12 Light Displays In Tennessee That Are Pure Holiday Magic
It’s the most wonderful time of the year when our whole state gets blanketed with… sparkling lights. Christmas light displays in Tennessee are among some of the best in the county and I am thankful to have so many wonderful options when it comes to the holiday season. In fact, Christmas events and beautiful lights have become one of my favorite Tennessee Christmas traditions. So if you find yourself searching for “Christmas lights near me,” well, I have good news for you. There is an abundance of them all across the state and I will even pinpoint them for you on this convenient map. May your Christmas be merry and bright, especially with all these twinkling lights.
1. Let It Glow, Union City
Discovery Park of America, 830 Everett Blvd, Union City, TN 38261, USA
Discovery Park of America
gets a total overhaul come Christmas, and the outcome is phenomenal. This annual event brings guests
the best Christmas lights in Union City, Tennessee
. You can experience over a million glittering lights in two different ways. The drive-thru section has cars following a linear path getting up close to the Discovery Center, the Titan missile, and the settlement which is filled with restored log cabins. Witness an array of dancing lights and a glowing display of holiday cheer. Next, the walk-thru portion allows guests to meander through the Japanese and European gardens awash with lights. This gives guests a laid-back approach and allows time to soak it all in at your own pace. I personally recommend doing both to get the full experience.
2. Zoo Lights, Memphis
Memphis Zoo, 2000 Prentiss Pl, Memphis, TN 38112, USA
is one of the most anticipated events when it comes to Christmas lights in Memphis, Tennessee. The Memphis Zoo completely transforms during Christmas in a stunning display of holiday joy. I love visiting zoos and seeing the happy animals playing, but stick around after dark and you will be treated to an enchanting night filled with light tunnels, massive Christmas trees, and holiday displays. Throughout the season they have fun events for kids and adults alike, so make sure you check in with the
website for the perfect day to visit.
3. Holiday Wonders At The Garden, Memphis
Memphis Botanic Garden, 750 Cherry Rd, Memphis, TN 38117, USA
If you still want to find some good Christmas lights in Memphis, Tennessee, look no further than the
Memphis Botanical Garden
. Just in time for the Christmas season, the whole garden is illuminated with thousands of lights. Explore the outdoor space filled with Christmas trees, lights, and enchanted walks. Botanical gardens are some of my favorite places to visit and to see a place like this morph into a Christmas wonderland is truly magical. There are select days where you can bring your dogs, wear Christmas jammies, and more, so make sure you check the
Memphis Botanical Garden
website for the most up-to-date information.
4. Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, Nashville
Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, 2800 Opryland Dr, Nashville, TN 37214, USA
When it comes to Christmas lights in Nashville, Tennessee, the gorgeous display at the
Gaylord Opryland Resort
is one of the best. This famous Christmas attraction spares no expense when it comes to holiday celebrations, with elaborate decorations in their indoor jungle-like waterpark. Walk among the decor and experience total awe over the beauty of thousands of twinkling lights. They also host a popular ice sculpture attraction entitled
featuring giant and colorful ice sculptures depicting various Christmas movie classics with a rotating theme each year. There is so much Christmas cheer to be had, you should stay the night in the
Gaylord Opryland Resort
and make the most of this holly jolly event.
5. Holiday LIGHTS, Nashville
Cheekwood, 1200 Forrest Park Dr, Nashville, TN 37205, USA
For more Christmas lights in Nashville, Tennessee, the
is simply a must. A one-mile walking path featuring over a million lights illuminates this garden; Cheekwood is already a gorgeous property, but during the holidays? It's pure magic! Take a stroll through the enchanted displays with new wonders hidden around every corner. The mansion on the property is also open for the holidays and decorated with stunning decor, making it well worth the visit to both the garden and the mansion.
6. Asian Lantern Festival, Chattanooga
The Chattanooga Zoo at Warner Park, 301 N Holtzclaw Ave, Chattanooga, TN 37404, USA
If you are looking for something different, check out the Christmas lights in Chattanooga. At the
there is an annual Asian Lantern Festival. These lanterns are moving and interactive pieces of art shaped after various animals and natural elements, and 30 of these illuminated masterpieces are hidden throughout the zoo for guests to find.
7. Winterfest, Pigeon Forge
Looking for Christmas lights in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee? Then you can look just about anywhere in town because the entire community joins together for
! Winterfest is when all of the restaurants, attractions, and stores participate in immaculate decorations for the holidays and for winter. Special Christmas-themed dinner shows are available for the holiday season, special food and drinks are offered at numerous restaurants, and there are tons of events that make the most of the season. Places like The Island offer fantastic photo ops, but there are many public spaces within town that are just filled with Christmas lights and decorations. For a full list of events, please visit the
website. Winterfest is so widespread throughout town that it makes Pigeon Forge the kind of place you can visit multiple times and still find yourself surprised by the offerings!
8. Lights Over Gatlinburg, Gatlinburg
Gatlinburg SkyPark, 765 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN 37738, USA
The Christmas lights in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, are absolutely spectacular. Just like Pigeon Forge, the whole town gathers around for the holidays to celebrate with big displays and fun events. There is, however, one place I am very fond of, the
. This massive suspension bridge sways between two mountains and offers one of the highest views in Gatlinburg. I have always loved going to the
and walking the bridge, but around Christmastime, the bridge gets decorated in a light tunnel. To walk the bridge at night is a wholly different experience -- seeing the lights of the town far below you and being surrounded by the magic of Christmas is incredibly moving and memorable.
Lights Over Gatlinburg
isn’t limited to the bridge either; there are holiday displays everywhere you look, including a 32-foot Christmas tree. If you find yourself in the Smokies this Christmas, I recommend getting a ticket and taking the SkyLift up to this wonderful display of holiday joy.
9. Candy Land Christmas, Johnson City
For the best Christmas lights in Johnson City, Tennessee, you will need to head downtown. "Candy Land Christmas" takes over two urban parks in the city and fills them with illuminated Christmas trees brought in by local businesses and organizations. Each group goes above and beyond to compete for the most elaborately decorated tree. This is a fun way the community gathers together and not only shows off their unique artistic style, but celebrates the holidays all together. If you want to see this beautiful display, check out our Adventuring in the Moment video below:
10. Pinnacle Speedway in Lights, Bristol
Bristol Motor Speedway, 151 Speedway Blvd, Bristol, TN 37620, USA
When it comes to drive-thru Christmas lights in Tennessee, the
Pinnacle Speedway in Lights
is one of the best. In fact, I dare say they are *the* best Christmas lights in Bristol, Tennessee (and that includes the Virginia side)! The Pinnacle Speedway in Lights takes guests on a twisting and windy path through the parking lot of the
Bristol Motor Speedway
, including under the stands and even on the racetrack itself! Being on the “Fastest half-mile in the world” is a thrilling experience, even at a meandering 5 mph. Along the way, you will pass many moving Christmas displays including themed sections like Ripley’s Sea of Illumination, Dino Land, and, of course, the 12 Days of Christmas. Check out our trip on this illuminated Christmas drive-thru in this Adventuring in the Moment video:
11. Smoky Mountain Christmas, Pigeon Forge
Dollywood, 2700 Dollywood Parks Blvd, Pigeon Forge, TN 37863, USA
When it comes to Christmas lights in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, you will want to save some time for
. I am not picking favorites because I love our Christmas displays all across our state; however, if I
to choose, this would be it. The park is just stunningly beautiful with decorations literally everywhere you look. Beautifully decorated trees, hanging garlands, over six million lights, interactive displays, and more can be found in this magical park. I am not alone in thinking this place is gorgeous, either, because Dollywood has won the "prettiest park in the world" award several times now. I was simply left in awe at the
Smoky Mountain Christmas
and would recommend it to anyone who finds themself within 200 miles of this theme park. Check out our Adventuring in the Moment video to see the park through our eyes:
12. Christmas at Graceland, Memphis
Graceland, Elvis Presley Blvd, Memphis, TN 38116, USA
Did you know Christmas was one of Elvis’s favorite times of the year? So if you go looking for Christmas lights in Memphis, Tennessee, the King’s house is a fitting place to visit. This stunning manse is a beautiful backdrop to one of the best house tours in the country. Not only will you get a chance to walk in the footsteps of the King, but you will also be surrounded by gorgeous holiday decor.
Christmas at Graceland
fills the calendar with special events like Christmas concerts and the holiday lighting ceremony. So make sure you take a trip to
this season a wonderful and unique holiday tradition!
There you have it: 12 of the best Christmas lights displays in Tennessee. Next time you are looking for Christmas lights near me, you won’t have to look far. Let us know which displays are your favorite!
It’s never too early to start your Christmas shopping, of course, and we’re here to help. Make sure to check out our gift guide for the traveler in your life.
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