Season of Magic at Piedmont Park
Nov. 22-Jan. 1 in Piedmont Park
LGBT Atlanta’s unofficial backyard gets into the spirit with the second-annual Season of Magic. Enjoy holiday lights throughout the park, along with a carousel and horse-drawn carriage rides. While you’re there, don’t miss the ice-skating rink now in its third year at Park Tavern. Opening Nov. 23, the rink is in a heated tent complete with music and rink-side dining. Enjoy dinner from MetroFresh and cocktails in the Glow Bar.
Ice skating at Centennial Park
Nov. 21-Jan. 27 in Centennial Park
Billed as the only outdoor skating rink in Atlanta, Centennial Park’s rink has been a favorite for more than a decade. As you skate, and after, enjoy the Holiday in Lights display, with 20 miles of lights and a nearly 60-foot Christmas tree.
Dec. 13, 7-8 p.m. in Decatur Square
A favorite with families, including many with two moms or two dads, the Decatur Bonfire warms you up with marshmallow roasting around a huge bonfire and visits with Santa in the community bandstand.
Dave Koz & Friends Christmas Tour
Nov. 30, 8 p.m.
Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre
Saxophonist extraordinaire Dave Koz, who just happens to be gay, brings his Christmas Tour to the Atlanta area for the 15th year. “Friends” joining Koz this year to offer fresh takes on holiday favorites include percussionist and singer Sheila E., known for her work with Prince and Cyndi Lauper, among others; “The Voice” winner Javier Colon; pianist David Benoit and singer/songwriter Margo Rey.
Atlanta Symphony holiday shows
Christmas with the ASO: Dec. 6-8
ASO Kid’s Christmas: Dec. 9 & 16
Handel’s Messiah: Dec. 13 & 15
ASO Gospel Christmas: Dec. 14-15
A Very Merry Holiday Pops: Dec. 19, 21-22
The always-lovely Atlanta Symphony Orchestra offers holiday concerts in multiple musical styles. Christmas with the ASO features 400 singers and musicians, including the symphony, the Morehouse College Glee Club, and more. Handel’s Messiah is a traditional spiritual favorite, while the Gospel Christmas offers both modern and traditional pieces. The annual Holiday Pops concert promises a variety show with everything from “the season’s merriest songs” to Santa dancing the jitterbug.
Nov. 22-Feb. 18
It’s the least-gay tradition on the list, and it’s packed with families and kids virtually non-stop. But c’mon, it’s snow, in Atlanta! Bring your kids, your nieces and nephews, or heck, just round up a group of friends for a day of tubing, roasting marshmallows and more. Look up at the Confederate carving on the mountain, then look around at the diverse crowd around you, and see how far the South has come. That’s something to be happy about, at the holidays and year ‘round.
Top photo: ‘Garden Lights, Holiday Nights’ debuted in 2011 at the Atlanta Botanical Garden and quickly earned its spot among the city’s most beautiful and beloved holiday traditions. (by Joey Ivansco)