If the ringing you’ve been hearing has been more cash register than jingle bells, take a retail recess this weekend and enjoy free activities at the Museum of Design Atlanta, The Little Shop of Stories, and The High Museum. And if you’re looking buy tickets to a holiday performance that’s totally worth the sticker price, you have not one, but two Nutcrackers to choose from—plus Santa train rides, Christmas fun on the farm, and a rocking kiddie holiday concert! Read on for all the illuminating details below.

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Photo: Peter Dutton via flickr 

Midtown

Second Sundays at The High Museum of Art
Enjoy free admission from 12 to 5 p.m. and special family-friendly programming from 1 to 4 p.m., including musical performances, storytelling, and toddler tours of the galleries. This month’s theme is ’Tis the Season!, with in-gallery performances of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons (Winter) by ASO musicians, an Art of Giving Back drop-in workshop where kiddos create a handmade coin collector to take home, and performances by Object Group’s Tiny Toy Theatre. Sun. Event details.

Celebration in Light at The Children’s Museum
Head to The Children’s Museum to learn about different cultural celebrations with lights during the holiday season. On Friday, learn about Las Posadas, and on Saturday and Sunday, explore Hanukkah. Programs are uniquely created with puppetry, story times, crafts, and movement activities. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

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The Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker at The Fox
See the Atlanta Ballet’s presentation of the Christmas classic at the fabulous Fox Theater. Don’t miss this magical Atlanta holiday tradition with music by Tchaikovsky performed live by the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

Family Free Day and STEAM Fun at MODA
Every second Sunday of the month, head to the Museum of Design Atlanta for free admission and to participate in design and STEAM activities that are fun and educational. Sun. Event details.

Downtown

Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker
Presented by the Moscow Ballet and Cultural Resource Foundation, this version of the classic comes with with larger than life magical props, a 60 foot growing Christmas tree and spectacular Russian made costumes and sets—designed by an Academy Award winning team. Fri.-Sat. Event details.

Decatur

Grinch Story Time at Little Shop of Stories
Head to Little Shop for a free reading of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and an appearance by a special visitor. No preregistration necessary. Sun. Event details.

Duluth

Dine and Ride with Santa at the Southeastern Railway Museum
If you haven’t already been to the SRM’s 35 acres of locomotive nirvana, there’s no better time than this Saturday, when Santa will arrive to eat breakfast or lunch with the kiddos and take a short ride on their operating locomotive. Sat. Event details.

Kennesaw

Trains! and Holiday Fun at the Southern Museum
Kick start your holiday season at the Southern Museum with live theatrical performances of The Polar Express, visits with Santa, as well as a fun, interactive winter-themed train layout. Sat. Event details.

Marietta

A Christmas Tradition at The Earl Smith Strand
This song and dance revue rocks the holiday classics and funky favorites with diva voices and high energy dances. From Santa-loving six year olds to out of town in-laws, no one’s going to fall asleep at this show. Fri.-Sun. Event details.

The Rock

Country Christmas Nights at The Rock Ranch
Guests of all ages can enjoy Country Christmas Nights at The Rock Ranch, including a Polar Express inspired train rides, trolley rides through Christmas lights, photo opportunities with Santa, and crafts and activities in Santa’s Workshop. Fri. Event details.

How will you rock the weekend? Tell us in the comments section below!

—Shelley Massey