Stop dreaming of a White Christmas. Based on historical evidence and the ice cream truck that just drove by your house, it’s not gonna happen. Here in the ATL we substitute the light stuff for the right stuff in lieu of the white stuff. It's the best way for Georgians to over-compensate for our subtropical climate than going total Griswold on our homes. This week we searched for the best Christmas displays Atlanta has to offer so we can shake our snow-less blues and get into the twinkly, animatronic spirit.
Christmas in the Grove in Decatur
1428 Oak Grove Drive, Decatur, GA 30033
Tony and Katie Paradowski love Christmas. A lot. So they always dreamed of being “one of those houses.” Long ago, while others had visions of sugarplums dancing in their noggins, they saw nothing but string after string of bright-colored bulbs. Now, their dream has come true, complete with Christmas-music-synchronization. Drive up, tune your radio to 87.9 FM and let the sparkly tsunami of Christmas cheer wash over you. And since the Paradowskis are all about sharing the love, they are now accepting donations for the ALS Association of Georgia.
Global Winter Wonderland
Turner Field, 755 Hank Aaron Dr. SE, Atlanta GA, 30315
We can't tell you what will come of Turner Field far into the future, but we can tell you what it turns into during the Braves' off-season this year: a heaping dose of wintry, jubilant bliss. Covering over 16 acres of land the Global Winter Wonderland includes a seven story Christmas tree, a Mayan Pyramid, and a 300 foot giant dragon made of 40,000 plates, cups and spoons (not to mention more predictable features like a holiday train, Santa and a candy house). Our personal favorite? the 70 foot tall sculpture of earth made from 20,00 recycled plastic bottles.
Atlanta Botanical Garden's Lights
1345 Piedmont Ave. NE, Atlanta GA 30309
For the third year in a row the Atlanta Botanical Garden has played host to a lights display that makes our hearts grow three sizes. With over a million lights transforming the garden's 30 acres into a glittery, wintry wonderland and enchanted forest, it's almost impossible for even the Scroogiest of Scrooges to resist the Christmas cheer. Plus, this light display comes complete with toasty fire pits, marshmallows for toasting, hot cocoa for sippin', oh, and did we mention the hot buttered rum?
Life University's Lights O' Life
Life University, 1269 Barclay Circle, Marietta GA, 30060
Life University is certainly our go-to stop for an adjustment or two, but between November 28th and December 31st the joint becomes much, much more. Lights O' Life is home to a host of different light displays – a nativity scene, a menorah and a 60 foot tall Christmas tree among others– but also home for a petting zoo, train rides, visits with Santa and – here's the tree topper for ya – pony rides. Consult their complete schedule and yippee ki yay the rest of the way to Christmas with us.