Cool Holiday Traditions for the ATL

Looking for good, clean fun this holiday season? Check our list of family-friendly events to get into the spirit.

Holiday Artists Markets 2012

Christmas Handmade Gift Fair
Dec. 15, Gallery 1526, Atlanta
The Handmade Gift Fair is an annual event providing unique and locally made gifts for the shopper who’s seeking that extra-special something! Local musical guests include Russian Romance, a balalaika/guitar duo performing Russian, Eastern European, and Gypsy music, as well as other musicians who will perform throughout the day.
Georgia Clay Council’s Holiday Market
Thursdays-Sundays through Dec.16 at Studio 101
If a functional pottery set or a cool sculpture is on your list this year, this is the market for you. 15 clay artists and potters will display their works at Studio 101. Be sure to pop in and find a great gift for someone on your list.

Spruill Gallery Holiday Market
Tuesdays-Sundays through Dec. 23 at Spruill Gallery
Spruill Gallery’s annual holiday tradition–the Artist Market, featuring more than 90 local artisans this year.

Snow Mountain

Nov. 22-Feb. 18 at Stone Mountain Park
Enjoy a day of tubing, roasting marshmallows and more. Gaze upon the Confederate carving on the mountain and make some memories with family.

Macy’s Pink Pig   
Weekdays through Dec. 28 at Lenox Square
Join Macy’s as they bring back family-favorite Priscilla the Pink Pig. Jump on Priscilla’s back as she carries riders through a life-size story book.

Santa Boozefest and 5k Reindeer Run
Saturday, Dec. 15 at Gold Room
A huge holiday party with food trucks, live music and unlimited tastings of more than 150 beers, wines and liquors. Tasters get a free souvenir tasting cup. Buy tickets to the fest or Reindeer Run separately, or purchase combo tickets.

Garden Lights, Holiday Nights  
Nov. 17-Jan. 5 at Atlanta Botanical Garden
A lighted walk through the 30-acre botanical garden illuminated by more than 1.5 million low-energy lights. Some new attractions this year are the Van Gogh-inspired “Starry Night Walk and “Liquid Lights.”

Horse-Drawn Sleigh Rides
Friday, Dec. 14 at Vinings Jubliee
Take a trip to Vinings Jubilee and enjoy free sleigh rides, courtesy of Rudolph and Saint Nick. Don’t forget to stop by the shops and boutiques and purchase unique gifts for family and friends.

Season of Magic Rides at Piedmont Park
Nov. 22 – Jan. 6, 4 p.m. – 10:30p.m. daily
All rides start at Park Tavern. Couples and families can enjoy daily horse-drawn carriage rides in Piedmont Park, the only Atlanta park with carriage rides. Don’t miss the ice-skating rink in a heated tent complete with music and rink-side dining. Enjoy dinner from MetroFresh and cocktails in the Glow Bar. Visitors will be carried through the historic areas of the Park, enjoying beautiful holiday lights and ornaments under the scenic Atlanta skyline. Rides are available every ten minutes from 4:00pm to 10:40pm daily. Each ride is approximately 20 minutes in length. Infants (0-24mos) ride free.

Atlanta Symphony holiday shows
The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra offers several holiday concerts to enjoy. Christmas with the ASO features 400 singers and musicians, including the symphony, the Morehouse College Glee Club, and more. Handel’s Messiah is a traditional favorite, while the Gospel Christmas offers both modern and traditional pieces. Check out their website for performance information.

Fat Cat Cabaret’s Christmas in the Trenches
Saturday, Dec. 15 at Spruill Gallery
This cabaret show will transport you back to WWII-era vaudeville. Featuring perfomances by Evelyn Harleen Cassidy, Jacqueline Trade, Ruby le Chatte, Sally Strumpet, Salvador Charlí, and more. Bring a pet food donation for the Save Our Pets Food Bank and receive a discounted ticket price


Nutcracker Tea
Sundays through Dec. 23 at Park 75

The annual Nutcracker Tea is a fun-filled day of activities for all families. Watch the Atlanta Ballet perform a version of “The Nutcracker”, followed by a traditional tea service featuring 14 different loose-leaf teas, finger sandwiches, scones and bite-size desserts. Cocoa and other beverages will be served. Children will also decorate holiday cookies to end the afternoon.

Decatur Bonfire

Dec. 13, 7-8 p.m. at Decatur Square
A favorite with families, the Decatur Bonfire warms you up with marshmallow roasting around a huge bonfire and visits with Santa in the community bandstand.


White Elephant Gift Exchange
Saturday, Dec. 22 at Battle and Brew
Stop by the pub famous for its beer and video games to participate in the White Elephant Gift Exchange. Bring something you wouldn’t mind having for yourself, and be prepared to re-gift any item you don’t want or  need.

Georgia Capitol Christmas Tree 
Weekdays through Dec. 21 at Georgia State Capitol
One of the largest real Christmas Trees in Atlanta, located in the Georgia Capitol rotunda. Visit the Capitol and to see this enormous cedar tree decorated with of thousands of lights. Make sure to take a few holiday pictures.

The Holiday Spirit
Saturday, Dec. 15 at the Atlanta History Center
An educational and fun day at the Atlanta History Center. Holiday crafts, live music, decorations, engaging performances and a visit from St. Nicholas are included. Featured activities include time travel to explore holidays’ past at Smith Family Farm and Swan House, where guests will encounter friendly “Spirits” from the 1860s and the 1930s.

Ice skating at Centennial Park

Nov. 21-Jan. 27 at Centennial Park
Billed as the only outdoor skating rink in Atlanta, Centennial Park’s rink has been a favorite for more than a decade. As you skate enjoy the nearly 60-foot Christmas tree.

Reindeer Day at the Nature Center
Sunday, Dec. 16 at Chattahoochee Nature Center
Celebrate reindeer, nature and the holiday season at this event-filled day. Visit the live reindeer, then make your own antlers or a thumb print reindeer to take home. Visitors will also have the chance to enjoy story time and a campfire with treats. Participants are encouraged to bring a picnic so that they can spend the day exploring.


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