Trip Ideas

Spend the Holidays in Georgia

As the temperatures drop, enjoy the warmth of the holiday season in Georgia.

  • S'mores at Atlanta Botanical Garden

Cold weather ushers in plenty of winter celebrations – Thanksgiving, football, holiday lights, a new year – and Georgia offers festive options for the whole family. Here’s just a taste of some of the annual holiday events you can enjoy:

Holiday Meals

Thanksgiving Feast at Forrest Hills Resort in Dahlonega, Georgia

  • Thanksgiving Day Feast (Nov. 24, 2017, Dahlonega) – Enjoy all of the traditional Thanksgiving favorite dishes surrounded by the beauty of the North Georgia mountains at Forrest Hills Resort. Reservations required.
  • Christmas Eve Feast (Dec. 24, 2017, Dublin) – Toast your loved one with a fine Italian dining experience on Christmas Eve at Dublin Farm's Ristorante da Maria. Enjoy live piano music during a meal of freshly prepared foods served with artistry and imagination. Reservations required.

Sporting Events

The University of Georgia campus teems with football fans on game days. - Athens Campus

  • SEC Football Championship (Dec. 2, 2017, Atlanta) – Watch East vs. West teams battle in this college football title game, with the winner usually advancing to the National Championship Game.

Holiday Parades

Christmas Boat Parade of Lights

  • Rome Christmas Parade (Nov. 28, 2017, Rome) – Cheer on the oldest parade in Georgia, going strong since 1949. More than 100 floats and the city’s “Unsung Hero of the Year” celebration entertain the entire family.
  • Downtown Parade of Lights (Dec. 7, 2017, Athens) – This unique evening parade rallies more than 75 floats, live music, dance numbers and more. The parade wraps up at City Hall for an annual tree-lighting ceremony and a visit from Santa.
  • Children’s Christmas Parade (Dec. 2, 2017, Atlanta) – Bring folding chairs and hot cocoa for the Southeast’s largest Christmas parade. Admission to this Midtown spectacle is free, but prime bleacher seats can be purchased to benefit Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
  • First Friday & Saturday – Christmas on the River & Lighted Parade (Dec. 1-3, 2017, Savannah) – “Christmas on the River” brings arts, crafts and live music. The state’s oldest city also celebrates with a visit from Saint Nick at the parade finale.
  • Crossroads Christmas Parade (Stone Mountain) – Stone Mountain Park’s Christmas parade heralds the holiday spirit with the Snow Angel and a visit from Santa. Fireworks and falling snow delight children of all ages.

Light Displays & Ceremonies

Lanier Islands Christmas

  • Fantasy In Lights at Callaway Gardens (Nov. 17, 2017 - Jan. 6, 2018, Pine Mountain) – Enjoy 8 million twinkling marvels, named one of the world’s “Top 10 Places to See Holiday Lights” by National Geographic Traveler. Drive your own vehicle or ride the Jolly Trolley.
  • Garden Lights, Holiday Nights (Nov. 11, 2017 - Jan. 7, 2018, Atlanta) – Stroll through 2 million lights at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, listed in Forbes’ “10 Dazzling Light Displays Around the World.”
  • Light Up Blue Ridge (Nov. 24-25, 2017, Blue Ridge) – Celebrate your holiday spirit with the annual tree-lighting ceremony and parade, followed by Santa’s arrival on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railroad.
  • Lake Lanier Islands Resort Christmas (Buford) – Start a new family tradition with a drive through a famous light show, followed by marshmallow roasts, photos with Santa, carnival rides and holiday shopping.

For a full list of holiday events and activities in Georgia, visit the events page.

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