We don’t know what’s sweeter–all those perfectly smocked, teddy bear toting tea goers or the petit four laden dessert trays rolling through Atlanta’s favorite holiday tea times. And don’t tell anyone, but many of the following tea times are visited by Santa himself! So if you missed the registration deadlines in October to see the Big Guy, you’re not out of the game yet. Read on for the scoop on where to score your family’s next holiday tradition.

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Photo: Callanwolde Fine Arts Center

Christmas at Callanwolde
Take your littles and their teddys on a trip to Callanwolde, an historic mansion decorated to the nines during the holidays, for the annual Teddy Bear Tea on Sundays, December 6 & 13 at 2:00 p.m. Watch them wonder at the over-the-top tabletop decorations, indulge in just-their-size sandwiches and pastries, and jam out to sounds of the season. Top the event off with some one-on-one time with Santa himself, and your job as the the kids’ holiday concierge will be complete.

Reservations are $25 per person and can be made here.

980 Briarcliff Road, NE
Atlanta, Ga
404-872-5338
Online: callanwolde.org

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Photo: Jenn Durfey via flickr Creative Commons

The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead
An Atlanta tradition, tea at The Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead extends its elegant siren song to the kiddos during the holidays. Make reservations for either Tea with Santa (the traditional tea that you Atlanta natives remember most about childhood), or the Teddy Bear Tea, geared more towards, well, the teddy bear-toting crowd. Both events feature caroling by the Dickens Singers, and the Teddy Bear Tea includes story time, hot chocolate, and a take-home holiday teddy bear (though teddy bears from home are welcome).

Reservations may be made for either event by calling 404-237-2700. Teddy Bear Teas are $59 per adult, $52 per child on Nov. 29, Dec. 6, 13, 20, 21, 22, and 23 at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., while Teas with Santa are $59 per adult, $52 per child on Fridays-Sundays November 27th to December 23rd at 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 p.m.

3434 Peachtree Road, N.E.
Atlanta, Ga
404-237-2700
Online: ritzcarlton.com

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Photo: Visit Cape May via flickr Creative Commons

Swan Coach House
Kick off the holidays by heading to the Restaurant on Thursdays, December 3, 10, and 17 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. for the annual Holiday Teas at the Swan Coach House, but be sure to make reservations in advance. Not sure the littles will be up for putting on their holiday finest and being whisked away to a tea right after nap time? Try the lunches with Santa and Mrs. Claus in the Restaurant instead. On Sundays, December 13 and 20 from 11:00 am. to 3:00 p.m. (two seatings at 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. ensure everyone will have plenty of face time with the main attraction), your littles can enjoy the special holiday menu and excitement of seeing Santa up-close and personal.

Reservations for both the tea and the lunches can be made by calling 404-261-0636, extension 1, and the tea is $36 for adults or $18 for children, while the lunch with Santa is $42 for adults or $23 for children.

3130 Slaton Drive N.W.
Atlanta, Ga
404-261-0636
Online: swancoachhouse.com

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Photo: Ann via flickr Creative Commons

The St. Regis
The St. Regis doesn’t mess around when it comes to the holidays. The hotel’s holiday offerings go well beyond the tea, however, as your kids can take in the largest gingerbread house (for free) in Atlanta or take a spin on the Astor ice rink. Kiddos can take Tea with Santa daily November 27-29, December 4-6, and December 11-24 at 2 and 4 p.m.

Make reservations by calling 404.563.7797 ext. 2797, and Tea with Santa is $10 for children under 3, $52 for children ages 4-12, and $65 for adults. 

88 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta, Ga
404-563-7900
Online: stregisatlanta.com

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Photo: Minarae via flickr Creative Commons

Mandarin Oriental
While not a formal, multi-course tea, the Mandarin Oriental will be serving up cider and hot chocolate in its elaborately decorated lobby in addition to its regular tea service. During the month of December, make a pit stop here throughout the day to enjoy a cup of goodness while marveling at the larger-than-life holiday decor. Or you can opt to attend Hot Cocoa and Photos with Santa on Sunday, December 6 from 1 to 4 p.m., which includes refreshments and holiday treats.

Hot Cocoa and Photos with Santa are $65 per family and reservations can be made here.

3376 Peachtree Road NE
Atlanta, Ga
404-995-7500
Online: mandarinoriental.com

How will you make time for tea this season? Spill about it below!

—Shelley Massey