7 Things to Do over Thanksgiving Weekend in Atlanta

We've got some great ideas for keeping your family and out-of-town guests entertained all Thanksgiving Weekend long.
  • It's fall. Time for Thanksgiving fun. (Joleen Pete Photography)
    It's fall. Time for Thanksgiving fun. (Joleen Pete Photography)
  • Take in the festive beauty at Christmas at Callanwolde.
    Take in the festive beauty at Christmas at Callanwolde.

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 our best ideas for things to do over Thanksgiving Weekend.

Volunteer as a family.
Thanksgiving marks a time of giving thanks, but it is also encourages “giving back.” Thanksgiving weekend is a great way 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.

Go hiking.
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. 

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 "Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2" opens Nov. 21, just in time for Thanksgiving viewing. The new, animated version of Dr. Seuss' holiday tale, "The Grinch" premieres on Nov. 9. And of course there is still time to see Disney's "The Nutcracker and the Four Realms", which opened earlier this month.

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, head to Atlantic Station. Make a day of it with ice skating and shopping at family favorites like GAP, H&M, Dillards, Belk, Old Navy and DSW.

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.

Experience the arts.
If the grandparents are visiting, it might be a fun idea to visit the High Museum of Art for the family offering, “Day After Thanksgiving.” Enjoy a fun time of art making, story time and festivities. Family programming to take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please note: Regular museum admission tickets cannot be used to enter the exhibition Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors. Please visit the Infinity Mirrors FAQ page on their website for ticketing information.

See Atlanta's largest gingerbread house unveiling and annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony at The St. Regis Atlanta. The festivities begin with the unveiling at 5 p.m. on Nov. 23. The gingerbread house is a collaboration with luxury candy boutique, Sugarfina. The Christmas tree lighting ceremony is scheduled for 6 p.m. and festivities will take place until 8 p.m. 

Get into the Christmas Spirit. Here is the ultimate list of Atlanta family Christmas and Holiday events for kids and teens. 

For more ideas, visit the Thanksgiving page and check out our list of things to do in Atlanta on Thanksgiving Day.


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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