Best time to go to Tennessee

Christmas Lights in Tennessee 2024-2025

Immerse in Christmas magic of the American South

Dates: early November–early February

Tenessee is home to some of the largest and most impressive America's Christmas lights displays. Its top destinations include Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge area in the Smokies, Nashville, Memphis, and Chatanooga. These cities attract crowds of tourists during the holiday season thanks to a wide array of events and beautiful decorations.

Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge

Winter Magic in Gatlinburg (November 10, 2023–early February 2024)

Winter is a unique time in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, which get draped in about five million lights, shining from early November to early February. Beautiful decorations and fun seasonal events transform the Smokies into a winter wonderland. To enjoy the dazzling displays, take the Trolley Ride of Lights. One more way to see the best view of the Gatlinburg parkway lights is to go up the Gatlinburg Space Needle. Once there, you will be able to see the city's panorama and the Christmas Tree from a height of 400 feet (121 m.),

SkyBridge and Lights Over Gatlinburg (November 13, 2023–January 31, 2024)

Stop by Gatlinburg’s famous SkyBridge is North America’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge, which is all lit up during the holiday season at the Gatlinburg SkyLift Park. From mid-November to late January SkyLift Park is decorated with over 40,000 twinkling lights. The main attraction is a 300-foot (91-m) tunnel of lights on the SkyBridge. A 30-foot (9-m) Christmas tree is another frequently photographed spot with lights animated to music.

The Island in Pigeon Forge (November 18, 2023–January 5, 2024)

The Island in Pigeon Forge offers more sparkling lights. Ride the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel to see the whole picture from 200 feet (61 m) in the air. Watch the Island Show Fountain and enjoy shopping, dining, and entertainment options at one of the premier East Tennesee holiday destinations.


Holiday Trail of Lights (mid-November–mid-January)

in Southeastern Tennessee, Chattanooga Holiday Trail of Lights is the premier Christmas display, which features millions of twinkling lights. Illuminations from this showing can be seen throughout the whole city: on Chattanooga bridges, boats, cliffs, and buildings. Its biggest highlights are the Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge, adorned with twinkling snowflakes, Ice on the Landing at the Chattanooga Choo Choo, and, of course, Rock City’s Enchanted Garden of Lights.

The Trail of Lights events also include Tennessee Aquarium’s Holidays Under the Peaks & Polar Express 3D in IMAX, Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum’s North Pole Limited & Holiday Train Excursions, Chattanooga Riverboat Company special cruises, and Holiday Lights at the Chattanooga Zoo.


Dancing Lights of Christmas (November 10–December 31, 2023)

The Dancing Lights of Christmas show features a 2.5-mile (4-km) route with over two million lights composed into all imaginable shapes : tunnels, giant snowmen, candy canes, and Christmas trees. Visit it at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center, which is about a half-hour drive from Nashville. The Dancing Lights of Christmas show is open nightly from 5 pm until 10 pm during the Christmas season, which runs from late November to early January. The entrance fee starts from $25 for a family vehicle

Chad's Winter Wonderland (late November–late December)

Enchanting Chad's Winter Wonderland is one of the largest displays in Tennessee. The park boasts about 2 million lights and a drive-thru Santa's house. Its light tunnel has 90 arches and over 350 various displays such as a Nativity scene, a Christmas train, and a dancing snowman.


Graceland Christmas Tours (November 16–December 23, 2023)

The birthplace of rock'n'roll boasts some serious Christmas vibes. And Christmas at Graceland is one of the best experiences Tennessee can offer during December. The mansion, which Elvis called his home, is located on the southern outskirts of the city, west of Memphis International Airport. It's most charming during the winter season with holiday lights and music.

Holiday Wonders at the Garden (November 25– December 23, 2023)

Holiday Wonders at the Garden is another popular display in East Memphis, available from late November until the end of December. The Memphis Botanic Garden (MBG) in Audubon Park holds various events, such as Trees Alight in the Conifer Garden, Sculptures Bright in the Sculpture Garden, or the kids' favorite Snowy Nights in My Big Backyard. The patio's fire pits have long become the favorite gathering point where friends and families meet to chat and have some refreshments.

Zoo Lights (November 16, 2023–January 1, 2024)

Memphis Zoo lights are perfect for families with children. The city zoo, located in midtown, hosts a spectacular Christmas display, featuring a million lights. Festivities kick off with a tree lighting ceremony at 5:30 pm, and the zoo is aglow nightly from 6 pm to 9:30 pm. Besides enjoying holiday lights, you can also take a ride on a horse-drawn carriage, do holiday shopping, and indulge in festive foods. Santa will be there for your kids as well.

Thanks to the warm climate, beautiful nature, and vibrant music scene, Tennessee is a perfect destination for the winter holidays. Add some lights magic into the picture, and you'll receive some lasting memories from the American South.

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