Category Logo

Downtown Knoxville offers holiday activities amid school break, family travel

December 22, 2022

The final countdown to Christmas has started, and Downtown Knoxville has fun, family-friendly activities for all to enjoy as schools dismiss and relatives return home for the holidays.

“There are so many ways to make merry memories with loved ones in Downtown Knoxville,” said Michele Hummel, executive director of the Downtown Knoxville Alliance. “We are proud to offer activities for all ages throughout the holiday break and travel. Residents and visitors alike will experience what makes our city center so special.”

The seasonal events are available for a limited time. Activities organized by the Downtown Knoxville Alliance and other partners include:

  • Santa’s magical mailbox: Children can drop off their letter to Santa at the Market Square mailbox, designed and painted by local artist Paris Woodhull. The North Pole Postal Service is delivering letters dropped in the box by Christmas Eve, so make sure to make the deadline!
  • Holidays on Ice: The City of Knoxville’s open-air ice-skating rink in Market Square is open daily and nightly, seven days a week, for children and adults through 2.
  • The Elf on the Shelf® Adventure: Santa’s Scout Elves are staying in Knoxville a little longer than those who visit children at home. Pick up a North Pole Pass at Mast General Store or the Knoxville Visitors Center and search for elves inside dozens of participating businesses – and finish holiday shopping while you’re there. The scavenger hunt ends 8.
  • Peppermint Trail: Follow the trail of peppermints on Downtown Knoxville sidewalks for holiday-themed coffees, candies, cocktails and other creations from more than 90 merchants. Other flavors and scents, including gingerbread, eggnog, milk and cookies and more, can be found around almost every corner. Specials continue through 8.
  • Winter photo ops: Snap photos in front of decorated business windows, the ice rink and local artist Megan Lingerfelt’s latest mural in Strong Alley while exploring Downtown Knoxville during the holidays. Don’t forget to tag photos with #lovedowntownknox!

For more information about these and other holiday happenings in Downtown Knoxville, visit

“The holiday spirit in Downtown Knoxville wouldn’t be as bright without the participation of area business and support of their patrons,” Hummel said. “We send everyone warm wishes this season and encourage people to spend this special time at their favorite spot or find a new place to celebrate – there’s something for everyone to love in Downtown Knoxville during the holidays!”

About the Downtown Knoxville Alliance
Ensuring a vibrant, flourishing downtown is the primary mission of the Downtown Knoxville Alliance (DKA). Formed in 1993 as a Central Business Improvement District (CBID), the district encompasses a 0.67-square-mile area and is supported by a special assessment to property owners that is used to make improvements, enhance services and promote downtown. The DKA continually focuses on attracting and retaining a thriving community of residents, businesses and visitors in Downtown Knoxville. For more information, visit