 16.

Lakeside Lights Spectacular at Margaritaville at Lanier Islands. Go on a magical walk through an amazing light show set to festive seasonal music. Through Feb. 27.

Socially Distant Christmas Activities

Lights of Life at Life University. Drive through tons of holiday lights on display around the campus. Nov. 25-Dec. 31.

Drive-Thru Christmas Pageant at Trinity Presbyterian Church. Watch the Christmas story come to life as children recreate familiar scenes from Bethlehem. Dec. 12.

World of Illumination’s Rockin’ Christmas at Six Flags White Water. See a gorgeous light show choreographed to music at this mile-long drive-through show. Through Jan. 2.

World of Illumination’s Arctic Adventure at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Travel to the arctic, listen to music, and enjoy holiday lights. Through Jan. 2.

Fun Under $5

Winter House at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center. Celebrate the holidays with art activities, lights, decorations, s’mores, Santa, workshops and more. Nov. 26-Dec. 11.

Sugar Plum Fairy Forest at Buckhead Village. Take photos underneath floral canopies, paper trees and flowers, and visit with sugar ballerinas each Saturday. Nov. 26-Dec. 18.

Holiday Family Portraits at Gwinnett Historic Courthouse. Take family pictures in one of the beautifully decorated rooms. Nov. 29-Dec. 22.

Holiday Tree Celebration at The Point. Peruse the trees decorated by local charities and vote for your favorite. Nov. 29-Dec. 27.

Season of Celebration in Alpharetta. See a flurry of snow, carolers, Santa and more. Dec. 3, 10 and 17.

Carriage Rides in Downtown Norcross. Ride through the charming downtown on a horse-drawn carriage and take in holiday lights. Dec. 3-24.

Holiday Art Walk in Kennesaw. See decorated ornaments, trees, snowflakes and snowmen from individuals and businesses. Dec. 3-27.

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. 4.

Victorian Holiday at Oakland Cemetery. Explore mausoleums decorated for the holidays, shop the Pop-Up Shop, go on mini tours, and enjoy photo opportunities. Dec. 4-5.

Merry Little Christmas Experience & Fireworks Show in Lawrenceville. Celebrate the season with holiday festivities and a fireworks show. Dec. 11.

Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops. Families can make Christmas memories including free pictures with Santa, crafts and activities. Through Dec. 24.

Find more free and cheap holiday celebrations here.

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. Nov. 30.

Hometown Holidays Parade in Downtown Forsyth. This lighted parade spreads holiday cheer with decorations and music. Dec. 2.

Sparkle! A Celebration of Kids, Creativity and Magic in Norcross. Enjoy carols performed by the local choir, hot chocolate, s’mores, Santa, a tree lighting and “Jingle All the Way” on the big screen. Dec. 3.

Christmas Jubilee Parade of Lights in Woodstock. See the holiday floats and enjoy festive activities after the parade. Dec. 4.

Christmas Parade in Loganville. Welcome the holiday season with this annual Christmas parade. Dec. 4.

The Lighting at Colony Square. Enjoy street performers, face painting, live reindeer, Santa, a tree lighting and more. Dec. 4.

Peachtree City Hometown Holiday. Meet with Santa, listen to holiday music, enjoy holiday treats, watch the tree lighting and more. Dec. 4.

Holiday Kick-Off Celebration & Santa Arrival at Halcyon. Listen to holiday entertainment by local musicians, dancers and singers, take photos with Santa and other characters, make ornaments and more. Dec. 4.

Christmas Parade in Covington. This parade will celebrate Newton County’s bicentennial. Dec. 4.

Christmas on Main Street in Fayetteville. Enjoy the Christmas parade and market. Dec. 4.

Conyers Christmas Parade. Celebrate the holidays with this parade. Dec. 4.

Sparkle in Sandy Springs. See beautiful parade floats, the tree lighting, a menorah lighting and miniature village. Dec. 5.

Christmas on Green Street in Gainesville. See a parade of antique cars, holiday floats, marching bands and community groups, go on a miniature train ride, watch the tree lighting and more. Dec. 5.

Christmas Parade in Newnan. The 2021 theme is Parade of Lights. Dec. 11.

Sounding Off the Christmas Season in Auburn. Join Elsa, Anna, the Grinch, Santa and his live reindeer for photos and a holiday celebration. Dec. 12.

Classic Christmas Drive-In Movie at Lilburn City Hall. Enjoy a holiday movie from the comfort of your own car. Dec. 18.

Winter Wonderland at Halcyon. Listen to Christmas music, meet Anna, Elsa and Olaf, make crafts, play with snow, sip on hot chocolate and more. Dec. 18.

Dance and Theater

Christmas Canteen at Lawrenceville Arts Center Courtyard. Celebrate the holiday spirit with songs, comic sketches and trips down memory lane. Nov. 26-Dec. 23.

A Tuna Christmas at OnStage Atlanta. A small town’s annual Christmas Yard Display Contest is under threat when a mysterious villain is vandalizing the yard displays. Dec. 2-19.

Black Nativity: A Gospel Christmas Musical Experience at Ferst Center for the Arts. See the journey of Mary and Joseph as they travel to Bethlehem set to a repertoire of old-fashioned spirituals. Dec. 2-19.

A Sugarloaf Ballet Christmas at Gas South Theater. This Christmas celebration includes a baroque ensemble playing classical Christmas tunes and The Nativity Ballet. Dec. 3-4.

A Christmas Carol at Stage Door Theatre. On Christmas Eve in 1850, Scrooge finds himself visited by several ghosts who give him a chance to escape his fate. Dec. 3-19.

White Christmas: The Musical at ACT1 Theater. Based on the beloved film, this heartwarming adaptation features 17 Irving Berlin songs. Dec. 3-19.

A Christmas Carol at Woodstock Arts. Celebrate the holidays with this Dickens classic where a miser learns the error of his ways. Dec. 3-24.

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas at Aurora Theatre. Piccadilly Puppets presents the classic holiday poem through the eyes of a mouse who was an eyewitness to the whole affair. Dec. 4.

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol at Shakespeare Tavern. On a fateful Christmas Eve, Scrooge will learn the meaning of Christmas spirit with song and holiday cheer. Dec. 4-23.

The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Musical at Fox Theatre. This music and dance spectacle transports audiences to the North Pole for a glimpse of the magical lives of Santa’s Scout Elves. Dec. 5.

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. Through Dec. 5.

A Christmas Carol: An OSA Limited Special Event at OnStage Atlanta. Enjoy a special performance of “A Christmas Carol from OnStage Atlanta. Dec. 6-18.

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical at Fox Theatre. Dr. Seuss’ classic holiday tale comes to life on stage with the hit songs. Dec. 7-12.

Réveiller: A Holiday Cirque Show at Aurora Theatre. The Akrosphere Aerial & Circus Arts dazzle with a holiday cirque-style show. Dec. 9-11.

Our Common Joy at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center. This show from the Callanwolde School of Dance celebrates the holidays under starlit skies. Dec. 10-11.

Marley Was Dead, To Begin With at Kennesaw State University’s Dance Theatre. This festive holiday ballet from Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre features an original score and amazing choreography. Dec. 10-12.

A Christmas Tradition at Strand Theatre. This holiday revue features costumed singers and dancers performing traditional and funky Christmas favorites. Dec. 10-23.

Holiday Juggling Show at Aurora Theatre. This comic juggling show celebrates holiday traditions around the world. Dec. 11.

Santa’s Missing Mail at Roswell Cultural Arts Center. When two bad guys decide to stop Christmas by stealing Santa’s mail, there’s only one superhero who can help in this performance from All Hands Production. Dec. 17-18.

Irving Berlin’s White Christmas: In Concert at Jennie T. Anderson Theatre. A successful song-and-dance duo travel to a Vermont lodge, which happens to be owned by their former army commander, to try and find love. Dec. 17-19.

Trouble in Toyland at Aurora Theatre. Presented by Lee Bryan, this puppet production follows a disastrous holiday season, as the toys aren’t finished, the elves are on strike, Santa’s lost his laugh, and Rudolph has a runny nose. Dec. 18.

The North Pole Fa La La La Follies at Roswell Cultural Arts Center. This puppet performance from Lee Bryan shows a disastrous Christmas Eve with unfinished toys, a cheerless Santa and a sick Rudolph. Dec. 21-22.

Cirque Dreams Holidaze at Fox Theatre. Celebrate the holiday spirit with a Broadway-style musical infused with contemporary circus artistry. Dec. 23-24.

A Christmas Carol at Alliance Theatre. Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by ghosts on Christmas Eve who offer him a chance at a better future in this reimagined experience. Through Dec. 24.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer at Center for Puppetry Arts. Based on the beloved 1964 stop-motion special, see Rudolph and his misfit friends learn that it’s okay for them to be exactly who they are. Through Jan. 2.

The Nutcracker

The Nutcracker at Gas South. The Northeast Atlanta Ballet performs this holiday favorite following Clara and her Nutcracker prince through a magical land. Nov. 26-28.

The Nutcracker at Georgia Metro. Dance Theatre. 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. Nov. 26-28.

The Nutcracker at Byers Theatre. Students from the Roswell Dance Theatre present the story of Clara falling into a dream world. Nov. 26-Dec. 5.

Atlanta Ballet 2 Performance at Buckhead Village. Enjoy selections from “The Nutcracker,” “Snow White” and more. Nov. 27.

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. 27-28.

The Nutcracker at Jennie T. Anderson Theatre. The classic story presented by The Georgia Ballet and their live orchestra. Dec. 2-5.

The Nutcracker at Blessed Trinity Performing Arts Theater. The Fleetwood Dance Theater returns to the stage for a magical experience. Dec. 3-5.

Cartersville City Ballet’s The Nutcracker at The Grand Theatre. This presentation of the classic ballet From Cartersville City Ballet. Dec. 3-5.

Gwinnett Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker at Gas South District. Gwinnett Ballet Theatre performs the classic story of Clara and her toy soldier on their 40th anniversary. Dec. 4-19.

Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. This fantastic production features larger-than-life sets, bold costumes, video projections and more. Dec. 4-29.

The Nutcracker at Roswell Cultural Arts Center. Watch the Atlanta Dance Theatre perform “The Nutcracker.” Dec. 11-12.

Southern Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker at Aurora Theatre. View this timeless tale of Clara’s journey to a magical land. Dec. 16-19.

Check out more performances here.

Music and Concerts

Home Alone in Concert with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Atlanta Symphony Hall. This beloved Christmas comedy is accompanied by a live score performance from the orchestra. Nov. 26-28.

Joy to the World from Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Watch a festive performance featuring special guests, Atlanta musicians and Georgia State University Singers and benefiting five ministries in the US. Nov. 29.

Mike Farris Sings! The Soul of Christmas at Buford Community Center. This Christmas show features high-energy soul, classic ballads and surprises. Dec. 3.

Handel’s Messiah presented by The Lanier Chamber Singers at Gainesville First United Methodist Church. Listen to The Lanier Chamber Singers present the Christmas portion of “Messiah” with soloists and chamber orchestra. Dec. 4.

Georgia Symphony Orchestra Presents Holiday Pops at Marietta Performing Arts Center. Sing along to holiday favorites, and a special guest in a red suit may appear! Dec. 4.

Christmas at the Centre at The Nixon Centre for the Arts. Listen to the sounds of the season with the Masterworks Chorale and The Gate City Brass Ensemble. Dec. 5.

Carols by Candlelight at First Baptist Church Marietta. Kick off the Christmas season with this concert. Dec. 5-6.

Christmas with the ASO at Atlanta Symphony Hall. Join the Orchestra and Chorus for Christmas carols and hymns. Dec. 9 and 11.

Christmas Festival Concert at Roswell United Methodist Church. From traditional carols to popular Christmas songs, enjoy a virtual concert filled with favorite holiday music. Dec. 10 and 12.

Spivey Hall Children’s Choir Holiday Concert at Clayton State University. This children’s choir joyfully welcomes the holiday season featuring sing-a-longs. Dec. 10-12.

Marietta Pops Holiday Concert at First Baptist Church Marietta. Hear traditional holiday classics from a full symphonic orchestra. Dec. 11.

Christmas Concert: Atlanta Christmas Extravaganza at Taylor-Brawner Park. This eight piece band brings the holiday spirit with Christmas music ranging from traditional, spiritual and pop. Dec. 11.

Atlanta Concert Band at Mount Vernon Presbyterian Church. Join the Atlanta Concert Band for holiday music. Dec. 12.

Strand Ole Opry’s Country Christmas at Strand Theatre. A bluegrass concert of holiday music featuring merry singers and traditional southern storytellers. Dec. 16.

Handel’s Messiah at Atlanta Symphony Hall. This special performance will feature the Orchestra and the Chamber Chorus with Handel’s celebrated “Messiah.” Dec. 17-18.

John Driskell Hopkins Christmas at Buford Community Center. Celebrate Christmas with John Driskell Hopkins, a founding member, vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter of the Zac Brown Band. Dec. 18.

A Kids’ Christmas at Johns Creek United Methodist Church. Johns Creek Symphony Orchestra performs this sensory-friendly holiday concert with seasonal songs, sing-alongs and more. Dec. 18.

Emmanuel Christmas Cantata at Gas South District. Individuals and church choirs commemorate and celebrate the birth of Jesus with music. Dec. 22.

The Nativity

Bethlehem Walk at Mountain View United Methodist Church. Walk through the streets of Bethlehem to haggle with shopkeepers, sign the census, sample hot cider, and find God’s most precious gift. Dec. 4-6.

Nativities Exhibit at The Episcopal Church of the Epiphany. See nativity scenes from around the world and made from different materials. Dec. 4-12.

Walk Through Bethlehem at Simpsonwood Park. Walk through this outdoor nativity scene with Roman guards, shopkeepers and live animals. Dec. 10-12.

Beyond Atlanta

Also, check out these Top Holiday Events Beyond Atlanta.

Mountain Country Christmas In Lights at Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds. Enjoy caroling, arts and crafts, food, lights, decorations and entertainment throughout the event. Nov. 25-Dec. 23.

Holiday Express at Blue Ridge Scenic Railway. Ride the train to enjoy a storytime, songs and holiday festivities. Nov. 26-Dec. 23.

Holiday Celebration & Live Nativity at North Georgia Zoo. A nativity scene, Christmas music, hot chocolate and more. Nov. 27.

Winter WonderLights at State Botanical Garden of Georgia. This walk-thru light show extravaganza features 11 illuminated displays, including a multi-colored light tunnel. Dec. 1-30.

Candy Cane Express at Historic SAM Shortline. Take a scenic trip from Georgia Veterans State Park over Lake Blackshear and the rolling farm lands of south Georgia as Santa stops by to check his list. Dec. 3-4.

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. 3-4, 10-11 and 17-18.

North Pole Limited at Tennessee Valley Railroad. This road-trip journey to the North Pole features refreshments, storytelling and sing-a-longs. Through Dec. 23.

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 Jan. 1.

Enchanted Garden of Lights at Rock City. Guests can walk through four themed areas of holiday lights and activities, including Yule Town and North Pole Village. Through Jan. 2.

Fantasy in Lights at Callaway Gardens. Drive through more than eight million twinkling lights and a garden decorated for the season. Through Jan. 3.

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. 9.


Past events:

Parade of Lights at Atlantic Station. Kick off the holidays with this lighted parade at dusk. Nov. 6.

North Atlanta Dance Theatre’s The Nutcracker. Watch this beautiful production of Clara, th Nutcracker and the Sugar Plum Fairy. Nov. 12-14.

Jingle Mingle in Gainesville. Celebrate the holiday spirit with shopping, live music, carriage rides, train rides, Santa, the grand lighting of the chicken and more. Nov. 20.

A Very Grinchy Christmas at Gas South Theater. Southern Ballet Theatre performs this production inspired by Dr. Seuss’ classic children’s story about the ultimate holiday hater. Nov. 20-21.

Once Upon a Holiday at The Hotel at Avalon. SIDEWAYS’ irreverent take on an Alice-in-Wonderland turned Nutcracker story for a fun twist on a holiday classic. Nov. 20-21.

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