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Family events
For the week of Dec. 3-9
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This week

Christmas on the Square, Blairsville. Arrival of Santa, tree lighting and caroling. Friday, downtown Blairsville. 706-994-4837.

The Downtown Holiday Open House, Gainesville. Stores and restaurants will have sales, contests, food and music. Carriage rides. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday-Saturday, downtown Gainesville. 770-297-1141.

Bank County Christmas Festival & Parade, Homer. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with parade at noon Saturday, downtown Homer. 706-677-2108.

Wauka Mountain Elementary School 14th Annual Breakfast with Santa, Gainesvile. Pancake breakfast, make your own ornament and face painting. 8-11 a.m. Saturday, Wauka Mountain Elementary School, 5850 Brookton-Lula Road, Gainesville. $5 breakfast. $2 for pictures with Santa. 770-983-3221.

Habersham County Christmas Parade, Clarkesville. 5 p.m. Saturday, downtown Clarkesville. 706-754-2220.

A Flowery Branch Christmas, Flowery Branch. Christmas parade and Santa's arrival, children's activities and vendors. 1-4 p.m.; parade at 1 p.m. Saturday, downtown Flowery Branch. 770-967-6371.

Christmas at the Creek, Cleveland. Pottery, silent auction of hand-decorated wreaths, food, photos with Santa. Booths still available. 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Mossy Creek Elementary School, 128 Horace Fitzpatrick Drive, Cleveland. $35 booth fee. 706-865-5000.

Christmas Open House, Dawsonville. Live music, gingerbread house creations, hay ride and Santa. 4 p.m. Saturday, Amicalola Falls State Park and Lodge, 418 Amicalola Falls State Park Road, Dawsonville. $5 parking. 706-265-1969.

Deck the Halls of Unicoi, Helen. Crafts, hay ride, Santa and Mrs. Claus, live music. 3-5 p.m. Saturday, Unicoi State Park and Lodge, 1788 Ga. 356, Helen. $5 parking. 800-573-9659, ext. 305.

Holiday Treasure Hunt, Clarkesville. Search for prizes, see local art, refreshments. Saturday, Ga. 197 North from Clarkesville to Lake Burton. 706-947-1351.

Lighted Christmas Parade, Cleveland. Festival with entertainment and family activities during the day and parade at dusk. Saturday, downtown Cleveland. 706-969-3336. 

Mingle with Kringle, Gainesville. Saturday, Dec. 12 and 19, Main Street Market, downtown Gainesville square. 770-297-1141.

2009 Christmas Tour of Homes, Hiawassee. Artwalk, lighting of the Christmas tree, 5:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Friday, downtown Hiawassee; tour with refreshments, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday, various Hiawassee homes. $25. 706-896-4966 or Towns County Chamber of Commerce.

Christmas on Green Street, Gainesville. Ornament-making party, live Christmas music, face painting, magician, miniature train ride and carriage rides. 5-7:30 p.m. Sunday, with a classic car parade at 5 p.m. and the lighting of the Rotary Christmas Tree at 7 p.m. Green Street, Gainesville. Many activities free; charge for carriage rides. 770-503-1319.

Christmas Open House, Dahlonega. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dahlonega Gold Museum Historic Site, downtown Dahlonega square. Free. 706-864-2257.

Pet Photos with Santa, Buford. No exotic animals. 6:15-8:15 p.m. Sunday, Mall of Georgia, 3333 Buford Drive, Buford. 678-482-8788. 

2009 Festival of Trees, Helen. View and bid in a silent auction on trees decorated by local businesses and organizations. Through Dec. 12, Unicoi State Park & Lodge, 1788 Ga. 356, Helen. $5 parking. 800-573-9659, ext. 305.

Upcoming

Christmas celebration, Lula. Caroling and live nativity. 6-8 p.m. Dec. 10, Veterans Park, downtown Lula.

Breakfast with Santa, Gainesville. 9-11 a.m. Dec. 12, Belmont Baptist Church, 3635 Belmont Highway, Gainesville. $10; additional cost for photos with Santa. 678-943-7092.

Breakfast with Santa, Stone Mountain. Breakfast, silent auction, crafts, prizes and photo. Benefits the Stone Montain Cooperative Ecumeical Ministry. 7-10 a.m. Dec. 12, Stone Mountain First United Methodist Church, 5312 W. Mountain St., Stone Mountain. $5 donation. 770-498-7022.

Winter in the Woods Holiday Celebration, Gainesville. Cookie decorating, candy cane hunt, natural seasonal crafts and hikes. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 12, Elachee Nature Science Center, 2125 Elachee Drive, Gainesville. $5 adults, $3 ages 2-12, free for kids age 1 and younger and members. 770-535-1976.

Christmas Then and Now, Gainesville. Family Sunday with past and present Christmas customs and photos with Santa. 1-4 p.m. Dec. 13, Northeast Georgia History Center, 322 Academy St. NE, Gainesville. Free for members, $3 nonmembers. 770-297-5900 or jcarson@brenau.edu.  

Celebration of the Season on the Square, Gainesville. Choral and dramatic ensembles, carriage rides and Santa. 5-8 p.m. Dec. 19, downtown Gainesville square. 770-297-1141.

New Year's Eve Celebration, Gainesville. Activities and crafts. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 31, Interactive Neighborhood for Kids, 999 Chestnut St., Gainesville. 770-536-1900.

Ongoing

Santa Claus visits the square, Dahlonega. 1-6 p.m. Saturdays and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 20, Visitor's Center, downtown Dahlonega square. 706-864-3513. 

Southern Tree Plantation, Blairsville. Christmas trees, train ride, marshmallow roast, hay ride, maze, slide and pony rides. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon-6 p.m. Sunday through Dec. 23, Southern Tree Plantation, 2581 Owltown Road, Blairsville. 706-745-0601.  

Photos with Santa, Buford. Through Dec. 24, Mall of Georgia, 3333 Buford Drive, Buford. 678-482-8788.

"Tools for Living," Sautee. Exhibit of tools used to sustain early valley inhabitants. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday. Sautee Nacoochee Community Association History Museum, 283 Ga. 255 N, Sautee. 706-878-3300. 

Story times, Hall County. Children can listen to stories, sometimes read by special guests. Various days and times at libraries in the Hall County Library System. Free.

"Waters of Time: The Chicopee Woods Story," Gainesville. Learn about previous eras and inhabitants of Chicopee Woods. 10 a.m. to p.m. Monday-Saturdays. Elachee Nature Science Center, 2125 Elachee Drive, Gainesville. $3 adults, $2 children ages 2-12, age 1 and younger and members free. 770-535-1976.

Regional events