Top Chattanooga Holiday Attractions
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.
Rock City’s Enchanted Garden of Lights/Nov 16, 2012-Jan. 5, 2013 (closed Christmas Eve), Nightly, 6-9pm ($) – Over a million lights transform the gardens’ daytime splendor to a nighttime fantasyland. Cookie decorating, hot cocoa & nightly musical entertainment. 800-854-0675
Tennessee Valley Railroad’s North Pole Limited Adventures/Nov. 17,23,24,25,30 & Dec.1,2,7,8,9,14-22, (times vary) ($) – Take an imaginary trip to the “North Pole” on a vintage train with refreshments, storytelling, caroling, visits by Santa Claus & more! 423-894-8028
Chattanooga Choo Choo’s Holiday Enchantment/Nov. 16-Dec. 22, times vary ($) – Have your pictures taken with Santa, take the North Pole Limited train, become an Honorary Elf at the Elf Workshop complete with crafts, arts, games and movies or get tucked in by an Elf! Multiple overnight packages available, including sleeping in a traincar. 800-Track29 or 423-266-5000
Tennessee Aquarium’s Holidays Under the Peaks & IMAX 3D/Nov. 16, 2012-Jan. 6, 2013, Daily ($) (Closed Thanksgiving Day & Christmas Day) – Special programming helps connect families to fascinating creatures from around the world. Quiz divers, penguin experts and other keepers about family units in the wild. Special weekend appearances by SCUBA Claus Nov. 17-Dec. 24. 800-262-0695
Ruby Red Christmas/Fri & Sat, 6-9 pm, Dec.(closed Christmas Day) ($) – Enter the snowy wonderland and meet costumed characters, listen to holiday acoustical music & visit the North Pole Workshop for festive activities, pictures with Santa and reading time with Mrs. Claus. 423-821-2544
Creative Discovery Museum’s Winter Wonders/Nov. 17, 2012-Jan. 8, 2013, Daily (Closed Wed) ($) –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. 423-756-2738
Creative Discovery Museum’s Gingerbread Workshops/Nov. 23-Dec. 23, Dates & times vary. (Closed Wed) ($) – Create your own Holiday tradition by participating in the annual Gingerbread House Workshop. By reservation only. 423-756-2738
Chattanooga Zoo's Holiday Lights/Dec. 14-15, 21-22, 5:30-8pm ($) – Come and see the Chattanooga Zoo transformed into a magical winter wonderland. Visit the animals and Santa Claus while enjoying fun holiday games and crafts! 423-697-1322
Arts & Culture
Chattanooga Holiday Market/Dec. 1-2 & Holiday Market Too!/Dec. 8-9, 15-16, 21-23 (FREE) – The Holiday Market offers a special holiday theme with live music, caroling, festivities & over 200 vendors selling unique, hand-made holiday gifts and artisan foods. Holiday Market held at First Tennessee Pavilion. Holiday Market Too held at the Chattanooga Convention Center.
Holidays at the Hunter Museum of American Art/Nov 29, 2012-Jan. 2, 2013, Daily ($) – Explore the Hunter galleries and discover themed holiday trees and other decorations created by Chattanooga’s top designers and florists. 423-267-0968
The Nutcracker at the Tivoli Theater/Dec. 7, 8 & 9 ($) – Join Chattanooga Ballet and the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra for Tchaikovsky’s classic holiday ballet. 423-265-0617
Festivals & Parades
Holiday Starlight & Lighted Boat Parades & Fireworks/Dec. 8, 6-8 pm (FREE) – Enjoy the Starlight parade with over 50 entries including Santa himself followed by the popular boat parade on the downtown river & closing with a fireworks show. 423-265-0771
MainX24 Festival/Dec. 1-2, 8am-8am (FREE) – Celebrate Main Street & the Southside district with a 24 hour block party! The jam-packed schedule includes everything from a pancake breakfast and chili cookoff to live music and art. Santa will be at the Choo Choo & don't miss the Southside parade.