Augusta is perfectly located for some short day trips to other cities in the region. Atlanta is only a 2-hour drive up I-20 and Charlotte takes about 3 hours using SC-121N. This time of year has no lack of holiday events, and every city in the nation is donning their best performances, productions and winter land experiences for local and new-coming visitors. Atlanta and Charlotte are no exception. To celebrate the nation’s largest aquarium in holiday style, the Georgia Aquarium has a long list of family-friendly events like breakfast with Santa Claus, SCUBA-diving Santa, toddler time with views of spectacular beluga whales, whale sharks, manta rays and more, and even a holiday tree lighting. Check out their website for times/dates of specific events, www.georgiaaquarium.org/winter-waterland.

 

Stone Mountain, a short 25-minute drive from downtown Atlanta, is full of Christmas entertainment and spirit. Who knew there was snow tubing in Georgia? “Snow Mountain” is a 400-foot snow-covered hill with an enormous snow play area where families can even tube the “slope” at nighttime with lasers and dancing lights to today’s hottest music! The park includes a scenic railroad and Summit Skyride. Stone Mountain’s own Angelina the Snow Angel, as well as the classic characters Rudolph, Clarice and Bumble, meet and greet small visitors during the holidays. The park has plenty of baked treats and Christmas cookies to share. Visit, www.stonemountainpark.com

 

 

A few hours northeast from Augusta is home to North Carolina’s premier amusement park Carowinds. Located on the South Carolina-North Carolina line, the 407-acre amusement park opened its Winterfest activities Nov.24th and it runs through December 31st. This season’s activities include Candy Cane Lane, Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen Cookie Decorating, Jack Frost’s Igloo Village, Gingerbread Alley and Snow Flake Lake. There is also a great line-up of live entertainment with Blitzen’s Brass Brigade, Christmas Bluegrass music artists, Jingle Jazz and Sounds of the Nativity.

Check the website for complete listings, dates and times: www.carowinds.com.

 

Spend the day with the family in Atlanta or Charlotte to enjoy some of the best these cities have to offer for the holiday season!

Aimee Serafin, editor of the Augusta Family Magazine.