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 happening around Atlanta that you won’t want to miss. From musical performances to light installations, ice skating, puppet shows, holiday markets and more, you’re sure to find some family fun here.

  1. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, through Dec. 30
    Families with young children will delight in the Center of Puppetry Arts' production of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," based on the favorite 1964 stop motion animated film. 

  2. Fantasy in Lights, through Jan. 5, 2019
    Callaway Gardens' Fantasy in Lights is literally that -- a fantasy. Named one of the nation's "Top 10 places to see Holiday Lights" by National Geographic, you won’t want to miss this magical display. Check the website for details about a special story time with Mrs. Claus, which includes an hour of Christmas carols and cupcake decorating. Christmas train rides on the Chickadee Choo Choo are $5 per person. Food and shopping opportunities are available. 

  3. Children's Christmas Parade
    On Dec. 1 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, through Jan. 6, 2019
    Explore celebrations from around the world at this twinkling extravaganza of more than 30 beautifully decorated trees at Fernbank Museum of Natural History

  5. "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.

  6. Jungle Bells at Zoo Atlanta, Dec. 1
    Don’t miss the 2nd Annual Tree Lighting when Zhu Zhu the Giant panda mascot flips the switch at 4:30 p.m. In addition, there will be fun activities for the family including crafts, holiday shopping, holiday photo ops, hot cider, festive snacks and more.

  7. Atlanta Ballet Presents the "Nutcracker", Dec. 8 through 24
    Enjoy the Atlanta Ballet's first new "Nutcracker" in 20 years. With world-class choreography by Yuri Possokhov, awe-inspiring set designs by Tony Award-nominee Tom Pye, groundbreaking projection design by Tony Award-winner Finn Ross, stunning costume design by Sandra Woodall and imaginative lighting design by David Finn, it's sure to be a hit for the entire family.

  8. "A Christmas Carol," Dec. 12 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. Stone Mountain Christmas, through Jan. 6, 2019 
    No winter in Atlanta would be complete without a visit to Stone Mountain for its Christmas celebration and a romp in the snow. Millions of dazzling lights, The Polar Express experience, Santa visits, holiday characters and much more is in store for families this year. Here are 5 Reasons to Visit Stone Mountain Christmas and Snow Mountain

  11. Magical Nights of Lights returns for it's 26th year at Lake Lanier, through Jan. 6, 2019. Enjoy a seven-mile drive-through light show with an app to improve your in-car experience. 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. Through Jan. 6, 2019, 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. Visit the website for dates and pricing details. 

  13. Garden Lights Holiday Nights, through Jan. 6, 2019
    Put on your coat and head on out to Atlanta Botanical Gardens for this magical offering, featuring spectacular light installations throughout the gardens.

  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. Santa's Fantastical, through Dec. 24
    12 whimsical worlds await in this pop-up wonderland of hands-on, immersive exhibits showcasing “unique visuals, larger-than-life installations and fun photographic moments. The immersive digital and performance art exhibits provide a magical escape for all ages.”

  16. Christmas with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Dec. 8 and 9
    Celebrate the season through music with Christmas carols performed by the ASO, chorus and special guests, the Gwinnett Young Singers and the Morehouse College Glee Club.

  17. The St. Regis Atlanta's Tea with Santa, Nov. 23 through Dec. 24
    A fun family tradition, St Regis’ tea with Santa invites guests to enjoy a fun holiday tea while Santa roams the hall and visits with children.

  18. Black Nativity Atlanta, Nov. 28 through Dec. 9
    Black Nativity is an African-American telling of the Nativity story, written by acclaimed African-American poet and playwright Langston Hughes and adapted by Robert John Connor. The African-American viewpoint and gospel music of this classic story make Black Nativity Atlanta a truly unique experience. 

  19. 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.

  20. Christmas with The Georgia Boy Choir, Dec. 14 and 15
    “You'll be mesmerized by the transcendent Georgia Boy Choir sound as the singers perform sacred classics, Christmas carols and all your holiday favorites in the magnificent sanctuary of Peachtree Road United Methodist Church in Buckhead. The choir is accompanied by a full orchestra and The Mighty Mander Organ of PRUMC. 

  21. Christmas Royal Tea and Grand Yuletide Ball, Dec. 15 through 23
    A royal Christmas experience for kids is filled with decadent sweets, tea and juice, a visit from the Prince and Princess of the Grand Yuletide Ball, and a Nutcracker dance performance by the Georgia Metropolitan Dance Theatre's sugarplum dancers.

Bonus Ideas: 

  • Holiday Model Train Show, through Jan. 6, 2019
    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. 

  • Miss Bennet Christmas at Pemberley, Nov. 21 through Dec. 23
    Revisit your favorite "Pride & Prejudice" characters in this holiday hit by The Outfit at The Balzer Theatre.

  • Christmas at Callanwolde, Nov. 23 through Dec. 9
    Christmas lover’s will delight in touring the Holiday Show House at Callanwolde. In addition to the magically decorated mansion, visitors will also enjoy a holiday market, various themed events for all ages and a beautiful light display in the gardens at night.

  • The St. Regis Atlanta's Tree Lighting, Nov. 23
    It's a fun holiday celebration including the St Regis tree lighting and the unveiling of “Atlanta’s largest gingerbread house” in addition to a pop-up holiday confection shop.

  • Roswell Dance Theatre's the Nutcracker, Nov. 23 through Dec. 2
    This family tradition marks its 30th year presenting the beloved family production of the "Nutcracker" at Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center.

  • The St. Regis Atlanta's Astor Holiday Ice Rink, Nov. 23 through Jan. 6, 2019
    For a little seasonal fun, don your warm clothing and head on out to St Regis’ Holiday Ice Rink for a little skating and twirling on the ice. Check website for hours.

  • Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker, Nov. 24
    This amazing production is in Atlanta for one night only. . 

  • Irving Berlin's White Christmas at The Fox, Nov. 27 through Dec. 2
    This magical, musical production is full of dancing, laughter and some of the greatest Christmas songs ever written.

  • Elf the Musical, Dec. 7 through 16
    Based on the beloved holiday movie, this hilarious musical production tells the story of Buddy the Elf as he travels from the North Pole to NYC to find his true family.

  • A Festive Family Holiday, Dec. 16
    Invite family and friends for a fun afternoon of holiday favorite Christmas carols by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

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

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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