Kate Collins, UGA intern/writer

Rachel Watkins, PR Coordinator, 706-357-4543

Chuck Jones, Director, 706-357-4430



Holiday Events and Happenings in Athens, Georgia


Athens, Ga.- October 26, 2015- 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, Georgia’s only indoor/outdoor ice rink is almost open for the upcoming holiday season. The Classic Center is home to the only indoor Ice Skating arena and outdoor skating pavilion featuring a mobile 17,000 square-foot rink. Between on November 16 and February 28, the rink will be indoors for the beginning of the season, then moved to the outdoor pavilion to enjoy the weather and all its winter glory. With multiple public skating sessions every day, new toddler learn-to-skate classes, youth skate classes, adult skating, and youth hockey clinics, this winter staple is perfect for the whole family to enjoy. For more information, click

The Downtown Christmas Parade of Lights ushers in the holiday season in Athens. 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 3, dozens of floats, bands and groups will wind through downtown streets awash in twinkling lights. This year's theme, "It’s Christmas Time in the City," will have holiday cheer ringing all through Athens. The hour-long parade begins on the corner of Dougherty and Pulaski Streets at 7 p.m. and ends in front of City Hall. The traditional tree lighting ceremony hosted by Santa and Mrs. Claus will follow.  More information is available at 706-613-3620 or

On December 3 and 4 at Hodgson Hall, the UGA Symphony Orchestra, Hodgson Singers, and University Chorus will come together in their annual UGA Holiday Concert for a night of holiday music magic. Tickets are $25. More information can be found at

The Holiday Spirits Museum Mile Tour on three consecutive Sundays in December will transport participants to Christmases past. This special holiday version of the Museum Mile tour will focus on holiday traditions spanning the 19th century by exploring four unique historic houses from the Federal, Greek Revival and Victorian periods. The tour includes live music, professional theatre, light refreshments and culminates with a glorious Victorian Christmas at the Ware-Lyndon House. The tours begin at 2 p.m. on Dec. 5, 12 and 19. Tickets are $25 each and are available through the Athens Welcome Center at 706-353-1820.

Athens is well-known for its art scene, making holiday artist markets and special events the perfect opportunity to find one-of-a-kind gifts. This year the Indie South Fair: Holiday Market on Dec. 5 and 6 brings an eclectic selection of emerging artists and crafters from the southeast and beyond to downtown Athens. The fair provides a venue for artists to directly connect with the community by sharing their techniques and creative processes as well as market their wares in a recreational, street-fair atmosphere that is always free and open to everyone. For more information, click

Athens is home to some of the most beautiful homes in Georgia, and they are opening their doors for the Classic City Tour of Homes on Sunday, December 6 from 1-5 p.m. with proceeds going directly to UGA Miracle who raises money for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. People from all over the state gather together in Athens for this special event, as they tour the sorority houses, and a few fraternity houses, at the University of Georgia. This is the only time of year that these million-dollar mansions open up their holiday-decorated houses for the public! The houses are prepared to showcase their history, traditions, and holiday festivity for this event. There will be vendors located at each house so holiday shopping will be available at all stops along the way. Be prepared to walk from house to house and enjoy this aspect of the Athens Historic District while benefitting a great cause. For more information, click

The Athens Chamber Singers invites guests to join them for their annual Yuletide Musical Dinner, celebrating “A Child’s Christmas,” on Dec. 10, 11 or 12 at 7:30 p.m. at Trumps. This event features a delicious dinner buffet alongside wonderful holiday tunes. For more information, click

Athens, Georgia is proud to once again host the internationally renowned State Ballet Theatre of Russia, as they present two performances of The Nutcracker on December 19-20 in The Classic Center Theatre. Generations of children and “children at heart” have treasured this perennial favorite, the charming tale of holiday adventure that follows a little girl’s journey through a fantasy world of fairies, princes, toy soldiers and an army of mice. Filled with Tchaikovsky’s beloved music including “Waltz of the Flowers,” “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy,” and “Waltz of the Snowflakes,” the entire family will love this magical experience filled with spectacular sets, beautiful costumes and enchanting choreography. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to see a world renowned ballet company as they take the stage in Athens. For more information, click

What better holiday present could there be than plans for a New Year's Eve getaway to Athens? A variety of venues are hosting special events this year. Graduate Athens is hosting a Totally 80s New Year’s Eve package with entertainment at Foundry with The Highballs. The early bird price is $235 with a price increase to $255 at midnight on Thanksgiving, November 26, 2015. Hotel Indigo's New Year’s Eve Party featuring the Dirk Howell Band offers fabulous cocktails and live music in their elegant Rialto Room. Don't miss Hotel Indigo's special New Year’s Eve Overnight Package.  For $199 couples receive a luxury boutique hotel room, two tickets to see the Dirk Howell Band’s exclusive concert and a champagne toast at midnight. Click here for more information on Graduate Athens’s package and here to find more information on Hotel Indigo’s package


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 $273.40 million in spending, 2,600 jobs and $17.86 million in local and state tax revenue in 2014.