• 9 of the most delightful holiday light displays in Georgia

    By: Mary Caldwell, For the AJC


    As the holiday season gets underway, the hustle and bustle can quickly overtake you as you rush to get everything done. 

    Take some family time to drive or walk through Georgia's many magical light displays. They'll get you into the holiday spirit while making fond family memories.

    The following are nine of the most delightful holiday light displays in Georgia:

    Rock City

    1400 Patten Road, Lookout Mountain (706) 820-2531

    Visit four uniquely themed "realms of wonder" in the Enchanted Garden of Lights and enjoy other Christmas-themed activities, such as decorating a gingerbread cookie with Mrs. Claus.

    Nov. 16 to Dec. 31 (closed on Christmas Eve). Tickets range from $11.95 to $21.95 Monday through Thursday and from $8.95 to $28.95 Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

    Stone Mountain

    1000 Robert E. Lee Blvd., Stone Mountain (800) 401-2407 

    Stone Mountain will be aglow with more than two million lights this season, joining many other holiday-themed activities. A tree lighting ceremony features the Snow Angel lighting up the town and you can climb aboard the Singalong Christmas Train to hear holiday music and the story of the first Christmas. 

    Nov. 10 to Jan. 6. Tickets range from $31.95 to $79.95 for children and adults, children under age  2 are admitted free. Online ticket prices are cheaper. Some ticket options include food and/or Snow Mountain. If you don’t have an annual parking pass there’s a $20 daily pass in addition to the ticket prices.

    Atlanta Botanical Garden

    1345 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta (404) 876-5859

    Enjoy light displays throughout the garden, with favorites such as the Orchestral Orbs, Model Trains and Radiant Rainforest, plus new features. 

    Nov. 17 to Jan. 6. Tickets start at $19.95 for adults, $16.95 for children (but can vary by date). Discounts are available for members. Buying online saves you some bucks and there’s a $14.95 after 9 p.m. deal for adults and children. It’s open til 11 p.m. 

    The Rock Ranch

    5020 Barnesville Hwy, The Rock, (706) 647-6374

    Chick-fil-A founder and Rock Ranch founder S. Truett Cathy started this display with a truckload of lights bought at after-Christmas sales, and it's grown to a mile-long display of thousands of lights. You can also take part in holiday-themed events like cookie-decorating and ornament decorating on select nights for an additional $8.

    Thanksgiving Day to Christmas Day. Admission is $10 per car. There are a few nights when they’ll accept any amount but c’mon, it’s just 10 bucks.

    Lake Lanier

    7000 Lanier Islands Pkwy, Buford (770) 945-8787

    Drive through seven miles of lights at Lanier Islands' Magical Nights of Lights. The number of displays just about never ends and new displays join old ones each year.  

    Nov. 16 to Feb. 24. Admission is $43 per car. You can also visit License to Chill Snow Island and purchase tickets for more attractions. You’ll need a reservation for snow tubing.

    Callaway Gardens

    17800 U.S. 27, Pine Mountain (855) 923-7299

    Callaway Gardens' Fantasy in Lights illuminates the park with over eight million lights. You might not think that this is the kind of thing that folks at National Geographic go for, but they put the Gardens on their top ten holiday lights list. Drive through the illuminated forest in your vehicle or ride in an open-air trolley to see favorite scenes such as Snow Day and Skating Party. 

    Nov. 16 to Jan. 5. Tickets range from$21 to $35 for adults, $10.50 to $17.50 for kids 6 to 12 and free for kids 5 and under. NOTE: Kids 5 and under need a free ticket if you’re ordering online.

    Six Flags Over Georgia

    275 Riverside Pkwy SW, Austell (770) 739-3400

    Holiday in the Park comes to Six Flags, with over one million lights and dozens of Christmas trees decorating the park. The Riverview Carousel will be covered in nearly 94,000 lights, 1,200 ornaments and more than 200 luminary candles. Even dark, gritty Gotham City is decked out for the holidays.

    Select dates from Nov. 17 to Jan. 6. Tickets range from $49.99 to $69.99, children under 2 are free. Parking is $25.

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    LIFE University

    1269 Barclay Circle, Marietta (678) 331-4342

    Lights of LIFE is your best all around value when it comes to holiday lights. Drive through more than a million (LED) lights over a mile and a half for as little as five bucks! In addition to plenty of lights, you'll find pony rides ($5), train rides and a petting zoo ($3). Santa visits on weekends.

    Nov. 22 to Dec.  31. Admission is $10 per car on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and from November 22 to 25 and December 14 to 31; rates drop to $5 per car Monday through Thursday (except for the dates previously listed). 

    Hobgood Park

    6688 Bells Ferry Road, Woodstock

    More than two million lights brighten Holiday Lights of Hope, which benefits the Anna Crawford Children's Center. Walk through the sparkling lights and animated displays and take time to roast s'mores, listen to carolers and shop in the general store. You can also work your way through a mile-long lighted maze.

    Dec. 7 to 23. Tickets are $10, children 14 and under free.

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