The holiday season is in full swing here in Atlanta, and we’ve got 6 festive activities for you to add to your December bucket list. From a traditional German market, to ice skating in the sky, Atlanta presents a packed holiday event schedule around the city.

Whether you’re looking for seasonal food and drink, or checking off your gift lists, there’s sure to be a holiday festivity that’ll pique your interest. Check out these beloved holiday activities happening near you right now.

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How to Celebrate the Holidays in Atlanta

1. Visit the Atlanta Christkindl Market

Where to Find It: Buckhead Village District

Nothing says Christmas like a traditional German market. And, Atlanta has its very own! This charming holiday market boasts authentic German food and bevs, festive decorations, and a variety of vendors showcasing their hand-crafted goods.

The Atlanta Christkindl Market runs through the new year, giving you plenty of time to swing by for some holiday cheer with friends and family. Bring the little ones along too, and grab their photo with Santa! He’ll be there every night with the exception of Christmas day, when he’ll treat himself to a much-needed day of rest after his big night out.

2. Garden Lights, Holiday Nights

Where to Find It: Piedmont Park, Midtown

The Garden Lights, Holiday Nights is a favorite long-standing tradition in Atlanta. Bundle up and peruse the illuminated Atlanta Botanical Garden with a cup of cider or hot cocoa in hand. They deck the Garden out to the nines with festive cheer, and while the classics are returning this year, the Garden is also showing off a few new installations, “including a colorful Glowing Grove along the Flower Walk, oversized flowers leading to Ice Goddess and several lighted sculptures from the 2021 summer exhibition SUPERnatural: Glass Art by Jason Gamrath” (Atlanta Botanical Garden).

And, if you’re a member of the Garden, make a reservation at Longleaf and enjoy dinner, or the evening snack bar, and s’mores while immersed in the glowing lights.

3. IllumiNights at the Zoo

Where to Find It: Grant Park

Zoo Atlanta is partnering with Hanart Culture to bring a new tradition to Atlanta: IllumiNights at the Zoo. More than 80 animal lanterns await your arrival at Zoo Atlanta, nestled in the heart of Grant Park. Chinese artisans handcrafted each lantern, with some soaring at 20 feet tall.

Stroll through the park after dark and relish the zoo’s newly minted tradition. And, in keeping with their commitment to sustainability, they built each of the animal creations with environmentally-friendly LED lights. Grab your tickets to experience the brand new IllumiNights at the Zoo.

4. Holidays with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Where to Find It: Midtown

There’s something special about getting gussied up and settling in for an evening of festive music. And, there’s plenty of options to choose from during the holiday season with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

Through the rest of the year, select from holiday-themed concerts, like Hansel and Gretel, Christmas with the ASO, and Handel’s Messiah. Tickets book up quickly, so grab yours while you can!

5. Candlelight Holiday Concerts

Where to Find It: Inman Park

This year’s Candlelight: Holiday Special at the Trolley Barn, a charming venue tucked away in Inman Park, brings us wintertime classics with a spin. The Listeso String Quartet, occasionally accompanied by a vocalist, perform Tchaikovsky, Vivaldi, and more to kick off this cozy and festive time of year.

Candlelight bathes the space, creating an alluring sense of magic and wonder as the quartet fills the room with The Nutcracker, O Holy Night, and other classics songs. The Candlelight series is BYOB, so pack your favorite wine, beer, or canned cocktail to enjoy during the concert.

6. Rooftop Ice Skating

Where to Find It: Old Fourth Ward

Ponce City Market goes all out for the holidays. We’re talking igloos, fire pits, a holiday social bar, and a Mixmas menu at 12 Cocktail Bar. With lights strung up and holiday decorations in every nook and cranny of the property, Ponce sure knows how to celebrate this festive season. And, their rooftop ice skating is an experience not to be missed.

Book a reservation for Skate the Sky and spend an afternoon with skyline views, sweet and savory snacks, and succulent cocktails all found at Holidays on the Roof.

As you partake in all the holiday activities near you, why not top your merry evenings off with Atlanta’s Best Breweries and Best Street Art?

Celebrate the Holidays in Your New Apartment

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About the Author
Gabriella LePage

Gabriella LePage is a photographer, writer, and mentor to entrepreneurial women. She currently calls Atlanta home. Learn more at