2021 Chattanooga Holiday Events

Your Guide to 2021-2022 Events the Whole Family Can Enjoy

 

Each year, many of Chattanooga’s venues and attractions celebrate the festive season in a magical way. Twinkling lights abound, and merry sounds of bells and carols ring throughout the mountains as locals celebrate the most wonderful time of the year. Gather your loved ones and use our guide to discover all the holiday fun the Scenic City has to offer!

 

(Above) Photo by Matt Owens

couple celebrating the Holidays at the Chattanooga Choo Choo

Photo by Shot Rite Photography

 

Holiday Events at the Choo Choo

WHEN: Nov. 19-Jan. 1

CONTACT: choochoo.com or 423.266.5000

COST: Varies depending on activity

The Chattanooga Choo Choo decorates in grand style for the holidays. Beginning Nov. 19, check out Hamilton County’s biggest Christmas tree inside the hotel’s historic lobby. Other festive activities include photos with Santa and Ice on the Landing in the Glenn Miller Gardens. Partake in seasonal delicacies at the local bars and restaurants, or even stay overnight for a cozy holiday staycation. 

Photo Courtesy of Rock City

 

Rock City’s Enchanted Garden of Lights 

WHEN: Nov. 19-Jan. 2 (Closed Christmas Eve)

CONTACT: seerockcity.com/lights or 706.820.2531 

COST: Check online calendar for nightly event pricing

In its 27th year, Rock City’s award-winning Enchanted Garden of Lights is a holiday tradition for all. Delight in over a million sparkling lights as you venture through the realms of wonder! Decorate a gingerbread cookie with Mrs. Claus, listen to live holiday music, journey through the icy lights of the Arctic Kingdom, and experience the digital enchantment of the Magic Forest’s dancing trees. A visit to see Santa in his workshop and plenty of holiday treats await, including house-made hot cocoa and fudge, funnel cakes, and festive holiday drinks from Café 7. Tickets are sold online only, and admission begins at 5 p.m. 

 

Ice on the Landing at the Choo Choo Gardens

WHEN: Nov. 19-Jan. 30

CONTACT: iceonthelanding.com 

COST: $10-$12/adults; $8/children 12 and under

This temporary outdoor rink, located in the historic Glenn Miller Gardens at the Chattanooga Choo Choo, gives the whole family a chance to experience the fun and nostalgia of open-air ice skating during the holiday season. Please visit the website for the schedule of operation and details for skating, party reservations, and special promotions!

Photo by Steve Freer

 

North Pole Limited at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum

WHEN: Nov. 20-Dec. 23

CONTACT: tvrail.com or 423.894.8028

COST: $30-$40 

Visit the North Pole with the help of the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum! A Chattanooga tradition since 1999, the magical train journey features lighted displays and a homemade chocolate chip cookie with hot chocolate, while children receive a keepsake boarding pass and bell. This family-friendly excursion is a little over an hour and departs from the Grand Junction Station. 

 

 

Southern Belle and Pier 2 Holiday Events

WHEN: Nov. 25-Dec. 31

CONTACT: chattanoogariverboat.com or 423.266.4488

COST: Visit the website

Christmas is in the air at the Southern Belle, where scenic cruises are a great way to celebrate the holidays. Choose from several seasonal cruises including Thanksgiving on the River, Christmas Carol Dinner Cruises, Santa and Rudolph Breakfast Cruises, ‘Tis the Season Luncheons, and New Year’s Eve on the River. Each event features a special menu, entertainment, and breathtaking views of the Tennessee River.

Photo Courtesy of EPB

 

Holiday Windows at EPB 

WHEN: Nov. 25-Jan. 3

CONTACTepb.com 

COST: FREE 

EPB’s annual holiday window display will be in-person in 2021. The festive displays can be enjoyed all season long by visiting the EPB Headquarters located at 10 West MLK Blvd. in downtown Chattanooga. See the displays Thanksgiving Day through the beginning of 2022. The windows are located on the Broad and Market Street sides of the building. 

 

 

Black Friday Holiday Open House at Bluff View Art District

WHEN: Nov. 26

CONTACT: bluffviewartdistrict.com or 423.321.0235

COST: FREE

Honoring the European tradition of an outdoor holiday market, Bluff View Art District offers a unique alternative to the bustle of Black Friday shopping. See local pastry chefs, bakers, coffee roasters, and a French chocolatier create festive treats. Live Christmas music will be playing from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and shopping specials can be found throughout the district.

 

 

Lighted Boat Parade

WHEN: Nov. 26

CONTACT: erwinmarinesales.com or 423.266.1316

COST: FREE

Dozens of festively decorated boats will parade along the Tennessee River in the annual Grand Illumination and Lighted Boat Parade. This year, the spectacle will be accompanied by a fireworks show. Head on down to the Riverfront Friday evening to watch the procession travel from the Chattanooga Golf & Country Club under the Walnut Street Bridge.

 

 

Ruby Falls

WHEN: Nov. 26-Dec. 24 (closed Dec. 25)

CONTACT: rubyfalls.com or 423.821.2544

COST: $12.95-$34.95

Discover wonder and adventure this holiday season at Ruby Falls! Escape to a simpler time with a classic Christmas featuring magical views of the Cumberland Plateau, holiday decorations on the Village Plaza, and nighttime twinkling city lights. Add your holiday wish to the Forest of Wishes, send a letter to Santa in the festive historic Ruby Falls Castle, see intricate cave formations along the cavern trail on a cave walk to the thundering waterfall, or explore the beauty underground with hand-held lanterns illuminating the trail and waterfall on an after-hours Lantern Tour. Tickets sold online only. 

Photo by Kyrstin Hill

 

Holiday Events at the Creative Discovery Museum 

WHEN: Nov. 26-Dec. 31

CONTACT: cdmfun.org/events or 423.756.2738 

COST: Visit the website

Create sweet holiday memories this season at Creative Discovery Museum! Get crafty at the Gingerbread Workshops happening Nov. 26 through Dec. 19. Santa Claus is coming to town for PJs with Santa on Dec. 3. Explore Gingerbread Village during Preschool Adventure Day on Dec. 4, and ring in the New Year at New Year’s at Noon on Dec. 31. 

Photo Courtesy of Georgia Winery

 

Christmas Open House at the Georgia Winery

WHEN: Nov. 27, Dec. 4, 11, 18 

CONTACT: georgiawines.com or 706.937.9463

COST: FREE

Make a dent in your Christmas shopping list with a visit to the Georgia Winery’s Christmas Open House. Every Saturday before Christmas beginning Nov. 27, guests can enjoy free tastings and sip hot mulled wine while they browse for unique gifts and gourmet food products. Premade gift baskets are also available.

 

Cirque Dreams Holidaze

WHEN: Nov. 30

CONTACT: tivolichattanooga.com or 423.757.5580

COST: $44 and up (plus fees), varies by seating

Cirque Dreams Holidaze lights up the stage in this dazzling family holiday spectacular. The Broadway-style musical is infused with contemporary circus artistry. Ballerinas, nutcrackers, snowmen, penguins, reindeer, ethereal aerialists, gingerbread people, carolers, and colossal ornaments fly, balance, juggle, and stretch imaginations. Broadway singers perform original music along with new twists on seasonal favorites.

 

 

Jingle Bell Jitters: A Piano Play in One Act

WHEN: Dec. 3

CONTACT: music@bryan.edu or 423.775.7498

COST: FREE

The Bryan College Performing Arts Department invites the public to this heartfelt holiday performance featuring the Bryan College Piano Ensemble. The program begins at 7:30 p.m. in Rudd Auditorium. 

 

 

 

A Classic Christmas in Cleveland

WHEN: Dec. 3-4

CONTACT: mainstreetcleveland.com or 423.479.1000

COST: FREE

Each year, downtown Cleveland welcomes crowds for A Classic Christmas. On Dec. 3, a community singing and tree lighting will open the holiday season, with the presentation to begin at 6 p.m. at the Old Post Office. On Dec. 4, the Christmas parade will depart from Bradley Central High School and showcase lighted floats and local marching bands. 

Photo by Jeannette Young

 

Chattanooga Boys Choir Holiday Concert 

WHEN: Dec. 4

CONTACT: chattanoogaboyschoir.org or 423.634.2299

COST: Visit the website

Held at First Baptist Church (401 Gateway Avenue) with two show times to choose from, the Chattanooga Boys Choir will join with the CSO Youth Orchestra, the Metropolitan Bells, and dancers to put on a wonderful show that’s sure to put you in the holiday spirit. 

Girls Ice Skating at MAINx24

Photo Courtesy of MAINx24

 

MAINx24

WHEN: Dec. 4

CONTACT: mainx24.com

COST: FREE

This 24-hour-long festival, organized by Southside residents, merchants, and friends, features programming all day and night – from parades and live music to cook-offs, open houses, store discounts, crafts, and much more. A schedule of events can be found online. 

Southern Adventist Christmas Concerts

Photo Courtesy of Southern Adventist University

 

Southern Adventist Christmas Concerts

WHEN: Dec. 4, 11

CONTACT: southern.edu/musicevents or 423.236.2880

COST: FREE

On Dec. 4, Southern Adventist University celebrates the sounds of the holiday season with a concert by the wind symphony, jazz ensemble, and steel band at 8 p.m. in the Iles P.E. Center. The Symphony Orchestra and choral ensembles also will perform on Dec. 11 at 4 p.m. in the Collegedale Church of Seventh-day Adventists.

Photo by Laken Evans

 

Holiday Events at The Edwin 

WHEN: Dec. 4, 11, 18

CONTACT: theedwinhotel.com or 423.713.5900

COST: Visit the website

On Dec. 4, Santa will be in the lobby of The Edwin hotel for photos. This free event also includes holiday cookies and a hot cocoa station. On Dec. 11, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be in attendance again for the Teddy Bear Tea. For this ticketed event, kids can dress in their coziest pajamas and bring their teddies. Bloody Marys and mimosas will be available for the adults. On Dec. 18, there will be a live gingerbread house demo by The Edwin’s very own pastry chef.

Photo by Melissa Lail

 

Chattanooga Holiday Market

WHEN: Dec. 4-5, 11-12, 18-19

CONTACT: chattanoogamarket.com or 423.648.2496

COST: FREE

More than 200 local vendors will gather in the Chattanooga Convention Center for this annual holiday market, open on three separate weekends! With unique gifts ranging from pottery and art to festive food, locally made apparel, wood furniture, and more, there is a present waiting for every person on your list. Hot cocoa and live performances are all part of this shopping tradition. The market is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. 

 

 

Holiday English Tea at the Houston Museum

WHEN: Dec. 5

CONTACT: thehoustonmuseum.org or 423.267.7176

COST: $40/adults; $20/children 4-12

Participate in a traditional English tea at Chattanooga’s Houston Museum. With seating times at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m., the tea features authentic treats such as scones, finger sandwiches, and sweets. Admission also includes a guided tour of the museum. Reservations for this event are required, and seating is limited.

 

A Classic Christmas

WHEN: Dec. 5 

CONTACT: dixonboxoffice@leeuniversity.edu or 423.614.8343  

COST: FREE

This annual holiday tradition features Lee University’s Choral Union, Symphony Orchestra, Ladies of Lee, Handbell Choir, and more. A variety of the university’s School of Music performers, as well as special guests, work together to make this the most well-attended music event each year. The performance will take place in the Conn Center. Overflow seating and livestream viewing will also be available. 

 

 

Lessons and Carols 

WHEN: Dec. 7  

CONTACT: music@leeuniversity.edu or 423.614.8240  

COST: FREE  

The Lee University School of Music and School of Religion present this evening of lessons and carols in the Lee University Chapel. Scripture surrounding Christ’s birth will be interwoven with beautiful Christmas music for a moving service. Tickets are complimentary but required. 

 

 

Home for Christmas

WHEN: Dec. 9 

CONTACT: veachus@leeuniversity.edu or 423.614.8320  

COST: FREE 

The award-winning a cappella ensemble, Voices of Lee, will present this Christmas concert in Pangle Hall, featuring both sacred and secular Christmas selections. Tickets are complimentary but required. 

 

 

Hunter Museum Studio Sessions: Winter Landscapes 

WHEN: Dec. 9

CONTACT: huntermuseum.org or 423.267.0968

COST: $20/members; $25/non-members 

Looking out the museum’s grand foyer windows across the river, create your own oil pastel winter landscape. Hunter educators will guide you in using the saturated hues of oil pastels to create your own artwork inspired by Chattanooga’s iconic riverfront. Draw artistic inspiration from one of their current special exhibitions: Mediterranea: American Art from the Graham D. Williford Collection. Supplies are provided. No prior experience is necessary.

 

 

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer the Musical

WHEN: Dec. 9

CONTACT: tivolichattanooga.com or 423.757.5580

COST: $24 and up (plus fees), varies by seating

The beloved TV classic “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” soars off the screen and onto the stage this holiday season. 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 on stage.

 

 

Chattanooga Girls Choir Winter Concert 

WHEN: Dec. 10 

CONTACT: chattanoogagirlschoir.org or 423.822.8441

COST: $15

Traditional carols and Broadway show-tunes by composers such as Benjamin Britten, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Antonio Vivaldi, and more will fill the sanctuary at Brainerd United Methodist Church on Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. Join the Chattanooga Girls Choir for this evening of beauty and peace. As always, alumnae of the CGC will be invited on stage for the closing number, “Edelweiss.” 

Photo Courtesy of The Read House

 

Holiday Events at The Read House 

WHEN: Dec. 10-11  

CONTACT: thereadhousehotel.com or 423.266.4121

COST: Visit the website

Merriment awaits you and yours at The Read House hotel this holiday season. On Dec. 10, enjoy live entertainment, hot chocolate and cider, and pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus during the Holiday Jubilee. On the morning of Dec. 11, you can join Santa and Mrs. Claus for a special breakfast with a show-stopping toppings bar for your pancakes, Belgian waffles, and hot cocoa. 

 

 

Southern Trust Presents Chattanooga Ballet’s The Nutcracker

WHEN: Dec. 10-12

CONTACT: tivolichattanooga.com or 423.757.5580

COST: $19 and up (plus fees), varies by seating

With the Chattanooga Ballet’s professional company, guest artists, and students from Chattanooga Ballet School, you won’t want to miss out on this special holiday performance. The Nutcracker is a story of youth and bravery, and one the entire family will enjoy. 

 

 

Holiday Lights at the Chattanooga Zoo

WHEN: Dec. 10-11, 17-18

CONTACT: chattzoo.org or 423.697.1322

COST: Visit the website

Holiday Lights offers guests the opportunity to see the Chattanooga Zoo completely transformed with sparkling lights for the season. Visit your favorite animals and watch them open presents, and then enjoy walking around with family and friends in the winter wonderland!

 

 

A Charlie Brown Christmas: Stage Adaptation  

WHEN: Dec. 10-12, 17-19

CONTACT: theatrecentre.com or 423.267.8534

COST: $12.50/adults; $10/students

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. This youth theatre production is perfect for the young and young at heart. Extensive safety protocols are in place, and tickets are being sold online.

 

 

Christmas at Red Clay 

WHEN: Dec. 12 

CONTACT: tnstateparks.com or 423.478.0339 

COST: $3 

Education meets holiday fun in this annual event at Red Clay State Park. Guests will experience the historic park through the eyes of the Cherokee people – customary songs, cooking demonstrations over the fire, and celebrations of the traditions of the past await. The program begins at 5:30 p.m., and all guests are asked to register on the state park website prior to the event. 

 

 

CSO First Horizon Foundation Pop Series: Home for the Holidays

WHEN: Dec. 18-19

CONTACT: chattanoogasymphony.org or 423.267.8583

COST: $15-$85, varies by seating

The Chattanooga Symphony & Opera’s Home for the Holidays returns Saturday, Dec. 18, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 19, at 3 p.m. at Memorial Auditorium with conductor Ismael Sandoval, the CSO Chorus, and special guests Metropolitan Bells performing secular and sacred holiday tunes that the whole family will love.  

 

 

New Year’s Events

 

New Year’s Eve Dinner Train

WHEN: Dec. 31

CONTACT: tvrail.com or 423.894.8028

COST: $90 and up, varies by train car

Ring in the New Year with a four-course dining experience aboard a restored 1924 dining car. An annual event at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, the New Year’s Eve Dinner Train departs from Grand Junction Station and travels at a leisurely pace toward urban East Chattanooga. Patrons will have their choice of fabulous entrées, tomato bisque, seasonal vegetables, bread, and dessert. Departure times are 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

 

 

The Read House’s New Year’s Eve Cabaret Party

WHEN: Dec. 31

CONTACT: thereadhousehotel.com or 423.266.4121 

COST: Visit the website

The Read House cordially invites you to its New Year’s Eve Cabaret Party! This party package includes an open bar, live entertainment and cabaret dancers, a midnight champagne toast, late night snacks, and a room to sleep it off. The fun will continue Jan. 1 on the Bloody Mary “Struggle Bus.” 

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