This holiday season, reconnect and create moments of joy with 22+ ideas for holiday parties: Atlanta! 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.
Be sure to check each venue’s websites ahead of time for the most up-to-date information and protocols.
A few of our favorite Atlanta holiday party ideas:
Keep reading for details on these ideas – and other ideas!
- Plan a bowling party
- Take a walking food tour
- Host an Atlanta-themed gift swap
- See the best holiday lights in Atlanta
In this list, you’ll find:
- Free Atlanta holiday party ideas
- Atlanta Christmas party ideas
- Fun holiday ideas for families and friends in Atlanta
- The best Christmas lights Atlanta has to offer
- Activities for your company holiday party, Atlanta style
Watch the video below for a few of our favorite Atlanta holiday party ideas – then read on for more!
Atlanta Holiday Party Ideas
1. 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!
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! Browse all ATL tour options with Unexpected Atlanta for even more fun!
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.
A segway tour is a great way to experience the city in a new way – whether you’re a local or tourist!
Because riding a Segway can get chilly, you may want to book a warm day for your tour if you can. Book your Atlanta 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: 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 to try!
- 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. 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.
8. Check out Atlanta Holiday Lights
Atlanta will be full of twinkling holiday lights this year! 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.
Grab your crew and head to Garden Lights, Holiday Nights for an easy outing everyone will love! For a more formal occasion, inquire about rental opportunities at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Host your corporate party with the backdrop of the garden’s festive lights!
Other spots around Atlanta that typically host light displays include Atlantic Station, Stone Mountain, Lake Lanier Islands, Callaway Gardens, and Six Flags White Water.
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.
10. See an Atlanta Holiday Theater or Musical Performance
Attend an Atlanta theater or musical performance! Atlanta offers a wide variety of venues for your group to enjoy a holiday show.
Find shows including world-famous puppets to classic portrayals of holiday stories. Or, opt for a performance with a musical twist. Atlanta has a show for every taste!
Here is a list to get you started in picking the best show for your group:
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer at the Center for Puppetry Arts
- The Hip Hop Nutcracker at The Fox Theatre
- Georgia Boy Choir at Peachtree Road United Methodist Church
- A Christmas Carol at the Alliance Theather
- Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker at Cobb Energy Center
- Nutcracker! Musical Christmas Ballet at The Fox Theatre
Create a moving and festive experience for all with a trip to a live holiday performance this year. Locations across the city will delight your guests and are sure to put everyone in the holiday spirit!
11. Go All Out With An Ultimate Holiday Movie Theme
Get creative with your holiday party space by bringing a holiday movie to life. Possible movie ideas include The Grinch, A Charlie Brown Christmas, Elf, Home Alone, or A Christmas Carol!
First, poll your group to determine your favorite holiday movies. Then, decide on which movie to transform your office or home into the set. Encourage all attendees to help pre-decorate the space to fit the movie of your choice.
On the day of the party, attendees then dress up as the movie characters. Perfect for photos, snap pictures of your crew in customs amongst the decorations to remember the party long after it’s over.
For a full-fledged themed party, project the film during the party for all to enjoy and serve themed foods to tie it all together. In addition, you can add a little competition by judging for the best-decorated space and costume!
12. Take a Walk on the Wild Side
Gather your group for a trip to Zoo Atlanta this holiday season! Together, experience a lantern festival like no other with IllumiNights at the Zoo.
This Chinese Lantern Festival, partnering with Hanart Culture, has become a staple Atlanta holiday event. In this eco-friendly light experience, you’ll encounter more than 80 illuminated wildlife figures throughout the zoo. Each lantern is crafted and hand-painted by Chinese artists. This after-dark zoo experience is breathtaking and an artistic mix between the animal world and art.
Because Zoo Atlanta’s attractions are mostly outdoors, you may want to book tickets for a warmer evening if you can. Or, go out for cocoa afterward to warm everyone up and talk about your favorite displays!
13. Make it a Holiday Giving Party
Take the opportunity to support a local nonprofit for your holiday party highlight. In Atlanta, there are thousands of nonprofits. Use the holidays for good by supporting the one you already love or finding a new organization.
Once you choose a nonprofit, reach out to their staff for a list of their needed holiday items. Then, throw a shopping or gift-wrapping party to collectively supply their holiday needs. To make the event a success, supply the prep items you will need like wrapping paper, tape, scissors, gift tags, and ribbon.
This experience is great for companies and families alike looking to boost their philanthropy and connections in the community. Experience the joy of giving with this holiday party idea!
14. Enjoy the Georgia Snow
Atlanta may not be known for its cold winters, but you can still enjoy a day in the snow! Take your holiday party up a notch at Lake Lanier’s License to Chill Snow Island.
Be transported to a lakeside winter wonderland and enjoy a tubing adventure down one of the longest and steepest slopes in North America. Did we mention it’s eight stories high? You’ll feel the rush of winter wind as you slope down 575 feet of snow!
Alongside tubing, enjoy activities like ice skating, snowball fights, making snow angels, and so much more. If you get too chilly, your crew can warm up by the fire pits with a sweet treat of s’mores and other goodies.
At Snow Island, you’ll enjoy getting outdoors together at one of the top winter attractions in the state. Great for an adventurous group, this experience offers thrills and chills unlike anywhere else in the city.
15. Ride the Thrills of Six Flags
Looking for another thrilling party idea? Experience Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Over Georgia. Enjoy the classic, exhilarating rollercoaster rides of Six Flags all while the park is transformed with holiday decor galore!
Home to 70-mile-an-hour Goliaths, 360-degree flips, live shows, and carnival games, this experience has fun for all ages. Plus, get holiday photos taken with the family or team amongst several holiday backdrops or Santa Claus!
For the best experience, attend the park at night to see thousands of colorful lights. Your group can enjoy a plethora of snacks and drinks while in the park to sustain the fun all night long!
Bonus tip, gain ticket discounts when buying ahead of time online to fit your party budget. At Six Flags Over Georgia, your holiday party is guaranteed to be one to remember!
16. Host an Atlanta-Themed Gingerbread House Build-Off
A good old-fashioned gingerbread house competition is in order for any holiday party! Great for in-person or virtual groups, compete in a creative food activity to spruce up your winter-season celebrations.
To prep, buy the materials needed to build a delicious display – or ask guests to bring their own materials of choice! Gingerbread house supplies can be purchased at any grocery store of choice. Or, purchase a pre-made kit like this Mini Village to the process a breeze.
Then, encourage everyone to show up ready to compete. Challenge builders to create their best Atlanta-themed house. A few suggested themes to get you started are peaches, hometown sports teams, or Atlanta-raised music artists!
Once houses are finished, have everyone present their creation for the entire group to view. Allow each person a few minutes to explain their decorating choices and design. Then, have a vote on whose house is the winner!
17. Solve a Holiday Scavenger Hunt
If your crew loves following clues and is up for a challenge, this holiday experience is for you! Test your sleuthing skills with The Holiday Hunt at Oakland Cemetery.
Gather your group at Atlanta’s oldest public park full of history and gardens. Venture through the iconic cemetery grounds for a self-guided scavenger hunt. Compete or work together to solve riddles and win the challenge.
Featuring cryptic clues amongst 48 acres of park, this experience is perfect for groups of any size. Plus, this experience is great for an affordable gathering with printable packets for only $20 per group.
Prepare by printing materials beforehand and be ready to walk outdoors for an extended period of time. Choosing a day with mild weather will offer the best experience. Enjoy the holidays amongst Atlanta’s history and a few famous final resting sites!
18. Craft Holiday Wreaths for Festive Atlanta Decor
For the crafty groups, a wreath decorating party is your next holiday party hit! One of the most popular holiday decorations, wreaths are a great addition to any space. Plus, this craft provides ample space for creativity and customization. In addition, there’s nothing like having homemade decorations to flaunt for guests during the holidays!
Host your wreath decorating party virtually, or in person, for a relaxing and fun way to start the holiday season. Encourage creative Atlanta themes for all to participate in. Here are a few themes to get you started:
- Sports themes like the Atlanta Falcons, Braves, Hawks, or United team colors and accessories
- Attraction themes like the Atlanta Zoo, Aquarium, or World of Coke
- College and University themes for alumni of the many Atlanta-based schools
- A company theme, representing your local team or workplace
In addition, consider adding a little competition to your party by crowing a winning wreath. A great prize for the winner is an Atlanta-themed wreath filled with gift cards for local restaurants, attractions, and shops! That way, you and your guests have a blast getting into the craft and supporting your Atlanta favorites.
19. Gather for a Celebratory Holiday Potluck
Homemade meals are a staple of the holidays. Plus, there’s no better way to spend time together than with a meal! With a potluck, your group can share the home-cooked tastes of the season together.
For the best experience, have each person pick their favorite delicious recipe that reminds them of the holidays. This may be an appetizer, a main dish, or even a dessert. Once your putlock date is set, enjoy chitchatting together as you dig into the savory or sweet dishes.
Encourage everyone to share their chosen dish and the memories they have associated with it. This is a great experience for work teams, especially groups with team members from different cities and countries. You can highlight dishes native to Atlanta and beyond!
A festive potluck is a great way to bring everyone together and connect while enjoying favorite seasonal flavors, recipes, and traditions!
Virtual Holiday Parties: Atlanta-Themed 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!
20. Book an Unexpected Holiday 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 Unexpected Holiday Party focuses on honoring holidays around the world, with a live and interactive Jeopardy-themed experience. Additionally, your group will see iconic holiday sites in New York City LIVE – including Times Square, Rockefeller Center, and the Saks Fifth Avenue windows. Finally, paint and decorate celebratory cookies and make paper holiday sweaters.
Featured in The New York Times and Thrillist as one of the most creative holiday party ideas for remote teams, this experience is also perfect for a holiday corporate event! Unexpected Virtual Tours’ clients include companies like Coca-Cola, SalesForce, Google, IHG, UPS, and more.
21. 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 Parking Lot
22. 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.
Book a unique holiday team event! Reach out to learn more about Unexpected Atlanta’s corporate experiences.
If you’re craving more Atlanta holiday fun, check out our blog post, Christmas Events in Atlanta. 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!