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Seasonal Staycation: Christmas at Callanwolde

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With the holidays officially upon us, so too follows the return of a beloved seasonal tradition in AtlantaChristmas at Callanwolde. From December 6-17, this historic fine arts center will be transformed into a dazzling designer show house with tours and special events scheduled daily. Located at 980 Briarcliff Road NE on 12.5 rolling acres in the city’s posh Druid Hills district, every room of the iconic 27,000 square foot Gothic-Tudor mansion will be skillfully staged for the holiday season.

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Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Callanwolde was built in 1920 as the home of Charles Howard Candler, eldest son of Asa Candler – famed founder of The Coca-Cola Company. A number of Atlanta’s boldest and brightest interior and floral designers were thrilled to lend their talents to festively festoon the historic landmark. Included among them are Loren Audrey Taylor of Anna Abrams Design, Mark Sunderland of Home Fashion Interiors, Laura Iarocci of Faith Flowers, Jonathon Gonzalez of Petite Maison Interior Design, Janice Palmer of Palmer Design Group, and more. Tours of the mansion are available from 10 to 4 p.m. on Weekdays and Saturdays and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays. Extended hours are available on Wednesdays from 5 to 7:30 p.m. and during special ticketed evening events on Fridays from 6 to 9 p.m.

In addition to spectacular strolls through the mansion itself, Christmas at Callanwolde encompasses a number of can’t-be-missed holiday events:

  • The fun kicks off with a VIP Preview Event on December 5 from 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets are $75/person and include a preview of the mansion, a chance to rub elbows with the visionary designers, fabulous food from some of the city’s premier restaurants, complimentary bar, silent auction, and live entertainment by Von Grey. Tickets are by advanced reservation only.
  • The following evening – on December 6 from 6 to 9 p.m. – after touring the mansion, guests can adjourn to the indoor courtyard to enjoy Musical Winter Nights, a jazz concert featuring the Ted Howe Trio and vocalist Francine Reed. Tickets are $30/person. A second Musical Winter Nights is slated for Friday, December 13 and features the jazz stylings of Joey Sommerville.
  • On Saturday, December 7 and 14 from 9 to 10:30 a.m., local children can delight in the time-honored tradition of Breakfast with Santa. This event is catered by Chick-Fil-A and includes live music, tours of the mansion and visits with Santa Claus. Parents will want to have their cameras ready! Tickets are $20/person and are available by advanced reservation only.
  • On Sunday, December 8 and 15 from 3 to 4:30 p.m., Christmas at Callanwolde plays host to another family-friendly event – Teddy Bear Tea. It’s a terrific opportunity for kids to get all dressed up and bring their favorite teddy bear to Callanwolde to enjoy tea, hot chocolate, sandwiches, pastries, live music and admission to tour the mansion. Santa may just make a special appearance, as well. Tickets are $25/person and are available by advanced reservation only.
  • On Wednesday, December 11 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. – Callanwolde kicks off an exciting new tradition: Cocoa and Caroling! Guests are invited to gather on the front lawn to raise a cup and their voices along with members of the Atlanta Master Chorale and students of Springdale Park’s Advanced Chorus. This is a free event, and cocoa will be sold at a nominal fee.
  • Other terrific Christmas at Callanwolde events include Holiday Handmade Market and Make & Take Ornaments on December 7, Merrymaking with Callanwolde Kindermusik on December 11, and Garden Club Day and Holiday Centerpiece Workshop on December 12.

General Admission to tour the mansion is $20/adult, $15/senior, and $12/child aged 4-12. Children 3 & under are admitted for free. To purchase tickets online and learn more about the schedule of events for Christmas at Callanwolde, please visit

To add a little hospitable holiday magic to your holiday break, you might want to consider planning a seasonal staycation around Christmas at Callanwolde. Hotels near the mansion include W Atlanta – Midtown, Loews Atlanta Hotel, Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta, and The Artmore Hotel.


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