By Southern Living Editors
May 28, 2017

Built for the Olympics in 1996, Centennial brings 21 acres of open lawn, playgrounds, and the iconic Fountain of Rings to the heart of downtown Atlanta. The location couldn’t be better. The park is surrounded by some of the city’s most notable attractions, including the Coca-Cola Museum and the Georgia Aquarium. centennialpark.com 

If you’re looking for an activity for the whole family, check out one of Atlanta’s many impressive Christmas light displays. During the holidays, Atlanta is filled with exciting shows for people young and old. These are the six you won’t want to miss.

Atlanta Botanical Gardens

Walking through Atlanta’s botanical gardens in the dark, lit only by twinkling lights is surreal. The light display traces paths throughout the 30-acre park and features larger-than-life lighted sculptures, as well as a Tunnel of Light and 30-foot-tall cone trees.

Life College Lights of Life

Life College Lights of Life is one of the most beloved Atlanta Christmas events. For more than 25 years, locals line up to see the 100-plus lighted displays along a 1.5-mile drive through campus. The main attraction, however, is the 65-foot-tall Santa with his sleigh -- the tallest in the Southeast. Other activities include a petting zoo, pony rides, train rides, and photos with (the life-size) Santa. There is also an annual race that benefits the Boys and Girls Club.

Callaway Gardens Fantasy in Lights

Fantasy in Lights is not just one of the best places to see Christmas lights in Atlanta, it is also considered one of the best places to see holiday lights in the world. With eight million lights and 15 custom-designed lighted scenes, including March of the Toy Soldiers and ‘Twas The Night before Christmas, this show will dazzle kids from one to 92. You can view the lights from your car or the gardens’ Jolly Trolley.

 

Magical Night of Lights at Lake Lanier Islands

Drive through the twinkling town of Lake Lanier Islands and embark on seven miles of holiday light displays that lead to Santa’s Village. While you’re there, stop for ice skating, roast marshmallows, and snap a photo with Santa. There are also carnival rides, snow play zones, and holiday films playing on a massive, five-story screen.

Holiday in Lights, Centennial Olympic Park

Christmas in Atlanta isn’t complete without a stroll through the glowing 21-acre Centennial Olympic Park downtown. The annual Holiday in Lights show is free to enter and, each year, features unique touches. While you’re there, twirl around Atlanta’s only outdoor ice skating rink on the Great Lawn.

See: Where to See Christmas Lights in Nashville

Pettit Creek Farms

If you live in the Metro Atlanta area, the Pettit Creek Farms Christmas Lights in Cartersville is one you won’t want to miss. The more than a mile of lights is best viewed by car, but there are hayrides as well. The show includes live reindeer (Comet and Cupid), a live nativity scene on weekends, and concessions, including s’mores, hot chocolate, and cider.

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