Weekend Christmas events in Chattanooga area include ‘Night of Nashville,’ gift markets

Staff file photo / Matthew DeWeese, 7, and his mother, Kristen, work on a gingerbread house during a Gingerbread House Workshop at the Creative Discovery Museum on Nov. 29, 2020. This year's workshops continue on select dates through Dec. 18.

Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker" ballet and candlelight tours happen en masse this weekend as the calendar inches closer to Christmas. Here's a chronology of those and other events.

(READ MORE: Weekend events in Chattanooga include 'Voice' contestant, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band alumni)


-- Hunter Museum of American Art, 10 Bluff View, plans a Mini Maker Market for its Sunday Studio programming, set for 2-4 p.m. Visitors can take part in hands-on holiday craft projects for home decorating or gifting. Regular admission applies ($20 for nonmember adults). huntermuseum.org

-- Rising Fawn Studio Tour is 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in the New Salem community of Lookout Mountain, Ga. At least 10 artists will have works available at five studios within a 3-mile circuit. The first stop is at 436 S. Moore Road off Highway 136. tinyurl.com/risingfawntour


-- Chattanooga Ballet will present four performances of "The Nutcracker" this weekend at Memorial Auditorium, 399 McCallie Ave. Show time is 7:30 p.m. Friday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $19-$75. chaballet.org

-- Chattanooga Dance Theatre, 5151 Austin Road, Hixson, will introduce young audiences to "Nooga Nutcracker" at Clara's Tea, an afternoon of tea and cookies, crafts, photos with characters and a mini performance of the upcoming show in seatings at 2:30 and 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $22-$28. The company's full performances of "Nooga Nutcracker," which sets the classic tale in present-day Chattanooga, are Dec. 17. chattanoogadancetheatre.com

-- Civic Ballet of Chattanooga and Massari Wood Dance Center will present their annual production of "The Nutcracker" this weekend in the UTC Fine Arts Center, 752 Dr. Roland Carter St. Shows start at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $17-$20. massariwooddance.com


-- Gem Theatre, 114 N. Wall St., Calhoun, Ga., continues its free holiday movie series Saturday with screenings of the 2003 comedy "Elf" at 1 and 7 p.m. Donations are welcome to help support the series. calhoungemtheatre.org

-- Tennessee Aquarium's Imax Theater is showing the 2004 film "The Polar Express" daily through Dec. 26 (closed Christmas Day). Times vary. Tickets are $8-$10. Registration is being accepted for PJs and Polar on Dec. 17, a chance for children to see the movie in their pajamas and meet the conductor. Cost is $13-$20. tnaqua.org


-- "A Night of Nashville," a country Christmas concert featuring CMT artists Karli & James, Lee Gibson and Sammi Moore of Jasper, Tenn., starts at 7 p.m. CST Friday at the Princess Theatre, 215 S. Cedar Ave., South Pittsburg, Tenn. Part of a mini tour through the Southeast, the show will feature Christmas songs, audience sing-alongs and new singles by Gibson and Karli & James. Tickets are $18-$25. Proceeds benefit the Marion County Community Ministry's food bank. Donations of nonperishable food will be accepted in the lobby. LeeGibson.Square.Site

-- Choo Choo Chorus, the local chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society, will present "A Family Christmas" concert of sacred and secular music at at 4 p.m. Saturday in the Ringgold High School auditorium, 29 Tiger Trail, Ringgold, Ga. The full chorus will be featured, along with breakout quartets. The set includes background videos for each song. Tickets are $15 (free for ages 12 and younger). choochoochorus.org

-- Athens Area Council for the Arts will host a holiday concert by the Knoxville Symphony Chamber Orchestra at 2 p.m. Sunday at Athens City Middle School, 200 Keith Lane, Athens, Tenn. The show is part of the Bicentennial Celebration Performance Season. Tickets are $20-$30. athensartscouncil.org

-- Chattanooga First Seventh-day Adventist Church, 7450 Standifer Gap Road, will present a community sing-along of Handel's "Messiah" at 3 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free, but a love offering will be received. Bring your own score if you have one. 423-605-2468

-- Chattanooga Theatre Centre, 400 River St., will host a Christmas concert by the Premier Jazz Orchestra, featuring vocalist Valerie Duke, at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. Arrive early for pictures with Santa. Tickets are $15-$20. theatrecentre.com

-- St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 305 W. Seventh St., continues its weekly Advent Concert Series 12:05-12:30 p.m. Wednesday with harpist Caroline Brown Hudson. Visitors are welcome to stay for a $6 soup lunch that follows. A basket in the back of the church is for donations of winter hats, gloves, scarves and socks for the Chattanooga Community Kitchen. stpaulschatt.org


(READ MORE: Chattanooga-area holiday events: Santa's on his way and light shows power up)

-- Holiday Gifts Market continues three more Thursdays at the Ooltewah Farmers Market at Ooltewah Nursery, 5829 Main St. Handmade arts and crafts and fresh and prepared foods will be available from vendors. Hours are 3-5 p.m. ooltewahnursery.com

-- Santa's Workshop is open for photos daily through Christmas Eve at Hamilton Place, 2100 Hamilton Place Blvd. (lower level at Center Court). Pet photos are scheduled 4-7 p.m. Dec. 12 and 19. Black Santa poses for photos 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Thursday (final day). Infinity Dance Connection performs 11 a.m.-noon Saturday. Artistic Generation Dance Complex performs, 2-4 p.m. Sunday. hamiltonplace.com/store/santas_workshop

-- Santa's Workshop is open for photos daily through Christmas Eve at Northgate Mall, 271 Northgate Mall Drive, Hixson. The final night for pet photos with Santa is 4-7 p.m. Monday. visitnorthgatemall.com

-- Magic of Lights, a drive-through holiday lights extravaganza with more than 40 larger-than-life scenes and animated characters, is open through Jan. 1 at the Summit of Softball Complex, 4900 La Collina Way, Ooltewah. The Chattanooga setup is among 21 locations in the U.S. and Canada this season. Tickets are $25-$35 per vehicle, with discounts if purchased online. Additional discounts are available for tickets purchased through Thursday. Tickets may be redeemed any night. magicoflights.com

-- Holiday Window Treasure Hunt, a NorthShore Merchants Collective promotion, is underway at North Shore businesses along Frazier Avenue and connector streets. To play, window shoppers find an unlikely "hidden" object in the windows of 23 participating stores and mark their game cards with their finds. Completed game cards may be turned in through Jan. 3, with a minimum $1 contribution to the Northside Neighborhood House, for a chance to win one of three gift baskets valued at $400. northshorechattanooga.com

-- Christmas in the Park takes place in Summerville, Ga., 6-9 p.m. Friday in Dowdy Park, 170 Veterans Memorial Drive. The evening includes the lighting of the community Christmas tree, visits with Santa, best-dressed elf and ugly sweater contests, Christmas cookie baking contest, live performances, vendors, a bonfire, free refreshments, bicycle giveaway and free tours of the historic Couey House. summervillega.org

-- Gordon-Lee Mansion, 217 Cove Road, Chickamauga, Ga., offers self-guided, Christmas-themed candlelight tours 6-8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The historic home was used by both sides in the Civil War. Tours include music, homemade cookies and hot apple cider. Tickets are $2-$10. friendsofthegordonleemansion.org

-- Chief Vann House, 82 Highway 225 North, Chatsworth, Ga., will be open for candlelight tours 5-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday (arrive no later than 8 p.m. for the full experience). The home's decor takes its inspiration from the Christmases celebrated by the Moravian missionaries who operated a school for Cherokee children in the area from 1800 to 1835. Candlelight tours include live music and authentic snacks of spiced apple cider and ginger cookies. The decor, sans candlelight, may be viewed during regular operating hours through Dec. 24. Tickets are $7. gastateparks.org/chiefvannhouse

-- Bode Chattanooga, a hotel at 730 Chestnut St., will offer Bode for the Holidays, a pop-up with holiday decor and themed food and drink offerings Friday through Dec. 31 at its Dawn cafe and market, which opens daily at 8 a.m., and the Dusk cocktail bar, which opens at 3 p.m. bode.co

-- Holidays at the Read House, 107 W. M.L. King Blvd., kick off with the Holiday Jubilee 5-8 p.m. Friday. The evening includes live entertainment, complimentary hot chocolate, cider and cookies, and photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus (bring your camera). Those events are free. For a $15 fee, children may make crafts at an Elf workshop 5-7:30 p.m. in the Green Room. The two breakfasts with Santa and Mrs. Claus, Saturday and Dec. 17, are sold out. thereadhousehotel.com/holidays

-- Soddy-Daisy Community Library, 9619 Dayton Pike, is having a drop-in holiday gift wrapping party 3-7 p.m. Saturday to raise funds for its programming. For a $10 donation, participants can wrap up to 15 gifts, using the provided paper, tape and scissors. Guidance and a glass of wine (or nonalcoholic beverage) also are included in the price. kelcurtfoundation.org

-- Mistletoe Market will gather more than 150 arts, crafts, food and merchandise vendors this weekend at Camp Jordan, 323 Camp Jordan Parkway, East Ridge. Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. Admission and parking are free. touchtheskyevents.com

-- Chattanooga Holiday Market, the seasonal edition of Chattanooga Market, continues this weekend at the Chattanooga Convention Center, 1 Carter Plaza. Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. A highlight, at 11 a.m. Sunday, is the Lodge Cast Iron Breakfast of Champions, which tasks local chefs with creating a prize-worthy dish using a surprise ingredient they'll learn shortly before the live cooking competition starts. Participating chefs are Mark Lowery of Common Table, Kenyatta Ashford of Neutral Ground, Matt Bell of Big Bad Breakfast and reigning champion Joseph Madzia IV of Whitebird at The Edwin. Admission is free. chattanoogamarket.com

-- Holidays Under the Peaks, the seasonal programming at the Tennessee Aquarium, 1 Broad St., will include an appearance by Scuba Claus in the River Journey building at 2 p.m. Saturday and Dec. 17. Festive music plays while visitors peruse the exhibits, and the electric eel, Miguel Wattson, illuminates a Christmas tree with his discharges. Programs are included in regular admission: $22-$35. tnaqua.org/holidays

-- Ugly Sweater Bar Crawl returns for a second year Saturday at six bars on Chattanooga's Southside. Registration starts at 3 p.m. at Tailgate Brewery & Bar, 1464 Market St. Participants will receive a digital map to visit participating establishments for drink deals and entertainment. Tickets are $18-$23. eventbrite.com

-- Signal Mountain Christmas tree lighting will take place during events 4-7 p.m. Saturday at the Mountain Arts Community Center, 809 Kentucky Ave. Food, drink, entertainment and visits with Santa are part of festivities. signalmacc.org

-- Winter Wonderland Adult Formal is scheduled at 7 p.m. Saturday at Tennessee Valley Theatre, 184 W. Jackson Ave., Spring City, Tenn. The evening includes hors d'oeuvres, door prizes and a photographer to capture the memories. The theme is "1940s-'50s," but era dress is not required. Cost is $25 for couples, $15 for singles, $5 per drink (three drink maximum). tennesseevalleytheatre.com

-- Marsh House, 308 N. Main St., LaFayette, Ga, will be open for candlelight tours 6-8 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Dec. 17-18. The home is decorated in the style of Christmas in the 1880s, and tours end with hot cider and ginger cookies. A $5 donation is requested. Reservations are required: 706-638-5187

(READ MORE: Your 2022 Chattanooga-area fall festival guide)


-- Athens Arts Center, 320 N. White St., Athens, Tenn., concludes its run of "Miracle on 34th Street" this weekend. The stage production is adapted from the 1947 film about a department store Santa claiming to be the real deal. Shows start at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $15-$20. athensartscouncil.org

-- Oak Street Playhouse ends its run of "The Christmas Express," about the strange events that happen at a railroad station one Christmas Eve, in the theater space behind First-Centenary United Methodist Church, 419 McCallie Ave. Shows start at 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $12-$17. firstcentenary.com

-- Back Alley Productions will stage a single weekend of "A Christmas Carol," the story of the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Mars Theatre, 117 N. Chattanooga St., LaFayette, Ga. Tickets are $13-$16. bapshows.com

-- Chattanooga Theatre Centre, 400 River St., has two holiday shows on its stages. "Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some)," a racy romp through the classics, runs through Dec. 18, with shows at 7 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2:30 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $20-$25. "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: The Musical," a family comedy, opens this weekend, with shows at 7 p.m. Fridays, 2:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 18. Tickets are $15-$20. theatrecentre.com

-- Dalton Little Theatre, 210 N. Pentz St., Dalton, Ga., offers two weekends of "DLT's Twisted Holiday Shorts (The Slings and Arrows of Holiday Cheer)." Shows start at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday (plus Dec. 16-17), 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $10-$15. daltonlittletheatre.com

-- Yellow Dragon Productions will keep two actors extraordinarily busy in the Texas-set comedy "A Tuna Christmas" the next two weekends at St. Luke United Methodist Church, 3210 Social Circle. Garrett Henson-Hinck and Levi Witt portray all 24 characters -- male, female, young and old -- in the fast-paced, quick-change extravaganza. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday (same schedule Dec. 16-18). Tickets are $10-$16. yellowdragonproductions.org

Find more events, and add your own, at timesfreepress.com/cnevents.

Contact Lisa Denton at ldenton@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6281.

  photo  Staff file photo / Dylan Martin, 6, adds coconut shavings to his gingerbread house as his grandmother Pat watches behind him during a Gingerbread House Workshop at the Creative Discovery Museum on Nov. 29, 2020. This year's workshops continue on select dates through Dec. 18.