10 Free and Cheap Things To Do This Holiday Season

Save money. Enjoy free and cheap holiday events in Atlanta.
  • Here are some budget-friendly things to do for the holidays in Atlanta.
    Here are some budget-friendly things to do for the holidays in Atlanta.

Updated November 2019

They don’t call it “hustle and bustle” for nothing. The holidays can get a little crazy, not to mention expensive. But not to worry; we’ve got some great ideas of festive things to do that won’t cost you much if anything at all. Ho, ho, hope to see you at one of these 10 free and cheap things to do this holiday season in Atlanta.

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Free Things to Do in Atlanta for the Holidays

  • Deck the Hall, Dec. 7. It's a super fun way to ring in the season in downtown Duluth. Between 2 and 7 p.m. enjoy live music, inflatables, ornament making, snow play area, face painting, games, etc. Between 4 and 5 p.m. you can stop in city hall to chat with city council members, view the holiday decorations and visit with Santa.

  • On Dec. 7 watch Midtown Atlanta transform into Santa Claus Lane for the Children's Christmas Parade, benefiting Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. Here are some of our best insider tips and 5 reasons not to miss it.

  • Hanukkah Celebrations & Grand Menorah Lightings occur at multiple locations including Virginia Highland (Dec. 22), Ponce City Market (Dec. 23), Atlantic Station (Dec. 25) and Decatur (Dec. 29). On Dec. 26, join Chabad Intown for the Festival of Lights. Spread holiday cheer from the warmth of your car in a Menorah parade. Finish with a grand menorah lighting, festive songs, latkes and doughnuts.

  • Atlanta Christkindl Market, Nov. 21 through Dec. 24 
    This family favorite festival is full of color, magical smells, sounds and celebration. Enjoy German traditions, food, beverages, Atlanta’s largest holiday market and so much more in a new location this year, Centennial Olympic Park. It promises fun for the whole family.

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Cheap Things to Do in Atlanta for the Holidays

  • Macy's Pink Pig has been a beloved tradition in Atlanta for more than 50 years. Bring your kiddos to experience this seasonal holiday ride at Lenox Square, Nov. 2 through Jan. 5, 2020. (Ride closed Nov. 24, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.) The cost is $3 per ride and multi-ride tickets have a special discounted price (two rides for $5.50, three rides for $7.50). A portion of the proceeds benefits Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

  • Chinese Lantern Festival, Nov. 22 through Jan. 5
    For a unique way to experience the holidays head down to Centennial Olympic Park and view the amazing Chinese lanterns. This year's theme, "Into the Wild," showcases handcrafted lanterns in the shapes of animals to highlight the need for conservation. New this year are interactive lanterns to see and touch. There are food and merchandise booths plus live entertainment each night.

  • The Nightmare Before Christmas, Dec. 6 and 7
    For a fun way to share the holidays with others, head to the Center for Puppetry Arts for screenings of the favorite quirky holiday film, "The Nightmare Before Christmas." Admission also includes admission to the museum.

  • Celebrate Hanukkah: A Cultural Exploration, Dec. 8
    Don’t miss this great way to enjoy interactive Hanukkah songs and stories for the whole family. Children and parents will laugh, sing, dance, shake, wiggle and giggle as we celebrate this joyful holiday.

  • Enchanted Woodland Wonders, Dec. 15 
    Let Chattahoochee Nature Center help you get in the holiday spirit with a fun day of reindeer visitations, games, crafts, face painting, food trucks, campfire and more.

  • Madeline's Christmas at Horizon Theatre, Dec. 7 through 31
    It's 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.

Looking for more ideas? Check out these 21 fun holiday activities for kids in Atlanta. Also, be sure to keep visiting the Thanksgiving and Christmas pages for updates on holiday events and festivities.

Originally published Nov. 2016 

Joleen Pete lives outside Atlanta with her husband and their son. On the weekends they enjoy going into the city for family fun and exploration. Joleen is the
family travel blogger behind Love, Joleen.

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