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We’re not sure if there’s a better month than December. Many of us get holiday or end-of-the-year gifts, there are parties galore, you can momentarily forget your diet and feast upon starchy deliciousness for weeks, and then, to wrap up everything in a nice little box, you toss back the bubbly all night to wrap up your year. If you need some more ideas of what to do in Atlanta, check out these fun December events and let the year-end celebration begin!

One of our favorite glow fests: Garden Lights, Holiday Nights at the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

One of our favorite glow fests: Garden Lights, Holiday Nights at the Atlanta Botanical Garden

Through January 6, 2019: Macy’s Pink Pig

For more than 50 years, the Pink Pig has been appearing during the holiday season to brighten kids’ days, and this year is no different. Set up right outside the upper-level parking deck at Macy’s Lenox Square, the must-see event is open every day except Christmas Day. Families can ride Priscilla the Pink Pig on train tracks through a life-sized storybook! Besides all the fun, a portion of the proceeds benefits Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. See you oink … we mean, see you there!

Through January 6, 2019: Magical Nights of Lights at Lake Lanier

Drive a little way out of Atlanta to Lake Lanier, and you’ll get to share magical moments of light, water and fun at Magical Nights of Lights. Drive through a twinkling wonderland, take a trip to Santa’s Holiday Village and pick up a few gifts along the way. In December, guests can see a live nativity and tune in on their smartphone or radio to hear seasonal songs with the event’s companion app. Carload prices are $43 (cars with occupancy up to 10 people); holiday rate is $53. Check the site for various rates for shuttle vans and large buses.

Through January 6, 2019: Stone Mountain Christmas

The only thing better than dreaming about visiting Santa at the North Pole is seeing him at Stone Mountain! This Christmas celebration is a true family event, with kids having the opportunity to meet Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer® and Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster™, ride the Singalong Train, experience Skylights Spectacular, enjoy live performances and so much more. Tickets are part of different package deals and prices vary by day and time so check the website to select what works best for your family and your wallet.

Through January 6, 2019: Garden Lights, Holiday Nights

It doesn’t get more spectacular than the lush and vibrant Atlanta Botanical Garden lit up for the holidays! This annual electrical extravaganza has favorite features from years past like Glittering Galaxy, Radiant Rainforest, the Tunnel of Light and Walk of Flames. Prices vary based on the day of the week and time you are planning to attend the lovely event (check the website for rates). Children under 3 get in free.

December 1 & 2, 2018: Virginia-Highland Tour of Homes

Visit the beautiful Virginia-Highland neighborhood and register for the Annual Tour of Homes! This year’s event will take you to seven beautiful properties while local restaurants provide food tastings at each of the home stops. The home tour runs Saturday, December 1 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, December 2 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; food tastings occur noon to 4 p.m. both days. Tickets can be purchased online before December 1 for $25; day-of tickets are $30.

December 1, 2018: Reindog Parade

Once a year, dogs take center stage at the Atlanta Botanical Garden for the annual Reindog Parade. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., dogs in their finest holiday garb may compete for prizes, pose with Saint Nick and enjoy refreshments from the Pup Tent. Pre-registered dogs cost $15 ($18 at the door), and regular Botanical Garden admission applies for their human pals.

December 1 & 2, 2018: Atlanta Ultimate Women’s Expo

Spend the day with like-minded women and amazing events and activities that will impress Atlanta ladies from far and wide. Taking place at Cobb Galleria Centre on Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Atlanta Ultimate Women’s Expo will feature speakers from noted Atlanta women like Porsha Williams, Cynthia Bailey, Anne Burrell as well as other well-known women ready to share their experience and knowledge with the crowd. Buy tickets online for $10, and check the schedule to see what’s going on throughout the weekend.

December 2-6, 2018: Grand Chanukah Menorah Lightings

Gather at Decatur Square on Sunday, December 2, Virginia-Highland on Monday, December 3, Atlantic Station on Tuesday, December 4, Ponce City Market on Wednesday, December 5 and at the menorah parade on Thursday, December 5, for family-friendly parties celebrating the lighting of the menorah. The parties will include doughnut decorating (and devouring), live kid-friendly music, photo opportunities, raffles and prizes and the lighting of the massive menorah.

December 8-24, 2018: Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker

For the first time in 20 years, Atlanta Ballet premieres a new Nutcracker for 2018. This groundbreaking new production features world-class choreography by Yuri Possokhov, amazing set designs by Tony Award nominee Tom Pye and fantastic costumes and lighting design. This new interpretation of Tchaikovsky’s most famous pieces of music will leave you entertained, stunned and impressed. Tickets vary by seating choice at the Fox Theatre so check the website to learn more.

December 8 & 9, 2018: Christmas with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

It doesn’t get any more “Christmas-y” than this annual Atlanta tradition. Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s holiday concert not only features the awesome talents of our city’s fine musicians, but also highlights the chorus, Morehouse College Glee Club, the Gwinnett Young Singers and other special guests. Check the website for seating options and corresponding ticket prices for the four shows: a matinee and evening performances on Saturday, December 9, and Sunday, December 10.

December 8, 2018: Pub Crawl on the Beltline

If eggnog and hot-buttered rum aren’t your jam this holiday season, hit up the Pub Crawl on the Beltline. From noon to 4 p.m., you and your crew can visit some of the coolest bars and restaurants along the Beltline to get your buzz on and perhaps give yourself a short break from visiting in-laws. Participating vendors include Apres Diem, F.R.O.G.S, Park Tavern and more! Ticket are $38, and you must be 21 and older to “crawl.”

December 9, 2018: Chanukah at The Children’s Museum

Celebrate Chanukah at The Children’s Museum of Atlanta! The fun starts at 11 a.m. with Chanukah storytime with Michael Levine and continues with a day of holiday-themed activities, songs, dance parties and more! Tickets are $15.95. Check the Children’s Museum website for more details.

December 14, 2018: Candlelight Nights

Bridge the past with the present at Atlanta History Center’s Candlelight Nights event. Stroll through the beautifully decorated gardens and house by candlelight, meet Santa Claus and shop in the wonderful holiday market, filled with local art and crafts. The program runs from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for members and $10 for all children. Learn more about this classic holiday event online.

December 29, 2018: Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl

The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl is a day full of fun, sports and food! If you think pigskins are a tasty appetizer and “moving the chains” means readjusting your choker, don’t worry, you’ll still have a great time inside the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Tickets are on sale online and range in price depending on where you sit in the stadium.

December 31, 2018: Black and White New Year’s Celebration

Celebrate the new year with friends, family and fish! Besides having a great time from 8:30 p.m. until 1 a.m., the event will raise funds for Georgia Aquarium’s research and conservation efforts of the African penguin. Dance the night away to live music, enjoy fabulous foods and party with the coolest animals under the sea. General admission tickets start at $149.95.

December 31, 2018: Noon Year’s Eve

Keeping your young children awake for the annual ball drop can start your new year off on the wrong, cranky, tired foot. Instead, hang out at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for their annual Noon Year’s Eve celebration. Atlanta’s wildest party animals get to countdown at noon and watch a balloon drop, enjoy mocktails and have an overall awesome time. The cost of the event is $8 for members and $22 for non-members.

December 31, 2018: Atlanta Wine Festivals New Year’s Eve

City Winery hosts an awesome way to bring in the new year — with live music, food and of course, wine! Running from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., this New Year’s Eve event will be a great way to try new wines and cocktails while rockin’ out with the best music in the city. Advance tickets start at $99; $109 after December 21; and $119 day of the event. VIP tickets are available so visit the website to learn more.


For more December events and holiday gatherings, be sure to check out our Daily Happenings.

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