Chattanooga’s Holiday Trail of Lights
The Holiday Trail of Lights features 12 major points of interest showcasing millions of twinkling lights at Chattanooga’s top holiday attractions. Visitors will also get to enjoy a varied array of festivals, holiday events, delicious holiday meals, Santa sightings, shopping, and live music and entertainment scattered throughout the city.
Twinkling Snowflakes along the Scenic Walnut Street Bridge in Downtown Chattanooga
Nov. 2019-Feb. 2020, lights turn on daily at dusk
View the thousands of twinkling lights in snowflake form along the Walnut Street Bridge, one of the longest pedestrian-only bridges in the world at 2,370-feet. The bridge connects downtown Chattanooga with the vibrant historic North Shore District and offers incredible views of the Tennessee River. Both ends of the bridge offer a variety of shopping, green spaces, dining, attractions, galleries and more.
EPB’s 2019 Holiday Windows
Nov. 27, 2019-Jan. 1, 2020
Explore EPB’s 2019 Holiday Windows, depicting the sights and sounds of the season. The displays feature unique and known holiday characters as well as Chattanooga scenes and landmarks. The Holiday Windows celebration continues a tradition that dates back to the World War II era. View the displays in the windows on the Broad and Market Street sides of EPB’s downtown headquarters building at 10 W. M.L. King Blvd. The EPB Holiday Windows are open through New Year’s Day. Join the lighting ceremony on Nov. 27, 2019, at 5 p.m., downtown at 10 W. M.L.King Blvd.
Rock City’s Enchanted Garden of Lights
Nov. 22, 2019-Jan. 4, 2020, nightly
Head high atop Lookout Mountain to the award-winning, 25th annual holiday light extravaganza! Discover the four uniquely themed realms of wonder (Enchanted Realms map available online). Be sure to visit the Magic Forest which includes one of the world’s largest, walk-through electronic Christmas trees. You’ll find gifts and treats in Downtown Yule Town and magic all around. To celebrate the Silver Anniversary for Rock City's 25th Anniversary of the Enchanted Garden of Lights, Inara the Ice Queen and Jack Frost are bringing the Aurora Lights to the Arctic Kingdom. Decked out in their new garments, Inara and Jack have prepared a journey for guests through a stunning display of ice crystals with a new color design reminiscent of the aurora borealis lights. New in this realm is the Glacier Grotto featuring a unique firepit to get warm! An evening at Rock City’s Enchanted Garden of Lights entails more than a million LED lights that transform the gardens’ natural daytime splendor into a glittering fantasyland complete with pictures with Santa, gingerbread cookie decorating with Mrs. Claus, hot cocoa, and live nightly entertainment by the fire. Upgrade to a VIP Annual Pass and come as often as you wish! Leashed pets welcome. View the Enchanted Realms Map.
Ruby Falls Christmas Underground, A Journey to the North Pole
Dec. 1-8, Thurs.-Sun., 12-8 p.m. & Dec. 12-23, daily, 12-8 p.m.
Take a magical journey through a secret passage to visit Santa at Ruby Falls Christmas Underground, a 2019 Top 20 Event by the Southeast Tourism Society! Discover a glittering ice cave, play in magical snow flurries, see Penguin Palace, Sugar Plum Fairy Village and Polar Creek, find a sparkling geode, and more on this heartwarming adventure! Experience the wonder of Ruby Falls Christmas Underground as it returns for its sixth year. Digital photo with Santa and all activities are included with admission. New in 2019: See the Joystone Express model train chug through a snow-capped, miniature replica of charming Ruby Falls Village, and stroll through whimsical new additions to Joystone City’s Main Street decked out in yuletide splendor.
Tennessee Aquarium’s Holidays Under the Peaks & Polar Express 3D in IMAX
Nov. 22-Dec. 24, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Head inside under the Tennessee Aquarium’s lighted candy cane peaks for some underwater holiday fun. Whether watching for snowflakes or listening for sleigh bells, plenty of attention is paid to the sky during the holidays, but even underwater, there’s yuletide cheer aplenty waiting at the Tennessee Aquarium. This year, guests can enjoy seasonal tunes in the lobby, fin-tastic appearances by SCUBA Claus (weekends, Nov. 23-Dec. 22) as well as special programs featuring penguins and sea stars. In keeping with holiday tradition, The Polar Express 3D returns to the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX 3D Theater Nov. 22-Dec. 26 with always-popular PJs and Polar screening events on Dec. 14 and 15.
Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum’s North Pole Limited & Holiday Excursions
Nov. 15-Dec. 31, 2019
Hop on board the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum’s North Pole Limited for an imaginary journey to the North Pole where a special guest will join the group. Along the way, you’ll be treated to lighted displays just outside the train car windows, refreshments, keepsakes, storytelling and occasional sing-a-longs. During the return ride, Santa makes his way through the train cars to greet every child and give them a keepsake. The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum’s other special holiday excursions offer even more fun for children and adults: Nightcaps with St. Nick (adults only), Christmas Special Dinner Train, Summerville Santa Special, Santa’s Hiwassee Holiday Train, and New Year’s Eve Dinner Train.
Chattanooga Riverboat Company’s Holiday Season of Cheer
Nov. 29-Dec. 31
Float down the Tennessee River aboard the Chattanooga Riverboat Company’s Southern Belle for a truly unique holiday experience! View the Chattanooga skyline from the water and revel in the winter wonderland of holiday lights. Board a lunch or dinner cruise and have fun listening to live music, dancing, hanging out with Santa, learning more about river navigation on a Pilot House tour, and indulging in holiday meals.
Ice on the Landing at the Chattanooga Choo Choo
Nov. 15, 2019-Jan. 20, 2020, daily
Make memories on skates under twinkling lights and a crisp winter sky at Ice on the Landing. The outdoor ice skating rink in the historic Chattanooga Choo Choo’s Glenn Miller Gardens is surrounded by lanterns, fountains and the holiday grandeur of the Southside’s iconic landmark. The open air, warm drinks, magical lights and laughs with friends and family will create a fun holiday evening. The Ice on the Landing experience includes general skating time, special themes, holiday music, a rotating schedule to benefit local not-for-profits, sweet and savory crepes from Adelle’s, hot chocolate, cider and other toasty drinks. Step Outside named Ice on the Landing a Best Outdoor Rink in Tennessee.
Holiday Magic at the Chattanooga Choo Choo
Nov. 15, 2019-Jan. 20, 2020
As if the famous free-standing dome of the Chattanooga Choo Choo isn’t impressive enough, enter the festive lobby to see one of the city’s tallest Christmas trees at 28 feet. The lights and cheer throughout the property create a magical wonderland complete with ice skating at Ice on the Landing, holiday music, Station Street activities, special holiday treats at restaurants, shopping specials at retail shops, pop up stores and photos with Santa. While on site, enjoy live music at Songbirds Guitars’ North and South Stages, comedic fun at the Comedy Catch and even a Runaway Train Escape Experience.
Christmas Experience on the Bluff
Nov. 28, 2019 –Jan. 2, 2020
The historic Bluff View Art District, nestled on the bluff overlooking the beautiful Tennessee River, has transformed into a storybook holiday experience with thousands of twinkling lights for you and your family to enjoy. The magic takes you along stone-paved walkways throughout the district, into the Enchanted Forest, around nooks and crannies decked out in red and white seasonal delights, down Candy Cane Lane into the courtyard, on adventures with the little elves Rosemary, Basil, Cocoa, and Cookie, and to the Mezzo to see the grand Christmas tree.
Create Your Own Lights at the Creative Discovery Museum
Nov. 16-Dec. 31, 2019
Holiday lights come in all forms, and at the hands-on Creative Discovery Museum, kids can explore several kinds! Beginning in December in Make It, children and families can participate in interactive, light-based activities. Have your kids try their hand at a gingerbread house in one of multiple workshops throughout the holidays. Explore the current exhibit, where children can step inside the framework of famous paintings and experience art like never before in Framed: Step into Art. Don’t miss the first snowfall of the year at Snow Day on Nov. 16, where Suzy Snowflake, Jack Frost and friends help guests celebrate the start of winter. Meet Santa at an exclusive PJs with Santa event on Nov. 30. Then, on New Year’s Eve, kids get to join in on the year-end fun with a countdown and celebration at noon.
Holiday Lights at the Chattanooga Zoo
Dec. 13-14 & 20-21, 5:30-8 p.m.
Come see the Chattanooga Zoo transformed into a magical winter wonderland where you can view hundreds of lights that weave through the habitats. Throughout the special evening, you can visit the animals and watch them open their Christmas presents, decorate cookies, get your picture taken with Santa Claus, play holiday games, make special crafts, enjoy delicious treats, and much more.
Wonder Wall at High Point Climbing & Fitness/Downtown
Nov. 15-Dec. 31, 2019
During the holidays, you typically view the beautiful lights while walking or driving. At High Point Climbing and Fitness downtown, experience the lights of Chattanooga in a whole new way by scaling an architectural wonder glowing with holiday colors – the transparent exterior climbing wall that hangs over Broad Street! Named “the country’s coolest gym” by Climbing Magazine, High Point is one of the nation’s most unique climbing facilities with 30,000 square feet of climbing inside and outside. BONUS: While you’re climbing the exterior wall, you can see the magical lights throughout the city!