Top Things to Do in Atlanta in December

Make your December in Atlanta rock! Explore the top events and things to do in Atlanta during December.
  • Wander Stone Mountain's winter wonderland throughout the holiday season.
    Wander Stone Mountain's winter wonderland throughout the holiday season.
  • Hear more than 400 musicians perform at Christmas with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. (photo Jeff Roffman)
    Hear more than 400 musicians perform at Christmas with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. (photo Jeff Roffman)

The final month of the year is a sweet one in Atlanta. December brings frosty weather, reflections on the year past and plenty of holiday cheer. If you’re keen for some good tidings and merriment, check out some of the activities below.

  1. Stone Mountain Christmas puts the magic of the season in the air, with more than 2 million lights, festive music and holiday characters. Nov. 12-Jan. 4. 

  2. The Centennial Olympic Park Ice Rink and the Holiday in Lights display, presented by Coca-Cola, kicks off the holidays in Downtown Atlanta with a 115-by-64 foot ice rink and thousands of lights. Nov. 19-Jan. 1. 

  3. Festival of the SEAson features a light and music show, tree-lighting ceremonies, Santa and SCUBA Claus, and live entertainment at Georgia Aquarium. Nov. 19-Jan. 1 (see schedule). 

  4. Experience primo holiday decor in a Tudor Revival mansion during Christmas at Callanwolde. Nov. 28-Dec. 13 (check schedule). 

  5. Black Nativity retells the story of the first Christmas with dance, spirituals and gospel music at Southwest Arts Center. Nov. 30-Dec. 18. 

  6. See some Christmas theater, such as "A Christmas Carol" at Alliance Theatre and "Madeline’s Christmas" at Horizon Theatre. Dec. 1-24.

  7. Enjoy floats, giant balloons, costumed characters and marching bands at the Children’s Christmas Parade that goes through Peachtree Street in Midtown. Dec 3. 

  8. Got an ugly sweater? Show it off at the Ugly Sweater Run 5K at Piedmont Park. Dec 3. 

  9. Register and dress up your dog at the Reindog Parade at Atlanta Botanical Garden. Dec. 3. 

  10. Watch the Atlanta Falcons play Kansas City Chiefs in a home game at the Georgia Dome. Dec 4. 

  11. Centennial Olympic Park hosts a Chinese Lantern Festival featuring 25 handcrafted lanterns, a three-story pagoda and a 200-foot-long Chinese dragon, as well as nightly entertainment. Dec. 9-Jan. 15. 

  12. A hallmark of the Atlanta holiday season, the "Nutcracker" celebrates its 20th anniversary at the Fabulous Fox Theatre, performed by the Atlanta Ballet. Dec. 9-24.

  13. Christmas with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra features more than 400 musicians. Dec. 9-10. 

  14. Ready to burn some of those holiday calories? The Jeff Galloway Race Weekend includes the 13.1 Half Marathon, Barb's 5K, and the new "Fit Kids" Run. The JG 13.1 takes you on a tour of Midtown's scenery and landmark and ends at Piedmont Park. Dec. 11.

  15. Follow candlelit paths at the Atlanta History Center that lead to historic houses with holiday decorations, activities and refreshments at Candlelight Nights. Various nights in December. 

  16. Join Power 96.1 radio station as it hosts big-name music artists at Jingle Ball at Philips Arena. Dec. 16. 

  17. A Very Merry Holiday Pops stars Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, youth choruses, a drum line and a jitterbugging Santa at Atlanta Symphony Hall. Dec 16-17. 

  18. Celtic Christmas features fiddlers, dancers, singers and a harpist, all from the Irish, Scottish, Welsh and Appalachian traditions, at Rialto Center for the Arts. Dec. 17-18. 

  19. Don your trendiest white clothes for a night of drinks, entertainment, dance music and people-watching at Winter White Party, which supports charity at Georgian Terrace Hotel. Dec. 19.

  20. Watch an exciting college football playoff at this year’s Peach Bowl in the Georgia Dome. Dec. 31. 

And if any of these are less budget-friendly than you'd like, try some free and cheap holiday things to do. Enjoy your merrymaking this December!

Beth Clark is a writer and foodie who loves to roam around Atlanta, uncovering the city's quirky, glam, upscale and down-home character. Curiosity is her compass, and you'll find her writing on




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