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I’ve mentioned recently that I’m a total sucker for holiday traditions. But what I failed to mention in that post is that there is 1 Christmas tradition that is my absolute favorite. The Pink Pig.

If you didn’t grow up in Atlanta, Georgia I bet you’ve never used the words “Christmas”, “pink” and “pig” together in the same sentence. (Unless, of course, you’re my daughter and totally comfortable referring to the holiday ham in those terms. Yes, I went there and no I’m not kidding. She loves discussing her food sources- especially animals- which totally grosses this ex-vegetarian out!) But, I digress…

Riding the Pink Pig is probably one of Atlanta’s most unique traditions. It dates all the way back to the early 1950’s when Rich’s Department store debuted the tiny, but ridable train on it’s downtown rooftop. It instantly became a popular holiday destination. Then in the early 1990’s the department store closed and the Pink Pig relocated to an annual holiday festival. Alas, the run at the festival was short lived and in 1995 it appeared the train had taken it’s last spin.

The original Rich’s Pink Pig.

However, in 2003 Macy’s reinvented the beloved Pink Pig and now a whole new generation looks forward to the annual holiday tradition. The new location is at Lenox Mall in the heart of Buckhead. For many, it’s not necessarily about the ride itself- but the experience of sharing a childhood tradition with their own children. And, as someone who grew up riding the Pink Pig and now shares the tradition with my own family- I’m a firm believer that everyone should add this little adventure to a Christmas bucket list!

The ride itself is VERY basic. You are under a big tent and travel in a circle viewing a little storybook setup. There’s nothing thrilling or scary! It’s all for the “experience.”

Here are a few tips for visiting:

  • Timing: The Pink Pig experience is open from late October through the end of the year (closed for Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.) Of course, as Christmas approaches, the lines get longer. If you are able, visit on a weekday early in the season. Last year we went on the last Saturday before Christmas and waited over 2 hours (but it was still totally worth it!)
  • 2 Lines: There are 2 different places you’ll need to wait in line. The first is inside the mall at the ticket booth kiosk. And then after you’ve purchased the tickets you’ll need to wait in the line outside for the actual ride. 
  • Entertainment: Of course, if you are able to come early in the season or on a day where there isn’t a long wait- you won’t really need entertainment. However, if you end up with a long wait it is really nice to have 1 adult wait in line and the other adult take the children on a walk around the mall. There is a nice food court not far from the parking deck. If 2 adults can’t join in on the experience, you’ll want to bring something for the children to do while they are in line.
  • Jacket: Again, the second line is outside on the top of a parking deck. Make sure you dress appropriately for waiting in the elements.
  • Multiple Rides: You are able to bundle your tickets and receive discounts if you ride more than once. I recommend purchasing the tickets for 3 rides (maximum number.) The ride is fairly short and it’s fun to go around more than once. You only stand in line once and are allowed to simply stay on the ride.
  • Gift Shop: The ticket prices to ride are very reasonable. But be aware that there is a huge gift shop that all guests exit through. We like to set expectations with our children prior to being in the moment of them asking for everything!

For more information, visit Macy’s official Pink Pig website.

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