What’s Your Favorite Family Movie?

As much as I love Chattanooga, winters here are wet, bleak, and dreary so staying inside and watching movies is a favorite January

Beautiful but bleak.

Beautiful but bleak.

activity. Originally, this post was going to be a review of recent family movies. A friend said, “Frozen may be the best Disney movie ever,” and I thought a quick look at some recent movies that parents and children might enjoy together could be useful for Chattanooga area families. Then, I realized it has been years since I’ve watched a family movie so I’m not really in a position to write any current reviews.

But there are some timeless classics that everyone — children, parents, single people, couples — should see. For me, The Princess Bride tops the list. It has everything from villains to heroes, and Andre the Giant is in it. There is also a valuable vocabulary lesson!

Another for slightly older children is Holes. If you are a family that reads together, you may want to read the book first, but the movie is great too.

If anyone in your family has missed The Sandlot, get to a Redbox, or pull it up on Netflix or OnDemand as soon as possible. Cancel your weekend plans. Make some popcorn and laugh together. It will make you yearn for neighborhood baseball games and childhood friendships.

Once I started thinking about my favorite family movies, I wondered what films hold a special place for others, and put the question

Grab a bowl of popcorn and enjoy a cozy movie night!

Grab a bowl of popcorn and enjoy a cozy movie night!

on Facebook. The Neverending Story was mentioned several times, as was The Black Stallion and The Fox and the Hound. The Wizard of Oz, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Wreck It Ralph, and The Nightmare Before Christmas all came up as well. One classic film fan even brought up the 1933 version of Alice in Wonderland  with Gary Cooper.

There are plenty more family movies that parents enjoy as much as (sometimes more than) their children do. Tell us your favorites in the comments!


About the Author: Dava Stewart is a resident of Signal Mountain, freelance writer, mom to two adults, avid reader, and a fan of kids’ movies. You can contact her at dava@smilingtreewriting.com.


What To Do in Nooga in January

January is a month of recovery for many families. After a month or so of indulgent eating, many people are thinking of health and fitness. The rounds of holiday gatherings and parties from Thanksgiving until New Year’s leaves many people craving some quiet time. And of course, some of us need a month or two to recover financially!

With all of that in mind, here are a few activities that your family may find appealing during the month of January in Chattanooga:

Georgia Winery January Sale


Bundle up for outdoor fun in Nooga in January!

Bundle up for outdoor fun in Nooga in January!

Local wine? Yes, please! Stock up at the Georgia Winery January Sale.

Racoon Mountain Cavern Expedition


For many families in the area, cold temperatures limit time spent outdoors, but you can get in some nature time comfortably exploring the natural caverns at Racoon Mountain.



Take in a performance art extravaganza. That should brighten even the dreariest January Day!



The Chattanooga Area Food Bank Annual fundraiser at Track 29 will feature a miniature “city” for attendees to explore and enjoy. There will be street performers, food, music — all benefitting a great cause!

Game Night

Host a game night – either family game night, or a friendly poker night, or some combination. Sometimes, the best entertainment is the kind enjoyed with friends and family.

These are only a few ideas, of course. There are also plenty of parks, climbing walls, trails for hiking, movie theaters, and more for families in Chattanooga to enjoy. We’d love to hear what your family likes to do. Share your favorite January activities in the comments!

St. Patrick’s Day Fun in Nooga

Looking for something fun to do this weekend? The Nooga Life is here to help! St. Patrick’s Day is Sunday, March 17, and there are lots of Irish-themed activities in Chattanooga to celebrate – although most are being held on Saturday.

The 2nd Annual Double Decker Pub Crawl Shamrock
Ride Chattanooga’s own double decker bus from pub to pub to enjoy a safe and fun St. Patrick’s Day celebration. The first ride kicks off at The Honest Pint at 4pm, then goes to Hair of the Dog, and ends at The Terminal. The bus will rotate between the three bars all evening. The price to ride is FREE – so long as you buy a drink at each of the bars.

Although not on the tour, several other bars and pubs around town will be featuring traditional Irish fare and specials on drinks. If you are out and about, be sure to check out Moccasin Bend Brewery, Tremont Tavern, Market Street Tavern, and McHale’s Brewhouse.

For more kid-friendly fun, you could go to Shamrock City at Rock City. You will find music, Irish jig dancing lessons, Irish food, and lots of fun!

While the circus is not necessarily an especially Irish thing, it is lots of fun, and you can see the “greatest show on Earth” this weekend because the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus will be in town.

Finally, if you prefer more sophisticated fun, you can enjoy Verdi Requiem performed by the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra at the Tivoli Theater.

As you can see, there is something for everyone this weekend in Chattanooga! Have a fun and safe St. Patrick’s Day!

Racing Into Spring in Nooga

Spring time is almost here! And with comes…lots of opportunities to participate in 5k races. Well, and flowers, and blue skies, and spring break, and all sorts of other good stuff. But today we are going to talk about races.

If you are intimidated by the idea of entering a 5k (which is 3.1 miles), don’t be. Many people walk, some do a combination of walking and running, and then there are the real competitors. For the majority ofrunning shoes participants a 5k is a chance to socialize, meet people, and often, to support a good cause.

Here are a few races that are coming up:

The Run with Trish 5K for Team Hoyt will be held on March 2, at the Tennessee River Park. This run is to raise funds to help TeamHoyt compete in the Boston Marathon. They will be competing to support The Hoyt Foundation, which works to help integrate handicapped people into everyday activities so they can lead full and productive lives more easily.

Have some fun and do some good running in the Wash Me Pink Color Run, benefitting the Susan Komen Foundation. “Color runs” are a new kind of event that involve runners being doused with colored corn starch during the race. In this race, runners start out in white shirts, and end up in pink ones!

Raise money for the Greater Chattanooga Colon Cancer Foundation by participating in the Rump Run at Enterprise South Nature Center on March 16. There will be a time 5K, and a 1 mile
fun run/walk.

Also on March 16, but in Ringgold, there is the 14th Annual GraduRUN to raise money for Communities in Schools in Catoosa County. This one has a special category for walkers for those who prefer to take things a little slower.

One of the most anticipated races of this spring is the new Color Me Rad 5K, a fundraiser for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. In fact, this one is so anticipated that it is currently sold out, even though the event isn’t until March 30! Check it out, and get on the waiting list.

Another, similar race, Color Me Chattanooga, will be held on April 6, and raises money for the Signal Centers. This is the inaugural Color Me Chattanooga race, and is described as a “colorful and festive non-competitive run/walk.”

These are just a few of the fun running events that will be going on in and around Chattanooga this spring. You can check the RunningUSA site to find more!

12 Activities Before Christmas in Nooga

Who needs turtle doves or maids a milking? Here are 12 fun things to do in Chattanooga between now and Christmas. Get out, enjoy the city, and have a very happy holiday season!

1.  December 15-16

Hear the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera: Home for the Holidays at the Tivoli Theater.

2.  Until December 23

See Annie at the Chattanooga Theatre Center.Christmas Lights in Nooga

3.  December 15-16, and 21-22

The Chattanooga Market – Holiday Market at the Convention Center

4.  Throughout December

See the exhibition “Holidays at the Hunter” at Hunter Art Museum

5.  December 20

Hear Sandi Patty and Jason Crabb sing at The Tivoli Theater

6.  December 13

Bundle up and watch shooting stars. The Geminid Meteor Shower will be visible and beautiful!

7. Throughout December

Stroll through the beautiful Enchanted Garden of Lights at Rock City.

8. Throughout December

Go to the Aquarium for Holidays Under the Peaks

9.  Throughout December

See The Polar Express in 3D at the IMAX Theater.

10.  December 20-21

Enjoy Free Days at the Creative Discovery Museum.

11. December 14-15 and 21-22

See the Chattanooga Zoo transformed into a winter wonderland with their Holiday Lights display.

12. December 14-15 and 21-22 (and 29-30)

Visit Ruby Falls for a Ruby Red Christmas.

Santa Comes to Nooga

You can see Santa at the mall, of course, and there are lots of good reasons to do that. But, if you are looking for something a little different this year when it comes to a special Santa visit, check out these five unusual venues:

Santa’s Northshore Workshop

You can visit with Santa at the gorgeous Knitting Mill, enjoy the decorations, and also get a warm fuzzy feeling by bringing in toys for the children served by the Northside Neighborhood House!

Addi and Santa at Northgate

The Chattanooga Choo Choo

Could there be a better setting than the historic Chattanooga Choo Choo to tell Santa your wishes? The decorations are stunning, and there are packages available to “Ride the Rails” with Santa. A Train? With Santa?! Definitely a memory to last a lifetime!

The Chattanooga Zoo

The zoo has a special appeal on any day of the year, but combine sparkling, beautiful holiday lights, and SANTA, and you have a winning combination for sure. Be sure to check the schedule for the date and admission prices so you don’t miss this fun event!

Rock City

Rock City transforms into the Enchanted Garden of Lights for the season, and there are tons of special events, including a Dinner with Santa. A jaunt through this favorite attraction during the holidays is perfect for visiting friends or relatives, or just for a fun family afternoon.

The Southern Belle

Several packages are available that include a cruise on the riverboat, music, food, and SANTA! Be sure to check the dates so that you can reserve a place on the cruise that suits you best.

Hamilton Place

Of course the largest mall in the state has Santa!

Northgate Mall

If you find the thought of Hamilton Place a bit overwhelming this time of year, but seeing Santa at the mall is part of your tradition, you might want to pay a visit to Northgate.

Can You Name the Top Trick or Treating Spots in Chattanooga in 2012?

Today’s post is by our guest Jessi Eads. Thanks, Jessi for sharing your picks for the sweetest trick or treat spots in town! 

Black cats, witches, vampires and zombies roam the streets in the chilly fall air. The crisp apples and delicious cider are passed out as the hobgoblins and sprites frolic from house to house. A fairy tale?

No it’s Chattanooga’s

Ready for Halloween fun!

amazing trick-or-treating. With the leaves turning and a chill in the air this fall looks to provide the perfect Halloween night. In a city so vast and diverse it’s hard to know where to find the best trick-or-treating. Let’s take a look at five  trick-or-treating treasure troves.

1. Number one on our list of amazing trick-or-treating venues is St.Elmo. This tight knit community nestled at the bottom of Lookout Mountain offers a safe and fun trick-or-treating experience. The elegant and stately Victorian homes only add to the ambiance of this magical night.

2. The Northshore presents us with an exciting and active trick-or-treating experience. With it’s rolling hills, trendy venues, organic shops, and extraordinary parks this trick-or-treating trek provides you with beautiful views, wholesome treats and an active time make for a health friendly Halloween.

3. Signal Mountain is a trick-or-treating spot not to be missed! With a community that celebrates children, this is a fantastic spot to collect goodies and find community spirit. You can even take a break from the candy craze and pop over to the Pumpkin Patch playground. This playground just teems with the spirit of Halloween, filled with huge wooden playsets, child-size ziplines and cheery faced jack-o-lanterns. Afterward stop by the Fairmount Orchard for a cup – or gallon – of the best cider around!

4. Just a short drive outside of Chattanooga is Cleveland Tennessee. Cleveland offers an amazing block party on Halloween. This 25 year tradition starts at 5 pm and lasts until 8:30 pm. This awesome community block party features jump houses, awesome trick-or-treating and a costume contest. This is one event not to miss.

5. Just outside of Chattanooga is another gem for trick-or-treating. Hixson has a plethora of neighborhoods, the Northgate Mall, and if you are looking for the safety and security of trunk or treating there are many churches.

So whether you want to enjoy a healthy and active Halloween, a candy gorge, or a secure time, you will find it in Chattanooga this Halloween!

Spooky Days and Nooga Nights

Halloween means costumes and candy! If you choose to dress up and go door to door in the traditional Halloween way, or you decide to attend a trunk or treat event, be sure you stay safe and have fun!

Pooh Bear & Two Cheerleaders

These three are ready for some spooky fun!

Chattanooga is full of things to do on Halloween and during the two weekends before – that’s this weekend and next weekend, just in case you don’t have a calendar handy!

If you don’t have plans yet, take a look at some of these unusual, but fun, things to do. All of these events are kid-friendly, but would be fun without the little ones, too:

Ride the Eerie Express:


Take a Ghost Tour:


Visit Lake Winnepespookah:


Take a trip through a Haunted Cavern – “where no one can hear you scream.”  (Note: This is the only activity on the list that could be difficult for sensitive little ones. Also, they do use a smoke machine, and it is a cave, so if you have someone with asthma, be aware!)


Take the kids and say “Boo!” in the zoo:


Laugh and scream at some pumpkins at the Nature Center:


Do some shopping at the Haunted Market:


Meet some underwater spooks at the aquarium during Thrills, Gills, and Chills: