ATHENS, Georgia (November 9, 2016) -- The holiday season in Athens, Georgia, offers many opportunities for endless celebration. Now is the time to plan your holiday vacation in Georgia. Visitors can enjoy festive heritage events, artist markets for one-of-a-kind gifts and, as always in Athens, live music.

Athens on Ice: Athens, Georgia’s only indoor/outdoor ice rink is almost open for the season. The Classic Center is home to the only indoor NHL-sized Ice Skating arena and outdoor skating pavilion. From November 23 to January 8, the rink will be indoors, then moved to the outdoor pavilion from January 30 to February 16. With multiple public skating sessions every day, adults only public skating, and drop-in hockey, this winter staple is perfect for the whole family to enjoy. For more information, visit

Classic City Tour of Homes: Visitors from all over gather in Athens for this special event, hosted by UGA Miracle. This is the only time of the year these million dollar UGA sorority and fraternity mansions open up their holiday-decorated houses for the public. The houses are prepped to showcase their rich history, traditions, and holiday festivity on December 4 from 12:30 to 5 p.m. This is a great event for girl-friends or mother-daughters to enjoy. For more information, visit

Holiday Book Sale: Beginning November 29 through December 2, the Georgia Museum of Art will host their annual Holiday Book Sale daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Shop for loved ones, featuring both new and used publications of all genres. Donations are also greatly appreciated, contact the Georgia Museum of Art directly at (706) 542-4662 to learn how to donate. More information is available at

The Downtown Christmas Parade of Lights: This popular annual event gives viewers and participants the opportunity to enjoy an evening parade in Downtown Athens while it is decorated for the holiday season. On December 1, dozens of floats, bands and groups will wind through downtown streets awash in twinkling lights. The parade begins on the corner of Dougherty and Pulaski Streets at 7 p.m. and ends in front of City Hall for the traditional tree lighting ceremony hosted by Santa and Mrs. Claus. More information is available at

Holiday Spirits Museum Mile Tour: The Athens Historic House museum Association will offer two special holiday editions of their Museum Mile Tour of Historic Interiors on December 10 at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Experience the holidays Antebellum style, as 19th-century Athens residents of these house museums would have and learn about holiday traditions along the way. Contact Classic City Tours for more information.

Indie South Fair Holiday Hooray!: This heritage market provides a venue for artists to directly connect to the community by sharing their techniques and creative processes in a recreational, street-fair atmosphere that is always free and open to everyone. Spend the day at Chase Street on December 3 and 4 to shop around for holiday gifts or decoration items. For more information, visit!/19275/.

Athens Santa Pub Crawl: Hosted by Live Wire Athens, this festive pub crawl will take place on December 3 from 6 to 11 p.m. Wristbands are $15 and all proceeds will celebrate the Athens Area Humane Society. Information about purchasing wristbands and about the crawl can be found at

Classic City Band Holiday Concert: The State Botanical Garden of Georgia will host this concert on December 6 from 7 to 8 p.m. The Classic City Band is the oldest continuously functioning community band. Admission to the concert is free and more information can be found at

Christmas Tour of Homes: The Georgia Club Foundation hosts this event on December 11 from 12 to 5 p.m. The tour includes six tastefully decorated homes throughout the Georgia Club community. Proceeds will benefit Extra Special People and Books4Keeps. Tickets are available now and are $25 in advance and $28 at the door. More information about the tour and how to purchase tickets can be found here,

Elf, The Broadway Musical: The light and hilarious musical adaption of the 2003 New Line Cinema hit about Buddy the elf comes to the Classic Center Theatre on December 13 at 7:30 p.m. More information about how to purchase tickets is available at

The Nutcracker: The treasured tale of a little girl’s journey through the fantasy world of fairies, princes, toy soldiers, and an army of mice comes to Athens December 17 and 18 at the Classic Center Theatre. The Nutcracker Presented by the State Ballet Theatre of Russia is filled with Tchaikovsky’s beloved music along with spectacular sets, beautiful costumes, and enchanting choreography. Tickets are on sale now. Click here for more information,

New Year’s Eve 2017: A variety of venues are hosting special events to ring in the new year. Spend the night at the Foundry for their Totally 80’s New Year’s Eve Party featuring the Highballs, hosted by Graduate Athens or enjoy a special holiday package by Hotel Indigo Athens, just to name a few.

For more winter and holiday information, check out Visit Athens’ Holiday Events page:


Athens Travel Information:

The Athens Welcome Center at 280 E. Dougherty Street is open daily to provide maps, brochures, self-guided tours and visitor information. Guided bus tours of historic Athens depart daily from the Welcome Center at 2 p.m. Information on the Athens Welcome Center can be found at

The Athens Convention and Visitors Bureau offers a wealth of official visitor information at More information on Athens, Georgia is available at 706-357-4430 and

About the Athens Convention & Visitors Bureau:

The Athens Convention & Visitors Bureau is a proactive sales and marketing organization whose primary goal is to increase the economic impact of the hospitality and visitor industry by attracting individual visitors, group tours, and meetings and conventions to Athens. Tourism WORKS for Athens, contributing $281.31 million in spending, 2,664 jobs and $19.04 million in local and state tax revenue in 2015.