Avoid turkey-themed hassle and head out for Christmas dinner at Helen's array of exciting holiday dining venues. Dig into Bavarian classics at the region's favorite restaurants which stay open throughout the holidays. Here's where you can find some of the best bites in Helen during the festive season:
Helen gets in touch with its Bavarian roots at the city's beloved Christkindlmarkt. This American riff on a traditional German Christmas market sees booths serve up plenty of German treats, alongside crafts and gift shopping. Savory stalls sell items like turkey sandwiches with apple and sausage stuffing, while for dessert, you can try holiday sweets like stollen and lebkuchen, and wash it all down with hot and spicy Glühwein. The market is open the first two weekends of December.
Transporting you from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the German Alps, Bodensee, named for the German lake, is open on Christmas Day. Serving up hearty German classics, it's located near most of the Helen hotels for Christmas that are ideal for visitors. Lovingly prepared and served in a traditional chalet-style setting, Bodensee's Christmas fare combines time-honored recipes with fresh local ingredients.
Festive revelry abounds at this authentic German brew house, where your waitstaff are decked out in traditional lederhosen, and European beer is served in steins. Open during the holidays, a refreshing beverage here is a Helen holiday must.
From events that embrace the whole community to the welcoming in of the green, Helen's Christmas traditions are both symbolic and spectacular. Turn back time and visit a Victorian farm during the Christmas season, or watch as Santa and Mrs. Claus illuminate historic Helen with thousands of twinkling lights. Here are Helen's top holiday happenings:
Opening the Christmas calendar of events is the Festival of the Trees auction. During this sparkling event, Christmas trees garlanded in glittering finery are auctioned to the highest bidder. Wreaths are also auctioned for charity. Not only do these decorations make perfect souvenirs and Christmas gifts, they also benefit the local community.
Mr. and Mrs. Claus always make an appearance at this charming community event in the historic center of Helen. Enjoy brightly colored lights, musical performances, and special attractions for little ones.
Bedecked in Christmas glory, this listed historic site offers you unique insight into what Christmas would have been like on a Victorian farm. You'll see this heritage home transformed by period decorations, and can learn about period celebrations from costumed actors who perform live demonstrations.
Even the exotic animals in Helen's Zoo are not exempt from the Bavarian influence on Helen's Christmas celebrations, as they are gifted Christmas toys. Craft your own gifts this Christmas in Helen, or light up your spirits at the enthralling Christmas Parade. Here are the some of the most entertaining events for families:
Celebrate Christmas amid the pristine peaks of Blue Ridge with this festive kick-off event. Christmas carols are performed by local singers while crowds throng around hot cocoa and cookies. Arts and crafts experts offer demonstrations and workshops, and there is a special kids' entertainment program.
North Georgia Zoo has become the site of a festive tradition integral to Helen's holiday program. The zoo animals love to play with discarded Christmas trees in the days following December 25th. The sight is a superb pick-me-up after the big day, and a way of continuing the magic and excitement from Christmas Day itself.
Your family can all enjoy the sight of Santa and his elves marching down the streets of downtown Helen. Your favorite costumed characters bring kitsch, color, and cheer to the event, making this one of the chief attractions for those staying in Helen vacation rentals for Christmas. The event culminates in a bonfire, during which s'mores are doled out to the community.