I was born and raised in Georgia–plus, I happen to be a huge fan of holiday light displays. So, I’ve spent years checking out all the events that the state has to offer! From Fantasy in Lights at Callaway Gardens to Holiday Nights at Atlanta Botanical Garden, there’s truly something for everyone.
Whether you live in Atlanta, Athens, Macon, or Savannah, I’ve got you covered in this comprehensive guide! So, get ready for a southern winter wonderland as I unveil the 11 best places to see Christmas lights in Georgia in 2023.
1. Fantasy in Lights at Callaway Resort & Gardens
Nov. 17th, 2023 – Jan. 1st, 2024
Experience a Georgia Christmas tradition that’s been going on since 1992: Fantasy in Lights at Callaway Resort & Gardens. This year, visitors can witness the grand debut of the Tree of Traditions—a magnificent 40-foot animated Christmas tree.
Located at Robin Lake Beach, this centerpiece hosts a 15-minute show with classic Christmas tunes and a dazzling display of lights. Then, continue on to the main attraction: a seven-mile scenic drive through 17 festive Christmas scenes and 10 million twinkling lights!
Whether you take the Jolly Trolley or drive through in your car, the grand finale is the Magical Field of Lights–home to the South’s tallest Christmas tree. You can then head to Callaway Christmas Village, featuring a Christmas Tunnel and Winter Wonderland Walkway.
2. Stone Mountain Christmas at Stone Mountain Park
Nov. 11th, 2023 – Jan. 2nd, 2024
This holiday season, don’t miss Stone Mountain Christmas, a celebration filled with millions of dazzling lights, festive music, and immersive walk-thru experiences. Kids will love the Magical Christmas Drone Show, featuring 250 drones in a choreographed light show accompanied by festive music.
The biggest attraction–the World’s Largest Christmas Light Show–includes beloved holiday songs, special effects, and fireworks projected onto Stone Mountain. Once a night, you’ll also get the chance to see a Christmas Parade featuring colorful floats and holiday guests.
Watch as Princess Aurora lights the way for Santa’s grand entrance, marked by a thrilling fly-over. Make the most out of the live shows, meet North Pole friends, or hop aboard the Sing-A-Long Christmas Train for a joyful ride through the true meaning of Christmas.
3. Garden Lights, Holiday Nights at Atlanta Botanical Garden
Nov. 18th, 2023 – Jan. 14th, 2024
Prepare to be blown away by Garden Lights, Holiday Nights at the Atlanta Botanical Garden–one of the top holiday light shows in Georgia! Now in its 13th year, this event dazzles with an array of new displays, including life-size deer, a colossal White Rabbit, and a new color scheme with warm hues.
Since there are limited tickets, you’ll want to buy yours as soon as possible. In fact, weekend dates close to Christmas tend to sell out weeks in advance. Notable additions this year include a Skynet, 11-foot-wide lighted butterflies, and an Instagram-worthy “Kiss Me” arch.
The event boasts over a million sparkling lights and an extensive network of light strings totaling over 60 miles in length. By the way, that’s longer than the distance from Atlanta to the Botanical Gardens’ second location in Gainesville!
4. Enchanted Garden of Lights at Rock City Gardens
Nov. 17th, 2023 – Jan. 6th, 2024
Celebrate the holiday season at Rock City Gardens’ Enchanted Garden of Lights! This event lights up North Georgia with a million lights divided into six distinct holiday realms. Guests begin with one of the tallest walk-through lighted Christmas trees in the world.
Then, make your way through the North Pole Highway, leading to magical realms like the Arctic Kingdom and Heart of the Mountain. Deliver your letter to Santa at the North Pole, offering photo opportunities with St. Nick and cookie decorating with Mrs. Claus.
Enjoy treats like hot chocolate and giant turkey legs, explore the Christmas Market for festive gifts, and savor the park’s breathtaking view of the Chattanooga Valley. Remember that online reservations are required in advance, and tickets cannot be bought at the ticket desk upon arrival.
5. December Nights & Holiday Lights at Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens
Nov. 24th, 2023 – Dec. 23rd, 2024
One of my favorite hidden gems is the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens in Savannah, which hosts the December Nights & Holiday Lights each year. Stroll through enchanting trails and gardens spanning over five acres, featuring nearly a mile of magically lit displays.
This year’s newly introduced themes, including Alice in Wonderland, Once Upon a Time, Octopus’s Garden, and Carnival of Color, promise to captivate visitors. Plus, Santa Claus will also be visiting the gardens each night!
You’ll need to purchase tickets online for a time slot between 6-8 p.m. General admission is $15 per person, and children under 3 are free. Free parking with a continuous shuttle service is provided at Southwest Middle School.
6.Holly Jolly Jekyll
Nov. 24th, 2023 – Jan 2nd, 2024
Indulge in the festive spirit at Holly Jolly Jekyll, where a host of family-friendly holiday events await. Take a trolley ride with Holly Jolly Light Tours through Jekyll Island’s historic district, adorned with over a million lights.
Our favorite events are the Winter Carnival and Big Truck Round Up on Dec. 2 and the Holly Jolly Light Parade on Dec. 9. You can also mail a letter to Santa on Main Street, go holiday-themed horseback riding on the beach, or take a cold plunge in support of the sea turtles on Nov. 25!
Of course, you also won’t want to miss the chance to see a free firework show at Great Dunes Beach Park on Dec. 21 and Dec. 28. Or, for another activity to do with the kids, there’s a special screening of Mickey’s Christmas Carol on Dec. 20 and 27.
7. Macon Christmas Light Extravaganza
Nov. 24th, 2023 – Jan 3rd, 2024
Experience the joy of the season with free, family-friendly fun at the Macon Christmas Light Extravaganza. Now a cherished Middle Georgia holiday tradition in its seventh year, this event spans 5.5 blocks, lighting downtown Macon with over a million twinkling lights throughout December!
The month-long celebration kicks off with a live concert by Macon Pops on November 24 at 6 pm at Addison Tinsley Park. Nightly light shows run each hour from 6 pm to 10 pm, with the lights staying on until 11 pm.
Each show features 31 original songs by local Macon artists, creating a unique soundtrack. The first show occurs at 6 pm and 8 pm, while the second is scheduled for 7 pm and 9 pm; you can have two different experiences!
8. Margaritaville’s Lakeside Lights Spectacular at Lanier Islands
Nov. 22 – 26; Dec. 1 – Jan. 3; Weekends only through Jan. 15
Embark on a night of nostalgic wintry fun at Margaritaville’s Lakeside Lights Spectacular at Lanier Islands. This enchanting experience invites the whole family to stroll through a magical light extravaganza accompanied by festive seasonal music.
The new light show by the lake features classic holiday displays, high-tech images, and scenes inspired by Margaritaville. Amidst the mesmerizing lights, you can also grab a cocktail, hot cocoa, or a sweet treat at the Tipsy Elf!
Moreover, don’t miss the chance to visit the License to Chill Snow Island, where you can enjoy a 575-foot-long snow tube slide, carnival rides, or even ice skating. Daily admission rates start at $19.99 for the Lakeside Lights Spectacular or $29.99 for Snow Island.
9. Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Over Georgia
Nov. 18th, 2023 – Jan 3rd, 2024
Celebrate Christmas in grand style at Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Over Georgia—the Thrill Capital of the South. Discover seven captivating live shows, including new additions like the Grand Fir Lighting Spectacular and Oh What Fun! A Holiday Light Show.
The humorous Bad Bob Humbug comedy show returns alongside Six Flags Carolers seeking new choir recruits. Delight in Story Time with Mrs. Claus and stroll through Merry Lane’s dancing LED lights tunnel. Or, hop aboard the Holiday Express train ride.
My favorite thing to see is the Candlelight Carousel decked out with over 100,000 lights, 150 Christmas trees, and 250 candles. Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Over Georgia promises a magical experience for all ages!
10. Illuminights at the Zoo: A Chinese Lantern Festival
Nov. 16, 2023 – Jan. 14, 2024
One of our favorite Christmas light displays for kids has to be Illuminights at the Zoo: A Chinese Lantern Festival. Experience Zoo Atlanta as a nighttime wonderland decorated with 200 brand-new lanterns and scenes depicting nature and magical creatures.
On the mile-long stroll, you can find leopards, a fiery phoenix, dragons, and a legendary Kraken–all hand-painted by Chinese artisans. This event is great for families with smaller children, couples looking for a unique date night, or groups of friends looking for a holiday activity.
Choose to roast marshmallows by the fire, sip hot cocoa, or look for the perfect instagrammable spot. Just be aware that most of the animals won’t be out this time of night, although you may catch a glimpse of the giant pandas, Chilean flamingos, or Huacaya alpacas.
11. Winter WonderLights at UGA’s State Botanical Garden
Nov. 22, 2023 – Dec 30, 2023
If you’re in the Athens area, don’t miss Winter WonderLights at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia. Now in its third year, it introduces new and captivating displays like the Winter Wondercave, Jingle Bell Lane, the Northern Lights, and the Frosted Forest.
The Visitor’s Center operates as a holiday market where you can find unique souvenirs, including a Winter WonderBar crafted by Condor Chocolates in Athens for this event only! The half-mile trail offers a delightful 45-60 minute stroll through the illuminated wonderland.
Tickets are priced at $15 per person, with complimentary admission for children aged three and under. As a special New Year’s treat, don’t miss the WonderLights Disco Nights from January 4-7, 2024, where visitors can groove to disco hits while enjoying the mesmerizing light show.