Family-Friendly Christmas Fun in Chattanooga

Posted by on Wednesday, December 19th, 2018 at 5:05pm.

Want to know the best places in Chattanooga to take the kids for the holidays? We’ve scoped out all of the best Chattanooga has to offer for holiday fun this year and have brought it all together for you! Here are our favorite local destinations to enjoy a very merry Chattanooga Christmas: 

December 22-23 

Gingerbread Workshops at the Creative Discovery Museum

When: Saturday, December 22 at 1 p.m.; Sunday, December 23 at 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Where: Creative Discovery Museum, 321 Chestnut St, Chattanooga, TN 37402
Cost: $25 for members; $45 for nonmembers

Kick off the holiday season with this sweet tradition. The whole family will enjoy creating sweet and sticky houses from gingerbread, icing, candy and other sugary confections. The workshop includes hot chocolate, cookies, pre-built houses, icing, candy and holiday music. Admission to the museum is included for non-members participating in the workshop. Reservations are required in advance. Only three people max per gingerbread house. 

December 22-23

Tennessee Valley Railroad’s Santa’s Hiwassee Holiday Train

When: Times Vary
Where: Hiwassee River RR (9406 U.S. Highway 411) in Delano, TN
Cost: $23

All aboard for a Hiwassee Holiday Adventure! For the second time, "Santa Trains" will operate along the beautiful Hiwassee River from Delano to Reliance. Upon departure, riders will enjoy light refreshments, storytelling and Christmas carols.  When the train arrives at the turn back location in Reliance, Santa will board and walk through the train greeting children during the return trip. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

Now - December 24 

The Polar Express 3D at the Tennessee Aquarium’s IMAX Theater

When: Times vary
Where: 201 Chestnut St, Chattanooga, TN 37402
Cost: $13.95 Adults; $10.95 Child

Even if you have seen this heart-warming classic before, watching it on the giant, six-story IMAX Theater screen with Laser creates a brand and magical new experience. The Polar Express is based on the beloved children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg and takes audiences on an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole. Viewers fall in love with a doubting young boy who embarks on a journey of self-discovery that shows him that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe. For more information, visit

December 30 

Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker at the Tivoli Theatre

When: 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. 
Where: Tivoli Theatre, 709 Broad St, Chattanooga, TN 37402
Cost: $30-177

Marking the 25th Anniversary Tour, Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker features over-the-top production and world-class Russian artists, larger-than-life puppets, nesting dolls and gloriously hand-crafted costumes that bring the Christmas spirit to life. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

Now - December 31

Rock City's Enchanted Garden of Lights

When: 6-9 p.m.
Where: Rock City Gardens, 1400 Patten Road
Cost: $11.95-$28.95

For the holiday season, Rock City's Enchanted Garden of Lights is a family tradition. Featured recently on ABC's show The Chew, this light extravaganza showcases more than 30 holiday scenes and nearly a million LED lights that transform the gardens' natural daytime splendor into a fantasyland of four realms of wonder: Yule Town, Arctic Kingdom, Magic Forest and North Pole Village. Enjoy gingerbread cookie decorating, hot cocoa and nightly entertainment. Dinner with Santa is also back, as well as Jack Frost, Inara the Ice Queen and many other characters. This event was selected as a Top 20 Event for 2017 by Southeast Tourism Society. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

Now - January 7

North Shore Merchants Collective’s Annual Holiday Window Treasure Hunt

When: All day
Various North Shore locations
Cost: Free

The Holiday Window Treasure Hunt is similar to those Highlights Magazine’s hidden object games, but this version has you looking for hidden items in holiday-themed windows. Pick up a game card from 1 of 25 participating businesses, start hunting, then turn in completed game card (along with a minimum $1 contribution) at 1 of 3 North Shore businesses for a chance to win a gift basket valued at $1,500. Great for families or adults.

Now - January 12 

Holiday Trail of Lights Selfie Station at the Chattanooga Visitors Center

When: Friday and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Chattanooga Visitors Center, 215 Broad St
Cost: Free

Stop by the Chattanooga Visitors Center to snap a selfie with some fun props! You can even include your pet (as long as it’s on a leash). Post your selfie with #TrailofLighsCHA for a chance to win a $50 restaurant gift card. Winners will be chosen on Dec. 31 and  Jan. 14. One photo equals one entry. The more photos you post, the more chances you have to win! Limit five entries per person. 

Now - February 23

Winter in West Village 

When: Saturdays from 4-6:30 p.m. 
Where: 801 Pine St, Chattanooga, TN 37402
Cost: Free 

Enjoy the newly created West Village district for a weekly street festival with live music from local bands, cocktails, beer, laser light show and plenty of activities for kids. The district brings a European-style experience and offers public art, eateries, coffee shops, shopping and the Westin Chattanooga.

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