By Sue Rodman
When the turkey has been carved, the last piece of pie has been eaten and the adults wake up from a nap, what is there to do in Atlanta on Thanksgiving Day? Beyond hitting the mall or other retail stores? The answer is, a lot. So if you’re going a little stir crazy with the family in town, or you just want to get out and work off a few helpings of stuffing, here are seven things you can do in Atlanta on Thanksgiving Day.
Things to do in Atlanta on Thanksgiving Day
Go for a hike
Fall is here with cooler temperatures and leaves still falling from the trees. Enjoy the outdoors and work off a little of your Thanksgiving meal with a family hike. Here are three places near Atlanta to enjoy a hike
- Sope Creek Trail – This trail in Marietta takes you to a babbling creek and historic mill ruins.
- Sweetwater Creek State Park – My boys loved hopping the rocks across the creek. You’ll also walk past mill ruins. Unfortunately, the Green certified visitor’s center is closed on Thanksgiving, but come back another day to check out the museum about Sweetwater Mill. Hear first person accounts of the day Union soldiers came to the Mill and destroyed it.
- Amicalola State Park – In addition to hiking, you can enjoy living history demonstrations in the lodge lobby throughout the day. Contact the Lodge for specific times.
Go Ice Skating
Atlanta has three different ice rinks with three very different personalities. Choose the one that is right for you and go ice skating in Atlanta on Thanksgiving Day. Here is a review of the ice rinks in Atlanta with links to additional information.
See a Show
Cirque du Soleil‘s epic love story Amaluna is at Atlantic Station and they have a show on Thanksgiving night. Get discount tickets from Goldstar. Or check out the discounts on these holiday shows.
Thanksgiving night is a perfect time to see Holiday Lights in Atlanta. This is one of the most popular evenings, so if you plan to go to any of the paid attractions, call ahead for tickets and no matter where you go, bring an extra dose of patience. You aren’t the only one with this great idea. My current favorite light display is the Atlanta Botanical Gardens Garden Nights, Holiday Lights. Centennial Park usually has a great display too, and it’s free.
Play with LEGOS
LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Phipps Plaza is open on Thanksgiving Day from 10 – 7 pm. Shop at LEGOLAND Discovery Center on Black Friday and get a free annual pass to LEGOLAND Discovery Center with every purchase of $250 or more. That’s a pretty sweet deal for LEGO fans.
Go on a Scavenger Hunt
Purchase a ClueTown Book before the holiday and explore the city with a scavenger hunt. Solve puzzles to move on to the next stop. There are four ClueTown Books, so you can explore any of these four areas of Atlanta. Decatur, Piedmont Park, Oakland Cemetery or The Atlanta Beltline.
Attend Macy’s Great Tree Lighting
The great tree lighting returns to Lenox Square on Thanksgiving night with a show featuring live musical performances and fun for the entire family! Crowds of more than 100,000 are drawn each year for the spectacular event as a special Thanksgiving tradition.
Looking for something to do the day AFTER Thanksgiving, try the High Museum of Art Family Day.