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The Village decorated for the holidays in Gatlinburg TN
Photo Credit: Gatlinburg CVB

Experience 12 Days of a Tennessee Christmas

Millions of lights illuminate the way in how to spend your Tennessee holidays.

Spend your 12 days of Christmas (or longer) with these special celebrations of the season in Tennessee. From live reindeer to millions of lights, the state is filled with holiday cheer.

*Dates reflect 2020 celebrations

EasT Tennessee

Speedway in Lights at Bristol Motor Speedway - Bristol 

Speedway in Lights is the largest holiday light show in the region Nov. 13, 2020 to Jan. 2, 2021 at Bristol Motor Speedway's Bristol Dragway Entrance on Highway 394 (not on Volunteer Parkway). Approximately four miles and 2 million lights captivate visitors. Other activities include the Christmas Village and The Ice Rink, the only ice skating rink with a 90-minute driving radius of Bristol Motor Speedway. 

Smoky Mountain Winterfest - Gatlinburg, Sevierville, Pigeon Forge

The Great Smoky Mountains are your background for the 30th annual Smoky Mountain Winterfest Nov. 13, 2020 to Feb. 22, 2021 that includes Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. More than 15 million lights and displays line the Parkway for a magical experience. In Sevierville, Shadrack's Christmas Wonderland illuminates your drive Nov. 13-Jan. 3, 2021 with lights dancing in perfect rhythm to Christmas music played over your radio.  New custom built, all-LED displays will surround you with holiday cheer. In Pigeon Forge, all the attractions get festive, like The Old Mill with its two award-winning restaurants, shops filled with gifts, and tours of the 186-year-old working mill. Gatlinburg offers guests the opportunity to take the Trolley Ride of Lights to see holiday magic displayed in town at 6:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. ET through downtown and adjacent Hwy. 321 .

Lights Over Gatlinburg at Gatlinburg Skylift Park - Gatlinburg

Experience America's longest pedestrian suspension bridge in a whole new way Nov. 13, 2020 to Jan. 31, 2021 as Gatlinburg Skylift Park is decked out for the holidays. This year, SkyBridge will have double the amount of tunnel lights along with synchronized lights on the plaza areas and trees throughout the park. 

Dollywood's Smoky Mountain Christmas - Pigeon Forge 

Dollywood, Tennessee's No. 1 attraction, lights up like a Christmas tree with more than 5 million lights Nov. 7, 2020 to January 2021  throughout the theme park in Pigeon Forge. Meander to Glacier Ridge to see the Christmas Light Show set to symphonic music, a unique walk-through of the Aurora Borealis, and lots of illuminated displays and colorful lights. Christmas stories unfold onstage, celebrating family, song and tradition including the new "Heart of the Holidays" show at the Back Porch Theatre with daily shows performed indoors with reduced capacity. For the first time, every Friday and Saturday, weather permitting, the "Merry & Bright" fireworks will fill the sky synchronized to new Christmas tunes.

Santa Haus at The Incredible christmas place - pigeon forge

The Incredible Christmas Place, a more than 2,000-square-foot complex filled with any and all holiday decor you could imagine, opens Santa's Haus  this holiday season 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays-Mondays. Christmas-themed activities for children and children at heart include story time with Santa, photo-ops, cookie decorating, ornament making and arts and crafts. Face masks are required to enter Santa's Haus, ages two and up. Signed waivers, temperature checks and hand sanitizing are required for anyone visiting or taking photos with Santa. 

Christmas in the City - Knoxville

Knoxville is stuffed with holiday activities that'll delights kids and kids at heart with new events for 2020.  The Drive-In at the Midway series at Chilhowee Park presents holiday films Nov. 20 and Dec. 4, 2020. Admission is free, but participants must register in advance to reserve a space. Knoxville's neighborhoods will battle to showcase the best lights, garland and bows in the inaugural Knoxville Neighborhood Holiday Trails. A map of participating neighborhoods will be created, so guests can take a driving tour. Spend a day (or three) following the Peppermint Trail to discover peppermint specials at downtown bakeries, coffee shops, bars, restaurants and boutiques, illuminated with new, peppermint-themed lighting displays. Beginning Nov. 23, downtown Knoxville will be decorated for the holidays, including Krutch Park's forest of twinkling trees and the 42-foot Christmas tree in the Krutch Park Extension on Gay Street. Holidays on Ice  will take place at the Civic Coliseum to allow skaters additional space for physical distancing beginning Dec. 11.

Enchanted Garden of Lights at Rock City - Chattanooga

Holiday dreams come true with one million lights during the Enchanted Garden of Lights Nov. 20, 2020 to Jan. 2, 2021 at Rock City. Explore the gardens by night as your pathway is illuminated with holiday light displays and ambient live music . Stroll through the lighted Grand Corridor in Yule Town, see the icy lights of the Arctic Kingdom and watch the Magic Forest come to life with enchanting displays.

Middle Tennessee

Christmas in the Park - Cookeville

Christmas is heralded in with the lighting of a 40-foot tree in the center of Dogwood Park on Dec. 6, 2020. The following weeks are filled with holiday-inspired activities ranging from downtown carriage rides, meet and greets with Santa, concerts, Christmas Movies in the Park and the Christmas Forest exhibit at the Cookeville History Museum. While in the area, check out Monterey, Tennessee's Christmas Home & Hearth Celebration; the more-than-50-year-old evening Christmas Parade through downtown Cookeville; and the drive-through light attraction Hidden Hollow Lights that is open Thanksgiving evening through New Year's Day. 

Dancing Lights of Christmas - Lebanon

The drive thru Dancing Lights of Christmas in Lebanon, Tennessee
This lengthy drive-thru will put you in the Christmas mood.
Photo Credit Wilson County CVB

Hundreds of thousands of Christmas lights are set to music in the Dancing Lights of Christmas event, held this year Nov. 13, 2020 to Jan. 3, 2021 at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center in Lebanon, Tennessee. It's Middle Tennessee's largest drive-thru holiday light and music shows. More than 2 million lights along a 2.5-mile route are programmed to music and new, colorful displays. The attraction is open nightly at 5 p.m. rain or shine and on all holidays.  

A Country Christmas at Gaylord Opryland - Nashville

A Country Christmas at Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center takes place Nov. 13, 2020-Jan. 3, 2021 and includes 3 million lights strung throughout the property inside and out. The new I Love Christmas Movies™ An Immersive Pop-Up Experience allows guests to walk through the most iconic scenes from favorite Christmas movies in this multi-sensory attraction. The Oak Ridge Boys "Christmas in Tennessee" Dinner Show presents classic holiday songs, new songs and the timeless songs that contributed to their stardom. Other holiday activities include tubing, ice bumper cars and ice skating; Breakfast with Charlie Brown & Friends; Reindeer Encounters, scavenger hunts, photos with Santa and more.

Holiday in Lights at Cheekwood Estate & Gardens - Nashville

Cheekwood Estate & Gardens is lit up with more than 1 million Christmas lights for Holiday Lights at Cheekwood Nov. 20, 2020 to Jan. 10, 2021. New this year, is a Children's Wonderland that transforms the new Bracken Foundation Children's Garden with holiday delights. The Pinnacles of Light display features cones programmed to holiday music. "The Nutcracker" comes to life at Cheekwood in partnership with Nashville Ballet with traditional and non-traditional nutcrackers and costumes from the show throughout the historic mansion and museum. Tour the gardens and meet Santa's reindeer as well as the Dancing Lights of Trains!, the giant poinsettia tree in the Great Hall of the Frist Learning Center and much more.

The Nutcracker - Nashville

Gather the family together for the free televised premiere of "Nashville's Nutcracker" presented by the Nashville Ballet and CBS affiliate NewsChannel 5 at 7 p.m. CT on Dec. 18, 2020. Take a sparkling and physically-distanced journey through the Land of Sweets with nods to Nashville's history and new, suprise elements including an introduction and narration by former Tennessee Titan and acclaimed actor, Eddie George. Behind-the-scenes coverage will showcase the making of this holiday classic.

West Tennessee

Let It glow holiday light show - union city

See more than 1 million lights synchronized to Christmas songs as you drive through Discovery Park of America's "Let It Glow" light show beginning Nov.13 through Dec. 30, 2020. The Polar Express rolls in Dec. 10-13 where guests can board the train for hot chocolate, story time with the Conductor and dancing characters. Tickets are exclusively sold online. 

Graceland Lighting Ceremony - Memphis 

The Graceland Lighting Ceremony turns on Graceland's Christmas lights and decorations Nov. 19, 2020. The mansion - decorated with red velvet drapes and Christmas decorations from the Presley family - has hundreds of blue lights, a life-size Nativity scene, Santa, and lights indoor and out. If you can't attend the lighting ceremony, you can still take in the holiday cheer via the livestream. More information will be announced soon.

Collierville

The Town of Collierville decks the town with bows, garland and lights for the Christmas season. Christmas in Collierville gives you the opportunity to visit Santa in the gazebo, take a horse-drawn carriage ride around the square, holiday shopping in adorable boutiques and more. 

Make this holiday season one to remember by filling your calendar with some or all of these Tennessee celebrations. For more holiday events, browse the event calendar.

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