Buckle your seat belts, Atlanta, because this weekend is shaping up to be more exciting than a sleigh ride in a hail storm. Wear the kiddos out with a screening of the classic Rudolph, an interaction with real reindeer, train exhibits and more, and you can bet they’ll be nestled all snug in their beds come Sunday night.
Head to the Chattahoochee Nature Center to get real with some reindeer during their annual Reindeer Day. Not only will they have the live critters for your little critters’ viewing pleasure, but they’ll also have crafts, campfire treats, and plenty of space to roam. Held Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at The Chattahoochee Nature Center, 9135 Willeo Rd., Roswell. Free with admission ($10/ adults, $6/ child). All ages. Event details.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer 50th Anniversary Movie Screening
Do you recall the most famous reindeer of all? Sure you do, because the classic movie is turning 50 this year and you’re invited to celebrate! And, while the kiddos are watching the classic, the grown-ups are invited to sneak downstairs for a glass of wine and shopping (or nab a comfy chair and enjoy a moment to yourself!). Held Friday at 7 p.m., Little Shop of Stories, 133A East Court Square, Decatur. This event is free, but reservations are required. All ages. Event details.
In addition to Fernbank’s festival of trees throughout the month of December, you can catch A Flintstone Family Christmas this weekend in the auditorium, a puppet-making workshop presented by the Center for Puppetry Arts, and appearances by Santa-saurus. The kiddos will be so busy they might not even notice the ginormous dinosaur in the lobby. Held thru Dec. 20 at Fernbank Museum, 767 Clifton Road NE. Included in museum admission ($18/ child, $20/ adult). All ages. Event details.
Holiday Tales in the Garden
Why do we deck the halls? Or eat fruitcake? Or light candles? Take the tots to the Botanical Garden to hear all about holiday traditions and folklore during this week’s seasonal story time in the Children’s Garden. Held Saturdays thru Dec. 20 at Atlanta Botanical Garden, 1345 Piedmont Avenue NE. Included in garden admission ($13/ child, $19/ adult). All ages. Event details.
Christmas in the Country
It’s Atlanta during the holidays, and lights we have a-plenty. However, if you’re looking for a free ride through an impressive display, followed by a dinner in an equally impressive barn, holiday crafts and cookie decorating, AND a visit with Santa, then head towards Barnesville and Truett Cathy’s The Rock Ranch. Lights operate nightly thru Dec. 31 for free, with dinner and crafts on Dec. 12-13, 19-20, and 22-23 for $10/ child at The Rock Ranch, 5020 Hwy 36, The Rock, Georgia. All ages. Event details.
Spread Joy – Family Volunteer Day on the BeltLine
Get into the true spirit of the holidays and sign up to beautify the beltline. You’ll decorate bird houses, remove trash and debris, clean signs and fixtures, and take note of any damage or vandalism. This is a family-only volunteer project sponsored by Hands on Atlanta. Held Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Location details will be emailed upon required volunteer registration. Free. Ages 5 & up. Event details.
Crafts at the Buckhead Branch Library
Bring your bibliophiles to the Buckhead Branch of the Atlanta Public Library and treat them to some winter holiday crafting, and they’ll bring home their very own 3D ornaments. Did someone say glitter glue? Held Saturday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Buckhead Branch Library, 269 Buckhead Avenue NE. Free. Ages 5-12. Event details.
Old Fourth Ward
While the idea of parading your troupe of little bulls into a glass shop might leave you cold, an afternoon spent watching artists blow molten sand into art while simultaneously blowing your kiddos minds will warm you right up. If that doesn’t impress, you can count on the kids corner, live music, refreshments, demos, and an artists market to do the job. Held Saturday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Janke Glass Studio, 659 Auburn Ave. NE. Free. All ages. Event details.
What’s better than a train display? One that has lots and lots of buttons for kids to push! Sit back and enjoy the chaos as kiddos control the crossing gates, towers, trolleys, and cars with the push (and push, and push, and …) of a button. Held Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Imagine It! Children’s Museum of Atlanta, 275 Centennial Olympic Park Dr. Free with admission ($12.75/ person). Ages 8 & under. Event details.
Disney Junior Live on Tour! Pirate & Princess Adventure
Join Sofia and Jake, with a surprise appearance by Cinderella, as Disney Junior does what it does best: enchant your kiddos for hours on end. With two separate vignettes, new music, and the entire cast of the popular television shows, you’d better bring the epsom salts. There will likely be fainting. Held Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Pkwy. Tickets start at $20. All ages.Event details.
What is your favorite thing to do this time of year? Tell us in the Comments below!
— Shelley Massey
Photo: via Steve Jurvetson on Flickr creative commons