23 magical November events for Atlanta families

From snowball fights to holiday lights, plus Muppets, Mythbusters, beloved children’s book authors, and more.
Garden Lights, Holiday Nights, courtesy of the Atlanta Botanical Garden

Day of the Dead
Where: Atlanta History Center
When: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: Free
What: Celebrate Mexico’s Dia de Muertos at this outdoor festival, which includes crafts, storytelling, and traditional Mexican food—plus free admission to the Atlanta History Center.

Where: Fox Theatre
When: 7:30 p.m. (Tuesday though Thursday), 8 p.m. (Friday and Saturday), 2 p.m. (Saturday only), 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. (Sunday only)
Cost: $30 to $135
What: Is your child in a princess phase? This grand production of Rogers and Hammerstein’s Tony-winning take on the classic fairy tale would make for a very special outing.

Christmas in Roswell
Where: Various
When: Various
Cost: Various
What: Throughout November and December, historic Roswell hosts a slate of holiday-themed events, from breakfast with Santa, to candy cane hunts and storytelling, to cookie and gingerbread decorating.

Judy Blume
Where: Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta
When: 8 p.m.
Cost: $31 (includes a copy of the book)
What: The young adult author (Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret; Superfudge; Forever)—much-loved by tweens and their moms alike—stops by the 24th annual Book Festival of the MJCCA to discuss her new novel, In the Unlikely Event, which is based on Blume’s own upbringing in New Jersey in the 1950s.

National Pumpkin Destruction Day
Where: The Rock Ranch
When: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Cost: $15 (free for kids 2 and under)
What: On the Saturday after Halloween, bring your Jack O’Lantern leftovers to the Rock Ranch, where you can have fun destroying them in just about every way imaginable (think: dive-bombing planes, pumpkin bowling, crusher monster trucks, pumpkin cannons, and more).

Emerging Voices Family Storytelling: Veterans Expressing Their Stories
Where: Callanwolde Retreat Center
When: 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: Free
What: At this fourth annual event in honor of Veterans Day, hear soldiers from every military branch share their stories of service over the past 70 years.

Family Festival at Woodruff Arts Center
Where: Woodruff Arts Center
When: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. (members can get in an hour early from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.)
Cost: Free
What: Bring the kiddos to explore works at the High Museum (still featuring that Mo Willems exhibit and Los Trompos’s spinning tops), plus see performances for the younger set from the Alliance Theatre and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. There’s something for every kid, from toddlers to teens.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Where: Center for Puppetry Arts
When: Various
Cost: $10.25 for members; $20.50 for nonmembers
What: Are you a fan of the 1964 stop-motion TV special? (Let’s be honest: Who isn’t?) Start a new holiday tradition with this live version at the Center for Puppetry Arts, featuring puppets that are the spitting image of the Rankin/Bass originals.

Sojam Scholastic Competition
Where: Emory’s Emerson Concert Hall
When: 7:30 p.m.
Cost: $30
What: Bring your Pitch Perfect devotee to this a capella collegiate competition, where six student groups (plus host group the Vanderbilt Melodes) will go head-to-head in three rounds of vocal performances.

Fantasy in Lights
Where: Callaway Gardens
When: 6 p.m.
Cost: $19 to $28 for adults; $9.50 to $14 for kids ages 6 to 12; free for kids 5 and under
What: About 70 miles from Atlanta is one of the Southeast’s biggest holiday lights displays. Eight million bulbs make up more than a dozen scenes like Snowflake Valley, Santa’s Workshop, and Christmas Tree Lane. Drive through yourself, or hop aboard the festive Jolly Trolley for a carriage ride through the grounds.

Clifford the Big Red Dog
Where: Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre
When: 6:30 p.m.
Cost: $17 to $47
What: Emily Elizabeth and her trusty hound Clifford leap from the pages to the stage in this live interactive musical.

Grand Opening: World of Puppetry Museum
Where: Center for Puppetry Arts
When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: $10.50 (free for members and kids under age 2)
What: Be one of the first to check out the Center for Puppetry Arts’ long-awaited museum expansion, featuring hundreds of Muppets and props donated by Jim Henson’s family—the largest exhibition of his work anywhere in the country—as well as puppets from around the globe, and more.

Mo Willems Day
Where: High Museum
When: 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Cost: Free with admission ($19.50 for adults; $16.50 for students; $12 for kids ages 6 to 17; free for kids 5 and under)
What: Purchase a copy of your favorite Piggie & Elephant, Knuffle Bunny, or Pigeon tale at the High, and get it signed by beloved children’s book author Mo Willems, who will be on hand to say hello. Plus: Story readings and screenings of Seriously Silly! cartoons and a documentary about Mo made by his daughter Trixie.

Garden Lights, Holiday Nights
Where: Atlanta Botanical Garden
When: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Cost: Thursday through Sunday: $26 for adults ($21 for members); $20 for kids ages 3 to 12 ($15 for members); free for kids 2 and under. Monday through Wednesday: $23 for adults ($18 for members); $17 for kids ages 3 to 12 ($12 for members); free for kids 2 and under.
What: For the fifth year, the midtown Garden is illuminated with more than two million lights. In addition to the crowd-pleasing botanical displays and interactive exhibits from previous seasons, you can stroll through the new nearly-100-foot-long Tunnel of Light.

Mythbusters Unleashed
Where: Fox Theatre
When: 7 p.m.
Cost: $29.50 to $121.50
What: The popular Discovery TV show might be ending, but you can still see hosts Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage when they bring their live tour to the Fox. Expect on-stage experiments, audience participation, and behind-the-scenes stories from the show.

A Christmas Carol
Where: The Alliance Theatre
When: Various
Cost: $14 to $55
What: It’s the 26th annual production of this classic holiday tale at the Alliance, which includes live music and an all-Atlanta cast.

Winter Wonderland
Where: Fernbank Museum of Natural History
When: 10 AM to 5 PM (Monday through Saturday), 12 PM to 5 PM (Sunday)
Cost: $18 for adults; $17 for students; $16 for kids 3 to 16; free for kids 2 and under
What: Still mourning the defunct Atlanta Festival of Trees? Find solace at Fernbank, where more than 30 trees and holiday displays, each representing a different country’s culture, are displayed throughout two floors of the museum.

Backyard Campout
Where: Chattahoochee Nature Center
When: 5 p.m.
Cost: $50 per tent/family ($35 for members). Register by 11/18.
What: Pack a picnic and a tent and head to Roswell’s Chattahoochee Nature Center for an urban camping trip, complete with marshmallow roasting, animal encounters, and a wildlife walk.

Snow Mountain
Where: Stone Mountain Park
When: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Cost: $28 for adults and kids ages 3 and up; free for kids 2 and under. Parking additional.
What: Hit the slopes without leaving town at Stone Mountain’s Snow Mountain, a man-made frosty playspace filled with tons of the white stuff for tubing, tobogganing, snowman-building, and more.

11/25 and 11/27
Cirque Dreams Holidaze
Where: Fox Theatre
When: 7:30 p.m.
Cost: $41.50 to $61.50
What: The touring holiday variety show includes circus stunts, musical numbers, magical illusions, and costumed characters galore—reindeer, snowmen, penguins, gingerbread men, and (of course) Santa.

The Hip-Hop Nutcracker
Where: Fox Theatre
When: 2 p.m.
Cost: $22 to $72
What: A 12-person dance crew (accompanied by both a D.J. and a violinist) performs a modern interpretation of the classic holiday ballet, set in 1980s Brooklyn.

Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox
Where: Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre
When: 7 p.m.
Cost: $36 to $57
What: Not familiar with this YouTube-famous group? Ask your teen about their retro arrangements of modern pop hits (think: a 1940s jazz interpretation of Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass”), led by pianist and bandleader Bradlee.

Mighty Mo and More
Where: Fox Theatre
When: 4 p.m.
Cost: Free
What: The Fox’s “Mighty Mo” organ gets a workout during this concert and sing-a-long featuring the classic holiday movie Miracle on 34th Street.