Winter Travel Bucket List: Explore Christmas in Atlanta

“Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing but of reflection.” Winston Churchill

Don’t you love how this time of the year ushers in an opportunity to see family and friends when life’s run a tad bit ahead of you?

Grab the ones you love this holiday season for some memorable fun for the entire family. (Bonus points for gifting one or three of these experiences. It’s the little things.)

Atlanta is a melting pot of cultures and the city merrily recognizes that people celebrate this time of the year differently, but with a lot of similarities. If you’re spending Thanksgiving or Christmas in the South, you can keep everyone entertained with the top Insta-worthy spots to visit in Atlanta.

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It’s all about the ‘gram for 2018, and the holidays are no exception. From holly decked restaurants, giant gingerbread houses, and skyline skating, to holiday markets, there are oodles of festive spots vying for a coveted space on your feed. I made a list — and checked it twice. Here’s a checklist of thirty Christmas shows and events to keep your loved ones with their eyes all aglow.

Top Atlanta events and attractions for date night or family-friendly fun

Top family-friendly Christmas activities #Christmas #datenight #datenightideas #lesbiantravel #Atlanta



Experience Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors

Possibly the most anticipated event of the year, Infinity Mirrors at the High Museum of Art has already sold out of advance tickets. No need to have FOMO because onsite ticket sales will begin one hour before the museum opens. One hundred people per day will have the opportunity to purchase same day museum tickets to meander through the 2 hour awe-inspiring exhibit. Don’t forget to charge your cell phones before you visit! Head over to their website for more of their family-friendly and date-night events through the new year.

Get nostalgic with The Muppet Christmas Carol

Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal: World of Myth & Magic exhibit is open to the public at The Center for Puppetry Arts through September 2019! After observing the magical world of puppetry art, unleash your inner child with Kermit and friends for a screening of The Muppet Christmas Carol. The Muppet characters tell their version of the classic tale of an old and bitter miser’s redemption on Christmas Eve. Viewing the film is included with Museum admission on December 8 and December 15.

See Atlanta’s largest gingerbread house

St. Regis Atlanta’s pastry team has collaborated with Sugarfina for a second year to unveil a life-size gingerbread house. The luxe candy company will be selling it’s succulent candies within the gingerbread house for a pop up store that guests can enjoy. The hotels’s holiday tradition welcomes visitors as they enter the property’s grand lobby, and you can join in on more of their festivities through New Years Day.

Taste the season at World of Coca-Cola

First time to Atlanta? Be sure to add the World of Coca-Cola to your tourist to-do list. It’s open every day except for Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day. Get a behind the scenes look at the bottling process, embrace the atmosphere of open happiness, and send your tastebuds on a rollercoaster ride of flavors. The “thing to do” when in Downtown Atlanta, it’s a quick skip through Pemberton Park from the Georgia Aquarium.

Never miss a tree lighting again

The largest aquarium in the world is gifting us a Festival of the SEAson tree lighting every morning at 10:30 a.m. The Georgia Aquarium’s beautiful atrium will be filled with holiday cheer of carols and holiday favorites. Visit their website for a calendar of Christmas events for all ages.

Catch a show at Fox Theatre Atlanta

From Puddles Pity Party & Friends Holiday Jubilee, The Nutcracker, and Cirque Dreams Holidaze to John Legend, the Fabulous Fox Theatre Atlanta is the holy grail of holiday show venues to snuggle in close to your loved ones. Ridesharing or catching a MARTA to North Avenue train station is SMARTA than attempting to park and shuffle. Plan to get there 90 minutes ahead of showtime to indulge in the new Marquee Club space.

Support the Atlanta Hawks

Gift the teachers in your life an Educator Appreciation Pack for a night out with Atlanta Hawks against the Denver Nuggets. You can view the basketball team’s promotional calendar for a themed game that best suits your interests. Seeing the Atlanta Hawks is interactive fun for friends and family to enjoy all season long.

The Color Run

Children’s Christmas Parade

Become mesmerized as Midtown Atlanta is transformed into Santa Claus Lane for the annual Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Christmas Parade. Get out there early and grab a hot chocolate as you hold down a prime viewing spot to witness marching bands, ornate floats, and helium-filled balloons glide down Peachtree St. for the largest holiday parade in the southeast. On Saturday, Dec. 1, CHOA’s Christmas Parade will begin at Peachtree and 16th streets at 10:20 a.m. and end at the cross section of Peachtree and 5th streets. If you want to see the action live from the comfort of your bed, catch it on WSB-TV Channel 2 at 10:30 a.m.

Now that we’ve gotten you started, here’s the rest of the list to enjoy with friends and family under twinkling lights.

9. Spread joy with Hands on Atlanta by volunteering as a family

10. Sip and smell through the Castleberry Hill 2nd Friday Art Stroll

11. Get Blitzen at Miracle on Monroe

Bad Santa - Miracle on Highland Christmas Pop-up

Bad Santa - Miracle on Highland Christmas Pop-up


12. Fill home with the smell of Christmas

13. Explore Andy Warhol through the 1980s at The Michael C. Carlos Museum

14. Hear the robust voices of the Morehouse College Glee Club

15. Holiday on the beach with a Sippin Santa tiki (and by beach I mean BonTon’s tiki pop-up)

16. Plan ladies night at Village Theatre

17. Spend a morning discovering silver screen locations from Atlanta Movie Tours

18. Support small businesses and entrepreneurs at The Village Market ATL on Black Friday or Small Business Saturday

19. Make Christmas Day brunch reservations

20. Catch up with friends in Inman park over holiday themed cocktails at Miracle on Highland

21. 1-2 step any time Motown Christmas music is played in public

22. Attend a disco at Outfront Theatre

23. Find the ugliest holiday sweater to keep warm at Fernbank Museum of Natural History

24. Visit Zoo Atlanta for cookies with Santa

25. See a Christmas tree lighting at Atlantic Station

26. Discover Atlanta’s murals on a street art walking tour

27. View Atlanta’s skyline from Ponce City Market’s ice skating rink

28. Taste German street food at Christkindle Market

29. Sip Champagne through Callanwolde Mansion

30. Roast s’mores at Atlanta Botanical Garden

I’m sure most of these activities can be replicated in other major cities with a quick google search.

I want to know your Thanksgiving and Christmas plans below.

Let your voice be heard.

  1. Do you have any family traditions for the holidays?

  2. How can you spread joy and cheer to others during this season?

  3. Are there any stale habits that need to be shed before the new year?

Enjoying your stay? Stick around for another read or two…

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Bianca is a hot toddy sippin', festival lovin’, LGBTQ content strategizing, Om addict. When she's not blogging, you can catch her eating through a city, tinkering in the kitchen, or redecorating with her mood.

Bianca is a hot toddy sippin', festival lovin’, LGBTQ content strategizing, Om addict. When she's not blogging, you can catch her eating through a city, tinkering in the kitchen, or redecorating with her mood.

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