Strolling through a walkway of magical lights synced to festive music, taking a train ride around the mountain singing our favorite Christmas carols, posing for photos with some of our favorite Christmas characters and, of course, Santa and Mrs. Claus and the highlight of the visit, the parade featuring the Snow Angel.

It’s a family tradition to visit Stone Mountain Park to kick off the Christmas season and we did just that when the park opened for the holiday season on Nov. 16. Stone Mountain Christmas will be featured through Jan. 5 with all of the special holiday events.

My nephew, Grayson, and I got the show schedule before the park opened and tried to fit as many of the Christmas events into our visit as possible. We did a great job and enjoyed some of our favorites as well as checking out a few new ones. Our recommendations are:

•The Polar Express 4-D Experience. We enjoy this every year. It’s a 15-minute movie that gives you the highlights, in 4-D, of the Polar Express.

•A Holiday Cabaret is a great show that features Christmas stories, songs and comedy.

•At A Wish For Snow, you can meet the Snow Angel for a photo and learn the story of Angelina.

•Visits with Mrs. Claus, Santa, Rudolph, Clarice and Bumble are fun for all ages. I know I enjoy posing for a photo with Santa every year!

•The Snow Angel Christmas Parade and Christmas Lighting Ceremony was a highlight for us this year. It’s a great parade with both Santa and the Snow Angel making an appearance. Performers for the other shows are also in the parade.

•You can’t go to Stone Mountain without taking a ride, or hike, to the top of the mountain. We took the Summit Skyride this time and enjoyed the amazing views.

•The Musical Frosted Forest was a first for us and we loved all of the lights and the festive music.

•The evening always ends with the Snow Angel making it snow and with a fireworks finale.

•We didn’t stay long enough to enjoy Snow Mountain on this visit but plan to return and check it out.

I have been visiting Stone Mountain since I was a child. I love all of the seasons but there really is something magical about visiting at Christmas. I am so thankful I was able to share the experience with my youngest nephew. It’s great to carry on a family tradition.

Angela Gary is an editor with MainStreet Newspapers Inc. She can be reached at angela@mainstreetnews.com.

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