Theater: Like a light bulb
Jon Ludwig’s adaptation of the classic animated TV special “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” is not just a delight, it offers a pretext to check out the Center for Puppetry Arts’ exhibits at the holidays.
“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” Nov. 8-Dec. 31. Center for Puppetry Arts, 1404 Spring St. 404-873-3391. puppet.org
Festival: Down the garden path
The Atlanta Botanical Garden goes electric with its annual “Garden Lights, Holiday Nights” display, which includes an expanded Tunnel of Light as well as such displays as the Walk of Flames, the Orchestral Orbs and Model Trains.
Garden Lights, Holiday Nights. Nov. 11-Jan. 7. Atlanta Botanical Garden, 1345 Piedmont Ave. 404-876-5859. atlantabg.org
Music: Queen of New Orleans
Emory’s Schwartz Center for Performing Arts salutes the music of New Orleans with “Soul Queen” Irma Thomas backed up by the Blind Boys of Alabama and the Preservation Hall Legacy Quintet.
Irma Thomas. Nov. 16. Emory University, Emerson Concert Hall, 1700 North Decatur Road. 404-727-5050. arts.emory.edu/calendar/candler/index.html
Visual arts: Tinker, Taylor
The High Museum organizes the United States’ first survey of the work of Al Taylor, featuring more than 150 sculptures, drawings and prints from the late U.S. innovator.
Al Taylor: What Are You Looking At? Nov. 17-March 18. High Museum of Art, 1280 Peachtree St. 404-733-4400. high.org
Festival: Snow caps
Stone Mountain literally chills out, transforming into Snow Mountain thanks to a man-made blizzard. Activities include tubing down the 400-foot Avalanche Alley, enjoying the Penguin Run slides and competing in the Snowball Shootin’ Gallery.
Snow Mountain. Nov. 18-Dec. 31. Stone Mountain Park, 1000 Robert E. Lee Blvd. 800-401-2407. stonemountainpark.com
Festival: Ice age
Fernbank gets into the seasonal fun by decorating two floors with displays including more than two dozen trees that demonstrate the diversity of the holidays around the world.
Winter Wonderland. Nov. 18- Jan. 8. Fernbank Museum of Natural History, 767 Clifton Road. 404-929-6300. fernbankmuseum.org
Theater: You’re a mean one
Atlanta actor/playwright Topher Payne takes the role of Crumpet, a grumpy department store elf, in the stage version of “Santaland Diaries,” David Sedaris’ hilarious NPR commentary.
“Santaland Diaries.” Nov. 17-Dec. 31. Horizon Theatre, 1083 Austin Ave. 404-523-1477. horizontheatre.com
Festival: And all through the house
For four decades, Christmas at Callanwolde has provided a seasonal showcase to the 27,000-square-foot historic mansion. All the rooms feature creative holiday decorations, including a towering Christmas tree, and the grounds are decked out in lights after sunset.
Christmas at Callanwolde. Nov. 24-Dec. 12. Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, 980 Briarcliff Road. 404-872-5338. callanwolde.org
Theater: Austen city limits
Theatrical Outfit offers an unconventional take on holiday plays and Jane Austen with the Southeastern premiere of “Miss Bennett: Christmas at Pemberly” by Margot Melcon and Lauren Gunderson, a light-hearted original sequel to “Pride and Prejudice.”
“Miss Bennett: Christmas at Pemberly.” Nov. 30-Dec. 24. Theatrical Outfit, 84 Luckie St. 678-528-1500. theatricaloutfit.org
Theater: O holy night
Langston Hughes’ 1961 holiday classic combining the Nativity story with gospel arrangements of Christmas carols returns to the Southwest Arts Center, directed by Robert J. Connor and choreographed by Dawn Axam.
“Black Nativity.” Nov. 29-Dec. 17. Southwest Arts Center, 915 New Hope Road. 404-613-3220. blacknativityatlanta.com
Theater: A Dickens of a time
During its year-long renovation, the Alliance Theatre stages its perennial holiday production of “A Christmas Carol” at the Cobb Energy Centre. So expect the same Victorian ghosts and musical epiphanies in different digs.
“A Christmas Carol.” Dec. 8-24. Alliance Theatre, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway. 404-733-5000. alliancetheatre.org
Theater: Heidi Ho-Ho-Ho
Synchronicity Theatre presents Martha King De Silva and Joan Cushing’s musical version of Johanna Spyri’s classic book “Heidi,” in which the title character spreads joy from the big city to the Alpine hills.
“Heidi.” Dec. 8-31. Synchronicity Theatre, 1545 Peachtree St. 404-484-8636. synchrotheatre.com
Fitness: Sweaters on the streets
What’s the fiercer competition at the annual Ugly Sweater Run — to win the 5K race at Piedmont Park, or to wear the biggest eyesore? Awards include “Best Pet Attire” and more.
Ugly Sweater Run. Dec. 9. Piedmont Park, 400 Park Drive. theuglysweaterrun.com
Event: Roasting chestnuts
“Hairspray” filmmaker John Waters, noted connoisseur of bad taste, hosts a one-man show that takes a skewed but sincere look at the yuletide season (and may not be suitable for the whole family).
A John Waters Christmas. Dec. 15. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. 404-524-7354. variety-playhouse.com
Music: Highland fling
Performed in Atlanta since 1991, “Celtic Christmas” celebrates the wealth of music and dance from the Irish, Scottish, Welsh and Appalachian traditions.
Celtic Christmas. Dec. 16-17. Rialto Center for the Performing Arts, 80 Forsyth St. 404-413-9849. www.rialtocenter.org
Music: Rhythm nation
Six-time Grammy winner (and relatively recently, new mom) Janet Jackson brings pop hits and lavish choreography to Philips Arena with her State of the World tour.
Janet Jackson. Dec. 17. Philips Arena, 1 Philips Drive. 404-878-3000. Philipsarena.com
Music: Alleluia for all
The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s signature holiday performance of Handel’s “Messiah” includes the soaring Chamber Chorus and such featured performers as soprano Jeanine de Bique and baritone Gerard Sundberg.
Handel’s “Messiah.” Dec. 21-22. Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, 1280 Peachtree St. 404-733-4900. atlantasymphony.org
Music: Ticket to wide
Originally from Athens, Ga., Widespread Panic has been a tireless Southern jam band for more than 30 years, selling out Philips Arena 20 times. They’ll ring in 2018 with three nights at the Fox Theatre.
Widespread Panic. Dec. 29-31. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. 404-881-2100. foxtheatre.org
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.