Candlelight Nights

Candlelight Nights


Experience Christmas past with a candlelit stroll through our beautifully decorated gardens and grounds, and be transported into the warm glow of the holidays. Guests are welcomed by a lively Christmas Market filled with local crafts and artisanal creations. Visit our three historic houses to experience how Southerners celebrated Christmas during the pioneer days, the Civil War era, and the 1930s. Holiday traditions of years past come alive with interpreters, music, and special activities. Enjoy food for purchase and visit one of several cash bars for your favorite libation. 

This special holiday program is $20 for general public; $15 for members; $10 for children.

Ongoing Activities

Holiday Market
Allen Atrium
5:30 – 9:30pm

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

Showing December 15: Atlanta ceramic artist Kate Chan Suk Pak; holiday antique decorations dealer Sandy Eckstein; Atlanta illustrator Caleb Morris; Monroe painter Rachel Campbell; Marietta illustrator-sculptor Elizabeth Landt; Smyrna sign painter Kristen Ramsey; Newborn folk potters Elizabeth Collins and Chuck Haynes; Buford blacksmith-woodworker Charlie Dingler; Dallas mosaics and glass painter Mimi Bradberry; Normal Soap Company, Squirrel Brand Preserved Goods Co., Simply Skin Products, and Lakeshore Pottery.

Visit with Santa Claus
Garden Overlook
6:30 – 9:30pm

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

Timed Activities

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas Puppet Show
Kennedy Theatre
6:00pm, 7:00pm
Duration: 30 minutes

The holiday classic poem is brought to life with hand puppets and lots of humor, told by the mouse who was there and saw what really happened. Piccadilly Puppets has been entertaining and educating children throughout the state of Georgia since 1969.  

Reindeer Games with Aurora Theatre
Kennedy Theatre

Aurora Theatre produces more than 800 events each year 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.   

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

Mama Koku 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 singing group performing holiday favorites. Octave was founded in 1996 and since then has grown and changed its membership, and each new addition has added something amazing to the group. Their 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 Farm. Encounter characters from 1861, and participate in traditional crafts and activities as you help them decorate for a very special Christmas.

Ongoing Activities

Popcorn and garland making
Salt-dough ornament activities
Open-hearth cooking

Timed Activities

1861 Christmas tree lighting
Front yard
6:00pm, 8:00pm, 9:00pm

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

The Yule Log
Slave Cabin
6:30pm, 7:30pm, 8:30pm, 9:00pm

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.

A Christmas Feast
Smith Farm House
7:15pm, 8:15pm, 9:15pm

Experience a special Christmas dinner as the Smith family sits down to a course of traditional Civil War era delicacies in this small vignette.

Stephen, Meet the Past museum theatre performance
Slave Cabin Porch
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.

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 celebrates Christmas.

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!

Timed Activities

Bina Lockett Clark, Meet the Past Museum Theatre Performance
Butler’s Pantry
6:00pm, 7:00pm, 8:00pm

Meet the housekeeper, Bina, as she is getting ready to prepare the family dinner for the holidays. She has just received an important phone call and has to decide between her family holiday obligations and those of her job.

Theresa Hightower Trio
Grand Foyer
6:30pm, 7:30pm, 8:30pm

Come get in the holiday swing and sing along with jazz legend Theresa Hightower, who is sure to put you in the Christmas spirit! Theresa is an accomplished and critically acclaimed vocalist, actress, and songwriter. She is a veteran of concert halls, recordings, cabaret, stage, and screen, having performed engagements from the Atlanta Centennial Olympic Games to the Quai Du Blues in Paris. She recently appeared in Holler If Ya Hear Me, the musical inspired by the life of the late Tupac Shakur, directed by Kenny Leon for his True Colors Theatre.

Holiday Tunes and Sing-Along Carols
Green Room and Grand Foyer
7:00pm, 8:00pm, 9:00pm

Join pianist Whitni Coke for a performance in the Green Room followed by a fun sing-along for everyone in the Grand Foyer.

Wood Family Cabin

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

Atlanta Sacred Harp Singers
7:00pm, 8:00pm, 9:00pm

The Atlanta Sacred Harp Singers are a group who perform historic a capella shapenote hymns from The Sacred Harp, a collection of hymns first published in Georgia in 1844. Their performances entertain and inspire listeners through the active tradition of community sacred singing, which originated in early 19th century Georgia.

Food and Drink

Souper Jenny, located just off Allen Atrium, will be serving from its signature healthful menu from 5:30 – 9pm. Cash bars will be open throughout the campus with adult and non-alcoholic beverages available for purchase. Each bar will offer special holiday-themed drinks.

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