If there’s ever been a Christmas made for hunkering down at home, this is it. But if you’re feeling the cabin fever, or need a little cheer, here are some ideas for safe, festive fun.
UPDATE: The weather outside is frightful! Please check for cancellations before you head out this Christmas.
(Please verify each event and its hours online or through a quick phone call before you head out. We’ve done our best to be accurate, but things change and cancellations are common right now.)
At the bottom of the page, you’ll find a chronological list of scheduled events for December 24th and 25th.
Things to do in Atlanta on Christmas Eve & Christmas Day
Snap a pic with Santa or a winter selfie
There are still a few FREE photo opps left for Christmas Eve.
Many are designed as do-it-yourself snapshots, so bring your camera/phone and your selfie stick, or bring a friend to click the shutter. Check out our full listing of where to get free photos with Santa.
Or, head to one of Smyrna’s clever Selfie Stations on either the 24th or 25th to make some holiday memories.
Take in a festive light display
Most of the holiday light displays are open on Christmas Eve and some are open on Christmas Day. This includes the lights at Callaway Gardens, Veterans Park, Atlantic Station, Stone Mountain, Life University, Lanier Islands, Atlanta Botanical Garden, etc. If you’d like to see lights on one of the holidays, reserve soon — the light shows are selling out.
BUT WAIT — you don’t have to spend a dime! You can visit the PRISM Winter Lights installation at Woodruff Park for FREE, or drive by light displays in neighborhoods and at private homes.
Scroll through our listing of the Best Holiday Light Displays for 2020.
And if you head downtown to see the lights, consider a ride on the Skyview Ferris Wheel, which is open for the holidays.
Play in the snow at Lanier Islands
The snow tubing hills and play areas at Lanier Islands are open both on Christmas Eve AND Christmas Day.
On Dec. 24th, License to Chill Snow Island is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
On Dec. 25th, it is open from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Go ice skating
You’ll find seasonal, pop-up ice rinks at these locations. Click the links for more info about prices and hours.
- Atlantic Station — 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Dec. 24 and 3 – 11 p.m. on Dec. 25
- Avalon — 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on both days
- Old Town Conyers — noon to 6 p.m. on Dec. 24th and 2 to 10 p.m. on Dec. 25th
Note that the rink at Park Tavern is closed for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Head to the movies — drive-in style
Pop-up drive-in theaters became a thing in 2020!
Our favorites are operated by the Plaza Theatre and The Springs Cinema — and both are showing It’s a Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve.
Get complete info on drive-in movies here
If you’d like to go inside a movie theater to catch a film, you can find out which theaters are open and what’s playing on Fandango.com
Stream something festive
Find a holiday movie to stream for free. Start with our guide to all the FREE streaming services.
Have you seen Hamilton (the movie) yet? The whole family can watch for just $7, the price of a one-month subscription to Disney+.
You can also stream The Nutcracker for FREE, starting Christmas Eve at 7 p.m. and continuing through New Year’s Day.
Grab a meal out with friends and family
Find a restaurant that’s open for the holiday, whether you’re looking for brunch, Christmas dinner, or lite-bites and a cocktail. Some require reservations and others do not. Or, find a holiday meal for take-out.
It might be fun to head to Buford Highway — so many of the ethnic eateries are open on holidays like Christmas.
Did you know there’s an app to help you explore the options?
♦ Bu Hi International Food Trail app for iOS
♦ Bu Hi International Food Trail app for Android
Walk (or bike) off those cookie calories!
Spend some time outdoors — take a stroll or a roll on the BeltLine or explore the NEW Peachtree Creek Greenway, now open in Brookhaven. We also love the walking trail around the lake at Murphey Candler Park, in Dekalb County.
Take a scenic drive
The colored leaves may be gone, but we always love a drive on the South Fulton Scenic Byway.
Things to do on Christmas Eve & Christmas Day
Thursday, December 24, 2020
Friday, December 25, 2020