With colder weather approaching (or already here for some places), it is time to start planning your holiday activities with your family. While you could do the same as last year and go to a family member’s house for a few days, there are other options, or at least places to add some holiday fun before the reunion. If you’re looking for a trip that will keep the kids entertained but still has something for the grown-ups, Lake Lanier and more specifically, Lanier World, in the Atlanta area of Georgia, is a great option.
For the past 25 years, from mid-November through early-January, Lanier World has left children and adults alike in awe with their “7-mile holiday light spectacle” that ends in “Santa’s Village”. Just as the title suggests, the 7-mile holiday light spectacle is a 7-mile path through the area that visitors drive through and are surrounded by thousands of led lights, arranged to bring out the Christmas spirit in even the ‘grinchiest’ of visitors (unless they are epileptic, then they should probably sit this one out). To say they may have gone a little overboard with lights and decorations is an understatement. Once you enter the front gate, you cross the ‘Snowflake Bridge’ and head right into the ’12 Days of Christmas’. After a quick stop to try and find one of the 5 golden rings for mom and the mini fight caused by dad looking at the nine ladies dancing a little too long for mom’s liking, you move on to the ‘diamond wonder light’ and then under the ‘blanket-lit bridge’. On your way to ‘Santa’s Workshop’, you will come across a variety of recognizable decorations, such as the Coca-Cola drinking Santa and toy rocking horse displays to the less than holiday themed ‘Wizard of Oz’ display and ‘Teddy Bear Land’.
Even though the lights are enough to be considered a stand-alone attraction, Lanier World went a step further and brought Santa into the mix. After you drive through the seemingly endless (in a good way) illuminated path, you find yourself face to face with ‘Jolly Ole Saint Nick’ in his workshop. Here you can tell Santa about the gift(s) you heart desires before roasting marshmallows on a bonfire and enjoying taste bud tickling winter treats. This is the perfect time to grab a photo with the bearded man in red to create a memory that your family will cherish for years to come.
Finally, as if Santa and tons of lighted decorations was not enough, you can make your way to the ‘Winter Carnival’. Here you can enjoy a plethora of holiday themed rides and “snow play zones”. You kids will not only be thankful, but worn out after playing on the speed slides and going for a skate surrounded by bubbles, leaving so well deserved quiet time for mom and dad to take advantage of. The kids can fall asleep while watching a classic holiday film on the 5-story screen while mom and dad are overcome with nostalgia and reminded of simpler times.
For admission, Lanier World charges by the carload up to 10 passengers. At the gate, you will be asked to pay $45.00 for a car/van/suv/truck of up to 10 passengers and an additional cost for any additional visitors. Should you plan ahead and grab tickets online before you go, you get a lowered price of $35 for a vehicle of up to 10 people. Lanier World also has the option to rent a 4-6 passenger golf cart if you are looking for an enhanced experience.