Above: Amid all the holiday lights and festivals, one of Atlanta area residents favorite traditions is Macy’s Pink Pig. SPECIAL

The holidays are always busy with preparing for visitors and shopping for gifts. It’s also magical, with lights, music and shows that bring up old memories while creating new ones. Here are some of the many special things that are happening locally this season.

Macy’s Pink Pig

Runs Nov. 2-Jan. 5, 2020. For more than 60 years, riding the Macy’s Pink Pig has been a beloved Atlanta holiday tradition. Macy’s Lenox Square Mall, 3393 Peachtree Road, Atlanta 30326. Call Macy’s Pink Pig Ride at 404-231-2796 or 404-231-2959.

Garden Lights, Holiday Nights

Runs Nov. 16-Jan. 11, 2020. Visit Atlanta Botanical Garden during its annual electrical extravaganza, open every night, even on holidays. Atlanta Botanical Garden, 1345 Piedmont Avenue, Atlanta 30309; atlantabg.org.

Santa Arrives by Train & Festival of Trees

Saturday, Nov. 16, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. There’s refreshment and entertainment before Santa arrives at 1 p.m. The Festival of Trees runs Nov. 16 through Jan. 4, 2020. Southeastern Railway Museum, 3595 Buford Highway, Duluth 30096; train-museum.org.

Winter Wonderland: Celebrations & Traditions Around the World

Runs Nov. 22-Jan. 12, 2020. The annual holiday exhibition features trees and displays that recognize Chanukah, Christmas and other celebrations. Fernbank, 767 Clifton Road, Atlanta 30307; fernbankmuseum.org.

Light Up Dunwoody

Sunday, Nov. 24. The Christmas Village opens at 3 p.m. for visits Santa, shopping for holiday treasures and refreshments. At 5:45 p.m., there’ll be a lighting of the tree and menorah. Cheek-Spruill Farmhouse, 5455 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody 30338; discoverdunwoody.com.

Christmas at Callanwolde

Runs Nov. 29-Dec. 8. Visitors can tour the Designer Show House and attend other special events, including Breakfast with Santa, teas and a holiday gala. Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, 980 Briarcliff Road, Atlanta 30306; callanwolde.org.

Christmas Traditions

Saturday, Nov. 30, 9 a.m. Family fun includes visits with Santa, Christmas crafts, hot chocolate and holiday sweets as well as two showings of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer at 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. Cost is $5. Buford Community Center, 2200 Buford Highway, Buford 30518; bufordcommunitycenter.com.

Santa on the Square in Decatur

Saturday, Nov. 30, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Santa arrives on a fire truck, shares milk and cookies and poses for photos. City of Decatur Plaza, 101 East Court Square, Decatur 30030; decaturdba.com.

Santa at Rhodes Hall

Fridays & weekends, Dec. 1-15. Register for an appointment to visit with Santa and enjoy a Winter Wonderland at the “castle on Peachtree.” There’s a special Pets Night on Dec. 12, 5-7 p.m. Rhodes Hall, 1516 Peachtree Street, Atlanta 30309; georgiatrust.org.

Coming Home for the Holidays

Tuesday, Dec. 3, 5-8 p.m. An evening of music and holiday activities ends with a parade and tree lighting by Santa. Smyrna Community Center, 200 Village Green Circle, Smyrna 30080; travelcobb.org.

Light Up Brookhaven

Wednesday, Dec. 4, 6:30-9 p.m. A lighted Christmas tree and Hanukkah display are the highlights, but there are also Santa visits, crafts, cartoons, music and food trucks. Blackburn Park, 3494 Ashford Dunwoody Road, Brookhaven 30319; brookhavenga.gov.

Marietta Square Winter Wonderland

Thursday, Dec. 5, 4 p.m. The evening starts with music and the arrival of Santa; the tree is lit up at 6 p.m., followed by the start of the Festival of Trees. Glover Park, 50 North Park Square, Marietta 30060; winterwonderlandmarietta.com.

Decatur Tree Lighting

Thursday, Dec. 5, 6 p.m. There’ll be hot cocoa, caroling and “snow” before Santa flips the switch at 7 p.m. to light the Christmas tree. MARTA Plaza, 400 Church Street, Decatur 30030; visitdecaturgeorgia.com.

Winter Wonderland at Brook Run Park

Saturday, Dec. 7, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. There’s ice skating, food trucks, a movie and more holiday fun. Brook Run Park, 4770 North Peachtree Road, Dunwoody 30338; discoverdunwoody.com.

Christmas Jubilee and Parade of Lights

Saturday, Dec. 7, 5:30-8:30 p.m. After the parade, Santa and the mayor switch the lights on the 30-foot tall Christmas tree. Downtown Woodstock, 30188; visitwoodstockga.com.

Bonfire on the Square

Thursday, Dec. 12, 7-8 p.m. Listen to student choral groups and holiday music while roasting marshmallows on the 10 x 20-foot bonfire. 116 East Trinity Place, Decatur 30030; decaturdba.com.

Candlelight Nights

Fridays, Dec. 13 & 20, 5:30-9:30 p.m. Visitors are invited to stroll the decorated grounds, shop at the Christmas Market and enjoy food, music and special activities. Atlanta History Center, 130 West Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta 30305; atlantahistorycenter.com.

Kathy Dean

Kathy Dean is a freelance writer and editor based in metro Atlanta.