15 Holiday Events in Downtown Atlanta to Celebrate the Season

It's the most wonderful time of year, and we want you to be Downtown to experience this season of connection and illumination. Here's a roundup of can't-miss holiday events for all ages and faith traditions. Don't forget to use the #ATLDTN hashtag when sharing your holiday memories!

Caroling in the Park – December 3

Ring in the holiday season and celebrate compassion and connection in Woodruff Park. This event, happening around the Christmas tree on the Main Lawn, will feature a joint performance by the Atlanta Homeward Choir and the Georgia State University Choral Union, as well as a free hot chocolate bar, a photo booth...and a visit from Santa!

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Breakfast with Santa in the Clouds - December 8

To celebrate the holiday season, the Sun Dial Restaurant is hosting its inaugural “Breakfast with Santa in the Clouds,” an opportunity for families to create a new tradition 723 feet above downtown Atlanta. The event will feature a visit and photo with Santa, craft stations for letter-writing and ornament-making, a breakfast buffet, and a Blood Mary and Mimosa station for parents.

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Celtic Christmas at the Rialto – December 15

For more than 25 years, fiddlers, dancers, harpists, singers, Highland pipers and bards from the Irish, Scottish, Welsh and Appalachian traditions have enchanted Atlanta audiences of all ages. Performing with vibrancy and depth, The Celtic Company celebrates the music, dance and mirth of the season!

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Kwanzaa Celebration at the Auburn Avenue Research Library – December 20

Concurrent Educational Community Kwanzaa Workshops Teaching Kwanzaa, facilitated by DiasporaU, will explore resources and techniques that empower parents, educators, and caregivers with the ability to effectively share a true understanding of the history and principles of Kwanzaa with children and young adults. Ujima in Action, facilitated by Dr. Chike Akua, of Teacher Transformation Institute and Imani Enterprises, is devoted to Ujima, the third principle of Kwanzaa of collective work and responsibility.

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Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley – through December 23

1815. England. This Christmas, revisit your favorite Pride and Prejudice characters at Mr. and Mrs. Darcy's grand estate, Pemberley, as The Outfit's smash holiday hit sparkles to life once more. Mary Bennet, bookish and overshadowed by her sisters, must trust her heart and bloom when a curious visitor proves himself an intellectual match, kindred spirit, and possibly more. Bursting with modern wit and period style, the comedic sequel to one of the most beloved literary romances of all time will enchant Jane Austen fans, newcomers, and return guests alike. Come back on December 17 for a one-night-only performance of Truman Capote's "A Christmas Memory."

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Celebrations in Light and Cultural Explorations at Children’s Museum of Atlanta – through December 30

Join us for Celebrations in Light, as the Children’s Museum of Atlanta celebrates the traditions and tales of Las Posadas, Hanukkah, Christmas or Kwanzaa through decorations, interactive Readers’ Theatre performances, music, crafts, story times and Winter Science! Gather around the CMA stage to hear a special book reading, then get ready to dance and sing to your favorite Las Posadas, Hanukkah, Christmas, or Kwanzaa holiday songs!  Visit the Science Bar and learn about the science behind how a polar bear stays warm, how the circuits in Christmas lights work, and much more.  Visitors can also stop by Santa’s Workshop to make gifts for others, or our Arts Studio to create a special holiday craft for yourself or a loved one.

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Centennial Olympic Park Holiday Tree - through December 31

Centennial Olympic Park has planted a new beacon of holiday cheer that should last throughout the year – and many more to come. Towering more than 30 feet high and illuminated with winter holiday decor, a deodar cedar imported from South Carolina found its new home in the park near the corner of Marietta Street and Park Avenue West across from the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame. Besides lighting and decorating the new tree, the park will not host other winter holiday activities this year and into early 2019, including the Holiday In Lights display, decorations and ice rink due to ongoing renovations of the facility and because of activity related to Super Bowl 53.

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Festival of the SEAson – through December 31

Festival of the SEAson transforms Georgia Aquarium’s plaza, galleries and exhibits into a winter wonderland, including appearances by Santa and SCUBA Claus, a holiday edition of our live entertainment experience, tree-lighting ceremonies, and Santa Claus events.

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Fourth Annual Atlanta Festival of Trees – through January 1

Over thirty local non-profit organizations will participate in the hotel’s Fourth Annual Festival of Trees, a charitable event sponsored by the hotel and other Atlanta-area businesses. Each non-profit organization will decorate a Christmas tree that will be on display 24/7 in the hotel’s atrium for six weeks – and Atlanta residents and hotel guests are invited to give donations on behalf of the participating charities’ trees. There is no charge to visit the display, and parking is free. The tree with the largest monetary donations will receive an additional $1,000 gift from the Ruth’s Chris Steak House Restaurants.

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Holiday Celebration at World of Coca-Cola – through January 1

It’s officially the most wonderful time of the year at World of Coca-Cola, where guests can get into the holiday spirit with special exhibits, seasonal beverages, sparkling lights and larger-than-life decorations – including a new, 28-foot-tall, walk-through ornament of lights. Limited-time exhibits include “History of the Coca-Cola Santa” and “A Coca-Cola Christmas Celebration.” Fans can also sip on the season with holiday drinks: Apple Pie Sprite, Gingerbread Coke, Coca-Cola Jolly Cherry Vanilla, Seagram’s Ginger Ale Cheery Cherry Vanilla and Sprite Merry Berry.

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Deck the Hall – December 10 – January 4

Join us for Deck the Hall this holiday season at the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame! From December 10 through January 4, Deck the Hall will be in full swing with bright holiday decorations and cheer, appearances from Fumbles the Elf, plus our must-see college football experience! Take photos with Santa and Fumbles the Elf on December 15, 16, 22 and 23.

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It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Murder – through January 9

Years ago the North Pole established an elite school for the top one percent of its Sleigh Pullers. Its purpose was to teach the lost art of sleigh maneuvering and to ensure that the handful of holiday characters who graduated were the best sleigh pullers in the world. Unfortunately, there was a malfunction on one of the sleighs, and the North Pole has lost its number one sleigh puller. It might have been a mistake, but it just might have been murder! Join Rudolph, The Ice Man, Cougar, Goose, and all your favorite holiday characters for “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Murder”!

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Past Events

Irving Berlin’s White Christmas at The Fox Theatre – November 27 – December 2

IRVING BERLIN’S WHITE CHRISTMAS tells the story of a song-and-dance team putting on a show in a magical Vermont inn who fall for a stunning sister act in the process. Full of dancing, laughter and some of the greatest songs ever written, this magical show promises to be a merry and bright experience for the entire family!

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Victorian Holiday at Oakland Cemetery – December 1

You’re invited to indulge in the seasonal spirit at Victorian Holiday at Oakland Cemetery. Returning for its fourth year, Victorian Holiday is a FREE, unique, seasonal celebration that features holiday activities for the whole family! Visitors will enjoy a holiday artists market, wreath sale, and more. Santa will even make an appearance!

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Cookies with Santa at Zoo Atlanta – December 1-2

Be here when Santa makes his first stop – Zoo Atlanta! Bring the little ones for a personal visit with Santa and a professional photo. Warm up with hot chocolate and cookies, and start the holiday season with festive crafts, costume characters, animal encounters, music and a holiday movie. And of course, you’ll go home with a bag of reindeer chow for when Santa and his helpers make their visit to your home. Space is limited; pre-registration by November 30 is strongly encouraged. On December 1, stick around for Jungle Bells, the second-annual holiday tree lighting at the zoo, from 2:30-5:30 p.m.

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GSU Gala Holiday Concert at the Rialto – December 2

Your Gateway to the Holidays! An Atlanta tradition for over 20 years, the annual GSU Gala Holiday Concert brings together over 200 talented student and faculty performers from the School of Music in a joyful celebration of the Holiday Season. With only one performance this year, tickets will be going fast so make plans now to join us. Brimming with cheer, there’s no better way to start off your Holiday celebration!

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