There’s so much going on in Atlanta for the holidays. It doesn’t matter if you’re searching for holiday lights to brighten up your festive season, ice-skating rinks, or a boozy pop-up to get into the spirit of things, keep on scrolling for some epic holiday inspiration in the ATL.
We are truly spoilt for choice and ’tis the season, so treat yourself to a few festive outings throughout the next few weeks, or gift a loved one to an unfogettable day out. Here are thirty fabulously festive things to do over the holidays in Atlanta this year.
1. Have a luminous night at the Atlanta Botanical Garden
One of the many spectacular light shows that’s completely transformed iconic ATL spaces is the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s Garden Lights, Holiday Nights. This unmissable celebration of light annually takes over the enchanting gardens, with several beloved installations returning this year, as well as new lights for the new season!
2. Enjoy a magical candlelit concert of holiday classics
The Candlelight concert series has taken Atlanta by storm, and they’re have a festive selection of holiday concerts. Enjoy those classic carols, Christmas pop hits, and more at the beloved concerts that are completely bathed in flicketring candlelight. Check out the holiday offerings below or click here for their full line-up. Or you could treat a loved one to a gift-card so they can choose their favorite concert, with an extensive amount of gigs dedicated the best in music, movies, and entertainment.
- Candlelight: Holiday Special ft. “The Nutcracker” & More
- Candlelight: Holiday Special
- Candlelight Gift Card
3. Ice-skate the night away at Atlantic Station
One of Atlanta’s favorite holiday traditions is checking out the glistening Atlantic Station and their beautiful ice-rink. With gorgeous decorations and one of Atlanta’s largest pop-up ice-skating rinks, get ready to hit the ice this festive season. Click here for a full round-up of ice-skating rinks in Atlanta for the holidays as there are many on offer throughout and around the city.
4. Strike back at the epic fan-made Star Wars exhibit in Atlanta
Star Wars fans can unite this holiday season at the unmissable Star Wars exhibit made-up of fan paraphernalia dedicated to the epic sci-fi saga. Make sure you get your tickets and treat yourselves or your Star Wars obsessed loved ones to an epic journey to space and back, featuring more than 600 official items from the Star Wars Universe collected by fans and displayed for fans. Click the link below for tickets.
Tickets: Get your tickets and strike back at the epic Star Wars exhibit in Atlanta over the holiday season
5. Enjoy a festive day out at Alpharetta’s Avalon
Avalon is home to so many fun and festive things to do over the festive season. There’s a family-friendly Santa pop-up dessert and cocktail bae serving sweet treats and cakes throughout the day, and an extensive holiday-themed cocktail menu with extended hours for the grownups. Not to mention their Rockefeller-inspired ice-skating rink that’s one of the most enchanting in Atlanta due to its magnificent decorations. Click here to find out about the pop-up, or click here to find out more about Avalon on Ice.
6. Visit the totally bitchin’ Stranger Things immersive experience
If you haven’t yet experienced the incomparable immersive experience at Pullman Yards devoted to Netflix’s smash sci-fi drama Stranger Things. Take a trip to the Upside Down and come face-to-face with your favorite characters and monstrous villains from the series. You can even snap a selfie with Vecna before heading to ‘Scoops Ahoy’ for a radical sundae or a couple of scoops of ice cream. For more information and tickets, click the link below.
Tickets: Channel your inner Eleven at Stranger Things: The Experience this holiday season
7. Check out the magical immersive Monet exhibition in Atlanta
Visiting exhibitions during the holidays go hand in hand, especially when there’s ground-breaking immersion and unbeatable insight on the most iconic impressionist painter in art history. Walk directly into the French painter’s most famous masterpieces like The Water Lily Pond, plus many more. Get your tickets for this fabulous exhibit here.
8. Enjoy the largest residential holiday lights display in Georgia
Lights of Joy is the largest residential holiday lights display in Georgia, and it’s completely free of charge to view. Over 200 trees and several installations boast over 500K luminous lights, making it the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit. You can find this holiday gem in Kennesaw. Click here for more information.
9. Visit the iconic Georgia Aquarium this holiday season
Witness an unbeatable plethora of amazing aquatic animals at Atlanta’s Georgia Aquarium. From exhibits on sharks, sea lions, and beyond, you’ll be able to explore one of the largest aquariums in the world. For more information and tickets, click the link below.
Tickets: Take a dive into Georgia Aquarium’s fascinating sea-life this holiday season!
10. Experience Georgia’s authentic German Alpine village
Helen is Georgia’s unique Alpine village with old-school German architecture and enchanting storybook vibes. The area annually gets an awesome holiday makeover with gorgeous decorations, as well as a Christmas Parade set to take over the town on December 10. Click here for more information.
11. Pay a visit to the beloved Zoo Atlanta
Zoo Atlanta is one of the many family-friendly days out in Atlanta, boasting over 1,000 animals including cute Red Pandas (pictured above), giraffes, monkeys, and more. Not only will you be able to get up close and personal with fascinating wildlife, but you’ll also learn about the Zoo’s mission to preserve the natural world. Get your tickets by clicking the link below.
Tickets: Get wild this festive season at the adored Grant Park attraction, Zoo Atlanta!
12. Visit Atlanta Zoo after hours for their Chinese lantern display
Speaking of Zoo Atlanta, they are playing host to an epic Chinese lantern festival for the holiday season. With spectacular giant lantern pieces taking over the Grant Park gem, each installation symbolizes wildlife and the natural world. Please note, access to the Chinese lantern display is not granted with the above links for general admission. Click here for more information.
13. Immerse yourself at Atlanta’s premier immersive experience
Illuminarium is a fabulous day out for the whole family, presenting a continuously fresh cycle of killer immersive experiences that are not to be missed. From exhibitions to missions to space, safaris and beyond, if you’ve yet to experience Illuminarium then this is your sign to do so over the holiday season. Click the link below for more information.
Tickets: Check out the BeltLine’s incredible immersive safe haven, Illuminarium!
14. Save Christmas at this festive escape room in Atlanta
When it comes to Escape Rooms, there’s no shortage of super fun spaces here in the ATL. However, there’s one in particular that’s definitely get you in the mood for the holidays. Saving Christmas is an awesome holiday mystery where you’ll help Santa make his yearly route on time. For more information and to book your spot this festive season, click the link below.
Help Santa Claus save Christmas at this festive holiday escape room in Atlanta!
15. Catch a movie with friends and family over the holidays!
There are some incredible holiday blockbusters to watch over the festive season. From the Avatar sequel to our return to Wakanda with the next installment in the Black Panter franchise, there’s no better time to go to the movies than during the holiday season. Click here to book your AMC tickets (you can also search for your desired movie in the search bar).
16. Have a fabulously festive night on Ponce City Market’s rooftop
From private igloos for drinking and dining to Ponce City Market’s rooftop rink for ice-skating the night away, the roof at PCM is the place to be this holiday season. For more info on the Old Fourth Ward icon’s festive offerings, click here.
17. Get into the holiday spirit at this beloved pop-up bar in Buckhead
The Blind Pig Parlour in Buckhead have become renowned for their fabulously festive pop-ups. This year alone, the beloved speakeasy has been a Valentines Day paradise, an enchanting tiki bar for the summer, and it’s adored holiday pop-up is back for the festive season, The Blind Elf. Click here for more information on this legendary pop-up bar.
18. Paint the town green at this Grinch-themed pop-up
While we’re on the topic of legendary pop-ups, there’s a charming bar in Alpharetta that are connoisseurs in the festive pop-up game. Following their Hocus Pocus theme for Halloween, it’s off to Who-Ville for the holidays as Mercantile Social have opened their Grinch-themed holiday bar for the most wonderful time of the year! Don’t miss our full round-up of holiday pop-up bars in Atlanta for the festive season. Click the link below for the full round-up!
See also: 11 unmissable holiday pop-up bars in and around Atlanta
19. Visit Atlanta’s Christkindl Market in Buckhead
If you haven’t already, make sure to check out our recent round-up of festive markets to check out in Atlanta this holiday season. Of course, Buckhead is home to the most iconic and you don’t want to miss out on the fabulously festive vibes at this adored Atlantan tradition. Click here for more information.
20. Enjoy a festive evening on Midtown’s Colony Square
There’s so much to do on Colony Square over the holidays. As well as checking out their luxe foodhall Politan Row, you can follow it up with checking out their hidden igloo pop-up bar. Enjoy holiday-themed cocktails and fixating festive displays. Their spectacular tree needs to be seen to believed, too!
20. Drive through a spectacle of lights at these drive-thru light shows!
Experience the magic of the holidays without having to leave your car. Of course, there are so many awesome lights displays and shows in Atlanta over the holidays, but drive-thru holiday light spectacles have become an adored tradition, with Atlanta boasting a couple of iconic events over the festive period this year. Check out our recommendations below or the full round up, here!
- Reindeer Road with World of Illumination, Six Flags White Water
- ATL Holiday Lights, Lakewood Ampitheatre
21. Rock around the UrbanTree at Urban Tree Cidery
UrbanTree Cidery has had a festive makeover for the holidays. Featuring specialty holiday cocktails, carefully curated to put you into the spirit of the season, as well as amazing decorations with the jolliest vibes throughout the holidays. Click here for more information.
22. Put on your best PJs for the Naughty List Pajama Party
It’s not often that you’re putting on your coziest pajamas for an epic festive party, but the holidays are different! Play fun games and participate in cash-prize contests with food and drinks available for purchase, and killer DJs spinning the night away. This extra special event will be taking place on December 23 and is strictly 21+. For more information and tickets, click the link below.
Tickets: Get on your best pajamas for this festive party in Atlanta for the holidays!
23. Have the perfect ‘pinkmas’ at this joyful eatery in Alpharetta
Another unmissable offering from Avalon is hitting up this festive list of things to do in Atlanta over the holidays. The Cape Restaurant & Beach Bar has become unrecognizable, using their favorite color pink to transform their beautiful space into a ‘pretty in pink’ winter dreamland. Don’t miss this perfect dining experience in the ATL for the holidays. There’s even a holiday cocktail menu to die for!
24. Pay a visit to the St. Regis’ holiday pop-up shop
To say the hotels in Atlanta go over-the-top for the holidays would be an injustice and epic understatement. One in particular that you must check out is the St. Regis Atlanta, boasting an enchanting pop-up shop in a stunning Swiss-inspired chalet, as well as OTT decorations that you don’t want to miss. Click here for more information.
25. Skate at Pullman Yard’s brand-new eco-friendly ice-skating rink!
It was only a matter of time before the Pratt Pullman District got a slice of the holiday happenings, and this year is that time. Pullman Yards have opened a brand-new ice-skating rink for the holiday season this year. Best of all, it requires no electricity or water so it’s completely eco-friendly. For a full round-up of ice-skating rinks in Atlanta, click the link below.