Candlelight Nights

Candlelight Nights

Experience Christmas past with a candlelit stroll through our beautifully decorated gardens and historic houses, and be transported into the warm glow of the holidays. Come share your holiday wish list with Santa Claus and shop in the lively Holiday Market filled with local crafts, artist creations, and vintage holiday decor. Then explore each of the three historic houses to experience holiday traditions from the Civil War era, 1930s, and pioneer days. Timeless holiday music fills the air and interpreters bring characters from the pages of history to life at these historic homes.

Enjoy food for purchase and visit one of several cash bars for your favorite libation.

This special holiday program is $20 for adults; $15 for members; $10 for all children. 

Program Highlights 

Atlanta History Museum

Ongoing Activities  

Holiday Market
5:30-9:30 pm  

Not done yet with your holiday shopping? Purchase special one-of-a-kind gifts from local artists and craftspeople.   

Visit with Santa Claus
6:30-9:30 pm 

Ho-ho-ho! Grab your camera and get ready to photograph the family as it visits with Old Saint Nick.

Reindeer Games with Aurora Theatre

Aurora Theatre produces more than 800 events annually for guests of all ages and tastes. With the Lawrenceville troupe’s Reindeer Games, talented performers engage guests in amusing, interactive improv comedy and sing joyful holiday tunes.

All Aboard!
6:00pm, 7:00pm, and 8:00pm

Enjoy a special holiday story at our newly restored Texas locomotive and become immersed in the spirit of the holidays as you use your imagination to board a train to the North Pole!

Nate Barker, Meet the Past Museum Theatre Performance
6:30pm, 7:30pm, 8:30pm  

Explore our Turning Point: The American Civil War exhibition and encounter Union soldier Nate Baker.  Visitors will become new recruits in the African American 54th Regiment as Barker shares his personal hopes for the future and discusses challenges regiment recruits will face in the Civil War during the holiday season of 1863. 

Mama Koku’s Holiday Stories
5:45pm, 6:45pm, and 7:45pm  

The storyteller, an Atlanta History Center favorite, helps us celebrate a diverse December with stories that highlight the traditions of Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa mixed in with a few winter tales that will leave you feeling warm inside.    

6:15pm, 7:15pm, 8:15pm

Enjoy Atlanta’s favorite female a cappella group performing holiday favorites. Octave was founded in 1996 and has grown and changed its membership, and each addition has added something amazing. Members are teachers, writers, executives, pharmacists, athletes, dancers, grammar geeks, attorneys, and moms — all brought together for great music, great friendships, and great fun.

Smith Family Farm

Travel to Christmastime during the Civil War and be welcomed into the holiday traditions on Smith Family Farm. Encounter characters from 1861, and participate in traditional crafts and activities as you help them decorate for a very special Christmas.  

1861 Christmas tree lighting
6:00pm, 7:00pm, 8:00pm, 9:00pm  

The sounds of caroling greet you as you gather round to light the candles on the Christmas tree.

A Christmas Feast
7:15pm, 8:15pm, 9:15pm

Learn about the special Christmas dinner being cooked for the Smith family and see open hearth demonstrations of traditional Civil War era delicacies being prepared.

The Yule Log
6:15pm, 7:15pm, 8:15pm, 9:15pm 

Listen to stories and songs by the fire as the enslaved community celebrates Christmas and hopes for the end of slavery. Afterward, visit with interpreters as they discuss resistance and the history of holidays for the enslaved.   

Stephen, Meet the Past Museum Theatre Performance
6:45pm, 7:45pm, 8:45pm 

Meet Stephen, an enslaved woodworker who must face a crucial decision regarding his future and that of his family during the holiday season. This decision will impact the lives of those closest to him, for better or worse.

Ongoing Activities  

  • Popcorn and garland making
  • Create salt-dough ornaments
  • Candle-dipping
  • Blacksmithing
  • Open-hearth cooking

Swan House

Revel in the holiday season of 1930 as you are transported to a Jazz Age Christmas party at the lavishly decorated Swan House while the Inman family and their staff celebrate Christmas.  

Joe Gransden Trio
6:30pm, 7:30pm, 8:30pm

Step back in time with the Joe Gransden Trio as the group performs holiday standards.  Joe Gransden has performed worldwide and released 14 CDs under his own name. Renowned first for the hard bop approach of his trumpet, Gransden possesses a singing voice that has been compared to that of Chet Baker and Frank Sinatra.

Ongoing Activities

  • Make a 1930s Holiday Postcard: Create your own holiday postcards in the grandchildren’s room to send to your family and friends.
  • Get ready for the Inman holiday party by making a fun headband, either for yourself or as a gift!

Wood Family Cabin

Stop at our bonfire and enjoy some cider and s’mores!

Food and Drink

Available for purchase.

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