Thanksgiving is fast approaching and that often means entertaining out-of-town friends and family. But once the football games are watched and the meal has been eaten, what do you do? Fortunately, Atlanta is full of cultural, physical and fun activities for the entire family. Here are seven things to do over Thanksgiving Weekend in Atlanta.
Volunteering brings joy to all involved. (📷 Priscilla Du Preez)
Volunteer as a family
Thanksgiving marks a time of giving thanks, and it also encourages “giving back.” Thanksgiving weekend is a great time to demonstrate to kids and family that helping is as important, if not better, than receiving. Check out these ongoing volunteer opportunities in the Atlanta area. Hands On Atlanta takes it a step further by offering matching services to help you find the perfect volunteer opportunities for you and your family. Nov. 23 is Family Volunteer Day-"a global day of service that celebrates the power of families who work together to support their communities and neighborhoods."
Stone Mountain Park offers great views of Atlanta. (📷 Benjamin A. Pete)
OK, so you ate too much and a the kids are stir crazy. Get some fresh air and enjoy the beautiful fall colors at one of these 7 family-friendly adventures near Atlanta. Feeling even more adventurous? Here are 7 Georgia hikes with amazing views, located within a few hours of Atlanta. This awesome list includes drive time from Atlanta as well as difficulty rating.
Disney's "Frozen II" opens Nov. 22, just in time for Thanksgiving week (and weekend).
See a movie
If your family is like ours, it’s tradition to see a good flick over the holiday weekend. The anticipated and family-friendly Disney's "Frozen II" opens Nov. 22, just in time for Thanksgiving viewing. Also opening that day is "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood," based on the beloved Fred Rogers and his friendship with Lloyd Vogel, a character based on real-life journalist Tom Junod.
Our suggestions for a movie theater and great holiday shopping? Catch a show at the AMC at Phipps Plaza after visiting favorites like Kate Spade New York, Janie and Jack, Lilly Pulitzer and Nordstrom. Phipps is also home to high-end shops like Versace, Tiffany & Co., Saks Fifth Avenue, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and more. For a Regal Stadium with IMAX experience, head to Atlantic Station. Make a day of it by shopping at family favorites like GAP, H&M, Dillards, Belk, Old Navy and DSW.
Ponce City Market has good eats and great stores for holiday shopping. (📷 Benjamin A. Pete)
Shop Black Friday
And speaking of shopping, what’s Thanksgiving Weekend without Black Friday? Whether you plan your attack meticulously or go with the flow and enjoy the holiday madness, we’ve got you covered for your holiday shopping. Here are 4 tips for getting the best Black Friday deals in Atlanta.
Bundle up and say cheese for your Atlanta family fall photo session. (📷 Joleen Pete)
Take your annual family photos
Hire your favorite Atlanta family photographer or DIY it with your tripod and DSLR. Either way, you won't regret capturing your family in fall photos, showcasing your smiles and all the natural beauty that Atlanta has to offer. Here are 6 beautiful fall photo locations in Atlanta.
Get a behind the scenes look at America's favorite beverage. (📷 Joleen Pete)
Visit Atlanta's top attractions
Experience Atlanta like a tourist. Take your out-of-town guests to visit Atlanta's top must-see attractions. Save up to 40-percent off on combined admission prices to Atlanta’s top five attractions with an Atlanta CityPASS. An Atlanta CityPASS includes tickets to Georgia Aquarium, CNN Studio Tour, World of Coca-Cola, your choice between Fernbank Museum of Natural History or Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame, Zoo Atlanta or the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. CityPASS ticket booklets are valid for nine days, beginning with the first day of use.
The Hip Hop Nutcracker is a contemporary dance spectacle set to Tchaikovsky. (📷 Tim Norris)
Get into the Christmas spirit
Get into the Christmas spirit with a live performance. See The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra perform live to the holiday classic film, “Home Alone” at Atlanta Symphony Hall at Woodruff Arts Center. Head to Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre for a holiday mash-up for the whole family. The Hip Hop Nutcracker is sure to delight. For a Christmas classic, get tickets to "A Christmas Carol," now in it’s 30th year at Alliance Theatre, showing on the new Coca-Cola stage.
If you have kids to entertain, you'll want to check out this ultimate list of Atlanta family Christmas and holiday events for kids and teens.
For more ideas, visit our Thanksgiving page.
Originally published Nov. 2017
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.