This lighting display is in downtown Chattanooga, Tennessee at the Chattanooga Choo-Choo.
Is THAT the Chattanooga Choo-Choo that’s all decked out in a professional light display for Christmas? It sure is, so climb aboard! There’s a steam engine ready to carry you down memory lane. In fact, it’s pulling away from the Chattanooga Terminal Station now.
Christmas lights add a holiday twinkle as you stroll through the 24-acre complex of the Chattanooga Choo-Choo Holiday Inn. Nary a tree was missed in this professional light display along the gardens of the historic Terminal Station. Saved from demolition by a group of Chattanooga businessmen, the Terminal Station found a place on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. The beautiful Chattanooga Choo-Choo is recognized as one of the city’s first historic projects.
Trees are decorated in a classic display of white lights. The main portion of the tree trunk is tightly wrapped in multiple strands of white holiday lights. On the train itself, the nose of the steam engine is adorned with a giant wreath that is encircled with more twinkling white lights. Outside the office there are white-lighted yard lights of reindeer. It is not a spectacular display but the effect is charming.
The outdoor lighting display is very simple but elegant. Almost anything else would overpower the quiet elegance of the Chattanooga Choo-Choo itself.
Inside the professional lighting display continues. You won’t want to miss it. It outshines the outdoor display. Enter the rotunda of the lobby and look up behind you. Over the front door, the animated figures of a caroling scene greet you. They are cast amid a display of holiday greenery and white lights.
In the lobby area in front of you there sits a jolly guy in a red suit posing for Christmas pictures. The backdrop is made up of sparkling green trees with white lights.
A highlight of the gardens area is the fully restored train cars. These are available for rental. We were quoted a nightly rate of $179 for a train car with a queen sized bed. The gardens area also features a wide array of shops. Many of these are decorated for the Christmas season.
The display is open now through January 1. There is no admission fee to stroll through the gardens. Since the display is part of the Holiday Inn complex there are no set hours to visit. However, visitors after 9:00 pm will find most of the shops closed. The late exception is the Depot gift shop. It is open from 7:30 am – 10:00 pm.
Visitors may also want to see the miniature railroad display. The Chattanooga Area Model Railroad Club maintains the exhibit. Over 50,000 man-hours have gone into the making of the miniature railroad. More information on the exhibit is available online at http://www.camrc.org/. This is a must-see for any railroad enthusiast!
For more information about the Chattanooga Choo-Choo visit:
Reservations can be booked online at http://www.holiday-inn.com/