Holiday happenings: 16 things to do in metro Atlanta this weekend

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5 Facts About Holiday Light Displays Thomas Edison is credited with putting up the first Christmas lights display. Australian David Richards holds the Guinness World Record for the largest display of Christmas lights on an artificial tree. A 15-year-old named Albert Sadacca is said to have popularized Christmas tree lights. Lighting a Christmas tree could cost as much as $300 in 1900. That's $2000 in today's dollars. Each year, 20 million Christmas lights are recycled in Shijiao, China.

Whether you’re not in the holiday spirit yet or you have all your shopping and wrapping done and are relaxing in your ugly Christmas sweater, metro Atlanta has plenty of holiday-related events to enjoy this weekend. Go traditional with a menorah lighting or Christmas classic like “The Nutcracker” or “A Christmas Carol,” or try something offbeat like holiday goat yoga.

Check out the following 16 things to do in metro Atlanta this weekend:

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Visa Big Air. 5:30 p.m.-8:45 p.m. Friday, Dec. 20 and 5 p.m.-8:45 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 21. $25 and up. SunTrust Park, 755 Battery Ave. SE, Atlanta. 404-577-9100.

The Atlanta Braves and U.S. Ski & Snowboard present a two-day freestyle skiing and snowboarding event, with a 15-story jump structure and 800 tons of snow serving as their performance surface.

Marietta Square Christmas Market. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 21. Free admission. Marietta Square, North Park Square, Marietta. 706-389-9935.

Get some last-minute shopping done at a special Artisan Market and stop by Glover Park to see Santa and play Reindeer Games created by a local artist.

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Cocoa & Concert. 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 20. Free. Sewell Mill Outdoor Amphitheater, 2051 Lower Roswell Road, Marietta. 770-509-2711.

Enjoy a cup of cocoa and toppings from the cocoa station, take some family photos at winter-themed stations, let the kids do a craft and listen to live holiday music performances.

Guided Bird Walk. 9:30 a.m.-11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 21. Included with garden admission of $10 general admission, $8 seniors age 65 and up, $5 military and university student, youth 3-17 $5, children 2 and younger and garden members free. Smith-Gilbert Gardens, 2382 Pine Mountain Road, Kennesaw. 770-919-0248.

Tour the gardens with experienced backyard birders and learn to identify birds, how to make your backyard a habitat and more.

» RELATED: Woodruff Park to become 3-month wonderland of light sculptures


Cocktails and Cookies. 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 21. $10 per person, kids free. Atlanta Marriott Perimeter Center, 246 Perimeter Center Parkway, Atlanta. 770-394-6500.

Get festive with the perfect holiday class – cocktail making for adults and cookie decorating for kids.

Breakfast with Santa. 9:30 a.m.-noon Sunday, Dec. 22. $30 per person. Stone Mountain Park, 1000 Robert E. Lee Blvd., Stone Mountain. 1-800-401-2407.

Enjoy a breakfast buffet, holiday activities for kids at the table and a photo with Santa.

"The Santa Clause." 2 p.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 21. Free. Chamblee Library, 4115 Clairmont Road, Chamblee. 770-936-1380.

Watch Tim Allen in “The Santa Clause,” which is rated PG. Light refreshments will be provided.

"Cinnamon GRITS." 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 20. $20-$34. ART Station, 5384 Manor Drive, Stone Mountain Village. 770-469-1105.

This play is the sequel to “GRITS: Girls Raised in the South” and tells the story of how Southern belles from four generations cope with their Christmas celebrations.

North Fulton

Menorah Lighting at Avalon. 5 p.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 22. Free admission. Avalon, 400 Avalon Blvd. (in front of Jeni's Ice Creams). 770-765-1000.

Celebrate the first night of Hanukkah with a Menorah lighting ceremony, refreshments, music and entertainment.

"The Nutcracker." 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 20, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 21 and 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 22. $15 and up. Blessed Trinity High School Theatre, 11320 Woodstock Road, Roswell.

The Metropolitan Ballet Theatre’s Nutcracker has all the music, color and pageantry of Tchaikovsky’s original.

Christmas Gala Concert. 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 21. $18 and up. Johns Creek United Methodist Church, 11180 Medlock Bridge Road, Johns Creek. 770-497-8215.

The Johns Creek Symphony Orchestra and Chorale, along with soprano Bevin Hill, present a Christmas Gala Concert.

"Frozen JR." 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 20 and 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 21. $10. Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 950 Forrest St. Roswell.

Based on the Broadway musical, “Frozen JR” features the songs everyone loves plus some addition ones.

» RELATED: Atlanta Ballet's 'The Nutcracker' runs at the Fox for one last season


Holiday Goat Yoga. 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 21. $20. Double Durango Farm, 2910 Tig Knight Road, Loganville. 706-418-5640.

Wear your favorite ugly Christmas sweater for yoga with goats – who will also be wearing their festive attire! This beginner class is appropriate for age 7 and up.

"A Christmas Carol." 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 20 and Saturday, Dec. 21 and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 22. $30-$35. Buford Community Center Theatre, 2200 Buford Hwy., Buford.

Watch the classic Christmas tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, who is visited by ghosts who take him on a journey through his past, present and future.

"Trouble in Toyland." 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 21. Aurora Theatre, 128 East Pike St., Lawrenceville. 678-226-6222.

The family-friendly “Trouble in Toyland” puppet show tells the story of a problematic Christmas Eve filled with hijinks.

Atlanta Gladiators vs. Orlando Solar Bears. 7:05 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 21. $17 and up. Infinite Energy Arena, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth. 770-626-2464.

Watch the Atlanta Gladiators, an affiliate of the Boston Bruins, take the ice versus the Orlando Solar Bears.

For more things to do this winter, check out the Atlanta Winter Guide.