- Carolyn Desalu For the AJC
For a good time, dine with Santa, sign up for a culinary class or build an edible home in a gingerbread-making workshop.
Sure, your kids may want to leave a plate of cookies and glass of milk on the kitchen counter for Santa, but the milk may spoil and you may be tempted to eat the cookies. Instead, try one of the many breakfast with Santa options. Burgeoning little chefs will enjoy an international culinary class just for them. And you and your children can show off creative talents via delectable decorations on gingerbread houses. This holiday season, jingle all the way to the following nine places to have a good time with your kids, take photos and of course, eat really good food.
Now through Dec. 31: Cozy up to a marble fireplace for holiday-themed afternoon tea from 2:30-4:30 p.m. in the Café & Bar at the Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta. Each sitting is accompanied by scones and cream pastries, a sandwich choice, tart options and tea with flavorful selections like the Nutcracker, a smooth, creamy tea, or Sugar Plum Fairy Tale, an herbal tea with vanilla, strawberry and a hint of plum. If your child is not much of a tea drinker, that’s OK; hot chocolate can be substituted. Afternoon tea is $58 for adults inclusive of a glass of Champagne and $22 for children.
Dec. 8, 9 and 14-24: The St. Regis Atlanta will transform into a winter wonderland for tea with Santa, which will have seatings at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Families will enjoy select teas, holiday treats and live music. Tea will be hosted by Mr. Claus, but keep a lookout for Mrs. Claus, who will join each session. Children will be invited to share their wishes and take photos with the beloved North Pole couple. This tea party will be $78; $52 for children ages 4-12; and free for children 3 and under. Visit stregisatl.tocktix.com or call the hotel for reservations. Before departing, take photos in front of a life-size gingerbread house in the hotel’s lobby entrance. It’s truly a sweet treat to admire, and was constructed with 300 pounds of flour, 100 pounds of sugar, 10 pounds of spice, 70 pounds of shortening, 45 pounds of corn syrup and 16 pounds of molasses. It’s also adorned with over 300 pounds of royal icing, gingerbread figurines, poinsettias and candy.
Dec. 9: The North Pole will arrive in the South for food, fun and a philanthropic cause during the 15th annual breakfast with Santa event at Doc Chey’s Noodle House’s Grant Park location. Seating for a hearty pancake breakfast plus chances for kids to deliver their Christmas wish list to Saint Nick will be available at 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Parents will be permitted to take photos. Tickets are $25, and 100 percent of sales will be donated to the historic Fire Station 19 in Virginia-Highland and the Grant Park Fire Station.
Dec. 9 and 16: Get creative in the kitchen during a gingerbread house-making session at Vino Venue. Kids and adults will receive a gingerbread house (think of this as a blank canvas), and each person can show off their festive, delectable holiday spirit via decadent decorations. Guests will also learn how to make royal icing. A special children’s menu will be available. Sessions are available at noon and 3 p.m. Dec. 9; the Dec. 16 session will take place at 1 p.m. The cost is $39.
Dec. 10: At Hugo’s Oyster Bar in Roswell, celebrate the holidays with a three-course breakfast, face painting and photos with Santa, Rudolph and the Nutcracker Ballerina from 9:30-11:30 a.m. Adults can choose from a menu of eggs Benedict with potatoes, crab omelets with peppers and onions, or shrimp and grits topped with poached eggs; kids can select blueberry pancakes, banana French toast or a traditional breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon and toast. Cookies will be available for everyone. A seat at the table will be $29.95; $14.95 for children.
Dec. 16: Go hungry and wear festive outfits to meet Mr. and Mrs. Claus at Embassy Suites by Hilton Atlanta Airport at 9 a.m. The event will include a breakfast buffet with scrambled eggs, bacon, pancakes, grits and more. Cash-only tickets can be purchased at the Tracey Wyatt Recreation Complex (2300 Godby Road, College Park) and Conley Recreation Center (3636 College St., College Park).
Dec. 16: For a day of fun, strike a pose and take photos with Santa. Children will be able to slip Santa their wish lists, but parents should be ready to engage in covert operations to retrieve the lists when the little ones giddily skip away. This breakfast with Santa will take place from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at One Midtown Kitchen. After working up an appetite, guests will indulge in a breakfast buffet featuring scrambled eggs, bacon, French toast, grits, sticky buns, egg nog and more. Food and festivities will be $25; $15 for children. Reservations are required.
Dec. 16: Savor your sitdown with Old Saint Nick over bacon, eggs and bourbon for adults during brunch from 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at Local Three. Guests will be able to take photos with their personal cameras or opt for a professional photo, which will be available for a fee. Buffet pricing is $34.93; $16.93 for kids ages 6-12; and free for children under 6. Reservations suggested.
Dec. 17-20: Children will learn to make Asian dishes such as dumplings, barbecue pork and lo mein; American classics like coleslaw, chicken tenders and apple pie; and on the last day, hand-rolled truffles during a three-day holiday culinary class at Sur La Table from 9-11 a.m. Little chefs ages 8-12 will enjoy samples of each dish. A place in the kitchen is $150. Registration required.