The festive season is in full-swing, and we’ve got event suggestions


Invasion: Christmas Carol at Dad’s Garage Theatre

What a difference a year makes! The pandemic squashed most of the holiday fun last year, but festive events are plentiful this December. Whether you’re marking Christmas, Chanukah, or New Year’s Eve, there’s something for everyone.  

Decatur Square
The Decatur Menorah Lighting is Dec. 5 at 4:30 p.m. on the Decatur Square featuring music, entertainment, dreidels, hot latkes, crafts for kids and more. The event is hosted by Chabad Intown. Visit chabadintown.org for more information. 

Menorah Lighting at Ponce City Market

Ponce City Market
A plethora of holiday events is happening at the shopping destination, including the annual Menorah Lighting Ceremony with Chabad Intown on Dec. 2 at 6 p.m., Skate the Sky ice skating on The Roof, Fireside Roasting & Toasting Pods for groups of four to make s’mores, and a family-friendly celebration to welcome 2022 called Noon Year’s Eve on Dec. 31. To see all the events, visit poncecitymarket.com

Illuminarium
The immersive virtual-reality attraction on the Atlanta BeltLine’s Eastside Trail is transforming into Winterland for the holidays through Jan. 2. Be awed by the Northern Lights, delight in whimsical forest creatures darting through the snowy landscape, and visit a winter palace with enchanting views of holiday-inspired vistas. Get tickets and info at illuminarium.com/atlanta.

Underground Atlanta
Continuing through Dec. 18, Underground Atlanta welcomes David Weber and his one man production of A Christmas Carol to a former storefront on Lower Alabama Street.  Tickets and info at promontoryp.com/current.

Fox Theatre
The Fabulous Fox Theatre has a host of holiday shows including KLove Christmas Tour, Dec. 1; The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Musical, Dec. 5; A Christmas Symphony with Sarah Brightman, Dec. 13; Hip Hop Nutcracker, Dec. 14; and Cirque Dreams Holidaze, Dec. 23-24. Visit foxtheatre.org for tickets and details. 

Dad’s Garage
Invasion: Christmas Carol returns Dec. 3-19 for a night of mayhem as a traditional staging of Dickens’ holiday classic is hijacked by an improv character. In past productions it’s been Pennywise from Stephen King’s “It,” Martha Stewart, Mr. T,  Elmo, and even Jesus. Get tickets and more information at dadsgarage.com.

OnStage Atlanta
Two actors portray 20 zany characters in A Tuna Christmas, an affectionate commentary and withering satire of small town, Southern life and attitudes. The show runs Dec. 2-19. Get tickets at onstageatlanta.com.

Ice skating at Atlantic Station.

Atlantic Station
Strap on your skates for Skate the Station through Jan. 17 and you don’t even have to leave your car to drive through ATL Holiday Lights in the Pinnacle Lot. Check out these and more events at atlanticstation.com

Virginia Highland 
The Virginia Highland Tour of Lights and Winterfest is Dec. 3-4 from 5:30 to 9 p.m. with homes in the neighborhood decked out in twinkling lights. There’s also the 2-mile Jingle Jog and an Artist Market with over 50 local artisans, live music, and more. Visit virginiahighlanddistrict.com for tickets and details.

Callanwolde Fine Arts Center
Winter House runs from Nov. 26 to Dec. 11 featuring festive and seasonal workshops like ginger bread house making, flower arranging, glass etching, calligraphy, pottery, blacksmithing and more. There will also be a beer garden and wine bar. To register, visit callanwolde.org/winterhouse.

Brass Holiday Concert at Cathedral of St. Philip

Mayor’s Masked Ball
Outgoing Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms will host her final UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball on Dec. 18 to benefit the United Negro College Fund. The gala will take place at the Marriott Marquis and feature actress Lynn Whitfield and actor/comedian Chris Tucker. For more information, visit uncf.org/atlanta

Cathedral of St. Philip
The Brass Holiday Concert is Dec. 6 at 7:30 p.m. featuring members of the Atlanta Symphony Brass. For tickets and information, visit cathedralatl.org/concerts

Colony Square
The Lighting at Colony Square is planned as an all-day family celebration to benefit Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta on Dec. 4, 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. The inaugural Tree Lighting Show will start at 5:30 p.m. Just before 6 p.m., there will be a countdown to light the 52-foot tree on the West Retail Roof. There’s also the Atlanta Santa Speedo Run, Dec. 11, 12-4 p.m., and Smiles for the Season holiday breakfast, Dec. 12, 8-10 a.m. with special characters and a visit from Santa. Visit colonysquare.com for more. 

Rialto Center for the Arts
The 24th Annual Gala Holiday Concert, presented by the Georgia State School of Music, is slated for Dec. 5 at 3 p.m. Tickets range $14.45-$36. Christmas with Calabria Foti and Bob McChesney will feature masters of vocals, violin and trombone on Dec. 11, 8 p.m. Tickets range $39.10-$81. Info and tickets are available at Rialto.GSU.edu

PRISM: Winter Lights at Woodruff Park

Woodruff Park
It’s the third year of PRISM: Winter Lights featuring new light-based work by loal and national artists curated by Dashboard.  This year, PRISM has expanded to a second Downtown location and with more work installed at Peachtree Center/ An opening night event on Dec. 4 from 6pm-9pm in Woodruff Park is free to attend and will feature live performances. Find our more at atlantadowntown.com/woodruff-park.

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Leslie Odom, Jr.’s The Christmas Tour will spotlight the talents of the award-winning vocalist, songwriter and actor on Dec. 15, 8 p.m. The ASO’s schedule includes much more, including Holiday Concert at Reinhardt University, Dec. 15; Holiday Concert at North Avenue Presbyterian Church, Dec. 16; Handel’s Messiah, Dec. 17-18, Holiday Concert in Madison, Georgia, Dec. 17, and New Year’s Eve Celebration at City Springs, Dec. 31. Tickets and details at atlantasymphony.org

Fernbank Museum
Fernbank After Dark: Holiday Party is for adults 21+ to enjoy an after-hours holiday get-together with drinks and live music on Dec. 10, 7-11 p.m. For more info, visit fernbankmuseum.org.

Variety Playhouse
A Very Dave Barnes Christmas will feature singer/songwriter Dave Barnes playing music and sharing his wit on Dec. 18, 8 p.m. The tickets range $29-$59. The 10th Annual Holiday Hootenanny, benefitting Atlanta Habitat for Humanity, has a musical line-up that includes Randall Bramblett and Jim Lauderdale among many others. It’s slated for Dec. 19, 7 p.m. Details and tickets are available at variety-playhouse.com.

The Wren’s Nest
For the holidays, artist Tokie Rome-Taylor’s photo exhibition One Day Soon Come celebrates Black children of the south. The work puts them at the center, to see their connections, cultural richness, and belonging within history. The free event runs now thru Dec. 31. Details at wrensnest.org.

IllumiNights at Zoo Atlanta

Zoo Atlanta
IllumiNights at the Zoo: A Chinese Lantern Festival is happening nightly through Jan. 16 from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. featuring more than 80 animal lanterns – some up to 20 feet tall. Tickets and more details at zooatlanta.org

Bellyard Hotel 
Ring In the New Year with a special New Year’s Celebration at Bellyard Hotel on Dec. 31, 8 p.m.- 1 a.m. Tickets cover two cocktails, dinner and dessert buffets, and a champagne toast at midnight. There will be a cash bar. Only 115 tickets are available to the public, but guests who stay at Bellyard on 12/31 can purchase the tickets, $100 per person, for 50% off. Call (404) 806-8333 or visit bellyardhotel.com to find out more.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.

Kathy Dean

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