When we received an invitation to come out to “Stone Mountain Christmas” and “Snow Mountain” at Stone Mountain Park, we we’re so excited we almost couldn’t wait!

Georgia’s most visited attraction was ringing in the holiday cheer last week for us with more than two million lights, a spectacular new Snow Angel Palace, a new Wonderland Walkway, and a new musical revue, the Holly Jolly Cabaret. The Backstage Beat invites you all to enjoy its popular holiday attraction, Stone Mountain Christmas on select dates through January 2.

New for the 2010 season, families can stroll through the Wonderland Walkway, a magical tunnel of lights and melodies.  The Wonderland Walkway leads kids and parents to visit SMP’s Christmas icon, the Snow Angel, who unveils her new home, the Snow Palace at Memorial Hall.  The Snow Palace is the perfect backdrop for family photos and decorating cookies all next to the Snow Angel escorted by her toy soldiers.

In addition to the new attractions, Stone Mountain Christmas is the only place in Atlanta to see the Polar Express™ 4D Experience.  This is what we Alex’s call a “Must DO”.  As we waited to enter into the theater, we watched a promo video to get us prepared.  Then with the help of the lovely conductor, we all open the doors by yelling “All Aboard”.   We made our way in to the very front row!  Taking our seats and putting on our 3D glasses, we we’re ready for this show!  The Polar Express is one of our families favorite movies so we wondered what they would show us for a total of 15 minutes.  As the movie began,  we were so surprised by the amazing feel and effects of the show.   As the train we were ‘riding’ on slid across the ice, we could feel the blasts of air and the spray of ice and snow!  It was amazing!  This is one thing you simply have to do while at the park.

Families can get into the Christmas spirit with the nightly Christmas Parade and visit with Santa Claus.  The experience culminates with the magic of the beautiful Snow Angel as she flies high over Crossroads® creating a nightly snow and fireworks celebration.   While it was dark, our favorite thing to do was roast marshmallows and make s’mores over the park’s fire pits!!!  Yes, you can buy kits to make s’mores or just roast marshmallows.  We highly recommend doing this as it was cold that night, and we were able to keep warm and enjoy our delicious treats.

While we were at the park we visited Snow Mountain!  This was huge with more than 20 slides and an expanded snow play area. This year, the snow park opened the new Avalanche Alley, a family snow tube ride which accommodates up to five guests to ride together in one tube.  This was by far my favorite!  Although the walk up to it was very long and steep, it was well worth it.  Plus I kept thinking, “Tough Mudder and Warrior Dash, if I cant make this hike, I’m never going to make it.”   The line moved pretty quickly and before we knew it we were in the tube and sliding down the hill!  What a ride! In the park’s snow play area, the Snow Zone, Fort Snow also makes its debut, where kids of all ages are invited to slide and crawl through a tunnel of snow.

For lunch we visited Miss Katie’s Homestyle Southern Restaurant.   We met the manager, Lucy, and she was very knowledgeable about the park.  She let us know that we should definitely see the Polar Express 4D and ride the train around the park.   The waitstaff was beyond polite, always answering your questions and your thank you’s with ‘my pleasure’.  I really enjoyed how they brought out their hot, freshly made rolls.  The waitress threw them to us!!  We caught our warm rolls and were nearly in heaven eating them while they were fresh.  They also brought out our appetizer,  The Complementary Pass Arounds, which consisted of fried pickle spears,  onion peals and sweet potato fries!  So yummy!!!  Everything we got was delicious and was definitely home cooking.  We had leftovers to take with us!  This is the place you need to eat at while you are visiting Stone Mountain Park!  Check out their menu now and decide what you are going to eat!  MENU

While we were at the park, we took a walk to the Scenic Tramway which took us to the top of the mountain!  It was a quick ride, only about four minutes.   We saw amazing views of the park and the city of Atlanta!  It was a little cold that day so we couldn’t stay out long and the mountain had patches of ice.

We made our way to the  Antebellum Plantation & Farmyard.   The Antebellum Plantation at Stone Mountain Park is a collection of original buildings from around the State of Georgia, built between 1783 and 1875.  Each structure was moved from its original site and carefully restored to preserve its authenticity and historical value.  As we walked from building to building it was very surreal, especially since we were the only people there!  Once we toured the cookhouse, it became apparent to me that I had just seen all of this on a episode of  “Ghost Hunters”.  Yikes!  I then asked the lady working in the Cookhouse if in fact I was right.  Yes, I was.  I then remembered the segment were they are inside the Slave Houses and I knew we must go there next!!  I was disappointed that we could not go into the Slave Houses but it was interesting to read all the information they had about them and the other buildings.  If I had more time, I would have loved to read more information about the history and ask more questions of the workers, who were all dressed in period clothing.

For a great family adventure, The Backstage Beat highly recommends going to Stone Mountain Park!  Get there before Jan. 2nd to experience a little Christmas and magic too!  Snow Mountain runs through March 6th.

More information about Stone Mountain Christmas is also online at THEIR SITE.