This holiday season, reconnect and create moments of joy with 10+ ideas for holiday parties: Atlanta 2021 edition! In this post, you’ll discover festive outdoor activities, food tours, Atlanta holiday lights, virtual party ideas, and more! Get ready to throw on your favorite holiday attire and gather your friends, family, or coworkers for some ATL-style holiday fun.
This list was created with safety in mind for 2021. As a result, most activities included on this list are outdoors or distanced. Be sure to check each venue’s websites ahead of time for the most up-to-date information and protocols.
In this list, you’ll find:
- Ideas for a COVID-safe holiday party
- Free Atlanta holiday party ideas
- Atlanta Christmas party ideas
- The best Christmas lights Atlanta has to offer
- Activities for your company holiday party, Atlanta style
Atlanta Holiday Party Ideas 2021
1. Plan a Bowling Party
Host a fun, interactive holiday bowling party at The Comet Pub & Lanes in Decatur. This is one of our favorite laid-back holiday and Christmas party venues. That’s because bowling is a great bonding activity that encourages everyone to loosen up and get to know each other.
Additionally, The Comet serves up from-scratch pizza, burgers, wings, sandwiches, and more. They also have a full bar as well as an arcade room. You can reserve lanes and shoes ahead of time. Or, purchase a special event party package complete with food and drinks for your group.
2. Take a Walking Food Tour through Grant Park
Book an active holiday foodie adventure! With this outdoor weekend experience, your group will explore Atlanta’s Grant Park neighborhood with an expert local guide. This fun tour combines history, food, and beautiful Victorian architecture located in the heart of Atlanta. On this tour, your group will taste eight delicious dishes from three popular local food stops. Add more holiday fun by encouraging everyone to wear a tacky sweater!
This experience covers 1.2 easy miles over 2.5 hours, including a stroll through Historic Oakland Cemetery. Learn more and book your walking food tour here. This experience is a perfect way to get everyone out of the house to have a fun experience together – with minimal planning required!
3. Explore Atlanta on Bicycle
Bicycling has become a popular activity during the pandemic as more of us head outdoors for recreation. One of the best things about living in Atlanta is that outdoor activities are comfortable year-round – even during the holidays!
If your group knows how to ride a bike, get them on two wheels to celebrate the end of the year. Bicycle Tours of Atlanta has several different options, ranging from a Civil Rights-themed experience to their Fall in Love with Atlanta tour. These are also a fun experience because your guests will get to see some of the city’s prettiest street art on the Beltline. Book your bicycle tour here.
4. Book an Outdoor Patio Table
Skip the cooking and cleaning that come with hosting a party at your home. Instead, opt for an outdoor dining experience at one of Atlanta’s best restaurants. To make it festive, you can plan a gift exchange or leave a wrapped party favor at everyone’s seat. Or, drive around and look at holiday lights afterward as you sip hot cocoas.
Check out OpenTable’s guide: Atlanta’s 14 Best Restaurants for Outdoor Dining. Many of the patios featured on this list have heaters set up and other cozy touches. Find a spot you love and book an outdoor table for your group!
5. Take a Segway Tour
Roll through the city on speedy Segways and take a look at the city’s beautiful holiday decorations along the way. You’ll see Christmas trees, lights, and wreaths on your segway tour through Atlanta’s Eastside or Midtown neighborhoods.
Because riding a Segway can get chilly, you may want to book a warm day for your tour if you can. This experience is a great way to stay socially distanced while also experiencing the city together in a new way. Book your segway tour here.
6. Host an Atlanta Gift Swap (FREE Downloadable)
A gift swap or Secret Santa party is one of the easiest Atlanta holiday party ideas. To get started, download our invitation template (pictured above) and customize it with your party information. This idea is also perfect for a virtual party – just mail your gifts and unwrap during a video call!
Here are some theme ideas for your Atlanta-themed gift swap:
- Atlanta Small Business Santa: Support local makers and small business owners. This year, encourage everyone in your group to purchase their gift swap item from a small business.
- A Peachy Gift Exchange: Make it a peach-themed party where everyone purchases peachy items! Search Etsy for inspiration. You’ll find adorable peach earrings, light-up neon wall signs, cheeky stickers, and more.
- Get Creative: For a *bit* more work, have everyone craft a simple homemade gift. You could create a heartfelt mailed card, knit a scarf, bake holiday cookies, or make a Spotify playlist for your recipient.
- Foodie Secret Santa: Restaurants have really been struggling throughout the pandemic. One fun Secret Santa idea is to have everyone send each other a restaurant gift card to try a new takeout or dining experience. These days, some restaurants even offer at-home meal kits.
- Favorite Things Party: Choose one of your favorite items – for example, a beloved nail polish, kitchen gadget, drink, or craft activity – within a certain dollar limit, such as $10. Then, purchase multiples of your favorite item, so that each person attending the party will receive one. In other words, if your party includes 8 guests, purchase 8 of your favorite item. Everyone will swap and learn more about each other!
7. Experience a Country Christmas on the Farm
If you’ve always dreamed of a holiday at the farmstead, check out A Country Christmas at Pettit Creek Farms. Located in Cartersville, this is the perfect spot for a cozy winter holiday experience. Throw on your favorite flannel and get ready for some good old-fashioned fun on the farm.
At Pettit Creek Farms, you’ll see holiday lights as well as a live nativity scene and petting zoo. You can even roast s’mores around a campfire. To cap off the perfect holiday experience, you can even select a fresh-cut tree to take home!
8. Check out Atlanta Holiday Lights
Atlanta will be full of twinkling holiday lights in 2021! One of our favorite displays is Garden Lights, Holiday Nights at the Atlanta Botanical Garden in Midtown and Gainesville. This annual light display is an Instagrammable wonderland of lush plants and glittering bulbs.
Other spots around Atlanta that typically host light displays include Atlantic Station, Lake Lanier Islands, and Callaway Gardens. Additionally, the Atlanta History Center typically hosts Candlelight Nights. This annual event series includes a holiday market, decorated gardens and grounds, and more festive fun.
9. Play Atlanta Holiday Bingo (FREE Downloadable)
Gather your group and download and print our ATL-themed Bingo card (pictured above). To get started, choose one person to act as the host and call out the Bingo items. Then, everyone can check off the items they’ve done as you go through the list.
This game includes many Atlanta “bucket list” activities, making it a great jumping off point for deeper conversation and connection. As a result, don’t be afraid to pause the game to share stories and laughs! The first person to call out “Bingo” wins. You can also do this activity on a video call during a virtual holiday party.
Virtual Holiday Parties: Atlanta Ideas
Virtual holiday parties don’t need to be just another boring or awkward Zoom call! Instead, these virtual holiday party ideas will get your group laughing and reconnecting with each other. Whether you’re looking for a corporate team building experience or a family get-together, try one of these virtual holiday party ideas for 2021!
10. Book a Virtual Ugly Sweater Party (Minimal Planning Required!)
Yes, you could go the DIY route when planning your virtual holiday party. On the other hand, you could relax and allow our sister company, Unexpected Virtual Tours, to handle all the details! Our team can pull together an amazing Atlanta virtual holiday party for you with only a few minutes of time needed on your side.
The hour-long Virtual Ugly Sweater Party includes treat boxes shipped to your group, scavenger hunts, trivia challenges, breakout rooms, and other party games led by a professional guide. Featured in The New York Times and Thrillist as one of the most creative virtual holiday party ideas! This experience is also perfect for a holiday corporate event.
11. Use an Atlanta Video Call Background (FREE Downloadables)
Represent Atlanta on your holiday video call this year! Choose a video call background that shows off your ATL love. A few of our favorite free Atlanta & Georgia themed virtual backgrounds:
- Downtown Atlanta skyline (see this view in person on our Martin Luther King, Jr. tour!)
- Krog Street Tunnel
- Georgia Aquarium
- Centennial Olympic Park
- Waffle House
12. Make an Atlanta-themed Holiday Playlist
If you’re tired of hearing the same holiday songs over and over, try something new this year. Set the mood during your virtual (or in person) holiday party with A Very Atlanta Christmas Playlist, courtesy of Atlanta Magazine.
This Spotify playlist includes holiday hits from Atlanta icons like Gucci Mane, CeeLo Green, Puddles Pity Party, Cat Power, and more. Note: some songs include NSFW language.
If you’re craving more Atlanta holiday fun, check out our blog post, Christmas Events in Atlanta: 2021 Guide.
However you choose to celebrate, we wish you and your loved ones a happy and healthy holiday season from all of us at Unexpected Atlanta!