The Best Christmas Lights in Atlanta and North Georgia for 2021

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When the “most wonderful time of the year” finally arrives, nothing gets us in the holiday spirit quite like watching millions of colorful twinkling lights.

Whether we’re driving through an epic 5-mile attraction or strolling along on foot while enjoying a cup of hot cocoa, looking at Georgia Christmas lights is one of our favorite annual holiday traditions.

Fortunately, there are an impressive array of sensational Christmas light displays in Atlanta and North Georgia, ranging from quaint small town holiday celebrations to extravagant immersive experiences.

So gather up your friends and family and read on to see our picks for the best Christmas lights in Atlanta and all across the North Georgia mountains!

READ MORE: Georgia Christmas Tree Farms Where You Can Cut Your Own Christmas Tree

Christmas Lights in Atlanta and North Georgia Guide

  1. Garden Lights, Holiday Nights at Atlanta Botanical Gardens
  2. Atlanta Festival of Lights at Atlantic Station
  3. Stone Mountain Christmas at Stone Mountain Park
  4. Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Over Georgia
  5. Holiday Road at The Horse Mansion at Bouckaert Farm in Fairburn GA
  6. Lights of Life in Marietta GA
  7. World of Illumination Rockin’ Christmas at Six Flags White Water
  8. Lakeside Lights Spectacular at Lake Lanier Islands
  9. Holiday Lights of Hope at Hobgood Park in Woodstock GA
  10. A Country Christmas at Pettit Creek Farms in Cartersville GA
  11. Light Up the Holidays at Barnsley Gardens in Adairsville GA
  12. Holiday Lights at Veterans Park in Canton GA
  13. Enchanted Garden of Lights at Rock City in Lookout Mountain GA
  14. Light Up Blue Ridge in Blue Ridge GA
  15. Mountain Country Christmas in Lights in Hiawassee GA
  16. Old Fashioned Christmas in Dahlonega GA

 

Christmas Lights in Atlanta

 

1. Garden Lights, Holiday Nights

Atlanta Botanical Garden (Nov 13 – Jan 15)

Voted  the best holiday event in metro Atlanta by readers of the AJC, the Atlanta Botanical Garden‘s Garden Lights, Holiday Nights illuminates 30 acres with over two million colorful, energy-efficient LED light bulbs.

The attraction showcases botanical themes that coincide with the natural beauty of the garden, while also bringing a special spark of holiday cheer.

Many of the display’s fan-favorite features will be returning in 2021, including the Edible Garden, Ice Goddess, and 100-foot-long Tunnel of Light. But there will also be some new elements this year to look forward to.

These include a colorful Glowing Grove along the Flower Walk, huge flowers leading to the Ice Goddess, and a number of lighted sculptures from their 2021 summer exhibition, “SUPERnatural: Glass Art,” by Jason Gamrath.

While many of the most popular Christmas lights in Georgia are drive-through, the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s annual holiday attraction encourages people to explore on foot.

That way you can get up close to the massive lit-up Christmas trees, captivating glass sculptures, and huge snowflakes while enjoying the festive music and a warm cup of cocoa by the fire.

READ MORE: The 10 Best State Parks With Cabins In Georgia

ATL Holiday Lights
Photo courtesy of Atlantic Station

2. Atlanta Festival of Lights

Atlantic Station (Nov 11-Jan 2)

The Atlantic Station holiday lights are bigger and better in 2021, with hand-crafted displays from some of your favorite holiday movies, a mini-neighborhood featuring local establishments, and plenty of holiday joy.

To experience the Atlanta Festival of Lights in all its glory, you can drive through on value nights (Sunday through Thursday) for $25 per car in advance, or $30 at the gate.  On Friday and Saturday nights, the cost is $35 per car in advance, or $40 at the gate.

If you want to walk through the attraction, visit on Thursday, when the cost is just $15 per adult in advance, or $20 at the gate. Kids ages 15 and under enter for free!

Along with enjoying the holiday lights, there are other Christmas traditions you can enjoy at Atlantic Station.

They include Martinis & Mistletoe, the Makers Market (running on weekends through December), and Skate the Station, where you can skate at the largest outdoor skating rink in metro Atlanta (Nov 19-Jan 17).

READ MORE: 30 Fun Facts About Georgia State History, Culture & More

Stone Mountain Christmas
Stone Mountain Christmas

3. Stone Mountain Christmas

Stone Mountain Park  (Nov 13 – Jan 2)

The most popular tourist attraction in Georgia also hosts one of the state’s most beloved holiday traditions.

Stone Mountain Park always has plenty of fun to offer during the day. But once the sun goes down, the Crossroads Village glows with over 2 million lights and a massive Christmas tree, while the mountainside is lit up with a holiday-themed laser show.

You and your family can share heartwarming memories as you visit with Angelina the Snow Angel, explore the Musical Frosted Forest, and bring your Christmas wishes to Santa at his North Pole office.

After visiting with Santa, your family can watch in awe as he flies overhead in his sleigh each night during the Enchanted Tree Lighting Ceremony.

There are several holiday-themed live shows as well, including a comedic take on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and a performance by the Tinseltown Carolers.

New for 2021 is the Christmas Light Show, which features 20 minutes of your favorite holiday songs being brought to life with special effects, videos, and a booming firework finale!

READ MORE: The 15 Best North Georgia Mountains for Hiking

Six Flags Holiday in the Park
Photo courtesy of Six Flags

4. Holiday in the Park

Six Flags Over Georgia (Nov 20 – Jan 2)

Six Flags Over Georgia is a fun-filled park at any time of the year. But it becomes an especially exciting adventure during Christmastime, when their Holiday in the Park celebration begins.

Back for its 7th season in 2021, Six Flags will feature tons of rides decked out in Christmas decorations, holiday-themed sections, and more than a million sparkling LED lights scattered throughout the park.

Along with the rides (some of which offer glimpses of Santa’s sleigh), you can take a trip to the North Pole to get a photo with Santa Claus himself, and gather around an all-new tree lighting display.

There are also holiday-themed stage shows where you can dance and sing along to Christmas classics, or just sit back and enjoy hearing your favorite carols.

In terms of tasty treats, you can warm up by the fire with a cup of hot cocoa and some s’mores, or enjoy decadent sweets like chocolate peppermint-flavored funnel cakes!

READ MORE: The 15 Best North Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites

Holiday Road
Photo courtesy of Holiday Road Atlanta

5. Holiday Road

(The Horse Mansion at Bouckaert Farm in Fairburn, GA, Nov 26 – Jan 2)

Holiday Road is an incredible, immersive walking trail filled with sparkling lights and delightful displays that are sure to warm your heart and get you excited for the holiday season.

Located at the Horse Mansion at Bouckaert Farm, the event opens at 5PM and closes at 11PM with designated time slots for the walk starting at 6PM and ending at 9:30PM.

While at the Holiday Road event, you can also visit some of the best food trucks in the area to get a delicious meal or visit the Holiday Bar to pick up a savory cocktail, a glass of wine, or a beer.

There is also a souvenir shop you can drop by to pick out a memorable keepsake to bring home with you!

Christmas Lights Near Atlanta (OTP Suburbs)

 
Christmas Lights in Atlanta -Lights of Life
Photo by Paul S via Facebook

6. Lights of Life

Life University, Marietta (Nov 25 – Dec 31)

Drawing huge local crowds each year (largely due to word-of-mouth), Lights of Life at Life University is one of Atlanta’s oldest Christmas light displays.

The 1.5-mile drive is located on the Marietta college’s campus. It features one million LED lights, with over 100 different elements, including a 65-foot-tall Santa/sleigh display that is the tallest in the Southeast!

The light display is a little different each year, which helps to keep visitors coming back to the event yover and over again. But there’s a lot more to Lights of Life than just the lights.

For additional fees, there’s also a petting zoo, pony rides, train rides, photo opportunities with Santa, and lots of delicious food options.

READ MORE: The 10 Best Wineries in the North Georgia Mountains

World of Illumination Light Show - Christmas lights in Georgia
World of Illumination

7. World of Illumination Rockin’ Christmas

Six Flags White Water, Marietta (Nov 12 – TBD)

World of Illumination is the producer of the largest drive-through animated Christmas light show in the world. In 2021, they’re bringing their light extravaganza to Georgia for the second consecutive year.

Located in the parking lot of Six Flags White Water, Rockin’ Christmas is a new synchronized musical experience that features a one-mile journey filled with hundreds of animated displays and millions of colorful lights.

The display takes 25-30 minutes to drive through, and you can crank up your radio to enjoy the lively music as you take in the sights of huge boomboxes, jukeboxes, and DJ Santa with his sidekick, the Little Drummer Boy.

There will also be a 500-foot-long LED tunnel that doubles as Santa’s magical portal.

The show opens on November 12 and runs from 6pm to 10 pm each night (including holidays). Ticket prices are $45-$55 per vehicle, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Georgia.

READ MORE: 101+ Things to Do in North Georgia

Lakeside Lights Spectacular
Photo courtesy of Margaritaville at Lake Lanier Islands

8. Lakeside Lights Spectacular

Margaritaville at Lanier Islands (Nov 12 – Feb 27)

Taking you on a magical walk-through light show, the Lakeside Lights Spectacular is a family-friendly event at Lanier Islands that showcases some of the most beautiful Christmas lights in Georgia.

Ranging from traditional holiday displays to high-tech images and Margaritaville-themed scenes, the light show (which replaced longtime Lake Lanier favorite Magical Nights of Lights) has a little bit of everything.

Before you embark on the journey, check out Santa’s Tiki Bar, where you can get a drink to enjoy while strolling through the holiday light displays.

Along with specialty cocktails and craft beers, you can also purchase popcorn, cotton candy, and other treats.

If you’re with little ones (or you’re just a kid at heart), drop by Dasher’s Drinks & Treats and grab a s’mores kit to roast marshmallows at the fire pits.

READ MORE: The 15 Best Lakes in the North Georgia Mountains

Holiday Lights of Hope - Christmas Lights in Atlanta and North Georgia
Photo courtesy of Holiday Lights of Hope

9. Holiday Lights of Hope

Hobgood Park, Woodstock (Dec 2 – 23)

Now in its 10th year, Holiday Lights of Hope is a huge walk-through Christmas light display at Hobgood Park in Woodstock GA.  

The attraction features over two million dazzling lights, including both traditional and animated displays.

Along with walking through the incredible display, you can also enjoy walking through the mile-long Christmas maze, roasting s’mores over a bonfire, and even getting your picture taken with Santa.

You can also take a stroll down Main Street to wrap up some Christmas shopping while enjoying the lively music of the Christmas carolers.

Adult tickets are $10, while children 14 and under are free. In the giving spirit of the holidays, the money benefits the Anna Crawford Children’s Center.

READ MORE: The 20 Best Easy Hiking Trails to Waterfalls in Georgia

 

Christmas Lights in North Georgia 

Pettit Creek Farms Christmas Lights - Christmas Lights in Atlanta and North Georgia
Photo courtesy of Pettit Creek Farms

10. A Country Christmas

Pettit Creek Farms in Cartersville GA (Opens Nov 25)

A Country Christmas brings you all the homespun charm you’d expect from a traditional Appalachian holiday celebration. It’s held at Pettit Creek Farms, whose 80 acres of land have been in the Allen family since 1945.

The grandchildren of the original owners now operate the popular farm, displaying over a mile of Christmas lights that visitors can drive through during the holidays.

The entry fee is $30 per car or $10 for an old-fashioned hayride. Included in the price is a visit to the petting zoo, where you can visit with real live Reindeer!

You can also visit Santa’s Cottage to get photos with jolly old St. Nick (every Thursday through Sunday from 6 pm to 9 pm), and enjoy the live Nativity taking place on December 12, 2021.

Be sure to bring some cash with you so you can purchase some hot chocolate, funnel cakes, and s’mores to enjoy around the fire. 

READ MORE: Exploring the Etowah Indian Mounds Historic Site & Trails in Cartersville GA

Barnsley Resort Christmas - Christmas Lights in Atlanta and North Georgia
Barnsley Resort Christmas via Barnsley Resort

11. Light Up the Holidays

Barnsley Resort in Adairsville GA (Nov 28 – Jan 2)

Barnsley Resort is located in the town of Adairsville GA, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

The historic resort is famous for its pre-Civil War ruins, luxurious accommodations and spa, and excellent outdoor recreation opportunities.

At Christmastime, the striking English-style garden and historic Manor House Ruins are illuminated with over one million lights and festive décor, making the well-tended grounds all the more beautiful.

Throughout the holiday season, there are also a variety of themed events to enjoy, including campfire storytelling, gingerbread house crafting, cookie decorating, hayrides, and wreath-making classes.

On Christmas Day, there’s an extensive buffet from their restaurants Executive Chef in the Georgian Hall.

READ MORE: The Top 10 Treehouse Rentals in the Georgia Mountains

Holiday Lights at Veterans Park - Christmas lights in Georgia
Photos courtesy of Holiday Lights at Veterans Park via Facebook

12. Holiday Lights at Veterans Park

Canton GA (Nov 23-Dec 31)

This enthusiastic USA Christmas light display is held at Veterans Park in Canton, which explains its unique combination of American patriotism and holiday magic. 

The annual North Georgia attraction features two drive-thru tunnels, animated Christmas displays, and over one million sparkling lights along the two-mile drive.

One quarter-mile of the drive is dedicated to our nation’s veterans, and includes awe-inspiring displays that pay tribute to each branch of the U.S. military.

Admission is $20 per car, and can include multiple run-throughs on the same night.

Also, note that a portion of the proceeds will be donated to various charities, including Skills USA, Papa’s Pantry, CRPA Pay it Forward, and Veterans of Cherokee County.

READ MORE: The 20 Best Places to Live in the Georgia Mountains

Enchanted Garden of Lights Grand Corridor - Christmas lights in Georgia
Photo courtesy of Rock City

13. Enchanted Garden of Lights

Rock City Gardens in Lookout Mountain GA (Nov 19-Jan 2; Closed Dec 24)

In 2021, Rock City’s acclaimed Enchanted Garden of Lights is celebrating 27 years of holiday splendor.

Located atop Lookout Mountain (on the border between Georgia and Tennessee), the attraction features 30+ holiday scenes and close to a million LED lights, which transform the gardens into a winter wonderland.

Whether you’re walking through the Grand Corridor in Yule Town, watching the icy lights sparkle in the Arctic Kingdom, or exploring the exciting enchantments of the Magic Forest, there’s no shortage of dazzling scenery.

There are also an array of seasonal activities to enjoy, including meeting Santa Claus in his workshop and visiting the Christmas shops, where you can buy ornaments and other traditional symbols of Christmas.

Make sure to bring your smartphone or camera, because there are plenty of fun photo opportunities here for you, your family, and your friends!

READ MORE: The Best North Georgia Christmas Events

Christmas Lights in Georgia -Light Up Blue Ridge

14. Light Up Blue Ridge

Downtown Blue Ridge (Nov 26 – Nov 27)

One of Georgia’s most beloved mountain towns, Blue Ridge GA is a charming town at any time of year. But we find it particularly cheerful during the Christmas season.

The town’s holiday festivities kick off with the annual Light Up Blue Ridge celebration, where families can enjoy a variety of seasonal activities and special events.

Beginning with Blue Friday (their small town twist on Black Friday) on November 26, the event includes discounts at downtown stores and restaurants, food vendors, hot apple cider, and strolling entertainment.

The Gingerbread Village at the Arts Center, which features 95 creative gingerbread houses, will also open on Blue Friday and run through December 12th.

But the main event is Light Up Blue Ridge on November 27, and it’s packed with holiday cheer. Festivities include live entertainment, tasty treats, a window decorating contest, and a Christmas parade at 5:30 pm.

You can also take pictures with Santa in the gazebo and send him a letter through Santa’s mailbox. You (or your child) will then receive a hand-written reply just a few days later!

READ MORE: The 15 Best Blue Ridge Georgia Cabins to Rent

Mountain Country Christmas in Lights - Christmas lights in Georgia
Photo courtesy of Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds

15. Mountain Country Christmas in Lights

Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds in Hiawassee GA (Nov 25-Dec 23)

Located along the scenic shores of Lake Chatuge at the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds, the annual Mountain Country Christmas in Lights transforms the area with a dazzling holiday light show.

You may recognize the venue from the Georgia Mountain Fair, Georgia State Fiddlers Convention, or the popular Fall Festival.

But the Mountain Country Christmas is one holiday event you won’t want to miss out on in 2021. 

Guests can enjoy joyous Christmas music provided by local church groups, shopping for arts and crafts from local vendors, delicious holiday food, and even photos with jolly old St. Nick himself.

Their “Cow Town” live exhibit will also be returning this year, allowing attendees to milk a cow and make butter, ice cream, and/or soap using traditional tools and machines.

READ MORE: The Best 15 Hiking Trails in the Chattahoochee National Forest

Christmas in Dahlonega
Christmas in Dahlonega GA, photo by UGArdener via CC BY-NC 2.0

16. Dahlonega’s Old Fashioned Christmas

Dahlonega GA (November 26-Jan 9)

One of the most beloved Blue Ridge Mountain towns in GA, Dahlonega is home to a lively downtown area, rich gold rush history, creative arts and music scene, diverse restaurants, and endless outdoor adventure.

When Christmastime rolls around, Dahlonega GA brightens with holiday cheer, as hundreds of twinkling lights illuminate the beautiful 19th-century buildings in the town square.

Providing the warmth of a traditional southern celebration, the Old Fashioned Christmas in Dahlonega GA kicks off with the lighting of the square on November 26 and continues with a variety of other events.

You can do some shopping at the Christmas Market at the Community House, watch the Irving Berlin musical, Holiday Inn, at the Holly Theater, enjoy live music, or even take a romantic carriage ride across town.

From November 26 to December 19, you can also visit with Santa on the square in front of the town’s beautifully decorated Christmas Tree.

On December 11, you can also watch Santa and others as they march through the streets of the Dahlonega GA Historic District during the annual Christmas Parade.  –by Christina Maggitas; lead image of Garden Nights, Holiday Lights by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett

 

Leave No Trace logo

We encourage anyone who loves the Blue Ridge region to learn about the Leave No Trace principles of responsible environmental stewardship. 

Stay on marked trails, take only pictures, pack out your trash, and be considerate of others who share the trails and parks you explore. 

Remember that waterfalls and rocky summits can be dangerous. Never try to climb waterfalls or get close to a ledge to get a selfie.

When you're exploring the wilderness, it's better to be safe than to be a statistic!

Growing up in rural south Georgia, Christina Maggitas developed a love for nature at a young age and spent the majority of her formative years outdoors. Since first visiting the Great Smokey Mountains with her family as a child, she has always admired the beauty of the Blue Ridge region and spends as much time as she can hiking north Georgia. She has a passion for writing and storytelling with the hopes of inspiring others to enjoy the great outdoors. Currently, Christina is a senior at Kennesaw State University where she is studying Journalism and Emerging Media.