This weekend is full of festive family fun, from Santa teas and decadent dessert buffets to Christmas tree and menorah lightings, plus spectacular light displays worth perusing by car or foot. If you’re looking for the spirit of the season, it’s landed squarely in Atlanta. Keep reading for details on all of these events, and more.
Photo: Zoo Lights via Yelp
Holiday Dessert Buffet at Waldorf Astoria Atlanta Buckhead
Treat yourself to an indulgent holiday dessert buffet by one of Atlanta’s top chefs in the city’s newest luxury hotel. This one-of-a-kind offering in the city offers all-you-can-eat rich White Chocolate, decadent Chocolate & Grand Marnier Cake, 70% Dark Lavender Chocolate, Creamy Hazelnut chocolate or Peppermint black chocolate. Mulled spiced wine and Warm apple cider will be offered as an additional selection. Fri. & Sat. Event details.
Candlelight Nights at Atlanta History Center
Experience Christmas past with a candlelit stroll through three historic houses to experience how Southerners celebrated Christmas during the pioneer days, the Civil War era, and the 1930s. Holiday traditions of years past come alive with interpreters, music, and special activities. Enjoy food for purchase and visit one of several cash bars for your favorite holiday libation. Fri. Event details.
Toys “R” Us Experience
Toys“R”Us and Candytopia present a new fill-up-your-photo-album super-experience in a vast indoor playland that celebrates all the whimsy, silly and FUN of toys. Explore over eight mind-blowing rooms and celebrate play with installations designed around brands you know and love. Fri.-Sun. Event details.
Atlanta Christkindl Market
Let yourself be enchanted by the special outdoor atmosphere of the Atlanta Christkindl Market—the city’s first and largest winter holiday festival at Centennial Olympic Park, presented by the German American Cultural Foundation. Meet and mingle with your family & friends at the traditional German Christkindl Market, where you’ll find authentic German food and beverages in a festive atmosphere, along with unique holiday gifts for your beloved ones. Fri. & Sat. Event details.
Atlanta Chinese Lantern Festival
This holiday season, marvel at the fantasy of lights on display during the Atlanta Chinese Lantern Festival’s Into the Wild spectacular, taking place at Centennial Olympic Park. This dazzling adventure will take you through an interactive land and sea experience while you play alongside larger-than-life illuminated lanterns and enjoy breathtaking acrobatic performances. Fri.-Sun. Event details.
Cirque du Soleil VOLTA
Watch amazing acrobatics as the Cirque performers tell the story of Waz, a gameshow contestant who must learn to be true to himself. But even if you don’t follow the plot, the performance is a visual feast. Fri.- Sun. Event details.
Decatur Holiday Market and Cafe
Support the students at Clairemont Elementary School as they host the 28th Annual Decatur Holiday Marketplace — an event you don’t want to miss. The school transforms into a European-inspired market and features more than 100 local and regional artists, a cafe, and local musicians. Fri. & Sat. Event details.
Garden Lights, Holiday Nights at Atlanta Botanical Garden
Garden Lights, Holiday Nights presented by Invesco QQQ returns this year with new features and crowd favorites, including all-new music and motion for Atlanta’s favorite holiday spectacle, Nature’s Wonders, the largest curtain of synchronized light and sound in the world. Enjoy music, s’mores by the fire, adult libations, and thousands of artfully wound lights at this new Atlanta classic. Fri.-Sun. Event details.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer at Center for Puppetry Arts
Celebrate the holidays when Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer™ returns to the stage for its tenth consecutive year. The beloved tale is a faithful adaptation of the classic 1964 stop-motion animated television special. Fri.-Sun. Event details.
Christmas at the Farm Light Show
Take a hayride to a walk-through field of lights, enjoy a synchronized light show at the pavilion, and marvel at a barn bedazzled by light. Be sure to check the farm’s website for dates and times, as they vary and may experience weather-related closures. Fri.-Sun. Event details.
Sparkle Sandy Springs Christmas Tree and Menorah Lighting
Join the City of Sandy Springs for its third annual Christmas Tree and Menorah lighting at this year’s Sparkle Sandy Springs, where City Green will be adorned with six-foot tall wooden houses painted in festive themes. This free, month-long holiday light and art display will kick off with music performances, food trucks, hot chocolate and more. Fri. Event details.
Santa’s Fantastical at Perimeter Pointe
This spectacular indoor wonderland is back for a second year, with festive updates, including new installations and live performances by The Fantasticals. Some of last year’s favorites will return as well, but in a completely reimagined way. The Unicorn Dreams and Candy Cane Vortex photo spots, as well as Santa’s Meet–and-Greet in his Chateau, will all make reappearances this holiday season. Fri.-Sun. Event details.
Lights of Life
Head to one of the most popular light shows in the Southeast, attracting nearly half a million spectators from the surrounding region for it’s incredible display of lights and low admission fees. Cars, vans and buses cruise through the spectacularly illuminated campus each year, often stopping along the 1.5-mile drive to enjoy an array of seasonal entertainments. Costs are $5 – $10 per car depending on the day (check website for details). Fri.-Sun. Event details.