Close to Home for Dec. 2-3

You’ve got a few hours over the weekend and are looking for a nearby diversion – something that doesn’t require reservations or a tank of gas. Welcome to Close to Home! Each week we’ll highlight the quick, quaint and quirky events in your neighborhood. Email submissions to

‘Black Nativity’ in Atlanta

“Black Nativity: The Gospel Christmas Musical Experience” by Dominion Entertainment Group. Through Dec. 17. Varying times and days. $15 to $50 with service fees. Southwest Arts Center Theater, 915 New Hope Road, Atlanta., Tickets:

Gwinnett Police Hiring Event

Gwinnett Police Department Hiring Event. 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The department is trying to fill 50 vacant police officer positions and 20 vacant communications officer (911 and dispatch) positions. Walk-ups are welcome, but applicants are advised to register at and begin required paperwork to speed up the process for applicants once they arrive. Applicants for police officer and communications officers will complete a large portion of the hiring process on the same day and should plan on spending a few hours at the Training Center. Police applicants will participate in an orientation session, a physical fitness assessment and a panel interview. Communications applicants will participate in a data entry exam and a panel interview.

The Marietta Pilgrimage

The Marietta Pilgrimage: A Christmas Home Tour. 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 7-9:30 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday (rain or shine). $20 to $35. Hosted by the Marietta Visitors Bureau and Cobb Landmarks & Historical Society, the tour will include six private Marietta homes in the Whitlock Avenue district and 10 historic public buildings. The Bistro for lunch both days will be at Hickory Hills Elementary School, 500 Redwood Drive, Marietta. No children under 8 are allowed.

Holiday Market in Roswell

Back-to-Nature Holiday Market. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Free admission. Chattahoochee Nature Center, 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. More than 40 local vendors will be selling their handmade and/or eco-friendly goods along with Chef Cary of Chef Cary’s Cuisine. 770-992-2055,

‘The Nutcracker’ in Roswell

Roswell Dance Theatre and Tolbert Yimaz School of Dance: “The Nutcracker.” 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. $20 to $55. Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 950 Forrest St., Roswell. See more than 350 performers, ranging in age from 1 to 80. 770-594-6232,

Santa Photos in Alpharetta

Santa Photos. 10 a.m. to noon Saturday. Free. Alpharetta Welcome Center, 178 S. Main St., Suite 200, Alpharetta. Stop in for an individual or a family photo with Santa and have the photo printed and emailed to you. No reservations are required. No pets. The photographer will use a “green screen” so it is recommended that participants not wear green. Enjoy fun creations from a balloon artist on the plaza, hear carols being sung by area high school students from Cambridge High School chorus, play corn hole and take pictures with Santa’s elves. 678-297-0102, Mariah Sells at

Candy Cane Hunt in Mableton

Candy Cane Hunt. 10 a.m. to noon Saturday. Free, including parking. Historic Mable House grounds, 5239 Floyd Road, Mableton. Children are invited to hunt for thousands of candy canes, roast marshmallows, decorate cookies and take a free photo with Santa.

Austell Holiday Market Festival

Austell Holiday Market Festival. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday. Jefferson Street, downtown Austell Market. Tiny Homes Holiday Village, live music, arts and crafts, vendors, food trucks, giveaways and Santa Claus.

Arts and Crafts Show in Mableton

Christmas House Arts and Crafts Show. Through Dec. 10. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday, 2-6 p.m. Sundays. Mable House Arts Center, 5239 Floyd Road, Mableton.

Mable’s Tea Room in Mableton

Mable’s Tea Room. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. through Dec. 9. Mable House Arts Center, 5239 Floyd Road, Mableton. 770-819-3285,

Kennesaw Mountain events

December events. Free. Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, 900 Kennesaw Mountain Drive, Kennesaw. These events may be cancelled due to inclement weather. 770-427-4686 ext. 0 or

  • “Kennesaw Mountain’s Illinois Monument: Commemorating the Past, Honoring the Present and Inspiring the Future.” 11 a.m. to noon Saturday. Cheatham Hill Drive parking lot. Ranger Amanda Corman will discuss how this park was established through efforts of Union veterans who fought at Cheatham Hill.
  • “24-Gun Battery.” 11 a.m. to noon Sunday. This guided hike along the 3-mile 24-Gun Battery Trail will focus on the importance of preservation, protection and history within the national parks.

Christmas in McDonough

Historic Downtown McDonough Square, 5 Griffin St., McDonough.

  • Santa Saturday McDonough Square. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Bring your camera or phone.
  • McDonough Christmas Tree Lighting. 5 p.m. Saturday. The Christmas tree lighting at 5 p.m. will be followed by the Christmas Parade at 6 p.m.

Christmas Festival in Flowery Branch

Flowery Branch Christmas Festival and Tree Lighting. Noon-6 p.m. Saturday. Flowery Branch Depot, 5302 Railroad Ave., Flowery Branch. Parade starts at 1 p.m with the tree lighting at 6 p.m. Festival includes vendors, hayrides, s’mores and photos with Santa.

Santa Parade, Day in Kennesaw

Santa Parade and Day with Santa. Noon-6 p.m. Saturday. Main Street, downtown Kennesaw.

‘Nutcracker’ in Roswell

Metropolitan Ballet Theatre: “Nutcracker.” 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday; 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday. $15 to $25 with free parking. Blessed Trinity Catholic High School Theater, 11320 Woodstock Road, Roswell. 678-297-2800,

Global Gift Market in Atlanta

Global Gift Market. 12:30-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Buckhead’s Covenant Presbyterian Church, 2461 Peachtree Road, Atlanta. Shop handcrafted gifts, jewelry, home décor, Christmas ornaments and decorations and fashion accessories from Haiti and around the world along with gift cards and fair trade food products and baskets. Proceeds will support the efforts of Ten Thousand Villages (, which employs international creative artists, and the Atlanta-based LaGonave Haiti Partnership (, supporting education, healthcare and economic development for children and adults in Haiti. 404-237-0363,

Santa in Acworth

Santa photos. 1-5 p.m. Saturday and Dec. 9. City Hall, 4415 Senator Russell Ave., Acworth. Take pictures with Santa in front of City Hall.

Deck the Hall in Duluth

Deck the Hall. 2-7 p.m. Saturday. Free. Duluth Town Green. Attractions include a Christmas tree lighting ceremony, a train ride, Santa Claus, music, decorations, face painting, inflatables (for a small fee), a snow playground, a giant snow slide, arts and crafts and City Hall Open House/Community Chat with Council.

Callanwolde dance event in Decatur

“Polar Express & The Nutcracker: A Callanwolde School of Dance Event.” 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday. $10 online, $15 at the door. Agnes Scott College, Gaines Chapel, Presser Hall, 1375 McDonough St., Decatur. 404-872-5338, Tickets:

‘The Nutcracker’ in Marietta

The Georgia Ballet: “The Nutcracker.” 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Sunday. $12 to $48. Jennie T. Anderson Theatre, Cobb Civic Center, 548 S. Marietta Parkway SE, Marietta. 770-528-8490,

‘A Taffeta Christmas’ musical in Tyrone

“A Taffeta Christmas” written by Rick Lewis. Through Dec. 17. 8 p.m. Fridays, 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays. $15 to $40. The Legacy Theatre, 1175 Senoia Road, Suite C, Tyrone. This family-friendly show is set in the 1950s as four singing sisters from Muncie, Indiana perform Christmas classics on their weekly TV show “Hometown Hoedown.” Box Office: 404-895-1473.

Conyers Parade, Tree Lighting

Conyers Hometown Holiday Christmas Parade & Tree Lighting. 4 p.m. Saturday. 4-7:30 p.m. parade (theme: “My Favorite Christmas Movie”). Parade begins at Rockdale County High School and winds its way to the Courthouse on Milstead Avenue. Lighting of the county Christmas tree at the Rockdale Auditorium, 901 Main St. will cap the evening. 770-602-2606,

Candlelit Christmas Concert at Emory

A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols. 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday. Emory University, Glenn Memorial Auditorium, 1652 N. Decatur Road, Atlanta. This Emory tradition, established in 1935, continues the candlelit service of choral music and Scripture with readings by guests from the Emory community. Box Office: 404-727-5050,

Alpharetta Christmas Tree Lighting

Alpharetta Christmas Tree Lighting. 4 p.m. activities, 6:15 p.m. tree lighting Saturday. Main Street, Alpharetta. Activities include free pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus, a reading of “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” a snow play area, marshmallow roasting, food trucks, crafts for the children and a live broadcast of the UGA-Auburn SEC Championship game.

Christmas Jubilee Parade of Lights in Woodstock

Christmas Jubilee Parade of Lights. 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Park at City Center, downtown Woodstock. Presented by Northside Hospital-Cherokee, the parade will start at Woodstock Elementary School on Rope Mill Road and travel down Main Street, ending at Sam’s Club at Highway 92. Then meet Santa Claus at the gazebo in the Park at City Center. Mayor Donnie Henriques and Santa will flip the switch to light up the city’s new 26-foot tall Christmas tree. Enjoy a Sugar Plum cupcake decorating station, Kris Kringle Kidz Kraft Area and free children’s activities. Marybeth Stockdale at 770-592-6000 ext. 1952 or under Special Events.

Christmas festivities in Riverdale

Riverdale Tree Lighting and Holiday Celebration. 5-8 p.m. Saturday. Dubois Integrity Academy, 6479 Church St., Riverdale. Beginning with the Christmas parade and ending at the Riverdale Town Center, 7210 Church St., Riverdale. Musical performances and activities for children of all ages, including a petting zoo, hayrides and a train. 770-909-5300,

Memorial Park Luminary Event in Marietta

Luminary Event. 5-7 p.m. Saturday. Free. Cheatham Hill Memorial Park, 1861 Dallas Highway SW in Marietta. Hundreds of candles will be lit at 5 p.m. in remembrance of those laid to rest at the memorial park while pianist Harris Wheeler will play Christmas music. Then a Christmas concert by The Georgia Festival Ensemble’s acclaimed 25-voice choir will follow at 6 p.m. in the Columbarium. Hot drinks and refreshments will be served by the Columbarium. 770-919-7100,

Peachtree City Hometown Holiday

Peachtree City Hometown Holiday. 5 p.m. Saturday. The Fred and City Hall Plaza. Meet at 5 p.m. at The Fred (amphitheater, 201 McIntosh Trail) for a variety show, fire pits and s’mores with free glow necklaces for the children. Then travel on your golf cart to City Hall for the Christmas tree lighting around 6:30 p.m. There enjoy crafts, visits with Santa and free apple cider.

Fayetteville Christmas Parade

Fayetteville Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting. 5-7 p.m. Saturday. Starts and ends at the Gazebo on the square in downtown Fayetteville. Parade begins at 5 p.m. followed by the tree lighting program. Visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus and enjoy free pony rides.

Roswell Christmas events

Roswell Christmas events.

  • Holiday Celebration on the Square. 5 p.m. Saturday. Historic Town Square, 610 S. Atlanta St., Roswell. Choral performances by local elementary schools, a reading of “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” by Roswell Mayor Jere Wood, treats, coffee, a visit from Santa (with pictures available for purchase) and two bicycle giveaways by Bike Roswell.
  • Santa’s Secret Gift Shop. 6-8:30 p.m. Saturday and 1-4 p.m. Sunday. Roswell Adult Recreation Center, 830 Grimes Bridge Road, Roswell. Children, ages 12 and under, can buy gifts with wrapping provided. All proceeds benefit the Roswell Ramblers Club.
  • Caroling on Canton. 5-7 p.m. Sunday. Historic Canton Street between Woodstock and Magnolia Streets. Listen to your favorite holiday tunes while sipping hot chocolate, warming up by the community bonfire and enjoying the seasonal celebrations of local merchants. Roswell Special Events Manager Chris Ward at 770-594-6271 or

Tour of Homes in Lilburn

Walking Christmas Tour of Homes by the Lilburn Woman’s Club. 6-9 p.m. Saturday. Free. Stroll through the streets of Lilburn to Christmas carols, visit five historic homes and buildings and get a free selfie with Santa Claus. Tickets:, click on the Christmas Tour of Homes tab.

Shopping Extravaganza in Marietta

Shopping Extravaganza. Noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Congregation Ner Tamid, 1349 Old Highway 41, Marietta. An assortment of jewelry, beauty items and seasonal gifts will be available for sale. 678-264-8575,

‘Joyeux Noel’ concert in Atlanta

“Joyeux Noel: Carols from France” concerts by The Festival Singers of Atlanta. 3 p.m. Sunday. Free but donations welcome. Church of the Epiphany, 2089 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE, Atlanta. 404-373-8338,

‘A Victorian Christmas’ in Peachtree Corners

Christmas Concert: “A Victorian Christmas.” 3:30 p.m. Christmas carols and refreshments, 4 p.m. concert Sunday. Free. Christ the King Lutheran Church, 5575 Peachtree Parkway, Peachtree Corners. The concert will move from Christ the King’s Atrium to the Fellowship Hall then to the Sanctuary with music by all of the Christ the King music groups, activities and interaction. 770-449-1211,

Tyrone Christmas Lantern Parade

Tyrone Christmas Tree Lighting and Lantern Parade. 5:30-7:30 p.m. Sunday. Shamrock Park, Tyrone. Tyrone Recreation is partnering with the Fayette County Public Arts Committee to host Fayette’s first Lantern Parade. Live local music, cookies, cocoa, s’mores, train rides around the lake and photos with Santa.

Speaker Inky Johnson in Stockbridge

Motivational speaker Inky Johnson. 6 p.m. Sunday. Free but donations welcome. Community Bible Church, 2001 Jodeco Road, Stockbridge. The former University of Tennessee football player will share his story on suffering a serious, career-ending injury on the field. Johnson went on to earn a master’s degree in sports psychology, and he devotes much of his time to mentoring athletes and underprivileged youths. 770-914-0808,

Christmas at Crabapple in Milton

Christmas at Crabapple. 6 p.m. Sunday. Free. Crabapple First Baptist Church, 12760 Birmingham Highway, Milton. The Alpharetta Symphony Orchestra and the Crabapple First Baptist Church Choirs will perform holiday selections.

Lights of Life in Marietta

Lights of Life at Life University. 6-10 p.m. through Dec. 31 except 6-9 p.m. Mondays to Thursdays. $10 per car through Sunday and Dec. 15-31, $5 per car Mondays to Thursdays, $20 per bus on all dates. 1269 Barclay Circle, Marietta. Also pony rides, petting zoo, train rides and concession stand. 770-426-2600,

‘Christmas at Sweet Apple’ in Dunwoody

“Christmas at Sweet Apple.” Through Dec. 17. 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays; 2:30 p.m. Sundays. $15 to $33. Stage Door Players, 5339 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Written by Atlanta playwright Phillip DePoy, the play is based on the writings of the late Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist Celestine Sibley and told through story and song. Box Office: 770-396-1726.

‘Sanders Family Christmas’ in Cumming

“Sanders Family Christmas.” Through Dec. 10. 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays; 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. $27.50 to $30 plus tax. The Cumming Playhouse, 101 School St., Cumming. This sequel to Connie Ray and Alan Bailey’s bluegrass gospel musical “Smoke on the Mountain” is set on Dec. 24, 1941 while America is going to war. So is Dennis Sanders of the Sanders Family Singers. Join Pastor Mervin Oglethorpe and the rest of the Sanders family as they send off Dennis with comedic stories and 25 Southern Gospel Christmas favorites. 770-781-9178. Tickets:

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