My family visited Rock City Christmas near Lookout Mountain at the Enchanted Garden of Lights , and it was a blast!
I’ve always wanted to visit Rock City, and it was great to do it during the holiday season!
Seeing the rock formations decked out in lights is something we’ve been wanting to do, but we just hadn’t made it during our busy holiday season before. I’m so happy we made the time! It was a really fantastic time for all of us.
This year, due to COVID-19, things will be a little different, but you can still expect a whole lot of lights, and a whole lot of fun. Here’s what you can expect!
When we visited a couple years ago, my favorite thing about this Christmas adventure was that it felt like there was so much to do, but it wasn’t overwhelming at all.
There were four distinct areas to visit, and there were quite a few Christmas characters to meet! (Note: In 2020, there will not be costumed characters to meet, due to COVID-19.)
It was so well done and themed, and all of the “elves” who worked there were so friendly and helpful.
We adored the activities on North Pole Highway, and seeing Jack Frost and Inara the Ice Queen in the Arctic Kingdom!
This year, the Enchanted Garden of Lights will be held from November 20, 2020 – January 2, 2021. The only day it’s not offered during that time frame is Christmas Eve.
This year, due to COVID-19 precautions, tickets will be sold online only. All tickets will have a reserved time for you to attend. (Annual passholders must also reserve a time online this year.)
Pricing for the Enchanted Garden of Lights is based on the date of your visit. They range from $16.95 for adults on Value Nights ($8.95 for kids 3-12 on Value Nights), to $26.95 for adults on Regular Nights ($14.95 for kids).
The Rock City Christmas Lights Trails
The Magic Forest was my favorite trail — but it was also the coldest! So cold and windy up there, but so beautiful and fun. The man behind me put it best when he said, “I think they should consider doing this in the Spring.” Ha!
This enchanted trail had the trees lighting up to the music, and then we also continued on through to the Fairyland Caverns and Mother Goose Village — which are my kids’ favorite parts of Rock City during the rest of the year, so I was happy it was still open for this!
You can also walk through the center of a 43-foot Christmas tree and into a 40-foot-long walk through archway tunnel filled with lights! The best.
The Arctic Kingdom was awesome — the kids met Jack Frost and Inara the Enchanted Garden of Lights Ice Queen, and we also got to check out a super cute polar bear area (they were pretend, but looked so real). New for 2020, this realm has been enhanced. It is filled with the traditional icy blue and white, but immersed with the addition of aquamarine and purple creating a design reminiscent of the Aurora Borealis lights.
The Yule Town area had so many fun lights for the kids! And this is where you’ll find the famous Needle’s Eye. Can you make it through? (Another famous squeeze is the Fat Man’s Squeeze, but that is closed during the Enchanted Garden Lights event.)
The North Pole Village was where you could meet and get your picture taken with the big man himself — Santa Claus! We didn’t do this, but it looked really well organized and was in a nice, warm building. And great news — this is still happening in 2020!
Santa will be at the Enchanted Garden of Lights for visits through December 23, 2020 with an extra special way to greet guests and take photos. Children will not be able to sit on Santa’s lap, but guests will have an opportunity to interact with him and pose for a photo at his new workshop! How great is that?!
The North Pole Village is also where the famous Lover’s Leap area is, and seeing the gigantic star up there was amazing. Our kids also met Mrs. Claus and a giant elf, sipped on hot cocoa, made Gingerbread cookies in the North Pole lodge(for an additional fee), and warmed up while listening to a local choir sing. Such a good time!
While you’re in the area, don’t miss Christmas Underground with the Ruby Falls Classic Waterfall Tour!
Food and Snacks at Rock City
Looking for a snack? The North Pole Lodge will be open every night, and serves hot cocoa, apple cider, coffee, cappuccino, and chocolate chip cookies!
Yummy Reindeer Corn (kettle corn) will be sold on the Christmas Plaza nightly.
At Reindeer View Terraces (Cafe 7) you can enjoy hot drinks like red and white mulled wine, poinsettia’s (Mimosa made with cranberry juice), hot apple cider and eggnog, and craft beers.
Is there any better way to warm up than with a fresh to order funnel cake?! I think not! At Cliff Terrace, you can find that and hot drinks and cookies too. And at the nearby gazebo, you can grab a light-up cotton candy or hot chocolate.
Tips for Visiting the Rock City Enchanted Lights
Overall, I thought the Rock City Garden of Lights was really well done, and we loved visiting Rock City at night. It was chilly the night we were there, but I felt like there were plenty of indoor areas to take a break from the cold.
We went on a weekday right at 6 p.m., and I felt like that was a good time to be there with our young ones. We were able to see everything we wanted to, and we spent a good amount of time there, but I could see it getting busier by the time we left around 8 p.m.
This year the Enchanted Garden of Lights will be open from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., and open until 10 p.m. on select nights.
Rock City Gardens is a natural wonder, with lots of different levels. You are walking established paths, but they are often uneven. Due to this, the attraction is not stroller friendly, so if you have little ones be sure to bring a backpack or be prepared to hold your little one when they are done walking.
If you live in the area, you might want to consider a VIP annual pass which gives you unlimited entry to Rock City Gardens, as well as the Rock City Christmas Lights.
Dinner with Santa Amid the Rock City Lights
(Note: Due to COVID-19, dinner with Santa is not happening in 2020.)
You’ve probably heard of breakfast with Santa, but at Rock City Enchanted Lights, you can have dinner with the big man in red, and your meal comes with admission to the Rock City Lights.
This is available on select nights and includes extras like VIP access to the characters, a voucher for the gingerbread cookie decorating, and of course a photo with Santa. This is an extra ticket, but a fun add on for little ones.
Unfortunately, this special event sells out quickly. Here’s an insider tip for next Christmas – start checking on www.seerockcity.com/lights as early as August of 2021 for available dates!
In closing, Rock City Christmas was beautiful and fun, and really got us in the spirit of the holidays.
And if you need further evidence that we had the best time, my son said he “used his biggest smile” for our family photo there – we are definitely adding this as a family tradition. Ha!
Happy Holidays, y’all!
Disclosure: Thank you to Rock City for offering complimentary tickets. Opinions here are all our own.
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