Best Christmas Lights in Tennessee Guide
- Holiday Trail of Lights (Chattanooga TN)
- Reindeer on The Riverfront and Lighted Boat Parade (Chattanooga TN)
- Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas (Pigeon Forge TN)
- The Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade (Gatlinburg TN)
- Smoky Mountains Winterfest (Sevierville TN)
- Light The Park (Farragut TN)
- Christmas at Graceland (Union City TN)
- Holiday Wonders at the Garden (Memphis TN)
- A Country Christmas at Gaylord Opryland Hotel (Nashville TN)
- Holiday Lights at Cheekwood Estate and Gardens (Nashville TN)
Christmas Lights in Chattanooga TN
1. Holiday Trail of Lights
Walnut St Pedestrian Bridge, Chattanooga TN • 423-756-8687
Downtown Chattanooga will be all aglow with millions of lights from mid-November 2023 into early January 2024. In our experience, it’s one of the best places to see Christmas lights in Tennessee.
Boats, bridges, cliffs, streets, and storefronts will be fully decked with holiday spirit, celebrating the joy of the holiday season. For a real spectacle, the Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge is a great place to start.
Stop by Winter Wonderland at the Chattanooga Choo Choo for a visit with Santa, then gaze at the artful displays in the EPB’s Holiday Windows, a Christmas tradition that dates back to the 1940s.
Family-friendly fun can include a Ruby Falls cave tour to enjoy classic holiday decorations and activities, or climb aboard the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum’s North Pole Limited Christmas Train for a jubilant two-hour train ride.
Don’t leave town without wandering around Rock City’s Enchanted Garden of Lights, which is celebrating its 28th annual holiday light extravaganza this year.
Get lost in wonderment in all of their magical fantasy realms, including Yule Town, Arctic Kingdom, Magic Forest, North Pole Village, Fairyland Caverns, and a brand new Heart of the Mountain display.
2. Reindeer On The Riverfront and Lighted Boat Parade
850 Market Street, Suite 200, Chattanooga TN • 423-265-3700
For the past 40+ years, the Tennessee River in Chattanooga has been lit up with thousands of twinkling lights for the holidays. You’ll see boats decked to the nines sailing along the river, drenching the water in colorful reflections.
The 2023 Reindeer On The Riverfront event starts at 4 PM on November 24, and continues until 8 PM. Their ever-popular Holiday Light Boat Parade takes place 6:30 and 7 PM, with extravagantly decorated boats to dazzle the eyes.
Visit the Walnut Street Bridge for some of the best spots to take awesome pictures of the passing boats, but the event can be viewed from anywhere along the Chattanooga Riverfront.
This free event includes live Reindeer, photos with Santa, and a fireworks display over the river at 8PM. There will also be plenty of food trucks to keep you fueled, as well as hot cocoa and adult beverages.
Visitors can browse the holiday craft vendors for some Christmas gift ideas, and kids will enjoy the “Touch a Truck” experience with the Chattanooga Fire Department.
Christmas Lights in Gatlinburg TN
3. Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas
2700 Dollywood Parks Blvd, Pigeon Forge TN • 865-365-1900
As if things weren’t already sparkly enough at Dollywood, they somehow become even more dazzling during Christmas in Pigeon Forge TN.
Dolly Parton’s 160-acre theme park will be strewn with over 6 million fairy lights from November 4, 2023, to January 6, 2024, with tickets ranging from $89-$129.
4. The Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade
Baskins Creek Bypass and East Parkway, Traffic Light #3, Gatlinburg TN • 865-436-4178
If you’re spending Christmas in the Smokies, plan on celebrating the 48th Annual Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade in Gatlinburg TN on December 1, 2023.
The parade starts at 7:30PM in the heart of Gatlinburg, so try to arrive early to secure a good spot and settle in for a beloved holiday light extravaganza.
You’ll see illuminated floats roll by and local bands blasting out Christmas music as they make their way through the magically-lit main street. There are huge balloons and, of course, the star of the show, Mr. Claus himself!
Christmas Lights in Knoxville TN
5. Smoky Mountain Winterfest
110 Gary Wade Blvd., Sevierville TN • 865-453-6411
Holiday joy will fill the mountain town of Sevierville (about 28 miles east of Knoxville TN) from November 10, 2023 to February 19, 2024.
This year, the Smoky Mountain Winterfest in Sevierville TN features hundreds of thousands of Christmas lights, as well as a number of other festive attractions.
Take a drive through Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland to experience colorful lights synchronized with music. It’s arguably one of the most immersive Christmas light shows in the USA!
From November 3 to February 18, 2024, you can visit SkyLand’s Festival of Lights at The Ranch for extravagant Christmas light displays and a scenic ride on a chairlift for epic scenic views.
Finally, guests can hang out around their 25-foot-tall Christmas tree and join in on some joyous caroling, eating, drinking, and general holiday merriment.
6. Light The Park
Campbell Station Rd, Farragut TN • 865-218-3376
Join fellow Christmas lovers from November 20, 2023 through Jan 1, 2024 for illuminated festivities at this Tennessee Christmas light show near Knoxville.
The main events take place at the Campbell Station Inn and along Campbell Station Rd to Mayor Ralph McGill Plaza.
Light The Park festivities begin at 5:30 PM on November 20, with holiday-themed entertainment and a visit from a very special guest from the North Pole at 6:30 PM. The Christmas lights will be switched on promptly at 6:45.
Kids can drop off their letters to Santa at the big mailbox in Founders Park at Campbell Station, and there will be caroling as well as plenty of food trucks to choose from.
Note that there is limited parking available, so guests are encouraged to park at the Farragut Community Center and the Westgate Christian Church.
READ MORE: The 15 Best Waterfalls in Tennessee to Visit
Christmas Lights in Memphis TN
7. Christmas at Graceland
830 Everett Blvd., Union City TN • 731-885-5455
If you find yourself in Memphis at Christmas time, don’t miss out on a very special seasonal spectacle at Graceland, the world-renowned home of Elvis Presley.
From November 16, 2023 to January 8, 2024, visitors can experience the most extravagant and illustrious illuminations you’ll find in the area.
The whole place is lit up in Christmas lights dazzling enough to please the king of rock ‘n’ roll. And if you visit Graceland in December, you can book a Christmas tour of the house to experience the holidays just like Elvis did!
These guided tours are available from 2-4 PM, with ticket price ranging from $42 to $73. For ultimate fans with a little cash to spare, there’s even a Christmas package that includes spending a night in Elvis’ Guest House.
For those who just want to see some Memphis Christmas lights, check out the annual Holiday Lighting Ceremony at 6 PM on Nov 16, when thousands of blue Christmas lights will line the mansion’s driveway and illuminate a life-size Nativity.
READ MORE: The 10 Best Fairs in TN to Visit
8. Holiday Wonders at the Garden
750 Cherry Rd, Memphis TN • 901-636-4100
On select evenings from November 24 to December 30, 2023, the Memphis Botanic Garden in Audubon Park is in full glow for its Holiday Wonders at the Garden light exhibit.
This annual spectacle invites guests to bask in the glow of trees alight in the Under the Stars Outdoor Lounge, then journey into Snowy Nights in My Big Backyard to twirl beneath falling snow.
Stop by Merry Memories to snap Insta-worthy holiday themed selfies at multiple photo-ops and Yuletide Yard to delight in sips & snacks and play light-up games. And don’t miss Santa’s sleigh in Northern Lights along the way.
The event runs from 5 PM to 8:30 PM on select evenings, and tickets range from $12-20 per person. Children under 2 are free.
Christmas Lights in Nashville TN
9. A Country Christmas at Gaylord Opryland Hotel
2800 Opryland Dr, Nashville TN • 615-889-1000
There is so much fun to be had at the 2023 iteration of A Country Christmas at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville.
This complete holiday experience includes a 20-40-minute walk through an immersive “Winter Wonderland” adventure.
Running from November 10, 2023 to January 1, 2024, the hotel will be filled with ice and so many twinkling lights (more 3 million!), making it the ultimate place to celebrate the holidays.
You’ll find larger-than-life ice sculptures, as well as the chance to take a ride on The Polar Express. There are also frozen slides, ice tunnels to traverse, a 9,000-sq-foot ice skating rink. and visits from jolly ol’ St. Nick.
10. Holiday Lights at Cheekwood Estate and Gardens
1200 Forrest Park Dr, Nashville TN • 615-356-8000
The 2023 Holiday Lights at Cheekwood Estate & Gardens is billed as “Joyful, Jubilant, and Jolly.” From November 18 to January 7, 2024, guests are invited to stroll the one-mile path of illuminations through the garden.
This classic Nashville Christmas tradition displays elegant lights to fill every heart with holiday cheer. Visitors can stop by vendor kiosks and get some hot cocoa, an adult beverage, or s’mores to roast on the fire.
Their Holiday Marketplace can be found at the First Learning Center Great Hall, where there’s a 9-foot-tall garden-themed ornament wall and myriad holiday gifts and décor available for purchase.
Tickets for the event range from $12 to $31, depending on age and garden membership status. -by Emma Gallagher; featured image of Christmas at Rock City Enchanted Garden of Lights by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett