Ruby Falls (Photo Courtesy of Ruby Falls)
The Chattanooga Zoo’s mission is to engage and inspire the community to better understand and preserve wildlife by creating meaningful connections between people and animals. In an effort to create these connections, the Chattanooga Zoo is open to the public daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. excluding Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. In addition, the zoo hosts numerous seasonal events throughout the year including Hug-a-Bunny Day, Q & Brew, and Spirits in the Wild. Additionally, the zoo offers educational programming to all ages through Kits and Cubs, Zoo Camp, Senior Safari programs, and more.
The Chattanooga Market
First Tennessee Pavilion | Late April-November | 423.648.2496 | chattanoogamarket.com
The region’s largest outdoor market features produce from regional farms and local food manufacturers, as well as handmade artistry at small-town prices. Throughout the year, each Sunday Market features a theme in keeping with the season.
The nightmare returns to the tainted town of Dread Hollow with over 20,000 square feet of pure terror. Taking fear to the next level, Dread Hollow presents extreme haunts and escape rooms throughout the year with New Year’s Nightmare, Bloody Valentine, Scream Break, and the award-winning October haunt.
Rock City Gardens
Known for its legendary giant rock formations, Swing-A-Long Bridge, Fairyland Caverns, and seven states view, Rock City has been welcoming guests since 1932. Memories await year-round on Rock City’s Enchanted Trail starting with a Valentine’s Day package in February, the Irish festival Shamrock City in March, and EarthDayz in April. May hosts Southern Blooms, and from Memorial Day through Labor Day, guests can enjoy Summer Music Weekends. October weekends are for Oompah! time at Rocktoberfest. Starting in mid-November, Rock City also opens at night for the award-winning holiday spectacular The Enchanted Garden of Lights. All events feature live entertainment, specialty food, and hands-on activities for all ages, and leashed pets are always welcome.
423.821.2544 | rubyfalls.com
There’s always something new to discover at Ruby Falls with events and tours year-round. Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a Romance at Ruby Lantern Tour, enjoy barbecue and live music at Battle Below the Clouds, and take a magical journey to visit Santa at Christmas Underground in December. It’s been a favorite destination for 89 years.
Southern Belle Riverboat
The Southern Belle Riverboat offers many cruise options, including daily cruises, dining cruises, seasonal cruises, sightseeing cruises, and private cruises. Seasonal cruises include Valentine’s Dinner Cruise, Easter, Mother’s Day, Fall Foliage, Thanksgiving, ‘Tis the Season Luncheon, Christmas Carol Dinner, and New Year’s Eve on the River.
Come celebrate “The Year of the Turtle” at the Tennessee Aquarium in 2020 with a new turtle gallery. In March and April at the Tennessee Aquarium, kids enjoy spring break activities. September highlights include Serve & Protect sustainable seafood events. October features the month-long celebration ODDtober and the family-friendly Aqua-Scarium Halloween Party. In December, visitors are invited to enjoy Holidays Under the Peaks.
Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum
In addition to daily Missionary Ridge Local train rides, the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum features several seasonal specials, including dinner trains throughout the year, Day Out with Thomas in April/May, excursions to Chickamauga and Summerville (Georgia), Halloween Eerie Express in October, and the North Pole Limited during the holiday season. Additionally, Hiwassee River Rail Adventure trains run out of Etowah through the scenic Hiwassee River Gorge.
Erlanger Chattanooga Marathon Weekend
A marathon, half marathon, team relay, 5K, kids’ fun run, and EXPO make up the Erlanger Chattanooga Marathon Weekend. Start training today for this weekend of family fun!
4 Bridges Arts Festival
First Tennessee Pavilion | April 17-19 | 423.265.4282 | 4bridgesartsfestival.org
Produced by the Association for Visual Arts, 4BAF is a nationally recognized juried art festival that showcases over 120 national and international artists. The festival is an established conduit for connecting visual artists with avid art buyers and offers local food, live music, and kids’ art activities.
Armed Forces Day Parade
The annual Armed Forces Day Parade, hosted by Chattanooga Area Veterans Council, features participants from military service units, area veterans’ groups, high school bands, patriotic organizations, and many others. Each year, the parade features a different service branch, and 2020 marks the parade’s 71st year, making it the longest continuous armed forces parade in the nation. The 2020 parade, held on May 1 at 10:30 a.m. and starting at the intersection of Market Street and MLK Boulevard, will feature the United States Navy.
Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga
Downtown Chattanooga | May 17 | ironman.com
IRONMAN 70.3 Chattanooga offers the perfect training opportunity for those getting ready for the September IRONMAN, or a chance to race in one of the sport’s most welcoming race sites. It begins with a point-to-point swim, transitions into a bike course, and then ends with a two-loop run. The 2020 Sunbelt Bakery IRONMAN 70.3 Chattanooga will offer 40 qualifying slots to the World Championship in New Zealand.
Memorial Day Celebration
McCoy Farm & Gardens | May 25 | 423.886.4568 | mccoywalden.org
A true Memorial Day commemoration, this free celebration, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., includes a salute to the flag and veterans, the national anthem, picnic food for purchase, a children’s play area, local musical entertainment, and more.
Downtown Waterfront | May 27-30 | 423.756.2211 | riverbendfestival.com
Celebrating 39 years, this award-winning, four-day music festival features four stages and dozens of bands representing various genres of music. Admission can be purchased online.