Of all their celebrations, Stone Mountain Christmas was by far our favorite.
Christmas in Stone Mountain was like visiting a mountain town from days gone by, with Christmas train rides, caroling, funny shows, visits with Santa, snow tubing, and more.
Back then the Stone Mountain Christmas lights were some of the biggest in Georgia, with the entire Crossroads area, the train route, and the North Georgia mountain itself covered in colorful lights.
As my daughter grew up, newer Christmas attractions emerged, and Christmas at Stone Mountain Park remained virtually unchanged, our interest waned.
But our recent trip to see the Christmas lights at Stone Mountain showed us how much the celebration has changed. It also reminded me of why we fell in love with the Georgia Christmas event nearly 20 years ago!
Read on for our in-depth guide to 10 fun things to do at Stone Mountain Christmas, which includes info on tickets, parking, and all of the must-see holiday attractions.
Things to Do at Stone Mountain Christmas Guide
- Enjoy “The World’s Largest Christmas Light Show”
- Explore the Skylights Spectacular Christmas Lights
- Hear Frosted Fables About The Gingerbread Man
- Laugh at Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”
- Listen to the Christmas Carolers
- Play at the North Pole
- Ride the Sing-A-Long Christmas Train
- See the Snow Angel’s Christmas Parade
- Visit With Santa Claus
- Watch The Polar Express in 4D
Stone Mountain Park Christmas Info
ADDRESS: 1000 Robert E Lee Blvd, Stone Mountain GA 30083
STONE MOUNTAIN CHRISTMAS TICKETS: The 1-day attractions pass gives visitors access to all park attractions and Stone Mountain Christmas, including Stone Mountain Scenic Railroad, Historic Square, Mini Golf, and more.
Tickets for ages 12 and up are $39.95, children ages 3 to 12 are $34.95, and kids under 3 get in free. The Christmas VIP Attractions Pass gets you front-of-line access and other amenities for $10 more.
REGULAR STONE MOUNTAIN PARK HOURS: Open daily from 5 AM-Midnight
STONE MOUNTAIN PARK CHRISTMAS HOURS: Open from November 12, 2022 to January 1, 2023, but closed on Christmas Day. Hours vary widely, so check the Stone Mountain website for details.
STONE MOUNTAIN PARKING: Daily parking passes are $20 per vehicle, or you can get an annual pass for $40.
DRIVING DIRECTIONS: From Atlanta, head east on I-20 to I-285 North toward Greenville. In 7.9 miles, take exit 39B to merge onto US-78 E toward Snellville/Athens. In 7.5 miles, use the right 2 lanes to take exit 8 toward the Stone Mountain Park Entrance. After paying for parking, follow park signs to the Crossroads Area.
1. Enjoy “The World’s Largest Christmas Light Show”
The last time we saw the Stone Mountain Christmas lights on Memorial Lawn in 2018, we were woefully underwhelmed. It was basically a low-rent holiday version of the laser show they did every summer.
But the Christmas attraction has since been totally revamped and expanded, and the high-tech production is now being billed as “The World’s Largest Christmas Light Show.”
There’s a massive Christmas tree in the center of the lawn, onto which they project an array of colorful designs. Instead of projecting onto Stone Mountain, the lasers now shoot out over the crowd, like you’d see at a concert.
Santa Claus flies over the lawn in his sleigh to start the 6:30PM show, while the 8:20 PM show (which begins at 7:20PM on Christmas Eve and 8PM on New Years Eve) starts with the Snow Angel Snowfall Celebration.
But it’s the stunning combination of dazzling film projections onto the massive granite face of Stone Mountain and well-timed fireworks that make this our new favorite Christmas light display in Atlanta.
2. Explore the Skylights Spectacular Christmas Lights
One of the fun things about the Stone Mountain GA Christmas celebration is how the park transforms its most beloved activities for the holidays.
SkyHike is one of the nation’s largest family adventure courses. It has a quarter-mile of obstacles (like single rope crossings, suspended wooden bridges, and wooden slat crossings) that go from 12 to nearly 40 feet high.
But the Christmas event finds the ever-popular obstacle course covered from top to bottom with thousands of colorful lights that shift and shimmer in time with festive holiday music.
The immersive walk-through Christmas lights are short, but spectacular, and kids will enjoy the falling flakes of snow (man-made of course) that give this section that magical “White Christmas” vibe.
3. Hear Frosted Fables About The Gingerbread Man
One of our family’s favorite Christmas traditions is to read classic stories like “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “A Visit From St. Nicholas” in the days leading up to the holiday.
Kids who love story time will get a kick out of Stone Mountain’s Frosted Fables show, which takes place at the Gingerbread House 3 to 6 times a day.
Primarily aimed at children ages 2 to 8, the show finds Santa’s favorite baker, Candy, telling the timeless tale of the Gingerbread Man who runs too fast to be caught.
The charming Christmas show features lots of humor, audience interaction, and puppets, so it’s entertaining enough for grownups to enjoy as well.
4. Laugh at Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”
Speaking of funny shows, Christmas in Stone Mountain GA wouldn’t be the same without the unmitigated silliness of seeing A Christmas Carol adapted for the Azalea Stage.
Offered anywhere from 2 to 5 times a day, this 25-minute adaptation is a refreshingly short and irreverent take on Charles Dickens’ timeless Christmas classic.
With one actor doubling as the host and playing Ebenezer Scrooge, the rest of the playful cast takes on multiple roles and clearly delights in skewering the hoary chestnut of holiday redemption.
The hilarious production features lots of audience interaction and a good bit of improvisation, with lots of laughs that are appropriate for visitors of all ages.
5. Listen to the Crossroads Christmas Carolers
If you like live music, you’ll want to swing by Celebration Circle (which is also a great place to watch the Snow Angel’s Christmas Parade) to catch the Crossroads Carolers.
Performing anywhere from 3 to 6 times per day, depending on which day you visit, these lovely lasses offer up some of your favorite Christmas carols with a snazzy twist.
Surrounded by Christmas trees and colorful Christmas lights, the trio offers 15 minutes of holiday tunes, encouraging participation and audience interaction.
It’s a great way to celebrate the small town tradition of Christmas caroling, and it’s sure to put a smile on your face and a jazzy jingle in your step.
6. Play at the North Pole
Located just outside The Magnolia venue (where Santa Claus poses for photos), the North Pole is a small play area with lots of fun things to do.
There are larger-than-life Christmas gifts covered in festive lights, which make for great selfie spots, and a cute polar bear who is more than happy to pose for photos.
Kids really seemed to enjoy the simulated ice skating rink, where they can take off their shoes and slide around in their socks without serious risk of falling and hurting themselves.
This is also where the “Elfin’ Parade Party” happens every night at 6PM, with juggling elves and snow before the parade ends in a HUGE dance party featuring the entire Stone Mountain Christmas cast!
7. Ride the Sing-A-Long Christmas Train
Just as the NC mountains have two popular Christmas trains (the Polar Express in Bryson City and Tweetsie Railroad in Blowing Rock), North Georgia has holiday-themed trains in Blue Ridge and Stone Mountain.
The Stone Mountain Scenic Railroad is fun at any time of year, taking visitors on a picturesque 40-minute ride around the base of the most visited mountain in the state of Georgia.
For the Stone Mountain Christmas event, the train is decked out in white Christmas lights, with colorful Christmas light displays set up along the 5-mile route.
There are also TVs displaying lyrics for festive Christmas carol sing-a-longs, and the train makes a short stop in the Pebble Ridge area for the special story of “The Gift.”
Note that all Stone Mountain Scenic Railroad cars are open-air, and the area can get quite chilly at night. Wear warm layers, and some folks even bring blankets to snuggle under during the rousing ride!
8. See the Snow Angel’s Christmas Parade
“The World’s Largest Christmas Light Show” is inarguably the highlight of Christmas at Stone Mountain, but the Snow Angel’s Christmas Parade is a close second.
The parade floats have improved considerably over the years, with the Snow Angel’s float looking like one of those magical thrones you’d expect to see a Disney World princess perched upon.
The Snow Angel is followed closely by Santa and Mrs. Claus on their own lavishly decorated float, waving to their adoring fans as the colorful Christmas lights dazzle the eyes.
Follow them to the parade’s end at the North Pole for a choreographed song-and-dance number that will get your toes a-tapping and your hands a-clapping!
9. Visit With Santa Claus
No matter how old I get, I always get a thrill out of seeing jolly ol’ St Nick in person.
Before and after making his appearance during the Snow Angel’s Christmas Parade, you can visit with Santa at The Magnolia building, which is right next to the North Pole section of the park.
It’s a gorgeous set-up for photos with Santa. His wooden bench is backed by a fireplace surrounded by colorful nutcrackers, wreaths, garlands, and other symbols of Christmas.
Santa takes time to speak to each child personally, so they can give him their wish list and pose for photos their parents will treasure for decades to come.
It’s a wonderful way to capture the memories of celebrating Christmas at Stone Mountain Park.
10. Watch The Polar Express in 4D
For those who haven’t seen it, the animated classic tells the story of a doubting young boy who takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole, ultimately learning the magical power of belief
The Polar Express 4-D Experience brings the treasured holiday movie to life in a visceral way. It’s so realistic, you’ll swear you can feel the wind from the train on your face, and smell the “Hot Chocolate” in the air.
Set inside a theater completely covered in Stone Mountain Christmas lights, it’s a warm holiday experience that kids of all ages can enjoy. –by Bret Love; all photos by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett