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Unwrap the Holiday Spirit in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Ruby Falls

Ruby Falls

There are numerous reasons to break away from the holiday crowds, cold weather and the stress of entertaining – especially when it means you can share more quality time with your family and friends. Escape from all the work of preparing for the holidays and relax while Chattanooga rolls out the red carpet just for you.

Capture the warmth of the holiday spirit downtown while singing Christmas carols on a river cruise; building gingerbread houses; catching the high tide on a tropical adventure with coral reef Santa divers, surfin’ penguins and exotic wildlife; watching the holiday starlight parade or sleeping in a converted traincar. Then just minutes away,  bundle up for an amazing evening  on Lookout Mountain in a nocturnal fantasyland with nearly one million star-bright twinkling lights illuminating the sky; deep below the mountain at an enchanting underground waterfall or just 15 minutes from downtown, hop on board the train for a North Pole adventure!

The Scenic City’s magic unfolds with elegant décor, music and special events for making your holiday memories more joyful than ever before!

Top Ten Holiday Adventures

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.

  1. Rock City Garden’s Enchanted Garden of Lights/ Nov. 20, 2009- Jan. 2, 2010, nightly 6-9 p.m. – Enjoy nearly a million lights that transform the gardens’ daytime splendor to a nighttime fantasyland along the enchanted trail. Enjoy cookie decorating, hot cocoa and nightly musical entertainment.
  2. Tennessee Aquarium’s Tropical Holiday Adventure & IMAX 3D Films/Nov. 20, 2009-Jan. 3, 2010 – Bask in balmy temperatures and explore exotic wildlife during the tropical holiday adventure with narrated daily dive shows, animal feedings, butterfly releases and much more. At the IMAX 3D Theater, experience the wonder & delight of two magical holiday films, The Polar Express and The Light Before Christmas.
  3. Ruby Falls’ Deck the Falls/Nov. 20, 2009- Jan. 2, 2010 & Ruby Red Christmas/Fri. & Sat. nights, Dec. 2009 – The 145-foot waterfall has been magically transformed for the season with an array of enchanting lights and sound effects. Also enjoy a Currier & Ives old style holiday with indoor snow, wonderful turn of the century time period characters and holiday acoustical music.
  4. TN Valley Railroad’s North Pole Limited Adventures/Nov. 20-Dec. 21, 2009 – Take a trip to the “North Pole” pulled by a steam locomotive with refreshments, storytelling, caroling, visits by Santa Claus and other surprises!
  5. Southern Belle Riverboat’s Christmas Carol Dinner Cruises/Nov. 27-Dec. 19, 2009 – Enjoy delicious prime rib and shrimp Creole and then join the singing deckhands for a special selection of Christmas carols, live entertainment, dancing and a visit from the man in the big red suit!
  6. Creative Discovery Museum’s Gingerbread Workshops/Nov.-Dec. 2009 & Helping Hands Exhibit/Nov. 21, 2009-Jan.3, 2010 – Create a new holiday tradition by constructing a delicious gingerbread house masterpiece as a family or learn how the choices we make affect the world around us through photos & activities in the Helping Hands exhibit.
  7. Chattanooga Choo Choo Holiday Packages/Nov.-Dec. 2009 – Packages include rooms in sleeper train cars, a ride on the North Pole Limited Train, the Elf Workshop, Elf Tuck-In Service for the little ones, a visit from Santa, commemorative holiday ornament and attraction tickets.
  8. Winter Days and Lights, downtown Chattanooga/Nov. 27-Dec. 11, 2009 – The Winter Days and Lights holiday season features holiday activities that include: The Grande Illumination on the River, Chattanooga Riverfront, Nov. 27; Breakfast with Santa, Chattanoogan Hotel, Nov. 28; Holiday Starlight Parade, Downtown, Dec. 5; Appalachian Christmas, Miller Plaza, Dec. 11.
  9. Chattanooga Market’s Holiday Market, First Tennessee Pavilion/Nov. 29, Dec. 5-6, 2009 – The Chattanooga Market, an open-air market, offers a special holiday theme with live music and over 100 vendors selling unique, locally hand-made items perfect for your holiday gifts.
  10. NCAA Division I Football Championship, Finley Stadium/Friday, Dec. 18, 2009 – Gear up for another great football championship with pre-game activities, tailgating, entertainment, food, fireworks and more. This is a great place to spend some quality time with your friends and family.

For a full list of Chattanooga's holiday events, printable coupons, hotel packages, combo attraction tickets and more, visit

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