Barnsley Gardens offers a taste of the holidays

The event included carolers, crafts, s'mores at the fire pits, a visit from Santa Claus and his reindeer, photo opportunities and the lighting of the Barnsley Resort ruins. Hundreds of people showed up for the free event.

GALLERY: Barnsley Gardens celebrates the holidays with lights, Santa, s'mores and more

"We eagerly awaited the lighting of the gardens and the ruins themselves," Stephanie McClanahan told "Our 2-year-old had never been out here, so it was a big treat for her, just the festive environment and then also, Santa and the reindeer."

The event marked the official kickoff to over a month of holiday celebrations at Barnsley Gardens.

"I enjoyed seeing the lights, my kids (did) as well," Eric Burkhalter said. "That was one of the things we wanted to see was of course Santa and the reindeer. I always like to see the lights at night so it was very good to see something like that.

For those that missed the event, there are still plenty of opportunities to enjoy the holiday spirit at the north Georgia resort. Visitors can stroll the property and check out all of the lights and decorations at the ruins.  The village is lit for the the holidays, too.

GALLERY: Tour the Barnsley Gardens resort

There's gingerbread house making with the resort's fairy godmother, wreath making, holiday movies, Friday Night 'Noggin which includes a sing along by the fire with hot cocoa and egg nog, Cocktails in the Classroom Be a Dessert Diva, which will teach the finer points of creating the perfect holiday desserts and cocktails, too.

There are several big events planned for anyone looking to spend Christmas Day or New Years Eve at this idyllic retreat.

This story is sponsored by Barnsley Gardens. Check out for more information.

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