Five Ways to Kick Start the Holiday Season

Get in the holiday spirit early this year with a trip to these Atlanta holiday institutions.

  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, photo by Clay Walker
    Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, photo by Clay Walker
  • Hermy and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, photo by Clay Walker
    Hermy and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, photo by Clay Walker
  • Garden Lights Holiday Nights, photo by Joey Ivansco
    Garden Lights Holiday Nights, photo by Joey Ivansco
  • Garden Lights Holiday Nights is an annual event of the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Photo by Joey Ivansco.
    Garden Lights Holiday Nights is an annual event of the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Photo by Joey Ivansco.
  • Garden Lights Holiday Nights will run through early January. Photo by Joey Ivansco.
    Garden Lights Holiday Nights will run through early January. Photo by Joey Ivansco.

The holiday season creeps up further into November every year, but instead of getting all Scrooge-like in your disdain for early holiday gatherings, it’s time to embrace it. There are holiday events in Atlanta every weekend beginning the first of November, so there’s no time like the present to spend some quality time with your loved ones and take it all in. Read on for five ways to get the holiday party started early for little ones and adults, alike.

The Pink Pig, Beginning Nov. 1
If there is one thing in Atlanta synonymous with the holiday season, it’s the Macy’s Pink Pig. What began when the department store was Rich’s, riding Priscilla the Pink Pig is a rite of passage for Atlanta’s youth. And on Nov. 8 and Nov. 15, you and your family are even able to enjoy breakfast with Priscilla and take part in face painting before taking a spin on the famed ride.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Beginning Nov. 13
Another popular favorite for families, the Center for Puppetry Arts annually puts on a magical performance of everyone’s favorite Christmas classic. After the puppet show, let your little one create his own puppet in the workshop.

Garden Lights, Holiday Nights, Beginning Nov. 15
Each year the Atlanta Botanical Garden lights up the Midtown area with more than 1.5 million lights. Perfect for kids and adults, there is also a bar where you can find spiked hot chocolate (that’s for the adults!) and a fire pit for roasting marshmallows. Stroll the garden and don’t forget to take in the choreographed light and music display by the Fuqua Orchid Center.

Snow Mountain, Beginning Nov. 22
We may not live in the most winter wonderland-like area, but that shouldn’t stop us from playing it like it is. Visit Stone Mountain Park beginning Nov. 22 for Stone Mountain where your family can tube down the hill on their man-made snow park.

It’s a Wonderful Laugh, Beginning Nov. 28
Now, let’s say this up front. This is not one for the kids. Dad’s Garage, Atlanta’s favorite improv group, presents “It’s a Wonderful Laugh” at the Alliance Theatre’s Hertz Stage. It’s fun, it’s funny and it can be crass, but you’re guaranteed to have a great time at this parody of the holiday classic.

What are your favorite Atlanta holiday traditions? Let us know over on Facebook or Twitter.

Born and raised in Alabama, Ashley O'Dell has lived in Atlanta since 2008. She has a love for all things culinary and enjoys writing about Atlanta restaurants and events. When she's not writing, Ashley can be found exploring Atlanta's neighborhoods, restaurants and live music venues. You can find her on Twitter at @AshleyOAtlanta.

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