Chattanooga Holiday Lights Roundup



I have always loved driving around and looking at Christmas lights! It is one of the only ways I can still experience true child-like wonder. There is just something about the cold, dark world being transformed by the pureness of light that is so mesmerizing. Another bonus to this tradition, now that I am a mother of three: I love confining my children any chance I get! They can’t do much damage when they are in their car seats, right?

Below I have listed places where you can drive and see beautiful lights on private homes from the comfort of your car and locations where you can see special walk-through public light displays.

Rock City Enchanted Garden of Lights 

This is my top-of-the-list must-do! There will be plenty of “oohs” and “aahs” as you make your way through this award-winning lights display. With more than 30 different light scenes, plus festive entertainment, activities and food, this truly is a one-of-a-kind experience you won’t want to miss. (Also mentioned in Nadine’s Chattanooga Holiday and Christmas Events List.)

6 – 9 pm (Last Ticket sold 9pm)
Closed Christmas Eve Night
Weekend Prices: Adults $22.95; Children (ages 3-12) $12.95 
Weekday Prices: Adults $19.95 Children (ages 3-12) $11.95
Click here for more information.

Downtown Chattanooga

If you thought Downtown Chattanooga couldn’t be more beautiful, wait until you see it at Christmas time! The city becomes a winter wonderland, from the dancing snowflakes on the Walnut Street Bridge to the amazing window displays in the EPB building that feature moving characters and thousands of energy-efficient LED lights. This is a wonderful festive and FREE way to enjoy a unique Chattanooga holiday experience with your family.

Chattanooga Zoo’s Holiday Lights

Even the pandas and chimpanzees are getting into the holiday spirit! At the Chattanooga Zoo you can view hundreds of lights, watch the animals open their Christmas presents, have photos taken with Santa and enjoy fun holiday games and crafts. **NEW THIS YEAR: LIVE REINDEER!**

DECEMBER 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, & 11, 2016
5:30 – 8pm
Adults: $9.95; Children: $6.95; Children (2 and under) FREE
Chattanooga Zoo members receive 50% off purchase of admission.
Click here for more information.

Ruby Falls Christmas Underground

You’ll feel as if you are in Santa’s hidden North Pole workshops when you visit Ruby Falls for Christmas Underground! A special adventure to see Santa leads to an ice cave where you will watch gemstone miners play, catch a view of the Northern Lights and journey through the Sugar Plum Fairy Village. Help Santa and his miners search for Joystone, a rare gemstone that helps spread the Christmas spirit, and experience the celebration of this special holiday! (Also mentioned in Nadine’s Chattanooga Holiday and Christmas Events List.)

DECEMBER 1 – 18, 2016 – Thursdays to Sundays
DECEMBER 19 – 23, 2016 – Daily
noon – 8pm
Adults $11.95; Children (ages 3-12) $11.95; Children (2 & Under) FREE
*Ticket price includes Joystone activities and souvenir joystone. 
*Children 2 and under may add on the Joystone activities for an additional charge. 
Click here for more information.

Hilltop Christmas

You may not be dashing through any snow in this East Tennessee weather, but you can enjoy a sleigh/hay ride through thousands of lights to meet Santa. Plus, it WILL be snowing when you arrive at Santa’s workshop! Kids can decorate a Gingerbread Cookie for $5, take a picture with Santa for $5, and visit Candy Isle (new this year). 

6:30 – 10:30pm
Also open Sunday, December 18 and Thursday, December 22
Closed Christmas Eve Night
Adults $15; Children (4-9) $8; Children (3 and under) FREE
Click here for more information.

Shepherd Hills Neighborhood

This neighborhood itself is a well-kept Chattanooga secret. It is really a non-annexed city within Chattanooga (officially called Ridgeside) on the Eastside of Missionary Ridge. It has about 200 beautiful homes, each unique and full of character. If you are looking for a traditional Christmas charm, this neighborhood will not disappoint. Typically on the Monday or Tuesday before Christmas, the neighborhood has a lighting ceremony, where each house lights luminaries. This decades-old tradition is sure to get you in the Christmas spirit.

Missionary Ridge

This is another very historic sight in Chattanooga known for its holiday glam. Any time of year there is a magnificent view of the city lights below from Missionary Ridge. This time of year, you will get an extra dose of glow from the lights on the gorgeous ridgetop homes. 

If you want to drive around town one night and you are looking to see a Griswold-style spectacle (or what my dad called “hotdog stands”), here are a few addresses I have compiled for you. Some of these I have seen personally, others I have heard about from trusted sources. You can also use this map I created to find your way to these places (grouped by location). 


3787 Blue Springs Rd

100 Northwest Cir

East Brainerd

Cedar Creek Drive
Daugherty Lane

East Ridge

Jason Drive (between Fountain Avenue and Marley Way). This hilltop cul-de-sac neighborhood is always decked out. Please go slow and follow the one-way signs, and be on the lookout for the Food Bank donation box. Christmas lights for a cause! Love!


1646 Colorado St
Autumn Lake Trail (Back of Laurel Cove subdivision)

Soddy Daisy

11632 Jenkins Rd

I really hope this list helps you to make special memories with your family during this wonderful season! Now get the hot cocoa, put your Christmas pjs on, tune into your favorite Christmas music-only station and go enjoy the twinkling, glowing magic! 



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