Posted by: Mickey Goodman | November 24, 2009

Stone Mountain Christmas

Top o’ the Season

Stone Mtn Christmas

Hilda the Christmas Goat’s alter ego, Craig, greets us just after his performance at Stone Mountain Christmas. “Do you want to know how it works?” he asks my grandkids who have just witnessed the magic of  interactive entertainment.

Four heads nod.

“Remember when I asked if anyone had read the book about Hilda? Well, I could see you from behind the screen,” he says, looking right at  8-year old  Jenna.

Normally, she is Chatty Cathy, but she’s still a tad stunned.

“How did you know I liked to read?” she asks.

“Just a guess,” he says. “You were reading the posters about the other books by Jennifer Liu Bryan. It wasn’t hard to figure out.”

He explains that from behind the screen, he can not only see and interact with audience members, but manipulate the actions of Hilda as she goes through her antics of hiding behind or jumping over a bale of hay. “It’s all electronic, like a computer,” he says. “Was it fun?”

Again, four heads nod. “Will you show us how it works?” Jenna asks. Craig declines. “It would ruin the magic,” he says. “But I hope you’ll come see me again.” If it’s up to the grandkids, we will — next time with Jael who was at a friend’s birthday party.

After a brief debate about what to do first, we opt for the Skyride,

Confederate Carvings

an oversized ski-lift to the top of the granite hunk known as Stone Mountain. It’s a not-to-be missed combination of the marvels of Mother Nature and man-made engineering. (Hardier souls can also climb the mountain to the 1,686 foot summit.  But they miss the stunning up-close view of the three Confederate heroes carved on the face,  Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, and Jefferson Davis). Cited as the highest relief sculpture in the world, the Stone Mountain carvings are 400 feet high and longer than a football field.

On a clear day...

Once at the top, we cut the kids loose. Jenna and 5-year old Idan – the only granboy – race around as sure footed as Hilda. Twelve-year old Mia picks out a comfortable rock and plops down to text her friends on my new I-Phone. Megan, ever the 9-year old lady, sticks with me. I point out the skyline of Atlanta and the King and Queen building near Perimeter Mall. Walking gingerly across the moon-like surface, I’m careful to avoid the small craters filled with water from the recent rains while the show tune, “On a Clear Day, You Can See Forever,” rattles around in my head.

With a blue sky overhead and cool breezes playing with our clothing, we’d like to linger, but there is much more to see and do. Next up, the Scenic Railroad, souped up for Christmas. It’s a much anticipated journey for Idan who relishes the leisurely six-mile ride around the circumference past 1,000,000 twinkling holiday lights.

Our list of “want-to-dos” far exceeds the time we’ve allotted, so we must pick and choose among the scheduled activities. All vote on the Sleigh Ride Musical Revue, but a stop at Hannah’s Glass Shop halts us in our tracks. An expert glass blower is demonstrating his craft and the children stand transfixed, noses pressed against the glass. He alternately heats, cools and adds color to an ever-growing blob of glass that he promises will become a vase when complete. We watch until the bitter end and admire the finished product, only to realize we’ve missed the 5 p.m. revue and can’t linger until the next round of events. Homework calls – particularly for Mia – and the adults all have evening plans.

As we literally drag the kids away, we promise we’ll return after dark one day soon to greet the Snow Angel, watch the Christmas Laser Show, and experience the musical revues. AND, there’s no doubt we’ll spend some serious time tubing down the snowy slope being created for the annual Snow Mountain event that runs from December 26 through March 7. We check the schedule. If we return before December 30, we can enjoy both events simultaneously.

With so much to see and do at Stone Mountain – regardless the season — it’s no wonder Frommers voted it one of the “500 Places to Visit With Your Kids Before They Grow Up.” How lucky we are that it is in our home town where we could begin our holiday season a little early.

Travelgram Tips:

  • Allow for plenty of time. Snow Mountain Christmas is an all day activity. We made the mistake of trying to cram everything into a few stolen hours.
  • Wear jackets and gloves if you want to tube and make snowballs on Snow Mountain beginning December 26.
  • On a budget? Pack snacks. The eats are expensive (but good)!


  1. Magical time with gorgeous children! Thanks for cluing us in to you blog site.

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