The Ponce Condominiums at the corner of Ponce de Leon and Peachtree Street is a great place to snap a photo around the holidays.
BY ELLIE HENSLEY
Back by popular demand, Midtown’s holiday lights are here to bring some cheer to the district.
Midtown Bright, an annual holiday lights installation powered by Midtown Alliance, kicked off the day after Thanksgiving with more than two miles of festive lights on Peachtree Street.
The program launched about a decade ago and has expanded to include more than 200K LED lights. The experience includes more than 100 trees wrapped in 10 colors that reflect Midtown’s colorful branding.
You can also find 22 Moravian stars, which were chosen as a motif for the program because they show up in multiple holiday traditions, that range from 3 to 23 feet tall. Placed alongside the concentrations of colorful lights, they create the effect of “walking in a winter wonderland,” which feels like an appropriate complement to Midtown’s cosmopolitan identity.
The lights are on from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m., and they’ll remain installed through the district through early 2023. So grab a date, the family or a group of friends and make an evening of seeing the lights and sights of Midtown Atlanta.
Where to View the Lights
These are the spots along Peachtree with the largest concentration of holiday lights this year— plus some festive ideas for what to do in the area. Start at the top or bottom of Peachtree and work your way to the other end!
Emory University Hospital Midtown: One of our newest Midtown Bright locations is just down Peachtree from Atlanta Shakespeare Co., which will be performing Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” from December 3-23. Get your tickets here.
Ponce de Leon Ave.: This intersection is decked out on three corners with holiday lights. Snap some photos and grab a cocktail at The Ponce Room inside the Courtyard/Element Atlanta Midtown, Edgar’s Proof and Provision or Livingston Restaurant + Bar inside The Georgian Terrace, or Publik Draft House. Or, catch a show to The Fox Theatre — see its lineup for December here.
3rd Street: Sip cocktails and sample Southern European fare at Lila Lyla, a 2022 James Beard Award Semifinalist. Reservations recommended.
7th Street: Enjoy the lights outside the Spire Midtown while you sip a cocktail at Señor Patron.
10th Street: Perhaps one of the most picturesque stretch of the tour is at 10th and Peachtree, in front of the Margaret Mitchell House, on the lawn of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and in the renovated 10th Street Park. If you’ve emBARKed on this tour with Fido and Spot, check out Midtown’s new off-leash dog park. Or dine out on the patio (which has heaters!) at Henry’s Midtown Tavern.
15th Street: To reach the lights display at Arts District Plaza at the corner of 15th and Peachtree Streets, you pass Colony Square, which has many food and drink options, IPIC Theatre, a gigantic lighted Christmas tree, a holiday bar and more. Join us on December 7 for Holidays with the Honeybees, a special performance by SCAD’s premier alumni singing group!
Pershing Point Park: Make sure you check out the mature Gingko tree, which is specially decked out with both warm and cool white LED lights with hanging stars.
Peachtree Pointe - coming soon! Bookend your tour of the lights with a visit to Synchronicity Theatre, which is showing “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane” from December 9 - 24. Buy tickets here.
Share the Cheer
Capturing the magic of holiday lights was once difficult without the use of fancy photography equipment, but now you can take perfect pics for the ‘Gram using only an iPhone. Here are some tips:
- Make sure your flash is off and Night Mode is on.
- Take photos in bursts so you can select the clearest.
- Focus on something in the foreground to get that bokeh look.
- If possible, schedule your photo sessions for around dusk, when you won’t need such a slow shutter speed.
Make sure to share your photos on social with the hashtag #MidtownBright!