BEST SPOTS: Holiday Lights | Events
ATLANTA – It’s officially Christmas time and now it’s time to spread some Christmas cheer. Pack your loved ones into the family vehicle and take a ride to one of these spots to enjoy the many displays set up all over the metro area. The Where U Live Team has listed a couple of the “Most Popular”, “Most Affordable” and “Longest Running” Christmas displays for you to visit, with your family. Check them out; they are sure to be shining stars over your holiday.
The Atlanta Botanical Gardens will be hosting their annual Christmas Extravaganza featuring one million lights crafted into nature scenes, an expanded model train, Santa Claus and a holiday puppet show. The light show experience features “elegant, traditional elements” like wrapped trees and cones. The garden is decorated with 18-foot-tall poinsettia trees and other holiday displays. According to the Garden’s executive director, Mary Pat Matheson “It’s going to be a joyful, exhilarating outdoor experience – and so much more fun than being up against your relative peering out car windows”. Check it out at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, which is located at 1345 Piedmont Avenue in Atlanta.
Centennial Olympic Park transforms in a Winter Wonderland in late November, in preparation for the approaching Christmas season. The park is decorated with thousands of lights and elaborate sparkling displays. Every year, the Holiday in Lights event runs through the first week of January. The park contains Atlanta’s only outdoor ice skating rink and other holiday attractions in the Luckie Marietta District. The park is located at 265 Park Avenue West in Atlanta.
The popular Magical Nights of Lights at Lake Lanier Islands is back and it’s lighting up the island for the 17th time. The celebration is known as “the world largest animated light extravaganza” and it actually may be. The display is an about eight mile long, driving tour through grand illuminations and moving lights. The tour is open nightly between 5:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. For a standard carload, the tour costs $60, making it about $12 per person. And for the first time, ever, Lake Lanier is offering zipline tours for those who want to fly over the lights and the lake, at night; these tours cost $75 per person.
This year, marks the 20th year, Calloway Gardens will host their annual Holiday Light and Sound Show which they call the “Most Spectacular Holiday Light and Sound Show in the South”. The show takes place in a wooded area in Pine Mountain, Georgia and has attracted more than two million visitors since it opened in 1992 and they think “it has become an essential holiday tradition for many families”. The display boasts “larger-than-life” lighted scenes and at $99 per car, family’s get their money’s worth Calloway Gardens is located at 17800 Highway 27 in Pine Mountain.
The Lights of Life display at Life University is one of the oldest light displays in Atlanta, dating back to 1989. The enormous light celebration can be viewed from the comforts of your car for $5 per car and Santa makes an appearance every weekend. According to some, “the light display is similar to the Lake Lanier light display but on a smaller scale”. There is an optional walking area, to take closer look at the lights; however, if you want to stay in your car for the entire duration of the tour, it’s up to you. The tour is located on Barclay Circle, which is off Highway 41 in Marietta.
Pettit Creek Farms in Cartersville holds an annual Christmas Lights Drive-Through display, every year. The display features hay rides, live reindeer and tons of lights. The light display features “thousands and thousands of Christmas lights”; the lights decorate the bushes and the trees and the displays feature farm animals that you can a feed, feed can be purchased along the way. Pettit Creek Farms asks for a $15 donation per vehicle and $10 for a hayride tour. Pettit Creek Farms is located at 337 Cassville Road in Cartersville.
They call themselves the “Most Affordable Holiday Light Display in the Atlanta Area”, the Atlanta Motor Speedway is hosting their “drive-through event, with over one million LED lights in hundreds of displays”. Admission for this event, per car is $15. The Gift of Lights will be open on Christmas Day for families who want to enjoy the lights on their special day.