The month of December is packed with events for every parent’s true love: the inquisitive, energetic, holiday-loving children of Atlanta.
You can see ladies dancing and lords a-leaping in “The Nutcracker” or drummers drumming in a parade through Midtown. You can even imagine you are competing for the five golden rings – the Winter Olympic Games rings, that is, by ice skating the day away at one of Metro Atlanta’s outdoor rinks.
Many events include Santa or dressed up characters. Some include a performance. Most have hands-on activities for kids to dive right into.
Here are 12 events to take the kids to this holiday season.
ONE Sensory-Friendly Performance of “The Nutcracker”
This performance of “The Nutcracker” by The Georgia Ballet is abbreviated to one hour and has modified elements geared toward children and adults with different auditory and visual needs. Dec. 1. $10 to $15. Cobb County’s Jennie T. Anderson Theatre.
TWO Days of “Cookies With Santa”
Meet Santa, munch on cookies, sip hot chocolate and participate in crafts during the “Cookies With Santa” holiday event at Zoo Atlanta. Purchase a combo ticket to see the zoo animals as well. Dec. 2 and 3. $17 to $33. Zoo Atlanta.
THREE Outdoor Ice-Skating Rinks
FOUR Performances of a twist on “The Night Before Christmas”
Visit “St. Nick’s Café” for breakfast or lunch and meetings with Santa. Also see one of the four performances of “What Could Go Wrong the Night Before Christmas?” a fun retelling of “The Night Before Christmas” where the narrator must deal with every interruption imaginable. Dec. 2. $15. The Art Place – Mountain View.
FIVE Special events Under the Sea
During Georgia Aquarium’s “Festival of the SEAson” you need to plan ahead to make sure you catch five of the special events because they only happen on certain days. These events include visits with Santa, sightings of SCUBA Claus, holiday-themed Toddler Time on Dec. 4, Breakfast with Santa on Dec. 16, and a Symphony of Snow on the weekends. Also see the daily tree lighting, Holidazzle Light Show, showings of THE POLAR EXPRESS™ 4-D Experience and the holiday edition of Deepo’s Hideaway. Through Dec. 31. Price varies by event. Georgia Aquarium.
SIX Things to Do at the “Polar Express Adventure”
Explore the magical world of The Polar Express at the Southern Museum’s “Polar Express Adventure” event. Visitors can see the movie, watch a theatrical dance depiction, hear a reading from a storyteller, walk through interactive vignettes, see The General locomotive decked out for the holidays and play with trains. Don’t forget to wear your PJ’s! Dec. 9. Free to $7.50. Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History.
SEVEN Parts That Make Up “Celebrations in Light”
Children’s Museum of Atlanta’s “Celebrations in Light” gives kids the chance to learn about four December holidays: Las Posadas, Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa. There are also three things to do at this season’s Sockefeller Plaza: skate in socks, see a winter science show and have hot cocoa with Sid the Science Kid. Check the schedule ahead of time for special events related to each holiday. Through Jan. 3. $15.95. Children’s Museum of Atlanta.
EIGHT Roswell Puppet Shows
The Roswell Winter Puppet Series includes four performances of each of its two shows. “The North Pole Fa-La-La-La-La-Follies” runs Dec. 14 through 16, and “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” takes place Dec. 21 through 23. $5. Roswell Cultural Arts Center.
NINE Reindeer Take Center Stage in “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”
See the story Rudolph and his eight reindeer friends in Center for Puppetry Arts’ annual holiday production of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” Through Dec. 31. $11.25 to $19.50. Center for Puppetry Arts.
TENTH Of December: See Real Reindeer!
Chattahoochee Nature Center’s “Enchanted Woodland Wonders” takes place on Dec. 10 and includes live reindeer, performances, winter crafts, storytelling, face painting and more. Dec. 10. Free to $10. Chattahoochee Nature Center.
ELEVEN Blocks of the Children’s Christmas Parade
The annual Children’s Christmas Parade step off at Peachtree St. and 16th St. and ends at Peachtree St. and 5th St. Watch as Midtown Atlanta is transformed into Santa Claus Lane with the sights and sounds of the season. Dec. 2. Free!
TWELVE Little Girls in Two Straight Lines
“Madeline’s Christmas” at Horizon Theatre is based on one of the most popular children’s books of all time. The story follows Madeline and friends as they figure out a way to make it home for Christmas after they’ve come down with the flu. Dec. 2 through 31. $12 to $15. Horizon Theatre.