The Lighting of Avalon: 16 things to do this weekend

It's time to eat, drink and be merry, Atlanta, because your weekend is about to fill up with exciting, holiday-themed events to put a twinkle in your eye. With this lineup, you'll enjoy a little bit of everything the Atlanta has to offer, from once-a-season Christmas shopping to old-fashioned ice skating. 

Better bring along a sweater, because you're sure to be out of the house all weekend long. 


The ice skating rink in historic Marietta is set to open Friday.Photo credit: Aidan Thomas Hornaday

Ice Skating on the Marietta Square. 4:30-11 p.m. Friday, Nov. 17. $12, includes skate rental. Historic Marietta Square. 50 North Park Square, Marietta.

Visit the opening day of Winter Wonderland's ice skating rink on the Historic Marietta Square this Friday, where you can skate on open-air ice surrounded by Glover Park. $12 admission includes skate rental.

RELATED: The Battery’s 1st holiday: Ice skating rink, Santa pics, tree lighting

ARC Artists' Open Studio. 6-10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 17. Free. Artisan Resource Center. 585 Cobb Parkway South, Marietta. 770-423-0049.

See one-of-a-kind works of art and shop from over 19 professional artisans and crafters at ARC's Artists' Open Studio this Friday. Meet the artists and find special gifts galore at this not-to-miss event.

Atlanta Steampunk Exposition. 10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 17. $45 per person. Atlanta Marriott Northwest. 200 Interstate North Circle SE, Atlanta. 770-484-8434.

Calling all Steampunk enthusiasts - the Atlanta Steampunk Exposition takes place at the Atlanta Mariott Northwest and will include panels, costume contests, dancing, a wide array of vendors and much, much more.

35th Annual Sprayberry High School PTSA Arts & Crafts Show. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18 and 19. Free. Sprayberry High School. 2525 Sandy Plains Road, Marietta.770-578-3200.

It's time for the 35th Annual Sprayberry High School PTSA Arts & Crafts Show, which takes place all weekend long. This year's event will feature over 200 booths filled with a wide variety of visual art, jewelry, handmade soaps and candles, home decor, yard art, collectibles and photography. 


Zen and Now Clay Studio Holiday Show and Sale. 4-7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 17. Free. Zen and Now Clay Studio. 2534 North Royal Place # D, Tucker. 678-534-5436.

Pick out a few pieces of pottery to give out as gifts this year at the Zen and Now Clay Studio Holiday Show and Sale. All pottery is made by artists from Zen and Now Clay Studio.

Hot Glass "Date" Night. 4 p.m. , 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 17. $195 per couple. Spruill Center for the Arts. 5339 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody.

Create a work of art with your special someone at the Hot Glass "Date" Night at Spruill. The heat will turn up at this hands-on class, where each person will make a glass piece to keep, such as an ornament, paperweight, flower or heart.

Athena's Marketplace at Greek Orthodox Cathedral. 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18 and 19. Free. Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation. 2500 Clairmont Road, Atlanta. 404-633-5870.

The Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation will host Athena's Marketplace, which will include shopping from a huge selection of jewelry, cosmetics, baked goods, books, one-of-a-kind gifts and more. 

Fernbank Forest Animal Traces Tour. Noon. Sunday, Nov. 19. Included with museum admission, free for members. Fernbank Museum of Natural History. 767 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta. 404-929-6400.

Learn about animal habits and develop your animal tracking skills as a Fernbank Museum scientist guides you on a tour of Fernbank Forest. Advanced registration required.


Rebel Junk Market in Georgia. 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 17. $7 per person. Gwinnett County Fairgrounds. 2405 Sugarloaf Parkway, Lawrenceville. 360-689-5622.

If you love everything rusty, lacy, weathered and worn, don't miss Rebel Junk Market in Georgia. All weekend long, you'll shop from vendors selling every kind of vintage and re-purposed decor you could dream of. 

"Nutcracker" as performed by the North Atlanta Dance Theatre in 2014. (Contributed by Kari Pierce/For the AJC)

Southern Ballet Theatre's The Nutcracker. 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 18. Other times available. Ticket prices vary. Infinite Energy Center. 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth.

Celebrate the season with The Nutcracker, a timeless holiday classic that the whole family will enjoy. Performed by Southern Ballet Theatre in their 26th season.

RELATED: Every ‘Nutcracker’ performance to catch this holiday season in Atlanta

Child Care Business Leaders Workshop. 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18. $49 per person. Fairfield Inn & Suites Atlanta Gwinnett Place. 3570 Brenkenridge Blvd., Duluth. 404-578-3367.

If you're attempting to run your own childcare business, or just want to find out what it takes to get started, plan on attending this invaluable workshop to learn the ropes. From maximizing profits to creating an inviting atmosphere, you'll discover the ins and outs of the childcare industry and how to create a successful business. 

RELATED: Gwinnett will celebrate its Christmas tree lighting on Thanksgiving

Songwriter's Open Mic. 5-11 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 19. $10 per person, free for performers. Red Clay Music Foundry. 3116 Main St., Duluth. 404-478-2749.

Explore new talents and discover hidden singing and songwriting skills at Open Mic night. The Red Clay Music Foundry hosts a special songwriting competition this Sunday with $100 in prizes.

North Fulton

The Shamans Path Weekend Intensive with Don Simmons. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 18 and 19. $150 per person for the weekend. Phoenix & Dragon Bookstore. 5531 Roswell Road NE, Atlanta. 404-255-5207.

Shamanism is a way of life, which you can discover at The Shamans Path Weekend Intensive taking place at Phoenix & Dragon. Don Simmons will guide you through an understanding of the principals of Shamanism, living with intention, connecting to an Animal and Spirit Guide and more. 

American Girl Club: Holiday Baking with Grace. 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 18. $15 per person. Heritage Sandy Springs Museum. 6075 Sandy Springs Circle, Sandy Springs. 404-851-9111.

American Girl fans, bring your best doll along to the Holiday Baking with Grace event at the Heritage Sandy Springs Museum this Saturday. Kids ages 5 through 12 can enjoy hands-on activities, fun crafts and a snack. RSVP requested. 

Reds, Hues & Blues painting night at Darwins. 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18. $25 per person. Darwin's Burgers and Blues. 234 Hilderbrand Drive, Sandy Springs. 470-399-5060.

Darwin's will host the Red, Hues & Blues painting night this Saturday with two hours of creative fun. You'll paint, eat and drink with friends, and leave with a painting of an owl that you successfully completed, regardless of skill level.

The Lighting of Avalon. 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 19. Free. Avalon. 2200 Avalon Blvd., Alpharetta. 770-765-1000.

The Annual Lighting of Avalon takes place on Sunday with twinkling lights crowning a 30-foot Christmas tree, a visit from Santa Claus, live music and family-friendly holiday activities.

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