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11 Magical Things to Do During Christmas in Atlanta

Looking for things to do during Christmas in Atlanta? Don’t miss these spots!

Christmas in Atlanta is not your typical “White Christmas.” We rarely ever get snow down here, and one year, it was 75 degrees the week of Christmas. Even without the snow, there are still plenty of ways to get into the holiday spirit with different Atlanta Christmas events, shoes, and photo ops. Here is a list of our favorites.

11 Magical Ways to Celebrate Christmas in Atlanta GAPin

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Last Updated: October 30, 2023

11+ Magical Ways to Experience Christmas in Atlanta

1. Skate the Sky at Ponce City Market

675 Ponce De Leon Ave, 30308, map
Dates: Opens November 24, 2023
Admission: $10 roof entry + $15 skating

I’m not the most graceful on ice, but it’s still fun to lace up my skates and go around the rink a few times! The rink on the Roof at Ponce City Market offers amazing views of the Atlanta skyline. They also have private igloos you can rent to escape the cold. Don’t skip out on the seasonal cocktails and small bites. Make your reservations here.

Local Tip: It’s much windier and colder on the roof, so layer up.

See More: Your Essential Guide to Ponce City Market Atlanta


2. Miracle Bar in Atlanta

931 Monroe Drive, 30308, map
Dates: November 25 – December 25, 2023
Admission: FREE

This beloved holiday pop-up bar has multiple locations this year. The restaurant spaces are decked out in kitschy festive decor and welcome you with Christmas-themed cocktails. Miracle Bar is the perfect bar to escape your annoying Aunt Susan visiting from out of town.

Local Tip: The wait can be up to three hours in the evening. We suggest making reservations.

Miracle Bar + Best Winter Activities in AtlantaPin

3. Garden Lights, Holiday Nights at Atlanta Botanical Garden

1345 Piedmont Ave NE, 30309, map
Dates: November 18, 2023 – Jan 14, 2024

Admission: $27.95 – $129

Thousands of lights are on display throughout the botanical garden during the holiday season. I hate being out in the cold, but this is totally worth it. Beautiful lights are strung over trees, flowers, and other seasonal plants. Some displays are even paired with music, so venture around with a hot apple cider and enjoy the magical experience. See details here.

Local Tip: Rain or shine. Tickets are non-refundable and they do not offer rain checks for inclement weather.

Atlanta Botanical Garden Christmas LightsPin

4. Stone Mountain Christmas at Snow Mountain Park

1000 Robert E Lee Blvd, 30083, map
Dates: November 11, 2023 – January 2, 2024
Admission: Starts at $24.99

We love exploring Stone Mountain year-round and it’s no exception during Christmas. There are over two million lights on display, musical performances, and snow tubing (with man-made snow). Unfortunately, Snow Mountain is closed this year but there are still other Christmas happenings at the park, including the World’s Largest Christmas Lights Show.

Local Tip: Our favorite activity during Snow Mountain is the Galactic Snow Tubing. If you like cosmic bowling, this is for you.

5. Santa’s Secret ‘Stache

3180 Avalon Blvd. Alpharetta, GA 30009, map
Admission: $30

We visited Santa’s Fantastical, which is closed now, but Santa’s Secret ‘Stache is a pop up run by the same company. It has live performances, costumed characters, games, projected motion graphics, beautiful scenery, and more. Photos below are from Santa’s Fantastical.

Local Tip: Outside food and drinks are not allowed, but there’s a snack stand that serves up hot chocolate and seasonal goodies.

Santas Fantastical Pop Up + 11 Magical Christmas Events in Atlanta You Can't MissPin

6. Atlanta CHristkindl Market

290 East Paces Ferry Rd NE, 30305, map
Dates: November 17 – December 24, 2023
Admission: FREE

We’re lucky to live right by this traditional German Christkindl Market. There are a ton of vendors that sell unique gifts, beverages, and food. Take a photo at Atlanta’s favorite Christmas trees, check out live performances, and try some authentic German food and beverages. More info here.

Local Tip: There is plenty of parking at their new location, the Buckhead Village District.


7. Margaritaville’s Lakeside Lights Spectacular – Lake Lanier Christmas Lights

Lake Lanier Islands, GA, map
Dates: Opens November 22, 2023
Admission: $19.99 – $24.99

The popular drive-through light show at Lake Lanier is now a magical walk through the lighting extravaganza.

There is also now a Santa’s Tiki Bar and License to Chill Snow Island with a 575-foot-long snow tube slide (there is a separate fee for this).

Lake Lanier Christmas Lights - Magical Nights of Lights + Christmas Atlanta Events and Things to Do on Christmas Day | LocalAdventurer.comPin
photo: Steve Harwood

8. Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker →

2800 Cobb Galleria Pkwy, 30339, map
Dates: December 8-26, 2026
Admission: $30-$160

I never really enjoyed the ballet. However, “The Nutcracker” was always a treasured tradition in Atlanta. After 20 years, the Atlanta Ballet is debuting a new version of this Christmas tale. This year will be the last year Atlanta Ballet will be performing “The Nutcracker” at the Fox Theatre. Expect fresh world-class choreography, awe-inspiring set designs and stunning original costumes. See the complete calendar here.

Local Tip: The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra usually has special shows going on during the holidays too.

Atlanta Ballet Nutcracker + 11 Ways to Celebrate Christmas in Atlanta and Holiday Events in Atlanta | LocalAdventurer.comPin

9. A Christmas Carol

1280 Peachtree St NE, 30309, map
Dates: November 11 – December 24, 2023
Admission: $25-$80

Everyone’s favorite Christmas story is performed live by the Alliance Theatre. Ebenezer Scrooge is my favorite character, especially in this rendition of a classic tale. 

10. Macy’s Pink Pig at Lenox Square

3393 Peachtree Rd NE, 30326, map 
Admission: $3 per ride

Update: Priscilla the Pink Big has officially retired, but we have to leave it on here for the nostalgia.

A big ol’ tent atop the Macy’s parking deck boasts a train ride that has been a tradition for over 50 years. The original Pink Pig began as a monorail along the ceiling of Rich’s, giving kids the experience of “flying over” the toy department. I, myself, rode it the very first time in 1989, mainly for its namesake. Haha

Macys Pink Pig Lenox Mall Atlanta + Christmas Things to Do in Atlanta / Christmas Things | LocalAdventurer.comPin
photo: Counse / cc

11. Winter Wonderland at Fernbank Museum of Natural History

767 Clifton Rd, 30307, map
Dates: TBA 2023
Admission: TBA

Even dinosaurs want to join in and get festive for Christmas. Fernbank is adorned with beautifully decorated trees. Each of them showcases celebrations and holiday traditions around the world. For more details, click here.

See Santa

  • Atlantic Station (17th St NW, map)
  • Avalon (400 Avalon Blvd, map)
  • Greenbriar Mall (2841 Greenbriar Pkwy, map) If you’re looking for a black Santa, this is where you go.
  • Lenox Square (3393 Peachtree Rd, map) – They only have two days where pets are allowed.
  • Perimeter Mall (4400 Ashford Dunwoody Rd, map)
  • Phipps Plaza (3500 Peachtree Rd, map) *Reservations only
  • Ponce City Market (675 Ponce de Leon Ave, map)
Santa Claus Georgia + Christmas Events Near Me and Christmas Concerts Atlanta | LocalAdventurer.comPin

Best Christmas Trees & Tree Lightings in Atlanta

  • 191 Peachtree Tower (map)
  • Atlantic Station (map)
  • Avalon (map)
  • The Battery at Suntrust Park (map)
  • Callaway Gardens (map)
  • Centennial Olympic Park (map)
  • Colony Square Midtown (map)
  • Decatur Square (map)
  • Duluth Town Green (map)
  • The Forum on Peachtree Parkway (map)
  • Mall of Georgia (map)
  • Peachtree Center (map)

Restaurants Open on Christmas

There are a number of restaurants around town that are open on Christmas. Call and make reservations to avoid the long waits. A lot of these restaurants have pre-fixed menus. Here are a few of our favorites:

Best Places to Stay

Planning Checklist

Have you celebrated Christmas in Atlanta? Which of these have you tried?

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Esther and JacobPin

Esther + Jacob

Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They explore a new city in depth every year and currently base themselves in Las Vegas.

Follow on Instagram (E + J), YouTube, TikTok, and Pinterest.

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