Tis the season for twinkling lights and all things nice. Christmas music playing in every store, wreaths decorated on doors, holiday sweets, roasted chestnuts, wrapped up in your favorite sweater, and spending time with friends and family are all the things we love most about this season. There are so many things to do this Holiday season in Milledgeville. Make it as jolly as can be with a little help from our Christmas Bucket List! Check them off as you go!
___CHRISTMAS AT THE MANSION
Experience the festive holiday cheer at Georgia’s Old Governor's Mansion this Christmas. Holiday decorations reflect the time period, 1851-1853, when Governor Howell Cobb and his family occupied the beautiful home. Tour the Mansion by candlelight for a unique experience and follow the sound of angelic voices to the hidden rotunda inside the house where musicians are gathered around the 30-foot Christmas tree on December 2nd and 16th! The Mansion will be fully decorated for the holidays and open for tours beginning on Saturday, November 11th, and run until Friday, December 22nd, 2023. The Mansion is closed on Mondays and will be closed for Thanksgiving, Wednesday, November 22nd - Monday, November 27th.
___GO TO REINDEER FLIGHT SCHOOL
With over 40,000 lights, flying reindeer and Christmas cheer tucked around every corner, Reindeer Flight School is one of Baldwin County’s largest lights displays and a unique local experience. Operated by a local retiree with a love for the Christmas season, this experience takes place in a residential area and is a fun favorite with small children. The Flight School will begin on December 13th and run through Christmas Day. The best chance of Santa making a stop on Friday and Saturday night! Photo opportunities are abundant and be sure to climb atop a life-size wooden reindeer. Just be sure to come out before 9:00 p.m. when all the lights go out and the reindeer go to sleep!
___SEE THE ANNUAL LIGHTING OF THE CHRISTMAS TREE
On the first Friday of December from 6 p.m. - 8 p.m., the twinkling lights of our downtown Christmas tree will brighten up the streets. To see the annual lighting of the Christmas tree, be in front of Local Yolkal at 6 p.m. or tune into Facebook for a video stream on the Main Street page! There will also be a special appearance from the Mayor of Milledgeville. Take in the sparkle, decorations and festive shop windows as you wander about downtown this season.
___SHOP THE MILLY MARKET
In addition to the Christmas festivities in downtown Milledgeville, there will be a holiday market filled with local artisans, crafters, makers, and more who can help you with all of your holiday shopping. The market will be open Friday, December 1st, from 5:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m., and Saturday, December 2nd from 10:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m.
___WRITE A LETTER TO SANTA & DROP IT IN THE MAIL BOX
What do you want for Christmas this year? Let Santa know by writing a letter and dropping it off in the red mailbox that says “Letters to Santa” placed outside City Hall! It is a direct route to the North Pole, so you can be sure Santa and his elves will get right on it. Mail that makes it to Santa’s desk is sure to get a response back, so make sure your address is legible. The special Santa Mailbox will be located outside of City Hall at the beginning of December. There is no charge to send Santa a letter.
___SIP ON A PEPPERMINT LATTE FROM BLACKBIRD
As the air cools, there’s nothing better than sipping on a hot beverage from your local coffee shop. Order a peppermint latte, hot chocolate or a fogle chai, and prepare yourself to taste Christmas in a cup! Located in downtown Milledgeville, Blackbird Coffee makes for a quick and easy stop with some shopping following at some of our local boutique and antique shops. Take in the holiday grandeur as you go! Open 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Sunday.
___TRIM YOUR TREE WITH THE CVB'S NEW CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT
Get our new 2023 collectors Christmas ornament and spruce up your Christmas tree this holiday season. This year's ornament features the historic Paine-Jones House in downtown Milledgeville. The Paine-Jones House was built in 1820 in the Milledgeville Federal Style for the physician of the penitentiary, Dr. Joshua Paine. The festive red ornament is a great gift for anyone who loves Milledgeville history and Christmas! Pick yours up at the Milledgeville Visitor's Center for $12.00.
___PICK UP A GIFT FROM A LOCALLY OWNED STORE
Show that special someone how much they mean to you by purchasing a little trinket from one of our locally owned shops! Theres gifts of all shapes and sizes, some funny, some sweet. Market Collective, Eclectic, Southern Roots and local boutiques are some shops that are sure to set you up with the perfect personal gift.
___HAVE A HOLIDAY MEAL WITH YOUR SWEETIE
Dress up for a fun night out on the town with your sweetie! Enjoy a tasty sit-down meal at one of our local restaurants, each offering a unique experience and delicious cuisine. There’s everything from delicious steak and seafood from The Reel Grill to brick oven pizza from The Brick. Pair a cocktail from The Brick with your meal and enjoy the festive atmosphere this holiday season with the ones you love.
___ GET A TREAT FROM A LOCAL BAKERY
Satisfy that sweet tooth with a little treat from one of our local bakeries. Whether it’s a snowman cookie from Doodle's Bakery, Apple Bread from Goodie Gallery or a variety of decorated Christmas cookies from Coasties Bakery, you won’t be disappointed. Grab something scrumptious when you are out and about in Milly. You can’t have a blue Christmas when you have sugary goods in hand!
___GET CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS AT LOCAL SHOPS
Pick up some festive Christmas decorations to make your home feel jolly and bright. Christmas wreaths, scented candles, cute signage, blankets, pillows--you name it--our local shops will give you home just the perfect touch needed this Christmas! Local business owners are usually on hand to offer decorating advice and recommendations all with a side of genuine southern hospitality.
SEE MILLY IN LIGHTS
___STROLL THE HISTORIC DISTRICT
The Historic District of Milledgeville and see the extravagant lights and holiday decorations on the already gorgeous homes! Porches wrapped in garland, twinkling lights hanging from the columns, wreaths welcoming guests through the door and Christmas trees peeking through the windows. Pick up a historic walking tour brochure from the Visitor’s Center and read up on the history of each home you see!
___EXPERIENCE CHRISTMAS BY BOAT
The lights downtown are a sight to behold, but have you seen Christmas on the lake? Rent a boat from a local outfitter and take a ride in the moonlight to see houses decorated in lights, reflecting off onto the water. See a beautiful collage of white, green, and red lights shimmering as you soar across the lake, bundled up with some steaming cocoa in hand! Each house is different from the last, keeping you on the edge of your seat as you round the bend!
For a complete guide to find the best lights in town, check out our lights guide.
___Illuminate your holidays at Lockerly in Lights
Join the holiday celebrations at Lockerly in Lights from November 17th to December 23rd. Experience a dazzling $15 drive-through on Friday nights and a magical walk-through on Saturday nights for $10 for adults, and $5 for children 12 and under. Make sure you make reservations beforehand, as you must have a pre-purchased ticket for Saturday nights. The walk-through night offers exclusive lights, live music, and surprises, making it a perfect family activity that supports a local attraction.