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The 26 best things to do in Atlanta this winter
A range of terrific options for exploring Atlanta during winter’s (somewhat) chilly weather
The holiday season is behind us, and a new year—and decade—is underway. While winter is in full swing, Atlanta weather, as usual, has its fair share of chilly and not-so-chilly days. As such, Atlantans (and Atlanta visitors) are ready to explore.
Good thing the metro is brimming with options—both indoors and out—for beholding winter wonders.
Below, we’ve updated our list of places to visit during a cold, wet winter day, a staycation, or one of those “let’s get outside right now” weekends in January, February, and March. It’s also a guide for where to take out-of-town guests and show off the ATL.
Grab your flannel and cocoa, step away from the couch and TV, and get going!
Arabia Mountain hike
For an uplifting experience in nature that doesn’t require much driving (but benefits from clear winter skies), head to Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area, where you’ll find the relatively unsung, lunar-like, prehistoric sibling to Stone Mountain, just south of Interstate 20 in Lithonia.
Explore a wandering PATH trail or hike up two granite outcrops that are moderate compared to that famous other rock. This rolling landscape took 400 million years to form, and it’s a quick, idyllic getaway for experiencing winter’s beauty. On a clear day, you’ll spot Atlanta sky-rises in the distance. (Pro tip: A good place to begin is the nature center, 3787 Klondike Road .)
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Playing in Piedmont Park
As the city’s backyard, occasional sledding paradise, and one of America’s great urban green spaces, Piedmont Park offers intown dwellers and visitors a place to stretch their legs, enjoy the great outdoors, and be social—for free. A favorite Atlanta pastime during all seasons includes grabbing a blanket, beverages, and soaking up the vibes in the South’s version of Central Park. No better time for all of this than temperate winter days.
Located in centralized Midtown and tied to a range of neighborhoods by the Beltline, the park and adjoining Atlanta Botanical Garden are a breath of fresh air among the hustle and high-rises of the city.
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Stone Mountain Park
A year-round destination, Stone Mountain Park is especially enjoyable in winter’s climate. Through February 23, grab a snow tube and hit Snow Mountain, a winter wonderland that takes over the park’s Memorial Lawn. Once the manufactured snow melts—or even while it remains—you can enjoy hiking up the mountain, experience the park attractions or hit the links at the park’s two golf courses. All year long, there’s no shortage of entertainment available at the park.
Parking ($20) is required for entrance to Stone Mountain Park. Attraction tickets are available in specific ticket packages, starting at $31.95.
The walkable Decatur Square
Predating the City of Atlanta itself, Decatur has managed to retain its small-town feel despite the urban explosion around it. It's worth a visit (or two) to enjoy entertainment at the gazebo or a beer sidewalk-side to people-watch away the hours.
A short ride on MARTA from the core of Atlanta, the square features a vibrant restaurant and arts scene. Characterized (questionably) as the Brooklyn of Atlanta by the N ew York Times , there’s no shortage of things to see and do around Decatur Square all year.
Fernbank Museum of Natural History
Home to dinosaurs, a Star Gallery (featuring a variety of constellations, from Orion to the Big Dipper), and a theater with a four-story screen and 3D capabilities, Fernbank is Atlanta’s premier destination for science and history lovers. It’s also an enchanting place for a winter’s walk in the woods.
With eclectic events, including a tour of the adjacent old-growth forest and “Fernbank After Dark,” which couples liquor and learning, there’s plenty to do for children and adults.
The final resting place of many famous Georgians, Oakland Cemetery was founded in 1850 and offers plenty of history and stoic beauty. Encompassing 150 acres just east of downtown, the cemetery boasts fantastic views of the city’s skyline from among the shadows of numerous large oaks and magnolias.
Tours and events abound all year, and winter is a great time to check them out without the crowds. Check the calendar, and choose one for your visit.
Cascade Springs Nature Preserve
Wanna feel like you’re in North Georgia wilds without leaving the urban confines of ITP ATL? Head here to enjoy a mild winter’s day. The rolling, residential terrain of Southwest Atlanta yields a surprising natural treasure that spans 120 acres on Cascade Road and is dotted with remnants of Civil War battles (plus a historic springhouse and climbable waterfall).
Not far from downtown, the Cascade Springs Nature Preserve Trail might be ITP’s most tranquil running and hiking destination, with three trail options and plenty of terrific vantages for a clear winter day. Onsite parking is available.
Ponce City Market’s rooftop
Atlantans have long pined for public rooftop views that encompass the city’s varied skylines, and Ponce City Market’s rollicking vintage amusement park in the sky does the job as well as anywhere. Whether relaxing with your favorite cocktail or taking part in one of PCM’s many events, there’s no better place to enjoy a warm winter day—or night. Standard admission is $10.
For Buckhead dwellers pining to enjoy a multi-use trail without venturing southward, look no further than PATH400. Winter explorers will soon be able to tackle a new section that connects Miami Circle to Peachtree Park.
The first phase, connecting Old Ivy Road to Tower Place, opened in early 2015, and the network is far beyond half-complete already. Once finished, this 5.2-mile spine will connect to the Beltline’s Peachtree Creek spur trail and beyond, offering a 10- to 14-foot-wide multi-use path for cyclists, skaters, walkers, and runners.
The Atlanta Beltline
Less a singular thing to see, and more a chance to people-watch and walk between some of Atlanta’s great sights and most quintessential ’hoods, the Beltline continues to grow from a big idea to one of the most transformative urban initiatives in the country.
The Beltline pulses with activity all winter long, with everything from fitness and art happenings to bus tours and more. Visitors might want to catch it at the southeastern edge of Piedmont Park and explore points south.
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Located in Atlanta’s oldest public green space, Grant Park, recently expanded Zoo Atlanta is a longtime favorite of Atlanta residents and visitors. It’s also home to pandas and many other cute creatures who look forward to visitors on warm, sunny winter days.
Little Five Points
A fun visit for all seasons, Atlanta’s vibrant, subversive, and always feisty Little Five Points provides a shopping and people-watching experience like no other in town.
L5P crept up organically in the 1920s, around streets where trolleys once converged, and visitor’s today can find everything from rad thrift-store jewelry and some of America’s best burgers to high-performance bicycles and indie concerts.
Chattahoochee River, National Recreation Area
What beats a winter hike along the banks of the ’hooch? Not much. The Chattahoochee River , along the northern and western borders of the City of Atlanta, offers an array of options for whiling away a warm winter day—even if it means skipping the getting wet part.
The National Recreation Area, which includes the gorgeous East Palisades, features a range of options for hiking, kayaking and canoeing, and fishing. It’s an inexpensive, restorative way to soak in nature close to home.
Atlanta History Center
More than just a storage facility for artifacts, the Atlanta History Center’s 33-acre Buckhead grounds feature a museum, library, research center, and range of historic structures, including the amazingly ornate Swan House and plenty of trails to enjoy cooler weather.
A great place to learn about the history of the city and its citizens, the facility also is home to the fully restored panoramic cyclorama painting and the historic Texas locomotive.
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College Football Hall of Fame
Missing your college football fix? Atlanta is the country’s amateur pigskin mecca, and the College Football Hall of Fame just might be the nucleus.
Located across Centennial Olympic Park from the Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola, and Center for Civil and Human Rights, the facility is part museum and part fan-experience zone. With an indoor football field, visitors can play out their QB (and field-goal kicker) fantasies.
World of Coca-Cola
Need a fun option for a rainy winter day? Head here—and have a smile. Among the many global powerhouse companies with Atlanta roots, Coca-Cola is undoubtedly the most universally known.
While some may find the World of Coca-Cola an over-the-top ad for the company, approaching it with the understanding that it’s one big shameless paean to the hometown beverage maker allows for enjoyment. Don’t forget to sample the “Beverly” in “Taste It!”
High Museum of Art
Just a fraction of the greater Woodruff Arts Center in Midtown, the High Museum is the premier art facility in the Southeast. The world-class museum features an extensive permanent collection and plays host to an array of traveling exhibitions from around the globe. What’s more, the collections are housed in two remarkable buildings designed by architects Richard Meier and Renzo Piano.
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Porsche Experience Center
Not as family (or cost) friendly as many activities on the list, the exhilarating Porsche Experience Center is tailored to those of driving age and older. For visitors willing to pony up some serious cash ($350 and up for 90 minutes, which is plenty of time, given the workout-like exertion required), the Experience Center offers Porsche enthusiasts and bucket-listers the chance to run the company’s iconic sports cars around a test track at breakneck speeds.
For fans of artfully displayed aquatic life, the largest aquarium in the Western Hemisphere (damn you, Singapore!) is a soothing respite from truly cold winter days. What’s more, an ongoing expansion project will bring back an emphasis on large toothy sharks. Tip: Buy tickets online beforehand. And unless you enjoy that sardines-in-a-tin sensation, avoid visiting on holiday weekends.
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Center for Puppetry Arts
Looking for an indoor option on crummy days? As the largest organization in the United States devoted to the art of puppetry, the Center for Puppetry Arts is a unique Atlanta attraction for both kids and adults.
A recent renovation and addition has allowed for the display of a treasure trove of puppet paraphernalia. And as home to Jim Henson’s collections, the museum allows visitors to get up close and personal with Kermit and his iconic Muppet friends.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site
Encompassing the blocks in Sweet Auburn where Martin Luther King, Jr. was born, grew up, preached, and is buried, the National Historic Site is a fitting monument to Atlanta’s most legendary civil rights leader. With opportunities to tour his birthplace and see just some of his many works, the compound is a must for visitors and locals alike.
National Center For Civil and Human Rights
Designed by Phil Freelon, the National Center for Civil and Human Rights is a prominent feature in the cultural district surrounding Centennial Olympic Park. Architecturally stunning on its own, the museum houses comprehensive, educational, and thought-provoking exhibits and artifacts. It’s a much headier visit than the fish tank and soda shrine next door.
Still a newcomer to the Atlanta sports scene, the stadium on the western edge of downtown is home to the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United—the MLS champions whose rabid local fanbase has smashed attendance records since inception. But for those who don’t love football, soccer, or live music (or who scoff at paying big bucks for the tickets), a cheaper guided tour is well worth the time.
The Fox Theatre
Saved from the wrecking ball in the 1970s, this former Shriners hall and movie house from 1929 is an architectural gem on Peachtree. Home to everything from Broadway to rock concerts, the Fox is the epitome of pre-Depression opulence, rendered in a Moorish Revival style. Tours are offered, too, allowing a glimpse behind the scenes at some of the building’s most unique architectural features.
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Atlanta Preservation Center
Built in 1856, the Lemuel P. Grant Mansion is one of only two surviving antebellum homes in Atlanta. (Thanks, Sherman!) Constructed as a three-story Italianate mansion for Grant—a railroad magnate and philanthropist in early Atlanta—the mansion survived the Civil War, numerous fires, and a lot of neglect.
The site of golf legend Bobby Jones’s birth, the home now serves as the headquarters of the Atlanta Preservation Center. A phenomenal resource for all things yesteryear Atlanta, it breathes history.
Historic Fourth Ward Park
Adjacent to the Beltline’s Eastside Trail, Historic Fourth Ward Park offers 17 acres of green space, a playground, skatepark, an outdoor theater, and beautiful two-acre water feature—all perfect for a stroll any day of the year.
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20 Things To Do In Atlanta This Winter: The Ultimate ATL Winter Bucket List
Warm up your winter with these wonderful things to do across Atlanta throughout the remainder of the coldest, yet coziest season!
Winter is in full swing, and there’s so many awesome things to do across Atlanta to spice up the coldest season of all . From spectacular immersive experiences to unmissable art exhibitions, don’t miss out on all the fabulous wintertime happenings across our city! Whether you’re a winter-lover and are searching for the perfect winter hike, or can’t wait for spring and need to know where all the best heated patios are in Atlanta, there’s truly something for everyone.
1. Ice Skating Rinks
While most of Atlanta’s local rinks closed up after the holidays, that doesn’t mean you can’t still find some icy rinks for all your skating dreams! Hit the ice this winter at Alpharetta’s year-round rink or at the longest running outdoor ice rink in Georgia, in Conyers until February 11th!
For information on Olde Towne on Ice in Conyers, check out their website !
For information on The Cooler in Alpharetta, check out their website !
2. Get saucy with The Empire Strips Back: A Burlesque Parody
You read that right! This incredible parody show was previously sold out, but it’s back open to the public! See all of your favorite Star Wars characters scantily clad and live on stage!
Take a trip to your dark side with comedy and allure, loving detail, and hilarious parody! The Empire Strips Back drops classic Star Wars characters into the world of burlesque.
Guests should expect some seriously sultry Stormtroopers, a dangerously enticing Boba Fett, some tantalizing Twi’leks, a delightfully luke-warm Taun Taun, a lady-like Skywalker, the Droids you are looking for, and much, much more!
To grab your tickets, check out The Empire Strips Back !
3. Support Black-owned businesses throughout Black History Month, and beyond!
Whether you’re looking for a tasty bite to eat or an amazing place to buy goods, Atlanta’s Black businesses are where it’s at! Support Black-owned businesses and restaurants for Black History Month, and all year round! There are toooons of great options, but here are some of our recommendations!
- Slutty Vegan – Absolutely delicious Vegan burgers and other plant-based “junk food” (Multiple Locations)
- Iwi Fresh – A luxurious farm to facial spa (Downtown Atlanta)
- Nourish & Bloom – A super futuristic grocery store (Trilith)
- Hippin’ Hops – A mouth-watering Brewery & Oyster Bar (East Atlanta, Stone Mountain, & East Lake)
- The Village Retail Market – Retail experience uniting Black-owned businesses (Ponce City Market)
4. Trek your way through a couple of Georgia’s breath-taking winter hikes
In our opinion, nothing can beat the brisk Georgian air during the winter, especially when the sun is shining! Step out into nature this winter, and take a hike through the beauty of Georgia!
5. Check out these unmissable exhibitions on display in Atlanta !
There’s so much great Art in Atlanta, it’s hard to choose which events to go to! Don’t worry–we’ve got you covered! Whether you’re looking to get into the indie art scene, or you want to spend the day wandering around the High Museum of Art, or you just want to walk down the street and see all the gorgeous graffiti and street art, Atlanta is the place to BE!
Check out some of our cool art !
6. Eat or drink out on one of Atlanta’s favorite heated patios
It can get pretty chilly here in Atlanta during the winter, but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying a nice dinner outside! A great way to warm up is by enjoying some drinks and bites at one of Atlanta’s favorite heated patios . Some of our recommendations include:
- Ladybird Grove & Mess, Old Fourth Ward
- Ecco, Buckhead & Midtown
- The White Bull, Decatur
And if you’re looking for more options, check out our full roundup !
7. Or grab a mocktail at one of these sober places!
If you’re looking to take Dry January all winter, or just want a fun little bevvy without the alcohol, don’t sweat it! Atlanta has tons of sober places/sober-ish places to enjoy.
Check out our full round up or one of our recommendations below!
- The Sober Social
- Elemental Spirits Co.
8. Experience Fernbank Museum’s dazzling light installation
Inspired by its surrounding nature, Fernbank Museum’s magical installation is scattered around their beloved WildWoods. From enchanting, glowing mushrooms to mind-bending interaction with nature , it’s the perfect way to make those winter months a little brighter! Check out all the information here , or check out the link below.
Enchanting glow up: Don’t miss Fernbank Museum’s stunning light experience this winter in Atlanta
9. Witness giant Lego creations at this epic convention coming to Atlanta
If you’re a fan of Lego, or know someone who is, then don’t miss out on the return of Atlanta Brick Con , an impressive fan-made convention for professional Lego builders and the young-at-heart. The convention will be taking place on February 10th & 11th at Gas South Convention Center.
Check out their website for more information !
10. Celebrate the Lunar New Year with a huge festival in Stone Mountain
Celebrate the Year of the Dragon in Stone Mountain Park! This Asian-inspired festival pays tribute to the culture and New Year traditions of Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese, and other countries that follow the lunar calendar!
In expected Stone Mountain fashion, you can expect an incredible laser show, drone show, parade and of course, fireworks! And don’t miss out on the food trucks, offering tons of delicious cultural dishes for the new year!
February 10th – 11th, 17th – 19th, and 24th – 25th (the last three weekends of Feb)
For more information on the Lunar New Year Festival, check out Stone Mountain’s website !
11. Step into a painting at Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience
If you’ve ever dreamt of stepping right out of the world and into a painting, you’ll love this awe-inspiring journey into the artistic world of Vincent Van Gogh! Explore his world: his life, his work, and his secrets, all while walking through cutting-edge 360-degree immersive digital projections of his art.
You can also expect a one-of-a-kind VR experience, and a light and sound show to delight your senses.
Don’t delay, grab your tickets now for Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience !
12. Take your friends, family or boo out for a delicious meal at one of the best restaurants in Atlanta !
Looking for that perfect spot to grab dinner with your loved ones? Eat in-restaurant or grab the perfect to-go order at these ATL favs !
Atlanta is the perfect place for nearly any type of cuisine, so no matter what you’re craving, we’ve got you covered for sure! Check out the full roundup here , or one of our recommendations below!
- Bomb Biscuits – Soul Food, southern biscuits
- Siam Thai – Thai food
- Delbar – Middle Eastern, Persian food
13. Warm up with a delicious hot chocolate at these hot cocoa hotspots!
Is there anything better than hot chocolate? We rounded up some of Atlanta’s best spots to enjoy a deliciously decadent hot chocolate . Check out our recommendations below or check out the full round-up .
- Xocolatl Small Batch Chocolate, The Krog District
- ADios Café, Castleberry Hill
- FiNCA to FiLTER , multiple locations
14. Sign up for a fun run and support a good cause!
This winter, two amazing runs are taking over ATL!
For all the chocolate lovers out there, the Hot Chocolate Run is every runner with a sweet tooth’s dream come true! Enjoy a nice run starting at Centennial Olympic Park, and then enjoy a chocolate party afterwards! And the Hot Chocolate Run is bringing a chocolate expo into town, if you want to grab some sweet treats without the run!
For more details, check out all the info here !
And if you’ve ever wanted to run through town in your undies… now’s your chance! Drop your pants for a good cause with the annual Undie Run ! This extremely ~brief~ run begins and ends with drinking and dancing! And the run is only about a mile… and the best part? You do it in your undies!
If you want to know more about this amazing cause and run, check out the info here !
15. Learn to make latte art at Opo Coffee !
Want to learn how to make incredible latte art, but don’t know where to start? We’ve got ya covered! Sign up for a latte art making class at Opo, a local coffee shop in Avondale!
You’ll learn how to make adorable designs that will wow your friends next time you make them a latte or cappuccino!
Check out all the details here !
16. Get loose with Atlanta’s one-of-a-kind Hops and Flow Beer Yoga
This event is exactly what it sounds like! Grab a beer and stretch it out in a community-oriented yoga class! You don’t want to miss out on all the fun at Hops and Flow! These classes are great for all levels of yoga, and the best part? The first beer is included in your ticket!
There are tons of times and places to participate, so check out more information to see what works best for you !
17. Hit up a super fun Drag Brunch this winter!
Two things Atlantans love: brunch and drag, rolled into one! What could be more fun? WUSSY Events has a full line up of amazing drag brunches around town this winter, and you definitely have to check it out!
They’ve got everything from Muppets to Beyoncé themes, so there’s truly something for everyone. Grab a mimosa and watch your favorite local queens slay the stage.
For the lineup of events, check out WUSSY’s website !
18. Go for a fun weekend getaway this winter !
Maybe you’re craving a bit of a break from the hustle and bustle of the city! A great way to do that is to book a weekend getaway at one of these gorgeous local locations! You can enjoy nature and a cozy weekend with your friends or S.O.!
For more information, check out our article on all the great local getaway destinations !
19. Relax with an amazing massage
Start your year off right with a day of relaxation and rest! You know the spa is calling your name! Head over to the brand new Squeeze location in Midtown for a perfect day! Leave feeling refreshed and as light as a cloud!
Get more information here !
20. Go on a stunning Valentine’s Dinner Date !
Everyone knows that one of the best winter holidays after the new year is the holiday of LOVE! Take your Valentine out for a delicious dinner in Atlanta this year! And don’t forget the delicious cocktails!
Check out the full list of romantic spots for your dinner date !
Winter might seem like a bleak time in Atlanta, but it turns out, there are tons of fun things to do right here in Atlanta! You can’t miss out on this amazing list of things to do this winter!
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(Photo by Joleen Pete)
Ultimate Guide to Winter in Atlanta
By Joleen Pete
Published December 11, 2023 Last Updated January 10, 2024
The first day of winter is Dec. 21, which mean lots of seasonal fun. And who knows? We may even have snow this year. Here is our guide to winter in Atlanta.
Spend Time Outdoors this Winter
With relatively mild winters, you can still get outdoors year around in Atlanta. Check out the Atlanta BeltLine , Westside Park and beyond. Chattahoochee Nature Center offers a selection of easy wooded nature hikes, or you can grab a map and hike around the city to find some tiny doors, thanks to the local art installations provided by Tiny Doors ATL . Atlanta is also home to a plethora of impressive street art, so grab your camera and take a self-guided photo safari. For more ideas, visit this ultimate list of things to do outdoors in Atlanta .
Winter Festivals in Atlanta
Atlanta is host to many festivals throughout the year and winter is no exception. The new year brings the annual MLK Day Celebration and Lunar New Year Festival . Here is a complete list of winter festivals in the A .
Ultimate Guide to the Holidays in Atlanta
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Even if it doesn’t snow this winter, you don’t have to miss out on all the icy fun. Find out where to go ice skating in Atlanta.
Festive Things to do for the Holidays
Atlanta knows how to celebrate. Whether strolling through Garden Lights, Holiday Nights at Atlanta Botanical Garden or checking out the myriad of festive activities at the annual Miracle on Peachtree , visitors and residents can find plenty of activities to activate the holiday spirit. Try one of these festive things to do for the holidays in Atlanta . Looking for something fun to do to usher in 2024? Here are the best things to do on New Year’s Eve in Atlanta .
Festive Christmas Pop-up Bars and Experiential Dining
Take a break from holiday shopping or plan a romantic date night at one of these festive, Christmas pop-up bars . Experience the bold and diverse flavors being offered at one of these restaurants offering experiential dining in Atlanta .
For more things to do in Atlanta this winter, explore our events calendar .
Joleen Pete lives outside Atlanta with her husband and their son. On the weekends they enjoy going into the city for family fun and exploration. Joleen is the family travel and lifestyle blogger behind Love, Joleen .
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10 Incredible Winter Destinations in Georgia
Winter in the South is a wonderful time! And Georgia is one of the best Southern states for festive winter fun! If you’re planning an winter getaway in Georgia, check out these top destinations.
Whether you’re looking for festive holiday light displays, unforgettable winter hikes, or just a mild climate for sweater season, Georgia has you covered!
There are tons of beautiful state parks for winter camping and enjoying incredible mountain views. Georgia is also home to some many fun festive light shows and holiday events . And you can even enjoy outdoor ice skating and snow tubing.
Georgia is the perfect place for a winter getaway!
Best Places to Visit in Georgia During Winter
Explore my top picks for the best places to visit in Georgia during winter. I’ll tell you why they’re the perfect destinations for holiday cheer and cold-weather fun, as well as all the seasonal activities you can enjoy in each location.
If you want to visit the city during the off-season, winter is perfect. Winter in Atlanta means fewer crowds at the tourist hotspots, and you can enjoy Atlanta’s top sights without sweltering in the Southern heat and humidity.
Atlanta festivities are in full swing during the holiday season. From outdoor ice skating to magical light displays to Christmas markets , there’s plenty to do during winter in Atlanta.
Go for a winter hike or check out some of the other spots on this list — many of them are just a day trip away from Atlanta ! With so much to do in the city and easy access to other top winter destinations in Georgia, Atlanta is my favorite place to be during the holiday season.
2. Pine Mountain
Pine Mountain is most known for being home to Callaway Gardens , a year-round resort and beautiful natural gardens. During the winter, they put on an award-winning Christmas light display , Fantasy In Lights.
Beyond the gardens, Pine Mountain has plenty of outdoorsy things to do. Winter is a great time for hiking and biking the trails in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.
The Pine Mountain Gold Museum has its own festive holiday tradition. The Winter Wonderland Train takes you through a forest full of thousands of lights and lets you meet Santa and friends.
Savannah is one of the top cities in Georgia. Known for its Southern Charm and historical setting, Savannah is a magical place to visit during the winter.
The cooler weather makes winter a great time for exploring the city . Take a bike ride , a walking tour , or a horse-drawn carriage ride around Savannah’s historic squares while enjoying the cool winter air.
For festive activities, head to the Savannah Christmas Market at Plant Riverside District for events, live performances, and fireworks. There is also a Tree Lighting Ceremony and a Boat Parade of Lights that you won’t want to miss. You could even take a private Christmas Magic walking tour or a fun Charles Dickens-themed Ghosts of Christmas walking tour to see the city’s best holiday lights.
If you like the outdoors, then Blairsville is the perfect winter destination for you! Located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this small town offers plenty of outdoor adventures. (Get amazing views like the photo above at the SumVue cabin here !)
Hike to the top of Brasstown Bald for an amazing sunset or sunrise hike; explore Vogel State Park; or spend some time on the Appalachian Trail. Blairsville is full of great scenery even in the winter, from waterfalls to deep gorges.
Around the holidays, Blairsville hosts plenty of festive events from holiday markets to the Tour of Trees. A short trip away in Hiawassee is the Mountain Country Christmas Lights at the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds; this festive light display is sure to delight!
5. Blue Ridge
Blue Ridge is a quintessential Georgia mountain town and is one of the best small towns to visit . During the winter, the crowds thin out and Blue Ridge makes for a great mountain retreat.
For the outdoorsy types, there are plenty of hiking opportunities. In the winter, the views open up and you can really see the beauty of the Appalachian Mountains. Or you could take a horseback ride through the mountains. Afterwards, treat yourself to a home-made apple cider and award-winning pies at Mercier Orchards.
The day after Thanksgiving is always the Light Up Blue Ridge event with the Great Tree lighting, a parade, and pictures with Santa. During December, you can hop aboard a festive Christmas version of the popular Blue Ridge Scenic Railway. Throughout the holiday season, you can enjoy events like the Gingerbread Village and Santa’s Mailbox. Then in February, head to the Annual Downtown Blue Ridge Fire and Ice Festival where you can taste chili and view incredible ice sculptures.
Dahlonega is another quaint North Georgia mountain town. Its picturesque Square makes the town look like something out of a Hallmark movie — in fact there have been several Hallmark Christmas movies filmed here including Christmas in Homestead and A Taste of Christmas .
This town is perfectly situated in the middle of North Georgia Wine Country . Take a tour around the mountain vineyards to sample locally-produced and award-winning wines. Dahlonega is also located near some great trails for a winter hike and is perfect for a cabin getaway . Head out on the nearby Appalachian Trail, Blood Mountain, or Amicalola Falls to witness incredible mountain views.
During December, you can enjoy Dahlonega’s Old Fashioned Christmas on the Square for brilliant lights worthy of a holiday movie, festive events, and Santa visits. There is a Christmas Market if you need to do some last-minute gift shopping, and the Holly Theater puts on a holiday play each year.
7. Jekyll Island
In the summer, Jekyll Island is full of beach-goers enjoying the Southern sun. But a beach getaway in the winter can also be a great idea!
You can find great lodging deals for the off-peak season and save some money. You also won’t need your winter coat since temperatures on the coast average in the mid-60s.
Holly Jolly Jekyll is one of the best holiday events in Georgia. The event features activities like a light tour, holiday tea, breakfast with Santa, and more. And in January and February, you can take part in a treasure hunt for beautiful handmade glass orbs hidden around the island; when you find one, it’s yours to keep!
8. Stone Mountain Park
Just outside of Atlanta, Stone Mountain Park is a fun getaway for the season. The park is transformed for the winter into an unforgettable wonderland of lights and snow.
Stone Mountain Christmas is the park’s annual holiday event that includes a parade, holiday lights, visits with your favorite holiday characters, and more. Snow Mountain is the park’s winter event that goes until February. This is one of the only places in Atlanta where you can expect to regularly see snow, snow tube, sled, and build a snowman.
Winter is also a great time to see the park’s usual attractions. Go for a hike to the top of Stone Mountain and take the Skyride back down for amazing views. Take a ride on the scenic railroad. And explore the collection of historical Georgia homes.
9. Cloudland Canyon State Park
Cloudland Canyon State Park is one of Georgia’s largest and most scenic state parks. Located on the edge of Lookout Mountain, this beautiful park features a gorge, two waterfalls, and 64 miles of hiking trails through the mountain wilderness.
Their waterfalls are especially gorgeous during the winter. Their flow is strongest in cooler months when the water doesn’t evaporate as quickly.
This state park also offers horseback riding, mountain biking, and caving opportunities. There are so many unique ways to explore this state park during the winter!
10. Lanier Islands
Just north of Atlanta, Lanier Islands is a resort complex on Lake Lanier, the largest lake in Georgia. Lake fun doesn’t have to be reserved just for summer; Lanier Islands proves it’s still a fun retreat in the winter.
The complex’s main holiday attractions are License to Chill Snow Island and Margaritaville’s Lakeside Lights Spectacular . Enjoy snow tubing, ice skating , snowball fights, and carnival rides at Snow Island. When the sun goes down, check out the dazzling display of holiday lights along the lake.
During the season, Lanier Islands has daily winter activities like a Reindeer Dash Scavenger Hunt, holiday crafts, gingerbread house building, story time with Mrs. Clause, and a visit from the Coca-Cola Polar Bear.
What the Winter Weather is Like in Georgia
What’s the weather like in Georgia during the winter? Winter weather in Georgia is pretty mild with temperatures averaging around 50 degrees. From December into February, you can expect daytime highs averaging around 50 to 60 degrees and evening lows around the 30s. Some evenings drop into the 20s.
The weather in South Georgia will be much warmer than in North Georgia. It’s very rare that South Georgia sees snow, but the North Georgia Mountains will often get wintery mix, ice, and even snow.
While North Georgia can see snow, Middle and South Georgia rarely get snow. So if you’re visiting Atlanta or Savannah, don’t expect a White Christmas.
If you go for a winter hike, temperatures in the higher elevations of the North Georgia Mountains are about 10 to 20 degrees cooler than the state’s average temperatures. Mountain hikes like Brasstown Bald may shut down their access roads due to ice in the winter.
The sunset in Georgia happens around 5:30 p.m. in November and January, around 5 p.m. in December, and around 6 p.m. in February.
For what to pack and wear during winter in Georgia, I recommend layers, a coat, a scarf, gloves, and boots. If you’re visiting the mountains, plan to pack winter jacket and boots. When packing your layers, keep in mind that you could be ice skating in short sleeves and 60 degree weather during the day but need a coat for the 40 degree nights looking at holiday lights.
Read next: The Best Winter Destinations in the South
Winter in Georgia FAQ
What is georgia like in the winter.
In Georgia, winter is a season of chilly temperatures, but rarely below freezing. It’s a nice respite from our usually warmer weather. You could see daytime temperatures as high as the 50s and 60s F, whereas the lows average in the mid 30s.
What are the winter months in Georgia?
Winter in Georgia lasts from November through February.
What is the coldest month in Georgia?
January is typically the coldest month all over the state of Georgia.
Does Georgia have harsh winters?
The state of Georgia does not have harsh winters. Winter here is typically mild and its rare to see snow unless you’re in the mountains in North Georgia.
Winter in Georgia Map
Ready to explore Georgia during the winter? Use the map below to help you plan out your winter getaway and find the perfect accommodation.
I hope you have an amazing time exploring Georgia in the winter!
Ready to take a vacation? Plan your trip with these tips.
- Find cheap accommodation: Use my tips for finding cheap accommodation for travel every time.
- Book your flight: Find the cheapest flights using Skyscanner , my favorite flight search engine.
- Pack for your vacation: Make sure you’ve packed everything you need by checking out my packing list resources .
What are your favorite winter destinations in Georgia? Let me know in the comments!
Paige Watts is a travel expert and author of What's With Atlanta? , a guide to the quirks and charm of the ATL. A life-long traveler, Paige is dedicated to helping you discover the best things to do in the Southern USA and around the world. Her work has been featured in The Culture Trip, Matador, Newsbreak, MSN, NPR, and countless other interviews and podcasts.
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Great list! Our plan was to visit Dahlonega and Helen this Christmas season but unfortunately we didn’t make it. Thanks for sharing!
Maybe next year!
Great read. I’ll definitely try out some of these awesome destinations.
I’m so glad!
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17 best things to do in Atlanta this winter
Credit: Avalon/North American Properties
Atlanta can be deceiving in the wintertime with seemingly fewer things to do.
This couldn't be farther from the truth. With a little creativity and curiosity, you will find that many adventures are waiting to be discovered.
After you read this list, you will go exploring Atlanta's winter wonderland.
Here are the top 17 things to do in Atlanta this winter:
Volunteer on MLK weekend. Serving your neighbors is one of the best ways you can give back on this holiday.
Does a chilly run tickle your fancy? Hit up these cold-weather Atlanta 5ks to get your fix.
Treat yourself to a piping hot bowl of Atlanta's best chili. It's really not winter until you enjoy a bowl of chili. These Atlanta restaurants do it best.
Try out the restaurants and attractions voted the best in Atlanta in 2016. Speaking of the best, AJC's readers have voted which restaurants and attractions were their go-tos last year.
Take your honey on a date that will be frozen in time. Make cuffing season count with these creative dates that are sure to impress your significant other.
Get your wing fix. While most restaurants offer wings on their menu, this guide will help you find the very best in Atlanta.
Broaden your buddy network by joining these Atlanta sports leagues and outdoor clubs. Birds of a feather stick together.
Try a new cocktail slated to be one of the trendiest of 201 7 . There are few things better than a strong cocktail after a long cold week. The AJC's dining staff names these cocktails as the bee's knees this year.
January might impress you with all of the fun it has in store. Can you handle it?
Get out of the cold and into a warm movie theater. Oscar season brings some of the best flicks of the year to a theater near you.
Go on a staycation right here in Atlanta. Some of the most luxurious vacation rentals in the ATL can make you feel like you're a world away.
Take on the night at one of the late-night hot spots in Atlanta. No, bowling is not the only late-night activity Atlanta has to offer after midnight.
Credit: Contributed by Skyline Park
Ponce City Market's Skyline Park is just one of the Atlanta bucket list attractions to cross off your winter to-do list. Winter is the perfect time to explore this rapidly growing epicenter for fun. There's a number of ITP and OTP attractions to explore.
Lace up and hit the ice, because the rinks are calling your name. The holidays might be over, but good cheer is still to be found as you glide through the air at some of the remaining opened ice rinks.
Some big music acts are heading our way this winter. Which shows are you going to?
Atlanta will begin a number of exciting productions, art exhibitions in the 2017-18 season. If you love theater, dance and art, then your year has been made.
2017 brings new restaurant openings. Bon Ton and the Anh's Kitchen are just a few new restaurants that'll be worth bracing the cold.
RECOMMENDED VIDEO: 6 Georgia state parks for adrenaline junkies
About the Author
8 Unforgettable Places In Georgia That Everyone Must Visit This Winter
Amanda Northern is a freelance writer, and creator/virtual assistant of The Proassists. Amanda is a Georgia native, GSU Panther, and blogger. More of her words can be found at amandanorthern.wordpress.com
More by this Author
There are just some things that folks in Georgia have to do every winter. Some of those activities include going to see a light show, celebrating with friends and family and checking out the annual Chick-fil-a Peach Bowl. Just in case you forgot, here are eight unforgettable places to visit in Georgia in the winter !
Georgia's Enchanting Atlanta Botanical Garden Christmas Celebration Is Sure To Delight
It Was So Cold In Georgia In 2014, Multiple Low Temperature Records Were Set Across The State
Georgians Should Expect A Chilly & Rainy Winter According To The Farmers Almanac
What are your favorite places to visit in Georgia in the winter? Did we leave your favorite spot off our list? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below! And make sure to nominate your favorite destinations. Who knows? We might just feature it in an upcoming article.
Looking for more ways to enjoy winter in Georgia? Visit this cozy mountain town and enjoy the sights and sounds of the season!
OnlyInYourState may earn compensation through affiliate links in this article. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.
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More to Explore
Places to visit in georgia in the winter.
Are there any Christmas tree farms in Georgia?
- Pettit Creek Farms
- Hunters’ Christmas Tree Farm
- Berry's Christmas Tree Farm
- Cooper's Tree Farm
- Bottoms Christmas Tree Farm
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What are the best Christmas towns in Georgia?
- Stone Mountain
- Pine Mountain
What are the best ice skating rinks in Georgia?
- Avalon On Ice
- Atlantic Station
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- Tavern’s Fire & Ice Rink
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Atlanta Travel Guide
Courtesy of ferrantraite | Getty Images
31 Best Things To Do in Atlanta
Sure, Atlanta is a commercial hub, but it's also a sightseer's dream. Lovers of the arts can catch an award-winning performance at the ornate Fox Theatre or peruse one-of-a-kind sculptures at the High Museum of Art. Meanwhile, history buffs
- All Things To Do
Atlanta History Center Atlanta History Center
U.S. News Insider Tip: Buckhead (like all of Atlanta) is known for its abysmal traffic. Avoid the roads from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. for the best shot at avoiding the gridlock. – Elizabeth Von Tersch, Senior Editor
Spread across 33 acres in Atlanta's trendy Buckhead neighborhood, the Atlanta History Center seeks to explore Georgia's past through comprehensive exhibitions, historic homes and miles of gardens and trails. The center's primary facility is the Atlanta History Museum, which showcases exhibits that span the region's history, from the culture of the Muscogee and Cherokee Indians' ancestors to life in the antebellum South.
Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park free
U.S. News Insider Tip: If you are a lover of Marvel movies, the last scene of "Black Panther" was filmed just two blocks away (at the intersection of Auburn Avenue and Jackson Street). – Lawrence Phillips, founder and CEO of Green Book Global
Walk in the footsteps of one of history's most important figures with a visit to the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park. You can head over to the Ebenezer Baptist Church, where King was once a pastor. Fire Station No. 6 offers insights into the desegregation of Atlanta's Fire Department. And at the Visitor Center, you'll find engaging exhibits on the civil rights movement and the D.R.E.A.M. Gallery, featuring additional exhibits. Next door to Ebenezer Baptist Church stands the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change. It has even more exhibits, as well as the tombs of King and his wife, Coretta Scott King. Note: Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birth home is also on-site, but it is closed through November 2025 for refurbishment.
Piedmont Park Piedmont Park free
Adjacent to the Atlanta Botanical Garden in Midtown, Piedmont Park is the perfect place to spend a lazy – or active – afternoon. Sprawling 200-plus acres, the park has no shortage of things to do, including walking and jogging paths, dog parks, picnic facilities, playgrounds, tennis courts, a public swimming pool and a Saturday farmers market (from late March to early December). Thanks to its size, Piedmont Park also hosts a variety of Atlanta's top events, including the Atlanta Dogwood Festival, the Atlanta Ice Cream Festival, the Atlanta Jazz Festival, Atlanta Pride and Music Midtown.
Previous travelers highly recommended visiting this park, calling it one of Atlanta's best parks. Some even said that it reminded them of New York City's Central Park . Many loved picnicking, swimming and playing tennis at Piedmont Park, but some visitors warned that parking spots can be sparse, especially on weekends. Consider taking public transportation. Also, the park can get crowded, especially during special events. Finally, parkgoers say they felt less safe strolling through the park after dark.
90-Minute Narrated Sightseeing Trolley Tour in Atlanta
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3-Hour Atlanta Beltline Food, Street Art and History Tour
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Atlanta's Fox Theatre Atlanta's Fox Theatre
U.S. News Insider Tip: Go to Poor Calvin's before or after your visit to the Fox Theatre. It has amazing cocktails and delicious Asian fusion dishes. – Lawrence Phillips, founder and CEO of Green Book Global
The Fox Theatre is more than a performance venue – it's one of the city's most iconic landmarks. And luckily, you don't need to have tickets to a show to take in its ornate interior. Originally conceived by Atlanta's Shriners organization, the theater's design was inspired by the Karnak Temple Complex in Luxor, Egypt , and the Alhambra in Granada, Spain . You'll get a tutorial on the building's iconic architectural details and more during a tour. Tours guide visitors through more than 10 locations within the building. Plus, you'll see Mighty Mo, one of the world's biggest theater organs.
Atlanta BeltLine Atlanta BeltLine free
The Atlanta BeltLine is an in-progress, citywide network of 22 miles of streetcar rails, 33 miles of trails (for walking, biking and more), 5,600 units of affordable housing and more than 1,000 acres of greenspace that is either new to the city or has been cleaned up (including removing contaminants from soil). The city is opening the BeltLine in phases and plans to finish the entire system by 2030. As of winter 2023, visitors are welcome to enjoy 10 parks and 8 trails (as well as some unfinished but accessible ones) along the BeltLine. Some of the parks include Historic Fourth Ward Skatepark, Atlanta's first public skate park, which offers obstacles for skateboarders of all abilities; the similarly named Historic Fourth Ward Park, which has 17 acres of greenspace and amenities like a splash pad for kids; Gordon White Park, which hosts music events, temporary art installations and offers free fitness classes; Perkerson Park, which boasts tennis courts, softball fields and a disc golf course; and 280-acre Westside Park, featuring a playground and a pavilion for events. The paved trails are perfect for bike riding, taking a stroll through nature or walking by places like Ponce City Market and Piedmont Park . You can also take walking or bike tours of the Atlanta BeltLine to learn more about the network and the communities surrounding it.
Travelers appreciate the BeltLine paths that are currently open, saying that it is an excellent place to get out and exercise. Visitors particularly enjoy the Eastside Trail for its easy access to bars, restaurants and abundant street art.
National Center for Civil and Human Rights National Center for Civil and Human Rights
For an in-depth look at the American civil rights movement and ongoing human rights struggles across the world, check out the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. This 42,000-square-foot complex offers both temporary and three permanent exhibits, including a collection of Martin Luther King Jr. artifacts. Featured in the "Voice to the Voiceless" exhibit, travelers will view papers from King's life as well as "Fragments," a metal art piece that showcases King's thoughts and writings.
Though the museum recommends allotting about two hours for its exhibits, most past travelers said you can easily spend several hours exploring the center's vivid and informative displays. Many were especially impressed with the lunch counter experience at the attraction's "Rolls Down Like Water" exhibit.
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Georgia Aquarium Georgia Aquarium
Considered one of the world's largest aquariums , the Georgia Aquarium boasts thousands of animals from hundreds of species represented in eight different galleries. Housing everything from freshwater animals in its "Southern Company River Scout" gallery to a humongous whale shark tank (it holds more than 6 million gallons) in its "Ocean Voyager" gallery, it's safe to say the aquarium runs the gamut in terms of its marine life. Its newest gallery is the "Sharks! Predators of the Deep" exhibit, which involves multiple shark species (such as hammerheads and tiger sharks) in a 20-foot tank holding 1.2 million gallons of water.
This facility (especially "Ocean Voyager") is a popular tourist attraction, so expect crowds when you visit. Also be prepared to spend a considerable about of time taking it all in. Previous visitors raved about the property's free dolphin show and recommend paying to swim or dive with the aquarium's whale sharks, but some warned that these experiences quickly fill up. In addition to ordering general admission tickets online in advance, the aquarium recommends that visitors reserve seats for the dolphin and sea lion presentation and the 4D theater the morning of the date they'll be attending.
Zoo Atlanta Zoo Atlanta
What sets Atlanta's zoo apart from other wildlife exhibits is its panda population: Zoo Atlanta is one of only three zoos in the U.S. housing giant pandas. The rare bears are a favorite among recent visitors, but the zoo also boasts more than 1,300 animals from more than 220 species. While here, you'll spot lions, giraffes, zebras and plenty of reptiles. Apart from the animals, the zoo offers a train ride, a carousel and a ropes course, among other attractions. Keep in mind: The cost of these activities is not included with admission.
Travelers (especially those with kids) offer mostly favorable reviews for the zoo, saying it's easy to navigate and of a manageable size. But many agree that the property can get crowded on warmer days, so consider arriving early.
Skip the Ticket Line: World of Coca-Cola Admission in Atlanta
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Atlanta Botanical Garden Atlanta Botanical Garden
The Atlanta Botanical Garden should be every plant lover's first stop in the city. It covers a magnificent and beautiful 30 acres in the northwest corner of Midtown's Piedmont Park . There's lots to see here, including the Lou Glenn Children's Garden, the Edible Garden, the Tropical High Elevation House and one of the few remaining mature hardwood forests in Atlanta. Plus, you can't miss a pass through the Fuqua Orchid Center, which features a variety of unique high-elevation orchids never grown before in the Southeast. The garden hosts the annual Garden Lights, Holiday Nights extravaganza in winter.
Visitors highly recommend a visit to this beautiful spot. However, some lament the cost of admission and the high fees for snacks and meals at the on-site eateries. A few travelers also suggest avoiding fall and winter visits, since some of the outdoor gardens are not in bloom during the colder months. But don't despair if you can only visit in the winter; reviewers say the Garden Lights, Holiday Nights display is worth the visit.
World of Coca-Cola World of Coca-Cola
As its name suggests, World of Coca-Cola is a museum dedicated entirely to the famous soda. Visits to the two-level facility begin with exhibits on the drink's history, its role in pop culture and the bottling process. A Portrait Wall documents the brand’s global impact. In addition to the regular Coca-Cola Theater, the museum boasts a 3-D Theater. The older generations in your group will likely enjoy the museum's attention to the company's past, but the kids will probably be most excited for the Taste It! area, where multiple varieties of Coke can be sampled. You can also purchase various Coke memorabilia at the on-site gift shop.
Soda enthusiasts find this place fascinating (though those with no affinity for the brand may be underwhelmed). Some visitors lament that the museum can get crowded and its lines long.
Oakland Cemetery Oakland Cemetery free
U.S. News Insider Tip: On sunny days, head to the cleverly named Six Feet Under Pub & Fish House and sit on the upper patio, which overlooks the cemetery. – Elizabeth Von Tersch, Senior Editor
Situated less than 2 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta and spanning 48 acres, Oakland Cemetery reflects the city's role in both the Civil War and the civil rights movement. Among its winding paths, trees and flower shrubs, you'll find elaborate mausoleums, intricate statues and an impressive collection of art and architecture. Amidst the 70,000 graves, you'll spot some well-known Atlantans, including legends like golfer Bobby Jones, author Margaret Mitchell and musician Kenny Rogers. About 7,000 Confederate soldiers have been laid to rest in the Confederate burial grounds while Potter's Field has about 7,500 interred in its grounds. People buried in Potter's Field are those who could not afford a burial and several are unknown; they come from various different races and religious.
Centennial Olympic Park Centennial Olympic Park free
Located across the street from the College Football Hall of Fame in downtown Atlanta is Centennial Olympic Park, a 22-acre patch of land that features lush sections of grass, artwork, pools and fountains. The park was originally built for the 1996 Olympic Games and was a centerpiece of the festivities; now, it's one of the most visited areas of the city. One of the park's most well-known elements is the Fountain of Rings, which is made up of 251 water jets. Every day, four water shows choreographed to various songs take place. The park also hosts several special events each year.
Recent visitors noted the fountains were a hit with families, especially young children, and advised bringing a change of clothes if you know your kids will want to splash around in the water. Past travelers also appreciated the park's proximity to must-see sights like the Georgia Aquarium , SkyView Atlanta Ferris wheel, World of Coca-Cola and the National Center for Civil and Human Rights . Others caution that the park will close to prepare for or host events with limited notice; you may want to call the park in advance to make sure it will be open before you arrive. The administration office can be reached at 404-223-4000. The park is also a featured stop on several of the best Atlanta tours .
Fernbank Museum of Natural History Fernbank Museum of Natural History
Explore the prehistoric and present-day natural worlds at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History. Visitors can immerse themselves in exhibits featuring dinosaur fossils, wildlife native to Georgia, cultural garments and more. Travelers can also enjoy a movie at the museum's Giant Screen Theater or some light fare at the Fernbank Cafe. Plus, the museum boasts multiple outdoor experiences, which are accessible from the terrace. WildWoods features two scenic viewing platforms; it also hosts special exhibits throughout the year. Fernbank Forest features more than 2 miles of paved paths that allow visitors to explore a 65-acre forest. When walking along the paths, keep your eyes peeled for animals, as hundreds of species call the area home. Other outdoor elements are the Dinosaur Plaza and adjacent Rain Garden.
The outside areas get especially high praise from visitors, some even say they spent almost as much time outside as they did inside. Inside, museumgoers were wowed by the dinosaur exhibit, while others found the additional exhibits were designed mainly for kids. Some say the fare in the cafe is subpar.
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Children's Museum of Atlanta Children's Museum of Atlanta
If you're traveling in Atlanta with youngsters up to 8 years old, the Children's Museum of Atlanta is a must-visit. The venue was specifically designed to educate and entertain children through a variety of daily programs and fun exhibits. These include the Gateway to the World exhibit, where children can explore the Earth's layers and launch a rocket; the Fundamentally Food exhibit, which features a pretend farm, delivery truck, grocery store and cafe; and the Leaping into Learning exhibit, where children can climb into a treehouse and spot animals in a make-believe forest. Kids can also learn more about engineering and problem solving with the Innovation Station program or get inspired at the Art Studio program. Cultural programs that involve singing, dancing, puppetry and storytelling are also held year-round.
Most recent visitors had high praise for the museum, saying it was a great spot for kids to have fun and burn off energy. However, some noted it was small compared to other children's museums and thought classifying it as a museum was a bit misleading, as it felt more like an indoor play area.
Ponce City Market Ponce City Market free
Once home to a Sears, Roebuck & Co. retail store and warehouse distribution center for the South, the Ponce City Market is now a massive mixed-use facility featuring offices, education centers, coffee shops, restaurants, boutique shopping and more. The building's roof is also an attraction itself, home to unique draws such as Skyline Park, where visitors can play games like Skee-Ball and mini-golf or go for a ride down a three-story slide, and 9 Mile Station, a rooftop restaurant. Foodies will want to sign up for one of the best Atlanta tours , which visit the market.
Visitors generally enjoy Ponce City Market, saying they appreciated the varied and delicious food options. The roof and its attractions also earn high praise from travelers. Others were not impressed with the difficult-to-navigate complex and complained of overpriced food and expensive parking.
The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum
The nearly 70,000-square-foot Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum houses millions of pages of material and hundreds of hours of audio and video recordings related to the 39th U.S. president. The museum displays some of those documents and videos as well as gifts from world leaders and other objects. It also features a full-size replica of the Oval Office and a reproduction of the cabin used for Camp David meetings. The facility is situated between two lakes on 30 acres of land.
Visitors generally find this to be a quite interesting place. In addition to reporting finding the exhibits very informative about Carter's life and career, they praise the museum's parkland as attractive and tranquil.
Stone Mountain Park Stone Mountain Park
Spread across 3,200 acres, Stone Mountain Park boasts a variety of attractions. The Confederate Memorial Carving is the most famous (some might say infamous) part of the park. (As calls for the removal of Confederate monuments around the country have intensified in recent years, the carving has become an object of controversy.) The largest high relief sculpture in the world, this carving depicts Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy, and Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson. For a little perspective, the entire carved surface measures 3 acres, which is larger than a football field. If the carving doesn't prompt you to drive 18 miles northeast of the city, then consider the park's other attractions.
Additional facilities include a songbird preserve, a cable car ride, a scenic railroad, a miniature golf course and two full-size 18-hole courses, a seasonal outdoor park with life-size dinosaur replicas and a seasonal indoor dinosaur-themed play area. A group of homes built between 1793 and 1895 are open to tour. If the wilderness is more your style, you could easily spend all day exploring the grounds' hiking trails, picnic areas and recreational attractions. You should consider staying until the evening in the summer, when the Lasershow Spectacular blazes the mountain's carving and the night sky with images representing the South.
Krog Street Market Krog Street Market free
Krog Street Market is a food hall housed in a former stove factory (which later became studios for Tyler Perry's films and TV shows) in Atlanta's Inman Park neighborhood. Restaurants' fare ranges from Chinese-style dumplings to soul food to pizza. Specialty retailers purvey small-batch chocolate, ice cream, craft beer and more. The market also has various retailers selling items for home and garden as well as vintage clothing.
Visitors often succumb to the market's charm, and they frequently rave about the food options.
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BYOB Spray Paint and Sip Workshop in Atlanta
High Museum of Art High Museum of Art
U.S. News Insider Tip: If you visit on the second Sunday of the month, admission is free from noon until 5 p.m. You can reserve your ticket in advance through the museum's website. – Christina Maggitas, Editor
The High Museum of Art's aesthetics begin with the physical structure itself. The Richard Meier-designed building is covered in white porcelain that is mirrored on its interior, which also features winding walking paths and an interesting light system at the top. The Renzo Piano-designed expansion features white aluminum panels that echo Meier's original façade as well as a roof that filters sunlight inside. One noteworthy part of the collection is the 19th- and 20th-century American art, including pieces by Mary Cassatt, John Singleton Copley, Frederick Kensett, Harriet Hosmer, Edmonia Lewis, John Singer Sargent and Henry Ossawa Tanner. The museum also houses an impressive collection of European works from the 1300s to the 1900s and masks, figurative sculptures, ceramics and more from Africa and the African diaspora.
Michael C. Carlos Museum Michael C. Carlos Museum
The Michael C. Carlos Museum on Emory University's campus has an extensive permanent collection of artworks from ancient Egypt, Greece, Nubia, Rome and the Middle East; Africa; the Americas and Asia as well as a works dating from the Renaissance to the current day. It also hosts special exhibits on a wide array of subjects, such as printing techniques, religious imagery and slavery in the ancient world. Its collection of ancient Egyptian, Nubian and Near Eastern artifacts features 7,500 objects, including coffins, funerary masks and the oldest Egyptian mummy in the Americas. Its assemblage of Greek and Roman art is also impressively sizeable with more than 6,500 pieces.
Visitors report that the museum isn't particularly large, but its collections are exceptionally fine. The Egyptian items, especially the mummies, are especially popular with visitors.
Mercedes-Benz Stadium Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Atlanta has more sports arena offerings than just Truist Park , home to the famous Braves. At the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, soccer fans can watch Atlanta United while football fans can catch the Falcons. Featuring a massive circular video display, three separate concourses for food like burgers, salads, pizza, beer and tacos (plus a food truck that operates on most game days) and a distinctive roof that appears to rotate when it opens and shuts, it's no wonder this stadium was picked to host the 2019 Super Bowl. If you can't catch a game, don't pass on the stadium: Guided tours of the facility, which could include stops at the locker rooms, the Skybridges and the field, are available year-round, and the stadium sometimes hosts other events like concerts. Notably, the stadium boasts a sports-related art collection curated by the Savannah College of Art and Design.
Recent visitors rave about the stadium's guided tour, saying that it gives a truly in-depth look at the building, including a view of the stands from the field. Others say that the stadium is impeccably designed and a great place to catch a game. However, travelers warn future visitors that parking is sparse and expensive.
Truist Park Truist Park
Since Truist Park's opening in 2017, thousands of fans have ventured to the stadium to cheer on their favorite Major League Baseball team, the Atlanta Braves. The baseball stadium (formerly known as SunTrust Park) can seat up to 41,000 people, and each spot provides a sweeping view of the field. But you don't need to watch a game to explore the park: Daily tours run year-round to share the Braves' long history. During the tour, you'll see Monument Garden's historic displays, the dugout and the press box, and visit the Braves Clubhouse Store, among other stops. After your tour, head over to the Atlanta Battery, adjacent to the park, for dining, shopping or a manicure.
Baseball fans were impressed with the park, saying it is clean, well-designed and an improvement on the Braves' former home, Turner Field. Visitors repeatedly applaud the park for its family-friendly atmosphere and describe the tour guides as friendly and knowledgeable. Despite these perks, travelers lament the stadium's large crowds, traffic and awful parking experiences.
Six Flags Over Georgia Six Flags Over Georgia
Known as the "Thrill Capital of the South," Six Flags Over Georgia offers plenty of roller coasters for adrenaline junkies. Notable rides include Twisted Cyclone, Georgia Scorcher, Pandemonium and Goliath, which sends guests flying at 70 miles per hour and features a 12-story drop. If those seem too daunting, there are also plenty of family-friendly rides, such as the Dahlonega Mine Train and Riverview Carousel. Plus, you can always enjoy live shows and entertainment like the Looney Tunes meet-and-greet. And if you're visiting during the notoriously hot summer months, you can cool off at Hurricane Harbor: the on-site water park that features a wave pool and lazy river, among other attractions.
Recent guests appreciated the variety of rides but complained that some of them, along with a number of the restaurants and shops, were closed when they visited. Several travelers recommended visiting in winter to experience the Holiday in the Park event where the park is lit up with millions of Christmas lights.
Midtown Atlanta Food & Cocktail Tour
from $ 119.99
90-Minute Guided Sightseeing Tour by E-Car or MiniBus
from $ 35.00
Delta Flight Museum Delta Flight Museum
The Delta Flight Museum offers a variety of interactive, aviation-focused exhibits, including the country’s sole full-motion flight simulator open to the public. It displays several airplanes, including a 1928 Northwest Airways Waco 125 biplane and a restored 1931 Curtiss-Wright 6B sedan as well as more contemporary models. The museum also has a 747-400 that visitors can enter to examine close-up. Rounding out its collection of aircraft is a hot air balloon. The hangers that house its holdings also have exhibits centered on the propeller age and the subsequent (and ongoing) jet age as well as Delta's company history. Its gift shop sells Delta-branded items.
Aviation enthusiasts enjoy this museum. Would-be pilots recommend trying the challenging flight simulator (if you can afford the $425 fee). Some visitors note that seeing everything here entails a lot of walking. Given its proximity to Atlanta's airport, the museum might be just the right thing if want something to do during a layover between flights.
Margaret Mitchell House Margaret Mitchell House
Margaret Mitchell House is currently closed. It is expected to reopen in the fall of 2023.
The Atlanta History Center offers tours of the Margaret Mitchell House, where the namesake author penned her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, "Gone with the Wind." Actually, Mitchell and her husband occupied not the whole house but merely a first floor apartment, which the writer dubbed “the dump.” Despite her derision, travelers find a short visit worthwhile. Note: This attraction is in Midtown, not on the grounds of the Atlanta History Center itself.
Center for Puppetry Arts Center for Puppetry Arts
Recognized worldwide for its theatrical and programming ingenuity, the Center for Puppetry Arts preserves and celebrates puppets. At the center, visitors can attend puppetry workshops and live shows. The center's main feature is its museum. The collection catalogues the history of puppetry across the world and boasts an entire collection dedicated to Jim Henson's work. Travelers can visit with Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, characters from "Fraggle Rock" and several residents of Sesame Street. In addition, the museum hosts rotating special exhibits. The center also features a museum store, where visitors can purchase puppets, books, postcards and other educational gifts.
Though the center is small, recent travelers enjoyed their visits, saying that it is an absolute must-do for Jim Henson and Muppets fans. While visitors were pleasantly surprised with the depth of information available on Henson, others said that the international collection was somewhat cursory. In addition to visiting the museum, travelers highly recommend seeing one of the puppet shows and describe this destination as fun for the whole family.
Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area
U.S. News Insider Tip: For a fun hike in the recreation area, try Vickery Creek Trail at Roswell Mill. The hike showcases remnants of the historic Roswell Mill, which was destroyed during the Civil War, and Vickery Creek Falls, one of Atlanta's best waterfalls. - Christina Maggitas, Editor, Travel
This massive national recreation area is actually 15 individual land units connected by 48 miles of the Chattahoochee River. In addition to being fun to say, the park offers an abundance of activities for all kinds of adventurers. Those who wish to relax outside can opt for a tube or raft to float down a stretch of the river; more active travelers can kayak, canoe or paddleboard down the Chattahoochee. If water sports aren't your thing, you can hike the miles of trails that wind through the park. Bikers have access to 7 miles of trails, while anglers can fish for bass, catfish and trout during all park operating hours.
Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame
Located just south of the Georgia Aquarium and across the street from Centennial Olympic Park , the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame offers more than 50 interactive exhibits dedicated to its namesake sport. Inside the 95,000-square-foot facility, visitors can look for their team's helmet on the three-story Helmet Wall, admire Heisman and National Championship trophies, experience the high-definition Game Day Theater, kick a field goal at the 45-yard indoor football field and more.
If you're a fan of college football, travelers say you'll love exploring this attraction. According to many visitors, the Hall of Fame does a great job of engaging kids of all ages, though some felt the property's interactive activities did not justify its high entrance fees. Others caution that this hall of fame is hard to enjoy when it's crowded. The staff are frequently described as friendly.
Atlanta Sightseeing Bus Tour
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3-Hour Private Atlanta MCU Comics Inspired Film Location Tour
Civil War & Battlegrounds Tour of Atlanta by Private Car Service
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Porsche Experience Center Atlanta Porsche Experience Center Atlanta
Car aficionados, this one's for you. The Porsche Experience Center is a shrine to all things Porsche and lets fans get in on the action. Visitors can choose from a fleet of the latest models to hop into and race down world-renowned tracks. And if you want to see just how much the vehicle can do, you can move to the passenger seat and let the professional drivers take the wheel. Off the track, the Heritage Gallery showcases historical Porsche vehicles and Restaurant 356 provides fine dining with a view. There are also virtual simulators that allows all ages to get in on the action.
Past visitors raved about their experience, saying the cars and facility were striking. Unsurprisingly, the best part to many was taking one of the vehicles out for a spin. Visitors also report the staff were helpful and incredibly knowledgeable about the cars and building.
StarLight Drive-In Theatre and Flea Market StarLight Drive-In Theatre and Flea Market
For more than 70 years, StarLight Drive-In Theatre has provided a place for guests to enjoy their favorite movies under the stars. Four outdoor screens are available, which feature a digital projection system that ensures a clear picture, and the movie's audio is broadcast through your car's radio. Bathrooms and a snack bar offering drinks, candy and a selection of Mexican food can be found on-site. On the weekends, the lot hosts a flea market where visitors can peruse various vendors. Anyone interested in setting up a booth can rent a space for the day or for the month.
Past visitors enjoyed the vintage vibe of the drive-in and reasonable price for the experience. However, some wished there would have been staff walking through the lot telling people to turn their headlights off so there wouldn't be a glare on the screen. Those who visited the flea market appreciated the variety of sellers and interesting array of offerings.
Atlanta Food & Wine Festival Atlanta Food & Wine Festival
U.S. News Insider Tip : While you can't take any leftovers home, you can snag a few freebies (think: koozies, hand fans, matchboxes and stickers), so you might want to bring a small bag to carry things in. – Christina Maggitas, Editor
Spanning multiple days in September each year, the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival is one of the city's (and state's) most notable foodie events, featuring a smorgasbord of gourmet bites, high-quality wines and innovative cocktails from more than 150 unique vendors. Different tasting tents are set up so you can sample the delectable offerings while learning more about the flavors from esteemed chefs, sommeliers and mixologists. What's more, live cooking demonstrations and competitions add to the immersive culinary experience. More intimate, in-restaurant happenings are also hosted throughout the duration of the festival at various spots in the city.
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MLK Weekend 2024 in Atlanta: 18 Best Things To Do With Kids
Looking for the best things to do in Atlanta this Martin Luther King Jr. weekend? Here are some family-friendly events and activities to add to your list for this weekend!
Atlanta families can enjoy MLK weekend with lots of options for quality time and fun. MLK Day celebrations in Atlanta are abundant since our city is the birthplace of Dr. King! Families can honor his legacy by volunteering as part of the MLK National Day of Service and attending MLK parades and events at the Atlanta History Center , The King Center , and in Lawrenceville . If your kids haven't had the pleasure of ice skating this season (or want to do it again), this is the final weekend at many of our fave rinks like Atlantic Station , Park Tavern , and Avalon .
More Things To Do in Atlanta this Week with Kids
- Free Things To Do in January i n Atlanta with Kids
- Wonderful Winter Day Trips from Atlanta
- Atlanta Winter Activities Guide
- Atlanta Family Activity Calendar
Gather a group of friends for a day of ice skating at Avalon on Ice this final weekend. Photo by Claire Robinson
Best Things To Do this Weekend in Atlanta with Kids
Garden lights, holiday nights at the atlanta botanical garden.
Through Sunday, January 14
One of Atlanta’s favorite holiday light displays returns to the Atlanta Botanical Garden for Garden Lights, Holiday Nights. read more
IllumiNights at Zoo Atlanta
IllumiNights: A Chinese Lantern Festival is back at Zoo Atlanta! The lanterns—hand-crafted by Chinese artisans—create a wonderland for zoo visitors to enjoy. read more
Disney's Aladdin at The Fox
The hit Broadway musical comes to the Fox Theatre in Atlanta in a theatrical event where one lamp and three wishes make the possibilities infinite. read more
Skate the Station at Atlantic Station
Through Monday, January 15
Atlantic Station welcomes families to skate under the stars at Skate the Station. Tickets must be purchased online in advance. No walk-ups. Open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. read more
Avalon on Ice
The greenspace at Avalon is transformed into an ice skating rink from November to January. Skaters are encouraged to book reservations online in advance to ensure spots. Admission includes skate rental. read more
Margaritaville Lakeside Lights Spectacular
Families walk through this spectacular light show with festive seasonal music all by Lake Lanier. read more
King Holiday Observance at The King Center
The weeklong event includes a global community youth summit, a youth book-reading, and beloved community awards. On MLK Day, Monday January 15, the King Center hosts a community service project. read more
Mario the Maker Magician
Saturday, January 13
Mario “the Maker Magician” Marchese is known for his unique brand of Robot Magic. Audiences love how he infuses DIY electronics and robotics into his work and uses magic to inspire kids and families to make and create without limitation. read more
Winter Family Night Hike
The Chattahoochee Nature Center welcomes families to explore nature at night with winter family night hikes. read more
UPS Second Sunday at the High
Sunday, January 14
On the second Sunday of each month, families head to the High Museum of Art for FREE admission for all visitors and special family-friendly programming. Kids art-making activities, performances, and the High’s permanent collection and special exhibitions. read more
MLK Day Kids Club at Halcyon
Monday, January 15
On MLK Day everyone is invited to a very special Kids Club to participte in activities set up on the green and give back to the community. Kids get to meet and groom farm animals, have their faces painted, and make winter crafts. read more
Acworth MLK Celebration and Day of Service
On MLK Day everyone is invited to a day full of events in Acworth including a welcome breakfast, unity walk, program honoring Dr. King and a service project. read more
MLK Day at the Atlanta History Center
The Atlanta History Center is offering a free event to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Families will appreciate the crafts, sensory space and nursing room. Visitors will have access to the museum as well. read more
MLK Day Parade and Program Celebration
The United Ebony Society invites everyone to attend their annual MLK Day parade, followed by an indoor celebration at Central Gwinnett High School. 2024's theme is "It Starts with Me." The parade begins at The Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center and ends at CG High School. read more
MLK National Day of Service
On Martin Luther King Jr. Day each year, all Americans are encouraged to step up to make communities more equitable and take action to create the Beloved Community of Dr. King’s dream. Examples include cleaning up a public space, mentoring a young person, or helping those who are food insecure. read more
MLK: Young Family Day of Service
Preschool-age children and their families are invited for a morning of social action, song, movement and a chance to make a difference in the community. read more
Free Entrance Day in the National Parks: Atlanta
Atlanta area residents can experience nearby national parks for FREE on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, including those that normally charge entrance fees: read more
The Rink at Park Tavern
Through Tuesday, January 16
Park Tavern brings back its ice skating rink in the heart of Piedmont Park. Daytime skating is for ice skating lessons only. The rink opens to all ages 4:30-8pm on weekdays and 11:30am-8pm on weekends (after 8:30pm, skaters must be over age 16). read more
Kids eat free Monday-Thursday evenings at Osteria 832 with a free Karma Club membership. Photo courtesy of Virginia Highland District
More Fun Things Do in Atlanta with Kids
85 free fun things to do in atlanta with kids, kids eat free: 25 atlanta restaurants with free meal deals for families, children's museum of atlanta: growing creative, inspired minds, hanging at halcyon: an insider's visit to halcyon alpharetta.