"Do all the good you can and make as little fuss about it as possible." -Charles Dickens
Atlantans rejoice! Finding festive activities to do this holiday season is effortless. Whether you want to see shimmering lights, attend a parade, ice skate with friends, or simply walk around and drink hot chocolate, there is no shortage of amusement in Atlanta.
Garden Lights, Holiday Nights at Atlanta Botanical Garden
Seven years of beautiful lights setting the Atlanta Botanical Gardens aglow. This is a must-see in Atlanta! Nearly 2 million bulbs create spectacular light displays, including the new Nature’s Wonders in Storza Woods along with the Tunnel of Light and twinkling creations such as the Ice Goddess, the Orchestral Orbs and Botanical Bears.
When: 5-11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 5-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday. Nov. 11, 2017 through Jan. 7, 2018. Adults $19.95-39.95, kids age 3-12 $14.95-$34.95, members $5 off all tickets, Night Light tickets (after 9 p.m.) $13.95; free ages 2 and younger. Buy your tickets in advance folks, it’s $5 more when you buy them after 4 p.m. on the day of the show, except Night Lights. Atlanta Botanical Garden, 1345 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta. 404-876-5859, atlantabg.org.
Dog Costume Parade
Another fun attraction at the Atlanta Botanical Garden! Register and dress up your dog for fun or to win an award at Reindog Parade. [The parade is full, but you and your dog can still watch!]
When: December 2, 2017 (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) at the Atlanta Botanical Garden
The Children’s Christmas Parade and the Dog Costume Parade
Watch Midtown Atlanta transform into Santa Claus Lane! The Children's Christmas Parade is the largest holiday parade in the Southeast. Things you can expect: floats, giant helium-filled balloons, marching bands, and people of all ages celebrating the spirit of the season. Thousands of spectators will be lined up along the streets eagerly awaiting the arrival of Santa and the official beginning of the holiday season in Atlanta. Can't make it to Peachtree Street? Please tune in to WSB-TV Channel 2 to view the Children's Christmas Parade live.
When: 10:30 a.m.-noon. Dec. 2. Free. Begins at Peachtree Street and 16th Street, and ends at Peachtree Street and Fifth Street. choa.org/parade.
Stone Mountain Christmas and Snow Mountain
Looking for snow? Stone Mountain is the closest thing to the North Pole that Atlanta has to offer. Snow Mountain takes over Memorial Lawn with tubing runs and a snow-laden play area. If you'd rather stay dry, Stone Mountain has an array of activities for people of all ages. There’s the “Skylights Spectacular,” six live performances, and other activities — expect a 4-D flick, a Christmas train ride, a parade and more.
When: Stone Mountain Christmas: Select dates Nov. 11 through Jan. 3. Lots of deals ranging from 29.95 to $54.95; free ages 2 and younger. Snow Mountain: Select dates Nov 18 through Feb. 25. $31.95-$41.95. $15 parking; $40 annual permit. Stone Mountain Park, 1000 Robert E. Lee Blvd., Stone Mountain. 800-401-2407, stonemountainpark.com.
Winter Wonderland: Celebrations & Traditions Around the World
If you'd like to see how the rest of world celebrates the holidays, Winter Wonderland at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History highlights seasonal celebrations across the globe. Explore two floors lined with trees and displays each designed as nods to respective cultures and traditions. Winter Wonderland celebrates Christmas, Hanukkah, and other holidays with twinkling lights and trees hung with ornaments and cultural objects at Fernbank Museum of Natural History. Closed Nov. 23 & Dec. 25.
When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 17 through Jan. 7. $18; $17 seniors; $16 ages 3-12; free for museum members and ages 2 and younger. Fernbank Museum of Natural History, 767 Clifton Road N.E., Atlanta. 404-929-6300, fernbankmuseum.org.
Holidays at Atlantic Station
Last, but most certainly not least, Atlantic Station has something for everybody. From the Southeast's largest, outdoor skate rink to a cozy cottage just for Santa and snow in Central Park every day! While in the park, enjoy the best of German handcrafted gifts and food...even mulled wine...as the Christkindl Market returns for a second year and it's bigger than ever! See you there.