Getting into the holiday spirit can be difficult when there are still final projects and exams lurking around the corner, but one great way to forget about the end-of-semester stress and get ready to celebrate is by looking at Christmas light displays. Luckily, many places start their celebrations long before Christmas, so you can grab a hot chocolate, hop in your car, turn on your favorite festive tunes and head to these locales right now to see some stunning exhibits.
If you have ever considered visiting Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland, this is the year to finally go. The light show will be discontinued after this season, so take advantage of this opportunity to see a stunning drive-through light display at the Smokies Baseball Stadium while you can! Located at 3540 Line Drive, Kodak TN 37764, and open from now until January 1, visit the display from 6-10 p.m. any night of the week to experience an immersive light exhibit.
According to their website, “Using the most technologically advanced equipment in the industry, Christmas Wonderland magically expresses what Christmas means to us. Our hope is for this show to spark a smile on your face like it does ours.” This attraction is great for families, and kids will love “Santa’s village,” which is open nightly until December 23. It includes a petting zoo, photos with Santa, a train ride, concessions and more. It is recommended that you purchase tickets ahead of time, which can be done at their website, https://shadrackchristmas.com.
A smaller scale and more local light arrangement is located in Founders Park at Campbell Station. This brightly decorated walking path is open from dusk-10 p.m. from now until January 2. This is a great place to enjoy strolling through light tunnels and all of the decked-out trees. Bathrooms are also available until 9 p.m. nightly, except on Christmas day. Make a trip to 405 N Campbell Station Rd, Farragut, TN 37934 for free, and get into the holiday spirit.
The Holiday Festival of Lights will be kicking off at 5:30 p.m. at The Cove at Concord Park. The festival will be going on every evening from 6-9 p.m. until December 31. According to Visit Knoxville, admission is free, but you will want to bring money for items from onsite vendors at the event. The Cove is also pet friendly, so feel free to bring your four-legged friends.
The Blount County Festival of Trees is another great local showcase. Its proximity to Maryville College has the potential to make it a favorite among students. On the lawn of the Blount County Courthouse, the Festival of Trees is within walking distance of campus. This winter wonderland is open to the public for the whole month of December. The trees are lit at dusk, but even a daytime visit would allow you to get a good look at all of the unique ornaments on each organization/group’s tree.
Another light show that doesn’t require getting out of your car, but is more accessible for many people than Shadrack’s, is Listen to the Lights Maryville. This synchronized light show is found in one home whose owners go all-out with their decorations. You can simply park in front of 2959 W Hills Dr, Maryville, TN 37803, any night from now until January 7 from 6-12 p.m. and tune your car radio to 91.7 FM to listen to Christmas music and watch the lights put on a show.
Their website (www.listentothelightsmaryville.com) requests that you turn off your headlights, but ensure that your parking lights are on so that other vehicles can see you. The show lasts approximately 1 hour and includes about 19 songs.
In addition to all of these attractions, many neighborhoods coordinate their decorations and offer an enjoyable light-viewing experience. It’s clear that there is no shortage of opportunities for holiday cheer. The real challenge is seeing all of them before the season ends.