by Mary Lou
Whether you are lucky enough to live in Atlanta, Georgia, or you’re just visiting, you will find more activities than you can stuff into the winter holiday season. From Thanksgiving, through Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Year’s, there will be loads of fun to be had for all ages in this vibrant, exciting, city.
The Atlanta Ballet
The Atlanta Ballet will be presenting The Nutcracker and this will be your last chance to experience this version, which has been enjoyed for 40 years.
Your children (and you) will be mesmerized as Clara Stahlbaum wakes at midnight on Christmas Eve to find her beloved Nutcracker has come to life and battles the Mouse King’s Army. There’ll be dancing snowflakes, nesting Russian Dolls. Although the recommendation is for children over 8, I took my youngest when he was 4 (many, many years ago) and he was spell-bound by the colors, characters, dancing, and all of the aspects that make up this traditional holiday treat.
The Atlanta Ballet will be debuting a new and different version of The Nutcracker in December 2018, so you won’t want to miss out on the final performances of this rendition.
Christmas at Callanwolde
The Callanwolde Fine Arts Center goes all out for the Christmas season. Their Designer Show House and Christmas Village are meant for touring. The historic mansion will be even more elegant as Atlanta’s top interior and floral designers perform their decorating magic. There will be an artists market and themed family activities, live entertainment, holiday shopping, and more. You can purchase tickets online and save a bit, and bring your donation for Toys for Tots.
The Callanwolde Holiday Gala is being held on November 30th this year. An enchanted evening of live entertainment, catering by one of Atlanta’s best, and a silent auction (I just love silent auctions- especially when I am the winner). One of Atlanta’s well know Event Planners went all out for this special evening.
You could probably spend a few weeks at Callanwolde and still not participate in all they have to offer for the season, including Tours with High Tea (groups book by October 29th) with High Tea by Zest Atlanta and served in the Winter Living Room of the Candler Mansion.
There will be breakfast with Santa for the little ones so they can make their special requests if they’ve been good and the Teddy Bear Tea will be a special treat as well.
What's Christmas Without A Christmas Carol?
Fa La La La La La La La La!
The Charles Dickens version, not the choir in church. The Alliance Theatre presents their beloved adaption for the first time at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.
Suitable for almost all ages (the littlest members of the family may not be impressed), you’ll want to head for the Cobb Centre for one of Atlanta’s favorite holiday traditions. Poor, old Ebenezer – he has the money, but does he have the spirit? He will when his old partner Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future let him know that it is never too late to change. Live music and the talented cast are all Atlanteans.
Georgia Boy Choir
The Georgia Boy Choir has fulfilled their purpose of achieving the highest standard of musical excellence and instilling in its members a life-long appreciation of music.
You can enjoy the boy’s achievements in several holiday events beginning with the Tree-Lighting Celebration in VA Highlands on November 30th. They will join with Santa for carols, cookies, and hot chocolate at Murphy’s for the annual Tree-Lighting Celebration. This event is free.
On December 1st, the Piedmont Driving Club will host their Tree-Lighting Ceremony with the aid of the Georgia Boy Choir.
December 2nd brings the Children’s Christmas Parade at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Christmas Parade. This Parade will be the largest in the southeast with thousands of folks lined up along the streets awaiting the arrival of Santa and welcoming the beginning of the holiday season. Check the Children’s Christmas Parade website for information regarding bleacher seats and pre-parade breakfasts with Santa.
There will be many more celebrations with the Georgia Boy Choir, including the Tree-Lighting Celebration at Chastain Park on December 2nd, the Governor’s Mansion Tree-Lighting Ceremony on December 3rd, a performance with the West Atlanta Doublas Choral Society on December 5th, performances held at several area churches – St. Benedict’s, Peachtree Road United Methodist Church, and more.
JCC Hanukkah Fun
Although Hanukkah is an important religious holiday for Jewish people, it is probably the best known to the rest of the population and the most fun for the young and young at heart group. The food, family, friends, menorah, and dreidel play a big part in the enjoyment.
Everyone must know the story of the eight-day Jewish celebration known as Hanukkah or Chanukah which commemorates the rededication during the second century B.C. of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, where according to legend Jews had risen up against their Greek-Syrian oppressors in the Maccabean Revolt. The Maccabees had only enough oil for one day, but miraculously it lasted for the eight days of the rebellion. Often called the Festival of Lights, the holiday is celebrated with the lighting of the menorah, traditional foods, games and gifts.
Light Up the JCC - Everyone can join in the festivities starting with 3 days of Hanukkah fun and celebration at the JCC! Each night will feature Hanukkah songs with Rabbi Glusman, followed by the lighting of the Hanukkah Menorah and a short performance.
Complimentary Sufganiyot (jelly donuts) and hot chocolate will be served, courtesy of the MJCCA. The event is held at Zaban Park, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody.
Tuesday, December 12, 5:15 PM
Wednesday, December 13, 5:15 PM
Thursday, December 14, 5:15 PM
Hanukah at The Children’s Museum of Atlanta - Join Rabbi Glusman at The Children's Museum of Atlanta for two Hanukah performances on Sunday, December 17. Performances at 11:00 am and 12:00 pm will include Hanukkah activities, crafts, songs, stories, and more! This event is free and open to the community. All are welcome.
Decatur Square Candle Lighting and Hanukkah Party - Join MJCCA Intown and Chabad Intown for a special Menorah Lighting in Decatur Square. Enjoy song sessions, holiday crafts and yummy latkes and jelly donuts. Held on Monday, December 18th, this event its free and open to the community. All are welcome. Decatur Square is located at 115 Sycamore Street
Let's Not Forget Kwanzaa
Kwanzaa is an African-Americans celebration of life from 26 December to 1 January. Dr. Maulana Karenga introduced the festival in 1966 to the United States as a ritual to welcome the first harvests to the home. Dr. Karenga created this festival for Afro-Americans as a response to the commercialism of Christmas.
MENT Entertainment is an upscaled entertainment production company that will be hosting a black tie or African Garment Kwanzaa celebration.This event is designed to be a classy production that will cater to a Kwanzaa theme and New Year Celebration. This is an event where people of all races and cultures can participate and enjoy the African American culture and New Year Celebration. The music will consist of the theme of Kwanzaa, jazz, neo-soul, old school R&B and hip hop.
MENT Entertainment has decided to incorporate both celebrations, Kwanzaa and New Year's Eve in one celebration. This allows parents to enjoy a night out in celebration and spend the actual New Year’s Eve with their families.
This event will include special guest speaker Dr. Van Ness, a dynamic speaker hailing from NYC to speak on Kwanzaa. There will be a cocktail hour for networking, dinner, more fun and dancing.