Things To Do in Atlanta This Weekend

Here’s what’s going on in Atlanta this weekend, Dec. 8. 9 and 10.

This menorah was used for the 1979 Celebration of the Festival of Lights at the Carter White House. It was the first time a president participated in a national celebration of Hanukkah. (Photo courtesy of Carter Presidential Library)

Around Town

Happy Hanukkah Atlanta

Happy Hanukkah Atlanta. (Photo by Unsplash)

Hanukkah begins at sundown on Thursday. On Thursday, The Battery welcomes the whole family for treats, Hanukkah spirit and Blooper from the Braves. Decatur is planning a menorah lighting for Saturday. Enjoy music, entertainment, dreidels and more in Decatur Square. Festivities begin at 4:30 p.m. Virginia Highland plans its menorah lighting Dec. 12 from 6 to 7:30 p.m.  Enjoy music, entertainment, dreidels, doughnuts, hot latkes and crafts for the kids. Atlantic Station plans a grand menorah lighting from 6 until 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 13. Celebrate with activities, traditional food and beverages and music. On Dec. 14 from 6 until 7:30 p.m., Ponce City Market plans its menorah lighting. There will be food and drinks, activities for the kids and music. 

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Presents Christmas with the ASO

The much-loved Christmas with the ASO returns to Symphony Hall Saturday (3 and 8 p.m.) and Sunday (3 and 8 p.m.). Director of choruses Norman Mackenzie leads the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in an evening of holiday carols, hymns and more. This timeless tradition begun by Robert Shaw never fails to inspire holiday cheer.

Fernbank After Dark Features Cocktails and Candy Canes

Fernbank After Dark presents Cocktails and Candy Canes Friday night. Expect festive fun featuring after-hour access to Fernbank’s exhibits, the lights of WildWoods: AGLOW, holiday-themed activities, music by Lola Cole and more. Cole combines her Mississippi blues roots with her native Georgia soul.

Enjoy Oasis at the High Museum Friday Night

The High Museum of Art’s monthly Oasis event is Friday from 6 until 9 p.m. Oasis brings yoga, art making and the opportunity to reflect deeply with works of art. Enjoy zero-proof beverages or sip a glass of wine. The after-hours event aims to cultivate a community centered on art, presence and contemplative practice.

Jimmy Carter Presidential Library Exhibits ‘Holidays at the Carter White House’

Turn back the calendar and see what the holidays were like at the Carter White House. (Photo courtesy of Carter Presidential Library)

The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library opened a new holiday exhibit, “Holidays at the Carter White House.” There are a number of items that have never been displayed before including the menorah used for the 1979 Celebration of the Festival of Lights (the first time a president participated in a national celebration of Hanukkah), a 500-year-old painting depicting the nativity, Christmas stockings and much more. Additionally, there is a Victorian-style Christmas tree like the one in the Carter White House as well as a 15-foot tall tree with a menorah on one side and a Kwanzaa communal cup and candles on the other. .

Winter House Open at Callanwolde

Callanwolde becomes Winter House during the holidays. (Photo courtesy of Callanwolde Fine Arts Center)

Especially for the holidays, the Callanwolde mansion at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center becomes Winter House. Admission is free though some events at Winter House do require a fee. Among the things to do, in addition to touring the mansion, are live performances, workshops, Santa photos, Blitzen’s Bingo, Holiday Story Time and an artists’ market. Callanwolde once was the home of Charles Howard Candler., the oldest son of Asa Griggs Candler, the Atlanta pharmacist who, in 1891 purchased the rights to the formula for Coca-Cola. Winter House is open Thursday through Sunday.

Wren’s Nest Presents ‘Home for the Holidays’

The Wren’s Nest is all decked out for the holidays. (Photo courtesy of the Wren’s Nest)

The Wren’s Nest presents “Home for the Holidays.” The home’s iconic front porch and interior rooms will be adorned with decorations designed to create a period-inspired and photo-worthy holiday experience. 

During guided architecture tours, you will step back in time and discover how Atlanta’s oldest house museum, built over a century ago, transformed over the years. During tours on Saturday, Dec. 9 or 16, during the 1 p.m. hour, there will be family-friendly storytelling performances featuring tales that celebrate this season of light, joy and generosity.

The Wren’s Nest will offer an additional holiday program for adults, an Ornament Workshop and Candlelight Tour, for one night only on Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. During the workshop, you will learn about the art of making Victorian-style paper ornaments in addition to enjoying refreshments and a private tour of the museum.  The Wren’s Nest in the West End is the historic home of author Joel Chandler Harris. 

Phipps Plaza Plans Twilight Sips and Serenades

Cozy up during Phipps Plaza’s Candlelight Concert Series. (Photo courtesy of Phipps Plaza)

Phipps Plaza’s new Candlelight Concert series called Twilight Sips & Serenades features local band performances every Saturday through Dec. 16 from 6 to 8 p.m. You can sit by a firepit and enjoy cocktails as you listen to local artists including Lilac Wine, Ruby Velle Duo and The Jazz Legacy Project. It all happens on the Phipps Green, which is  adorned with twinkling globes, trees and reindeer.

IllumiNights Lights the Night at Zoo Atlanta

See critters of all stripes during IllumiNights at Zoo Atlanta. (Photo courtesy of Zoo Atlanta)

IllumiNights: A Chinese Lantern Festival is open at Zoo Atlanta through Jan. 14, 2024. Enjoy a mile-long stroll of lanterns depicting the wildlife of our planet and creatures of our imagination, from luminous leopards to a towering fiery phoenix. There are lanterns around every corner. Warm up with hot cocoa ( or signature holiday spirits for ages 21 and older). Try a marshmallow roast by the fire.

Winter Wonderland Features Celebrations from Around the World

Celebrate the world at Fernbank Museum of Natural History’s Winter Wonderland. (Photo courtesy Fernbank Museum of Natural History)

Winter Wonderland: Celebrations & Traditions Around the World is on display at Fernbank Museum of Natural History through Jan. 7, 2024. Among the highlights are representations of cultural traditions from all over the world; relevant artistry; and holiday staples.

Garden Lights, Holiday Nights Brightens Atlanta Botanical Garden

Garden Lights, Holiday Nights shines bright at Atlanta Botanical Garden. (Photo courtesy of Atlanta Botanical Garden)

Garden Lights, Holiday Nights at Atlanta Botanical Garden is open through Jan. 14, 2024. New to this year’s exhibit are a 144-foot-long by 11-foot-wide white sky net suspended near the Flower Walk; large illuminated metal sculptures of deer and birds positioned in the Anne Cox Chambers Garden; a towering White Rabbit from a previous Alice in Wonderland-themed exhibition, covered in multicolored lights and holding court at the center of the Skyline Garden pond; gigantic lighted butterflies – each 11 feet wide – suspended from the treetops above Camellia Walk; a new garden-wide color scheme emphasizing warm hues; and a new Kiss Me Arch featuring a crescent moon and mistletoe, perfect for those romantic Instagram-able moments.

WildWoods: AGLOW Lights Up Fernbank Museum of Natural History

Immerse yourself in the wonders of nature at Wildwoods: AGLOW at Fernbank Museum of Natural History. (Photo courtesy of Fernbank Museum of Natural History)

Wildwoods: AGLOW at Fernbank Museum of Natural History will remain open on select nights through Feb. 25, 2024. WildWoods: AGLOW is a multi-sensory adventure that immerses you in the wonders of nature through a blend of the real environment, contemplative music and glowing displays that highlight the native flora and fauna within WildWoods. It shines a light on events such as what mushrooms would sound like if they could sing.

Atlanta Christkindl Market 2023 Open for the Season

The Atlanta Christkindl Market is open. (Photo courtesy of Jamestown)

The Atlanta Christkindl Market 2023 is open daily through Dec. 24. The market brings German holiday traditions including culinary delights and handcrafted treasures.

Stone Mountain Christmas Features Two New Attractions

Stone Mountain Christmas will brighten your holiday season. (Photo courtesy of Stone Mountain Park)

Stone Mountain Christmas kicked off the holiday season with two new attractions: a new North Pole Experience and the arrival of Aurora the Princess of Light. Stone Mountain Christmas brings festive music, millions of dazzling lights, immersive walk-through experiences and visits with popular holiday characters.

The Christmas drone show features 250 drones creating holiday-themed aerial formations and displays. The Christmas Light Show features favorite holiday songs, special effects and fireworks. Santa will be there along with a Christmas parade, carolers and a sing-along Christmas train. Stone Mountain Christmas is open through Jan. 2, 2024.

Alliance Theatre’s ‘A Christmas Carol’ Returns

Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” returns to the Alliance Theatre stage for its 34th year. (Photo courtesy of Alliance Theatre)

The Alliance Theatre’s “A Christmas Carol” brings Ebenezer Scrooge to the stage for the 34th year. This, the third year of the reimagined classic, runs through Dec. 24. The Charles Dickens story is a favorite holiday tradition in Atlanta.

Georgia Aquarium Greets the SEAson

A sea turtle gets into the holiday spirit at Georgia Aquarium. (Photo courtesy of Georgia Aquarium)

Georgia Aquarium is all decked out for the holidays, and even the critters are in on the fun. Through Jan. 1, 2024, take in the sights and sounds of Holidays at Georgia Aquarium in the transformed atrium with festive music, winter-inspired projections and a 40-foot live tree. Returning holiday favorites include photos with Santa, daily tree lightings and holiday-themed dolphin presentations. The folks at the aquarium cannot wait to sea you.

Cirque du Soleil ‘Echo’ Defies Gravity at Atlantic Station

Cirque du Soleil “Echo” is flying high at Atlantic Station. (Photo by Jean-Francois Savaria)

The new Cirque du Soleil show “Echo” is open under the big top at Atlantic Station. With performances through Jan. 21, 2024, “Echo” is the story of connection, intention and the symbiotic unions between humans and the animal kingdom. “Echo” follows an inquisitive young woman named Future as she wanders into a fantasy world that explores our sacred bond with animals and nature.

CDC Museum Presents Exhibit about Segregation

Atlanta’s CDC Museum has opened the exhibit, “Ghosts of Segregation: Photographs of Rich Frishman.” The exhibit explores the lingering presence of segregation, slavery and institutional racism hidden in everyday American architecture. From segregated schools to the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Alabama to a recent church firebombing in Louisiana, Frishman’s photographs show how our surroundings bear witness to history. See it through May 24, 2024.

High Museum of Art Presents Beatrix Potter Exhibit

Beatrix Potter (British, 1866-1943), Drawing of a walled garden, Ees Wyke(previously named Lakefield), Sawrey, ca. 1900, watercolor and pen and ink onpaper, Victoria and Albert Museum, Linder Bequest, BP.238. © Victoria andAlbert Museum, London, courtesy of Frederick Warne & Co. Ltd. Beatrix Potter

The exhibit, “Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature” is on display at the High Museum of Art and runs through Jan. 7, 2024. This exhibition invites you to rediscover Potter by exploring the places and animals that inspired her stories. Through more than 125 personal objects — including sketches, watercolors, rarely seen letters, coded diaries, commercial merchandise, paintings and experimental books — the exhibition examines Potter’s life as a businessperson, natural scientist, farmer and conservationist.

Vikings: Warriors of the Sea Open at Fernbank Museum of Natural History

Vikings: Warriors of the Sea is on display at Fernbank Museum of Natural History. (Photo courtesy of Fernbank Museum of Natural History)

The exhibit Vikings: Warriors of the Sea at Fernbank Museum of Natural History runs through Jan. 1, 2024. Featuring archaeological discoveries, the exhibit sheds new light on the Viking Age, dispelling stereotypes about its people, traditions and influence. Vikings, while known for being raiders and warriors, also were a civilization known for innovations including sturdy, light-weight ships and jewelry. You will see 140 authentic artifacts.

See Jurassic World: The Exhibition

Jurassic World: The Exhibition is open at Pullman Yards through the end of the year. Walk through Jurassic World and see a Brachiosaurus, a Velociraptor and Tyrannosaurus Rex. 

Shop Creator’s Market at Atlantic Station

Every weekend through December (weather permitting), Creator’s Market sets up on the green at Atlantic Station. The market features more than a dozen vendors selling hand-crafted products including jewelry, home décor, soaps and candles.


Museum of Atlanta Invites Families to Snow Days

Let the little ones enjoy skating in their socks at Children’s Museum of Atlanta. (Photo courtesy of Children’s Museum of Atlanta)

Through Dec. 30, Snow Days at Children’s Museum of Atlanta brings skating at Sockerfeller Plaza, Hot Cocoa Mondays, snow ball fights and more.

The museum celebrates Hanukkah on Sunday. Celebrate literacy and storytelling as you learn all about the history and traditions of Hanukah in a day of reading and adventure. Session A runs from 9:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Session B runs from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.

‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’ Lands at Center for Puppetry Arts

“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” is an Atlanta holiday tradition. (Photo courtesy of Center for Puppetry Arts)

He’s back. “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” returns to the stage at Center for Puppetry Arts along with Hermey the Elf, Yukon Cornelius and Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster. See it through Dec. 31.

See ‘Into the Burrow: A Peter Rabbit Tale’ at Alliance Theatre

See “Into the Burrow: A Peter Rabbit Tale” at Alliance Theatre. (Art courtesy of Alliance Theatre)

The Alliance Theatre presents “Into the Burrow: A Peter Rabbit Tale” through Dec. 23. Journey down the rabbit  hole for a musical adventure. All the neighborly forest animals have gathered in the rabbit’s den (under Mr. McGregor’s garden) to throw a surprise party for Peter. But, oh no, they learn that Mr. McGregor has terrible plans.

Children’s Museum of Atlanta Exhibit Focuses on Emotions

Emotions at Play with Pixar’s “Inside Out” is open at the Children’s Museum of Atlanta. (Photo courtesy of Children’s Museum of Atlanta)

Emotions at Play with Pixar’s “Inside Out” is open at the Children’s Museum of Atlanta. The exhibit, based on the Disney and Pixar animated feature “Inside Out,” helps children understand the important role emotions, memory and imagination play in their everyday lives. The exhibit runs through Jan. 7, 2024.  

Emotions at Play features hands-on and digital encounters centered around five key emotions: joy, sadness, anger, disgust and fear. Children can develop their emotional intelligence by learning to identify and understand these emotions.


See ‘Y’allmark Christmas’ at Horizon Theatre

Deck the Halls with Dad’s Garage and Horizon Theatre this season when “Y’allmark Christmas: An Improvised Holiday ‘Movie,’” returns.

The show takes tried-and-true holiday tropes, audience suggestions, a rotating cast of three veteran improvisors from Dad’s Garage and a different daily guest Horizon actor to create an all-new, live, onstage holiday “movie” from scratch every night. See it Dec. 8-17, Thursdays through Sundays at 8 p.m.; Dec. 19-30, Tuesdays through Sundays at 8 p.m. and during matinees on Dec. 14 at 4 p.m. and Dec. 18 at 2 p.m.

Shakespeare Tavern Presents Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol

See O’Neil Delapenha as Scrooge at Shakespeare Tavern. (Photo by Daniel Parvis)

Shakespeare Tavern presents Charles Dickens’ A Christmas. It will run through Dec. 23. A handful of Tavern performers invite you into the wondrous art of storytelling, transporting you to Scrooge’s London counting house that fateful Christmas when Ebenezer meets three ghosts and a certain little boy named Tiny Tim. Join the folks at Shakespeare Tavern for some Dickens, a bit of song and Shakespeare Tavern’s brand of holiday cheer.

‘Madeline’s Christmas’ Returns to Horizon Theatre

“Madeline’s Christmas” is playing at Horizon Theatre through Dec. 31. In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines lived twelve little girls in two straight lines,” begins the story of Madeline. This holiday season will be unlike any other for Madeline and her friends. While on their morning walk with Miss Clavel, the girls come down with the flu, and as they take to their bed, many wonder if they will be able to go home for Christmas. With the arrival of a mysterious stranger, Madeline and the other girls get a holiday adventure beyond their wildest dreams.

Dad’s Garage Opens ‘Invasion Christmas Carol’

See “Invasion Christmas Carol” at Dad’s Garage. (Photo by Chelsea Patricia)

Dad’s Garage brought back its cult-classic holiday show “Invasion Christmas Carol.” The show runs through Dec. 30. The ensemble’s twist on the Charles Dickens classic includes a different unexpected invader every night. The invader is a surprise to both the cast and the audience, giving Scrooge’s past, present and future totally different outcomes each night. Improvisers act out a (relatively) faithful performance of the story while wacky guest invaders like the Harlem Globetrotters, Young Frankenstein and Garbles the Fart Goblin (wha?!), help create a whole new holiday experience.   


Watch Hoops Action at Overtime Elite Arena

Friday night brings the nation’s top amateur basketball players to Overtime Elite Arena. See RWE vs. CTY at 7 p.m. At 8:30 p.m. watch ROL take on CHS.


Illuminarium Adds James Webb Telescope Experience

 Illuminarium has launched a new addition to its SPACE spectacle, an interactive James Webb Space Telescope Experience. The experience showcases cosmic views from the James Webb Space Telescope, the largest and most groundbreaking telescope ever built. Illuminarium’s high-tech animation systems and 360-degree fully immersive screens provide viewers with a never-before-seen perspective and scale of the James Webb imagery.

Art in the A

High Museum Presents Exhibit of Southern Photography

The High Museum of Art presents the exhibit, “A Long Arc: Photography and the American South since 1845.” The exhibit includes photographs of the American Civil War, which transformed the practice of photography across the nation and established visual codes for articulating national identity and expressing collective trauma. Photographs from the 1930s to the 1950s, featuring many created for the Farm Security Administration, demonstrate how that era defined a new kind of documentary aesthetic that dominated American photography for decades and included pictures exposing economic and racial disparities. With works drawn from the High’s collection of Civil Rights–era photography, the exhibition shows how photographs of the movement in the decade that followed galvanized the nation with raw depictions of violence and the struggle for justice. See it through Jan. 14, 2024.

Spend the Day in Paris — at the High Museum of Art

The exhibit, “In the City of Light: Paris, 1850–1920” is open at the High Museum of Art through the end of the year. The exhibit serves as an illustrated guide through the architecture, people and culture of the French capital during the latter half of the 19th century. “In the City of Light” features works from Théophile Steinlen, Henri-Gabriel Ibels, Edgar Degas, Édouard Manet, Honoré Daumier, Édouard Vuillard and others. 

This article updates weekly with brand new things to do in Atlanta for the weekend. Feel free to bookmark it for next weekend. For more weekend events, check our calendar.

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