Published on : Saturday, November 4, 2017
The holiday season in Athens, Georgia, offers many opportunities for endless celebration. Now is the time to plan a holiday vacation in Georgia. Visitors can enjoy festive heritage events, artist markets for one-of-a-kind gifts, world-class entertainment and holiday productions, and, as always in Athens, live music.
Mannheim Steamroller Christmas: Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis has been one of America’s favorite holiday tradition for over 30 years! Experience the magic as the spirit of the season comes alive on November 19 at The Classic Center Theatre with the signature sound of Mannheim Steamroller and selected compositions from Davis’ groundbreaking Fresh Aire series.
Athens on Ice: Athens, Georgia’s only indoor/outdoor ice rink is almost open for the season. The Classic Center is home to an indoor NHL-sized Ice Skating arena and outdoor skating pavilion. From November 24 to January 15, the rink will be indoors, then moved to the outdoor pavilion from January 29 to February 25. With multiple public skating sessions every day, adults only public skating and drop-in hockey, this winter staple is perfect for the whole family to enjoy.
University of Georgia Holiday Concert: The UGA Symphony Orchestra, choirs and other ensembles will celebrate this joyous season with a variety of holiday music on November 30 and December 1. Experience the sounds of the season with the young talented musicians of the University.
Athens Santa Pub Crawl: Hosted by Live Wire Athens, this festive pub crawl will take place on December 2 from 6:30 p.m. to midnight. Visitors dress in Santa costumes or their silliest holiday attire and visit multiple bars to spread the holiday cheer throughout the town. Wristbands are $15-20 and include stops at multiple venues. All proceeds benefit the Athens Area Humane Society.
Indie South Fair Holiday Hooray!: This heritage market provides a venue for artists to connect with the community by sharing their techniques and creative processes in a street-fair atmosphere that is open to everyone. Spend the day at Chase Street on December 2 and 3 to shop for holiday gifts and decor.
Classic City Tour of Homes: Visitors from all over gather in Athens for this special event, hosted by UGA Miracle. This is the only time of the year the University of Georgia sorority and fraternity houses are opened to the public. The houses are prepped to showcase their rich history, traditions and holiday festivity on December 3 from 12:30 to 5 p.m.
Classic City Band Holiday Concert: The State Botanical Garden of Georgia will host this concert on December 5 at 7 p.m. The Classic City Band is the oldest community band.
“Deck the Hollow” Holiday Light Show at Bear Hollow Zoo: The Bear Hollow Zoo will be illuminated in lights, offer live music, animal encounters and photo opportunities on December 7-10 and 14-17 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Concessions, including hot chocolate and s’mores will be available for purchase.
The Downtown Christmas Parade of Lights: This popular annual event gives viewers and participants the opportunity to enjoy an evening parade in Downtown Athens while it is decorated for the holiday season. On December 7, dozens of floats, bands and groups will wind through downtown streets awash in twinkling lights. The parade begins on the corner of Dougherty and Pulaski Streets at 7 p.m. and ends in front of City Hall for the traditional tree lighting ceremony hosted by Santa and Mrs. Claus.
Breakfast with Santa at The Classic Center: Santa Claus is coming to The Classic Center! Families are invited to The Classic Center Atrium on Saturday, December 9 from 8:30-11:00 a.m. for Breakfast with Santa, an event benefiting The Classic Center Cultural Foundation. Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for children 10 and under. Attendees will enjoy a full delicious breakfast buffet, a special visit with Santa and other holiday characters, photo and holiday craft. Attendees will also receive $2 off of an ice skating session at The Classic Center.
ATHICA Holiday Market: The Athens Institute for Contemporary Art is hosting their annual Holiday Market and Chase Street Warehouse Open House on Saturday, December 9 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This is a unique opportunity to support local Athens artists and do holiday shopping for the one who has everything.
Holiday Spirits Museum Mile Tour: The Athens Historic House Museum Association will offer two special holiday editions of their Museum Mile Tour of Historic Interiors on December 10 at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Visitors will experience the holidays in authentic Antebellum style and learn about holiday traditions along the way.
State Botanical Garden of Georgia Holiday Open House: Experience the splendor of the Visitor Center and Conservatory at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia decorated for the holidays on December 10 from 2 to 5 p.m. Children will be able to share their wishes with Santa and create a holiday craft. The gift shop will be well stocked with holiday decor, books, jewelry, toys and more. The Athens Flute Choir will perform their Holiday Concert in the Day Chapel at 4 p.m. The acoustics are perfect for this holiday treat.
The Nutcracker: The treasured tale of a little girl’s journey through the fantasy world of fairies, princes, toy soldiers, and an army of mice comes to Athens December 22 and 23 at The Classic Center Theatre. The Nutcracker Presented by the State Ballet Theatre of Russia is filled with Tchaikovsky’s beloved music along with spectacular sets, beautiful costumes, and enchanting choreography.
New Year’s Eve 2017: A variety of venues are hosting special events to ring in the new year. Spend the night at the Foundry for their Land Yacht party, featuring Yacht Rock Schooner and Dawg-Town DJ, hosted by Graduate Athens (packages are available) or enjoy a special holiday package by Hotel Indigo, just to name a few. Landmark Athens venues like Georgia Theatre, 40 Watt, Live Wire and Caledonia will have live music.