The Atlanta Botanical Garden is considered one of the best places in the city to see Christmas lights. Photo:
The Atlanta Botanical Garden is considered one of the best places in the city to see Christmas lights.

For many, the holiday season means getting away. Whether it’s going to visit family or taking a tropical vacation, many leave Atlanta when Christmastime comes around. However, Atlanta has a lot to offer at this special time of year.

Holiday Light Shows: Throughout Atlanta, there are many beautiful displays of Christmas lights. Season of Magic in Piedmont Park offers holiday lights along with horse drawn carriage rides and carousel rides. The Atlanta Botanical Garden is known for its lighting, which runs until after New Year’s. All tickets are under $20. For those more frugal stay-at-homers, Centennial Park will be illuminated and entrance is entirely free!

The world famous Pink Pig is up and running once again at Lenox Mall, and is a great thing for the youngsters while their parents are busy shopping.

For the more active folks the annual Astor Holiday Rink, presented by Coca-Cola, will be a hotspot for some chill fun. Located at the St. Regis in Buckhead, the rink is a great place to bring a date or to spend a night with friends. For another, cheaper option, the Centennial Olympic Park Ice Rink is celebrating its 15th anniversary this holiday season. Others include Skate Atlantic Station and Southwest Rink at Park Tavern in Piedmont Park. 

Looking for a show? Go see the Atlanta Ballet’s production of “The Nutcracker” at the Fox Theater. You may even see some Pace students performing in the show.

Still here for New Year’s? The Georgia Dome is hosting the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Even if you can’t find tickets for the New Year’s Eve game, you can still enjoy the festivities by attending the annual parade or the pre-game pep rally at the Georgia World Congress Center.

Most people spend mealtime on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day eating a large feast with family and friends. However, for those who are tired of holiday ham, or can’t take anymore leftovers, check out your local Chinese restaurant, which is probably open and ready for business. In addition, if you need to escape from your creepy uncle or crazy aunt, many movie theaters stay open on Christmas as well.

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