Free Christmas Events in Atlanta
Looking for FREE Christmas events in Atlanta? Christmas can be so expensive. The gifts, the decorations, the food, the events. Any time there is opportunity to enjoy Christmas festivities for FREE, we’re all over it! Here are our favorite FREE events this holiday. If you know of others, please share!
German Christkindl Market. The Christkindl Market at Atlantic Station is back by popular demand, and taking over Central Park Nov. 24 – Dec. 23, 2017. This FREE outdoor festival features a Christmas village of wooden booths selling imported German indulgences, as well as handmade Christmas ornaments, and one-of-a kind gift items! The German American Cultural Foundation presents the event. Come for the mulled wine and hot chocolate, stay for the culture!
A Victorian Holiday at Oakland Cemetery. Indulge in the seasonal spirit by enjoying holiday festivities at Oakland’s Bell Tower. Warm up with a cup of hot cocoa (or wassail for adults over 21) while listening to holiday carols. Settle down for a reading of The Night Before Christmas or join Oakland’s youngest visitors in learning the art of the Victorian ornament. Don’t forget to get a photo with jolly Saint Nick!
CHOA Parade. Children’s holds a special place in our heart, and this parade is one of our favorite. It recently moved to Midtown, but the quality is still superior. Bring blankets, a cooler of water or hot cocoa, chairs…whatever you need to enjoy the show! We splurged on bleacher seats one year…that was special. Great memories are made here, and all for a great cause.
Chattahoochee Nature Center. We love CNC. It’s a “Top 10” attraction, in our opinion. On December 2, they offer a holiday gift to everyone – free admission! While you are there, check out the Holiday Market and Festival with artisans selling local, handmade products. Don’t forget cash for any goodies while visiting, there is no ATM onsite.
The Rock Ranch. Country Christmas in Lights at The Rock Ranch offers families a drive-thru showing of over a mile of Christmas lights on the farm. The price is free until Dec 1. Festivities begin Thanksgiving, and continue most evenings until Dec 31. Donations appreciated.
Christmas Open House at Scottsdale Farms. Live music, wine tastings, door prizes, holiday décor demonstrations and yummy treats will make for a festive time.
Santa and Cocoa with Santa at TopGolf. Bring the kids to TopGolf Dec 19th from open – 11am for a complimentary photo with Santa and receive a FREE gift, cookies and cocoa. No reservations required. Available to the first 200 kids playing TopGolf.
Bass Pro Shop. During Santa’s Wonderland, you can pose with Santa and receive a photo for free. There are also games, activities and crafts, and much more.
The Lighting of Avalon. 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.
Mighty Mo & More. This cherished celebration at the Fox Theatre is full of singing and holiday cheer. Tickets are FREE (all General Admission,) but there is a small processing fee for purchasing online. Snow will be falling…on Peachtree Street. The Christmas Carol Sing-A-Long is led the famous “Mighty Mo” organ, the largest working Mollër theatre organ in the world. Santa Claus will be on-site for family photo opportunities – doors open at 6:30pm.
Light Up Blue Ridge. Kids will enjoy the petting zoo, pony and train rides, and more. There’s a gingerbread house and window decorating contest, and the lighting of the Great Tree. Not free, but worth every penny, you can also ride the Santa Express or the Night Train to Santa’s Pavilion on the Blue Ridge Railway. I love the shops in Blue Ridge for Holiday presents, too!
PJ Party with Santa at Town Center. December 2 from 1-3 p.m. PJs and cookies and Santa – oh my! Town Center at Cobb’s PJ Party welcomes all kids on the nice list to enjoy activities, games and giveaways. There will be a special appearance from Santa himself to read a story to the good boys and girls! The PJ Party will be held on the Upper Level JCPenney Wing. Visit simon.com/towncenteratcobb for more information.
Centennial Olympic Park. On hiatus for 2017 due to park construction. Centennial Olympic Park’s annual Holiday in Lights is an Atlanta tradition. In November, the Park transforms into a winter wonderland with thousands of lights that make up the sparkling display.
Hunter’s Tree Farm. Come on the weekends for Santa visits and pony rides (donations appreciated.) There is also complimentary hot cocoa and cookies. When you visit, find the perfect tree that you can cut yourself.
“Drive By” Light Displays. We love jumping into the car in our jammies, and driving around the neighborhoods looking at Christmas lights. Here are fun places: Holiday Lights Displays. If you know of more, let us know!
Photos with Santa at Alpharetta Welcome Center. December 2, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm. Get your holiday photo taken for free at the Alpharetta Welcome Center, 178 South Main Street, Suite 200. Stop in for an individual or family photo with Santa and have the photo printed and emailed to you to share with friends and family. This is a free event and lite refreshments will be served. No reservations required. No pets please. The photographer will be using a “green screen” so it is recommended that attendees not wear green.
Santa’s Arrival Celebration at Town Center. November 3 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. The community is invited to welcome everyone’s favorite jolly man at Town Center at Cobb’s annual Santa Arrival Celebration! Shoppers can gather outside the Food Court Main Entrance (between Belk and JCPenney) at 6 p.m. to welcome Saint Nick with a festive parade of reindeer, stilt walkers and a magical snowfall. Guests can also look forward to face painting, activities, giveaways and more! Photos will be available until 9 p.m. in Center Court for all wishing to visit Santa and the first 200 people to visit with Kris Kringle will receive a special gift. In addition, shoppers can stop for a photo opportunity with his trusty reindeer outside of the mall.
Snow Shows. Starting November 24, guests can take a snowy walk through Central Park at Atlantic Station during Snow Shows. Everyone’s favorite holiday music will bring the snowfall to life each weekend at select times. Don’t miss Atlanta’s largest German Christmas Market in Central Park daily, from November 24 – December 23, too!
Blairsville, Ga Christmas Celebrations. November brings the Mistletoe Market and Annual Christmas Open House at Byron Herbert Reece Farm and Heritage Center with free admission to exhibits, door prizes, refreshments, author signings, seasonal music and decorations, and a well-stocked gift shop. Don’t miss the December festivities: Tour of Trees, Christmas Concert at the Courthouse, Kris Kringle Mountain Market, Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting on the Square, Union County Historical Society Open House and Live Nativity, Tree Lighting @ Vogel State Park, Holly Jolly Christmas with musical performances, children’s activities, refreshments & photo ops with Mr. & Mrs. Claus, and Old fashioned Christmas caroling on the square.
Christmas in Downtown Clayton, Ga. Thanksgiving weekend you can get Christmas shopping done in one evening! Santa is at the Rock House Park with Tree Lighting at the Rock House Park at 6 pm. Music, Victorian carolers, luminaries, hot chocolate and so much more. The next day, come talk to Santa in his antique sleigh at the Rock House Park on Main Street. And don’t miss the Christmas Parade in early December.
Christmas in Dahlonega, Ga. Holiday events begin in late November and include the Downtown Merchants Open House, a Visit with Santa on Visitor Center Plaza and Downtown, Extended Downtown Merchant Shopping Hours, Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony at Montaluce, an Old Fashioned Christmas Parade and Lighting of the Tree, as well as “Miracle on 34th Street” at the Historic Holly Theater during December.
Christmas in Gainesville, Ga. Festivities kick off with Jingle Mingle, Santa arrives, lighting of the Big Chicken, carriage rides and lots more. Other events include Voices of North Georgia Annual Holiday Concert at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, Gainesville Ballet Company’s Nutcracker, Mingle with Kringle at Main Street Market, Christmas on Green Street, Family Day- Victorian Christmas with Northeast Georgia History Center, John Berry Christmas Concert and the Polar Bear Swim at the Lake Lanier Olympic Venue.
Christmas in Habersham County. FREE Drive Through the Park- Spectacular Light Display at Cornelia City Park, “A Country Christmas” parade in downtown Cornelia, with a visit with Santa at the Big Red Apple after parade, and A Downtown Clarkesville Christmas with tree lighting, photos with Santa, live music, and more.
Reynolds Plantation Gingerbread House. Staying at Reynolds is a special treat, but you can swing in for a coffee and a tour of their lifesize Gingerbread House!
Carriage Rides with Santa at West Cobb Avenues. Enjoy holiday music, complimentary horse-drawn carriage rides, and visits with Santa!
Carriage Rides and Santa Photos at The Shoppes at Webb Gin. Complimentary carriage rides and photos with Santa when you show a same-day shopping receipt.
Tuba Christmas at Cumberland Mall. Music lovers won’t want to miss the annual Tuba Christmas on Friday, December 1 from noon to 1 p.m. What began in 1974 as a tribute to artist/teacher William J. Bell has continued around the country over the years and is now one of Atlanta’s most beloved holiday traditions. This local favorite is back again for an outdoor show by adults and children of all ages. Lucky you, their performance is just in time for the lunch break, so grab lunch and enjoy this one‐of‐a‐kind holiday spectacle.
Tour the Governors Mansion. Decorated for Christmas in all it’s glory. Please note that the Governor’s Mansion is also Toys for Tots drop off site.
Melting Pot Kids Eat Free Lunch with Santa. Get into the holiday cheer as Melting Pot opens early from 12:30-3:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9 for a special cozy celebration of the holiday season. Enjoy a scrumptious three-course special holiday-inspired menu, kids mocktails, plus a special visit from Santa! KIDS EAT FREE with each new, unopened toy valued at $10 or more for a patient at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta! Kids 12 & under are $15 per person without a toy donation. Adults are $29 per person. Be sure to make a reservation.
Christmas in Thomasville. Celebrate the Christmas of Yesteryear at Thomasville’s Victorian Christmas December 14-15. This darling city is snuggled in the Red Hills region, located 35 miles northeast of Tallahassee and 45 miles west of Valdosta, Georgia. Each night, 15,000 visitors stroll the streets each night while listening to live music and stopping in storefronts dressed for the season. Enjoy carriage rides with jingle bells, stilt walkers, carolers and performers dressed in Victorian clothing. Aromas fill the air from food vendors dishing up scrumptious seasonal delicacies. Don’t forget to toast marshmallows on the open fire., or chestnuts if you prefer.
Winter Wonderland Party Zone at The Battery Atlanta. Bring the whole family each weekend in December to enjoy activities, dancing, and fun. Located in the Battery Atlanta Plaza, there will be a fun DJ, live performances, and holiday craft activity stations. Will & Hope’s Sandlot will be open and you can visit Santa too. The event is free and open to the public. (Games and activities will be available for a cost.)
Ponce City Market. Visitors can come to Ponce City Market take photos with Santa as well as the Grinch! Atlanta’s historic community destination in Old Fourth Ward announces its 2017 holiday spectacular. Help the Grinch’s heart grow through the power of community. Expect three weeks of mischief all over the city of Atlanta, culminating in a “naughty vs. nice” Beltline face-off between Santa and the Grinch on Friday after Thanksgiving before the duo settles into their respective thrones on the second floor of Ponce City Market to greet their fans. The boldest holiday celebration in the Southeast is always free and open to the public.
NAUGHTY VS. NICE PARADE – Are you naughty or nice? It’s time to choose a team! Will it be Team Santa or Team Grinch? . If you’re feeling naughty, the public is invited to meet him at The Shed at Ponce City Market at 10:30am on Friday, Nov. 24th, with raucous brass/hip-hop band JohnBoy & SurroundSound and his merry band of misfits in tow. Follow the Green Grand Marshall as he leads community participants with LED balloons. Feeling kinder? March with Santa instead on team nice! The parade will culminate with a grand finale arrival at Ponce City Market for the official holiday kickoff at noon.
SANTA CLAUS PHOTOS. Visitors can take photos with Santa while enjoying a rotating roster of choirs, musicians, and other festive weekend entertainers. Hot cocoa, peppermint bark, holiday popsicle flavors, cider, and more will be available from Williams Sonoma, King of Pops, and the Mercury to enjoy around cozy fire pits, and Santa’s hours will be 10:30AM-6PM on Nov 24-26, Dec 17, and Dec 21-24, and 3PM-9PM on Dec 2-3, Dec 9-10, and Dec 16. Check their events page for more updates.
Visit with Santa at Southern Belle Farm. Bring the kids to visit with Santa Claus as he stops by Southern Belle Farm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. He’s quite photogenic, so bring a camera for some special holiday memories. Take a festive hayride around the farm, enjoy cups of our hot apple cider, and meet friendly farm animals — all for no admission charge during the Christmas season!
Parents Night Out at all Toys R’ Us stores. Get some shopping in from 8pm to 10pm on November 30th and have fun doing it. Just remember, the idea is to leave the kids at home. (Of course, you are able to bring kids if you want to.) All Toys R’ Us and Babies R’ Us stores will have music jamming, complimentary hot chocolate, snacks, and giveaways. Need a sitter? Toys R’ Us teamed up with Care.com to offer 50% off their premium membership. Click here for coupon.
The St. Regis Atlanta is pleased to present Atlanta’s largest gingerbread house in partnership with luxury candy boutique Sugarfina. Additionally, Sugarfina will be hosting a pop-up retail concession within the gingerbread house, with a decadent assortment of luxury candies and confectionaries. At no charge, the Gingerbread House is a sight to see and open to the public, so stop by between 1:00PM – 2:00PM daily.
Free Chapel hosts its annual free worship and holiday concert at Peachtree Pointe. After attending this event, guests can access the Magical Nights of Lights at Lake Lanier for the discounted rate of $25 per car.
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