By Mary Ashton Mills
No holiday season is complete without a little snow, festive lights, hot cocoa and caroling. Add spectacular fireworks and more than 2 million lights and you’ve got all the makings for a memorable trip! Load your family and friends up and see for yourself what makes Stone Mountain Georgia’s most popular attraction. Stone Mountain Christmas and Snow Mountain are two annual events that take place at Stone Mountain each winter, providing fun for the family.
Children love trains and it isn’t everyday that they get the chance to experience the feeling of hopping aboard one. Visitors here are given the chance to board the Singalong Train, an open-air train, for a ride around the mountain while enjoying views of the lights and the story of the first Christmas. Next, walk through Skylights Spectacular, a special effects lights show set to music. If movies are your speed, don’t miss Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer in the state-of- the- art 4D theatre. The highlight of your trip might just be the Christmas parade and fireworks finale, where Angelina the Snow Angel descends to grant Christmas wishes to all. Santa’s making his list and checking it twice so make sure you make time to visit with him at Stone Mountain, voted one of the top 10 places in the country to visit Santa Claus.
If adventure is what you’re seeking, you will love Snow Mountain. Open from mid-November through February, Snow Mountain gives guests a chance to experience snow in the South even when Mother Nature isn’t cooperating. Try Avalanche Alley, a thrilling snow tube ride for the whole family. Snowball shooting and snowman crafting are among other activities available. Aside from the holidays there are other attractions such as The Summit Skyride, a cable car ride straight up 825 feet for a peek at the mountain carvings and views of Atlanta all the way to the Appalachian Mountains.
Distance: 135 miles, 2 hours 12 minutes
Budget: If you plan to visit both Snow Mountain and Stone Mountain Christmas then the best deal is $44.95 per person. This includes a two-hour tubing session, all day snow play area access and a Christmas Adventure Pass which gets you into the light show, fireworks, train ride and more. Capacity is limited and reservations are strongly recommended.
Where to stay: Atlanta Evergreen Marriott Conference Center and Resort.
What to See: Santa and Mrs. Claus, Angelina the Snow Angel, Rudolph, Snow Mountain, Fireworks, Skylights Spectacular, Summit Skyride, Confederate Memorial Carvings.
If you go: Special events are held year-round, but Christmas is an especially festive time to experience Stone Mountain.
Mary Ashton Mills is an Augusta freelance writer and mother of two.
This article appears in the Dec-Jan 2017 issue of Augusta Family Magazine.
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