Holiday Break in Atlanta: Fun Things To Do Between Christmas and New Year's Eve

Enjoy the holidays at the World of Coca-Cola during winter break. Photo courtesy of Coca-Cola Company
Enjoy the holidays at the World of Coca-Cola during winter break. Photo courtesy of Coca-Cola Company

Blink and you may have missed December flying by as it's already the winter holiday break! While kids look forward to getting time off from school, some parents fret about keeping their children entertained for two whole weeks. Fortunately, Atlanta boasts plenty of winter break activities sure to please children and teens of all ages.

Because kids don't have to wake up early for school, take advantage of evening ideas like Enchanting Christmas Light Displays  and Atlanta Holiday Shows & Performances. Try outdoor activities, such as ice skating and family hikes, since Atlanta's weather is generally mild. Save money during winter holiday break by getting an Atlanta CityPass, which saves you money at many of Atlanta's top attractions, including Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola, and more.

Don't forget to check out our Christmas Activities and Holiday Guide for Atlanta Kids for more holiday-focused events over winter break, as well as our Atlanta Calendar of Events; and sign up for our FREE newsletter to stay in the know of everything Atlanta. If you're traveling for the holidays, we've got you covered with family travel guides to major US cities and even abroad

Don’t miss the illuminations at the drive-thru Shine Light Show. Photo by Bruce Johnson

Holiday Winter Break in Atlanta: Look at Holiday Lights

1. Garden Lights, Holiday Nights - Midtown

Visitors to the Atlanta Botanical Garden can explore 30 acres of illuminated gardens in one of the largest synchronized light and sound shows in the country. The event continues through January 14, 2023.

2. Shine Light Show - Lawrenceville

This Christmas light display features synchronized music from your car radio. Since visitors don't leave vehicles, this is perfect for cold winter nights and for little ones who may fall asleep early.   

3. Fantasy in Lights - Pine Mountain

This Callaway Garden holiday event happens through January 2, 2023. In addition to the seven-mile drive through the Enchanted Forest, families should visit the new Christmas Village and Celebration Lake with 30 dancing trees.

4. IllumiNights at Zoo Atlanta - Grant Park

IllumiNights is a Chinese lantern festival of lights happening nightly through January 15, 2023. 

5. Christmas Light Displays - Various Locations

Families will also enjoy Lights of LIFE at Life University and Holiday Lights of Hope at Hobgood Park in Woodstock.

RELATED: Tasty Restaurants Open on Christmas Day in Atlanta

Lace up your skates and take a spin on the ice at Skate the Station. Photo courtesy of Atlantic Station

Holiday Winter Break in Atlanta: Ice Skating Fun

6. Skate the Station - Midtown

Located in Atlantic Station is the Southeast’s largest outdoor rink, open on Christmas and New Year’s Day at 4pm. Skate rental is included with admission. 

7. The Ice Rink at Sugar Hill - Snellville

This outdoor ice rink is open through February (even on Christmas and New Year's Day!) with skate rentals, skate aids, and helmets available.

8. Avalon on Ice - Alpharetta 

For those who live north of Atlanta, spend the day on the ice at Avalon. It is open daily with extended hours during the holiday break.

9. Olde Town on Ice - Conyers

Spend the holiday winter break on this partially covered rink -- perfect if the weather outside is frightful. 

RELATED: Best Outdoor Ice Skating Near Atlanta 

Winter Break in Atlanta: Seek Adventure

10. Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Over Georgia - Austell

Six Flags is open practically every day during holiday break (except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day), featuring hot chocolate, beautiful light displays, and of course, thrilling rides.

11. License to Chill Snow Island - Buford

Margaritaville at Lake Lanier Islands becomes a frosty paradise in the winter, with snow hills, carnival rides, an ice skating rink, and a fire pit with s'mores.

12. Snowland at Great Wolf Lodge - LaGrange

In addition to the massive indoor water park at Great Wolf Lodge, guests enjoy seasonal arts and crafts, games, visits with Santa, the Frosty Fest Dance Party, and more. Don't miss getting a photo in front of the life-size gingerbread house.

13. Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park - Various Locations

Kids can challenge themselves on a ropes course, play dodgeball, tackle climbing walls, and get rid of all their extra holiday energy.

RELATED: The Best Holiday and Christmas Events in Atlanta 

Winter Break in Atlanta: Day Camps

14. Zoo Atlanta - Grant Park

The zoo offers a winter break Safari Camp, where kids 5 to 11 are introduced to wildlife, conservation, and more. Campers can attend December 19-23 and December 26-30, 2022.

15. Alliance Theatre - Atlanta

Enroll kids in School Break Play Days, December 19-23, 2022. Designed for kids ages 4 through 5th grade, each day features a different theme.

16. Hi-Five Sports Zone - Alpharetta

Young athletes enjoy a camp filled with team sports like basketball, dodgeball, soccer, and football. The venue offers half- and full-day options through January 2, 2023. 

17. Young Chef's Academy - Sandy Springs, Marietta, Cumming

If you have a budding chef, sign them up for Culinary Camp at Young Chef's Academy during the holiday break. Morning and afternoon sessions are available for kids ages 5-15. 

18. Dunwoody Nature Center - Dunwoody

Get the kids outside during the break! Dunwoody Nature Center hosts winter break camp sessions on December 19-22 and December 27-30, 2022 for kids ages 4 through fifth grade. Early drop-off and after-care available.  

19. YMCA of Atlanta - Various Locations

Check out your local YMCA branch as many offer school break camps perfect for parents who work during the time off.

The classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer comes alive at the Center for Puppetry Arts. Photo courtesy of the center

Winter Break in Atlanta: Festivals, Theater, and Exhibits

20. Stone Mountain Christmas - Stone Mountain

This popular event continues through January 1, 2023, and includes music, lights, live performances, and visits from familiar holiday friends.

21. Winter Wonderland at Fernbank - Atlanta

The Fernbank is transformed into a winter wonderland, with decorated holiday trees and giant snow globes.

22. Atlanta Christkindl Market - Buckhead

Families can enjoy a German-themed Christmas market in Buckhead Village through Christmas Eve.

23. Center for Puppetry Arts - Midtown

If your child loves the dramatic arts, check out the Center for Puppetry Arts, where the holiday classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is being performed through December 31, 2022.

24. Holiday Shows

Keep the holiday spirit going during the winter break at a show! Fore example, catch the holiday classic, A Christmas Carol, on stage through Christmas Eve at Alliance Theatre.

25. Candytopia - Midtown

Visit the magical land of Candytopia (even if you've already been) during the winter break. The sweet, interactive exhibit is hosting a winter wonderland until the end of December.

26. Illuminarium: Waking Wonderland - Old Fourth Ward

The holiday fun doesn't stop when Christmas ends. Families can journey into an immersive experience based on Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland.

See where Harry slept under the stairs by visiting Harry Potter: The Exhibition Atlanta. Photo courtesy 360 Media

27. Harry Potter: The Exhibition Atlanta - Downtown

Calling all Harry Potter fans —check out the exhibit before it leaves Atlanta on January 8, 2023!

28. The Fans Strike Back: Star Wars Exhibition - Doraville

Does your family love Star Wars? See over 600 official items at The Fans Strike Back: Star Wars Exhibition through December 30, 2022.

29. Dino Safari - Alpharetta

Visit this walk-through, prehistoric expedition at North Point Mall in Alpharetta through January 2, 2023.

RELATED: Best Atlanta Museums for Families to Learn and Play

Do something different by visiting the Spark Village Houses in Sandy Springs. Photo by Rebecca Ruffin Leffler

Winter Break in Atlanta: Get Outside

30. Enchanted Woodland Trail - Roswell

If you're feeling outdoorsy, bundle up and head to the Chattahoochee Nature Center with whimsical gnome and fairy houses through February 28, 2023.

31. Sparkle Village Houses - Sandy Springs

Walk around more than 25 holiday-themed miniature houses with great photo ops at Sandy Springs City Springs through January 2, 2023.

32. WildWoods: AGLOW - Atlanta

Walk through the multi-sensory experience of nature lit in a totally new and exciting way before it ends on March 5, 2023. 

33. Atlanta BeltLine - Westside

Explore the Atlanta BeltLine when it is less crowded during the winter months. Or explore one of these kid-friendly winter hikes as well.

Winter Break in Atlanta: More Things to Do

34. Holidays at the World of Coca-Cola - Downtown

What kid wouldn’t love visiting the World of Coca-Cola, with its holiday-themed drinks and a chance to meet the Coke polar bears?!

35. Holiday Train Rides - Various Locations

Ride to the North Pole on the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad's Polar Express in Bryson City, NC through December 31, 2022. Families can also journey on the Winter Wonderland Train at the Pine Mountain Gold Museum through December 30, 2022.

36. Santa's Secret 'Stache Popup - Alpharetta

Treat your kids to yummy desserts at Avalon. Reserve a 'Stache Pass seven days in advance to reduce your wait time at the door. Kids are welcome any time before 7pm.

37. Indoor Play

When little ones want to play inside, venture to one of Atlanta's many indoor play spaces.

38. Indoor Water Parks and Pools

Just because it's cold outside doesn't mean kids can't go swimming. Take a dip in these Atlanta indoor pools and water parks for aquatic fun.

39. Paw Patrol: Adventure Play - Downtown

Head to the Children’s Museum of Atlanta through January 8, 2023 for an inside look at everyone's favorite puppy pals.

40. Watch College Bowl Games

Cheer on your favorite college bowl games at these great spots to watch college football with kids.

41. Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl - Downtown

Enjoy the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl festivities, including the parade, FanFest, and the game between the University of Georgia and Ohio State on December 31, 2022. Go Dawgs!

42. Go Shopping

Buy new stuff, return holiday gifts, or just window shop with your little fashionistas for a day of shopping, especially for those after-Christmas sales. Remember to shop local!

43. Escape Rooms

Try Time to Escape's holiday-themed escape room, Saving Christmas. Catering to children and families, the session is easier than most escapes and lasts only 45 minutes. 

When it comes to Sloomoo...the stretchier, the better! Photo by Melanie Preis

44. Sloomoo Institute Atlanta - Buckhead

If your kids love playing with slime, check out the new Sloomoo Institute Atlanta for a super sensory experience. At the end of the timed visit, guests create their own slime concoction to take home. 

45. Winter Waterland at the Georgia Aquarium - Downtown

Use the Atlanta CityPass for a discount in visiting the Georgia Aquarium's winter attraction. In addition to the 40-foot tree, visitors enjoy carolers, a holiday-themed dolphin show, Scuba Claus, and more until January 2, 2023. 

46. Aurora Cineplex's Winter Family Flicks - Roswell

Head to Aurora Cineplex's Winter Family Flicks for only $3. Choose between The Polar Express, playing through December 24, 2022, and Trolls, playing December 26-January 2, 2023.

Whatever you do, enjoy the winter break; you’ve earned it! And Happy New Year from your friends at Mommy Poppins Atlanta.

Additional reporting by Rebecca Ruffin Leffler

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Little Shop of Stories - 11:00 AM Pick
How People Make Things at Tellus Science Museum
Tellus Science Museum - 10:00 AM
The Ice Rink at Sugar Hill
The Rink at Sugar Hill - various times
Enchanted Woodland Trail: Gnome and Fairy Houses
Chattahoochee Nature Center - various times
Rhea Lana's of North Atlanta Consignment Sale
Perimeter Pointe - various times
Neighborhood Guides
Activity Guides