10 Free and Cheap Things To Do This Holiday Season

Save money. Enjoy free and cheap holiday events in Atlanta.
  • The Pink Pig is an Atlanta tradition.
    The Pink Pig is an Atlanta tradition.
  • Find unique gifts at the Christkindl Market at Atlantic Station. (2017, Gene Phillips)
    Find unique gifts at the Christkindl Market at Atlantic Station. (2017, Gene Phillips)

Updated Nov. 20, 2018

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 things to do this holiday season, things that won’t cost you much if anything at all. Ho, ho, hope to see you there. 


  • On Dec. 1 watch Midtown Atlanta transformed 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.

  • Chanukah Celebrations & Grand Menorah Lightings at multiple locations including Decatur Square, Virginia Highlands, Atlantic Station and Ponce City Market. Enjoy music, donut decorating, latkes, hot drinks, sufganiyot, raffles, prizes, and more from Dec. 2 through 6. 

  • Christkindl Market at Atlantic Station, Nov. 30 through Dec. 23
    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. Fun for the whole family.

  • Sparkle Sandy Springs, Dec. 1 through Dec. 31
    Join the City of Sandy Springs for the kick-off of Sparkle Sandy Springs at its new location. Visitors will enjoy walking through a wonderland of festively decorated six-foot-tall wooden houses and surrounding areas. This year’s event kicks off at 6 p.m. on Dec. 1 and will feature the City’s first annual Christmas tree lighting, as well as a Menorah lighting. Festive entertainment provided by School of Rock Atlanta. Free hot chocolate will be served, and other concessions will be available for sale. The display will remain open to the public through Dec. 31. 

  • Although technically free with Garden Museum Admission, the Reindog Parade is not to be missed. Bring Fido to join the annual festivities. Dress your pooch in holiday finery to compete for prizes or to just show off. Enjoy photos with Saint Nick and connect with local canine enthusiasts and businesses in the Doggie Expo.


  • 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 through Jan. 6. 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 will benefit Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

  • Enchanted Woodland Wonders, Dec. 9
    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.

  • Winter Wonderland, Nov. 16 through Jan. 6, 2018
    Explore celebrations from around the world at this twinkling extravaganza of beautifully decorated trees at Fernbank Museum of Natural History.

  • The Muppet Christmas Carol, Dec. 8
    The Muppet Characters tell their version of the holiday classic at the Center for Puppetry Arts Mainstage Theatre. Arrive early to visit The Worlds of Puppetry Museum before the movie.

  • 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. 1 through 30.

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.

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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