Photo Credit | Avalon

Atlanta has so much to offer during the holidays from festive shows to holiday events and Santa appearances. Also check out our list of 20+ Places to Meet Santa Around Atlanta, Best Ice Skating Rinks Around Atlanta,Best Christmas Light and Tree Displaysas well as Best Neighborhood Lights Around AtlantaPlus, check out our Holiday Fun tab for our annual toy guide, best local kids’ toy stores, gifts for yourself and more.

These top-notch events and attractions will get your family in the cheerful spirit:

See Magical Twinkling Lights

Celebrate 25 years this holiday season from Nov. 17 to Jan. 3 at Lanier Islands’ Magical Nights of Lights. Gaze at impressive displays throughout the resort with millions of twinkling holiday lights. Don’t miss the 65-foot Universal Christmas tree set atop a giant drum. Visit the Holiday Village inside LanierWorld for Santa visits, marshmallow roasting and carnival rides.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and all elements © and ™ under license to Character Arts, LLC. Photo credit: Clay Walker

Meet the Most Famous Reindeer of All

Prepare for a season decked out in silver and gold when Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer™ takes the stage at the Center for Puppetry Arts from Nov. 7-Dec. 31. Based on the 1964 television special, this magical show has become a holiday tradition for Atlanta families for over 10 years. After the show, all-inclusive tickets include access to the Create-A-Puppet Workshop™ and admission to the Worlds of Puppetry Museum.

Glide and Skate on Real Ice

Practice your jumps and twirls this season by visiting one of two Ice Days Ice Skating Rinks. The family-owned and operated rinks are made of real ice for a fun and authentic ice skating experience. Locations in Conyers and LaGrange offer low prices and birthday party packages, and have covered areas to block from rain. Two-hour skating sessions are available for $10, with skate rental included.

Explore Holidays from Around the World

Jingle all the way to Children’s Museum of Atlanta for festive fun. Start with Celebrations in Light, a month-long exploration of holidays from around the world. Families can dance, sing, and create make-and-take projects focused on Las Posadas, Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. New this year, the Museum will have an Ice (aka: Carpet) Skating Rink (no skates needed) built especially for littles. To send out 2017 in style, don’t miss the New Year’s Bubble Bash.

Visit a Decked-Out Hall of Fame

Meet Fumbles the Elf and Santa this holiday season at College Football Hall of Fame and Chick-fil-A Fan Experience. December 9 through New Year’s Day, Deck the Hall will be in full swing with treats and bright holiday decorations. Don’t miss fun daily activities and Fumbles the Elf, as well as appearances by Santa each Saturday and Sunday.

Winter Enchantment

Stroll through Atlanta’s only authentic German market, feel snow fall from above, meet Santa Claus and experience SKATE Atlantic Station’s outdoor ice rink. Festivities begin Nov. 18 with Light Up Atlantic Station, complete with musical entertainment, kids’ activities, live reindeer, Santa’s Parade and lighting of the 50’ Christmas tree in Central Park.

Charming Holiday Puppet Shows

Don’t miss the delightful and charming Roswell Winter Puppet Series at the Roswell Cultural Arts Center this winter, and even meet Santa Claus in the lobby following each performance. Kids and parents alike will enjoy two shows featuring puppet characters from the North Pole and the mouse from ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.

Experience the True Meaning of Christmas

Experience the joy of Christmas with The First Noel at Ferst Center for the Arts. Set in 1980s Harlem, The First Noel follows three generations of a family in search of Christmas joy many years after the tragic loss of a loved one. The First Noel runs from Dec. 8-24 at Ferst Center for Arts. The music includes a delightful reimaging of traditional holiday favorites in jazz, gospel and pop styles.

Holiday Fun in Roswell

Celebrate the most wonderful time of year in Historic Downtown Roswell. The season begins on December 2, with Breakfast with Santa at Roswell Area Park, kids can eat, take photos with Santa, make crafts and have their face painted. Gingerbread Christmas at Smith Plantation includes gingerbread baking over an open hearth and holiday ornament making. Holiday Celebration on the Square includes lighting, choral performances Santa appearance and Santa’s Secret Gift Shop.

Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future

Join Alliance Theatre for one of Atlanta’s most treasured holiday shows, A Christmas Carol. Celebrate the holidays by attending this Broadway-scale production with beautiful live music and an all-Atlanta cast. Experience Alliance’s adaptation staged for the first time at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.

Special Events

Macy’s Pink Pig. Lenox Square Mall. Atlanta’s famous pig train takes families for a life-sized storybook ride. Through Dec. 31. Nov. hours: Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Sat. 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sun., noon-6 p.m. Dec. hours: Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Sat. 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Sun. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Dec. 24, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Closed Dec. 25. Dec. 31, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Upper Level Parking Deck. 3393 Peachtree Rd., Atlanta. 404-231-2800. $3 per ride.

Christkindl Market. Atlantic Station. Walk through and shop in a traditional German market. Music, live entertainment and more. Through Dec. 23. Mon.-Thurs. 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Fri. and Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sun. 1-8 p.m. 1380 Atlantic Dr., Atlanta. 404-410-4010. Free admission; products for purchase.

Santa and Grinch Appearance. Ponce City Market. Come visit the second floor and meet these iconic characters. Parade and Santa’s workshops with gift-wrapping and stocking-stuffing stations. Through Dec. 24. Daily. 675 Ponce de Leon Ave., Atlanta. 404-900-7900. Free.

Festival of the SEAson. Georgia Aquarium. Galleries and exhibits turn into a winter wonderland, incorporating light and music shows, appearances by Santa and SCUBA Claus, holiday entertainment, daily tree-lighting ceremonies and more. Through Dec. 31. Daily. 225 Baker St., Atlanta. 404-581- 4000. Adults, $39.95; ages 3-12, $33.95; ages 2 and younger, free.

Snow Shows. Atlantic Station. Take a walk through Central Park and watch snow fall from above while holiday music plays. Through Jan. 1. Sun.-Thurs. 6 p.m. Fri. and Sat. every hour from 6-9 p.m. 1380 Atlantic Dr., Atlanta. 404-410-4010. Free.

Stone Mountain Christmas. Stone Mountain Park. More than two million lights and an abundance of performances and activities. Through Jan. 3. Visit for schedule and prices. 1000 Robert E. Lee Blvd., Stone Mountain. 800-401-2407.

Holiday in the Park. Six Flags. More than one million LED lights, tons of Christmas trees and live shows with holiday themed attractions. Through Jan 3. Visit for schedule. 275 Riverside Pkwy., Austell. $68.99; children under 48″, $48.99; ages 2 and younger, free.

Winter Wonderland. Fernbank Museum of Natural History. An exhibit showcasing different holiday displays from cultures across the globe. Through Jan. 7. Daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m. 767 Clifton Rd., Atlanta. 404-929-6300. Included with museum admission. Adults, $18; ages 3-12, $16; ages 2 and younger, free.

Holiday Model Train Show. Atlanta Botanical Garden. Tracks of G-scale choo choos around the gardens. Through Jan. 7. Tues.-Sun. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and evenings during Garden Lights (Prices vary). 1345 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta. 404-876-5859. Included with admission. Adults, $21.95; ages 3-12, $15.95; 2 and younger, free.

Carriage Rides. Downtown Norcross. Ride through the charming downtown on a horse-drawn carriage and take in holiday lights. Take photos with Santa afterwards. Starts in front of Taste of Britain. Dec. 1-22. Tues., Wed. and Fri. 6:30-8:30 p.m. 65 Lawrenceville St., Norcross. 770-448-2122. Free; photos with Santa, extra.

Celebrations in Light. Children’s Museum of Atlanta. A showcase of different holidays from around the world each week with themed activities, cultural performances and more. New this year is the sock skating rink. Dec. 1-30. See for schedule. 275 Centennial Park Dr., Atlanta. 404-659-5437. Ages 1 and older, $15.95.

Holiday Tea with American Girl. American Girl Store and Bistro. Bring your dolls for a holiday menu of tea treats and also make festive crafts. Dec. 1, 8, 15, 17 and 24. 2-4 p.m. Reservations required. Ages 8 and older. 1202 North Point Cir., Alpharetta. 877-247-5223. $21.50.

Holly Jolly Film Fest. Fernbank Museum of Natural History. Holiday movies, crafts and cultural programs. Dec. 2, 9 and 16. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 767 Clifton Rd., Atlanta. 404-929-6300. Included with museum admission. Adults, $18; ages 3-12, $16; ages 2 and younger, free.

Victorian Holiday. Oakland Cemetery. Explore mausoleums decorated for the holidays on a walking tour led by a Victorian guide. Holiday carols and a reading of “The Night Before Christmas,” and ornament-making crafts for kids. Don’t miss photos with Santa. Dec. 2. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. 248 Oakland Ave., Atlanta. 404- 688-2107. Adults, $16; ages 6-18, $10; ages 5 and younger, free.

Jungle Bells. Zoo Atlanta. Tree lighting celebration, hot chocolate, live music, costumed characters and more. Dec. 2. 2:30-5:30 p.m. 800 Cherokee Ave., Atlanta. 404-624-9453. Included with admission: Adults, $25.99; ages 3-11, $17.99; ages 2 and younger, free.

Lionel Train Day. Legacy Station. Young engineers will take turns using the remote to run the trains. Nine trains will be running through the store and there will be play tables for children. The Golden Ticket winner (found in a chocolate bar) takes home a Lionel Train Set ($300 value). Dec. 2. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. 4153 Lawrenceville NW #12, Lilburn. 770-339-7780.

Children’s Christmas Parade. Downtown Atlanta. Floats, giant helium-filled balloons and marching bands will move down the street, and the arrival of Santa will announce the holiday season. Dec. 2. 10:20 a.m. Begins on Peachtree St. at 16th St. 404-785-7974. Free.

Christmas at the Cabin. Red Top Mountain State Park. 1800s-style Christmas with music, tree decorating, toys and games. Bring a camera for free pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Dec. 2. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Santa leaves at 2:30 p.m. 50 Lodge Rd., Cartersville. 770-975-0055. Free; parking, $5.

Gingerbread Christmas. Smith Plantation. Gingerbread baking over an open hearth and holiday ornament making. Reservations required. Dec. 2. 10:30, 11:30 a.m. and 1, 2 p.m. Ages 5 and older. 935 Alpharetta Hwy., Roswell. 770-641- 3978. $5.

A Family Holiday Featuring the Snowman Movie. Atlanta Symphony Hall. The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra performs Howard Blake’s soundtrack to “The Snowman” movie live with the film. Dec. 3. 3 p.m. 1280 Peachtree St., Atlanta. 404-733-5000. $16.34-21.78.

Teddy Bear Tea. Callanwolde Fine Arts Center. Bring a special teddy bear for a festive children’s tea and hot chocolate with Santa. Dec. 3 and 10. 2 p.m. Includes admission to the home and each child receives a gift bag. Registration required. Ages 4 and older. 980 Briarcliff Rd., Atlanta. 404-872-5338. $27.24.

Hometown Holidays Parade. Downtown Forsyth. Marvel at decorated floats, meet Santa and Mrs. Claus and see the lighting of the tree. This year’s theme is “Songs of Christmas.” Floats line up at City Hall. Dec. 7. 7 p.m. 478-994-9239. hometown-holidays-parade

College Park Annual Christmas Parade. Downtown College Park. Entertainment, floats and more. Dec. 9. 10:30 a.m. 1618 Willinghaam Dr., East Point. 404-669-9206 ext. 6113. Free.

Christmas for Kids. Bulloch Hall. Hunt the yule log, make a seasonal craft, sing in the Christmas sing-a-long and more. Meet the Winter Princess, Mrs. Claus and Santa. Dec. 9. 10 a.m.-noon. Reservations required. 180 Bulloch Ave., Roswell. 770-992-1731. $15.

Newnan Christmas Parade. Historic Downtown Newnan. Floats, walking groups, decorated cars, trucks and marching bands. Dec. 9. 6 p.m. This year’s theme is “Christmas Around the World.” LaGrange Street to Greenville Street. 770-253-8283. Free. events_parades.php

Enchanted Woodland Wonders.Chattahoochee Nature Center. Live reindeer, performances, winter crafts, face painting and more. Dec. 10. 3-7 p.m. 9135 Willeo Rd., Roswell. 770-992- 2055. Included with admission: Adults, $10; ages 3-12, $6; ages 2 and younger, free.

Magic Monday: Joy to the World. Atlanta History Center. Enjoy sing-a-longs, dances and musical instruments to get into the holiday spirit. Dec. 11. 10-11 a.m. 130 W. Paces Ferry Rd., Atlanta. 404-814-4000. Adults, $6.50; ages 3 and younger, $5.50.

Holiday Bonfire and Marshmallow Roast. Decatur Square. Roast marshmallows on the Square. Marshmallows provided; registration required. Dec. 14. 7-8 p.m. 101 E. Court Sq., Decatur. 404- 371-8386. Free.

Candlelight Nights.Atlanta History Center. See the grounds and gardens decorated for the holidays and enjoy a candlelit stroll. Holiday traditions of years past come alive with interpreters, music and special activities. Dec. 15 and 22. 5:30-9:30 p.m. 130 W. Paces Ferry Rd., Atlanta. 404-814-4000. Adults, $20; ages 5 and younger, $10.

Deck the Hall. College Football Hall of Fame. Meet Fumbles the Elf, Santa and enjoy holiday activities and movies. Dec. 15-Jan 1. Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sun. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Santa visits Sat. and Sun. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. 250 Marietta St., Atlanta. 404-880-4800. Adults, $21.99; ages 3-12, $17.99; ages 2 and younger, free.

The Mighty Mo & More. Fox Theatre. A musical prelude on the beloved Mighty Mo organ followed by a special screening of “Miracle on 34th Street.” Dec. 19. 7:30 p.m. 660 Peachtree St., Atlanta. 404-881-2100. Free; ticket required (service charge, $2.50/per ticket). 

Dance and Theater

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Center for Puppetry Arts. Rudolph is back with this faithful adaptation of the holiday story. Through Dec. 31. See for showtimes. 1404 Spring St., Atlanta. 404-873-3391. Ages 2 and older, $19.50.

Roswell Winter Puppet Series. Roswell Cultural Arts Center. ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas and North Pole Fa La La La La Follies delightful puppet shows. Dec. 14-16; 21-23.10 a.m. Additional shows Dec. 16 and 22, 1:30 p.m. 950 Forrest St., Roswell. 770-594-6232. Ages 2 and older, $5.

A Christmas Carol. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. See for showtimes. The Alliance Theatre performs a musical version of the classic story. Dec. 8-24. 2800 Cobb Galleria Pkwy., Atlanta. 404-733-5000. $21-79.50.

Gift of the Magi. Marietta Theatre in the Square. This adaptation centers around a local streetcar driver who doesn’t have the money for Christmas presents. Magi tells the story of love and sacrifice. Kids will also enjoy snacks, crafts and holiday characters. Nov. 30; Dec. 1-3. See for showtimes. 11 Whitlock Ave., Marietta. 770-426-4800. $10-$35.

A Christmas Story. OnStage Atlanta. For Ralphie, there is no greater Christmas gift than a genuine Red Ryder, unfortunately, his mom, teacher and even Santa don’t agree. Watch the hilarious story re-told through musical form. Through Dec. 17. Possible extension through Dec. 23. See for schedule. 2969 East Ponce de Leon Ave., Decatur. 404-897-1802. $17 and up.

Black Nativity Atlanta. Southwest Arts Center. Retelling of the Nativity story from an African- American perspective. Dance, anthems, and gospel numbers. Nov. 29-Dec. 17. See for schedule. 915 New Hope Rd., Atlanta. 404-613-3220. Adults, $40- $50; ages 12 and younger, $15.

Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley. Theatrical Outfit. The Christmas-themed sequel to “Pride and Prejudice” will delight Jane Austen fans. Nov. 30-Dec. 24. See for schedule. 84 Luckie St., Atlanta. 678-528-1500. Prices vary by date $20.50-51.

The Snow Queen. Serenbe Playhouse. From the classic tale that inspired “Frozen,” this version lights up the wintry woods with a story of love’s sovereign power over evil. Nov. 30-Dec. 30. Wed.-Sun. 8 p.m. Early shows Sat. and Sun. 6 p.m. 10640 Serenbe Ln., Chattahoochee Hills. 770-463-1110. $20; ages 12 and younger, $10.

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse. This version will transport you to when Scrooge meets three ghosts and a little boy named Tiny Tim. Dec. 1-23. See for showtimes and ticket pricing. 499 Peachtree St., Atlanta. 404-874-5299.

Madeline’s Christmas. Horizon Theatre Company. A musical holiday adventure with Madeline and her friends in Paris. Dec. 2-31. See for showtimes.1083 Austin Ave., Atlanta. 404-584- 7450. $15; ages 12 and younger, $12.

Frosty! Marietta’s Theatre in the Square. In this adaptation, Billy builds a snowman and places the hat on its head, christening his new friend “Frosty.” Magically, Frosty comes to life. Select dates Dec. 7-30. See for showtimes. 11 Whitlock Ave., Marietta. 770-426-4800. $16.90-$38.10.

A Christmas Carol the Musical. Elm Street Cultural Arts Village. On Christmas Eve, Ebeneezer Scrooge is visited by ghosts offering him a chance at a better future. See the story performed live. Dec. 8-24. Fri. and Sat. 7:30 p.m. Sun. 2 p.m. 8534 Main St. Woodstock. 678-494-4251. $18.

The First Noel. Ferst Center for the Arts. Set in 1980s Harlem, the story follows three generations of a family in search of Christmas joy many years after the tragic loss of a loved one. Dec. 8-24. See for showtimes. 349 Ferst Dr., Atlanta. 877-725-8849. $28.25 and up.

The North Pole Fa-La-La-La Follies. Aurora Theatre. Puppet residents of the North Pole perform in a talent show. Characters include a wisecracking fruitcake, a musical goose, tumbling teddy bears and more. Dec. 9. 10 and 11:30 a.m. 128 E. Pike St., Lawrenceville. 678-226-6222. $7.

Twas the Night before Christmas. Aurora Theatre. See this classic Christmas Eve story come to life with puppets. Dec. 16. 10 and 11:30 a.m. 128 E. Pike St., Lawrenceville. 678-226-6222. $7.

Celtic Christmas. Rialto Center for the Arts. Celebrate the holiday season with a host of fiddlers, vocalists, dancers and guitarists. Dec. 16-17. Sat. 8 p.m. and Sun. 3 p.m. 80 Forsyth St., Atlanta. 404-413-9849. $16-$32.

Santa’s Missing Mail. Aurora Theatre. Help Santa and his elves find the mail. Dec. 23. 10 and 11:30 a.m. 128 E. Pike St., Lawrenceville. 678-226-6222. $7.

The Nutcracker

The Nutcracker. Roswell Cultural Arts Center. Follow Clara through a dream world of battling mice and dancing sugarplums in this production presented by Tolbert Yilmaz School of Dance and the Roswell Dance Theatre. Dec. 1-3. See for showtimes and special events. 950 Forrest St., Roswell. 770-998-0259. $20-$55.

The Nutcracker. Jennie T. Anderson Theatre. The classic story presented by The Georgia Ballet. Dec. 1-3. Fri. 7 p.m. Sat. 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sun. 2 and 5:30 p.m. 548 S. Marietta Pkwy., Marietta. 770-528-0881. $12-$48.

The Nutcracker. The Grand Theatre. Cartersville City Ballet performs the classic story through dance. Dec. 1-3. Fri. 7:30 p.m. Sat. 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sun. 3 p.m. 7 N. Wall St., Cartersville. 770- 386-7343. Adults, $20; ages 18 and younger, $17.

The Nutcracker. Infinite Energy Center. Gwinnett Ballet Theatre performs the classic story. Dec. 1-3; 8-10; 15-17. See for showtimes. 6400 Sugarloaf Pkwy., Duluth. 770- 626-2464. $20-$37.

Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker. Fox Theatre. The Atlanta Ballet and Atlanta Ballet’s Orchestra perform the classic story. Dec. 8-28. See for showtimes. 660 Peachtree St., Atlanta. 404-881-2100. $20-$25 and up.

Urban Nutcracker. Morehouse King Chapel. Enjoy a different take on the classic production of the Nutcracker presented by Ballethnic Dance Company. Dec. 9 and 10. Sat. 2 and 8 p.m. Sun. 3 p.m. 830 Westview Dr., Atlanta. 404-762-1416. $30-40.

The Children’s Nutcracker. St. Pius X High School Theatre. The classic story presented by the Academy of Ballet of Norcross. Dec. 9 and 10. Sat. 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sun. 1:30 and 4:30 p.m. 2674 Johnson Rd., Atlanta. 770-242-6379. $15- $25; ages 2 and younger, free.

The Nutcracker. Blessed Trinity Performing Arts Theater. Join The Fleetwood Dance Theatre for the annual performance of this family classic. Dec. 14-17. Thurs. 7:30 p.m. Fri. 8 p.m. Sat. 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Sun. 2:30 p.m. 11320 Woodstock Rd., Roswell. 678-356-2779. $22.


A Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols. Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church. The Emory tradition established in 1935 continues with this candlelit evening service of choral music and readings by special guests. Dec. 1-2. Fri. 8 p.m. Sat. 4 and 8 p.m. 1652 N. Decatur Rd., Atlanta. 404-727- 5050. $20.

Gala Holiday Concerts. Rialto Center for the Arts. Georgia State University School of Music’s concert featuring more than 200 student and faculty musicians. Dec. 2-3. Sat. 8 p.m. Sun. 3 p.m. 80 Forsyth St., Atlanta. 404-413-9849. $17 and up.

Sounds of the Season. Mall of Georgia. Local community, church and school groups will perform festive holiday performances in the Dining Pavilion. Dec. 7 and 8. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. 3333 Buford Dr., Buford. 678-482-8788. Free

The Glory of Christmas Concert. Roswell Presbyterian Church Sanctuary. Evening of delightful Christmas music presented by RPC’s choir and orchestra. Dec. 7 and 8. 7:30 p.m. 755 Mimosa Blvd., Roswell. 770- 993-6316. $10; ages 11 and younger, free.

The Sound of Christmas. Jennie T. Anderson Theatre. Hear Marietta’s Symphony on the Square perform holiday classics. Dec. 8. 8-10 p.m. 548 South Marietta Pkwy., Marietta. 770-874-8525. $15.

Spivey Hall Children’s Choir. Clayton State University. A fusion of classic favorites and new selections to showcase the talents of the children’s choir. Advance ticket purchase recommended. Dec. 8-10. Fri. 7:30 p.m. Sat. and Sun. 3 p.m. 2000 Clayton State Blvd., Morrow. 678-466-5566. $25.

Atlanta Christmas Musical. First Baptist Woodstock. This year’s all new show titled, Letter of Legacy, follows a family whose Christmas gathering explodes with an unexpected surprise. Dec. 8-10. Fri. 7:30 p.m. Sat. 6 p.m. Sun. 3 p.m. 11905 Hwy. 92, Woodstock. 678-494-2817. $11-$21.

Christmas with Atlanta Master Chorale. Schwartz Center for Performing Arts. Hear the members of the chorale perform holiday classics. Dec. 9-10. Sat. 8 p.m. Sun. 4 p.m. 1700 N. Decatur Rd., Atlanta. 404-727-5050. $35.

Christmas with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Atlanta Symphony Hall. The Orchestra, Chorus, The Gwinnett Young Singers and the Morehouse College Glee Club will perform Christmas carols and hymns. Dec. 9 and 10. Sat. 2 and 8 p.m. Sun. 3 p.m. 1280 Peachtree St., Atlanta. 404-733-5000. $20 and up.

Christmas Classics. The Cumming Playhouse. Instrumental solos, vocal solos and more all to ring in the sounds of Christmas. Dec. 15. 8 p.m. 101 School St., Cumming. 770-781- 9178. $20.

A Very Merry Holiday POPS! Atlanta Symphony Hall. The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra performs holiday classics. Dec. 15 and 16. Fri. 8 p.m. Sat. 2 and 8 p.m. 1280 Peachtree St., Atlanta. 404-733-5000. $20 and up.

A Christmas Tradition. The Earl Smith Strand Theatre. Song and dance performance including holiday songs as well as funk. Dec. 15-17; 22-23. See for showtimes. 117 N. Park Sq., Marietta. 770-293-0080. $30.

Holiday Concert. Mt. Vernon Presbyterian Church. Atlanta Concert Band performs their annual Christmas concert. Dec. 17. 4 p.m. 471 Mount Vernon Hwy., Atlanta. 404- 358-1966. Free.

Let There Be Peace on Earth. Infinite Energy Center. Gwinnett Symphony performs Christmas classics. Children from the audience can join Santa and other holiday characters on stage to conduct the Orchestra during the “Sleigh Ride.” Dec. 18. 7 p.m. 6400 Sugarloaf Pkwy., Duluth. 770-626-2464. $12-22.

Handel’s Messiah. Atlanta Symphony Hall. Hear the Christmas story from Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and chamber chorus. Dec. 22. 8 p.m. 1280 Peachtree St., Atlanta. 404-733-5000. $20 and up.


Bethlehem Walk. Mountain View United Methodist Church. Walk through the town of Bethlehem, depicted as it was the first Christmas, complete with shopkeepers. Dec. 2 and 3; Dec. 8 and 9. 7 p.m. 2300 Jamerson Rd., Marietta. 770-928-0050. Free.

Drive-thru Living Nativity. Clairmont Hills Baptist Church. 26th anniversary of drive-thru scenes from the nativity. Dec. 8 and 9, 7-9 p.m.; Dec. 10, 6-9 p.m. 1995 Clairmont Rd., Decatur. 404-634-6231. Free.

Live Nativity. Sardis United Methodist Church. Performances run every hour on the front lawn and feature live animals. After the performance, Christmas carols and refreshments. Dec. 9 and 10. 6-8 p.m. 3725 Powers Ferry Rd. NW, Atlanta. 404-237-6060. Free.

Bethlehem Walk. St. John United Methodist Church. Live nativity tour guided by shepherds, with light refreshments served. Dec. 9 and 10. 6-8 p.m. 550 Mount Paran Rd., Atlanta. 404-255-1384. Free.

Live Nativity.Chamblee First United Methodist Church. Live nativity scene to re-create the glory of Christmas. Dec. 10. 7-8 p.m. 4147 Chamblee Dunwoody Rd., Chamblee. 770-457-2525. Free.

Walk Through BethlehemSimpsonwood United Methodist Church. Walk through the candlelight outdoor nativity scene, complete with Roman guards, shopkeepers and live animals. Hot chocolate served. Dec. 8 and 9, 7-9 p.m.; Dec. 10, 6-8 p.m. 4500 Jones Bridge Cir., Peachtree Corners. 770-441-2181. Free.

Evening in Bethlehem. Roswell United Methodist Church. Indoor, dramatic re-enactment of the first Christmas with live characters and real stable animals. Dec. 16. 4:30 p.m. or 5:30 p.m. 814 Mimosa Blvd., Roswell. 770- 993-6218. Free.

Nativities Exhibit. Episcopal Church of the Epiphany. More than 250 nativity scenes from around the world made of everything from wood to volcanic ash. Dec. 9-17. Tues. and Thurs. 10 a.m.- 2 p.m.; Sat. 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sun. 2-4 p.m. 2089 Ponce de Leon Ave., Atlanta. 404-373- 8338. Adults, $5; 12 and younger, free.


Chanukah Workshop.Hosted by Chabad Intown at Home Depot. Build your own menorah, enjoy doughnuts and latkes and listen to Chanukah music. Reservations recommended. Dec. 3. 12:30 and 2:30 p.m. 650 Ponce de Leon Ave., Atlanta. 404-898-0434. Free.

Menorah Lighting. Hosted by Chabad Intown at Atlantic Station. Head next to the ice skating rink for a menorah lighting, balloons, doughnuts, music and more. Dec. 13. 6 p.m. 1380 Atlantic Dr., Atlanta. 404- 898-0434. Free.

Menorah Lighting and Hanukkah Celebration. MJCCA, Zaban Park. Hanukkah songs with Rabbi Glusman, lighting of the menorah and a performance. Jelly doughnuts and hot chocolate served. Dec. 12-14. 5:15-6 p.m. 5342 Tilly Mill Rd., Dunwoody. 678-812-4161. Free.

Hanukkah Party. Hosted by MJCCA at The Cooler. Middle school students can come ice skate and socialize while enjoying jelly doughnuts. Dec. 16. 8-10 p.m. 10800 Davis Dr., Alpharetta. 678- 812-4082. $23.

Celebrations in Light: Hanukkah. Children’s Museum of Atlanta. Join Rabbi Glusman from the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta to celebrate Hanukkah with storytime, music and dance. Dec. 17. 11 a.m. and noon. 275 Centennial Olympic Park Dr., Atlanta. 404-659-5437. Ages 1 and older, $15.95.

Hanukkah Storytime Little Shop of Stories. Listen to stories about the Festival of Lights and hear guest author Laurel Snyder read aloud. Dec. 17. 3 p.m. 133A E. Court St., Decatur. 404-373-6300. Free.

Menorah Lighting Marietta Square. Meet at the Glover Park stage for a Chanukah celebration including holiday music and children’s games presented by Congregation Ner Tamid. Free hot chocolate and jelly doughnuts. Dec. 18. 6:30-7:30 p.m. 50 N. Park Sq., Marietta. 678-264-8575. Free.

Community Hanukkah Celebration. Congregation Etz Chaim. Celebrate Hanukkah with lighting of the menorah, crafts, kosher food storytelling and more. Dec. 19. 6:30-8 p.m. 1190 Indian Hills Pkwy., Marietta. 770-973-0137.Free.

Holiday Houses

A Christmas at Callanwolde Designer Show House. Callanwolde Fine Arts Center. Tour the historic mansion decorated for the holidays. Enjoy the artists’ market and themed events. Through Dec.12. Daily, noon-8 p.m. 980 Briarcliff Rd., Atlanta. 404-872-5338. $25; ages 3 and younger, free.

Barrington Hall Holiday Tours.Barrington Hall. Tour the decorated historic home. This year’s theme is “Children’s Toys” showcasing historic toys. Through Dec. 30. Tours every hour on the hour. Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sun. 1-3 p.m. 535 Barrington Dr., Roswell. 770-640-3855. Adults, $8; ages 7-18, $6; ages 5 and younger, free.

Images of Christmas. Smith Plantation. The plantation home is dressed in historic decorations through Dec. 30. Tours every hour on the hour. Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Sun. 1-3 p.m. 935 Alpharetta Hwy., Roswell. 770-641-3978. Adults, $8; ages 7-18, $6; ages 5 and younger, free.

Christmas Tours. Bulloch Hall. The historic house is decorated for self-guided tours. This year’s theme is “Remarkable Women of the 19th Century.” Through Dec. 31. Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sun. 1-4 p.m. 180 Bulloch Ave., Roswell. 770-992-1731. Adults, $8; ages 6-18, $6; ages 5 and younger, free.

Marietta Pilgrimage. Whitlock Avenue District. Tour six private Marietta historic district homes and several public buildings decorated for the season. Dec. 2 and 3. See times at 770-429-1115. $20-$35.

Grant Park Candlelight Tour of Homes. Grant Park. Tour original Victorian, Queen Anne and Craftsman homes as well as new homes built in historic style, all decorated in creative Grant Park holiday fashion. Dec. 9-10. 6-10 p.m. Free visits with Santa Sat. 4-6 p.m. 501 Grant St., Atlanta. (404) 688-7501. $25; ages 5 and younger, free.

Beyond Atlanta

Polar Express Experience.Southeastern Railway Museum. Watch the “Polar Express” in an authentic train car, and enjoy cookies and hot chocolate. Dec. 2, 9 and 16. 1, 1:45, 3:30, 4:15 and 6 p.m. 3595 Buford Hwy., Duluth. 770-476-2013. $28; ages 1 and younger, free.

Christmas Underground. Ruby Falls. Travel underground in Ruby Falls’ gem mines on an adventure to see Santa. Dec. 1-17. Thurs.-Sun. Dec. 18-Dec. 23, daily. Noon-8 p.m. 1720 South Scenic Hwy., Chattanooga. 423-821-2544. Adults and ages 3-12, $11.95; 2 and younger, free.

Country Christmas Nights. The Rock Ranch. Hop on-board The Rock Ranch Christmas Express Train ride featuring falling snow, snowflake tunnel and a dancing Christmas lights show. Dec. 9, 15-16 and 22-23. 5:30-9:30 p.m. 5020 Barnesville Hwy., The Rock. 706-647-6374. $5-$12.

Candlelight Christmas. Jarrell Plantation Historic Site. Take a stroll by candlelight, see two historic homes dressed in homemade decor and enjoy warm cider and cookies by a campfire. Dec. 9. 6-8 p.m. 711 Jarrell Plantation Rd., Juliette. 478-986-5172. $4-6.50; parking, $5.

Christmas at Biltmore. Biltmore Estate. Holiday décor, live music, storytelling, gingerbread house and cookie-making workshops and evening candlelight tours. Through Jan. 7. 1 Lodge St., Asheville N.C. Dates and pricing vary. Visit for details.

The Polar Express Train Ride. Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. A round-trip train ride with a Santa visit. Includes warm cocoa, carols and a treat while the story is narrated. Select dates Through Dec. 31. Departure times at 45 Mitchell St. Bryson City, N.C. 800-872-4681. Prices vary: Adults, $42-88; ages 2-12, $28-$64; ages 23 months and younger, complimentary-$21.

A Country Christmas.Gaylord Opryland Resort. Enjoy lavish holiday displays, snow tubing, performances and more. Through Jan. 1. 2800 Opryland Dr., Nashville, Tenn. 615-889-1000. Schedule and prices vary.

Fantasy in Lights.Callaway Gardens. Drive through more than eight million twinkling lights and a garden decorated for the season. Through Jan. 6. Opens at 6 p.m. 17800 US Hwy. 27, Pine Mountain. 800-852-3810. Adults, $21-$28; ages 6-12, $10.50-$14; ages 5 and younger, free.

Enchanted Garden of Lights. Rock City. Make your way through one million holiday lights with over 30 different scenes from the North Pole to Magic Forest and Yule Town. Decorate cookies and meet Santa. Through Jan. 6. Daily 6-9 p.m. Closed Dec. 24. 1400 Patten Rd., Lookout Mountain. 706-820-2531. Adults, $19.95- $22.95; ages 3-12, $11.95-$12.95.

United Way Festival of Trees. Unicoi Lodge. Beautifully-decorated trees and wreaths throughout Unicoi Lodge. Trees and wreaths available for bid. Through Dec. 9. 1788 Hwy. 356, Helen. 706-878-2201. Free.

North Pole Limited. Tennessee Valley Railroad. A round-trip journey to the “North Pole”, featuring storytelling, light refreshments and an appearance by Santa. Select dates Through Dec. 30. See for departure times and prices. 4119 Cromwell Rd, Chattanooga, Tenn. 423-894-8028. Prices vary by trip.

Special Events

Holiday Celebration & Live Nativity. North Georgia Zoo. Nativity animals, Stary Night tours, hot chocolate and Christmas carols. Nov. 24-26. 5-7 p.m. 2912 Paradise Valley Rd., Cleveland. 706-348-7279. Free; Stary Night tours and zoo admission, extra.

Holiday Crafts and Markets

Elegant Elf Marketplace. Lake Forest Elementary School. More than 70 vendors with crafts, home decor, children’s goods, artistic creations, food and more. Nov. 4 and 5. Sat. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 5920 Sandy Springs Cir., Sandy Springs. Adults, $5; ages 10 and younger, free.

Holiday Craft Classes. Area Michaels Stores. Make a different craft weekly during the holiday season. Nov. 4, 11, 18. 30-minute sessions, every half hour. Visit for times and locations. Ages 3 and older, $2; includes supplies.

Holiday Market. Due West United Methodist Church. More than 40 vendors sell holiday creations, children’s gifts, jewelry and gift baskets. Nov. 4. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. 3956 Due West Rd., Marietta. 770-427-3835. Free.

Holiday Gift Show. Northside Methodist Preschool. More than 75 vendors with holiday items for all ages. Ladies preview: Nov. 9, 5:30-8 p.m. Show: Nov. 10 and 11, 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. 2799 Northside Dr., Atlanta. 404-355-6475. $5; 13 and younger, free.

Shoppe Holiday Market. Cobb Galleria Centre. Handmade and boutique goods, crafts, jewelry, home décor and gourmet foods. Nov. 10-12. Fri. Noon-7 p.m. ; Sat.-Sun. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. 2 Galleria Pkwy. SE, Atlanta. 770-955-8000. Adults, $10; ages 11 and younger, free.

Holiday Festival. Dunwoody United Methodist Church. More than 120 artisans, kids’ zone and photos with Santa. Nov. 11. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. 1548 Mt. Vernon Rd., Dunwoody. 770-394-0675. Free admission; activities extra.

UMW Craft Show. Mt. Zion United Methodist Church. Over 50 arts and crafts vendors, silent auction, door prize, bake sale and meet and greet with Santa. Nov. 10, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Nov. 11, 9-4 p.m. 1770 Johnson Ferry Road, Marietta. 770-971-1465. Free.

Holiday Craft Market. Pinckneyville Park Community Rec Center. Handmade gifts, pottery and décor, plus activities for kids and raffle prizes. Nov. 11. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. 4650 Peachtree Industrial Blvd., Norcross. 678-277-0920. Free.

Holiday Fair. Waldorf School of Atlanta. Shop in the artist market, candle dipping, jump rope making and face painting. Nov. 11. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 827 Kirk Rd., Decatur. 404-377-1315. Free admission; activities extra.

Holiday Artists Market. Spruill Gallery. Locally-crafted gifts and holiday decor. Nov. 14-Dec. 23. Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Sun. noon-5 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving. 4681 Ashford Dunwoody Rd., Atlanta. 770-394-3447. Products for purchase.

Holiday Marketplace. St. Pius X High School. More than 150 artisans featuring jewelry, pottery, paintings and other handmade items. Nov. 18. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. 2674 Johnson Rd., Atlanta. 404-636- 3023. Admission, $3.

Ice Holiday Shopping Spectacular. Georgia Freight Depot. 175 craft and vintage vendors, food for purchase and swag bag for the first 250 attendees. Nov. 18-19, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. 65 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. SE, Atlanta. $5 cash only; 12 and younger, free.

Holidays at the High Artisan Market. High Museum of Art. Meet local artists and shop for unique gift items including jewelry, textiles, home goods, accessories and more. Nov. 24-25, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. 1280 Peachtree St., Atlanta. 404-733-4400. Free entrance to museum shop and market.

Theatre and Dance 

Elf Jr. the Musical. Elm Street Cultural Arts Village. Based on the holiday film, this hilarious musical comedy follows Buddy the Elf in his quest to find his true identity. Nov. 10-12. Fri. and Sat. 7:30 p.m. Sun. 2 p.m. 8534 Main St. Woodstock. 678-494-4251. $15

The Nutcracker. Infinite Energy Center. North Atlanta Dance Theatre performs the classic story. Nov. 10-12. Fri. 7:30 p.m. Sat. 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Sun. 2:30 p.m. 6400 Sugarloaf Pkwy., Duluth. 770-626-2464. $18-$28.

The Nutcracker. Infinite Energy Center. Southern Ballet Theatre performs the story of Clara and her prince. Nov. 18 and 19. Sat. 10:30 a.m., 2:30 and 7 p.m. Sun. 2:30 p.m. 6400 Sugarloaf Pkwy., Duluth. 770-626-2464. $16.50-$20.50.

A Christmas Carol-The Musical. Infinite Energy Center. Susan Chambers Dance Company performs the full-length Broadway musical version of the classic story. Nov. 21. 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. 6400 Sugarloaf Pkwy., Duluth. 770-626-2464. $19-$27.

The Nutcracker. Infinite Energy Center. Northeast Atlanta Ballet Performs this version of the classic. Nov. 24-26. Fri. 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sat. 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sun. 2 and 6 p.m. 6400 Sugarloaf Pkwy., Duluth. 770-626-2464. $18.50-$24.50.

The Nutcracker. Jennie T. Anderson Theatre. Georgia Metropolitan Dance Theatre presents the beloved story. Nov. 24-26. Fri. 7:30 p.m. Sat. 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sun. 2 p.m. 548 S Marietta Pkwy., Marietta. 678-287-9020. $10-$30.

The Hip Hop Nutcracker. Fox Theatre. A new spin on a classic includes a cast of hip-hop dancers, a DJ and a violinist. Nov. 26. 6:30 p.m. 660 Peachtree St., Atlanta. 855-285-8499. $39.70-$97.25.


Christmas with Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith. Infinite Energy Center. Hear Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith and guests Jordan Smith and the Georgia Symphony Orchestra perform Christmas classics. Nov. 25. 7 p.m. 6400 Sugarloaf Pkwy., Duluth. 770- 626-2464. $39.50 and up.

98 Degrees at Christmas. Atlanta Symphony Hall. The vocal quartet performs a new Christmas album full of classics such as “Let it Snow” and “Run Rudolph Run.” Nov. 29. 7:30 p.m. 1280 Peachtree St., Atlanta. 404- 733-5000. $39 and up.

Beyond Atlanta 

Appalachian Christmas Celebration. BabyLand General Hospital. Santa visits, holiday decorations, costumed characters, carolers and milk and cookies with Mrs. Claus. Nov. 18. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. 300 N.O.K. Dr., Cleveland. 706- 865-2171. Free.


175+ Kid-Friendly Christmas Holiday Events in Atlanta and Beyond
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