The greater Atlanta area is a wonderful place to spend a winter holiday. The weather in the wintertime is much milder than in the north, and there are fewer crowds. There are many opportunities for indoor and outdoor winter fun in Atlanta. Read on to discover the best activities and things to do in Atlanta for your winter holiday.
Best Winter Holiday Activities in Atlanta
Enjoy the Holidays With Brilliant Lights
Step into an illuminated winter wonderland at Garden Lights, Holiday Nights at Atlanta Botanical Garden. The is Atlanta tradition has nearly 2 billion lights tucked into flowerbeds and trees that are synced to festive music and change brilliant colors. Highlights include the Glowing Grove, the Ice Goddess, and several sculptures from SUPERnatural: Glass Art by Jason Gamarath. Timed tickets for the event are only available online.
Visit Atlanta’s Top Tourist Destination
Visit the childhood home of America’s civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site has many galleries, gardens and monuments that pay tribute to the America’s most prominent civil rights leader. Currently, visitors are welcome to visit and take a self-guided tour of the grounds, as all buildings are currently closed. Check the site’s website for more up to date information.
Stretch Your Legs on the Beltline
Spend some time this winter getting in shape in while visiting the south. The Beltline is a 22-mile corridor that surrounds the city of Atlanta. It consists of 10 separate trails that run from the tip of Piedmont Park all the way to Reynoldstown. The Eastside Trail is one of the most popular on the Beltline for biking, jogging, and hiking.
See IllumiNights at Zoo Atlanta
Guests can have a marvelous time this winter viewing IllumiNights at the Zoo: Chinese Lantern Festival at Zoo Atlanta. Every evening from 5:30 to 9:30, guests can visit this nighttime lantern winter wonderland that has bright, wildlife vistas and other awe-inspiring sights. During the daytime, the zoo is also a great place to spend winter days with discounted admission, lesser crowds, and mild weather.
Skate Out in the Open Air
Atlanta has many open-air ice skating rinks during the winter months. Popular skating venues include Colony Square, Park Tavern, and Avalon on Ice. Skate the Station at Atlantic Station is the largest outdoor skating venue in the southeastern United States.
View Local Art
The Atlanta Contemporary Art Center offers as many as 10 free exhibitions per year that highlight Southern artists. The museum requires reservations online for the free tickets to the exhibitions. Besides exhibitions, the museum also hosts many events including Mixologist-in- Residence and Pop Up workshops for all ages and abilities.
Hike and Explore Stone Mountain
Get outdoors this winter and journey to the summit of Stone Mountain. Follow the one mile Stone Mountain Walk -Up Trail to the top. On clear days, you can see the amazing views of the Atlanta skyline, the Appalachian Mountains, and Kennesaw Mountain from 1,686 above sea level. Guests can also enjoy a snack bar and gift shop once at the top.
Drive Through Lights of Life University
If you cannot get enough of holiday lights during the season, visit Lights of Life at Life University. Besides the spectacular light displays, guests can also enjoy a petting zoo, pony rides, train rides, and a concession stand. Lights of Life is open daily until New Year’s Eve.
Play Away the Winter at Piedmont Park
Spend some time with the local Atlanta culture at Piedmont Park. You can take advantage of the mild, southern winter weather and play basketball, tennis and much more. Guests can also explore the park through a few running routes including the Piedmont Park Loop.
Discover A World of Wonder With a Science and Nature Experience
The entire family can enjoy learning about the natural world at Fernbank Museum of Natural History. This season, guests can enjoy Winter Wonderland, a holiday themed exhibit with decorated trees and cultural displays. They can also enjoy the Antarctic Dinosaurs exhibit, holiday themed snow globes, and an outdoor skating rink, plus much more.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com