Has your Yuletide spirit been amiss? Is there a lump of coal in your soul? Well, here's the elixir! Curbed Atlanta has rounded up eight holiday excursions to get your jollies jingling. Our family-friendly options are located from the fringes of the exurbs to the heart of downtown, priced from dirt-cheap to way, way overpriced. Each is sure to awaken your love of Christmas, and your penchant for being showered in gifts.Read More
Atlanta's Best Christmas Adventures, In Map Form
1. Atlanta Botanical Garden
The “Garden Lights, Holiday Nights” extravaganza returns to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens with even more bling (more than 1 million lights now) than years past. Across 30 acres, dazzling new attractions include a “Starry Night Walk” inspired by Van Gogh’s painting. Peak night admission costs $20 for adults, $14 for kids ages 3-12 and free for tots. Non-peak nights are $3 cheaper.
2. LEGOLAND Christmas
The “Holly Jolly Holidays!” mark a Santa takeover at Phipps Plaza's LEGOLAND. Expect white beards aplenty on those yellow LEGO figurines. The attraction is open through Dec. 24 at the Buckhead mall. Ticket prices vary, but discounts are available online.
3. Snow Mountain
Atlanta’s official winter wonderland is a fake-snow-packed, 400-foot mountainside with 20 lanes of tubing chutes. Go down as a single rider, or on a family-sized mega-tube, but don’t forget your wallet. A two-hour Snow Mountain pass is $27 for adults and children, but that includes all-day access to the snow play areas, where snowmen are built and snowballs tossed.
4. Lake Lanier Islands Resort
For 20 years, Lake Lanier Islands Resort has hosted a marvelous show of electricity called "Magical Nights of Lights." There are miles of themed light shows (don’t miss the snowflake bridge) and millions of bulbs. The cost is $60 per vehicle, or substantially more for busses.
5. Centennial Olympic Park Ice Rink
A little larger than its Piedmont Park cousin, the Centennial Olympic Park Ice Rink is a picturesque winter wonderland when it’s not closed because of things like rain and humidity. Sure, it’s contrived, but it’s festive, and a great venue for wipeout watching. Admission is $10 for a 90-minute session, but college students get in cheaper. It’s open until Jan. 27, too.
6. Lenox Square Mall's Pink Pig
Atlanta’s most curious yuletide tradition involves its favorite protein. Since 1953, the Pink Pig — aka “Priscilla” — has been delighting generations of Atlantans. These days, you’ll find the cutesy ride under the tent atop the Lenox Road parking deck at Lenox Square. Follow the squeals of children. Tickets are $3 per ride, or cheaper with successive helpings of pork.
7. Nutcracker at The Fox
It wouldn’t be the holidays at the Fabulous Fox Theatre without the return of the Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker. As if the show wasn’t enchanting enough, this year the ballet teamed with illusionist Drew Thomas to bring “an extra magical touch.” Tickets start at $20.
8. Christmas at Callanwolde
This 27,000 square-foot Gothic-Tudor mansion is transformed for the holidays by Atlanta’s top interior and floral designers into an English Classic Christmas bonanza. Additional attractions: cabaret nights and holiday music played on the Aeolian pipe organ. Entry is $20, or $12 for kids.