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Best Places to See Christmas Lights in Metro Atlanta

Ursula Butler

Ursula Butler has been one of the top REALTORS in Cherokee County since she began selling real estate in 1996.

Feb 7 9 minutes read

The holiday season is speeding by and so are the number of evenings you have to take the family to enjoy the many amazing holiday light displays in metro Atlanta. We have gathered together an amazing list to put you in the Christmas spirit!

Holiday Lights of Hope

Dec. 7 - 23    Open nightly at 6 pm.   Put on by the Anna Crawford Children’s Center for the 6th year, this hometown Christmas tradition is right in your backyard at Hobgood Park. It features 2 million LED lights and is expected to break last year’s attendance record.  It brings in nearly 35,000 visitors yearly. The event includes a mixture of traditional holiday lights with animated displays, including a 30-foot Christmas tree.  There will be a children’s area, vendors, concessions, live music and  pictures with Santa.   Visit the Home Depot field as they compete for the best holiday village.  The Holiday Lights of Hope has grown to include all four fields at the park.  The cost is just $10/person, with kids 14 and under getting in free.  Buy tickets here.  Proceeds go to benefit children of child abuse.  

Holiday Lights at Veterans Park

Nov. 24 - Jan. 6   A massive, drive-thru Christmas light attraction made its debut at a Cherokee County park in Canton and is lighting up the holidays, inviting visitors to pack their cars full and enjoy the decorations.  Cherokee residents now won't have to stray too far from home to see one of this caliber.

Admissions fee is $20 per car and features a 2 mile drive-through light show.  The light show, modeled after the Holiday Lights of Hope at Hobgood Park in Woodstock and benefits Papa's Pantry, the Anna Crawford Children's Center, Skills USA, the new Cherokee Recreation and Parks Agency's Play it Forward and Homeless Veterans of Cherokee County.

The organizers ask folks to come out and support the event, support the causes and help them grow this event into an even bigger event in future years.

The show starts at 6 pm and admission is accepted on site at 7345 Cumming Highway.  For more information visit Holiday Lights at Veteran's Park here.

Garden Lights, Holiday Nights at Atlanta Botanical Garden

Nov. 12 - Jan. 7    More than 1.5 million LED lights decorate the 30-acre garden. The Walk of Flames, the new high-tech  Nature's Wonders and the Tunnel of Light, joins other classic displays such as Radiant Rain forest, Orchestral Orbs, Model Trains and Glittering Galaxy.  Peak night admission: Thursdays-Sundays, Thanksgiving and all nights from Dec. 17-Jan. 7: $26 (member discounts available for peak and non-peak); $20 ages 3-12; free under 3. Non-peak nights: Mondays-Wednesdays:$23; $17 ages 3-12. Night Light Special, 9-10:00 p.m. peak nights (advance booking online only): $15; regular admission for children. Advance tickets recommended.   Discounted tickets are available online before 4 pm on the day of the show.  Parking: $10 ($5 for vehicles with four or more) 1345 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta.

Lights of Life 

This is one of those best-kept secrets of Cobb County. It is also one of the least expensive, mega-light displays in metro Atlanta. Life University has been doing this annual lights display for decades. Conveniently located just off Cobb Parkway in Marietta on Barclay Circle, it includes millions of lights and more than 100 displays spread out along the 1 ½ mile drive through the Life University campus. The display of Santa and his sleigh stands over 65 feet high, making it the tallest in the Southeast! Thanksgiving Evening through New Year's Eve. 6-10 p.m. Cars: $10 Fridays-Sundays and Nov. 23-26, Dec.15-31; $5 all other nights. Vans, buses: $20 nightly. Additional fees apply for petting zoo, train and pony rides, photos with Santa.  The concession stand offers seasonal drinks and snacks for purchase.

Pettit Creek Farms Christmas Lights

Located in Cartersville, it features more than a mile of holiday displays to drive through and enjoy. It costs $15/carload or there’s a hay ride experience that is $10/person. Check out the petting zoo, which temporarily houses a couple of live reindeer as well. A Live Nativity can be seen on weekends. A concession stand with hot chocolate, warm cider, marshmallows for roasting and s’more kits as well as patio heaters and campfires are available. Nightly from Thanksgiving Day through Dec. 30 and Santa will be on hand Thursdays-Sundays until Christmas. 337 Cassville Road, Cartersville.

Light Up the Holidays at Barnsley Resort 

Nov. 25 – Dec. 28: Visitors to Barnsley Resort are welcome to view more than 1 million lights and festive décor in the historic 1800s manor house ruins, surrounding gardens and English-style village. There is a small fee for the self-guided tour, but those with dinner reservations at one of the resort’s two onsite restaurants can tour the garden at no cost.  597 Barnsley Gardens Road, Adairsville.

Red Hawk Christmas
Features an animated Christmas light show in North Georgia.Includes more than 12,000 lights timed to several Christmas carols. Nightly through Dec. 27(except in bad weather). This is a private residence at 173 Aplomado Lane West in Dawsonville. The show is free, but donations are accepted to benefit KARE for Kids, a local non-profit who gives local children in need the Christmas they deserve.

Holiday in Lights at Centennial Olympic Park  are on hold this year due to park construction activities.  See what you will be able to enjoy again next year.

Walk amid thousands of sparkling lights in the 21-acre park in downtown Atlanta. Nov. 19 through Jan. 10 pm daily.  Free.   A nice skating rink has also been set up there and costs $12 per person (including skate rental) for 90 minutes.   The ice rink offers it's own concession location and features funnel cakes, fried PB&J, and corn dogs, as well as hot chocolate and apple cider.  4:30-10 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays (until 11 p.m.Fridays), 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturdays, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Sundays.  Due to warmer than normal temperatures and water restrictions, the opening of the Ice Rink is pushed to Wednesday, November 23.

 A little further out of town, but worth the trip…

Lake Lanier Magic Nights of Lights

Display will be lit through December 31.  At the end of the 7 miles of festive lights is the Holiday Village, complete with bonfire for roasting marshmallows, pony and amusement rides. Photos with Santa are also available as is a live nativity scene.  7000 Lanier Islands Parkway, Buford.  You can buy tickets here.  Carload prices at the gate: $45, advance online purchase $36.

Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Over Georgia 

The amusement park is decorated with more than 1 million low-energy LED lights. Select rides (including Goliath, Dare Devil Dive and Georgia Scorcher) will be running, sections of the park will have distinct themes and the train has been transformed into North Pole Express. 4-10 pm most nights, Dec. 26 through Jan. 4.   275 Riverside Parkway SW, just off I-20 in Douglas County.

Stone Mountain Christmas

Gives you a walk-through experience at Crossroads Village, which is illuminated with 2 million lights. Admission includes live holiday shows, film “Rudolph The Red-Nosed-Reindeer 4-D,” Singalong Train ride around the mountain,  the nightly Christmas parade winding through the village, with Snow Angel flying over Crossroads for the finale just before a fireworks display. Nov. 11-Jan. 3 (closed Dec. 25).  Various combo packages, including Snow Mountain, are available, so check the website.

Fantasy in Lights at Callaway Gardens

Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain is about 70 miles south of Atlanta and is somewhere every Georgian should check out at least once for the more than 8 million Christmas lights! The display is in its 24th year and features scenes like Christmas Tree Lane, Enchanted Rainbow Forest and Snowflake Valley. There’s also a 10-minute light and music show at Robin Lake Beach.  This is one of the world's "Top Ten Places to See Holiday Lights"  as named by National Geographic Traveler. Visitors can ride in an open-air trolley or in their own vehicle.  Nov. 17 - Jan. 6.  Adults $19-$28, kids 6-12 $9.50-$14. Age 5 and under free, ask for free child tickets when ordering in advance.

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