By Ally Wright

Grab those red-and-green striped socks, snowflake headbands and tacky sweaters – the holiday season is here. That means holiday-related events will be coming fast and furious, including tree lightings, visits from Santa, theatre productions, music and much more.

Celebrate the Holidays at The Botanical Garden

Come spend the holiday in the garden, surrounded by beautiful lights that promise to be even bigger and more extraordinary than last year. The lights will be turning the gardens into a glittery wonderland from Nov. 17 through Jan. 5, daily from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. (note that the gardens are closed on Mondays). “Santa’s Missing Mail,” a special puppet show, will be performed on Saturdays between Dec. 4 and Dec. 18, and should be a treat for the whole family. On Dec. 8, grab your pooch and take part in the “Reindog Parade” from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information on all the events, visit

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

A new tradition is to take the kids (of all ages) to The Center for Puppetry Arts to see the live-action version of the classic animated special, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Learn about Jon Ludwig’s adaption process from the television to the puppet stage after certain performances, with a behind-the-scenes demonstration from the puppeteers. Performances will be held from Nov. 8 – Jan. 6. The last two years have been sold out, so don’t wait to buy those tickets.

Centennial Olympic Park’s Holiday in Lights and Ice Rink

Centennial Park in Downtown will be turned into a festival of lights from Nov. 19 – Jan. 27. Take a break from the holiday craziness and stroll through the park, or practice ice-skating spins and twirls at Atlanta’s only outdoor ice-skating rink.

Lenox Square

This oldest Atlanta Christmas tradition opened in October (yes, that early!) and will be welcoming riders through Dec. 30, so there is plenty of time to make riding Priscilla the Pig a holiday family event on top of the parking deck at Lenox Square in Buckhead. While there, don’t forget to stop and admire the Great Tree above Macy’s, which will be officially lit on Thanksgiving night, along with holiday music and entertainment starting at 6 p.m.

Indie Craft Experience Holiday Pop-up Store

For the second year in a row, Indie Craft Experience is popping up in Little Five Points for the holiday season, opening a mini-store inside Criminal Records. This store of homemade and craft goods from over 80 artists will be open from Nov. 24 – Dec. 30, Monday – Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday noon – 7 p.m. For more information, visit

Fernbank’s Cultural Wonderland

Add a little culture to the holiday celebrations by visiting Fernbank’s “Winter Wonderland: Celebrations & Traditions Around the World,” which opens the weekend of Nov. 16 – 18 with celebrations on Saturday and Sunday. Other holiday events at the museum include “Caroling and Cookies Weekend,” Dec. 1-2, and “Laughing Pizza Holiday Concert” on Saturday, Dec. 8. All events are included in museum admission and free for members.

Atlantic Station

Atlantic Station turns into a magical wonderland perfect for holiday shopping this time of year. The lights go on Saturday, Nov. 17. Santa Claus will be present every day up until Christmas waiting to hear every tiny wish. On Saturday evenings in December, the shopping experience will be set to music by the “Winter Wonder Jam” series, through Dec. 22. For a complete schedule, visit

A Christmas Carol

Both the Alliance Theatre and The Shakespeare Tavern will be presenting productions of the Dickens’ classic during the holidays. The Alliance ( extravaganza is on stage from Nov. 23 to Dec. 23, while you can enjoy dinner and spirits along with the show at Shakespeare Tavern ( from Nov. 29 to Dec. 23.

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Collin KelleyEditor

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.