Kid-friendly holiday attractions to see in Atlanta
By Sue Rodman
Christmas tree and carolers at Centennial Olympic Park (Flickr: Hillary)
Dancing orbs, twinkling lights, and a pink pig. It’s all part of the many seasonal traditions enjoyed by locals and visitors to Atlanta. This vibrant southern city has something for every age and taste, especially over the holidays.
If you are considering taking the whole family to Atlanta for a Christmas treat, consider these seven festive, kid-friendly ways to celebrate.
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Christmas Parade (Photo: Asep Mawardi)
See a Parade. The Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Christmas Parade is held the first Saturday in December and is the official beginning of the holiday season. In addition to marching bands and colorful floats, you’ll find Star Wars stormtroopers dressed in seasonal finery, box heroes ready to save the day, and of course, Santa and Mrs. Claus.
Ice Skate. Atlanta has several holiday ice-skating rinks. The rink at Atlantic Station sits amid high rises and holiday lights. Afterwards, take in one of the snow shows while doing some shopping, followed by a dinner break at Chick-a-Biddy and a decadent dessert from Kilwins.
Play in the Snow. White Christmases are rare in Atlanta, but it’s always snowing at Stone Mountain Park’s Snow Mountain. Tubing, whether individual or as a family is the favorite activity, but Snow Mountain also has a winter playground where you can throw snowballs at targets, outfit your snowman from the snowman closet or just roast some s’mores by the fire.
Atlanta Botanical Gardens (Flickr: David Berkowitz)
See the Lights. Atlanta has some of the prettiest holiday light displays, and one of the best is the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, Garden Lights, Holiday Nights. Amid the millions of twinkling lights is the Orchestral Orbs show. Set to holiday music, the light dances between the orbs, promoting a little dancing on the lawn too. Sip hot chocolate or a special holiday cocktail and watch the model trains, or keep warm by one of the fire pits.
Ride a Pink Pig. It’s an Atlanta tradition that dates back to the 50s when little girls dressed in white gloves and patent leather shoes for a special day of shopping at Rich’s in Downtown Atlanta. Priscilla the Pink Pig captivates a new generation of children at Macy’s in Lenox Square Mall in the Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta.
Altanta Ballet’s The Nutcracker at the Fabulous Fox Theatre (Geneshiavone)
Watch Mice Dance. There are a multitude of wonderful holiday shows in Atlanta, but nothing beats an evening at the historic Fabulous Fox Theatre in Midtown for the Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker, live with the Atlanta Ballet orchestra. Enjoy a magical world with dancing dolls and mischievous mice, in one of the prettiest theatres in the South.
(MORE: Find great kid-friendly hotels to stay in Atlanta.)
Relive the Christmas Story. Amid all the hustle, it can be easy to forget the real meaning of Christmas. Atlanta area churches tell the story of Jesus’ birth through elaborate reenactments. St. John’s United Methodist Church in Sandy Springs hosts a Live Nativity Dec. 6 and 7. Guests walk through gates guarded by Roman centurions to the marketplace, where they can shop or explore the synagogue. When the time comes, angels sing from up high, the magi follow the star, and shepherds, goats, a camel and donkey worship the newborn king.
Sue Rodman of Field Trips with Sue contributed this to MiniTime.