- Rose Kennedy For the AJC
Oh, Christmas tree!
It's not just a song. It just might be the response you'll have to the awe-inspiring festivals of trees all around Atlanta.
From traditional and cozy events to full-blown digital illuminations set to music, here are six Atlanta festivals of trees to get the holiday season started:
Garden Lights, Holiday Nights at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens
5 p.m. Nov. 12
Atlanta Botanical Garden
1345 Piedmont Ave. NE. 404-876-5859
This glamorous vision of towering cone trees is set a midst the ABG's new 21-candle Walk of Flames. Highlights include a model train show, s'mores roasting and cool or cozy beverages from the Glow Bar.
Duluth Festival of Trees
10 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 18-Dec. 31, during museum open days Wednesday-Saturday
Included with museum admission, adults $10, seniors $8, children 2-12 $7; train rides $3 on operating days
Southeastern Railway Musuem, 3595 Buford Hwy., Duluth. 770-476-2013
Organized by the Duluth Historical Society, 770-403-1795, www.duluthhistorical.org
Sponsored by the Duluth Historical Society and held at the Southeastern Railway Museum, the second-annual event features 25 community-sponsored and decorated trees. And you better watch out, 'cause Santa also arrives at the museum Nov. 19 from 12:30 p.m.-3 p.m.
Christmas at Callanwolde Light Show
6 p.m.-10 p.m. Nov. 21-Dec. 29; closed Thanksgiving, Dec. 1, Christmas Eve and Christmas
Admission: $20 for Adults and children ages 3 and older; free for kids 2 and under
980 Briarcliff Road NE. 404-872-5338
The Candler historic estate presents its first outdoor interactive light show this holiday season. Highlights include a 20-foot programmed Christmas tree digitized to music, a singing forest and a kids-only area with "dreaming of a white Christmas" snow.
Callaway Gardens Fantasy in Lights
Friday, Nov. 18-Saturday, Jan. 7
Per person tickets starting at $19 for adults and $9.50 for children on "specialty nights" and on up to adults $28 and children $14 on prime dates; children under 5 free
Callaway Gardens, 17800 US Hwy 27, Pine Mountain. 800-852-3810
One of National Geographic Traveler's "Top 10 Places to See Holiday Lights," the Fantasy in Lights is all about cool Christmas, including a five-mile Christmas Tree Lane of colorfully-lit trees. Another highlight: this year's newest scene, an Enchanted Rainbow Forest with more than 400 images that vividly create the changing seasons. You can take an open-air Jolly Trolley or drive your own vehicle (a great option if you have folks who aren't that mobile in your party.) Another neat option: Bicycle Night on Sunday, Nov. 13.
Fernbank Museum of Natural History' Winter Wonderland
Nov. 18-Jan. 8, 2017
Event free with museum admission, which is $18 for adults, $16 for children 3-12, $17 for seniors and students with ID ; $11-$13 for Imax tickets, memberships available
767 Clifton Road NE. 404-929-6300
The museum's dinosaur-filled atrium gets festive with 30 trees and other displays celebrating wintertime-holidays of the world. Local culture partners share traditions from Christmas, Hanukkah and the Festival of Lights, along with origami, indigenous art and national symbols.
The Lighting of Avalon
1 p.m. Nov. 20
2200 Avalon Blvd. Alpharetta.
For those with younger kids or Grinchy family members, this is a short and sweet way to enjoy a splashy tree. The tree lighting ceremony, complete with fireworks, heralds the opening of Avalon On Ice and features a brief appearance by Santa Claus.