21 Fun Holiday Activities for Kids in Atlanta

Atlanta is full of kid-friendly holiday events. Bring the family!
  • The family that volunteers together, stays together. Or something like that.
    The family that volunteers together, stays together. Or something like that.
  • What kid doesn't love getting dressed up to see 'The Nutcracker' at the Fox?
    What kid doesn't love getting dressed up to see 'The Nutcracker' at the Fox?

This post was updated in November 2016.

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"
    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. Macy’s Great Tree Lighting Ceremony
    On Nov. 20 at 7 p.m, watch the giant 69th Christmas tree light up on the roof of Macy’s at Lenox Square. Entertainment begins at 6:30 p.m.

  3. Holiday Lights Spectacular
    With more than 3 million lights, see how Atlanta Motor Speedway transforms into one of the area's largest Christmas light parks, complete with carnival rides and Santa’s village. Visit the website for details on special movie events to see "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and "Frozen." On Dec. 3, jog through the lights in the annual Run Through the Lights 5K.

  4. Fantasy in Lights
    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.

  5. Skate Atlantic Station
    Nov. 19 through Feb. 14, 2017, lace up your skates and spin (or slowly circle) around the ice skating rink at Atlantic Station. Ticket prices start at $10. General admission is $13 and a season pass is $75.

  6. The Children's Christmas Parade
    On Dec. 3 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.

  7. Winter Wonderland Celebration
    On view from Nov. 18 through Jan. 8, 2017, 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.

  8. Holiday Bricktacular
    LEGOLAND Discovery Center Atlanta kicks off the holiday season with a Big Tree build on Dec. 3 and 4. Then every weekend through Dec. 25, LEGOLAND decks the halls with boughs of LEGO bricks for a holiday Bricktacular. During this time, if one jolly person in your group wears an "ugly sweater" you'll receive 10-percent off retail purchases.

  9. "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. 3 through 31.

  10. Cookies with Santa
    On Dec. 3 and 4 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 strongly encouraged. Online advance tickets are $10 for Zoo Atlanta members; $15 for nonmembers. Day-of tickets are $13 for members; $18 for nonmembers. Tickets are required for all attendees, including children younger than 3 and do not include zoo admission.

  11. Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker
    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.

  12. A Christmas Carol
    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.

  13. A Family Holiday Special
    On Nov. 27 head to Woodruff Arts Center to get holly jolly with the the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Dance along to music from the "Nutcracker" and sing along to other Christmas favorites. Word has it that Santa may even make an appearance.

  14. Macy’s Pink Pig
    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.

  15. Festival of the SEAson
    Georgia Aquarium will host a series of holiday-themed events for Festival of the SEAsons from Nov. 19 through New Years Day. Visit the aquarium as it transforms into a winter wonderland. The fun begins on Nov. 19 with Wake Up Santa, where guests can help wake up the big guy for the season, from 9 to 10:30 a.m. On Dec. 5, the aquarium will also host a special holiday edition of Toddler Time. Then you're invited to join Santa and your favorite aquarium animals for Breakfast with Santa on Dec. 17. Other festive events include Holidays Across the Seas, SCUBA Claus, Hanukkah Celebrations and Visits with Santa Claus. Visit the website for more information.

  16. Snow Mountain
    From Nov. 19 through Feb. 26, 2017 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

  17. Magic Nights of Light
    Magical Nights of Lights returns this year at Lake Lanier Nov. 18 through Jan. 3, 2017. With more lights, more running dates for the live nativity and a new app to improve your in-car experience, this new collection of adventures is sure to delight the entire family.

  18. Holiday in the Park
    Nov. 19 through Jan. 4, 2017, 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.

  19. Ride-on-Train The Botanical Express
    On weekends and select weekdays from Nov. 19 to Dec. 24, the children's holiday trolley boards from Atlanta Botanical Garden.

  20. Holiday Model Train Show
    Speaking of trains, you'll want to visit the Holiday Model Train Show, on display at Atlanta Botanical Garden evenings during Garden Lights, Holiday Nights.

  21. 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.)

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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