Planning a holiday weekend getaway trip to Athens, GA? Whether you are a foodie, shopper, ice skater, or lover of all things holiday related, Athens has you covered! You can use these Athens events, activities and restaurant ideas as your guide to create a schedule that's just right for you.
Your Athens holiday itinerary:
Breakfast in Downtown
Begin your day by eating at one of many local breakfast spots around town.
Athens Bagel Company- The Athens Bagel Company menu features real New York- style bagels of all kinds, baked fresh daily. Choose from a variety of bagel types, cream cheeses, and sandwiches, it's the perfect way to start your day in Athens!
Mama's Boy- Locally owned and run, Mama's Boy is a local favorite hot spot for breakfast and brunch in Athens. Menu items include "Chocolate Cake for Breakfast!" Vegan and vegetarian options available.
Breakfast with Santa- On December 10, bring your family to have breakfast with Santa at The Classic Center from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m.. You'll enjoy a special visit with Santa, a delicious breakfast buffet, a special visit and performance from Buddy the Elf, a photo with Santa, fun at Santa's workshop craft station and a coupon for $2 off an ice skating session. Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for children under 10.
Athens Heritage and Home Tours
December is one of the best times of the year to explore Athens' heritage and take a tour of historic homes while they are decorated for the holidays. There are several wonderful opportunities:
Classic City Tour of Homes- On December 4, visitors from all over gather together in Athens for this special event, hosted by UGA Miracle. On The Classic City Tour of Homes, you will have the opportuity to visit some of the University of Georgia's elaborately decorated sorority houses and a few fraternity houses on Milldege Avenue, as this is the only time of the year that they are open to the public.
Holiday Spirits Museum Mile Tour- The Athens Welcome Center invites you to join their Holiday Spirits Museum Mile Tour on December 10 at 10:30 a.m. or 2 p.m.. Tour-goers will be transported to Christmases past by experiencing each house museum adorned in period-specific holiday décor, as thoroughly researched by local archivists and historians. Tickets are $25 each.
The Georgia Club Foundation's Christmas Tour of Homes welcomes you home for the holidays Sunday, December 11. Ring in the season with friends and family while touring six tastefully decorated homes on showcase throughout The Georgia Club community.
Lunch in Downtown
Wind down from your tour by eating a delicious meal from some of Athens' favorite lunch spots.
Clocked!- This popular lunch spot features huge burgers, pasta, fish and chips, and vegetarian and vegan items. They have plenty of gluten free options too!
The Grit- Delicious homemade vegetarian food delivered for more than two decades on Prince Avenue, just a few blocks from downtown.
home.made from scratch - Check out this winner of the "100 Plates Locals Love" designation from ExploreGeorgia, home.made offers seasonal soups and salads, fresh baked desserts, and sandwiches.
Downtown Shopping and Holiday Markets
After lunch, visit one of the many shops around downtown Athens, or check out one of these special holiday markets.
Indie South Fair Holiday Hooray- On December 3-4, the Indie South Fair: Holiday Hooray 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.
Holiday Book Sale- Beginning November 29, the Georgia Museum of Art will be hosting their annual Holiday Book Sale daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.. Come shop for your loved ones, featuring both new and used publications of all genres.
"Deck the Walls" Holiday Shop- Beginning November 22 through December 31, the Lyndon House Arts Center will open up their gallery with art pieces by local artists. These are perfect for gifts during this holiday season!
Treat yourself to one of Athens' finest restaurants and unique menu items.
Yuletide Musical Dinners- December 8-10, the Athens Chamber Singers are inviting you to join them for their annual Yuletide Musical Dinner at 7:30 p.m.. at Trumps Catering. This event features a delicious dinner buffet alongside wonderful holiday tunes.
Last Resort- A popular dining spot in Athens, the menu consists of a Southwestern cuisine with a distinctive culinary point of view. Last Resort is open seven days a week, offering dinner nightly.
Trappeze Pub- Good conversation and amazing beer. The 24 beers on tap and almost 200 in bottles represent the best gourmet beers that are available in the state, all presented in a beer menu with highly descriptive tasting notes. The food menu is just as impressive, with a focus on locally-sourced, seasonal fare.
Porterhouse Grill- A consistent favorite of Athens residents and visitors in search of a great steak in a comfortable fine dining atmosphere.
A Night Out on the Town
Dinner doesn't mean the day is over! Athens is known for its entertainment scene, and December adds a festive holiday flair. Enjoy a wide range of events, including parades, performances, and pub crawls.
Downtown Athens Christmas Parade- Kick off the holiday season in Athens with this special event in Downtown on December 1. The Downtown Parade of Lights: A Fairytale Christmas begins on the corner of Dougherty and Pulaski Streets at 7 p.m. ending in front of City Hall for the traditional tree lighting ceremony, hosted by none other than Santa Claus!
The Nutcracker- The treasured tale of a little girl's journey through a fantasy world of fairies, princes, toy soldiers and an army of mice comes to Athens December 17 and 18 at The Classic Center Theatre.
Elf, The Broadway Musical- Elf, The Broadway Musical is the hilarious musical adaption of the 2003 New Line Cinema hit about Buddy the elf, who mistakenly crawls into Santa's bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. The Classic Center Theatre show on December 13 at 7:30 p.m. is a performance for all ages.
Athens Ice Skating- The Classic Center is home to an indoor NHL-sized ice skating rink that offers multiple public skating sessions every day. The 2016-2017 season officially begins November 23!
Athens Santa Pub Crawl: On December 3, Live Wire Athens invites you to join their 8th Annual Santa Pub Crawl through Downtown Athens. All proceeds will benefit the Athens Area Humane Society. Purchase your wristbands today!
Athens has your holiday season covered. The Classic City transforms into a winter wonderland for the entire holiday season, making it a top destination in Georgia. To make the most out of your holiday season and experience everything the city has to offer, discover more on our holiday festivities and holiday events pages to begin planning a holiday getaway to Athens, Georgia!