The weather so far this fall may say differently, but the holiday season is fast approaching, and with it come annual holiday lights shows all across Georgia and metro Atlanta. Here is a quick guide to several popular holiday light shows and tours in the Atlanta area, as well as one or two a little farther out.
Fantasy in Lights at Callaway Gardens
Celebrating its 25th anniversary, Callaway Gardens’ award-winning light show returns bigger than ever. Featuring over 8 million lights and a new scene titled Snow Day in addition to staple scenes such as Snowflake Valley and Magical Christmas Garden, there are plenty of reasons to make the roughly 70-mile trip south from Atlanta to Pine Mountain. Visitors can ride in an open-air trolley or in their own vehicle.
6:30-8:30 p.m. Nov. 18-Jan. 7. $21-$28 for adults; $10.50-$14.50 for kids 6-12; children 5 and under get in for free. 17800 U.S. 27, Pine Mountain. 1-800-463-6990, www.callawaygardens.com.
Garden Lights, Holiday Nights at Atlanta Botanical Garden
Boasting a new Walk of Flames display and a newly expanded Tunnel of Light, the 30-acre garden will be glistening through the holidays. There are also more cone trees, ranging up to 30 feet tall, and one will be prominently featured atop the new Linton’s restaurant. This will be the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s sixth season hosting this event.
5-10 p.m. Nov. 12-Jan. 7. $23-$33 for adults; $17-$27 for kids 3-12; children under 3 get in for free. 1345 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta. 404-876-5859, www.atlantabg.org.
Lights of Life at Life University
Introduced in 1989, Life University’s annual holiday light show features new displays and an entirely unique arrangement every year. Even if the displays are the same or similar to last year’s, they will be in new locations this season. A 65-foot-tall rendition of Santa and his sleigh also will be featured.
6-10 p.m. Nov. 24-Dec. 31. $10 per car Fridays-Sundays and Nov. 24-27 and Dec. 16-31; $5 per car Mondays-Thursdays except for Nov. 24-27 and Dec. 16-31; $20 per bus on all dates. 1269 Barclay Circle, Marietta. 770-426-2600, www.life.edu.
Holiday Light Spectacular at Atlanta Motor Speedway
This is a trip around the track patrons won’t want to speed through. Featuring over 3 million lights, Atlanta Motor Speedway’s new and upgraded light display through a winter wonderland is sure to dazzle. On opening night, Nov. 25, there will be skydiving elves in the village at 9 p.m. delivering 500 Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Santa hats to the first 500 people.
Nov. 25-Dec. 31. 6-9 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays until Dec. 18; 6-10 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays and Sundays-Thursdays on Dec. 19 and after. $15 per car Mondays-Thursdays; $20 per car Fridays-Sundays until Dec. 15. Entry costs $20 per vehicle every day Dec. 16-31. 1500 Tara Place, Hampton. 770-946-4211, www.holidaylightspectacular.info.
Magical Nights of Lights at Lake Lanier Islands
Lake Lanier will be illuminated this winter. Patrons can drive over the snowflake bridge, under a blanket-lit bridge and all the way to Santa’s Workshop and a Christmas Carnival.
5-11 p.m. Nov. 18-Dec. 31. $45 per car. 7000 Lanier Islands Parkway, Buford. 770-945-8787, www.lanierislands.com.
Stone Mountain Christmas
Stone Mountain Park will glow with over 2 million lights this holiday season. The park will feature a new musical walk-through experience titled Skylights Spectacular as well as a 4-D showing of the Christmas classic “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” There are other walking light tours around the park such as Wonderland Walkway or Snow Angel Palace.
Times vary. Nov. 12-Jan. 4. $25.95-$49.95; children under 3 get in for free. 1000 Robert E. Lee Blvd., Stone Mountain. 1-800-401-2407, www.stonemountainpark.com.
More things to do at Stone Mountain: Snow Christmas on the laser lawn
Holiday in Lights at Centennial Olympic Park
Featuring 21 acres of displays and a 58-foot holiday tree on the Belvedere, Centennial Olympic Park will host its 10th Holiday in Lights season. The park also features the only outdoor ice-skating rink in Atlanta, which will be located among the glowing holiday lights.
Times vary. Nov. 19-Jan. 1. Entry to the park is free, and ice skating costs $12 per person for 90 minutes. 265 Park Ave. W. N.W., Atlanta. 404-222-7275, centennialpark.com.
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