December Madness: A holiday events guide

The Children's Parade (Courtesy CHOA)
The Children’s Christmas Parade (Courtesy CHOA)

Parades, concerts, shopping bazaars, ice skating, parties and football games are all on tap as the holiday season moves into overdrive. Here’s a rundown of upcoming events around Intown.

The Children’s Christmas Parade
Presented by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, the 35th annual event begins at 10:30 a.m. on Dec. 5 along Peachtree Street from 16th to 5th streets in Midtown. There will be floats, giant helium-filled balloons and marching bands and, of course, Santa Clause. If you can’t get out to the parade, it will be aired on WSB-TV. For more information, visit choa.org/parade.

Victorian Holiday at Oakland Cemetery
Head over to Atlanta’s historic cemetery for children’s activities and crafts, photos with Santa Claus, wreath sale, music, hot drinks, walking tours and much more on Dec. 5 from noon to 4 p.m. oaklandcemetery.com.

Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus Holiday Concert
Ring in the holidays with the AGMC’s 35th annual holiday concert at Buckhead’s The Cathedral of St. Philip on Dec. 4 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 5 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. This year’s theme is “Deck the Halls,” and will feature traditional carols, up-tempo holiday favorites and more. General admission tickets are $35 at voicesofnote.org.

Madeline’s Christmas at Horizon Theatre
Join Parisian schoolgirl Madeline and her classmates on a holiday adventure in Horizon’s annual production, which runs Dec. 5-31. For tickets and information, visit horizontheatre.com.

GSU School of Music Gala Holiday Concert
The Georgia State University School of Music will present its annual Gala Holiday Concert on Dec. 5 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 6 at 3 p.m. More than 200 student and faculty musicians from the Georgia State University Symphony Orchestra, choruses, Jazz Band and community ensembles are sure to warm your heart as they deliver traditional holiday favorites with an international twist. Tickets are available for purchase by phone at (404) 413-9849, online at rialto.gsu.edu, or in-person at the Rialto Box Office on 80 Forsyth Street, NW.

Trying out the ice at the Ice Rink at Centennial Park (Photo by Asep Mawardi)
Trying out the ice at the Ice Rink at Centennial Park (Photo by Asep Mawardi)

Holiday In Lights/Ice Rink at Centennial Park
The Downtown park will be decked out in thousands of lights and decorations through Jan. 10. The Ice Rink is also open daily through Jan. 10 from 4:30 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $12 per person for a 90-minute session, including skate rental. For a full schedule of operating times, visit centennialpark.com.

Atlanta Ballet’s The Nutcracker
The Nutcracker returns to the Fox Theatre Dec. 11-27 for its 20th anniversary production. The Atlanta Ballet professional company stages the extravagant production live with the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra and the Georgia Youth Choir. For tickets and information, visit atlantaballet.com.

Christmas at Peachtree Road UMC
Experience Christmas at Peachtree Road United Methodist Church with two free events beginning Dec. 6 at 5:30 p.m. with Carols by Candlelight: A Christmas Sing-a-long and The Many Moods of Christmas on Dec. 13 at 7 p.m. featuring the Chancel Choir, soloists and orchestra. On Dec. 18-19 at 7 p.m., the church will host Christmas with The Georgia Boy Choir. Visit georgiaboychoir.org for more information and to purchase tickets. The church is located at 3180 Peachtree Road. For more information, visit prumc.org.

Atlanta Symphony
Atlanta Symphony

ASO Holiday Concerts
The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra marks the season with a series of special events, starting with the new Cirque de la Symphonie featuring acrobats and classical hits Dec. 4-6; Christmas with the ASO featuring more than 400 musicians to create Robert Shaw’s “Greatest Story Ever Told” on Dec. 12 and 13; A Very Merry Holiday Pops featuring holiday classics on Dec. 17 and 19; and a screening of the hit film Home Alone with live symphony accompaniment on Jan. 2-3. For a schedule and to buy tickets, visit atlantasymphony.org.

Carols and Hanukkah Songs
The chamber ensemble of the Atlanta Boy Choir and soloists from the Alumni Men’s Choir will perform traditional Christmas carols and Hanukkah songs at Aimee Jewelry and Fine Art Gallery, 335 W. Ponce de Leon Ave. in Decatur, on Dec. 9 at 6:30 p.m. There will also be treats from Alon’s and more.

Atlanta Santa Speedo Run
Atlanta Santa Speedo Run

Atlanta Santa Speedo Run
Strip down to your Speedos or undies for the 7th annual event on Dec. 12. The starting line will be at Manuel’s Tavern, 602 N. Highland Ave., at 2 p.m. (registration and merry-making begins at noon). The year’s beneficiary is BlazeSports, a nonprofit that supports individuals with physical disabilities through adaptive sport and recreation. To register, visit atlantasantaspeedorun.org.

Atlanta History Center’s Candlelight Nights
Step back in time and experience Christmas past with a candle-lit stroll on Dec. 11 and 18. Visit each of the three historic houses to experience how Southerners celebrated Christmas during the pioneer days, the Civil War era, and the 1930s. Guests experience holiday traditions of years past with interpreters and special activities. For more, visit atlantahistorycenter.com.

Deck the Hall at College Football Hall of Fame
The museum will be decked out in holiday lights and decorations from Dec. 14 through Jan. 3 with daily events like cookies and hot cocoa daily with mascot Fumbles (also dressed in his holiday finery), shopping opportunities, free sandwiches at the Chick-fil-A experience and more. cfbhall.com.

The Shops Buckhead Atlanta Holiday Nights & Lights Concert Series
While shopping ’till you drop at The Shops, take a breather for a little music. Every Thursday during the month of December, the public is invited to come to Center Plaza and hear holiday favorites performed by local entertainers. Find a list of performers, times, etc. at theshopsbuckheadatlanta.com.

Georgia Aquarium
Georgia Aquarium

Georgia Aquarium’s Festival of the SEAson
The Downtown attraction’s holiday event continues thru Dec. 25. The atrium will be transformed into a winter wonderland with lights, sing-a-longs and photos with Santa. For more, visit georgiaaquarium.org.

Menorah Madness
Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, will host this Hanukah Menorah Lighting event over three nights – Dec. 7-9. The nights will feature music, performance, food and more. For more information, visit atlantajcc.org.

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl
Football fans can spend New Year’s Eve with the annual parade Downtown, tailgating at the Georgia Dome and Fan Fest at Georgia World Congress Center before the game between University of Houston and Florida State kicks off. For more information, visit chick-fil-apeachbowl.com.

Downtown Countdown
The annual New Year’s Eve party returns to the Hyatt Regency Atlanta on Dec. 31 featuring bands, DJs, open bar, food and more. Doors open at 8 p.m. and the party keeps going until 2 a.m. Inclusive tickets start at $99. Visit downtowncountdownatl.net for tickets and more information.

Peach Drop
This might be the first time in 27 years that there is no Peach Drop. With Underground Atlanta sold to a developer, there had been no official announcements about moving the event to a new location.

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