10 Things to Do in Atlanta in December

December brings a wide range of tourist activities in Atlanta that you can enjoy during your stay. Are you ready?

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

10 min read

10 Things to Do in Atlanta in December

Atlanta in December | ©Stephen Cook

During the month of December, temperatures in Atlanta begin to drop noticeably. However, this will not be an obstacle for you to have a great time during your stay in the city. During this winter month you will find a series of seasonal activities both outdoors and indoors.

You can visit one of the city's ice rinks, skate, do activities in artificial snow, watch the Christmas illuminations and attend an annual soccer game. These and many other fun things to do in Atlanta, I'll tell you about them in a moment!

1. Visit the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta and learn about the history of this iconic brand

Coca-Cola Museum| ©Emilia Miyer
Coca-Cola Museum| ©Emilia Miyer

The World of Coca-Cola is an ideal attraction for you if you are an enthusiast of this iconic brand, as you will be able to discover its entire history. In addition, during December, you will find Christmas-themed exhibits. Undoubtedly, this is an activity that should be part of your itinerary to visit Atlanta in 1 day or more.

When you arrive at this attraction, the first thing you will see is a series of Christmas decorations, composed of giant structures in the form of spheres and an imposing tree. All of them placed in the park outside the building.

Once inside the museum, you can perform various activities. For example:

  • You will taste a total of 100 products registered by Coca-Cola.
  • Watch a couple of films about the history of the brand.
  • Observe the chronological collection of Coca-Cola commercials.
  • Learn about the product bottling process.
  • Take seasonal photos with the brand's iconic polar bear.

In addition, with the tickets for World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta, you will have access to a special exhibition, in which with the help of your sense of smell you will discover a series of aromas. All this in the company of an official museum guide.

Useful information

  • Price: from 21€ per person.
  • Hours: this attraction usually opens its doors every day from 10:00 am. However, the closing time is subject to weekly changes, which you should verify prior to your visit on the official World of Coca-Cola Atlanta website.
  • Where: 121 Baker St. NW. Atlanta (near Centennial Olympic Park).

Book tickets for World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta

2. Come to the Atlanta Botanical Garden in December and see its stunning illumination

Botanical Garden| ©Clint Efird
Botanical Garden| ©Clint Efird

The Atlanta Botanical Garden during the month of December has become a must-see destination for locals and tourists alike, thanks to its amazing illumination. Therefore, if your visit coincides with this season, you should not hesitate to visit it.

When you arrive at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, you will feel like you are in a fantasy world, due to the millions of lights distributed throughout a space of approximately 12 hectares. You will be able to tour this place on your own and take beautiful pictures.

Also, during the tour of the garden, you will see:

  • A series of LED screens with bright colors.
  • Giant sculptures alluding to characters from children's stories.
  • Curtain of lights and sounds.
  • Tunnel of lights.

Certainly, this is an ideal activity to do in Atlanta at night with friends or family. However, if you want to take advantage of the season to see the whole city from a more colorful perspective, you can make your visit to the garden and then connect with a night tour to see the lights of Atlanta.

Information of interest

  • Price: from 21€ per person.
  • Hours: from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
  • Where: 1345 Piedmont Avenue, Atlanta.

Book a nighttime tour to see the lights of Atlanta

3. Have a fun experience at Atlanta's skating rinks

Ice Rink| ©Sergey Zayko
Ice Rink| ©Sergey Zayko

Among the things to do in Atlanta in winter you can incorporate a skating experience on the ice rinks around the city. This is a fun activity that you can do alone, with friends or with your family.

Here are some of the main rinks you can find in the city:

Colony Square Rink

At this rink you can skate while enjoying a celebratory atmosphere with seasonal music and beautiful decorations.

  • Price: from 18€ per person.
  • When: Monday to Friday (3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.), Saturday (12:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.), Sunday (12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.), Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve (12:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.).
  • Where: 1197 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta.

Atlantic Station

At Atlantic Station you will skate outdoors. In addition, to enhance the experience you will have a bright light screen, which creates a magical atmosphere.

  • Price: from 16€ per person.
  • When: Monday to Friday (4 p.m. to 10 p.m.), Saturday (11 a.m. to 11 p.m.), Sunday (noon to 8 p.m.), Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve (11 a.m. to 8 p.m.), Christmas Day and New Year's Day (4 p.m. to 11 p.m.).
  • Where: 1380 Atlantic Dr. NW Atlanta.

Avalon on Ice

At Avalon on Ice's monumental rink, you can skate every day of December each year, surrounded by seasonal decorations and beautiful lights.

  • Price: from 18€ per person.
  • When: Monday to Friday (3:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.), Saturday (10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.), Sunday (12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.).
  • Where: 400 Avalon Blvd. Alpharetta.

4. Head to Stone Mountain Park in December and enjoy a range of snowy activities in Atlanta

Stone Mountain Park| ©Angels D
Stone Mountain Park| ©Angels D

At Stone Mountain Park you'll find year-round fun. So, if you make a summer visit in Atlanta you will find natural forests, golf courses, cable cars, among others. And, during December, which is the winter season, you will discover a world of snow with dozens of activities.

Upon your arrival at the park you will be amazed by the imposing mountain covered with snow, mostly generated by a machine. You will be able to walk around the place and immediately start enjoying each attraction.

Among the activities you will have the opportunity to do in the park, the following stand out:

  • Build snowmen and take pictures of them.
  • Sliding at full speed on the snowy rails aboard a float.
  • Ride a snow fire board.
  • Toast marshmallows.

In addition, at Stone Mountain Park you will find several rest areas. All of them strategically placed so that at any time you can sit down and drink a cup of hot chocolate or coffee.

Information of interest

  • Price: from 40€ per person.
  • When: during the month of December.
  • Where: 1000 Robert E Lee Blvd, Stone Mountain, GA 30083 (15 minutes from downtown Atlanta).

5. Attend a college soccer game at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta

Mercedes Benz Stadium| ©4 Pete Seek
Mercedes Benz Stadium| ©4 Pete Seek

If you're a soccer enthusiast and you're in Atlanta in December, then you have a date at Mercedes-Benz Stadium to catch one of the SEC college soccer championship games .

This is a very popular sporting event in Atlanta, and hundreds of locals and tourists alike look forward to it every year. Therefore, it is ideal that you purchase tickets prior to the game to ensure the best seats. However, if you wish, you can purchase your tickets the same day at the ticket office.

You can enter the Mercedes-Benz Stadium up to three hours before kickoff. This will give you time to enjoy the celebratory atmosphere, eat or drink, take in the amazing architecture of the st adium and, of course, take lots of pictures.

Useful information

  • Price: from 150€ per person.
  • When: first weeks of December.
  • Where: 54 Peachtree St NW, Atlanta.

6. Experience the Christmas season at the Atlanta Aquarium

Georgia Aquarium| ©Randy Rodriguez
Georgia Aquarium| ©Randy Rodriguez

Among the best Atlanta tours to include in your December itinerary is a tour of the city's aquarium. This is an activity that will allow you to experience the holiday season up close.

At the Atlanta Aquarium both you and the little ones at home can enjoy several experiences.

For example:

  • You will behold a beautiful Christmas tree that is approximately 40 feet tall.
  • You will be able to take a snapshot of the little ones with Santa.
  • You will see some projections inspired by the winter theme.
  • Listen to seasonal music.
  • Watch the dolphin show and, if you're lucky, catch Santa diving with them.

Information of interest

  • Price: from 40€ per person.
  • When: all month of December (8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.).
  • Where: 225 Baker St NW, Atlanta.

7. Spend a day with a difference at Atlanta's traditional Christkindl Market.

At the Christkindlmarket| ©Rey
At the Christkindlmarket| ©Rey

The Christkindl German Market is another must-see destination on your itinerary. There, you will be able to share with friends, family or even other attendees while eating, drinking and doing some seasonal shopping.

You will find several food stands, restaurants and cafes, ready to offer you some delicious preparations: leberkäse, meat pie, currywurst, chimney cake. You will also taste some wines from the local vineyards, ciders and craft beers.

Certainly, due to the variety of food, this could be a suitable place for one of Atlanta's best gastronomic tours of German food and history.

Besides indulging your palate in this market, you will enjoy musical bands, local choirs and theatrical performances. In addition, you will have at your fingertips some high quality handcrafted products made of glass, wood and other materials.

Information of interest

  • Price: free.
  • When: mid-November to December 24. Monday through Thursday (3:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.), Friday and Saturday (11:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.) and Sunday (11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.).
  • Where: Buckhead Village District, 290 East Paces Ferry Road NE / Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta.

Book a food and history tour of Atlanta

8. Be part of the Chinese Lantern Festival at Zoo Atlanta

Zoo Atlanta.| ©Jack
Zoo Atlanta.| ©Jack

Zoo Atlanta is a popular destination at any time of the year, so much so that it is included in the Atlanta City Pass. However, in the month of December your visit becomes even more essential, as it hosts an impressive Chinese Lantern Festival.

Upon arrival, you will immediately notice that the zoo's animals are not in their habitats. This measure is applied to protect each of the species from the lights on after 5:30 p.m., since they can be disturbing for them.

During the Chinese Lantern Festival experience, you will feel like you have been transported to a magical world. You will see an exhibition of approximately 80 lanterns in the shape of animals and up to six meters high. Each one of them is handcrafted and hand-painted, thanks to the work of a number of Chinese artisans.

Information of interest

  • Price: from 20€ per person.
  • When: from late November to mid-January (5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.)
  • Where: 800 Cherokee Ave SE, Atlanta.

Book the Atlanta City Pass e-card

9. Come to the Atlanta Children's Christmas Parade and give the little ones a day of fun

High Museum of Art| ©Simon Robson
High Museum of Art| ©Simon Robson

The Children's Christmas Parade is a good alternative if you don't know what to do in Atlanta with children during the month of December. It is an activity with more than 40 years of tradition, held downtown.

To enjoy this parade you should go to Peachtree Street and 16th Street, right in front of the High Museum of Art, as this is the starting point. You can also watch the spectacle along a route of approximately 1.6 km to Peachtree Street and 5th Street, where it ends.

Whatever your location, you will have the opportunity to observe the colorful floats, the lively marching bands, the giant helium balloons and a series of floats. Also, clowns and many of the children's favorite characters (princesses, superheroes, Santa in his sleigh, among others) will parade in front of your eyes.

Information of interest

  • Price: free.
  • When: first weeks of December (10:00 a.m.)
  • Where: Downtown (from Peachtree Street and 16th Street to Peachtree Street and 5th Street.

10. Celebrate New Year's Eve in Underground Atlanta's shopping district

Sky full of fireworks| ©Designecologist
Sky full of fireworks| ©Designecologist

Your trip to Atlanta probably coincides with New Year's Eve. If so, you'll want to head to the historic Underground shopping district. There, you'll find a wide range of activities to celebrate the arrival of the new year in Atlanta.

Fun for the kids

During the day you can have fun with the little ones of the house, since this district has prepared some special activities for them. Such is the case of some dancing and singing contests, inflatable mattress area, children's shows with clowns, face painting, among others.

  • Admission: free.
  • Hours: from 12:00 to 18:00 hours.

Peach Drop

The Peach Drop Atlanta is an activity with a tradition of more than 30 years in the city. You'll enjoy live musical performances and DJs until midnight, which is when the fireworks and peach foam display begin.

  • Admission: free.
  • Hours: from 6:00 p.m. to midnight.

Temperatures in Atlanta in December

Enjoying the Cold| ©Olya Kobruseva
Enjoying the Cold| ©Olya Kobruseva

Temperatures during the month of December in Atlanta can reach an average high of 9ºC (48ºF). In fact, there is a chance that at least five days of the month will record a temperature below 0ºC.

Also, you will be interested to know that Atlanta has a high humidity percentage during the last month of the year, reaching 85%, cloudiness of 44% and an average of seven days of sunshine. You can also expect to see an average of five days of precipitation, for a total of 85 mm of rain.

What to pack for your December visit to Atlanta?

Packing Your Suitcase| ©Craig Adderley
Packing Your Suitcase| ©Craig Adderley

Atlanta in December is characterized by cold weather. Therefore, if you plan to visit the city during this month you will have to pack clothes made of warm fabrics. This way, you will be protected from the low temperatures.

Among the basic clothing items you will need are a couple of coats, gloves, hats and a scarf. Also, long pants, T-shirts with sleeves, a set of thermal clothing, comfortable shoes with good traction to avoid unexpected slipping when walking.