Chattanooga Family Holiday Events Roundup


2023 Chattanooga Family Holiday Events

If you’re looking for some fun, festive activities for your family this Christmas season, look no further! Chattanooga has some great options for the whole family!

Ice on the Landing – Hosted at the Chattanooga Choo Choo, Ice on the Landing is back on November 24th, just in time for Christmas. Ice skating is fun for the whole family, and there are plenty of delicious spots to warm up at the Choo Choo. This year they are offering online tickets.

NoogaLights – NoogaLights is back for its second season! A drive-thru lighting experience to be enjoyed by all ages, taking place nightly for six weeks in Soddy Daisy (new location this year!) It opens up for the season on November 22nd.

Holidays Under the Peaks at the Tennessee Aquarium – Your adventure through a fun-filled underwater wonderland begins with holiday music and decor in the River Journey lobby. Look for seasonal surprises throughout your tour, including a light-bedecked tree twinkling in sync with the jolly jolts of an Electric Eel! This event opens on November 25th.

This guide is also brought to you by our partners at St. Nicholas School.

St. Nicholas SchoolSt. Nicholas School is a PK 3 through 5th grade private school where all children are known, loved, and well prepared for a lifetime of success. All students attend daily chapel and participate in studio art, art history, music, Spanish, gardening, movement, and library every week in addition to the core curriculum. The 24-acre campus provides students ample opportunities to explore the nature trail and experience what nature has to offer.

Click here to apply today.


Rock City Enchanted Garden of Lights – One of Chattanooga’s most famous holiday sights is back this year! Starting November 17th, you can visit this winter wonderland any night of the week. Remember to reserve your time online!

Holiday Jubilee at the Read House – Enjoy the holiday season with all the Read House has to offer!

North Pole Limited – Santa Claus is coming to town, and you can see him on the North Pole Limited Christmas Train! This is something your little ones will remember for years. Starting November 17th and running through December 23rd, the train makes several trips during the weekends leading up to Christmas.

Chattanooga Holiday Market – During the weekends in December, you can find the Chattanooga Market inside the Chattanooga Convention Center. This is the perfect place to find one of a kind gifts for your loved ones.

Chattanooga Zoo Asian Lantern Festival – The Chattanooga Zoo is excited to announce for the first time, a new light experience this holiday season: the Asian Lantern Festival at the Chattanooga Zoo. A spectacular celebration of art, culture and the beauty of traditional Asian lantern festivals, this will be the most unique holiday light display in the Chattanooga area.

Creative Discovery Museum Snow Night – Join us for an evening of fun and kick off the holiday season at CDM. Build a snowman in the Art Studio, create a winter hat at Creation Station, bring your best skills to a snowball fight in STEM Zone, and experience the magic of a snowfall with Frosty the Snowman! End the evening with a dance party and liquid nitrogen ice cream. This is a members only event.

Creative Discovery Museum Gingerbread Workshops – Calling all little bakers and budding artists aged 5 and under to embark on an enchanting journey of creativity and learning. Get ready to make cherished holiday memories with a host of captivating hands-on activities that will ignite your child’s imagination and encourage early development in math, language, motor skills, and social interaction.

Gordon Lee Mansion Candlelight Tour – Christmas Candlelight Tours are typically the first and second weekends in December. Self-guided Christmas tours include musical entertainment as well as homemade cookies and hot apple cider. During season and holiday tours, the home is beautifully decorated with fresh flowers and greenery, including handmade wreaths and garlands, in addition to candles and other items typical of the antebellum period.

2023 Lighted Boat Parade – Taking place the Friday after Thanksgiving for over the past 40+ years, The Southern Belle and Erwin Marine Sales have lit up the Tennessee River with extravagantly decorated boats. On shore, thousands gather to get in the holiday spirit with pictures with Santa, seeing real, live reindeer and live music. Free to attend for everyone!

Winter Wonderland at the Chattanooga Choo Choo – Experience the holidays at the Choo Choo! Enjoy Santa, beautiful decorations, delicious food, and Ice on the Landing.

CHA Ballet’s The Nutcracker with Chattanooga Symphony and Opera: Southeastern Trust presents Chattanooga Ballet’s The Nutcracker featuring the professional company, the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra performing live, and students from Chattanooga Ballet’s School and the region. Join Clara, a young girl at her parent’s holiday party, who is gifted a Nutcracker doll from her godfather, Drosselmeyer. This begins a magical journey from the battlefield with the Rat King, through the Land of Snow to the Land of Sweets. See the amazing dolls that come to life, the mice as they scurry around and the beautiful snow as it flurries across the stage. Experience the fun as children dance at the party, the fear as the Nutcracker begins to fall at the hands of the Rat King and the joy of all the sweets gathered to celebrate their young heroine! This is a story of youth and bravery, and one the entire family will enjoy. Chattanooga Ballet invites you to experience Chattanooga’s most beloved holiday tradition, The Nutcracker! This event runs December 8-10.

Chattanooga Symphony and Opera – One of Chattanooga’s most treasured holiday events returns with a variety of secular and sacred holiday tunes that are perfect for the whole family. Home for the Holidays runs the weekend of December 16th.

Scrooge! Renowned writer/composer/lyricist Leslie Bricusse adapted the classic Charles Dickens tale A Christmas Carol into Scrooge!, a charming hit musical for all ages to enjoy. Scrooge! has experienced a hugely successful tour of England and a season at London’s Dominion Theatre starring the late Anthony Newley. This well-loved holiday tale of Christmases past, present, and future is sure to warm hearts this December. (Appropriate for all audiences) The play runs from December 8th – 31st.

EPB Holiday Windows: Enjoy the beautiful EPB holiday windows located in downtown Chattanooga.

Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro: Starting Nov. 4th experience the magic of Christmas at Santa’s Wonderland at the East Ridge Bass Pro Shop.

Chattanooga Railroad Christmas Tea: Join us for a festive holiday tea room experience in Grand Junction Depot. All the tasty treats of the season combined into one offering. After your tea, visit the exhibit building and check out the holiday decorations around the property.Note: train ride tickets are not included and must be purchased separately.

The Polar Express 3D – Experiencing this holiday tale on the giant six-story screen has become a family tradition for many. When a doubting young boy takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole, he embarks upon a journey of self-discovery, showing him that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe. Audiences are drawn into this immersive film, grasping at falling snowflakes, ducking as the train screeches into their lap, and feeling the howl of the steam whistle in surround sound.

Holiday Lights Train Ride: The Holiday Lights Train Ride is a festive way to enjoy the holiday season starting after Christmas Day. The train ride takes you through a variety of light displays, from twinkling snowflakes to towering Christmas trees. The Holiday Lights Train Ride is a great activity for families or groups of friends. It’s a fun and unique way to see the holiday lights and get into the spirit of the season.

Nightcap with St. Nick: Celebrate the holidays while enjoying a nightcap with St. Nick! Begin your holiday festivities on a one hour train ride with all the bright trimmings of the season. This experience includes two drinks, a delicious sweet and savory treat box, a souvenir bell, keepsake boarding pass, and a visit from Santa.

The City of Fort Oglethorpe Ice Skating: Winter Skating November 18th thru January 31st with their new 3,200 square foot Glice rink. Concessions will be available. Holiday music will be playing. All of this will take place at the Stable 41 Farmers Market location at 214 First Street, Fort Oglethorpe, GA  30742. Advance tickets are available on-line along with more information.

Southern Belle Christmas Cruises – Enjoy a Christmas cruise on the beautiful Southern Belle!

MainX24: MAINx24 is always held on the first Saturday of December, this year is December 2nd, 2023. MAINx24 is a 24-hour long festival celebrating Main Street and the surrounding Southside, held every December since 2007. The annual event features programming all day long, from parades to music to poetry readings to chili cook-offs. The day has been a way to celebrate and showcase the burgeoning Southside. MAINx24 is organized completely by residents, merchants, and friends of the Southside community.

Breakfast with Santa at the Reed House: Breakfast with Santa- Join us in the Silver Ballroom at The Read House’s for Breakfast with Santa on December 9th.

Nutcracker! Magical Christmas Ballet: The beloved family tradition is back: NUTCRACKER! Magical Christmas Ballet! Gather your loved ones for the warm glow nostalgia of America’s favorite Christmas celebration. Experience the extraordinary international cast and Ukrainian Principal Artists performing at the peak of classical European Ballet. Be transported by the magic of jaw dropping acrobatics, larger than life puppets and stunning hand crafted sets and costumes. Don’t miss this chance to experience the wonder of NUTCRACKER! Magical Christmas Ballet.

A Magical Cirque Christmas: Embrace the holiday spirit with A Magical Cirque Christmas, a variety show full of nostalgia, charm, and awe-inspiring performances for all ages. Get ready to be dazzled, enchanted, and filled with holiday cheer as you witness the incredible talents of world-class entertainers performing to your favorite holiday music.

The Illusionists – Magic of the Holidays: Celebrate the holidays with the entire family at The Illusionists – Magic of the Holidays, a mind-blowing spectacle featuring the jaw-dropping talents of the most incredible illusionists on earth.

Merry Christmas, Chattanooga!

Check back later this month when we update all of our holiday guides!