9 Actually Fun Things to Do in Atlanta This Weekend

Let the party begin.

We’ve officially hit December—one of the busiest months of the year and also the beginning of the end of 2021. Before we get too deep into the holidays and all of the upcoming year-end festivities, however, let’s not lose track of the present! Over the next few days, there is a lot to be excited about, from the SEC Championship Game to several boozy events, so get ready to live life to the fullest. Here are nine actually fun things you can do in Atlanta this weekend—and everything you can do all winter-long.

Thursday, December 2
Vinings Jubilee
Regardless of whether you’re someone who puts a Christmas tree up the day after Thanksgiving or someone who waits to go to a tree farm mid-December, you’re not going to want to miss the Vinings Jubilee Christmas tree lighting ceremony. The free community event takes place from 6 pm to 8 pm on Thursday, and in addition to the epic tree-lighting spectacle, there will be 1940s-style carolers, train rides, ornament decorating, live jazz, and Santa Claus photo ops.
Cost: Free to attend

Contrast Artisan Ales
Contrast Artisan Ales | Photo by Derek Wilson

Saturday, December 4
Chamblee
On Saturday, November 27, ATATF and Contrast Artisan Ales teamed up for a special collab beer called “When Life Gives You Peaches.” Bottles of the specialty brew—an imperial peach lemonade sour ale—ending up selling out within minutes, but new bottles are scheduled for a restock this weekend. For those who want to sample the beer before they purchase a bottle, ATATF and Contrast’s beer is also available on draft. It’s not every day that a Facebook sneaker group becomes so influential that it lands itself an exclusive beer collaboration, so pull up to Contrast Artisan Ales this weekend and celebrate the release of “When Life Gives You Peaches.”
Cost: Price varies

Friday, December 3
Old Fourth Ward
Being one of the first people to try a new restaurant can be risky, but when all your friends are hitting you up for the inside scoop, it will all be worth it. That’s why you should visit Ponce City Market this Friday and attend the grand opening of LaRayia’s Bodega. The organic, vegan bodega has plenty of grab-n-go options, including Caribbean and Puerto Rican-inspired menu items like overnight oats and parfaits, Jamaican Jerk Jackfruit Tacos, vegan chilli, and more.
Cost: Price varies

Friday, December 3
East Atlanta Village
If you’re looking for a fun way to work off all of the great holiday food and desserts that you had last week, make your way over to The Basement this Friday. Starting at 10 pm, the EAV staple is throwing a 21+ dance party that is only concerned with playing bangers all night, so come dance and sing along to the biggest anthems of all time.
Cost: $7 - $10

Sips Under The Sea
Georgia Aquarium

Friday, December 3
Downtown
Sips Under The Sea returns this Friday, and in honor of the holidays, the Georgia Aquarium is welcoming guests to come eat, drink, and be merry at its special after hours experience. There will be food and drinks (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) for purchase, a live DJ music, and a festive dance floor, and if you secure a VIP ticket, you’ll also receive three drink tickets upon entry. Go raise a glass to the final Sips Under The Sea of 2021.
Cost: $29.95 - $54.95

Saturday, December 4
Buckhead
For those hoping to go see the SEC Championship Game in-person this weekend, be prepared to pay some pretty lofty resale prices. If you’d rather not pay $300+ for nosebleed seats, however, you can still watch one of the biggest college football games of the year in style at Dantanna’s. The swanky Buckhead sports restaurant is hosting the Ultimate SEC Championship Viewing Party at 4 pm, and guests can go there to watch the game, have a beer or cocktail, and enjoy expertly crafted game day eats.
Cost: Price varies

A Day at Dairies
Georgia Vintage Goods

Sunday, December 5
Reynoldstown
This Sunday, Georgia Vintage Goods is teaming up with Atlanta Dairies for A Day at Dairies, a special holiday pop-up market. From noon to 6 pm, visitors will be able to shop from a selection of 50 local artists, vintage curators, and artisans. Atomic Rocket Vintage, Ezra James Vintage, Mothership 917, Oxide Studio, and several other vendors will be in attendance this Sunday, so knock out some early gift shopping by supporting your local creators.
Cost: Free to attend

Sunday, December 5
Midtown
If you’re looking for a festive theatrical outing this weekend, the Fox Theatre has you covered. Mills Entertainment’s The Elf on the Shelf: The Musical is playing this Sunday at 6 pm, and attendees will be transported to the North Pole for a magical production that focuses on the lives of Santa’s Scout Elves. The show is only in town for one night, so don’t miss out!
Cost: $29.95 - $69

Saturday, December 4
Five Points
For years, Dames & Dregs has been one of the best beer festivals in the city, and luckily, the celebration of female brewers returns to the Masquerade this weekend. The 21+ festival kicks off at 1 pm in the Masquerade Courtyard, and in an effort to keep guests and event staff healthy, proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 PCR test result will be required to enter. Make sure you can provide either one of those and you’ll be all set to have a great time at the Dames & Dregs Beer Festival.
Cost: $55 - $85

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Joshua Robinson is an Atlanta-based contributor for Thrillist. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter at @roshrisky. Rest in peace to the great Virgil Abloh.