Center for Puppetry Arts Announces Christmas Town

The story behind the story of Rudolph in an exhibition of rare puppets and the return to stage of a holiday classic.

ATLANTA (Nov 3, 2021) – Named for the fictional town in the original 1964 stop-motion television special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer™, Christmas Town at the Center for Puppetry Arts this holiday season includes a special exhibition, live performance, and hands-on workshop. The exhibition offers visitors a glimpse into the history behind the creation of Rudolph while the performance and puppet-making workshop bring these iconic seasonal figures to life. Christmas Town is sponsored by WarnerMedia.

From a children’s book at the department store Montgomery Ward, to the creative mind of a Jewish songwriter and culminating in a beloved television special, the impact of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer on popular culture and the Christmas season is undeniable. Christmas Town at the Center for Puppetry Arts invites guests to learn more about those involved in Rudolph’s creation. Guests then enjoy a live, in-person performance of the Center’s faithful adaptation of the television classic, and complete their visit by making a Rudolph puppet to take home as a souvenir of their visit.

On exhibition for the first time in Atlanta since 2006, the Rankin/Bass Santa and Rudolph puppets are on long-term loan to the Center for Puppetry Arts after their recent sale at auction. Antiques Roadshow viewers saw them for the first time in 2005, when a family member of Barbara Adams, an employee of Rankin/Bass in the 1970s, brought them down from a family attic to be assessed and appraised on the show. The program revisited their story on October 4, 2021 for their Extraordinary Finds feature, celebrating their arrival at the Center. The exhibition pairs the Rankin/Bass puppets with archival film footage, other items of Rudolph history, and festive vintage holiday décor to transport visitors to the fictional setting.

“The Rankin/Bass puppets are certainly nostalgic for fans of the classic television special, but they are also representative of the early days of a golden age of stop motion puppetry in mainstream film and television and the creativity and engineering of an influential Japanese film and animation studio. The special remains popular from generation to generation,” said Sarah Dylla, the Center’s Museum Director.

The Christmas Town exhibition opens with a special Member-Only VIP reception next Wednesday, November 11, 2021  Members are invited to explore the exhibition, write a letter and snap a photo with Santa Claus , make a puppet, and enjoy hot chocolate and holiday sweets. Members will also receive a 15% discount in the Center’s gift shop during this special evening. 

The Center is continuing to offer its Sensory-Friendly Sundays with a Sensory-Friendly celebration of Rudolph on November 14th. Guests with sensory sensitivities (such as Autism Spectrum Disorder) and other developmental differences are invited to experience the Center in a comfortable and judgment-free setting, supported by trained and experienced staff members. Each component of the Center’s programming is modified to reduce sensory stimuli including adjusted lights and sound, freedom for children to talk or leave their seats, and a quiet zone in the lobby. Create-A-Puppet Workshops™ are brighter, quieter, and include slightly-simplified puppet designs and less-messy materials, if needed. Museum exhibitions feature adjusted lighting and specialized educational activities. Sound-reducing headphones, light-reducing sunglasses, fidget toys and social stories are available upon request too.

Christmas Town festivities continue on November 20, 2021 as the Center hosts a Yukon Cornelius Look-Alike Extravaganza! Grab a beanie and a beard and channel your inner arctic prospector energy! Mingle with your fellow Cornelii, then walk the runway for a costume contest judged by a panel of special guests. This event is an inclusive, all gender, race, and age costume contest. Your ticket includes access to the museum and special exhibition.

“The Center is delighted to present this extraordinary new exhibition of these rare puppets from the original stop-motion production.” said Beth Schiavo, Executive Director. “Guests will learn the fascinating and largely unknown origin story of Rudolph and then be able to enjoy the Center’s own faithful adaptation of the television special live on stage. They’ll also have the opportunity to make and learn to puppeteer a Rudolph puppet of their very own. Our all-inclusive ticket allows for a Center-wide experience of everything we have to offer this holiday season.”

Patron safety continues to be a top priority at the Center. Masks are required for all guests and staff.


Christmas Town ticket prices vary with early bird discounts available in November for all-inclusive tickets. Prices are available at or by calling 404-873-3391. Based on availability.

An all-inclusive ticket give you 3 activities: the performance, the Worlds of Puppetry Museum with special exhibition, and the Create-A-Puppet Workshop™.

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