The holiday season is officially upon us! While it’s an exciting, magical time of year, it’s also one of the most hectic. This year, we challenge you to take a day to pause, slow down and enjoy the sights and sounds of the holiday season. Not sure what to do? Let us help! It doesn’t have to be an elaborate event – it can be as simple as adding a holiday spin on a typical date night. We’ve put together a simple itinerary that includes some of Cobb County’s top destinations.
Start your evening around 4 p.m. with a pre-dinner cocktail while you people-watch at the Battery Atlanta or stroll hand-in-hand and enjoy the shops at the Marietta Square Market. If you choose to start your evening at the Battery, grab a cocktail from the bar at Garden and Gun Club or a beer from Terrapin Taproom, then wander the many unique stores, from Archer Paper Goods to Rock/Creek, an outdoor gear store. Be sure to stop in front of the giant Christmas tree under the “Atlanta Braves” sign for a holiday selfie. If you’re heading to Marietta Square Market instead, grab a drink from Forno Vero – the large bar in the very center of the food hall. Then, circle through the food hall while you browse the menu at each food destination and shop at local merchants like Glory Haus and ‘Merica Clothing Co.
Next, it’s time to settle in for a delicious meal. At The Battery Atlanta, you have a myriad of choices, from Tex-Mex by well-known Atlanta chefs Ford Fry and Kevin Maxey at The El Felix to steaks and seafood at C. Ellet’s. At Marietta Square Market, your options are also incredibly varied. Try casual options from popular food trucks such as Cousins Maine Lobster or Just Loaf’N, or street food-style vendors such as Pita Mediterranean Street Food or Tandoori Square. You can also sit down at Street Taco or head back to Forno Vero for wood-fired artisan Napolitano-style pizza.
After dinner, grab a coffee or hot chocolate and head out to enjoy one of the Southeast’s best light displays – Lights of LIFE on the campus of Life University in Marietta. The lights come on Thanksgiving evening and will shine bright every night through December 31, so you can visit no matter what night you decide is date night! Cruise through the illuminated campus, enjoying a 1.5-mile journey through twinkling lights and holiday displays, then stop for cider and snacks at the concession stand. Lights of Life opens nightly at dark and runs until 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Admission varies from $5 – 10 per vehicle.
After you enjoy the sparkling lights, it’s time for dessert! Just a few miles north on Highway 41/Cobb Parkway, Marietta Diner awaits! Open 24/7, this iconic restaurant is known for its delicious (and large) slices of cheesecakes, pies or cakes. If you’re in the mood for something a little lighter, you can’t go wrong with a donut from Krispy Kreme, especially when the “Hot” sign is on!
If you’re not done with the holiday fun, hop back in the car and wander the backroads of Cobb County to find some of the area’s most well-known residential light displays. Here are a few of our favorites that you can visit on your way home:
- Christmas on Bolingbrook Drive: Head north on Sandy Plains Road to 4151 Bolingbrook Drive, which is lit up through January 1, 2020. The lights display started at this home in 2014, but many of the neighbors on the street now participate, essentially lighting up the entire street.
- Riley’s Rockin’ Christmas: Located off Acworth Due West Road in Kennesaw is another impressive light show synchronized to a rockin’ holiday playlist. Be sure to tune into 101.3FM as you drive down the festive street.
- Lights of Joy: The tour of lights continues in Kennesaw! Located near Pinetree Country Club, the family at 1510 Ben King Road was featured on ABC’s Great Christmas Light Flight! They have the honor of being the largest residential Christmas light display in Georgia, with over 600,000 lights. Even better? Their lights are synchronized with the holiday tunes on 99.1FM. Lights of Joy happens nightly beginning December 1 through January 1, 2020.