One of the things I LOVE about the holidays are the lights. One day, I’m going to rent a bus, stock it with good cheer and invite family and friends to tour the lights of Atlanta. Until then, here’s an incomplete list of where to find the lights so you can go on your own tour. Know a place I missed? Is there a great house in your neighborhood that goes all out with holiday decorations or lights? Add it in the comments. While you’re at it, let me know a little about you — are you a white lights only or the more color the better?
Centennial Olympic Park Holiday in Lights
Dates: Nov. 19 – Jan. 3, 2010
Info: Different and unique every year, Holiday in Lights runs through the first week of January. The Park is open daily to view the lights from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., including Dec. 25, Christmas Day, and there is no charge for admission. The Holiday in Lights spirit is carried throughout the Georgia World Congress Center Authority campus, which includes the Georgia World Congress Center, the Georgia Dome and Centennial Olympic Park. While you’re there, save some time to go ice skating.
It’s Snowin in Atlantic Station
Dates: Nov. 21 – Dec. 31, 2010
Info: View 250,000 lights within an 8 block radius. While you’re there, gather around Atlantic Station’s grand 50-foot tall Christmas Tree and experience the magic of a realistic snowfall weeknights at 7:30pm, and Fridays & Saturdays, hourly 6pm-9pm and Sundays at 6 pm. (Snow is weather permitting)
Life College Lights of Life
Dates: Nov. 23 – Dec. 31, 2010
Cost: $5 per car, $10 per van and $20 per bus
Info: More than 100 pieces displayed throughout the 1.5 mile drive through campus. The display of Santa and his sleigh stands over 65 feet high making it the tallest in the Southeast. There is a free petting zoo and pony and train rides for a fee. You can also sit on Santa’s lap or have your picture taken for $10. Hours are Sunday through Thursday 6 – 10 pm, Friday and Saturday 6 – 11 pm.
Lake Lanier Islands, Magical Night of Lights
Dates: Nov. 20 – Dec. 30, 2010 5 pm – 10 pm
Cost: Prices start at $40 for a pre-purchased car ticket. Vans and buses extra. Carnival rides and games are $20
Info: A seven-mile drive through tour of animated, festive, holiday light displays. At the end of your tour, the Holiday Village awaits with carnival rides and games, pony rides and numerous holiday treats. Warm up with a hot cup of cocoa or step inside Santa’s Workshop for some holiday shopping and a visit with Santa.
Callaway Gardens Fantasy in Lights
Dates: Nov. 19 – Dec. 30, 2010
Cost: Prime Time: $22 adults and $11 for children and Value Dates: $16 for adults and $8 for children (under 5 is free, but must have a ticket)
Info: With more than a dozen larger-than-life lighted scenes, Fantasy In Lights remains unique in that its scenes are custom-designed especially for Callaway Gardens–to celebrate not only the joy of the season but the wonder of nature in this idyllic setting. Drive your car or ride the Jolly Trolley to experience scenes like March of the Toy Soldiers and Snowflake Valley. At Robin Lake Beach, enjoy Twas The Night before Christmas and The Nativity, light and sound shows enticing passers-by to stop, reflect and enjoy.
A Stone Mountain Christmas
Dates: Nov. 13 – Jan. 2, 2010
Cost: Various plans, but the best value is a $119 family of four pass, includes 4 tickets and 4 meals vouchers
Info: More than two million twinkling lights. While you’re there, watch live entertainment shows, see the Polar Express in 4-D, watch a festive Christmas Parade, a special fireworks show and more.
The Village Green, Smryna
Dates: Dec. 4 – Jan. 1, 2010
Info: The Village Green area around the Library, Community Center the the Veterans Memorial – along with the Market Village – are dressed in lights and holiday cheer through New Year’s Eve/Day.
Another great source for information on holiday lights is Atlanta with Kid. Amy has a great list of homes that go all out.