Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Christmas Day. Local time is 11:45 a.m. and the hysteria level around the tree has begun to die down. For your safety and comfort, read on for everything you need to know about post-present fun in Atlanta. On behalf of Red Tricycle and the entire crew, we’d like to thank you for reading.


Photo: Alexis Lewis via Flickr 

Chinese Lantern Festival at Centennial Olympic Park

25 handcrafted lanterns, a three-story pagoda, and a 200-foot-long Chinese dragon are constructed by artisans from China, and entertainment featuring acrobatics, dancers, theatre, and craftsmen demonstrations will keep your kiddos engaged after the initial wow of the lights has dimmed. Open from 6 to 10 p.m., $18 for adults, $16 for children.

265 Park Ave. W. N.W.

Photo: Lindsay T. via Flickr

Garden Lights, Holiday Nights at Atlanta Botanical Garden

Rapidly turning into Atlanta’s favorite pedestrian holiday light exhibit, the Garden will keep the lights on for you on Christmas—making it a perfect plan for lounging in your pi’s during the day before strapping on your sneakers that evening. Open from 5-10 p.m., $26 for adults, $20 for children ages 3 to 12, and free under 3.

1345 Piedmont Avenue NE
Atlanta, Ga

Lanier Lights

Photo: Lanier Islands Resort

Magical Nights of Lights

Drive past illuminated scenes of Christmas and the holidays, and then stop at Holiday Village to eat, shop, skate, visit Santa, and enjoy the carnival rides. Don’t miss Winter Adventure this year, with tons of snow to build in, inter-tube on, and play with. Opens at 5 p.m., $45 per car to view the lights, additional per person pricing for Winter Adventure activities.

7000 Lanier Islands Parkway
Buford, Ga

Ice Skating St. Regis Atlanta

Photo: S. Massey

Astor Holiday Ice Skating Rink at The St. Regis Atlanta

Ice skating, rink-side cocktails and gourmet hot chocolate, freshly scraped ice, a canopy of twinkling lights, and Atlanta’s largest gingerbread house? Don’t waffle on this one. The Astor Rink will not disappoint. Reservations are recommended. Open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Christmas day, $30 per adult per hour and $18 per child per hour.

88 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta, Ga

Main Event Entertainment

Photo: Main Event Entertainment via Facebook

Main Event Entertainment

If you’re tired of the tinsel and ready to hock the holly, head to Main Event for laser tag, bowling, arcade games, and an indoor ropes gym. Open from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. and prices for playing vary by selection.

3101 Cobb Parkway SE, Suite 104
Atlanta, Ga

Amicalola Falls

Photo: Georgia State Parks 

Georgia State Parks

Atlanta weather can run hot or cold at Christmas, so keep Georgia’s State Parks in mind if we land on a sunny and unseasonably warm Christmas day. Trails abound at Sweetwater Creek State Park, and you can start working on your resolutions by hiking the first leg (little, little leg) of the Appalachian Trail at Amicalola State Park.


Scuba Santa

Photo: Georgia Aquarium via Facebook

Georgia Aquarium

Yes, they are actually open on Christmas Day. Get the kiddos out of the house and enjoy the choreographed light show in FantaSEA in Lights. Open noon to 6 p.m., $35.95 for adults, $29.95 for children.

225 Baker Street NW
Atlanta, Ga


Photo: Catiemagee via Flickr

Bowlmor Lanes Atlanta

Roll into Bolwmor lanes on Christmas Day, and try your hand in the  arcades, classic table games, and interactive laser tag battles also available. Open from 1 p.m. to midnight, $3.09 per person per game until 6 p.m., $3.89 per person per game after 6 p.m. Kids under 4 play free.

2175 Savoy Dr.
Atlanta, Ga

Photo: Callaway Gardens 

Fantasy in Lights at Callaway Gardens

Traffic in Atlanta is as good as it gets on Christmas day, so why not take advantage of it and head to Callaway Gardens to check out their 8 million lights, accessible via your own wheels or the Jolly Trolley. Open from 6 to 9 p.m., $28 for adults, $14 for children ages 6 to 12, and free under 5.

17800 US Hwy 27
Pine Mountain, Ga

Southern Art Atlanta

Photo: Southern Art and Bourbon Bar via Facebook  

Southern Art

Celebrate Christmas, Oprah style. Southern Art, run by Oprah’s former chef Art Smith, will be serving up a Christmas brunch and will spread holiday cheer on Christmas day. Open from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Brunch is $79 for adults, $40 for ages 6 to 12, and free for kids under 5.

3315 Peachtree Road
Atlanta, Ga

melting pot

Photo: The Melting Pot 

The Melting Pot

Baby it’s cold outside, so heat things up at this festive and “fun”due spot. On Christmas Day, The Melting Pot is serving seasonally inspired fondues in addition to the classic menu. They’re open from 4 to 9 p.m. and reservations are recommended.

754 Peachtree Street NE
Atlanta, Ga


Will you get out of the house or stay inside on Christmas Day? Tell us about your plans in the comments section below!

—Phebe Wahl & Shelley Massey