A quick guide to some of Atlanta’s most fun holiday events

The Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker

Photograph courtesy of the Atlanta Ballet

Whether kid-friendly, pet-friendly, or strictly for adults, Atlanta’s holiday season has something for everyone. To help to make the most of this year’s festive fun, we’ve rounded up just a few of the metro’s great events, from live entertainment to Santa meet-and-greets to festive markets. Grab your cup of cheer and head to one of these iconic Atlanta holiday experiences.

Holiday Theater Events

A Christmas Carol at the Alliance Theatre
Charles Dickens’ classic holiday tale comes to life on the Alliance Theatre stage for another year. This nostalgic, wholesome show is fun for audiences of all ages, with lots of theater magic and beautiful carol singing. After the show, be sure to pose for some photos in the Victorian living room set adjacent to the theater, open to audience members!

Through December 24, tickets range from $17 to $90. Tickets and more info here.

A Christmas Story at Theatrical Outfit
The beloved movie gets a fresh reboot from a talented cast at Theatrical Outfit. ArtsATL calls this production a “charming, cozy confection.” You know the story: All Ralphie wants for Christmas is a Red Ryder air rifle, but his parents, teachers, and even Santa dismiss him by saying, “You’ll shoot your eye out.” This show is family-friendly, but Theatrical Outfit recommends audience members be at least seven years old due to some comedic violence and references to bullying.

Through December 24, tickets range from $15 to $55. Tickets and more info here.

White Christmas, the Musical at City Springs Theatre Company
Irving Berlin’s classic holiday film gets the stage treatment in this delightful musical from City Springs Theatre company in Sandy Springs. Sara Edwards, an actor who made her Broadway debut in White Christmas, directs and choreographs this production. Enjoy beloved songs and a talented cast of dancers in this iconic Christmas story.

Through December 24, tickets range from $42 to $130. Tickets and more info here.

The Center’s annual staging of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer has become an Atlanta holiday tradition.

Photograph by Clay Walker

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer at the Center for Puppetry Arts
The 1964 Rankin/Bass classic comes to life with the Center for Puppetry Arts’s adaptation, which since its debut in 2010 become an Atlanta holiday tradition. Tickets include admission to the museum, as well as a create-a-puppet workshop for kids.

Through December 31, tickets range from $30 to $36. Tickets and more info here.

Other Holiday Performances

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra weekend concerts
Atlanta’s award-winning resident symphony has several holiday-themed concerts this month. First up is Christmas with the ASO (December 9-10), featuring the orchestra and the chorus for a joyful revue of beloved holiday carols, hymns and more. The following weekend you can catch Handel’s The Messiah (December 14-15), one of the greatest pieces of holiday music ever composed. The orchestra and chamber chorus will pair Part One of the Messiah with Bach’s Cantata No. 1.

Film fans will enjoy ASO’s musical score performance of the film The Holiday on Decemver 16 and 17. Enjoy a screening of the Christmas film—starring Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Cameron Diaz, and Jack Black—paired with ASO’s orchestra playing the score live; a unique holiday experience.

Finally, on December 23, ASO offers Sounds of the Season, a family-friendly concert featuring some of the most iconic holiday songs. The concert stars legendary jazz singer Tammy McCann, whose gospel aesthetic brings a whole new depth to classics like “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”

Various events December 9-23, tickets range from $29 to $80. Tickets and more info here.

The Nutcracker with the Atlanta Ballet
You don’t have to be a ballet aficionado to enjoy the delightful confection that is The Nutcracker. Choreographed by Yuri Possokhov, Tchaikovsky’s famous score comes to life through the whimsical Christmas adventures of Marie and her Nutcracker Prince. Even dance-skeptical kids (and their parents) will be dazzled.

Through December 26, tickets range from $44 to $158. Tickets and more info here.

The Urban Nutcracker with Ballethnic Dance Company
An Atlanta tradition now in its 30th year, this take on The Nutcracker is set in Sweet Auburn in the 1940s and fuses the original Tchaikovsky score with jazz and African influences. This year, the show returns to Morehouse’s Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel, where the first production was held.

December 8-10, tickets range from $35 to $80. Tickets and more info here.

Metropolitan Studios Holiday Burlesque Shows

Photograph courtesy of Metropolitan Studios Holiday Burlesque Shows

Metropolitan Studios Holiday Burlesque Shows
If you’re looking for some adults-only holiday entertainment, Metropolitan Studios hosts some of the most scintillating burlesque you’ll find in Atlanta, all in a gorgeous hundred-year-old house that’s “dedicated to the art of tease.” On December 8, catch the Candybox Revue’s Winter Sparkle Show, featuring cabaret performances from burlesque to circus art. On December 9, you can enjoy Fatal Distraction Burlesque’s The Permanent Naughty List: a Very Kinky Christmas, a night of seductive holiday revelry featuring festive surprises for those on the naughty list. These NSFW shows are adults-only, so leave the kids at home for this night of craft cocktails and sultry entertainment.

December 8-9, tickets range from $20-$30. Tickets and more info here.

Santa Meet-and-Greets

Your kids have ample opportunities to meet Santa around town this month, but here are a few of our favorites.

PJ Party with Santa and the Grinch at the Tellus Science Museum
Regular admission to the Tellus Science Museum in Cartersville on December 9 and 10 gets kids into this once-a-year holiday PJ party. Kids will love the model train displays, free cupcakes, make-and-take crafts area, and a scavenger hunt, plus meeting times with Santa and the Grinch!

December 9-10 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., events throughout the day. Tickets and more info here.

Meet Santa at the Avenue West Cobb
The Marietta outdoor mall will have free photo sessions with Santa on Wednesday afternoons all month. Santa will be available for photos from 5-7 p.m.

December 13 and December 20 from 5-7 p.m, free. More info here.

Afternoon Tea with Santa at the St. Regis Hotel
This kid-friendly event is on the pricier side but will doubtless create forever memories. Join Santa for afternoon tea in the festively decorated Astor Court at the Buckhead St. Regis Hotel. There are holiday treats, hand-selected teas, and live music. Santa will visit as well as a mischievous hotel elf throughout the tea.

Through December 24. Adults $95, children aged 3-10 $80, children 3 and under free. Reservations and more info here.

Saturdays with Santa at Ponce City Market
The Grinch is skipping PCM’s annual holiday festivities, but you can still find Santa outside at the Yard from 12-2:30 p.m. (or inside near Bar Vegan if it’s raining), where there will also be space for faux snowball fights and yard games. From 3-4 p.m., Santa will also hang out at Atrium (on December 9) and Excuse my French (December 16) for Sips with Santa.

December 9 and December 16, free. More info here.

Bonus: Pet-Friendly Santa Events

Santa’s Post Office at the Battery Atlanta
Stop by Santa’s Post Office all month long at the Truist Holiday Community Corner at Battery Atlanta, where kids can write handwritten letters to Santa and parents can snap photos while they chat with Santa about their wish list. On December 14, the post office is open for pet photo sessions for very good furkids!

Through December 24, 12-6 p.m, free. More info here.

Santa with a pup at Christkindl Market

Photograph courtesy of Christkindl Market

Atlanta Christkindl Market Photos with Santa
Stop by the Christkindl Market in Buckhead not only to pick up some great gifts, but also for photos with Santa for kids and pets! Fridays are dogs-only, while Saturdays and Sundays are for their human friends. There’s no professional photographer, so parents can snap their own pics.

December 8-10 and December 15-17, $25 per visit. More info here.

Holiday Markets

In addition to the above-listed Atlanta Christkindl Market, here are a few other places to do your seasonal shopping.

Inman Park Christmas Market
Head to the Trolley Barn in Inman Park for this festive market. You can check off your holiday shopping list with dozens of local vendors selling handmade gifts and goods.  There will be holiday-themed food and beverages, plus carol singers and visits from Santa.

December 15-17, free. More info here.

Pullman Yards Christmas Market
Pullman Yards’ AlcoHall will host a holiday market on December 16 featuring local vendors, lots of delicious holiday food and drink, and wreath decorating. The holiday market is all-ages, but adults may want to stay later to catch the spicy Star Wars-themed burlesque show, The Empire Strips Back. (There’s a Star Wars-themed bar, too.)

December 16, 12-6 p.m., free to enter. More info and reservations here.

Roswell Christkrindl Market
This Roswell market is open daily through Christmas Eve. Shop crafts and gifts from local vendors, enjoy classic German Christmas treats like mulled wine and baumstriezel (aka chimney cakes). Santa will also be available for photos Friday through Sunday afternoons. Dogs on leash are welcome for this festive community event!

Through December 24 until 9 p.m. nightly, free to enter. More info here.

Holiday Art Fair at Spruill Gallery and Arts Education Center, Dunwoody
Dozens of local artists will have work for sale at Spruill Gallery’s Holiday Art Fair, open daily through December 23. From glass painted ornaments to hand-carved cutting boards, you’ll find something for every arts and crafts lover, and support the local art community. On December 17, stop by the gallery for a sip and shop: Enjoy a glass of wine while artist Pam Wetzel paints live.

Through December 23, free. More info and a list of artists here.

Holly Jolly cocktail at Miracle Bar

Courtesy of Miracle

Holiday pop-up bars

What started with a few scattered pop-ups in the years before the pandemic has become a full-on December tradition, with more seasonal bars springing up around the metro every time you turn your head. Here’s just a few of this year’s offerings.

  • Miracle Bar at Tapa Tapa in Midtown, Wednesdays through Sundays from 5 p.m. to 12 a.m.
  • Après Ski at Ranger Station in Old Fourth Ward, Sundays through Thursdays 5 p.m. to 12 a.m., Fridays and Saturdays 5 p.m. to 1 a.m., through December 31
  • Tiki Holiday at S.O.S. Tiki Bar in Decatur, Wednesdays through Saturdays 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., through December 30
  • Mingle & Jingle Bar at Best End Brewing in West End, Tuesdays through Fridays 4 p.m. to close, Saturdays and Sundays 12 p.m. to close, through December 31
  • Jingle Bar at Chattahoochee Food Works on the Westside, Thursdays and Fridays 5 p.m. to close, Saturdays and Sundays 12 p.m. to close, through December 24
  • Tinsel Tavern at Live! At the Battery Atlanta at Truist Park, Mondays through Thursdays 4 p.m. to 12 a.m., Fridays and Saturdays 4 p.m. to 1 a.m., Sundays 4 p.m. to 10 a.m., through December 23 (Several dates are closed for private events, so check before you go!)
  • Elf’d Up at Up on the Roof in Alpharetta, daily through December 31



Leave a Comment