Atlanta History Center’s Candlelight Nights Evoke Tradi-tions of Holidays Past

The Atlanta History Center invites guests to step back in time and experience Christmases past during Candlelight Nights on the Friday evenings of December 14 and 21, 2018.


During these family-friendly events, presented by Georgia Power Foundation Inc., visitors can stroll wooded trails illuminated by the sweet glow of candlelight, connecting to the spirit of simpler holiday pleasures.
Guests will be welcomed by Santa Claus and a lively Holiday Market filled with local crafts, artist cre-ations and vintage holiday decoration finds. Then they can visit each of the three historic houses to ex-perience holiday traditions during the Civil War era (Smith Family Farm), 1930s (Swan House), and pio-neer days (Wood Family Cabin). Timeless holiday music will fill the air, and interpreters will bring charac-ters from the pages of history to life at these historic abodes, each handsomely dressed in period holiday decorations and featuring activities of the season.


WHAT: Candlelight Nights, Atlanta History Center’s annual holiday tradition.
WHEN: Friday, December 14, 2018, 5:30 – 9:30 PM and Friday, December 21, 2018, 5:30 – 9:30 PM
WHERE: Atlanta History Center; 130 West Paces Ferry Road; Atlanta, GA
ADMISSION: This special holiday program is $20 for public; $10 for children; $15 for members. Purchase advance tickets at
INFORMATION: 404.814.4000;
SUPPORT: Candlelight Night’s Presenting Sponsor is Georgia Power Foundation Inc. Funding is also provided by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners under the guidance of Fulton County Arts Coun-cil.



Ongoing Activities

Holiday Market
Allen Atrium, 5:30 – 9:30 PM
Not done yet with your holiday shopping? Purchase special one-of-a-kind gifts from local artists and crafts-people.


Visit with Santa Claus
Garden Overlook, 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.


Timed Activities


Reindeer Games with Aurora Theatre
Kennedy Theatre. 8:00 PM
Aurora Theatre produces more than 800 events annually for guests of all ages and tastes. With the Law-renceville troupe’s Reindeer Games, talented performers engage guests in amusing, interactive improv comedy and sing joyful holiday tunes.


All Aboard!
Rollins Gallery at 6:00 PM, 7:00 PM and 8:00 PM
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

Turning Point at 6:30 PM, 7:30 PM, 8:30 PM
Explore our Turning Point: The American Civil War exhibition and encounter Union soldier Nate Baker. Visi-tors 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
Exhibition Hallway at 5:45 PM, 6:45 PM and 7:45 PM
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.

6:15 PM, 7:15 PM, 8:15 PM
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.


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 dec-orate 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.


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 Sa-cred 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.


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.


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.


The Atlanta History Center is open 10 am-5:30 pm Mondays-Saturdays and noon-5:30 pm Sundays (ticket sales until 4:30 pm daily). Parking is free. For more information, please call 404.814.4000 or visit

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