Knoxville Family Christmas and Holiday Event Round-Up


The most wonderful time of the year is here! Knoxville certainly knows how to celebrate the holidays. You and your family are invited to a fabulous bunch of festivities to make your Christmas spirits bright! Knoxville Moms is here to help you make the most of the season with a comprehensive list of local events, train rides, parades and Santa sightings across East Tennessee in this year’s Knoxville Holidays Event Roundup!

Knoxville Family and Holiday Events

Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Dollywood Christmas

Pigeon Forge, TN
Dollywood Theme Park
2700 Dollywood Parks Blvd. Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
See website for ticket pricing and park hours. Experience millions of lights, award-winning shows and a winter wonderland featuring a 50-foot Christmas tree. You can also see Santa! See website for details.

The Christmas spirit truly comes alive at Dollywood during Smoky Mountain Christmas festival. After collecting their 12th consecutive Golden Ticket award for Best Theme Park Christmas Event, the theme park will glisten with even more holiday memories in 2019 as Glacier Ridge expands into Wildwood Grove. Enjoy more than five million Christmas lights, seven festive shows, Holly Jolly Junction, Santa Land, and the nightly parade—all included with park admission. Christmas at Dollywood is a guest-favorite and a treasured family tradition. Extend the holiday experience and book a festive stay at Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa!

Christmas at Dolly Parton’s Stampede
Dolly Parton’s Stampede
3849 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
Ticket prices and show times vary. Dolly Parton’s Stampede Dinner Attraction Christmas Show is beloved and for good reason! Experience the magnificent sights and sounds of Christmas, including a full-scale living Nativity, holiday decorations, Santa Claus and a fabulous four-course Christmas feast. See website for more details.

Christmas at Biltmore
Asheville, NC
The Biltmore
1 Lodge Street, Asheville, NC 28803
See website for ticket pricing as they vary depending on date and day. Purchase online seven or more days in advance to save $10! (Pro tip: Costco often offers Biltmore gift cards for an even bigger discount!) See the hundreds of trees, thousands of lights, and miles of garland around the picturesque estate. Visit Antler Hill Village on Saturdays and Sundays to see Santa! See website for more details.

Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland
Sevierville/Kodak, TN
Tennessee Smokies Baseball Stadium
3540 Line Drive, Kodak, TN 37764
11/15/19-1/05/20 6:00PM-10:00PM (or possibly later on the weekends). Open rain or shine and on holidays. Cars or family vans (8 passengers or fewer) $25, larger vehicles $40, tour/school buses $100. Fees include admission to Santa’s Village. Credit cards accepted. See a synchronized music and light show that will amaze you from the comfort of your vehicle and then get out at Santa’s Village to see Santa and do much more. See website for more details.

Sevierville’s Winterfest Celebration
Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg, TN
Enjoy viewing millions of twinkling lights as you drive down the Parkway through Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg. See website for more details.

Ice! featuring A Christmas Story
Nashville, TN
Gaylord Opryland Events Center
2800 Opryland Drive, Nashville, TN 37214
Pricing ranges from roughly $18-$42 depending on age and date. Put on a giant snowsuit and tour the more than two million pounds of amazing ice sculptures created to the theme of the classic movie “A Christmas Story.” Finish it off with a trip down the two-story slide made of ice! Definitely worth a day trip to Nashville to experience Ice and tour Opryland decorated for the holidays from top to bottom! See website for more details.




Santa’s Wonderland at Bass Pro Shops
Kodak, TN
Bass Pro Shops
3629 Outdoor Sportsman Place, Kodak, TN 37764
(865) 932-5600
Enjoy the magic of Christmas inside every Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s store! Activities include photos with Santa, holiday crafts and more. Details still to come on a special preview event for Santa’s arrival and a magical tree lighting. See website for more details.

Lights up! at the Pinnacle Turkey Creek
Knoxville, TN
Turkey Creek
11/22/19 5:00-9:00PM
FREE. Donations for the Mission of Hope are encouraged.
Come watch Santa light the 60-foot tree, enjoy a faux snow shower, food trucks, petting zoo, live music and more. See website for more details.

Fantasy of Trees
Downtown Knoxville, TN
Knoxville Convention Center
(865) 541-8441
11/27/19-12/01/19 (See website for varying hours.)
Adults $8, children 4-12 $4, 3 and under free, Family 4 Pack $20 (online only). Discounts available in the Knox County School Coupon Book and The News Sentinel.
This 35th annual celebration is a fabulous event filled with hundreds of sparkling holiday trees to see, decorations galore, and gift shops a plenty to find just the right gift this season. Make a craft, decorate a gingerbread house, or visit with Santa. Proceeds benefit East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. See website for more details.

The Elf on the Shelf Adventure
Various businesses around downtown Knoxville
The adventure returns to Knoxville featuring a live Elf on the Shelf Scavenger Hunt! Once it starts on November 29th, visit any of the participating locations and pick up your Elf on the Shelf North Pole Pass. Collect a store stamp at each scout elf sighting…and continue the adventure. There will also be lots of fun, treats, and additional prize drawings along the way. A list of participating stores can be found on their website.

WDVX Holiday Ho Ho Hoedown
Downtown Knoxville, TN
Market Square Stage
11/29/19 6:30PM-9:00PM
Live music in a variety of styles to help ring in the holiday season! See website for more details.

Holidays on Ice
Downtown Knoxville, TN
Market Square
Ice Rink $11/adults, $8 for children 12 and under. Season passes also available.
The square is transformed into a fabulous outdoor skating rink through the winter months. See website for hours and more details.

Regal Celebration of Lights
Downtown Knoxville, TN
Market Square, Krutch Park, and Krutch Park Extension
11/29/19 5:30PM-9:00PM
Head downtown for the lighting of the gigantic 42-foot tree! Stay after for train rides, face painting, crafts, visits with Santa, marshmallow roasting and more! Don’t be late as the lighting ceremony starts the show at 6:00PM. See website for more details.

2019 National Gingerbread Competition
Asheville, NC
The Omni Grove Park Inn
290 Macon Ave, Asheville, NC 28804
Open to the public Sunday after 3:00PM through Thursday, excluding holidays. Resort guests only on Friday, Saturday, Sunday mornings and holidays.
$20 self-parking fee.
View the Gingerbread contestants’ projects, including the winners. See website for more details.

Light the Park
Farragut/West Knoxville, TN
Founder’s Park at Campbell Station, formerly Campbell Station Park
405 N. Campbell Station Rd., Farragut, TN 37934
11/25/19-1/01/20 5:30PM-10:00PM
Enjoy this Farragut tradition that sparkles through the entire holiday season! See thousands of holiday lights, hear local performers and drop those letters to Santa in a special mailbox! See website for more details.

A Christmas Carol
Knoxville, TN
Clarence Brown Theatre at UT
(865) 974-5161
Showtimes vary as well as pricing.
A production of the classic holiday story. See website for more details.

Christmas Tree Lighting & Evening with Santa
Lenoir City, TN
Lenoir City Central Park/War Memorial Building
313 E Broadway St./103 N B St.
12/12/19 6:00PM-7:30PM
Kickoff the holiday season with the annual Lenoir City tree lighting, Christmas music, a visit and photo with Santa, light refreshments and more! See website for more details.

A Candlelight Christmas at the Museum of Appalachia
Museum of Appalachia
2819 Andersonville Hwy, Clinton, TN 37716
12/07/19-12/08/19 5:00PM-9:00PM
Gate tickets: $18/adults, $10/youth 13-17, $6/children 5-12, $42/family, children under 5 and museum members are free.
Come out to see the museum decorated with old fashioned Christmas decor and enjoy an evening tour of the museum. The event will also include holiday crafts for children, spinning and weaving demonstrations, storytelling, wagon rides, nativity animal visitation, seasonal food and drinks, and much more. See website for more details.

Christmas at Chilhowee & Capitol Christmas Tree
Knoxville, TN
Chilhowee Park
11/22/19 6:00PM-9:00PM
Watch them light the tree, listen to live music, visit with Santa Claus, ride a train, build a gingerbread house, and much, much more. This year Chilhowee is one of the “whistle stops” for the Capitol Christmas Tree. Come see the 60-foot Christmas tree that will be traveling from New Mexico to the Capitol Building. See website for more details.

Cookies with Santa Holiday Cruise
Knoxville, TN
Volunteer Princess Cruises
956 Volunteer Landing Ln. Knoxville, TN 37915
12/01/19 3:00PM-4:00PM
Tickets: Adult $30, child $20
Ticket includes cruise down the Tennessee River, cookie decorating, holiday craft, hot cocoa, holiday punch, and a visit with Santa! See website for tickets and more details.

Breakfast/Brunch with Santa – Pigeon Forge
The Old Mill Pottery House Cafe & Grille
3341 Old Mill St. Pigeon Forge, TN 37863
(865) 406-6558
12/07/19 8:15AM-9:30AM and 10:00AM-11:15AM
Enjoy breakfast or brunch with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Also enjoy a fun-filled kids’ craft tent from 10:00AM until 2:00PM. See website for more details.

Clinton Tree Lighting & Cookie Crawl
Downtown Clinton, TN
12/06/19 5:00PM-8:00PM
The Historic Downtown Clinton TN Merchants Association is hosting this popular event.  Participating shops will be open late with special sales and plenty of cookies.  See website for more details.

6th Annual Rocky Hill Christmas Parade Festival
Knoxville, TN
12/07/19 3:00PM-8:00PM
Festival will begin with the Christmas-themed market, food vendors, and live music. Parade begins at 6:00PM. Christmas tree lighting following the parade.
See website for more details.

The Nutcracker by the Appalachian Ballet Company
Downtown Knoxville, TN
Knoxville Civic Auditorium or Clayton Center for the Arts
12/07/19 7:30PM and 12/08/19 3:00PM at the Knoxville Civic Auditorium
12/13/19 7:30PM and 12/14/19 3:00PM at the Clayton Center for the Arts
Tickets vary from $25-$45.
See website for more details.

Portraits with Santa and Mrs. Claus
West Knoxville, TN
Smart Toys and Books
9700 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37922
(865) 394-6060
12/01/19 and 12/08/19 1:00PM-6:00PM
$12 sitting fee, must register ahead of time. Includes playground admission for future date.
Get professional photos by Break the Mold Photography taken of your family with a brand new Santa and Mrs. Claus! See website for more pricing details.

PJ Story-time with Santa :: Knoxville Moms Event
West Knoxville, TN
Angela Floyd Schools

12/8/19 3:00PM-5:30PM
It’s a fun family event with holiday crafts, music, snacks, drinks, treats, fun, and an afternoon with Santa!
Throughout the afternoon, Santa will be reading stories to all attendees. We ask all children to wear their favorite holiday PJs to get cozy and get in the holiday spirit! The talented Kelly Mules from Faces Gone Wild will be doing face painting throughout the event.


12 Days of Christmas at Spindle Tree
Clinton, TN
Spindle Tree
303 Market Street, Clinton, TN 37716
(865) 293-6367
12/01/19-12/12/19 12:00PM-6:00PM
$125 for 20 minute photo session. See website for more pricing details and to schedule a session.

Nutcracker on Ice
Knoxville, TN
Ice Chalet
Bearden area, 100 Lebanon Street, Knoxville.
12/04/19-12/08/19 7:00PM daily with an extra matinee show at 2:00PM 12/07/19
Tickets are $15-$35
Enjoy the holiday fairy tale performed by skaters of all ages and skill levels. See website for more details.

Celebrate the Season
Farragut, TN
Farragut Town Hall
12/06/19 4:30PM-7:00PM
Activities include photos with Santa, cookie decorating, crafts, and more.

Christmas in the Cave
Knoxville, TN
Cherokee Caverns
8524 Oak Ridge Highway, Knoxville, TN 37931
Fridays 12/06/19, 12/13/19 & 12/20/19 5:00PM-8:00PM
Saturdays 12/07/19, 12/14/19 & 12/20/19  3:00PM-8:00PM
Sundays 12/08/19 & Sunday 12/15/19 3:00PM-8:00PM

$10 ages 4 and up, free parking. Cash or credit cards accepted. *$1 off with Second Harvest Food Bank donation.*

Come stroll through the underground winter wonderland, get your face painted, do some holiday crafts, and visit with Santa! (Wheelchair and stroller accessible.) See website for more details.

Jingle Bell Run/Walk
Downtown Knoxville, TN
World’s Fair Park
12/14/19 9:00AM, registration at 7:30AM
See website for pricing and different race options.
Come out in your festive gear to run/walk to support the Arthritis Foundation! See website for more details.

Breakfast with Santa

Farragut/West Knoxville, TN
First Farragut United Methodist Church
12733 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37934
(865) 966-8430
12/14/19 9:00AM-11:00AM
Enjoy craft-making and a pancake breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus. See website for more details.

ETH’s Holiday Open House
Downtown Knoxville, TN
East Tennessee History Center
601 S. Gay Street
Enjoy musical performances, make crafts and ornaments, listen to storytelling and more. See website for more details.

The Nativity Pageant of Knoxville
Downtown Knoxville, TN
Knoxville Civic Colisseum
Saturday, 12/14/19 3:00PM
Sunday, 12/15/19 3:00PM
Monday, 12/16/19 7:00PM
FREE, no ticket needed.
See a live performance of the traditional Christmas story with beautiful costumes and live animals, also including an orchestra and choir. See website fore more details.

Cindy Lou Who Dance Party
Angela Floyd Schools-West
10845 Kingston Pike Knoxville, TN 37934
(865) 320-0584
12/14/19 2:00PM-3:30PM
Tickets available online for $39.
Students 2+ are invited to attend a Grinch-themed ballet lesson and craft. The party includes pictures and meet and greet with Cindy Lou Who. See website for more details.

Smokies Santa Hustle 5K and Half Marathon
Sevierville, TN
The Wilderness at the Smokies (start and finish line)
1424 Old Knoxville Highway, Sevierville, TN
12/15/19 7:30AM
See website for pricing and registration.
Join the race to benefit Keep the Tennessee River Beautiful and get a free sweatshirt, Santa hat and beard along with a medal for the 5K and Half Marathon! See website for more details.

Santa’s Village at the Knoxville Zoo
Knoxville, TN
3500 Knoxville Zoo Drive, Knoxville, TN 37914
Date TBA, Zoo Open 10:00AM-4:00PM daily
Free with regular zoo admission ticket.
Enjoy holiday activities as well as a visit and photo with Santa! More details available soon.

Knoxville Symphony Orchestra’s Clayton Holiday Concert
Downtown Knoxville, TN
Knoxville Civic Auditorium
12/20/19 7:30PM
12/21/19 3:00PM, 7:30PM
12/22/19 3:00PM
See website for ticket pricing.
Watch the orchestra perform some of your favorite holiday hits! See website for more details.

Tour de Lights
Downtown Knoxville, TN
Market Square
12/14/19 5:30PM
Get yourself and your bike decked out in holiday decor and ride a fun, casual ride around downtown. All ages and skill levels welcome, but you must wear a helmet and headlight. See website for more details.

The Nutcracker by the Moscow Ballet
Downtown Knoxville, TN
Tennessee Theater
12/23/19 4:00PM and 8:00PM
See website for various ticket prices. Tickets are on sale now.
Performed by the Moscow Ballet. See website for more details.

Holiday Festival of Lights at the Cove
Farragut/West Knoxville, TN
The Cove at Concord Park
11808 South Northshore Drive
Dates TBA, excluding Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. 6:00PM-9:00PM
See the park light up each night on a walk around a 3/4 mile loop! Event is free, but they have requested non-perishable goods for donations to the Love Kitchen. Holiday drinks and snacks will be available for purchase.

The Muse’s Cheer in the New Year at NOON!
The Muse
516 N. Beaman Street, Knoxville, TN 37914
12/31/19, 10:00am-2:00pm
Ticket prices TBA
Get ready for the best New Year’s Eve party for kids and families! See website for more details.

New Year’s on the Square
Downtown Knoxville, TN
Market Square
12/31/19 10:00PM
Celebrate the coming of the New Year in Market Square with a countdown, ball drop, and fireworks!

Christmas Train Excursions:

The Polar Express
Bryson City, NC
Departs from The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, approximately 2.5 hours from Knoxville.
45 Mitchell Street, Bryson City, NC 28713
See website for departure dates and times, as well as different pricing based on date, age, and seat.
Sip on hot chocolate and listen to the story of The Polar Express during your 1 hour 15 minute ride to the North Pole and back. Santa will board the train and give each child the magic silver sleigh bell. See website for more details.

North Pole Limited Christmas Train Ride
Chattanooga, TN
Departs from the Grand Junction Station
4119 Cromwell Rd. Chattanooga, TN 37421
See website for departure dates and times. Ride is 1 hour and 15 minutes long.
See website for various pricing options.
Take an imaginary journey to the North Pole. Enjoy sing-a-longs, refreshments, and story-telling with a visit from Santa. See website for more details.

Christmas Lantern Express Train Ride
Knoxville, TN
Departs from a new location at the 3RR Depot at the University Commons located off Cumberland Avenue (site of new Walmart at the edge of campus).
11/23/19-12/23/19 9:45AM, 1:00PM and 4:15PM
See website for departure days and times.
Adults $28.50, Seniors (55+) $27.50, Children ages 3-12 $16, Toddler ages 1-2 $7.50, Under 1 free.
Enjoy a train ride fully decorated with refreshments and a visit from Santa. See website for more details.kmbpostholiday20165

Christmas Parades:

Sevierville’s 56th Annual Christmas Parade
Historic Downtown Sevierville, TN
12/07/19 11:00AM
Best viewed at Forks of the River Parkway and Court Avenue. See website for more details.

Townsend Christmas Parade
Townsend, TN
Enjoy the fun and festivities of the Christmas season at the Townsend Christmas parade. The parade will start at IGA and end at Nawger Nob Village.

Lenoir City Christmas Parade
Downtown Lenoir City, TN
12/05/19 6:30PM
Each year thousands of families join together to watch the Christmas parade in historic downtown Lenoir City! The parade begins at C Street and ends at Pike Street.

WIVK Christmas Parade
Downtown Knoxville, TN
Gay Street
12/06/19 7:00PM-8:00PM
Watch bands, dancers, lighted floats, characters and Santa Claus parade down Gay Street bringing fun holiday spirit to all! Parade route: Church Avenue near the Coliseum, then turn right onto Gay Street, then turn right onto Jackson Avenue and will disband in the Old City past Barley’s. See website for more details.

Gatlinburg’s 43rd Annual Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade
Downtown Gatlinburg, TN
12/06/19 7:30PM
With over 100 parade entries, Santa, and a dozen marching bands, you’re guaranteed to have jingling good time! Parade route: Begins at Baskins Creek Bypass at 7:30PM and ends at traffic light #10. See website for more details.

Clinton Christmas Parade
Downtown Clinton, TN
12/07/19 6:00PM-7:00PM
Clinton’s traditional Christmas parade of bands, floats and many other processional entries is certain to get you in the holiday spirit!  This year’s theme is “A Small Town Christmas.”  See website for more details.

Santa Sightings:

Santa at West Town Mall
Knoxville, TN
It’s time for holiday photos with Santa! Now you can save time and avoid the line by reserving online your magical moment with Santa here.

Santa Photo Event with JCPenney Portraits
West Town Mall
Knoxville, TN
A fun photography session with Santa, new holiday backgrounds and prop options. See website for more information on times and details.

Foothills Mall
Maryville, TN
See the website for more information on times and dates for family and pet photos with Santa!

Apple Blossom Dinner with Santa
Apple Blossom Café
409 Cullom St. Clinton, TN
12/06/19 5:00PM-8:00PM
Come and have dinner with your family at Apple Blossom Cafe and come dressed for a picture with Santa!  M&M Photography will be there with a beautiful backdrop.  Two digital images for $25.  See website for more details.

f/32 Photo’s Santa Experience
f/32 Photo
7838 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37919
(865) 934-0909
TBA See website for times available.
$32.72 session fee. Photos available for purchase a la carte or in packages beginning at $25.00. Packages are not required.
The Santa Experience is a time set aside for your child or children to have one-on-one time with Santa. It is a private session held in the studio where your child(ren) can talk to Santa about their year, what they would like for Christmas, and answer the all important question: whether they have been naughty or nice. Santa also loves reading with the kids, his favorite book being the “Night Before Christmas.” While all of this is taking place, a professional photographer will be capturing those memories. See website for more details.

Caring Santa for All Abilities
West Town Mall
Knoxville, TN
12/08/19 8:30AM-10:00AM
Caring Santa provides a subdued and welcoming environment for children with special needs and their families. See website for more information.

Be sure to stay tuned over the next couple of weeks for more information on ways and places to give back to your community this holiday season and another round-up on your local Christmas Tree Farms and best Christmas lights around town. If you have another event you would like to add, please comment below and use our link to add it to our site calendar here.

Wishing you and yours a very merry holiday season!


  1. Hi Nikki. I apologize for the delay in response. Your comment had gone to my spam folder. It is not too late to be added if your event has not passed. Please email the information to my personal email and I will add it. [email protected]



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