The holiday light show at the Botanical Gardens, Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer at the Center for Puppetry Arts, The Nutcracker ballet at the Fox Theater, and visiting with Santa at Phipps Plaza – Atlanta is filled with classic Christmas traditions that we all look forward to year after year!But most of the seasonal events in our area either have an admissions fee or a minimum purchase requirement. And with expenses already high in December, this can make it hard to enjoy these holiday outings without added stress.
To help offset some of these costs, we’ve started making note of all the free holiday activities we encounter throughout our city each year. From free Santa photos to neighborhood light displays, here’s our list of the best fun and free holiday events in Atlanta. Please remember that while these events are free, many require reservations to be made in advance.
Chattahoochee Nature Center: As a gift to the local community, Chattahoochee Nature Center is offering free admission on Saturday, December 4th. In addition to full access to the grounds, there will be a holiday market featuring numerous local vendors.
The Forum: The local Peachtree Corners plaza offers complimentary photos with Santa as well as special Storytimes with Santa throughout the month of December. And from 6 pm – 8 pm on December 17th, bundle up for a night of fun with “snow” flurries, hot chocolate, balloon art, and photo-ops with The Grinch and Cindy-Lou Who.
Mighty Mo & More! Fox Theatre Sing-Along: Looking to take part in a fun city tradition? Each year the Fox Theatre’s organist leads a Christmas sing-along while playing the historic “Mighty Mo” organ. A screening of “Polar Express” will also take place this year following the sing-along.
Bass Pro Shop: Did you know that all Bass Pro Shops offer free photos with Santa – and many locations offer free digital Christmas cards and/or picture frames. And visiting with Santa is just half of the fun – the shops are filled with sights and displays that will entertain your kids for hours! Visit the Bass Pro website to learn more and to find a location close to you.
Christmas in Castille: A beautiful neighborhood display of lights and holiday decorations, this Alpharetta “show” will take place December 16th – 18th from 6 pm – 9 pm.
Season of Celebration in Alpharetta: Alpharetta will be hosting festive family fun the first three Fridays in December. Snow flurries, family photo opportunities, pop-up caroling, and fire pits are just a few of the activities planned for the celebrations.
Hunter’s Christmas Tree Farm: Though you will have to pay for your Christmas tree, the hayrides, Santa visits, cookies and cocoa on Hunter’s Christmas Tree Farm are complimentary.