9 Things to Do in Atlanta on Christmas Day

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After the last gift is unwrapped and the leftovers have been put away, Atlanta beckons to families with some incredible options for getting out to enjoy Christmas day. From exploring a German-style holiday market in Buckhead to checking out the city’s brightest residential light displays, we’re certain you’ve saved room for one last helping of holiday cheer. Keep reading for the inside scoop on where to find some fun, beyond the base of the Christmas tree.

photo: iStock

Drive-Through Neighborhood Lights

We could all use some high-voltage cheer this holiday season, and with these megawatt neighborhood Christmas light displays—where you never have to leave your car—you’re sure to flip the switch on some family fun. These Atlanta-area winter wonderlands are brought to you by families with some serious spirit.

photo: Atlanta Botanical Garden

See Mega-Watt Light Shows

For a mega-watt evening, bundle up and flip the switch on some electric lighting displays around Atlanta. If you’re looking for an evening outing that will amaze the entire family, you’re in the right place. Check these out to find the best spots around town to be dazzled.

 

Take a Spin on Atlanta SkyView

Santa may not be gracing the night sky on Christmas, but you can soar above Atlanta in the SkyView ferris wheel. With twinkling city lights below mixed in with holiday decorations downtown, the bird's eye view is the best view. And great news! Each gondola on the wheel is climate controlled, so you won't need to plan for frostbite. 

Adults 12 & up $14.75, children 3-11 $9.75

168 Luckie St. NW
Downtown
678-949-9023
Online: skyviewatlanta.com

photo: iStock

Go for a Bike Ride

Even if they didn't get a new set of wheels for Christmas, you'll have some happy elves if you load them up and go for a ride on their old wheels, new scooters, or even hovercraft. Here are our favorite paths for a family ride-along.

photo: Main Event Entertainment

Mix It Up at Main Event Entertainment

If you’re tired of the tinsel and ready to hock the holly, head to Main Event for laser tag, bowling, arcade games, and an indoor ropes gym. Open from 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. and prices for playing vary by selection.

3101 Cobb Parkway SE, Suite 104
Atlanta, Ga
770-955-0717
Online: mainevent.com

photo: Georgia State Parks 

Take a Hike at Georgia State Parks

Atlanta weather can run hot or cold at Christmas, so keep Georgia’s State Parks in mind if we land on a sunny and unseasonably warm Christmas day. Trails abound at Sweetwater Creek State Park, and you can start working on your resolutions by hiking the first leg (little, little leg) of the Appalachian Trail at Amicalola State Park. Here are some more of our favorite state parks near Atlanta. And if you don't want to venture much further than the Perimeter, you can enjoy exploring miles of trails along the Chattahoochee, a National Parks Service-run land. 

photo: Christine Lai

Visit the Georgia Aquarium

Yes, the Georgia Aquarium is actually open on Christmas Day. Get the kiddos out of the house and make a splash with the world's largest aquarium. Purchase tickets online in advance.

225 Baker Street NW
Downtown
404-581-4151
Online: georgiaaquarium.org

photo: iStock

Go Ice Skating

Glide beneath the stars and skyscrapers at one of the following ice rinks—many of which are open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. 

Get a Strike at Bowlmor Lanes Atlanta

Roll into Bolwmor lanes on Christmas Day, and try your hand in the  arcades, classic table games, and interactive laser tag battles also available. Open from 1 p.m. to midnight on Christmas day, games are reasonably priced per person and kids under 4 play free.

2175 Savoy Dr.
Chamblee
770-451-8605
Online: bowlmor.com

—Shelley Massey