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Archive for the ‘Seasonal Fun’ Category

Atlanta’s historic home tours: Rhodes Hall


Rhodes Hall welcomes its Old World Santa in December.

Today’s stop on our Atlanta historic home tour is Rhodes Hall, an unmistakable building on Peachtree Street among office buildings, gas stations and roadways.

So far, we’ve seen Bulloch Hall, the Martin Luther King Jr. Birth Home, Margaret Mitchell House and Swan House. Rhodes Hall’s Old World Santa events begin next month, but there are others, too, like the 15-minute weddings on Valentine’s Day.

Rhodes Hall

History: “The Castle on Peachtree” was the home of furniture magnate Amos Rhodes and his wife, Amanda. They moved into the home, designed by architect Willis F. Denny II, in 1904. As other old Atlanta homes along the city’s most famous street were torn down, Rhodes Hall was donated to the state with the requirement that it be used to preserve history. It once housed the state archives, and is now the offices of The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, and is available for tours, weddings and other …

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Atlanta’s historic home tours: Swan House

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Swan House at the Atlanta History Center has several holiday events. AJC file photo

We continue our tour of Atlanta area historic homes today with Swan House, another home that, like the Margaret Mitchell House, is managed by the Atlanta History Center. My colleague, Howard Pousner, explained that even before going on the tour, this home always caught his eye. It’s easy to see why.

You can see the other homes we’ve visited so far in the History category.

Swan House

History: One of Atlanta’s favorite residences, it was designed by celebrated Atlanta architect Philip Trammel Shutze, who adapted Italian and English classical styles in this 1928 mansion for Emily and Edward Inman, heir to a cotton brokerage fortune.


  • The two-story home’s tone of classical symmetry and elegance is well established by the curved, free-standing staircase that dominates the central hallway.
  • The Inmans loved birds. Heir to a cotton brokerage fortune, Edward Inman collected representations …

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VIDEO: Radio City Rockettes at Atlanta’s Fox Theatre


The Radio City Christmas Spectacular opens on reindeer Rockettes. AJC/Elissa Eubanks

Radio City Christmas Spectacular” opens this week at the Fox Theatre, and even with updated music and modern sets, the show is a serious throwback. Think non-stop song-and-dance variety show, all Christmas, CHRISTMAS IN BIG CAPITAL LETTERS, all the time.

This isn’t about story or suspense, just 100 percent family-friendly theatrical eye candy. Some of the costumes and dances haven’t changed since the 1930s, while others are new twists on old holiday themes. Check out more photos from the show, and a story about what goes on backstage.

I got a glimpse of the show yesterday during a rehearsal that welcomed members of the press, and as expected, the show is high on sparkle, precision and spectacle. Personally, I’m impressed by the dancing teddy bears. I’m usually impressed by mascots that manage to stay upright; these were performing a ballet.

Then there are the famous Rockettes. Three of the 18 …

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Wiggles World to open at Six Flags White Water in 2010

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In this AJC file photo, a 2-year-old played in Little Squirt's Island at Six Flags White Water. Those parts will be removed and when Wiggles-themed attractions open in 2010. AJC file photo.

Six Flags White Water announced that North America’s first “Wiggles Water World” will open inside the Marietta park in May 2010.

wigglesThis isn’t just a new ride — it’s five sections spread over 40,000 square feet of the 75 acre park. The largest new attraction will be The S.S. Feathersword, a 25-foot play ship, where “guests can become Captain Feathersword’s first mate while exploring water cannons, telescopes, net climbs, secret crawl-throughs, port-holes and slippery slides.”

Other attractions: Wags the Dog’s Kennel Slide Tower, Henry the Octopus’s Pop Jets, Dorothy the Dinosaur’s Spray Garden, Big Red Car Slide and the newly branded Yummy Yummy Cafe.

Six Flags spokeswoman Kendall Kelton tells me the Wiggles attractions will replace the Little Squirt’s Island area for young kids. The Wiggles …

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70 degrees and sunny? Time for ice skating in Atlanta!


Opening night at the Centennial Olympic Park ice skating rink in downtown Atlanta was busy, despite the day's 70 degree temperatures. AJC photos by Jamie Gumbrecht

You know how we ought to cap off this stunning 70-degree November day? I thought last night.

With ice skating!


Centennial Olympic Park’s outdoor skating season opened on Saturday, and we headed downtown for a mild, anachronism-filled evening on ice. There was a mean game of tag going on the grass near the ice. I strongly considered locking our bikes to the oversized holiday light deer decorations. At the entryway, rink operators  sold tickets, skate rentals and socks for the folks who arrived in sandals.

I hadn’t been skating since I was 17, but was prepared by Jamila, my super-skating colleague, who warned me to keep my arms out, bend my knees and avoid looking down.

“If you can walk you can skate,” she told me.

“And if I fall?”

“We also say that if you don’t fall, you can’t skate.”

Right. Well, I …

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Coming soon: Christmas tree lightings around Atlanta

Before the Great Tree at Macy’s at Lenox Square looks like this:

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The tree lighting and fireworks at Lenox Square in 2008. AJC file photo

It looks like this:

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This year's Macy's tree as it was cut down in Dallas this morning. AJC/Brant Sanderlin

At 60 feet, this is one of the biggest trees, and certainly one of the splashiest tree lighting events around Atlanta. Here are more photos of the tree coming down. This year’s Macy’s tree lighting at Lenox Square is on Nov. 26, but there are dozens more around the metro area.

Here’s a list of tree lighting events around Atlanta.

If you know of more that isn’t listed, please add to the calendar. And for more holiday ideas and events, check out the Holiday Guide.

Want to go? Macy’s Great Tree Lighting, 7 p.m. Nov. 26. Free. Lenox Square, 3393 Peachtree Road N.E., Atlanta. 404-233-6767,

For instant updates, follow @insideaccess on Twitter.

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Centennial Olympic Park’s ice rink to open this weekend

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The ice skating rink at Centennial Olympic Park is up, and the first batch of ice was made from 8 p.m. Wednesday to 8 a.m. Thursday. The rink opens Saturday. AJC photos by Hyosub Shin.

It’s mid-November and Atlanta is deep into winter holiday season. My newspaper was weighed down by toy ads, lights are going up on houses and chocolate is showing up at the office wrapped in green and red foil. Best of all, the ice rink at Centennial Olympic Park opens this weekend. Take that, 70 degrees and sunny!

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Roderick Byrd added water to the rink on Wednesday night.

It’s the rink’s 13th year in Centennial Olympic Park, but it has a new schedule this season: it will be open for limited hours on Thanksgiving and Christmas, and will stay open till Jan. 31, instead of closing down for holidays and just after the New Year’s Day.

It’s not a huge rink — 64 by 116 feet — and has 350 pairs of skates available for $2 rental.  (You can, of course, bring your own boots.) But as Rick Glueckert of Ice …

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Macy’s Pink Pig is under construction, opens Nov. 7

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How do we know the seasons have changed? The Pink Pig opens soon at Lenox Square. AJC/Phil Skinner

On one of those cold, windy, October-but-feels-like-November days of a few weeks ago, we planned to mark the change of seasons by adding a few pink azaleas to the dirt patch in front of our house. Considering the ground is already half-frozen where I grew up, this felt like a very Georgia thing to do.

But I was swiftly out-Georgia-ed (and out-pinked) by an offhand comment, the kind that only makes sense in Atlanta. In line with my shrubs, a burst of wind and raindrops led the woman ahead of me to say, “Can you believe it’s almost time to ride the Pink Pig?”

I’m still not sure I understand it — pig trains and Christmas and Rich’s/Macy’s and Atlanta mix together…how? — bu the words “pink pig” mean more here than a meal at Abattoir or a reading of “Charlotte’s Web.”

And indeed, it’s almost here. Photographer Phil Skinner shot photos of the traditional Pink Pig holiday ride while it …

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Garden’s ‘Moore in America’ extended through Dec. 31

After my lament about the last weekend to see ‘Moore in America‘ at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, here’s some good news: I spoke too soon! The sculpture exhibition now will stay in Atlanta through Dec. 31.

From a short story by Howard Pousner in today’s AJC:

The two-month extension also constitutes good news for the Botanical Garden, where attendance is up 11 percent, to 145,000, over the same May-October period last year, when it hosted “Sculpture in Motion.” And memberships have climbed 19 percent, to 16,120, since the debut of “Moore,” the largest outdoor exhibit of the late British artist’s work.

The show of 20 sculptures, mainly bronzes, was to have returned to England, but the Henry Moore Foundation changed plans and will continue the U.S. visit. It will now open at the Denver Botanic Gardens in March.

The Botanical Garden’s annual Scarecrows in the Garden exhibit is through, but next up is Holidays in the Garden, which includes the Holiday Train Show. There’s …

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PHOTOS: Atlanta Critical Mass-querade Halloween bike ride


Hey drivers, watch for that clown, chef, Boy Scout and guy wearing a parrot. AJC photos by Jamie Gumbrecht

And so, Halloween weekend begins.

Or rather, this is how Halloween weekend began at Woodruff Park in downtown Atlanta. The last-Friday-of-the-month ride didn’t draw the same crowd that last year’s Halloween ride got, but there were still a couple hundred people in crazy costumes heading up Peachtree Street by 6:45 p.m.

As one rider put it, “This is the only time people actually like us.”

How could you not smile when you see Rainbow Brite pedaling down the road?


The Mighty Beardapus is mighty, but not above accepting help on his bike cam.


Sergio Garzon of Atlanta can, indeed, fly. On a bike.


Pippi Longstocking helped Spider-Man prep for the ride.


And they're off!

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