Ice skating at Atlantic Station.
Ice skating at Atlantic Station

The holiday season officially begins in November with tree lightings, shopping, theatre and much more. Check out our guide and get in the spirit. There’s something here for everyone.

Cabbagetown Chomp & Stomp
The 12th annual chili cook-off and bluegrass festival will take place at Cabbgaetown Park from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Nov. 1. The day begins with a 5K road race, followed by a day of music, games, an artist market and chili tasting. See the full line-up of music and events at

Castain Park Arts Festival
Find a unique gift or piece of art for the holidays at the annual festival set for Nov. 1 and 2 in the park. Nearly 200 artists will be on hand along with a children’s area, live music, food from local food trucks and more. For more, visit

Garden Lights, Holiday Nights
The Atlanta Botanical Garden in Midtown will transform into a glowing wonderland with millions of lights from Nov. 15 to Jan. 3 from 5 to 10 p.m. each evening. The trees, Imaginary Worlds topiary (including new giant butterflies, frogs and a unicorn) and more will be wrapped in special LED lights for this nightly display. For ticket information and more details, visit

Garden Lights, Holiday Nights at Atlanta Botanical Garden

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
The faithful recreation of the classic animated TV special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer returns to the Center for Puppetry Arts for a fifth year from Nov. 11 to Dec. 28 (there are preview shows on Nov. 11 and 12, too). There will also be create-a-puppet workshops. The shows always sells out quickly, so reserve your tickets now at

Pink Pig & Lighting of the Great Tree?
It’s not the holiday season in Atlanta until The Great Tree is blazing atop Macy’s and the Pink Pig is taking kids on a ride through a winter wonderland. This year, the Pink Pig (located on top of the Lenox Square parking deck in Buckhead) will be open Nov. 1 to Jan. 4 (closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day). On Thanksgiving night, the annual Lighting of Macy’s Great Tree will draw thousands to Lenox Square. The evening will begin at 6 p.m. with entertainment and music. Find more details at

Santaland Diaries at Horizon Theatre

Indie Craft Experience Holiday Shopping Spectacular
Local artisans will be on hand Nov. 22-23 at the Georgia Freight Depot in Downtown, 65 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. If you’re looking for original, one-of-a-kind art, gifts and more this event is not to be missed. For more information, visit

A Christmas Carol
The Alliance Theatre will present its 25th annual staging of the Charles Dickens’ classic about a visit from the ghosts of Past, Present and Future to mean old Scrooge from Nov. 21 to Dec. 24. Visit for information and tickets.

Santaland Diaries and Madeline’s Christmas
David Sedaris’ tale of working as a department store elf over the holidays has become a staple for the season, and it’s back at Horizon Theatre Nov. 21 through Dec. 31. Visit for tickets.

Lighting of Atlantic Station
The west Midtown development will be hosting all kind of activities during the holiday months, starting with the Lighting of Atlantic Station on Nov. 22. The family friendly events will feature music and entertainment. The gigantic decorated tree will light up the night just after sunset, and the evening will culminate with Santa’s parade and arrival. You can also ice skate on a unique track-style rink, check out Cirque du Soleil’s Amaluna (through Nov. 30), have your photo take with Santa Claus and enjoy the regular “Snow Shows” where fresh snow falls on visitors at Central Park. For more, visit

Collin Kelley

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.