Head to Atlanta for a family holiday getaway

A quick trip to Atlanta is a perfect holiday getaway, with lots for families to see and do.
A quick trip to Atlanta is a perfect holiday getaway, with lots for families to see and do. Getty Images/iStockphoto

According to report issued this year by Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC), there’s a growing trend, particularly among young families, to give experiential gifts this holiday season. For Charlotte families, there’s no better way to enjoy a holiday family experience than a quick road trip to Atlanta. At around a four-hour drive straight down I-85, a trip to Atlanta is manageable for families of any age, and with so much to see and do - whether you’re counting a million twinkling lights or meeting SCUBA Claus - your family is sure to have a peachy good time in “The Big Peach” this season.

To get you started on planning, here are some of the don’t-miss activities to expect this holiday season:

Celebrate the holidays with a visit to Atlanta’s newest retail and restaurant destination, Ponce City Market. Situated along the nationally-acclaimed Atlanta BeltLine, Ponce City Market is a bustling food and retail destination (think the Ferry Building in San Francisco). The entire family is sure to get in a festive mood while chowing down on Atlanta’s famed H&F burger and browsing through retail favorites like Archer Paper Goods and Mountain High Outfitters.

Grab your ice skates and join in the fun at the “Holiday in Lights” show and ice rink at Centennial Olympic Park. Open from November 19 through January 29, enjoy this annual Atlanta tradition and take a spin on the ice or stroll through the surrounding park that transforms into a winter wonderland.


Dive into new traditions at Georgia Aquarium’s Festival of the SEAson. Georgia Aquarium’s annual Festival of the SEAson transforms North America’s most popular aquarium into a veritable winter wonderland through daily special events, thousands of twinkling lights, music, extravagant holiday trees and appearances from Santa and SCUBA Claus. This year’s Festival of the SEAson is set to be more thrilling than ever before thanks to the debut of a 3D-mapped, 60-foot-high atrium nature show.


Atlanta Botanical Garden ignites with one million twinkling lights this holiday season for Garden Lights, Holiday Nights. Meander through the garden and check out the floral-inspired displays of energy-efficient LED lights while sipping hot chocolate and listening to carolers croon.

Too cold outside? Stay warm inside while watching a holiday show. The kids are sure to love the faithful adaptation of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” at the Center for Puppetry Arts.

Join the wintertime fun at Stone Mountain Park Christmas. Whether you’re sledding down Snow Mountain or visiting the Snow Angel in her Snow Palace, the Stone Mountain Park promises your family a mountain of memories. End each night with the Snow Angel Snowfall as she flies overhead and a spectacular Fireworks Finale.

No holiday season would be complete without Santa! Snap a picture with Santa at Lenox Square Mall after riding the Pink Pig, a 170-foot track atop the upper level parking deck that’s been an Atlanta tradition for kids of all ages since 1953.

Happy travels!