5 Festive Things To Do in the Atlanta Area

Looking for family-friendly holiday events this December 2018 in the Atlanta Area? There are so many things going on around town to bring in the 2018 holiday season. Here are some festive and fun holiday events in and around Atlanta. Some are old traditions and some are new, but all of them are family friendly and tons of fun!

1. Macy’s Pink Pig Train:

The Macy’s Pink Pig train at Macy’s Lenox Square in Atlanta, a beloved holiday tradition, runs from now through Sunday, Jan. 6. From its debut in the 1950s as a children’s ride at the downtown Rich’s store to its brief stint at the Egleston Children’s Hospital Festival of Trees, five generations of Atlantans have ridden the Macy’s Pink Pig into the holiday season.

Now through Sunday, Jan. 6
Buckhead, Macy’s Lenox Square Mall

$3 a ride

More info: visitmacysusa.com/macys-pink-pig

2. Avalon Ice Skating:

Avalon on Iceis an open-air ice skating rink at Avalon in Alpharetta. The ice skating rink is open daily.

Alpharetta, Avalon Outdoor Mall

Admission includes skate rental, and it’s $18 for adults & $14 for children under age 10. Groups of 10 or more can get in for $15 per person.

More info: experienceavalon.com

3. Holiday Lights and Garden Nights:

This Atlanta holiday event is a must see! Enjoy the beautiful gardens as they light up and twinkle. Kids and adults can partake in making s’mores over an open fire while enjoying holiday sights and sounds with a downtown Atlanta backdrop.

Atlanta Botanical

Midtown Atlanta

More info: atlantabg.org

4. Santa’s Fantastical:

This is the first year for Santa’s Fantastical in Sandy Springs. It is a family-friendly interactive wonderland of immersive worlds where the spirit of the season comes alive through live performances, state-of-the-art technology, and Instagram-worthy moments. Be the first to experience a Fantastical World.

Now through Dec. 24

Sandy Springs (in the old Toys R US building)

$34 for Adults and $26 for Children over 3

More info: santasfantastical.com

5. Atlanta Christkindl Market:

A fun holiday tradition just like the Christmas markets in Europe, where you can enjoy fun shops, food, and holiday festivities! The Atlanta Christkindl Market™ is an event sponsored by the GAC-Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the education of German language and culture throughout the southeastern U.S.at the Atlanta Christkindl Market.

Nov.29 through Dec. 23

Atlantic Station, Atlanta, GA

Free Admission

For more info: christkindlmarket.org

12 Atlanta Events to Kick off the 2018 Holiday Season!

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12 Atlanta Events to Kick off the 2018 Holiday Season!

Looking for family-friendly events around the Atlanta area to kick off your holiday season? Here is a list of twelve events and holiday tree lightings going on around town that are guaranteed to put you in a holly jolly mood.

1. Light the Station 2018 — Atlantic Station– Nov. 17, 1- 8 p.m.; lighting at 7:45 p.m.

Don’t miss the season’s biggest event as we officially kick off the holidays with Light the Station!  This year’s event will be held in a new location on WINTER WONDER LANE – just off Market Street and adjacent to Dillard’s. Enjoy the Atlanta Christkindl Market also opening on Nov. 17!

For more info: Light the Station

2. The Lighting of Avalon —Nov. 18, from 1-8 p.m. Tree Lighting at 7 p.m.

A celebration for the season you won’t want to miss! Get in the holiday spirit with festive music and free activities for the whole family. From the annual opening of Avalon on Ice to the magnificent tree lighting, and an appearance from Jolly Old Saint Nick himself, there’s something exciting for all to enjoy.

For more info: Lighting of Avalon

3. Avalon On Ice —Nov. 18– Dec. 21

‘Tis the season to lace up your skates and glide into the holiday spirit at Avalon on Ice.  The Rockefeller-inspired ice skating rink is open Nov. 18, 2018 through Jan. 21, 2019.

For more info:Avlon On Ice

4. Marietta Square Christmas Tree Lighting —Nov. 30, 4-8 p.m.; Tree Lighting at 6 p.m.

Join Santa and Mrs. Claus for the kick-off to the holiday season in charming Marietta Square. Festivities start at 4:00 pm in Glover Park in Historic Marietta Square. Local choruses will perform Christmas carols on the main stage. Santa will light the giant Christmas tree at 6 pm.

For more info: Marietta Square Tree Lighting 

5. Children’s Christmas Parade —Dec. 1, Peachtree & 11th Street at 10:30 a.m.

The Children’s Christmas Parade will step off at Peachtree Street and 16th Street and end at Peachtree Street and 5th Street. Watch as Midtown Atlanta is transformed into Santa Claus Lane with the sights and sounds of the season. Your kids will love this Atlanta tradition and enjoy the large floats and performances in the parade. It is the largest of its kind in the Southeast! Can’t make it to Peachtree Street? You can tune in to WSB-TV Channel 2 to view the Children’s Christmas Parade live.

For more info: Atlanta Children’s Christmas Parade

6. Season of Celebration – Light the Night City of Alpharetta —Dec. 1, 4-8 p.m.

Enjoy the charm of the holiday season at the lighting of the Christmas tree and other holiday festivities in Alpharetta.

For more info: Season of Celebration 

7. Rudolph and the Center for Puppetry Arts —Nov. 15 through Dec. 30.

Enjoy a classic story told a classic way at the Center for Puppetry Arts.  Your ticket will include the performance of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer™, a Create-A-Puppet Workshop™ your children can build and perform with their very own King Moonracer™ Rod Puppet, and admission to the Worlds of Puppetry Museum.

For more info: Putter Show Rudolf

8. Candlelight Nights at the Atlanta History Center —Dec. 15 and Dec. 22, from 5:30-8 p.m.

Santa Claus will welcome kids, and families can enjoy the Holiday Market filled with local crafts and artists’ creations. Visit each of the three historic houses to experience how Southerners celebrated Christmas during the Civil War era (Smith Family Farm), the 1930’s (Swan House) and pioneer days (Wood Family Cabin). Timeless holiday music will resonate, and interpreters will bring characters from the pages of history to life at these historic abodes, each handsomely dressed in period holiday decorations and featuring activities of the season.

For more info: Candlelight Nights

9. Winter Wonderland at the Fernbank —Nov. 16 through Jan. 6

Visit the Fernbank Museum and enjoy holiday décor, sparkling trees showcasing celebrations around the world in the enchanting Winter Wonderland exhibition. Their displays recognize the diversity of celebrations, holidays, traditions and events from around the world. So, come to enjoy the Museum, the decorations, and the holiday cheer!

For more info: Winter Wonderland 

10. Garden Lights and Holiday Nights at the Atlanta Botanical Garden —Nov. 17- Jan. 6

Each year the Garden adds something new to its botanical-inspired light display. The wonderland goes throughout the 20-acre Midtown attraction. Enjoy the always beautiful Atlanta Botanical Garden adorned in holiday cheer.

For more info: Atlanta Botanical

11. Christmas at Callanwolde —Nov. 23 to Dec. 9. Daily from 12-8 p.m. (Closed Nov. 29 for the Callanwolde Holiday Gala.)

Christmas at Callanwolde has been an Atlanta holiday tradition for 40 years, and begins with the Christmas at Callanwolde Designer Show House, a 27,000-square-foot historic mansion decorated by Atlanta’s top interior and floral designers. Visitors of all ages can enjoy a self-guided tour of the mansion and enjoy elaborately decorated holiday displays, an artists’ market, and other holiday themed activities for the entire family. See the website for daily activities and events and bring a new toy for donation to Toys for Tots.

For more info: Callanwolde

12. Holiday Lights of Hope 2018 – Woodstock —Dec. 7-23, 6-9 p.m.

Family light show that befits the Anna Crawford Children’s Center. The event includes an awesome walk-through light display featuring more than TWO MILLION LIGHTS, along with entertainment for families with kids of all ages. I’ve also heard the Santa there is great for pictures!

For more info: Holiday Lights

There are so many great events going on in the Atlanta area for the 2018 Christmas Holiday season! Make sure to check back for more Atlanta family friend holiday events on the blog!

HolidaySeasonATL

High Museum of Art – Atlanta, Winnie The Pooh Exhibit

My daughters and I made our first trip to the High Museum of Art, in Midtown Atlanta last week and we want to tell you all about it. Unfortunately, it was a rainy day and in hindsight, we should have postponed our visit so we could explore and enjoy the entire property and all it has to offer. Be that as it may, we went and enjoyed the trip in spite of the rain.

I discovered the museum on the Peachtree Road Race run on July 4th, since the race route goes right through Midtown and right by the museum. It looked like a cool spot and I knew I wanted to check it out, but sometimes kids and art museums are not a great mix, so when I discovered they have a Winnie the Pooh exhibit right now, I jumped on it!

During a late-night Instagram surf, I saw another local blogger post photos of the exhibit and then when I visited the website on Wednesday, night I discovered Thursdays are “Toddler Thursdays.” I took this as a sign and made the decision to bring the girls the next day.

We drove down there around 9:30 a.m. and traffic was not bad, but can’t say the same for the weather. The museum parking garage and the one next-door were full, so we had to drive around for almost 45 minutes until we found a garage with an open parking space. Next time, I plan on taking the Marta since the station for the museum is right across the street. That’s a good way to avoid the hassle of parking. To be honest, I feel like I am one of the few people living outside the city who enjoys taking the Marta! Something I love about traveling in Europe and the northeast are all the trains and subways that you can take to get from town to town, so when I can use public transportation in my own country and city, I’m always up for it.

Once we found parking, we got soaking wet trekking in the rain to the High Museum of Art. By the time we got our tickets the kids were hungry, so we ate lunch in the main area next to toddler play. While eating, I discovered the SmArt Art Box kiosk and signed Caroline up for the SmArt box, a free program for kids offered by the Museum. We got a fun plastic box that had an art project inside aimed to educate kids about an artist and his or her work. It also had crayons and a drawing pad. The idea is you come back with your box every month and they give you a new project, free of charge. It is a cool program especially if you plan on visiting monthly, and if you do, make sure to become a member to save some money on entry fees. However, the kiosk is in a public area next to toddler time so, you don’t necessarily have to purchase a ticket to stop by and participate monthly.

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We went upstairs looking for the Winnie the Pooh exhibit and discovered it wasn’t even in the main building (would have been nice to know when we got our tickets). The girls and I went back out in the rain and headed next door to see the Winnie the Pooh exhibit. They have a covered walkway so we did not get too wet, but of course, there were puddles everywhere, and what kid can avoid jumping in puddles?

The exhibit was designed as if you were actually in a storybook. Like many child-themed things, the most annoying part was the children whose parents are oblivious to others, but other than that I thought it was great. We were a tad worn out from the start since we had a soggy and slightly frustrating journey to the exhibit, but overall we loved the High Museum of Art. The Pooh exhibit was very clever and interactive; it was also small enough that we got to see it all before toddler meltdowns started.

If you are visiting Atlanta or looking for a nice day trip into the city, I highly recommend checking this museum out  — with or without kids. The High Museum of Art property is pretty and has all kinds of outdoor sculptures and courtyards to hang out and explore, in addition to the museum itself.

I look forward to going back to the High Museum of Art on a sunny day to enjoy the property and check out more of the exhibits with the girls. Thursdays are set up for kids, so we will likely return then or over a weekend when Jake (aka Daddy) can come with us. My recommendation would be to visit on a weekday in spring or fall so you have good outdoor weather in which to enjoy the property. We can’t wait to go back!

Our First ATL Botanical Gardens Trip

Summertime can be rough in the South. The hot, humid weather, rainstorms, and bugs can be enough to keep you inside with the AC blasting and your kid’s favorite Netflix show on repeat. However, when family is in town, I am always excited (and motivated) to take them around my new city. I had yet to visit the Atlanta Botanical Gardens in Midtown and knew it would be perfect for these visitors, and I wasn’t wrong.

Right now, the gardens have a collection of giant living sculptures throughout the property as a part of their “Imaginary Worlds” exhibit. These living sculptures – ranging up to 26 feet tall and 21 feet wide – include an enchanting Mermaid, a gigantic Camel, storybooks, a huge dragon, and much more.

SklyLine

The property was beautiful and the skyline views reminded me of being in NYC’s Central Park. We spent most of our time looking for the living sculptures and in the green houses that were filled with so many beautiful orchids of all shapes and sizes. One was almost the size of my head! I never before have seen such a variety of orchids. They were stunning.

The beautiful, unique walkways accommodated my tandem Graco double stroller for the most part. We went on a Friday just after 10 a.m. to avoid the summer heat. It was busy with a few camp fieldtrips, but overall not too crowded. I overheard a couple talking about the last time they visited on a weekend and how it was much more crowded. So, plan a visit on a weekday if you can, and if it’s summertime arrive when they open at 10 a.m. to avoid the heat.

We walked around and had lunch at the onsite restaurant. The food was fabulous and they had a variety of coloring sheets to keep my four year old entertained. After lunch, we tried to walk around some more but the heat was getting the best of us, so we headed out and made one last stop at the gift shop. Surprisingly, that was also fabulous! They had many unique gifts and some nice home décor. They also had some great kids’ stuff and fun educational books.

One thing we did miss somehow was the kids’ garden. I was bummed about this since I’m sure Caroline would have loved it. Even more reason to go back when it cools off in fall! They have several themed events throughout the year and host a “Cocktails in the Garden” event Thursday evenings. During winter holiday season, they decorate with Christmas lights, one of my husband’s favorite things, so I plan on taking him and the girls this year since he couldn’t join us for our first visit.

The Atlanta Botanical Gardens is on our list of must sees if you are planning a family trip to Atlanta!  We love our new city and cannot wait to explore more of its awesomeness and share it with you all.

Photographer tip: Come ready to shoot! Their bridge, canopy-covered walkways, and city backdrops make this a perfect destination for photographing your little ones OR to do your next family session.

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