Dreaming of a White (and Gold) Christmas: Local Ways to Enjoy the Holiday Break

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Those who find themselves on campus during the last couple weeks of each calendar year know the quiet that sweeps across the Institute post-final exams. However, not everyone goes home for the holidays, and those who remain may be looking for ways to fill these vacant days in their otherwise-hectic schedules.

For those remaining in town, there are plenty of holiday events to enjoy around Atlanta, even on a student budget.

A few ideas:

  • Visit Centennial Olympic Park for its Holiday in Lights (free) and Ice Skating ($7 admission, $2 skate rental). 
  • Catch an Atlantic Station snow show or choir performance (free). Snow shows at 7 p.m. every day except Friday; check calendar for choir performances.
  • See a movie at the Woodruff Arts Center (everything with an * is free — check website for full listing and locations). A few of the free choices include:
    • Dec. 17, 6 p.m.: Edward Scissorhands (also Dec. 18, 3 p.m.)
    • Dec. 22, 3 p.m.: A Christmas Carol
    • Dec. 23, 7 p.m.: Evening with Bad Santa
    • Dec. 26, 3 p.m.: Home Alone (also Dec. 27, 6 p.m.)
  • Enjoy Dad’s Garage Theatre’s twist on a classic with Invasion: Christmas Carol (50 percent off on Thursdays with student ID makes it $7 online, $8 by phone/at door).
  • Ride the Pink Pig ($3). An Atlanta tradition that dates back to the 1960s, the Pink Pig is now located at Lenox Square Mall. 
  • Visit the Festival of Trees (free). Another Atlanta pastime displaying elaborately-decorated Christmas trees to raise funds for charity.

As always, be aware of your surroundings both on and off campus to ensure a safe and enjoyable winter holiday. Help Georgia Tech police by remembering what to do in the case of suspicious activity or incidents: if you see something, say something. GTPD can always be reached at 404.894.2500.

The Institute is closed from Monday, Dec. 26, through Monday, Jan. 2. Classes resume the following Monday, Jan. 9. All administrative offices are closed, with a few notable exceptions; Georgia Tech Police remain on a 24-hour operation schedule, and the Office of the Dean of Students and Counseling Center (404.894.2575) remain accessible 24 hours a day with staff on call.

Changes in transit service:

  • Dec. 19–23
    • Trolleys and Stingers will operate on a reduced schedule with wait times of approximately 12-15 minutes.
    • The Stingerette, Midnight Rambler and Emory shuttle will operate as usual from Dec. 19–23.
  • Dec. 24–Jan. 2
    • The Stingerette will provide service until 2:30 a.m. on Dec. 24, and will then be out of service until 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 3. Georgia Tech Police remain available for night escorts at 404.894.2501.
    • Trolleys, Stingers, the Midnight Rambler, the Grocery Shuttle and the Emory Shuttle will not operate.
  • Jan. 3–8
    • Trolleys will operate on their usual schedule. All other transit options will run a reduced schedule until classes resume on Jan. 9.

Full information on Parking and Transportation Services is available at

Changes in food service:

  • Dunkin’ Donuts and 3rd Floor Food Court: Closed Dec. 16 at 3 p.m. until Jan 9 at 7 a.m.
  • Subway: Closed Dec. 16 at 3 p.m.; Open Dec. 19­–23 and Jan. 3–6, 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Chick-Fil-A: Closed Dec. 17; Open Dec. 19–23 and Jan. 3–6, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. 
  • Taco Bell: Closed Dec. 15 at 8 p.m.; Closed Dec. 16 at 3 p.m.; Open Dec. 19–23 and Jan. 3–6, 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Brittain and Woodruff Dining Halls: Closed Dec. 16 at 3 p.m. until Jan. 6 at 10 a.m.
  • North Avenue Dining Hall: Closed Dec. 16 at 3 p.m. until Jan. 8 at 4 p.m.
  • Ferst Place, Westside Market, H2O Café, Einstein Bros., WOW Café & Wingery, Seattle’s Best Coffee, Simply to go, Pizza Hut: Closed Dec. 16–Jan. 8.
  • Eastside Market: Closed Dec. 15 at 2 p.m. until Jan. 9 at 11 a.m.
  • Clough Commons Starbucks: Closed Dec. 16 at 5 p.m.; Open Dec. 19–23 and Jan. 3–6, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Closed Jan. 7; Reopens Jan. 8

Full information on Dining Services is available at

Other changes:

  • Stamps Health Services: Open Dec. 19–23, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., except Thursday, Dec. 22, which has hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Campus Recreation Center: Open Dec. 18–21, 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Dec. 22, 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Closed Dec. 23–Jan. 2; Open Jan. 3–6, 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m; Jan. 7, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Jan. 8, noon to 10 p.m.



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    Kristen Bailey
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