What: Where to see the best displays of Christmas Lights in Atlanta
Where: Around Atlanta
When: Holiday Season 2012
Cost: See posts – some free, others have fees
One of my favorite signs that the Holidays are near is all the festive holiday light displays around town. Nothing can get you into the holiday spirit like millions of twinkling lights set to holiday music. Here’s a list of places to see beautiful Holiday Lights in Atlanta. For those traveling during the holiday season, there is also an ezine with Holiday Light displays across the country. Know others, even if it’s just a neighbor’s awesome display, leave a comment and let us know.
Atlanta Botanical Gardens: Garden Lights, Holiday Nights
Dates: Nov. 17, 2012 – Jan. 5, 2013
Cost: $17 for adults, $11 for children 3 – 12 Monday – Wednesday
$20 adults, $14 children Thursday – Sunday
Info: A botanical-inspired light display throughout the 20-acre Midtown attraction. Visitors meander among garden displays – including giant snowflakes, fleeting bumblebees and a towering “praying Santa Mantis” while sipping hot drinks and listening to strolling carolers.
Centennial Olympic Park Holiday in Light
Dates: Nov. 19, 2012 – Jan. 27, 2013
Info: Different and unique every year, Holiday in Lights runs into January. The Park is open daily to view the lights from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., including Dec. 25, Christmas Day, and there is no charge for admission. The Holiday in Lights spirit is carried throughout the Georgia World Congress Center Authority campus, which includes the Georgia World Congress Center, the Georgia Dome and Centennial Olympic Park. While you’re there, save some time to go ice skating. And if you’re hungry, I can highly recommend a Googie Burger and the fresh cut fries are delicious.
Piedmont Park Season of Magic
Dates: Nov. 22, 2012 – Jan. 1, 2013, 4 – 10:30 pm
Cost: Lights are Free but activities are extra
Info: Viewing the Midtown Atlanta skyline from The Park Tavern at Piedmont Park is always pretty, but add holiday lights and ornaments and it’s downright festive. To make the season brighter, families can enjoy 20 minute horse-drawn carriage rides through the park. Rides are available every ten minutes from 4:00pm to 10:40pm daily. During Season of Magic you can also enjoy carousel rides with the Atlanta skyline in the background or ice skating at Park Tavern’s Southwest Ice Rink. All funds raised through Season of Magic directly benefit the ongoing maintenance and security of historic Piedmont Park, a very worthy cause.
Life College Lights of Life
Dates: Nov. 22 – Dec. 31, 2012
Cost: $5 per car ($10 on weekends), $10 per van and $20 per bus
Info: More than 100 pieces displayed throughout the 1.5 mile drive through campus. The display of Santa and his sleigh stands over 65 feet high making it the tallest in the Southeast. There is a free petting zoo and pony and train rides for a fee. You can also have your picture taken with Santa for $12. Hours are Sunday through Thursday 6 – 10 pm, Friday and Saturday 6 – 11 pm.
Celebrate the Season with Atlantic Station
Dates: Nov. 17 – Dec. 31, 2012
Info: View 250,000 lights within an 8 block radius. While you’re there, gather around Atlantic Station’s grand 50-foot tall Christmas Tree and experience the magic of a realistic snowfall weeknights at 7pm, and Fridays & Saturdays, hourly 6pm-9pm and Sundays at 6 pm. (Snow is weather permitting)
Lanier Islands, Magical Night of Light
Dates: Nov. 16 – Dec. 31, 2012 5 – 10 pm
Cost: $60 cars, $90 vans, $250 buses
(receive a $20 discount in November. Coupons available through sponsors. See the webpage for details)
Info: A seven-mile drive through tour of animated, festive, holiday light displays. At the end of your tour, the Holiday Village awaits with carnival rides and games, pony rides and numerous holiday treats. (Some activities require an additional fee) Warm up with a hot cup of cocoa or step inside Santa’s Workshop for some holiday shopping and a visit with Santa.
Georgia Gift of Lights
Dates: Nov. 18, 2012 – Jan. 6, 2013
Sun. – Thurs. 6-9 pm and Fri – Sat. 6 – 10 pm
Cost: $15 per car weekdays and $20 per car on weekends and holidays
Info: More than one million lights will make up the 1.5 miles of light displays. New this year are free photos with Santa provided by Food Depot December 7-9, 14-16 and 21-23.
Callaway Gardens Fantasy in Lights
Dates: Nov. 16 – Dec. 30, 2012
Cost: Prime Time: $22 adults and $11 for children and Value Dates: $16 for adults and $8 for children (under 5 is free, but must have a ticket) Same day tickets are $25 per adult and $12.50 per child (see website for dates)
Info: Eight million lights. 15 dazzling scenes. 1 magical night. Fantasy In Lights is not only the South’s most spectacular holiday light and sound show, it is one of the world’s “Top 10 Places to See Holiday Lights,” as named by National Geographic Traveler.With more than a dozen larger-than-life lighted scenes, Fantasy In Lights remains unique in that its scenes are custom-designed especially for Callaway Gardens–to celebrate not only the joy of the season but the wonder of nature in this idyllic setting. Drive your car or ride the Jolly Trolley to experience scenes like March of the Toy Soldiers and Snowflake Valley. At Robin Lake Beach, enjoy Twas The Night before Christmas and The Nativity, light and sound shows enticing passers-by to stop, reflect and enjoy. November 18, 2012 is the March of Dimes Walk, the only day where you can walk through Fantasy in Lights. Several people have said this was their favorite day to go. Tickets for the March of Dimes Walk available by calling 706-660-0160.
A Stone Mountain Christmas
Dates: Nov. 10, 2012 – Jan. 1, 2013
Cost: Ticket prices vary depending if you are adding on Snow Mtn. See website for prices
Info: More than two million twinkling lights. While you’re there, watch live entertainment shows, see the Polar Express in 4-D, watch a festive Christmas Parade, a special fireworks show and more. Here is a post we did last year reviewing Stone Mountain Christmas (includes photos, video and tips for a great experience). This year you can enjoy Snow Mountain as well starting on Nov. 22.
The Village Green, Smryna
Dates: Nov. 29, 2012 – Jan. 1, 2013
Info: The Village Green area around the Library, Community Center, the Veterans Memorial – along with the Market Village are dressed in lights and holiday cheer through New Year’s Eve/Day.
The Rock Ranch: A Country Christmas in Lights
Dates: Dec. 6 – Dec. 31, 2012
Info: A one mile drive-through display that pays homage to the joy and magic of the season.
Pettit Creek Farms Christmas Lights
Dates: Call first 770-386-8688
Cost: $15 per vehicle for a drive-thru, $10 adults, $8 children for a hay ride.
Over one mile of Christmas Lights to drive through in Cartersville Ga. Live reindeer (Comet & Cupi) are there nightly.
John Meckley’s Family Xmas
Dates: Begins Dec. 2
Cost: Donations accepted for charity
Holiday Lights Across the Country
For a wonderful list of holiday lights from across the country, click on the e-zine below. In addition to light displays, they have great information on packing gifts for the holidays, cruises and more!
Additional Information on Holiday Lights in Atlanta
Still looking for more information on holiday lights? Another great source for information on holiday lights is Atlanta with Kid. Amy has a great list of local community displays. Below are a few displays that are not available this year, but will be in 2013 or that I’m not quite sure about, but seemed so fun, I had to include.
Christmas in Cumming
Dates: The 2012 show has been cancelled, but Christmas in Cumming will return for 2013.
Tacky Light Tour
I’m not sure if this is an updated site, but it lists several homes with great light displays. If you try it out, let me know if it still has good information.