There are many light festivals and Christmas activities throughout the state of Tennessee during the holidays. Tennessee attractions host light shows and lighted venues that will delight all ages and make Christmas a truly memorable event. Photos will be a treasured keepsake as well for years to come. Here are four of the best Tennessee Christmas light shows available in the state.
Christmas at Graceland in Memphis, TN
Christmas was always a famously celebrated season for the legendary Elvis Presley at his landmark home of Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee. Today, the event is celebrated each holiday season and is provided in the same style. The entire exterior and grounds of the mansion is decorated much in the style of the way Elvis decorated it. There are hundreds of blue traditional lights lining the driveway and outdoors you will also find Christmas light displays. These include a life-sized Nativity Scene and Santa and his sleigh. These belonged to Elvis and were originally displayed by him.
Inside, visitors can take a tour of the Graceland Mansion, which is decked out in Elvis’ traditional Christmas décor. This includes his personally traditional red velvet drapes. Many Presley family Christmas artifacts are on display throughout the tour, which includes a visit to the Jungle Room in the mansion. The tour operates yearly from mid-November through the first week of January. For those unable to make the Christmas pilgrimage to Memphis, there are live cam shots on the website.
Christmas at Graceland; Elvis Presley Boulevard; Memphis, Tennessee 38116; 901-332-3322
Deck the Falls at Ruby Falls on Lookout Mountain, TN
Ruby Falls is located on the Tennessee side of Lookout Mountain, which straddles both the states of Tennessee and Georgia. This waterfall is located 1,120 feet underground and is the nation’s largest underground waterfall that is open to the public in the United States. The cave and the geology has been a part of the history of the area that has been passed down for centuries from one generation to the next.
For the Christmas event, tours are an expanded version of the regular tours to the bottom of the cave to view the amazing waterfall. LED lights are used to highlight the spectacular falls and holiday music is provided throughout the tour. Another aspect of the Deck the Falls Christmas Lights event is the Ruby Red Christmas activities held each Friday and Saturday night through December from 5:00 until 9:00 pm, unless Christmas Eve and Christmas Day fall on these days.
Those attending can take carriage rides and will be treated to Mrs. Claus reading ‘Twas the Night before Christmas in the Cavern Castle. There is also live music both at the waterfall and in the Cavern Castle, which sits at the opening of the cave. Local area high school and college choruses perform on these weekends. There is also a North Pole Workshop, where children can make crafts. Keep in mind that it never rains at Ruby Falls. The temperature in the cave remains a constant 58° throughout the seasons.
Deck the Falls at Ruby Ralls; 1720 South Scenic Highway; Chattanooga, Tennessee 37409; 423-821-2544; 800-755-7105
Winter Magic and Christmas Lights in Gatlinburg, TN
The Parkway is the main street in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The area is full of arts, crafts and shopping treasures. The small village is located next to the Great Smokies and shines throughout the Christmas season with the millions of twinkling lights that drape over the many shops and attractions. Here you can visit the wildly popular Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies or take a lighted trolley ride to your favorite spots along the Parkway.
The Winter Magic Festival also features storytellers and performers all along the Parkway and on the side streets and sidewalks as well. The Festival lasts from November of each year straight through to February of the following year. One of the most popular activities in Gatlinburg during the holiday season is the well-attended New Year’s Eve event, which is one of the favorites in the entire Southeast region.
Winter Magic Festival, Gatlinburg CVB, 811 East Parkway; Gatlinburg, Tennessee 37738; 800-588-1817
Smoky Mountain Christmas Festival at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, TN
Dollywood is an amusement and theme park set in a small hamlet against the backdrop of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park in Tennessee. The park was and remains the conception of country singer Dolly Parton, who is a native of the area. From November to New Year’s Day each year, the park comes alive with over four million lights that enthrall children of all ages.
There are many Christmas activities to be found enjoyed at the Smoky Mountain Christmas event at Dollywood. All activities are included in the admission price. For children, there is Santa’s Workshop, where participants can visit with Santa and pen a letter to the North Pole while moving amongst larger than life toys and an 18 foot tall Christmas Tree. Everything at Dollywood is provided on a large grand scale from musical productions such as Babes in Toyland to huge 25 pound apple pies available at the Spotlight Bakery.
Smoky Mountain Christmas Festival at Dollywood, 2700 Dollywood Parks Boulevard; Pigeon Forge, Tennessee 37863; 800-365-5996