Rock City's Enchanted Garden of Lights is celebrating its 25th anniversary this holiday season with new additions that help the holiday light extravaganza shine even brighter.
Rock City lights up Friday, Nov. 22, with shows from 6 to 9 p.m. nightly (except Christmas Eve) until Jan. 4.
More than a million LED lights are displayed with over 30 holiday scenes. Rock City's Enchanted Trail has been transformed into four themed realms of wonder, with new color schemes and enhancements to the Arctic Kingdom. Decked out in new garments, Inara the Ice Queen and Jack Frost have prepared a journey through a stunning display of ice crystals with a design reminiscent of the aurora borealis lights. Also new in this realm is the Glacier Grotto featuring a firepit to get warm.
If you go
* What: Enchanted Garden of Lights
* Where: Rock City, 1400 Patten Road, Lookout Mountain
* When: 6-9 p.m. Nov. 22-Jan. 4, except Christmas Eve
* Admission: $16.95-$29.95 adults, $8.95-$15.95 children 3-12
* For more information: https://www.seerockcity.com/events/enchanted-garden-of-lights/
The other three realms to visit are the Magic Forest, Yule Town and North Pole Village, where Santa and Mrs. Claus await. The young and young at heart can enjoy cookie decorating and sipping hot cocoa in the North Pole Lodge while listening to live music.
Santa will be on hand to greet children nightly at 6 p.m. until Dec. 23. Jerry, the toy soldier mime, will visit the gardens at 6 p.m. on weekends. And, as is tradition, there will be holiday music performed by area vocal and instrumental ensembles to entertain visitors.
While the full light show begins at 6 p.m., some holiday activities will begin at 4 p.m, such as cookie decorating. There will be a storytime with Mrs. Claus at 4:30 p.m., and Dinner With Santa at 5 p.m. on selected nights in December.
Dinner With Santa
A special holiday buffet, Dinner With Santa, is available at 5 p.m. Dec. 2-4, 7-8.
The party includes a meet-and-greet with Santa, his elves, Jack Frost, Inara the Ice Queen and the Coca-Cola Polar Bear, as well as a gift, photo and cookie-decorating voucher with each child’s admission.
Tickets are $45.95 for ages 3 and up, which includes admission to the Enchanted Garden of Lights following dinner. These dates sell out quickly, so reservations are required. For tickets: https://www.seerockcity.com/buy-tickets/.
To celebrate the event's 25th anniversary, the first 25 guests in line Friday for opening night will receive a commemorative 25th ornament. Facebook followers can also participate in "25 Days of Christmas" beginning Dec. 1 for opportunities to win free passes. Everyone is encouraged to check Rock City's website before visiting to see which activities are open early, who is on the nightly entertainment schedule and special weekday/value pricing.
Opening weekend will be marked by the return of College Nights, when students and faculty at designated schools will receive $8 admission with a current school ID. College nights are Lee University, Friday, Nov. 22; University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Saturday, Nov. 23; Chattanooga State Community College, Sunday, Nov. 24.
Rock City Gardens is partnering with Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chattanooga during Enchanted Garden of Lights. A portion of each ticket sold will be donated to the nonprofit, which provides lodging and accommodations for families of hospitalized children.
The Enchanted Garden of Lights has been named a 2019 Top 20 Event winner by Southeast Tourism Society.
For more information: 706-820-2531.