Things to do in Atlanta Thanksgiving weekend

16 things to do in Atlanta this Thanksgiving weekend

Stuffing yourself with turkey and hitting retail stores for Black Friday sales are traditional activities for Thanksgiving weekend in metro Atlanta, but there are plenty of other things to do as well.

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Many Christmas events are getting underway, and you'll also find things to do that are well-suited for adults as well as families with kids out on Thanksgiving break.

Check out the following 16 events in Cobb, DeKalb, North Fulton and Gwinnett counties to help you make the most of the long Thanksgiving weekend:


Gobble Jog. 7:30 a.m.-noon Thursday, Nov 22. $20 and up, depending on the race and when you register. Historic Marietta Square, 4 Depot St. NE Marietta. 770-427-9862.

Join in the 16th annual Gobble Jog, complete with a costume contest that starts at 9:05 a.m. at the bandstand. A 10K run, 5K or 1K run/walk and a Tot Trot are featured. The race benefits MUST Ministries, which provides food, clothing, shelter job training and more for residents of Cobb and Cherokee counties.

Holiday Crafts & Drafts Market. 1-6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24. The Burnt Hickory Brewery, 2260 Moon Station Court NW, Suite 210, Kennesaw. 770-514-8812.

Mark some gifts off your shopping list at the Holiday Crafts & Drafts Market, where you can celebrate Small Business Saturday by supporting local artisans. Bands will be performing, and kids and dogs are welcome.

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The Sound of Music. 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23 and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24. Tickets start at $49 plus fees. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. 770-916-2800.

This new version of the popular movie contains all your favorite tunes, including the title song, "My Favorite Things," "Climb Ev'ry Mountain" and more. All ages will enjoy the beloved musical story of Maria and the singing von Trapp family.

Departure: The Journey tribute band. 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24. $20. Earl Smith Strand Theatre, 117 N. Park Square, Marietta. 770-293-0080.

Rock out like it's still the '80s as Departure replicates the look, sound, and feel of the supergroup Journey. The stage show is high-energy and includes hits like "Don't Stop Believin'."


Callanwolde mansion at night during Christmas at Callanwolde. Photo Credit: David Fisher of JandDImages. HANDOUT PHOTO - NOT FOR RESALE
Photo: For the AJC

Christmas at Callanwolde. Noon-8 p.m. starting Friday, Nov. 23 and running through Dec. 9. Prices vary by event. Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, 980 Briarcliff Road NE, Atlanta. 404-872-5338.

The many holiday events that are part of Christmas at Callanwolde get underway on Friday, Nov. 23 with the designer show house, champagne and selections from The Nutcracker. Breakfast with Santa will be held on Saturday, Nov. 24, and kids can enjoy a Teddy Bear Tea on Sunday, Nov. 25.

Santa on the Square. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24. Free. City of Decatur Plaza, 101 E. Court Square.

Celebrate Small business Saturday with Santa, who will arrive at 10 a.m. You can enjoy a cookie with milk or hot chocolate and share your list and have a digital photo taken with Santa.

Black Friday Market and Santa visit. Noon-4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23. Free. Northcrest Swim & Tennis Club, 3524 Bowling Green Way, Atlanta. 267-872-3495.

Visit the historic Northcrest neighborhood and shop for original items from local painters, sculptors, textile/leather designers and more. Kids activities will be offered along with free s'mores around the fire. Santa will arrive via firetruck at 1 p.m. and will stay for free photos until 3 p.m.

Art Market. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23 and Saturday, Nov. 24 and from noon-5 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 25. Spruill Gallery, 4681 Ashford Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. 770-394-4019.

The Spruill Center for the Arts will host its traditional holiday market featuring work from over 100 artists. It's the perfect chance to buy uniquely made artisan gifts for the people on your list, and Spruill members can save with a 10 percent discount.

North Fulton

The Nutcracker. 2 and 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23 and Saturday, Nov. 24 and 1 and 5 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 25. $10-$35. City Springs, Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center, 1 Galambos Way, Sandy Springs. 770-998-0259.

Start your holiday season with the classic tale of Clara, who uses magic to transform her nutcracker doll into a handsome cavalier prince. This Nutcracker is the Roswell Dance Theatre's 30th anniversary production, which is North Fulton's oldest and largest.

Open-Hearth Cooking and Living History. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24. Free. Smith Plantation, 935 Alpharetta Highway, Roswell.

Clarissa Clifton, a living history interpreter and open-hearth cooking expert, will demonstrate making traditional Southern food over an open flame and will also share recipes.

Christmas Pajamas & Popcorn Night. 7:30-9:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23. $30 per seat. Painting with a Twist, Alpharetta Crossing, 11770 Haynes Bridge Road, #801, Alpharetta. 470-294-0051.

Wear your Christmas PJs and enjoy coffee, hot cocoa, popcorn and cookies as you paint a snowman. Wine and beer will be available for sale in the studio, and a contest will be held for the cutest PJs. This event is suitable for adults as well as kids age 5 and up.

Make a gingerbread house. 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 23. $60 per family, up to four participants. Publix Aprons Cooking School, Alpharetta Commons, 4305 State Bridge Road, Alpharetta. 770-751-8560.

Forget making a mess at home and bring up to three of your kids to decorate your own gingerbread house. Materials are provided, and kids must be at least four years old.


Illuminated sculptures are being set up in the Sugarloaf Mills Mall parking lot for an Illuminate display.
Photo: From Illuminate Georgia's Facebook page/For the AJC

Illuminate: Chinese Lantern Festival & Beijing Acrobats. 5-11 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 22-Sunday, Nov. 25 with additional dates. $22.95 for adults and $16.95 for kids age 4-12. Sugarloaf Mills Mall parking lot, 5900 Sugarloaf Parkway, Lawrenceville.

Wander through a maze of illuminated sculptures that are nearly 30 feet tall at this new event. The Beijing Acrobats will perform, and the kids can also visit Santa in the Christmas Village.

Winemaker WannaBe. 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 23. Chateau Élan, 100 Rue Charlemagne, Braselton. 678-425-0900.

Become a winemaker for a day as you learn to blend your own wine and create your own customized bottle, complete with your label. The package includes overnight accommodations at the Inn, a private guided tour and tasting and more.

Homestead Holiday. 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24 with additional dates through Dec. 22. $8. Gwinnett Environmental & Heritage Center Foundation, 2020 Clean Water Drive, Buford.

Experience what a holiday homestead would be like in the late 1800s in an event that's appropriate for all ages.

Lighting of the Tree. 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 22. Free. Gwinnett Historic Courthouse, 185 E. Crogan St., Lawrenceville. 770-822-5450.

Join in the annual tradition of "oohing" and "aahing" as the tree is lit by Santa. The big man will then meet with visitors in his living room inside the courthouse. Don't forget to bring your cameras and let the kids stay to enjoy the activities, live entertainment, food vendors and more.

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