‘Tis officially the season.
December is here, folks. There’s plenty of merry and bright things to go around in the ATL this holiday season. Find out the most fun and festive things to do in Atlanta this December and fill yourself with some holiday cheer.
1-5. Hit the Ice!
When it comes to active winter activities, there’s no sport more festive and ceremonial of the holiday season than ice skating. There’s no shortage of spectacular ice skating rinks in and around at Altanta. Check out a few recommendations below, or click here for our full roundup.
- Skate on the Square at Colony Square
- Skate the Station at Atlantic Station
- Avalon on Ice in Alpharetta
- Skate the Sky at Ponce City Market
- Snow Island at Lanier Island
6-8. Festive classical concerts, bathed in Candlelight
The breathtaking Candlelight concert series is continuously transforming Atlanta’s most beautiful venues into a candlelit musical paradise. Experience classical music like never before, bathed in gorgeous Candlelight, with so many unmissable themed evenings to check out. Here’s what’s happening this month, including their breathtaking festive offerings!
- Candlelight Jazz: Holiday Classics ft. Ella Fitzgerald and more!
- Candlelight: Holiday Special featuring “The Nutcracker” and more!
- Candlelight: Jazz and the Black Experience
Igloo dining has become a winter phenomenon, that was originally only available at select locations. Nowadays, more and more ATL venues and bars are getting creative in the winter months. Several festive winter igloos are popping up across the city, and here are a few of our favorites you need to check out this season.
This scavenger hunt meets foodie tour is the perfect winter date to have this holiday season in Atlanta. Enjoy a lovely picnic spread for 2 with this ultimate date night experience. Take part in games and conversation starters, and do the recommending walking routes provided. You will be met with a stunning picnic spread! Click here for more information.
The holidays are alive in the south. Despite all the madness, the City of Atlanta is lighting up with magical holiday cheer. There are so many incredible light shows and festivals across the city, guaranteed to help the grouchiest Grinch get into the holiday spirit. Check out a few recommendations below, before heading to our full round-up.
- Garden Lights, Holiday Nights at the Atlanta Botanical Garden
- IllumiNights at Zoo Atlanta
- Holiday Road at Bouckaert Farm
- Fantasy In Lights at Callaway Gardens
- World of Illuminations at Six Flags White Water
If you haven’t checked out Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience at Pullman Yards, then your missing out. Now’s the perfect time to indulge in this magical exhibition, delving into everything you need to know about the iconic post-impressionist painter Vincent Van Gogh. Watch his artwork come to life in a 360-degree digital spectacle that’s currently illuminating and transforming the historic ATL landmark.
Head to Underground Atlanta for The Art of Banksy: Without Limits, then you are missing out. This unbeatable exhibition boasts more than 140 pieces and provides incredible insight on the world’s most famous street artist.
Now due to popular demand, the exhibition will be on display for an extra week, concluding on Sunday January, 16. Make sure you head to Underground Atlanta for this unmissable exhibition, before its too late!
Don’t miss out. Make sure you book your tickets for this spectacular exhibition!
18-24. Holiday pop-up bars in Atlanta
Our favorite holiday tradition is back and in full fruition, here in the ATL! Holiday pop-up bars have returned and they’re the perfect way to get into the spirit of the festive season! Enjoy specialty cocktails in your own heated igloo, or under crazy lighting displays at one of these incredible bars in the city. Check our favorite holiday bars that’ve popped up in Atlanta for the holidays.
- Wonderland at Willow, The Kimpton Sylvan Hotel in Buckhead
- Tiki Tango Hideaway Oasis, 13th Street and Peachtree Walk in Midtown
- Holidays on the Roof, Ponce City Market
- The Blind Elf, The Blind Pig Parlour in Buckhead
- Sippin’ Santa, Bon Ton in Midtown
- The Third Door, Marietta
- Santa’s Pub, Publico in Midtown
This holiday season, Illuminarium will become a magical ‘WINTERLAND’. From a luxurious winter palace to an enchanted holiday paradise, discover scenes that remind us of the festive traditions that make the holidays so wonderful. Make sure you get your tickets for this utterly beautiful immersive tribute to winter!
26. Sip & Trap Thursdays at the Trap Music Museum
Every Thursday, the Trap Music Museum hosts an epic celebration, celebrating all things trap! You’ll get a private tour of the museum, and a complimentary glass of champagne on arrival. There’s even happy hour specials, if you wish to keep the party going throughout your visit. There’s immersive art, touching tributes, and informative exhibitions nestled throughout the beloved museum, founded by T.I.
Surprise your senses and test out your taste buds at this Dining in the Dark experience. Just choose from a veggie, seafood, or meat menu, and let your senses do the rest! Eminent psychologists have been advocating dining in the dark as the ultimate taste experience for many years, due to the studies that show 80 percent of people eat with their eyes.
Make sure you reserve your table for this sensational event taking over Atlanta.
29-30. Mystery ATL Picnics!
Surprise your partner, or get your friends together, for these incredible mystery picnics in Atlanta. An all-inclusive mystery picnic date experience for two to eight people, with a stunning picnic spread from local artisan producers, including your traditional picnic foods. Perfect for those sunny winter days! Check out the two options below:
- Mystery Picnic with Friends: Self Guided Foodie Adventure
- Mystery Picnic Date: Self Guided Foodie Adventure
31-35. Epic barcades in the ATL
Always remember that throughout history, you’ve managed to live the same time as ‘barcade’ culture, and that’s pretty special. Grab a couple of friends, have a couple of drinks, and let’s play some games! Check out some of our favorite hotspots, accumulating thousands of arcade games, hundreds of bowling balls, and epic nights to remember.
- Joystick Gamebar, Sweet Auburn
- The Painted Duck, Westside
- Revery: VR Bar, Midtown
- Bowlero, Atlantic Station
- My Parent’s Basement, Avondale Estates
BONUS: Cocktails in Wonderland!
Don’t be late for this very important date! An Alice in Wonderland inspired cocktail tea party is coming to Atlanta, and you don’t want to miss it. With curious beverages and even curiouser characters, watch the beloved storybook come to life at this immersive bash! Make sure you book your tickets to avoid disappointment, or it’ll be off with your head!
Guaranteed fun for all the family, Georgia Aquarium is one of Atlanta’s most beloved attractions! It’s actually the largest aquarium in the western hemisphere, boasting several exhibits starring Beluga Whales, penguins, sharks, and so much more! They’ve even given the place a major festive makeover!
37-40. The best heated outdoor dining in Atlanta!
With evenings getting cooler and Georgia’s gorgeous climate all year round, nothing beats enjoying a couple of drinks out on one of the outdoor patios available at some of Atlanta’s finest eateries. Check out some of our recommendations below.
- Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall – Old Fourth Ward
- The Roof at Ponce City Market – Old Fourth Ward
- Bold Monk Brewing – Upper Westside
- Gypsy Kitchen – Buckhead Village
Puzzling Adventures™ host this epic experience that’s part scavenger hunt, part informative self-guided tour, mixed with The Amazing Race®. Each adventure consists of a series of locations that you are guided to where you are required to answer questions or solve puzzles to receive your next instruction. Explore the ATL and have an awesome time in the process. Click here for more information and tickets.
42-46. Atlanta’s top-notch craft breweries
Atlanta’s craft beer scene is thriving, and there’s no sign of it stopping. Check out our recent roundup of our favorite ATL breweries.
- Atlanta Brwing Co. – Underwood Hills
- Wild Heaven Beer – West End
- Hippin Hops – East Atlanta Village
- New Realm Brewing – Common Ground
- Orpheus Brewing – Piedmont Park
47-49. ATL Cideries
If beer isn’t your thing, how about a crisp, refreshing cider from one of our awesome cideries across the city. Tis’ the season after all! Click here to check out our full cidery roundup.
- Atlanta Hard Cider – Marietta
- Urban Tree Cidery – Berkerley Park
- Treehorn Cider – Marietta
Transport yourselves to an authentic German market this Christmas! Buckhead Village is home to Atlanta’s Christkindl Market. Formerly at the Centennial Olympic Park and after a short hiatus due to the pandemic, the beloved festive favorite is back for the holiday season.
51-55. Stock up on reading material at one of these ATL bookstores!
Coming to the end of a good book? Want to get some books as a gift this holiday season? These awesome bookshops in Atlanta are perfect for book lovers.
- Lucian Books & Wine: Serving up their thoughtful selection of wines and tasty bites, dine and wine surrounded by beautiful books!
- Charis Books & More: Specializing in diverse and unique books on feminism, tackling issues faced by women on the daily. There are children’s books, feminist, and cultural studies books, books on anti-racism, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer fiction/non-fiction!
- Atlanta Vintage Books: This old-school bookstore in Chamblee is perfect for book collectors or those craving something unique.
- Read Shop by Merchant: Grab a coffee to-go after finding a brand new read at this gorgeous bookstore in Vinings Jubilee.
- Medu Bookstore: Medu Bookstore is one of the largest African-American owned businesses in Atlanta.
56-60. More art exhibitions in Atlanta
If you’re looking for even more spectacular art exhibitions in Atlanta, then you don’t have to look far. Here’s some more art exhibitions that we recommend this month.
56-58. High Museum of Art
- Outside the Lines: Outdoor installation, providing an immersive, and sensory experience for all of its visitors.
- Self-Taught Artists: Exhibition highlighting Southern self-taught artists
- Jazz Night at the HIGH: Monthly event, featuring a different style jazz each time.
59. Atlanta Contemporary
- #ChingaLaMigra: Touching piece honoring those who have been harmed by Georgia’s Stewart Detention Center.
This free public light exhibition is taking over Downtown Atlanta for two months beginning December 4. The artists showing their work this year are Dan Lam, Fabian Williams, In Kyoung Chun, Alice Lovelace, and Theresa Davis. For more information on the artists and this unmissable exhibition, click here.
61. Downton Abbey: The Exhibtion
If you’re a fan of the multi-award winning television show Downton Abbey, then you don’t want to miss out! Watch the characters and the iconic house come to life as your completely immersed in the fascinating social history, culture, and some of the most memorable moments from the show’s six-season run.
62-66. Unique Eats in Atlanta
From crafty cocktails to robot waiters, check out our roundup of the best crazy ideas that became a reality in Atlanta. Our city has a vast selection of restaurants, bars and experiences that prove anything is possible! And you’ll have a great time in the process. Here are a few we recommend:
- Silverspot: Catch a movie with a meal at this new dine-in movie theatre.
- The Garden Room: This one-of-a-kind dining experience is blooming marvelous, with spectacular floral displays and an outstanding selection of food and cocktails!
- Imperial Fez: An elaborately decorated Moroccan restaurant that’ll probably make you forget that you’re in Georgia! If you’re interested in belly dancing, then this is the place for you!
- Puttshack: Unique crazy golf with crafty cocktails and bar bites!
- Big Bang Pizza: Stellar pizza joint with robot waiters!
67-70. Atlanta’s favorite cocktail bars!
Searching for your new cocktail safe haven in Atlanta? Look no further, as we’ve broken down some of the best cocktail bars in the city! Check a few reccs below, or click here for the full roundup.
- Jojo’s Beloved Cocktail Lounge: Politan Row, Colony Square
- 9 Mile Station: Ponce City Market Roof
- 8ARM: Ponce/Virginia-Highland
- Bar Margor: Midtown
71-73. Take a hike in and around Atlanta!
Atlanta is home to so many gorgeous hiking trails. With trails for every ability and the colors change in full swing, it’s the perfect time to take a hike in Georgia! We’ve even found one that involves a wine tasting for those who need the extra motivation.
- Bartram Trail plus Wine Tasting: Explore Bartram Trail’s rolling elevation through a forest rich with wildflowers, mosses and ferns followed by wine tasting at local Wineries. The views are incredible, and there’s even a picnic included!
- Silver Comet Trail: Hike all the way to the Alabama border on this totally epic hike that starts right here in Atlanta!
- Amicalola Falls: Located in Northeast Georgia, Amicalola Falls will blow you away. There are short hikes or more advanced routes, all boasting beautiful waterfalls throughout.
74-77. Food hall mania in Atlanta
There’s always a new food hall popping up in Atlanta. This year alone we’ve seen a couple outstanding additions to the scene! Check out some of our faves below:
- Politan Row – Absolutely stunning food hall on Colony Square that’s more like a luxury experience
- Atlanta Food Truck Park & Market –Atlanta’s premier vegan food truck market!
- The Works – Awesome new food hall taking Atlanta by storm!
- Ponce City Market – Our top 10 favorite dishes you have to try at Ponce City Market.