You did it! Whether you decorated the house, wrapped a million presents, mass-produced Christmas cookies, or hosted a houseful (or perhaps, you did it all), we toast you. And this weekend, you deserve to treat yourself to a little fun, manufactured by someone else. Keep reading for the scoop on Atlanta’s biggest-ticket holiday extravaganzas (that you perhaps missed during the days leading up to Christmas) and cool local events across the city, or take a peek at this guide to holiday staycations in Atlanta. Hand over the reigns—we’ve got it from here.
Photo: Rumolay via Flickr
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.
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.
Skate the Station
Skate the Station is as close as Atlanta gets to Rockefeller Plaza, with an outdoor rink surrounded by tall buildings, as you can get. Tickets are available at the ice rink ticket window and online, and holiday hours are from 3-11 p.m. Check the Atlantic Station website for weather related closures and hour changes before you go! 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.
Holiday Dessert Buffet at Waldorf Astoria Atlanta Buckhead
Treat yourself to an indulgent holiday dessert buffet by one of Atlanta’s best dessert chefs in Atlanta’s newest luxury hotel, all December on Fridays and Saturdays. 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.
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.
Sparkle Sandy Springs Light and Holiday Village
Six-foot tall wooden houses painted in festive themes and the surrounding area are decked out with lights to create a magical, walkable light display in this free, month-long event. Fri.-Sun. 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.
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.
. . . and check out our Events calendar for even more suggestions.