Everything You Must Do in Atlanta This Holiday Season
Believe it or not, the holidays are here. Though it’s supposed to be a happy and wonderful time, it will stress you TF out if you don’t start planning where you’re going to do all this happy and wonderful partying after all this shopping and elbowing your way through crowded stores. So hurry up and start picking and choosing what you’ll do from now until New Year’s Eve, because there's a whole lot happening in Atlanta this season.
November 16 - January 11
Garden Nights, Holiday Lights is the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s annual glow-up, where there’s always a new soundtrack and treatment of movement coordinated into the world's largest curtain of synchronized light and sound. You can also roast s’mores over open fire, hear deejays spinning in the Skylights Lounge, drink spiked ciders and hot cocoas, and encounter grass-loving carolers walking around and throughout the flora singing songs of the season, until January 11.
Cost: $20 - $50
November 21 - November 24
Centennial Olympic Park
Go to the CHRISTKINDL Market and buy up some Germany-inspired gifts and things, from snow globes to beer steins, glass ornaments, and even wooden Austian watches. You’ll also eat all kinds of German gourmet and street food, including stews, bratwursts, schnitzel, potato pancakes, stews, spaetzle, and more. And yes, there will be beer.
Cost: Free entry
November 28 - December 31
Eat your Thanksgiving dinner, then drive up to Life University to see the campus’ must-see Lights of Life display, where you’ll see all the giant Santas, candy canes, Christmas trees, and such, all of which stays lit until New Year’s Eve. It also includes a petting zoo and pony rides in case you or someone you know has children worth impressing.
Cost: $5 - $20
November 28 - January 20
From now until MLK Day 2020 you can skate Park Tavern’s Fire & Ice Rink and enjoy the holiday decor, which includes fire pits and outdoor games, while inside PT will have seasonal holiday cocktails. Show up in steampunk attire after 8pm and you can skate for free.
Cost: Free - $20
November 7 - December 29
See The Hip-Hop Nutcracker, a nationally touring, rap-centric take on the classic Tchaikovsky play, as it is performed in Atlanta for one night only at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center. The show includes breakdancing and other hip-hop choreography, and includes legendary emcee Kurtis Blow, who lest you forget made the classic “Christmas Rappin’” song, one of rap music’s first successful singles.
Cost: $24 - $81
November 16 - February 23
There’ll be real snow all over Stone Mountain Park during Snow Mountain, which runs through February 23 and will have several options for tubing, from a 400-foot hill that'll be covered with frosted ice to the “Dare Devil Plunge,” which is a dark tunnel ride that moves you down a 150-foot tunnel of lights at up to 30mph.
Cost: $50 - $80
November 15 - January 20
Skate the Station is open until January 20, and you’ll be able to ice skate on the largest rink in the southeast, then hang around at peep the 50-foot decorated tree and hit fake-snow parties on Atlantic Station’s west side.
Cost: $17 - $59
November 29 - December 29
Old Fourth Ward
Miracle on Monroe and Sippin’ Santa both began a few days ago, but tonight is the beginning of Miracle on Highland, and that means Parish will be your third option to indulge in some of the most Christmas-y cocktails you ever wanted to drink, along with custom-designed holiday stemware, contests over whose holiday sweater is the tackiest, and general good cheer.
Cost: Normal cocktail prices
The Atlanta History Center’s Candlelit Nights is where you’ll hear holiday stories based on Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa, holiday songs from an all-female acapella group, improv comedy, popcorn- and garland-making, candle dipping, holiday-cardmaking, a bonfire, an 1861-styled tree lighting, and even some historical context from 5:30-9:30pm.
If you’re tired of brunch not including barbecue, tacos, and Christmas, you should hit the Foxeria del Sol Brunch, held at the Cheshire Bridge Taqueria del Sol, in collaboration with Fox Bros., and of course St. Nick, at 11:30am today. There will be red and green Christmas tamales, insane/delicious mash-ups like the hatch chile pork roll with cheese eggs and brisket hash, bloody marias, and all those things.
Cost: Pay for what you eat
December 22 - December 30
Between now and December 30 there are several events hosted by Chabad Intown, starting today with a menorah lighting at Yeah! Burger that includes dreidels, donuts, and hot drinks. There’ll be another menorah ceremony tomorrow at Ponce City Market, Chinese food dinner on Christmas Eve, and a parade on the 26th.
Southern Exchange is hosting the 15th annual Peachtree Gala Downtown Countdown, which opens at 8pm and gives you six hours of premium open bar drinking, and includes your food, plus a midnight Champagne toast. Get VIP tickets and you’ll be on in the Whitehall Ballroom and the mezzanine level, looking so fancy for 2020.
Cost: $90 - $180
The Georgia Aquarium is having a “splashing ‘20s” NYE party, with comped beer and wine
(cocktails are cash bar), deejays in the atrium and ballroom along with the usual whale sharks and manta rays, plus party favors, a Wolfgang Puck buffet dinner, a Happy New Year Champagne toast, and more. VIP tickets get you in an hour early and make your cocktails comped too.
Cost: $150 - $190
Old Fourth Ward
See the fireworks from the BeltLine as New Realm Brewing Company throws a NYE party on the rooftop patio, which comes with open bars of unlimited food, liquor, and beer, a heated dance party tent, and a live band. Be sure to get the Champagne-inspired Brut Rose ale.
New Beer’s Eve happens at the Georgia Freight Depot, and from 8:30pm through the next five hours you get an open beer bar with domestic and import craft brews, a beer toast at midnight, two deejays in two areas, and a VIP with open liquor and plenty of food.
Cost: $79 - $399
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