21 Fun Holiday Activities for Kids in Atlanta

Get ready. Get set. It's time for holiday fun in Atlanta.
  • It's a magical time at Atlanta Botanical Garden's Garden Lights Holiday Nights. (Joey Ivansco)
    It's a magical time at Atlanta Botanical Garden's Garden Lights Holiday Nights. (Joey Ivansco)
  • Kids love getting dressed up to see "The Nutcracker" at the Fox.
    Kids love getting dressed up to see "The Nutcracker" at the Fox.
  • Rudolph and friends land at the Center For Puppetry Arts. (Clay Walker)
    Rudolph and friends land at the Center For Puppetry Arts. (Clay Walker)
  • Take a snow day off and head to Snow Mountain.
    Take a snow day off and head to Snow Mountain.

Looking for ways to entertain the kids and create lasting memories as a family this holiday season? Here are 21 fun holiday activities around Atlanta that you won’t want to miss.


  1. "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer", Nov. 7 through Dec. 31
    Based on the beloved 1964 stop-motion animated special, Rudolph and his friends (including Hermey the Elf, Yukon Cornelius and the Abominable Snow Monster) take the stage at the Center for Puppetry Arts, delighting audiences of all ages. 

  2. Fantasy in Lights, Nov. 17 through Dec. 24
    Callaway Gardens' Fantasy In Lights is not only the South’s most spectacular holiday light and sound show, it is one of the world's "Top 10 Places to See Holiday Lights," as named by National Geographic Traveler. Check the website for details about a special story time with Mrs. Claus which includes an hour of Christmas carols, storytelling and cupcake decorating. Christmas train rides on the Chickadee Choo Choo are $5 per person. Food and shopping opportunities available. 

  3. Children's Christmas Parade
    On Dec. 2 see Midtown Atlanta transformed into Santa Claus Lane for the Children's Christmas Parade, benefiting Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. Visit the website for route and volunteer/donating information. Here are 5 reasons you'll want to see the parade.

  4. Winter Wonderland Celebration
    On view from Nov. 17 through Jan. 7, 2018, Fernbank Museum of Natural History is celebrating the winter holidays. Explore two floors of more than 30 beautifully decorated trees, showcasing celebrations around the word. Don't miss Fernbank's Holly Jolly Film Festival, each Saturday during this time.

  5. "Madeline’s Christmas"
    "Madeline's Christmas" at Horizon Theatre tells the story of Madeline, her friends and their misadventures when a mysterious stranger arrives for the holidays. The entire family will love this musical play adapted from Ludwig Bemelmans' beloved book. On stage from Dec. 2 through 31.

  6. Cookies with Santa
    On Dec. 2 and 3 Santa visits Zoo Atlanta. Bring the little ones for a visit, professional photo with Santa, hot chocolate and cookies. Holiday activities include ornament making, caroling singalong on the zoo train, s'mores and more. Space is limited and preregistration is required by Dec 1. Tickets are $12 for Zoo Atlanta members and $17 for nonmembers, not including zoo admission, or $33 zoo admission and Cookies with Santa combo ticket Tickets are required for all attendees, including children younger than 3.

  7. Atlanta Ballet’s "Nutcracker," Dec. 8 through 28
    The Atlanta Ballet's "Nutcracker" at the Fox Theatre is an Atlanta holiday tradition. Get dressed up and join Clara and her nutcracker prince in a world of magic. And in case you need them, here are 5 Reasons to See The Nutcracker at Fox Theatre.

  8. "A Christmas Carol," Dec. 8 through 24
    The Alliance Theatre production of "A Christmas Carol" is one of Atlanta's most treasured holiday traditions. See this classic tale set to live music.

  9. Macy’s Pink Pig, through Dec. 31
    A beloved tradition in Atlanta for more than 50 years, Macy's Pink Pig is back at Lenox Square. Bring your kids to experience this yearly holiday ride.
  10. Snow Mountain
    From Nov. 18 through Feb. 25, 2018 experience the snow without having to travel far from home. Enjoy five snowy fields, build snowmen and careen down the 400-foot hill in a snow tube. Here are 5 Reasons to Visit Stone Mountain Christmas and Snow Mountain

  11. Magic Nights of Lights
    Magical Nights of Lights returns for it's 25th year at Lake Lanier, Nov. 18 through Jan. 3, 2018. After a two-year hiatus, the "12 Days of Christmas" is back with more lights, more fun and an app to improve your in-car experience during the seven-mile drive-through light show. Visit Holiday Village in LanierWorld to see jolly Old St. Nick in Santa's Workshop, roast marshmallows over the fire pit, take a classic carnival ride or shop for gifts and Christmas trimmings.

  12. Holiday in the Park
    On select days from Nov. 18 through Jan. 3, 2018, Six Flags Over Georgia brings you Holiday In The Park -- an exciting holiday classic that includes twinkling lights, festive shows, tasty culinary treats and, of course, Santa Claus. See the park completely transformed into a winter wonderland. New in 2017 – "Holiday in the Park expands to the new Metropolis Park, with JUSTICE LEAGUE: Battle for Metropolis and SUPERMAN: Ultimate Flight open. Metropolis Park will be decorated in holiday decor, as well." Visit the website for dates and pricing details. 

  13. Holiday Model Train Show, Nov. 11 through Jan. 7, 2018
    Choo-choo! If you've got train lovers in the fam, you'll want to visit the Holiday Model Train Show, on display at Atlanta Botanical Garden evenings during Garden Lights, Holiday Nights and during regular daytime hours. 

  14. In the spirit of the season, volunteer as a family with Hands on Atlanta. (On the website you can search for volunteer opportunities by age.) Here are a list of volunteer opportunities in Atlanta year-round. 
  15. Wake Up Santa, Nov. 18
    Santa heads to Atlanta early and his first stop is Georgia Aquarium. Join the aquarium crew in waking up The Big Guy from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. The event includes cookies and hot chocolate with Santa, a souvenir mug and other interactive activities. Bring your camera to snap those selfies! Cost is $9.95 per person for members; $12.95 for nonmembers. Toddlers younger than 2 are free.

  16. A Very Merry Holiday POPS, Dec. 15 and 16 
    Enjoy a concert for the entire family with the annual Atlanta Symphony Orchestra holiday extravaganza. Word has it that Santa and his reindeer may even make an appearance. Purchase your tickets early because they sell out fast.

  17. Bedtime Story with Santa
    Guests of The St. Regis Atlanta can really treat their kids to something special. From Dec. 14 through Dec. 24, Santa and Mrs. Claus will visit children from four rooms to tuck into bed each night, read them a Christmas bedtime story, complete with milk and cookies, and sign a copy of "The Night Before Christmas." Pricing is $75 for the first child and $30 for each additional child. 
  18. Atlanta's Largest Gingerbread House
    In the lobby of St. Regis Atlanta is Atlanta's largest gingerbread house, constructed over 500 hours and created using 300 pounds of flour, 100 pounds of sugar, 10 pounds of spice, 70 pounds of shortening, 45 pounds of corn syrup and 16 pounds of molasses. This amazing house wouldn't be complete without the 300 pounds of royal icing, gingerbread figurines, poinsettias and candy that adorn it. The unveiling is on Thanksgiving Day at 6 p.m.

  19. Reindog Parade, Dec. 2
    For those of us who treat our pups like furry kids, this holiday event is not to be missed. It's the one day a year that dogs, older than 18 months, are invited to join the family at Atlanta Botanical Garden, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dress Fido in her holiday finery to compete for prizes or just to prance around in. Get photos with St. Nick. Register your pooch online for $15 or pay $18 at the door. This price does not include admission.

  20. Deck the Hall, Dec. 2
    Formerly the Duluth Tree Lighting, this fun holiday celebration takes place on the Duluth Town Green. From 2 to 7 p.m. enjoy live entertainment, crafts for the kids, a Polar Express train ride, snow playground, Santa and a giant snow slide. This event is free to attend but it's a good idea to have cash on hand for vendors.

  21. Skate the Sky at Rooftop Terrace, Nov. 20 through Feb. 14, 2018
    New this year and just in time for the holiday season, The Roof at Ponce City Market opens Skate the Sky – an extension of Skyline Park. This space overlooking the Atlanta BeltLine and Old Fourth Ward will completely transform into a rooftop winter wonderland.

For more ideas of things to do this holiday season in Atlanta, check out these Thanksgiving and Christmas events.

Joleen Pete is a Southern California transplant, living and loving it in the ‘burbs outside Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband and their toddler son. On the weekends, they enjoy going into the city for family fun and exploration. Joleen is the professional photographer behind Joleen Pete Photography, and lifestyle/family blogger behind Love, Joleen.

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