Bundle up for holiday fun: Things to do with grandkids this week

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While it’s certainly tempting to stay indoors, even when you don’t have a fire that’s so delightful, venturing into the outdoors for holiday fun in metro Atlanta will help you and your grandchildren stay active.

Come on, the weather outside isn’t all that frightful. And think how expending calories with a brisk walk or attendance at a chilly-weather holiday event will offset some of those cookies. Also, you’ll do your part to encourage holiday traditions that aren’t food-centric.

Here are four activities in the Atlanta area worth bundling up for this week:

Cut a tree at Minter’s Farm

11 a.m.-6 p.,m. weekdays, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. weekends through Dec. 11. Tree prices start at $6/foot. Minter’s Farm, 283 Hills Bridge Rd, Fayetteville.

This expansive, family-owned tree farm is about 45 minutes from Atlanta. You and the kids can tramp out and cut a live tree with a provided saw or enlist a helper from the staff.

On weekends, you can opt for a free hayride through the farm and out to the woods.

This is the last weekend this particular farm is open for cut-your-own trees, so make your move soon.

Plaid shirts are optional but work gloves and comfortable, preferably waterproof boots or shoes are a must.

Stone Mountain Christmas Park Scenic Railroad

5:10-9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8, 2:20-9 p.m., Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 9-10. Free with park admission $19.99 weekdays; weekends: $34.99 kids 3-11, $39.99 12 and up, kids 2 and younger free. Stone Mountain Park, 1000 Robert E. Lee Blvd., Buford.

There are a handful of seasonal attractions available with Stone Mountain Park’s holiday admission, but the Scenic Railroad is extra special in midwinter.

A 1940s train chugs along for a five-mile excursion and an up-close view of the park’s holiday lights and decorations. After dark, carols on the train are a holiday tradition.

If you time it correctly, you can also catch the daily 6 p.m. Christmas Parade featuring Aurora the Princess. And allow an extra hour for the interactive dinosaur exhibit.

Friday is the better price, though the weekend schedule allows you more hours at the park if you have the energy.

Buy tickets here.

Light Up Brookhaven

6-9 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 6. Blackburn Park, 3493 Ashford Dunwoody Rd.

A metro Atlanta tradition with free admission, Light Up Brookhaven features food for purchase, local music acts and giveaways.

The star of the show is Santa, who arrives by the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta helicopter in time for the tree lighting.

A nice aspect of this city’s tradition is the ceremonious lighting of the city’s impressive Hanukkah menorah and dreidel light displays with Rabbi Brian Glusman presiding.

Photo ops are available with the Man With All the Toys and two live reindeer. The Girl Scouts will be out in full force selling hot chocolate as a fundraiser.

If you’re up for a school night fete, this is a good choice. And, hey, if one member of your party gets chilly or peevish, you can always head home early before they land on the naughty list.

Margaritaville’s Lakeside Lights Spectacular

5 p.m. nightly through Jan. 3. $19.99, 3 and younger free, group rates available. Margaritaville at Lanier Islands, 7650 Lanier Islands Pkwy, Buford.

This is a rare sight in the Atlanta area: A massive holiday light display that’s walkable — and where walking is the only option.

The lakeside show features nostalgic light displays and high-tech imagery, accompanied by festive seasonal music you can sing along with. Should you take this option, you can only blame yourselves if the teens and tweens insist on walking in a separate party so no one recognizes them, however.

Vote on your favorite household light displays on the ride to Buford. And share Christmas memories as you stroll, especially the humorous ones.

Buy tickets here.

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