December is here folks, which means ’tis officially the season. There’s plenty of merry and bright things to go around in the ATL this holiday season. Keep scrolling to find out the most fun and festive things to do in Atlanta this December and fill yourself with some much-needed holiday cheer. Here are fifty-five things to do in and around Atlanta this month and throughout the holiday season!
1-4. Hit the ice at Atlanta’s ice-skating rinks!
One of the best holiday traditions is definitely ice-skating and luckily for us ATLiens, there’s an awesome selection of rinks to choose from. From rooftop rinks at Ponce City Market to Avalon’s dazzling Rockefeller-inspired offering, don’t miss out and get out those skates this holiday season! Check out some recommendations below or click here for the full round-up.
- Avalon on Ice, Avalon in Alpharetta
- Skate The Station, Atlantic Station
- Skate The Sky, Ponce City Market
- Ice-Skating at Pullman Yards, Pratt Pullman District
5. Strike back at the fantasic Star Wars exhibit in Atlanta
If Stranger Things isn’t for you, then how about Star Wars? There’s an unmissable exhibition devoted to the sci-fi saga currently on display in Atlanta. The exhibit is made up of fan collected paraphernalia from the movies, fandom, and beyond. For more information and tickets, click the link below.
Information: Don’t miss the magnificent fan-made Star Wars exhibit in Atlanta
6. Delve into the illustrious career of the revolutionary painter Claude Monet
If you haven’t already heard, there’s a brand-new 50,000-square-foot arts center in Doraville and it’s home to Claude Monet: The Immersive Experience. This spectacular exhibit will allow you to walk directly into some of Monet’s most iconic masterpieces thanks to ground-breaking immersion and unbeatable insight on the founder impressionist painting. For more information and tickets, click the link below.
Information: Check out this immersive exhibition devoted to Claude Monet in Atlanta
7-11. Experience an enchanting Candlelight concert
December is probably the Candlelight concert series’ busiest month of the year. With festive additions to their already stellar line-up, there’s an awesome collection of orchestral concerts on offer, all completely bathed in candlelight. Check out this month’s recommendations below, or click here for the full round-up. Expect magical concerts dedicated to the best in music, movies, and entertainment. You could also purchase a gift-card if you’re searching for the perfect gift for music-lovers.
- Candlelight: Holiday Special
- Candlelight: Holiday Special ft. “The Nutcracker” & More
- Candlelight: Legends of R&B Songs by D’Angelo, Jill Scott
- Candlelight: The Best of Frank Sinatra & Nat King Cole
12-15. Check out Atlanta’s dazzling holiday light shows!
Atlanta is officially LIT for the festive season, with several light shows taking over iconic ATL venues. From the annual spectacle at the Atlanta Botanical Garden to drive-thru light shows. Check out our recommendations for December below or click here for the full round-up.
- Garden Lights, Holiday Nights, Atlanta Botanical Garden
- IllumiNights, Zoo Atlanta
- Fantasy In Lights, Callaway Gardens
- World of Illuminations, Six Flags White Water
16. Go back to the 80’s & explore Hawkins at Stranger Things: The Experience
If you’re a fan of the Netflix smash Stranger Things, and haven’t checked out the immersive experience at Pullman Yards, then this is your sign to do so. You’ll be transported back in time to Hawkins in Indiana, where you’ll help save the day with those iconic characters from the series. For more information and tickets, click the link below.
Information: Get your tickets for Stranger Things: The Experience this holiday season
17-21. Paint the town red, green, and gold at Atlanta’s boozy holiday pop-ups
Holiday pop-ups are all the rage, and there’s no shortage of festive bars in Atlanta for the most wonderful time of the year. From Colony Square’s hidden igloo bar (pictured above) to absolute winter wonderlands with Christmas-themed cocktails, plus so much more. You do not want to miss out on all the fabulous holiday pop-up bars in Atlanta this December. Check out our recommendations below or click here for the full round-up.
- The North Pole, Colony Square
- Holidays on the Roof, Ponce City Market
- The Blind Elf, Buckhead
- Santa’s Secret Stache, Avalon
- Miracle Bar, Virginia Highland
22-26. Find the perfect holiday gifts at these festive markets in Atlanta
There are so many holiday traditions to cover in this December round-up, but we’ve got you covered. One of the most beloved things to do around the holidays is check out a holiday market (or three). Whether you’re looking to treat yourself or get your holiday gifts sorted, check out our December round-up below or click here for the full round-up.
- Atlanta’s Christkindl Market, Buckhead Village (until Dec 24)
- Duluth Holiday Market, Duluth City Hall (Dec 3, 2 – 7 PM)
- Refuge Coffee Co. Holiday Market, 4170 E Ponce de Leon (Dec 3, 9 AM – 5 PM)
- Winter Art Market, Arches Brewing (Dec 3 2-7pm)
- Merry Little Christmas Experience, Lawrenceville Lawn (Dec 10 12-6 PM)
27. Spend a day at the beloved Zoo Atlanta
The adored Grant Park attraction Zoo Atlanta is one of the many fabulous things to do with the family in Atlanta. Explore the gorgeous grounds with an impressive collection of fascinating wildlife. There’s even a spectacular Chinese lantern festival devoted to the natural world on display throughout the holidays (not included with general admission). For general admission to Zoo Atlanta, click the link below.
Information: Go completely wild at Zoo Atlanta this holiday season!
28. Totally immerse yourself at Illuminarium
Atlanta’s premier immersive experience is just one of the many fantastic things you can get up to on the Atlanta BeltLine. From unmissable exhibitions to spectacular immersive experiences, Illuminarium is a great option for the whole family this holiday season. Click the link below for more information and tickets. There’s even an After-Dark experience for the grown-ups!
Information: Get your tickets to check out what’s on offer at Illuminarium this holiday season
29-34. Eat or drink at Atlanta’s unique eats & bars!
From beloved restaurants who’ve gone OTT with the holiday decorations to an indoor garden wonderland, there are so many unique bars in and restaurants in A-Town. Check out our recommendations below or click here for the full unique eats round-up.
- The Cape Restaurant & Beach Bar, Avalon
- Illuminarium After Dark, Poncey-Highland
- UrbanTree Cidery, Berkeley Park
- The Garden Room, Buckhead
- Classic Handmade Pasta Class, Second Self Beer Co.
- Asian Dumpling Class, Condesa Coffee
35. Catch a holiday movie this festive season
There’s no better time to go to the movies than around the holidays. With both the Avatar and Black Panther sequels all set to hit the silver screen, there’s so many incredible movies to catch this December. Click here to book your tickets.
36-40. Beat the clock at these epic escape rooms in Atlanta
From travelling to Egypt to escaping prison, the possibilities are endless when it comes to Atlanta’s escape room. There’s even a festive escape room where you’ll help Santa Claus save Christmas. Check out our recommendations below or click here for the full round-up.
- The Escape Game Atlanta, The Battery Atlanta
- The Launch: Escape Room Experience, Downtown Atlanta
- Saving Christmas, Downtown Atlanta
- Beat the Bomb, Bolton
- Big Escape Room, Old Fourth Ward
41. Witness Georgia’s largest residential holiday lights display
Kennesaw is home to Georgia’s largest residential holiday lights display. Extending to the church next door, park up your car and walk through a celebration of lights, with hundreds of trees lit up magically with over 500K lights. Click here for more information.
42. Make your reservation at Buckhead’s brand new Nobu Hotel & Restaurant
December will be Atlanta’s brand-new Nobu Hotel’s first full month in operation. Boasting a swanky hotel with amenities to die for and a new location of their renowned restaurant. Reservations are pretty jam-packed, but maybe you’ll be lucky enough to be squeezed in. Regardless, now’s your chance to make that highly anticipated reservation!
43. Take a day trip to Georgia’s German Alpine village
Did you know that there’s an authentic German Alpine village nestled in North Georgia? If not, then the holidays are the perfect time to visit. With gorgeous decorations and a Christmas parade on December 10, you don’t want to miss Helen during the festive season! Click here for more information.
44-46. Check out the must-see exhibitions at the High
Nothing beats a day at the High Museum of Art, and there’s plenty of brilliant exhibitions on display throughout December. For more information on the individual exhibits, click the appropriate link below.
- Being & Belonging, only on December 1 for World Aids Day from 11 am until 4 pm
- Monir Farmanfarmaian: A Mirror Garden, until April 2023
- Rodin in the United States: Confronting the Modern, until January 2023
47-50. Enjoy an evening out at an Atlantan wine bar
To end this festive round-up, we thought we’d share some wine bar recommendations because wine not?! From Atlanta’s newest additions to the scene to adored institutional wine bars, click here for the full round-up.
- Lucian Books & Wine, Buckhead
- Barcelona Wine Bar, Inman Park
- Postino, Buckhead
- VinoTeca, Inman Park