Best Christmas Activities in Tennessee


Cydnee Capps, Photography Editor

     Christmas – without a doubt – is one of the best times of the year. Towns are lit up with various colored Christmas lights, parades take place weekly, and Christmas trees are decorated with care. If you’re planning to travel this year to enjoy Christmas, here are some of Tennessee’s most popular Christmas attractions. 


  • Pinnacle Speedway in Lights at Bristol Motor Speedway – Bristol, TN

Powered by the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Bristol Motor Speedway is lit up with over 3 million lights, equaling out to be 4 miles long. The event is open from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm every day of the week. Tickets are $20-$125 per vehicle SUnday-Thursday, depending on how many people are in the vehicle, and $25-$125 Friday and Saturday. 


  • Smoky Mountain Winterfest – Gatlinburg, Sevierville, Pigeon Forge

A classic Christmas vacation for millions, the Smoky Mountain Winterfest takes place from November 10th through February 20th. There are over 15 million lights displayed across Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg. There are many different festivals and activities to do, perfect for all ages. There’s never a dull moment when spending Christmas in the Smoky’s, and you will always find something to do.


  • Enchanted Garden of Lights at Rock City – Chattanooga

Located in Rock City, the Enchanted Garden of Lights is open from November 18, 2022 – January 1, 2023.  Guests must reserve entry times prior to their visit. The gardens are covered with Christmas lights and light a path that leads to the waterfall. The attraction also includes North Pole Highway, the Nativity Light Story, Magic Forest, Arctic Kingdom, North Pole Village, Yule Town, and Fairyland Caverns. 


  • Holidays Under The Peaks at Tennessee Aquarium – Chattanooga

Opened until December 31, 2022, don’t miss your chance to see SCUBA Santa! He will swim with the various fish in the River Giants exhibit and listen to Christmas requests. They also hold a PJs and Polar event yearly, play movies and light the Christmas tree. 


  • Christmas in The Park – Cookeville

Located in Dogwood Park, Christmas in The Park takes place over the course of a few weeks. Activities range from carriage rides, meet and greets with Santa, concerts, Christmas movies, and the Christmas Forest exhibit. There is also a parade that takes place downtown and a drive-through light show at Hidden Hollow Lights. The festival begins with the lighting of a 40-foot tree. 


  • Dancing Lights of Christmas – Lebanon

Enjoy millions of lights at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center in Lebanon. The Dancing Lights of Christmas is Tennessee’s largest drive-through holiday light and music show. The lights are set to music and programmed to new and old displays. The attraction is open November 12, 2022 – January 2, 2022, and opens at 5 pm every day – rain or shine. 


  • Country Christmas at Gaylord Opryland – Nashville 

Beginning November 11th and ending January 1st, the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center is decorated with over 3 million lights inside and out. ICE! takes place here and features more than two thousand pounds of colored ice, sculpted into various characters, and has an ice slide. Inside the hotel, there are various Christmas activities including ice skating, visits with Santa, and more. 


  • Enchant – Nashville

Presented by Hallmark Channel, the illuminated winter wonderland is the world’s largest Christmas light maze and village. It is open from November 25th through December 30th. Visitors can help Santa find his missing reindeer, see a 100-foot-tall Christmas tree, and many other Christmas surprises. There is also ice skating, gift shops, Santa, live music, and arts and crafts for the kids. 


  • Let it Glow Holiday Light Show – Union City 

A local favorite, the Discovery Park of America holds the “Let it Glow” light show from November 11th – December 30th. Over one million lights and decorations are spread out across 50 acres and can be viewed via vehicle or by foot. Food and beverages will be for sale and you will feel like you’re at the North Pole. 


     While this list doesn’t include every single Christmas attraction, it includes some of the most popular and memorable ones. Depending on your location, some of these attractions would be a great weekend visit with your friends and family. Make sure to go out and enjoy all of these attractions that were put together meticulously by fellow Tennesseeans!