Christmas in Helen, Georgia: A Festive Destination Guide

Christmas in Helen, Georgia is like entering a whole new world of magic! Nestled in the stunning mountains of North Georgia, this adorable town turns into a winter wonderland during the holiday season.

People from all over come to Helen to soak up the festive vibes, admire the traditional German-inspired buildings, and partake in exciting holiday activities. It’s a truly enchanting experience!

Lighting of the Village

Get into the holiday spirit by attending the annual Lighting of the Village in Edelweiss River Park. Watch Helen transform as 8,000 lights and over 800 ornaments dress up the 20-foot-tall tree.

And the best part? Santa and Mrs. Claus will be there, too! They’ll make their grand entrance, kick-starting the festivities.

Make sure to arrive early to catch live musical performances by local groups that precede the big moment. As you listen, you’ll be surrounded by the lovely, cozy atmosphere of the lit-up, Bavarian-style village. Don’t forget to bring your little ones along as well, since they will have the opportunity to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus between 5:00 to 7:00 PM.

As the sun sets, you’ll witness the magic of the entire town being illuminated, marking the beginning of the holiday season in Helen.


Dates: November 25-26 and December 2-3, 2023

Enjoy the traditional German-style Christkindlmarkt in Helen as you shop for holiday gifts and sample delicious treats. This festive market showcases a variety of vendors selling handcrafted ornaments, unique gifts, and tasty seasonal delights.

You’ll feel the warmth of Christmas in Helen as you browse the stalls and appreciate the European-inspired architecture surrounding the market.

Helen Christmas Parade

Be a part of the excitement at the Helen Christmas Parade where festive floats, German Christmas characters, and marching bands fill the streets! The annual event brings the whole community together to celebrate the season with joy and cheer.

Visiting Santa Claus

One of the highlights of celebrating Christmas in Helen, Georgia is the opportunity to meet Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus. They officially arrive in town during the Annual Lighting of the Village event, typically held at the end of November.

After their grand entrance, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be available for a meet and greet where children can share their Christmas wish lists, and you can capture some memorable photos. The event also features musical performances by local groups to entertain you and set a festive mood.

The meet and greet usually last from 5 to 7 pm on the day they arrive at Riverside Park. Make sure to mark your calendar, so you don’t miss this magical experience.

Throughout the holiday season, you might also find Santa and Mrs. Claus at various locations around town, such as selfie spots with Santa’s sleigh at Riverside Park. Be on the lookout for these delightful encounters, and remember that meeting Santa and Mrs. Claus in Helen is an experience that will bring a smile to your face and a warm feeling to your heart this holiday season.

Uhuburg Castle

While exploring the town, you’ll come across various attractions decked out in holiday splendor, including the Uhuburg Castle. This whimsical landmark, completed in May 2023, offers a dreamy fairytale-like setting to enjoy during your Christmas visit.

As you marvel at the festive decorations and displays in Helen, don’t forget to take plenty of photos to capture the magic of the season. The beauty and warmth of Christmas in Helen, Georgia, will undoubtedly leave you with lasting memories.

Local Craft Stores

When you visit Helen, Georgia, during the Christmas season, you’ll find a variety of local craft stores offering handmade and unique items. These stores showcase the talents of local artisans, making them perfect places to find gifts for friends and family.

For instance, you can find pottery, handmade ornaments, and hand-painted decorations made by skilled craftspeople in the area.

Unique Gift Shops

Head to the Christmas Shoppe for some Christmas decorations!

In addition to local craft stores and Christmas markets, Helen, Georgia, is home to some unique gift shops worth exploring. TripAdvisor‘s list of the best Helen gift & specialty shops is a great starting point for discovering places that have something for everyone.

One popular store is the Christmas Shoppe, located at 8749 N Main St. The Christmas Shoppe is open seasonally from May to December, and it’s stocked with festive items like Christmas ornaments, decorations, and collectibles to help bring the holiday spirit into your home.

As you explore these wonderful places while visiting Helen, Georgia, during the holiday season, you’ll surely find unique, thoughtful gifts and souvenirs for your loved ones and yourself, creating fond memories and embracing the festive spirit.

Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides

During your visit to Helen, Georgia, during the Christmas season, one of the must-do activities is taking a horse-drawn carriage ride through the charming downtown area. This magical experience allows you to see the festive decorations and twinkling lights adorning the Bavarian-style buildings.

The Alpine Carriage Company offers carriage rides seven days a week, weather permitting. You can choose from a variety of carriages, including a Cinderella buggy that can accommodate up to 20 people and is handicap-accessible. The company takes pride in ensuring a comfortable and memorable experience for all guests.

Here are some tips for making the most of your carriage ride:

  • Book in advance: During the Christmas season, carriage rides can be quite popular, so it’s a good idea to reserve your spot ahead of time.
  • Dress warmly: Since the rides are outdoors, be sure to bundle up in warm clothing, especially if you’re planning an evening ride when temperatures may drop.
  • Time it right: If you want to enjoy the best views of the festive lights, try scheduling your ride in the early evening or when the sun is setting.

Carriage rides are not only for couples looking for a romantic experience; they are also great for families! Kids will love the excitement of riding in a holiday-decorated carriage and seeing the town’s Christmas celebrations up close.

Traditional German Food

While visiting Helen, Georgia during the Christmas season, you can enjoy some delicious traditional German cuisine. Many of the town’s restaurants and eateries offer a taste of Germany right in the heart of the South.

Here are a few traditional German dishes to keep an eye out for:

  • Sauerbraten: A pot roast marinated in spices, wine, and vinegar
  • Rouladen: Thinly-sliced beef, filled with onions, pickles, and mustard, then rolled up and cooked
  • Kartoffelpuffer: Crispy potato pancakes, served with applesauce or sour cream
  • Käsespätzle: A German-style mac and cheese, made with egg noodles and melted cheese, topped with fried onions

Hiking Trails

Wrap up warm and immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of Helen’s surrounding nature by exploring its various hiking trails. Winter hikes offer a unique perspective of the Blue Ridge Mountains, displaying snow-covered branches, ice-covered waterfalls, and serene, frosty landscapes.

Some popular hiking trails to consider include:

  • Raven Cliff Falls Trail: A moderate 5-mile round trip hike leading to a stunning waterfall
  • Anna Ruby Falls: A short, accessible trail perfect for families, leading to beautiful cascading waterfalls
  • Duke’s Creek Falls: A moderately easy 2-mile round trip hike with lovely views of two waterfalls along the way

Remember to dress appropriately, wear proper footwear, and always let someone know your plans before venturing out on a hike. Enjoy the outdoors and make the most of your Christmas in Helen, Georgia!

Holiday Accommodations

Visiting Helen, Georgia, during Christmas time is a magical experience, and choosing the right place to stay can make your trip even more enjoyable. In this section, we will explore some popular accommodation options: themed hotels, cozy cabins, and bed & breakfast inns.

Themed Hotels

Helen is known for its Bavarian-inspired architecture, which is reflected in many of its themed hotels. Staying in one of these hotels will make you feel like you’re in the heart of a charming European village.

Some of these hotels are just a short walk from all the holiday festivities, making them the perfect place to rest after a day of Christmas shopping at the Annual Christkindlmarkt.

Cozy Cabins

If you’re looking for a more secluded experience, consider staying in one of the many cozy cabins available around Helen. These cabins offer privacy and comfort amidst the scenic beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Some come with amenities like hot tubs, fireplaces, and even Christmas decorations, adding to the holiday ambiance. Check out Cabins For Christmas In Georgia or Blue Creek Cabins for a variety of options to suit your needs.

Bed & Breakfast Inns

For a more personal touch, consider staying at a bed & breakfast inn in Helen. These inns provide a warm and welcoming environment, with delicious home-cooked breakfasts to start your day. Many of these inns are housed in charming historic buildings, adding to the overall experience of your Christmas vacation in Helen.

When planning your holiday accommodations in Helen, Georgia, remember to consider factors like location, budget, and the type of experience you’re looking for. Whether you choose a themed hotel, a cozy cabin, or a bed & breakfast inn, you’re sure to create lasting memories during your Christmas stay in this enchanting town.

Weather During December

In Helen, Georgia, you can expect the weather during December to be quite mild. There are average high temperatures in the mid-50s, while the lows usually hover around the mid-20s. Although it is generally cold, it’s not unbearably so, making it perfect for you to enjoy the festive atmosphere.

As the first month of winter, December witnesses a gradual decrease in temperature. The earlier part of the month has average high temperatures at around 51.1°F, a slight drop from November’s refreshing 58.5°F. You’ll notice a crisp and fresh feel in the air as you explore the local attractions, such as the Lighting of the Village and other holiday events.

It’s essential to prepare for the weather by packing layers when visiting Helen in December. Dress warm in coats, scarves, and gloves to protect yourself from the chilly winter breeze, and wear comfortable shoes for navigating the frosty streets.

While snow is rare during this time, the possibility of a white Christmas cannot be dismissed. It is more likely to snow later in December or even in January. So, if you’re dreaming of a white Christmas, keep your fingers crossed and hope for a touch of snow to add a magical sparkle to your holiday experience in Helen.

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