During the holiday season, take time to clear the mind and relieve the spirit. Chattanooga’s attractions offer wonderful holiday activities for every member of the family.
Click here for a list of where you can see Santa.
Rock City Gardens’ Enchanted Garden of Lights/Nov. 20, 2015-Jan. 2, 2016, Nightly 6-9 pm (Closed Christmas Eve)
Head high atop Lookout Mountain to the award winning, 21st annual light extravaganza that showcases more than 30 holiday scenes and hundreds of thousands of LED lights that transform the gardens’ natural daytime splendor into a magical fantasyland. The evening includes pictures with Santa, decorating gingerbread cookies, hot cocoa, nightly entertainment and even a VIP Dinner experience with Santa (see website for special pricing & schedule).
Ruby Falls’ Christmas Underground/Dec. 3-20, 22 & 23, Times Vary
Ruby Falls’ Christmas Underground offers a magical holiday adventure for the whole family. Explore the cave for the magical “Joystone,” walk through a secret underground ice cave that leads straight to Santa at the North Pole, see the Northern Lights, check out the Sugar Plum Fairy Village, take a horse & carriage ride, and don’t forget to tell Santa everything that you want for Christmas. Carriage rides are an additional cost.
Ice on the Landing – Skating Rink/Nov 20, 2015-Jan 18, 2016, Dates & Times Vary
The much anticipated temporary outdoor ice rink on the Chattanooga Green/Ross’s Landing will be even bigger and better in 2015 (60’ by 100’). Schedule includes general skating time, special themes, appearances by Santa, and a rotating schedule to benefit local not-for-profits. Food vendors available.
Tennessee Aquarium’s Holidays Under the Peaks/Nov. 20, 2015-Jan. 3, 2016, Daily 10am-8pm (Closed Thanksgiving Day & Christmas Day)
Relax and enjoy the holiday season with your family surrounded by some of the world’s most fascinating creatures. Guests of all ages will be delighted by new holiday programs, offered free with Aquarium admission, throughout both Aquarium buildings. Special weekend appearances by SCUBA Claus through Dec. 20.
Creative Discovery Museum’s Winter Wonders Exhibit/Nov. 21, 2015-Jan. 4, 2016, Daily (Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day & New Year's Day)
Explore cold-weather traditions. From cozy cottages to a blizzard maze and learning about animal tracks, this exhibit is a warm welcome for wintertime play.
Tennessee Valley Railroad’s North Pole Limited Adventures/Nov. 20-Dec. 26, Dates & Times Vary
Enjoy a trip to the “North Pole” pulled by a locomotive with refreshments, storytelling, caroling, visits by Santa Claus and more! These trips sell out so book early.
Chattanooga Zoo’s Holiday Lights/Dec. 4-5, 11-12, & 18-19, 5:30-8pm
The Chattanooga Zoo is transformed into a magical wonderland where you can view hundreds of lights, visit the animals and watch them open their Christmas presents, get your picture taken with Santa and enjoy fun holiday games & crafts.
PJs and the Polar Express/Dec. 18 & 19, 9:30-11:45am
Choo! Choo! All aboard the Polar Express for a trip to the North Pole! Begin winter break in a leisurely style. Dress in your favorite pajamas and enjoy a special screening of The Polar Express 3D. This is your chance to meet the Conductor, sip hot cocoa and enjoy brunch muffins before the movie. Fun for the entire family and all who truly believe!
Creative Discovery Museum’s Gingerbread Workshops/Nov. 27-Dec. 20, Dates & Times Vary
Create your own Holiday tradition by participating in the annual Gingerbread House Workshop. By reservation only.
The Polar Express 3D at the IMAX 3D Theater/Nov. 27-Dec. 24, Dates & Times Vary
When a doubting young boy takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole, he embarks upon a journey of self-discovery showing him that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe. Audiences are drawn into this immersive film, grasping at falling snowflakes, ducking as the train screeches into their lap and feeling the howl of the steam whistle in surround sound.
High Point Climbing's Holiday Rock Camps
Take a two-day camps where kids 5-14 years old will learn about rock climbing and team building. The staff is dedicated to teaching the basics of climbing including: equipment usage, climbing techniques, and the importance of trust and communication.
Christmas Nights of Lights/Nov. 6 2015-Jan. 2, 2016, Daily 6-10pm
Experience the magic of hundreds of thousands of LED lights, driven by over one thousand computer channels, synchronized to both traditional and new rocking Christmas music, all played through your car radio.
Chattanooga Choo Choo’s Holiday Enchantment/Nov. 20-Dec. 22, Dates & Times Vary
Have your pictures taken with Santa, take the North Pole Limited train, become an Honorary Elf at the Elf Workshop complete with crafts, arts, games and movies or get tucked in by an Elf! Overnight packages available, including sleeping in a traincar.
Chattanooga Ghost Tour's Holiday Lights and Spirits Tour/Dec. 4, 2015-Jan. 1, 2016, 7:30-10pm
Enjoy a family-friendly tour of Chattanooga's best holiday decorations, hear about downtown's ghosts and try out ghost hunting equipment. Includes inside stops at the Read House and the Chattanooga Choo Choo.
Ruby Falls’ Discovery Day/Dec. 30, 8am-8pm
Celebrate the 86th anniversary of the discovery of Ruby Falls. The first 85 guests to arrive at Ruby Falls will receive the original $2 rate, a vintage souvenir postcard, as well as some lesser known facts and legends about the cavern.
ARTS & CULTURE
Special Chattanooga Holiday Market/Dec. 5-6, 12-13, & 19-20, Times Vary
As part of the Chattanooga Market, this market offers a special holiday theme with live music, caroling, festivities and more than 200 vendors providing a great assortment of unique, locally hand-made items, holiday décor and artisan foods for all those holiday gifts. Held at the Chattanooga Convention Center.
A Christmas Story Musical at the Chattanooga Theatre Centre/Dec. 11-23, Dates & Times Vary
Enjoy this favorite holiday film as a musical. Ralphie Parker wants only one thing for Christmas – an Official Red Ryder® Air Rifle, despite repeated warnings of shooting his eye out.
Home for the Holidays/Dec. 19, 7:30pm & Dec. 20, 3pm
Enjoy the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera’s concert as they celebrate the holidays “Through a Child’s Eyes” in this special, family-friendly tradition. Featuring the CSO and the Chattanooga Boys Choir.
Family Night in Christmas Town/Dec. 27, 5-6:30pm
Nick Lutsko performs the soundtrack of The Nightmare before Christmas live. This all ages show is perfect for families who love both the movie and supporting local music!
Home for the Holidays/Dec. 5-31, Mon-Sat 11am-6pm
Browse In-Town Gallery's December collection of paintings, ceramics, photographs, jewelry, glass, metal and wood sculpture, fiber and etchings, all on display, augmented with several seasonal offerings. Many artists will have gift items for the discriminating shopper.
Chattanooga Santa Sightings
Rock City’s Enchanted Garden of Lights
TN Valley Railroad’s North Pole Adventures