By Anna Martino, Staff Writer —
Ruby Falls’ annual Christmas Underground event will begin on Friday, Dec. 1 and will run until Saturday, Dec. 23.
From Dec. 1 until Dec. 17 Christmas Underground will be open Thursdays to Sundays, and switching to every day of the week beginning on Dec. 18.
Located in the caverns of Ruby Falls, the underground journey to the North Pole will involve a secret passage to see Santa, a glittering ice cave, Sugar Plum Fairy Village and mining for Santa’s “Joystone.”
Along with these features, guests will also be able to experience Christmas lights and nighttime magic throughout the entirety of the day, with temperatures remaining at 60 degrees inside of the caverns all year.
“This is the fourth [time we’ve done this],” said Meagan Jolly, public relations manager for Ruby Falls. “It is definitely something unique…where else can you journey to the North Pole underground?”
In order to get the individualized experience of meeting Santa, guests will venture through a tunnel that is not accessible during the normal daily tours. However, the regular Ruby Falls waterfall tour can also be accessed during the Christmas Underground event, with bundles available for purchase.
Also included in the underground experience is the opportunity to pan through gemstones with Ruby Falls’ miners, with guests getting the chance to take home their very own “Joystone,” which is known for spreading the spirit of Christmas. Visitors can also use a Joystone tester to crack the geode.
“For the past two years, my parents have come to Chattanooga to visit and go to Ruby Falls in the fall,” said Sarah Headrick, a junior from Maryville. “But after hearing about Christmas Underground and seeing pictures of the holiday magic, they have changed their tradition to a Winter visit.”
Jolly recommends this event for people who are “kids at heart,” with all ages welcome.
Tickets are available for $11.95 for all individuals above the age of three, with combo tickets available for Christmas Underground and the cave and waterfall tour.
For more information, visit www.rubyfalls.com/Christmas.