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2012 Christmas or Holiday Events in Chattanooga, TN

Updated on June 17, 2013

Chattanooga, Tennessee is one of the top tourist destinations in the United States. Listed in multiple publication lists, such as the New York Times' "45 Places to Go" and National Geographic's "50 Best Places to Live: The Next Great Adventure Towns", Chattanooga has something for everyone. Although summer is usually the time to visit any place, Christmas in Chattanooga is always special. With a mild climate, Chattanooga can offer a variety of holiday attractions, some are even outdoors. Listed below is small sampling of Chattanooga's things to do over the holidays. As a hint...this list is also a great go-to for locals to use with their own holiday guests.

Train at the Chattanooga Choo Choo decked out in Holiday splendor. Credit: Brad Snoke
Train at the Chattanooga Choo Choo decked out in Holiday splendor. Credit: Brad Snoke

Holiday Attractions

The Georgia Winery is hosting their Holiday Open House on December 1, 2012. Along with the release of their new Holiday wine, Winter Red, the winery is offering free samples of gourmet food products, wine samples and mulled wine. The Georgia Winery is located at 6469 Battlefield Parkway, Ringgold, GA.

Chattanooga's most famous attraction, Rock City Gardens, is transforming into an Enchanted Garden of Lights during this holiday season. Every evening though January 5, 2013, except Christmas Eve, from 6 pm to 9 pm, the gardens become a true winter wonderland. Ticket prices vary by day and age from $18.95 to $21.95.

Another famous Chattanooga attraction, Ruby Falls (one the largest and deepest underground waterfalls in America), is decorated in holiday lights and music. Opened daily, except for Christmas Day, from 8 am to 8 pm. Also on Friday and Saturday nights in December, come and experience a Ruby Red Christmas, basically an old fashion Christmas at Ruby Falls.

The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, located at 4119 Cromwell Road, is offering two Holiday Rides this year. The North Pole Limited is a train ride suited for the whole family, with sing-a-longs and visits from Santa. Prices range from $24 to $48 a person. They are also running a Holiday Dinner tour on Saturdays during December.

The Creative Discovery Museum is running two Holiday programs this year. They are the Holiday Shoppe, a place where little ones can purchase gifts for their friends and family, and the Winter Wonders Exhibit. The children's museum is open daily (except Wednesdays and Christmas from 10 am to 5 pm. Tickets are $11.95 per person.

Zoo Holiday Lights-Watch the animals open their holiday gifts while walking in a magical wonderland at the Chattanooga Zoo located at Warner Park. The holiday lights take place on December 14, 15, 21 and 22 from 5:30 pm to 8 pm. Ticket prices are from $5.95 to $8.95.

Music and Theatre

December 1 -- Chattanooga Boys Choir presents their 50th annual "Singing Christmas Tree" in two concerts. The concerts are at 2 pm and 7:30 pm at the historic Tivoli Theatre, located at 709 Broad Street. Call 423-642-tixs for tickets.

December 1 - December 23 -- The Chattanooga Theatre Center is performing Santaland Diaries. Santaland Diaries is a hilarious and possibly true account of the author's first job as a Macy elf at Christmas time. The performance will run till December 8th. From December 7 through the 23rd, on the Main Stage, will be a performance of Annie. The Chattanooga Theatre Center is located at 400 River Street in downtown Chattanooga.

December 5 -- At 7 pm, Christmas for Kids with Lauren Alaina and Confederate Railroad is being held at Track 29 on the Chattanooga Choo Choo property in downtown Chattanooga. The concert benefits the Forgotten Children's Fund with tickets costing $20 each.

December 7 - December 9 -- The Chattanooga Ballet and Symphony Orchestra presents "The Nutcracker" on Friday, December 7th and Saturday, December 8th at the Tivoli Theatre. Performance times are 8 pm on the 7th and 8th. There will be a special showing on Sunday, December 9th at 2 pm. Ticket prices are between $15 to $29.

December 15 & December 16 -- Listen to traditional holiday favorites performed by the the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra in their "Home for the Holidays" concert held at the Tivoli Theatre. Times are 8 pm on the 15th and 2 pm on the 16th.

Christmas/Holiday Parades

December 1 -- Fort Oglethorpe Christmas Parade begins at 6 pm and is located about 10 mins from downtown Chattanooga.

December 2 -- North of Chattanooga, the Soddy Daisy Holiday Parade starts at 2 pm. Also, the Ooltewah-Collegedale Holiday Parade begins at 3 pm.

December 7 -- The Red Bank Holiday Parade begins at 6 pm on Dayton Blvd. The Ringgold, GA "Down Home Christmas Celebration" parade and concert also begins at 6 pm. Santa will visit with the children at the Ringgold Depot. Ringgold is just 15 mins south of downtown Chattanooga.

December 8 -- Chattanooga's annual street parade, the Holiday Starlight Parade begins at 6 pm at the corner of 5th and Market. It will march in front of the Tennessee Aquarium and then turn on Broad Street. It will end at 5th and Broad.

December 8 -- It would not be Christmas on the Tennessee River without the annual Lighted Boat Parade in downtown Chattanooga. This year they are combining the regular street parade, Holiday Starlight Parade, with the Lighted Boat Parade and adding fireworks at the end. The street parade begins at 6 pm at 5th and Market. The Lighted Boat Parade begins at 7 pm between Veterans Memorial and the Olgiati Bridges. Fireworks begin at 8 pm from Renaissance Park.

Restaurants Offering Special Holiday Dining

Southern Belle Riverboat is having a special guest, Santa Clause. What is better for the kids than a boat ride with Santa? On December 1, 8 and 15th, Santa will be cruising the Tennessee River for breakfast. Reservations are a must. Tickets are $16.42 and $10.99. The Southern Belle is also offering "Tis the Season Lunches" and "Christmas Carol Dinner Cruises" throughout the month of December.

The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, located at 4119 Cromwell Road, is offering, along with the North Pole Limited, The Christmas Special Dinner Train. This train runs every Saturday night from Dec 1 through Dec. 22 at 6 pm and includes a 4 course meal on a vintage 1921 dinning car. Tickets start at $60.

The Broad Street Grill is offering a "Mediterranean Christmas Day Dinner". The dinner will be served from noon till 5 pm. Prices are $34.95 for adults and $17.95 for children 7 to 12 years of age. The Broad Street Grill is located inside the Chattanoogan Hotel on Broad Street in downtown Chattanooga.

Back Inn Cafe along with Renaissance Commons is hosting their annual Christmas Brunch. The cafe will be serving traditional holiday fair at the Renaissance Commons event venue from 11 am to 4 pm on Christmas Day.


There are a few hotels in downtown Chattanooga that are teaming up with various local attractions to provide package deals that just can not be beat. Listed below are the most popular ones.

The Chattanooga Choo Choo, yes it is a real place, has a variety of holiday packages ranging in price from $179.00 to $659.99. These packages include lodging and a mixture of attraction tickets for up to 4 people. The Choo Choo is located at 1400 Market Street and is celebrating its 100 year anniversary.

Located at 1201 Broad Street, The Chattanoogan, a recipient of AAA four diamond rating, is offering an Enchanted Garden of Lights package. The package includes lodging, breakfast and tickets to Rock City's Enchanted Garden of Lights. Prices vary according to room size and number of guests.

StoneFort Inn, 120 East Tenth Street, has an add on package that includes a dinner gift card for $80, 2 tickets to Rock City's Enchanted Garden of Lights and 10% off the room rate for $118 (does not include room rate, taxes or parking fees).StoneFort Inn is a luxury bed and breakfast that is centrally located in downtown Chattanooga.

Additional Information

Winter, spring, summer or fall, Chattanooga is a wonderful town to visit. Although, the information included here is for the 2012 Christmas/Holiday season, it is a small sample of the intriguing activities this area offers. For additional information on Chattanooga, feel free to visit the Chattanooga Visitor Bureau or my blog, Things to do in Chattanooga.


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