The age-old holiday tradition of traveling door to door to sing favorite Christmas carols to the neighbors may not be as popular as it once was. However, there are still a number of ways for melodious merry-makers to “get their carol on” all over Atlanta. While there’s really nothing wrong with walking the streets and singing some seasonal classics to the entertainment of those who pass by, this talent might be most appreciated at a few of the “carol-centric” organized events around town.
Christmas At Callanwolde
Callanwolde Fine Arts Center
980 Briarcliff Road N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30306
Date: Dec. 11, 2013
The city is abuzz about an exciting new addition to a beloved Atlanta tradition. “Cocoa and Caroling” will serve as a deliciously harmonious enhancement to Christmas at Callanwolde this year. Slated to take place from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on December 11 on the sprawling front lawn of the majestic historic Callanwolde mansion, the name really says it all. Guests will enjoy singing holiday favorites while sipping on steamy cups of hot cocoa. It’s free to participate in the caroling, with just a nominal fee for cocoa. Those who wish to tour the festively and professionally adorned Callanwolde mansion can order general admission tickets online or at the door. Callanwolde fans will want to check the website often for other holiday-themed events during Christmas at Callanwolde, such as Breakfast with Santa, Teddy Bear Tea and more.
Magical Nights of Lights
Lake Lanier Islands Resort
7000 Lanier Islands Parkway
Buford, GA 30518
Dates: Now through Dec. 31, 2013
Celebrating its 21st season as host to a holiday-themed light tour that winds throughout the sprawling 1,500-acre resort, Lake Lanier Islands Resort enhances this year’s famed Magical Nights of Lights with an app that’s perfect for fans of caroling. The new Lake Lanier Islands Radio is now available for download, featuring 24 hours of solid holiday music, seven days a week. Guests to the Magical Nights of Lights can crank up the tunes and sing their favorite holiday carols at the top of their lungs as they enjoy a beautifully illuminated modern sleigh ride in the comfort of their own car, truck, minivan or tour bus. Magical Nights of Lights runs nightly through December 31. The best part is, admission to this event is priced by the vehicle and not by the person. Additional holiday activities onsite include a visit to the Holiday House and Carnival, Night Light Canopy Tour, Ice Skating Rink, Holiday Buffet at Legacy Lodge and more – all available for an added fee.
Singalong Christmas Train
Stone Mountain Park
1000 Robert E. Lee Blvd.
Stone Mountain, GA 30083
Dates: Now through Jan. 1, 2014
As a musically memorable part of the park’s Stone Mountain Christmas, the Singalong Christmas Train features a 40-minute excursion around the base of the mountain, complete with favorite holiday tunes to which passengers are encouraged to sing along, festive light displays and The Gift – a re-telling of the story of the First Christmas. In addition to the Singalong Christmas Train, Stone Mountain Christmas also features loads of live entertainment, regular showings of the Polar Express 4-D Experience, nightly Christmas parades, opportunities to visit with Santa and the Snow Angel and more. Stone Mountain Christmas runs through January 1, 2014 on select dates. Guests may want to arrive a little early to take part in Snow Mountain – a real treat for a city that really gets to see the white stuff!
Blue Ridge Scenic Railway
241 Depot St.
Blue Ridge, GA 30513
Dates: Now through Dec. 24, 2013
Running now through December 24 on select dates, the Santa Express welcomes children and their families aboard for a festive excursion that lasts about an hour. Travelers will have an opportunity to hear a Christmas story, visit with Santa and other beloved holiday characters and sing their favorite carols along the way. Seating is limited and advanced reservations are required.
Gift of Lights Holiday Village
Atlanta Motor Speedway
1500 Tara Place
Hampton, Georgia 30228
Dates: Now through Jan. 4, 2014
Taking place on Fridays and Saturdays throughout the month of December, the Gift of Lights Holiday Village at Atlanta Motor Speedway – presented by the Atlanta Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities – encompasses a chance for families to share wish lists and snap photos with Santa, peruse a Christmas Tree farm, enjoy cups of hot cocoa and sing carols to their heart’s content. A regular rotation of other events – such as a winter coat drive, canned food drive, toy donation drive, ornament give-away, car race and more – all serve to enhance a wonderful holiday evening out in Georgia.
Kasie Bolling is a freelance writer covering all things Atlanta. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.