Alpharetta is kicking off the holiday season with several socially distanced, festive events and activities.

Events planned this season range from fireworks, snowfall celebrations, life-size nutcrackers, open air markets, ice skating and Santa sightings galore.

“The vibrant city of Alpharetta becomes even more magical during the holiday season,” president and CEO of the Alpharetta Convention and Visitors Bureau Janet Rodgers said. “With 250 shops all within a 5-mile radius, Alpharetta is the perfect place to tackle your shopping list and the event calendar is filled with festivities that are sure to make everyone feel merry. We invite you to visit, stay, shop and explore all of the awesome and unique experiences that can be had with a holiday getaway to Alpharetta.”

The Lighting of Avalon: A Twelve Day Celebration will take place Nov. 22 to Dec. 3. In place of the one-day tree lighting extravaganza, Avalon will host a 12-day celebration with different outdoor activities along the Boulevard each day, including Avalon on Ice performances, rooftop cocktail hours, carolers, pop-up concerts and more. At 7 p.m. each night during the 12-day celebration, guests will be dazzled by a spectacular firework show around Avalon’s 40-foot tree. Free admission.

Avalon’s Rockefeller Center-inspired ice rink also returns to Alpharetta this winter. Hours vary by day of the week and for school holidays. Ticket admission required. Avalon on Ice will run from Nov. 22 to Jan. 18, 2021.

Take a break from the skating and browse through a curated selection of 12 local artisan makers and merchants. Avalon’s Holiday Market from Nov. 22 to Jan. 3 will be a one-stop shop for everyone’s gifting needs with an array of handcrafted goods. Free admission to the market.

A flurry of snow is coming to Downtown Alpharetta’s Town Green from 6 to 7 p.m. on the first three Fridays in De. 4, 11 and 18. The snowy spectacle is free for the public to enjoy, along with the return of the handmade, life-size nutcrackers and beautiful winter décor lining the streets of boutique shops and restaurants.

Nearly 70 vendors will gather in Downtown Alpharetta to offer the finest Christmas gifts and products for everyone on the gift list during Alpharetta’s Christmas Market. On Dec. 5 and 12, guests can enjoy live music while shopping through a variety of crafts, food, décor, jewelry and more. Free admission.

North Point Mall will have its Christmas Market Dec. 18 to 20. The market will feature goods from unique artisans and crafters, making for one-of-a-kind holiday gifts for friends, family and loved ones. Free admission to the market.

In addition to events, Santa Claus will also make special appearances this holiday season.

Santa will be at Avalon Nov. 23 to Dec. 24 taking photos in an open-air, North Pole-inspired cottage in Palmer Plaza. While visits will look a little different this year, the magic of the Santa experience will remain the same. Hours vary by day of the week. Reservation appointments are required this year.

Families can also visit Avalon for Storytime with Santa. Settle into Santa’s backyard (the open green space behind his cottage) for holiday stories read by the jolly man himself each Monday from Nov. 23 to Dec. 21. Be sure to bundle up if its chilly as story time will take place outdoors. Ticket admission required.

Santa will also stop by North Point Mall, from Nov. 27 to Dec. 24. Santa and his holiday magic returns to North Point Mall this year to meet with guests in a socially distanced manner at Santa’s Toy Factory. Hours vary by day of the week. Photo reservations are strongly encouraged.

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