Chattanooga Holidays: Family Holiday Events Roundup


Chattanooga Family and Holiday EventsIt’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas everywhere you go! Oh, how I love this time of year: the lights, the laughter, the togetherness.

Sure, there might be crowds of people at the local malls or traffic coming in every which direction, but when you stop to think about what the season is about, the negatives seem to just go away. The traffic gives you time to stop and stare at the gorgeous holiday lights and the people joining you at the mall are on the same mission as you: finding the perfect gift for a loved one. When you look at the holiday season that way it is pretty amazing, don’t you think?

Be together this holiday season.

Between holiday shopping and finishing end-of-year tasks at work, make sure to take some time to just be with your family this holiday season. Especially with all the holiday fun in store for the Chattanooga community, it might be hard to choose what to do first!

Chattanooga Family Holiday Events

Chattanooga’s New Holiday Trail of Lights
Dates: TBD
Time: Various times at the different locations

Scared you will miss out on the beautiful holiday lights of Chattanooga? With the “Holiday Trail of Lights,” you can be sure to catch all 12 major Chattanooga attractions this holiday season! From Santa sightings to live music, if you had to choose just one event to participate in this holiday season in Chattanooga, this would be #1 on my list!

Chattanooga Ballet’s The Nutcracker
Dates: December 13, 14, and 15
Time: December 13 showing is at 7:30pm; December 14 has two showings: 2pm and 7:30pm; December 15 showing is at 2pm.

Can you imagine a holiday season that doesn’t include seeing The Nutcracker? This classic holiday ballet is one you won’t want to miss and the show can make for a wonderful date night or even an evening with family.

Chattanooga Moms: A Night at the North Pole at the Chattanooga Choo Choo
Dates: December 5
Time: 5-8pm

We hope you are able to attend a night out with us this holiday season! During this event, which was formerly known as “Cookies with Santa,” you and your kiddos can enjoy a night filled with cookies, cocoa, and, of course, holiday games. We hope to see you there!

Chattanooga Theater Center’s Mary Poppins
Dates: November 22-December 22
Time: Show times vary

One of the most popular Disney movies is coming to life right here in Chattanooga! Be sure to catch a showing of “Mary Poppins” at the Chattanooga Theatre Centre.

Chattanooga Zoo’s Holiday Lights
Dates: December 13, 14, 20, 21
Time: 5:30-8pm

This celebration is for the ultimate animal lover — what could be better than a combination of holiday lights and zoo animals? Plus, you have the opportunity to take pictures with Santa and see the animals unwrap their own holiday gifts this year!

Collegedale Christmas Market 
Dates: December 1, 7, and 8
Time: 11am-4pm

Instead of going to brand stores this year searching for gifts, why not grab a friend and go shopping at the Christmas Market, where you are sure to find a ton of gifts made by local artists? Make this the season you go local for your gifts.

Home for the Holidays 
Dates: December 21 and 22
Time: December 21 at 7:30pm and December 22 at 3pm

Take a break from your holiday shopping and baking, and enjoy the sounds of the holidays at the Chattanooga Symphony.

Ice on the Landing
Dates: November 15-December 18 and January 4-20 with special Winter Break Hours from December 19-January 3
Time: Monday-Thursday (2-9pm); Friday (2-11pm); Saturday (10am-11pm); Sunday (noon-9pm); Winter Break Hours: Saturday (10am-11pm); Sunday (noon-9pm); Monday-Wednesday (11am-9pm); Thursday-Friday (11am-11pm)

Located in the historic Glenn Miller Outdoor Gardens at the Chattanooga Choo Choo, Ice on the Landing allows family and friends to get together and ice skate as though you were in your very own Central Park! Be sure to check out the website for any special “theme” nights as well as possible Santa sightings.

MainStreet Cleveland’s Annual Christmas Parade
Dates: December 7
Time: 6pm

From businesses to local schools, there is sure to be someone you know in Cleveland’s Christmas Parade! Be sure to grab a seat early and bring a bag with you as you just might catch some holiday candy during the parade.

North Pole Limited
Dates: November 16-December 30
Time: Varies — excursions are 75-minutes

Who is ready to take a magical journey to the North Pole? Quickly becoming a family tradition for many, the North Pole Limited train rides allow families the opportunity to take a train ride with storytelling and sing-a-longs. A special treat of gingerbread cookies and a chocolate boxed drink are also served, while a certain guest just might stop by give a holiday keepsake to passengers.

Painting with a Twist
Dates: Vary
Time: Vary

The decorations you make yourself are the ones that mean the most, so why not use this opportunity to not only spend time with family and friends, but also add a new painting to your holiday decorations?

The Polar Express 3D
Dates: November 29-December 26 (Closed Christmas Day)
Time: Various

Who is ready to hop aboard the Polar Express? Enjoy a 3D showing of the “Polar Express” at the IMAX with your loved ones this holiday season!

PJs with Santa at Creative Discovery Museum
Dates: November 30
Time: 5:30-8pm

Are you looking for an opportunity to meet Santa? Wear your most comfy Christmas pjs and enjoy a night filled with a kid-friendly meal and lots of holiday crafts, including making holiday cards and decorating cookies!

Rock City Gardens’ Enchanted Garden of Lights
Dates: November 22-January 4 (Closed December 24)
Time: Nightly from 4-9pm

If lights are what you are looking for, the lights are what you are going to get! The 23rd annual light extravaganza at Rocky City will not disappoint, as not only can your family partake in the hundreds of thousands of holiday lights, but pictures with Santa and decorating gingerbread cookies while sipping hot cocoa are also available at this event, which is sure to make it a magical night for all!

Ruby Falls’ Christmas Underground
Dates: Thursdays-Sundays (December 1-8) and Daily December 12-23
Time: Thursday, Friday, and Sunday (noon-8pm) and Saturday (10am-8pm)

Explore a different side of Christmas by taking a tour of a secret, underground ice cave that could lead directly to Santa’s home at the North Pole! Sometimes a little mystery and fun around finding Santa can bring the entire family together and make for some great memories.

Southern Belle Riverboat’s ‘Tis the Season Luncheon and Christmas Carol Dinner Cruises
Dates: Varies depending on Christmas Cruise selected
Time: Times vary

Are you looking for a different way to take the kids to see Santa this year? What about having a date night with a holiday theme? Then why not book a lunch or dinner cruise session on the Southern Belle Riverboat? There are a number of Christmas Cruises you can choose from this season, including Christmas Carol Dinner Cruise, Holiday Dinner Cruise, Winter on the River Lunch Cruise, ‘Tis the Season Luncheon, and Breakfast with Santa!

Christmas on Broadway: The 57th Annual Singing Christmas Tree
Dates: December 6 (School Performance) and December 7 (Public Performance)
Time: December 6 performances are at 10am and noon; December 7 performances are at noon and 5:30pm

What is the holiday season without hearing the sounds of the season from the Chattanooga Boys Choir who will be performing songs like “It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas,” “Toyland,” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”

Did I miss a holiday event? Please comment below if so! I don’t want our Chattanooga Moms families to miss out! Happy holidays, everyone! 


  1. Polly Claire’s Historic House and Restaurant offers
    Victorian Christmas Afternoon Tea November 15-January 1 11:00 am-4:00 pm, closed Sundays.
    Colonial Candlelight Christmas Dinners Saturday evenings November 30- December 28 6,6:30,7:15 pm
    Children under 13 are welcome at the 6:00 pm seating.
    Open Black Friday, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
    Reservations necessary for all events.

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