November 17, 2018
How to Celebrate the Holidays in Helen, Georgia
By: Ginevra Boyes
Helen, Georgia is made for the holidays. Our charming Bavarian-style alpine village is located in the heart of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Northeast Georgia. Though always lovely, Helen is especially delightful during the months of November and December, when you’ll find holiday lights and decorations, amazing local festivals, and a wide variety of activities to get you in the true holiday spirit. With its welcoming, cheerful ambiance and Old World charm, Helen is the perfect winter escape. Here are our favorite ways to spend the holidays in North Georgia.
Festivals & Events
Helen is home to many fun and unique events throughout the holidays. The season officially kicks off with the Lighting of the Village on November 24th, but that is just the beginning. At Alpenfest, you can ride a horse-drawn carriage through the streets of Helen as Christmas Carolers sing your favorite holiday songs. The festival also includes food vendors, live music, arts & crafts, and more. The Nacoochee Village Christmas Celebration features carnival games, refreshments, and of course, a visit from Santa Claus himself. At the annual Christmas Parade on December 9th, you can watch Santa make his merry way through downtown Helen towards the Festhalle on Edelweiss St. After the parade, enjoy hot chocolate, a bonfire, and s’mores.
The crowning jewel of the holiday season in Helen is, of course, the annual Christkindlmarkt, held the first Saturday and Sunday of December. Inspired by authentic German yuletide markets, this unmissable local event is the perfect place to stock up on one-of-a-kind homemade Christmas gifts and decorations. There will also be an assortment of savory and sweet foods, drinks, and candied treats for sale.
Another delightful holiday event is the Festival of the Trees at Unicoi Lodge and Conference Center, where you can stroll through a wonderland of beautifully decorated trees and wreaths, free of charge.
Helen’s location in the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains makes us the perfect choice for an unforgettable winter escape. Winters tend to be relatively mild in Helen, so you can still enjoy our countless wonderful hikes and outdoor activities without getting too cold. Head to Unicoi State Park, the Smithgall Woods, or Amicalola Falls State Park for great walks, hikes, cycling, and more.
For something a little more leisurely, take a romantic carriage ride through downtown Helen with the Alpine Carriage Company. They offer 20 minute rides, 7 days a week, for just $7 dollars. It is a great way to learn the history of Helen while sitting back and marveling at the beautiful holiday decorations. Before or after your ride, try an authentic German feast at Bodensee.
To get a taste of a true Victorian Christmas, head to Hardman Farm Historic Site, where you can tour the beautiful home while it is decked out in its finest Holiday decorations and learn about holiday traditions of Christmases past. They offer tours Fridays and Saturdays throughout the month of December.
Book a stay at the Sylvan Valley Lodge & Cellars for an unforgettable holiday escape to the winter wonderland of Helen, Georgia!