While I was feeling a little down that I won’t be back in Atlanta for Christmas this year, a friend reminded me of The Lost City of Atlanta from Futurama1It’s more than just a Delta hub!, and I started wondering if that episode would have to be updated after a couple decades of the MCU and The Walking Dead bringing more tourists to the area.
And the answer is… I don’t know? Whenever I go back to see the family, I mainly just see my hometown in the suburbs and, if I’ve got the stomach for it, The Varsity. Once I started going back for holidays with my fiancé, I realized that I’ve never known Atlanta all that well. Most of the highlights these days seem like theme park recreations of the city, as if they’ve tried to capture the charm of the South by extracting just the Coca-Cola and biscuits and fried green tomatoes from the more problematic parts of its history.2In other words: all of it.
But especially around Christmas time, there’s one must-see attraction: The Center for Puppetry Arts. I went a few times when I was a child, and it was frankly a little unremarkable and kind of sad. But after a huge new addition — designed, I found out later, by the Thinkwell Group — it’s undeniably world-class.
There’s an extensive exhibition of the Muppets, both as part of Sesame Street and with highlights in The Muppet Show, Fraggle Rock, The Storyteller, as well as some lesser-known Henson productions. Some fantastic temporary exhibitions have highlighted Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal as well. And there’s an entire other wing that focuses on puppetry around the world, which includes the bots from Mystery Science Theater 3000.
Currently — and I believe it returns every year — there’s an exhibit of the stop-motion figures from the Rankin Bass holiday specials. I think it’s cuude!
So if you happen to live in the area, it’s a no-brainer even if you don’t have kids. And if you’re in the city for DragonCon or similar, I would absolutely 100% recommend a visit. It’s been a few years since I’ve visited, and I’m well over-due.
- 1It’s more than just a Delta hub!
- 2In other words: all of it.