The holidays are about family, giving and together time, but it doesn’t mean you have to sit around the house all day with relatives. You may be wondering, “What is open on Christmas Day?” Well, the answer is, there are lots of things to do on Christmas Day, if you know where to look.
We have a fabulous list of things to do on Christmas Day in Atlanta, as well as activities you can do anywhere. Do you have a favorite activity or know fun places open on Christmas Day? If so, share it with us. FYI – Many of these suggestions are also good if you are wondering what to do on Christmas Eve.
Things to do on Christmas Day
What to do on Christmas Day: Holiday Lights
Many of the holiday light displays in Atlanta are visible on Christmas Day, including the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s Holiday Lights, Garden Nights which is open from 5 – 10 pm. In my opinion, the Garden has one of the best light displays in Atlanta.
What to do on Christmas Day: Skating
Ice skating is a fun way to get outside and enjoy the cold weather. Atlanta has several fantastic ice rinks within the city. Here is an overview of Atlanta area outdoor ice skating rinks. The Astor Ice Rink at the St. Regis, Atlantic Station, and the Centennial Olympic Park ice skating rink are all open on Christmas Day. Click the links for information on each rink.
If you’d rather be inside, Atlanta has lots of roller skating rinks too. Sparkles in Smryna and Cascade roller skating rink are both two that are open on Christmas Day. Here’s a list of other roller skating rinks in Atlanta.
What to do on Christmas Day: Skyview Atlanta
Downtown is the place to be for Christmas Day. In addition to the Chinese Lantern Festival and ice skating, you can also go up in the Atlanta Ferris Wheel, Skyview Atlanta.
What to do on Christmas Day: Movies
When I was a kid, my older brothers would come home from college for Christmas. After dinner, they’d take me with them to the movies. It was a fun tradition. AMC and Regal movie theaters will have Christmas shows. Here is a list of cheap movie theaters in Atlanta – call first to make sure they are open on Christmas Day, not everyone has Christmas hours.
Go on a Scavenger Hunt
This one will take a little bit of planning, but makes a great stocking stuffer. ClueTown Books are a great way to explore the city by going on a scavenger hunt. Solve puzzles to move on to the next stop. There are four ClueTown Books, so you can explore any of these four areas of Atlanta. Decatur, Piedmont Park, Oakland Cemetery or The Atlanta Beltline.
What to do on Christmas Day: Bowling
A quick call to Brunswick Zone confirmed that all Brunswick Bowling Centers are open on Christmas Day. A perfect holiday outing. I contacted AMF Bowling Centers too and it’s up to the individual lanes to determine if they are open, so call before you go.
What to do on Christmas Day: State Parks and other hikes
Why not work off a bit of the holiday gluttony with a hike in the woods. Many state parks are open on Christmas so check one near you. However, National Parks are usually closed on Christmas Day. Here are five places for a hike on Christmas Day
- Sope Creek Trail – This trail in Marietta takes you to a babbling creek and historic mill ruins.
- Sweetwater Creek State Park – My boys loved hopping the rocks across the creek. You’ll also walk past mill ruins.
- Lullwater Park – This quiet in-town park is perfect for a quick walk.
- Amicalola State Park – Climb the stairs to the top, or start at the top and work your way down.
- Tullulah Gorge State Park – The rushing falls are beautiful and can take your mind off those January bills.
- Cloudland Canyon – If you are in the NW portion of the state, this is a beautiful park near Chattanooga.
What to do on Christmas Day: Go Biking
The bicycle. It’s the quintessential holiday gift. Now-a-days I feel like kids aren’t as keen to get a bike. But even if they got a scooter, hooverboard or skates from Santa, here are a couple of places to take them for a spin.
- Silver Comet Trail – This trail is in Smyrna, and goes all the way to Alabama. It’s paved so it’s great for hiking, biking, scooters, or whatever wheels you have.
- Atlanta Beltline – There are several different sections of the Atlanta Beltline. Along each route you’ll find local art as part of the Art on the Beltline project.
- Hard Labor Creek State Park – This state park just east of Atlanta has miles of mountain bike trails for the beginner through advanced biker.