Holiday Events in Chattanooga

In addition to the Holiday Trail of Lights, winter in Chattanooga features an array of festivals, holiday events, Santa sightings, shopping, live music, and entertainment scattered throughout the city.

Gingerbread Workshop_Creative Discovery Museum

Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops (Free)

Nov. 7 - Dec. 24

Bass Pro Shops is proud to invite families to the beloved tradition of visiting Santa Claus in person this holiday season. Advanced reservations are required. Families who visit Santa receive a free 4x6 studio-quality photo, as well as a free digital video greeting card to share on social media. During your visit, families can mail their letters to Santa and receive free giveaways while supplies last.

Holiday Window Treasure Hunt on the North Shore (Free)

Now - Jan. 3

The NorthShore Merchants Collective is hosting its 7th Annual Holiday Window Treasure Hunt to benefit the Northside Neighborhood House. The safe, outdoor, family-friendly game features hidden treasures, beautifully decorated holiday store windows, and three gift baskets. To join the fun, pick up a game card from any of the 28 participating businesses. The game directs participants to the North Shore’s sidewalks to look for unlikely hidden items in the windows of local businesses. 

Gingerbread Workshops at the Creative Discovery Museum 

Nov. 26 - 28, Dec. 4 & 5

Kick off the holiday season with this sweet tradition. The whole family will enjoy creating sweet and sticky houses from gingerbread, icing, candy and other sugary confections. The workshop includes hot chocolate, cookies, pre-built houses, icing, candy, and holiday music. Admission to the Creative Discovery Museum is included for non-members participating in the workshop. Reservations are required in advance. 

Reindeer on the Riverfront and Lighted Boat Parade (Free)

Nov. 26, Reindeer and Santa at 4:30; Boat Parade at 7 

Fun for the whole family with live reindeer and Santa on-site for free pictures, hot cocoa bar, fire pits, face painting/balloon animals, and holiday tunes followed by the annual Lighted Boat Parade and Fireworks presented by the Southern Belle & Erwin Marine Sales.

Southern Belle Riverboat’s Breakfast with Santa Cruise or "Tis the Season Luncheon 

Dec. 18

Start the day with a pancake breakfast on the Southern Belle! After breakfast, be razzled and dazzled by a magic show and enjoy a visit with the man in the big red suit to find out if you’ve made the naughty or nice list this year. Call (423) 266-4488 to schedule.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer the Musical at the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Auditorium

Dec. 9

Come see all of your favorite characters from the special including Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius and, of course, Rudolph, as they come to life in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer the Musical.

A Charlie Brown Christmas Youth Theatre Production

Dec. 10 - 19

The classic animated television special, first shown in 1965, comes to life in this faithful stage adaptation in which Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the rest of the Peanuts Gang discover the true meaning of Christmas. A production of Chattanooga Theatre Centres' Youth Theatre that’s perfect for all ages.

Tennessee Valley Railroad’s Hiwassee Holiday Train 

Dec. 4 - 19

All aboard for a Hiwassee Holiday Adventure! The Santa Train will operate along the beautiful Hiwassee River from Delano to Reliance. Upon departure, riders will enjoy light refreshments, write a letter to Santa, and more. 

Chattanooga Holiday Market at the Chattanooga Convention Center  (Free) 

Dec. 4-5, 11-12, and 18-19

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 of your holiday gift needs. 

Lodge Cast Iron Bake-Off at the Chattanooga Holiday Market (FREE) 

Dec. 5, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

The annual Lodge Cast Iron Bake-Off features our city’s most prominent and rising chefs. It’s a chance to watch live as they create culinary delights for a panel of judges. 

DIY Holiday Decor, Gifts, and more classes at the Chattery

See the Chattery's calendar for class dates and times.

From handmade creative gift tags and paper trees to DIY liquer gits and more. The Chattery offers online and in-person classes for holiday-inspired crafts and DIY gifts.

Rock City’s Enchanted Garden of Lights

Nov. 19 - Dec. 23; Dec. 25 - Jan. 2

Guests can decorate a gingerbread cookie in downtown Yule Town, experience the icy Borealis lights of the Arctic Kingdom, and explore the digital enchantment of the Magic Forest’s dancing trees. Visit Santa in his North Pole workshop and enjoy plenty of holiday treats including hot cocoa, kettle corn, homemade fudge, and beer from Chattanooga Brewing. Tickets are sold ONLINE ONLY, and admission begins at 5 p.m. Leashed pets are welcome! As in years past, a portion of ticket proceeds from this event benefits the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Chattanooga. Enchanted Realms Map

Tennessee Aquarium’s Holidays Under the Peaks & Polar Express 3D in IMAX

Nov. 26 - Dec. 24; Dec. 26 - 31

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. In keeping with holiday tradition, The Polar Express 3D returns to the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX 3D Theater (check website for dates/times). 

Ice on the Landing at the Chattanooga Choo Choo

Nov. 19 - Jan. 30

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. 

Winter Wonderland at the Chattanooga Choo Choo

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 like the Chattanooga Jewelry Store, and pop up shops. While on-site, take a photo with Santa, enjoy comedic fun at the Comedy Catch or a Runaway Train Escape Experience. The grounds of the Chattanooga Choo Choo provide endless opportunities for holiday photos, including the soaring Christmas tree, the colorful caboose in Glen Miller Gardens and the dozens of light bulbs that make up the Chattanooga marquee sign.

Holiday Lights at the Chattanooga Zoo

Dec. 10, 11, 17, & 18

Come see the Chattanooga Zoo transformed into a magical winter wonderland where you can view hundreds of lights that weave through the habitats. Holiday Lights at the zoo offers guests the opportunity to see the Zoo transformed with lights for the season, visit the animals and watch them open their presents, and enjoy walking around in our winter wonderland!