by Jonathan Baker - 319 Reviews - 185 List
Fill in the blank: It's not an Atlanta holiday until ... Whatever your flavor, we've got 10 Atlanta holiday events worth checking out, from the roaring '20s-style decoration at Callanwolde (pictured), to ice skating in one of Atlanta's most luxurious hotels, to riding the Pink Pig.
Updated: November 22, 2011
Riding the Pink Pig--it might sound funny, but it's an Atlanta tradition. Since 1953, tykes have looked forward to the holidays for presents, stockings, Santa, and the chance to ride Macy's Pink Pig, the miniature train atop Lenox. It costs $3, a small price for giving the young ones something to remember.
Those who want to see a beautiful light display without the drive to Lake Lanier or Callaway Gardens should look no further than our own Centennial Olympic Park. For the 13th year, Atlanta's 21-acre historic park is blanketed with lights and decorations. Bonus: Once again, it's the setting for the city's only outdoor skating rink.
For the 64th year, Macy's will be lighting its tree on Thanksgiving night. Things kick off at 6:15pm. Expect the usual musical suspects, as well as "American Idol" winner Scotty McCreery. And if you miss the lighting of Macy's Great Tree, never fear; the beautiful spruce stays atop Macy's at Lenox throughout the season. Also, the mall Santa inside is willing to take photos with kids (or your favorite four-legged friend).
Continuing a great Atlanta tradition for the 31st year in a row, the beautiful homes of Grant Park open their doors for a candlelight tour on Dec.10 and 11. The cost is $15 in advance or $20 the day of the tour. Carolers included (really).
For the 12th year in a row, the Horizon Theatre Company puts on the David Sedaris classic, "The Santaland Diaries." Written about his days as a disgruntled, out-of-work writer who resorts to taking a part-time job as a department store elf, this hilarious pop culture production provides much needed comic relief to the hectic holiday season.
It's an all-in-one holiday wonderland! Stroll under two million lights strung through the village, visit with Santa, shop for hand-blown glass ornaments and unique toys, watch the 4D version of the ?Polar Express,? drink hot chocolate and ride a sing-a-long train. What's not to love? (Warning: For kids, this one is tough to top.)
An ice skating rink in a hotel? Absolutely. Lodged in the fancy schmancy St. Regis in Buckhead, this elegant holiday ice rink does it up with gourmet hot chocolate, s?mores and roaring outdoor fireplaces. $30 for adults and $18 for kids.
A holiday classic in the city's most classic theater. Atlanta Ballet's production of "The Nutcracker" once again runs at the fabulous Fox Dec. 8 through 24. This unique production takes 20 pounds of snow, eight tons of scenery and a 38-foot-tall Christmas tree to make the magic happen.
For the second year in a row (after a seven-year hiatus), the Candler family's Gothic-Tudor mansion gets decorated for the holidays, continuing a decades-long Atlanta tradition. Although it's only open Dec. 5 through 18, the roaring '20s-style holiday theme is done up properly, with events like the teddy bear tea, ice sculpting and breakfast with Santa.
What's more awesome than showing your kids the fuzzed-out, 1964 television version of Rudolph? How about taking them to the see Rudolph live at the Center of Puppetry Arts, produced by Jon Ludwig and based on the classic television special? Go.