December Brings Lights, Santa, and Music to Discovery Park of America

by Mary Nita Bondurant-

  light-show-1-of-1 If you spot a glorious glow in the cornfields northwest of Union City, Tennessee, in December, follow the gleam. Lights, lights, and more lights are twinkling brightly all around Discovery Park of America. It’s the second annual “Let It Glow Light Show,” sponsored by the City of Union City—sure to get you in the holiday spirit!

According to Grounds Director John Watkins, this year’s show is bigger and better than last year’s. “We have over half-a-million lights, about 30 miles of lights if you stretch them out end-to-end,” Watkins said. “New to the light show are a couple of themed areas featuring Charlie Brown and Rudolph.” And the drive through light tunnel is back, since it was a crowd favorite last year.

Another addition this year is the opportunity to purchase 3-D glasses for passengers in vehicles. Watkins said the only thing better than a light show is a light show viewed through 3-D glasses. “Those fun little glasses really make the lights come to life,” he said. And, guests driving through the light show can tune their radio station to the park’s FM frequency and might just notice that the lights and the music have a lot in common.

The “Let it Glow Light Show” will be open from 5:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. most December evenings. It will be closed Christmas Eve, Christmas day and New Year’s Eve. Cost is $5.00 per vehicle, $10 for a 15-passenger bus. The 3 D glasses are for $2.00 for each passenger.

Santa will visit in Dinosaur Hall on Saturdays December 3, 10, and 17, 12:00 noon until 5:00 p.m. Gumembership-card-1ests are invited to bring their cameras and get photos of their little ones in Santa’s lap. Also, there is a mailbox in the lobby of Discovery Park where children can leave their letters to Santa. All letters with a legible return address will receive a reply.

On Saturday, December 3, the award-winning David Johnson Chorus spreads Christmas cheer in Dinosaur Hall with performances at the top of the hour throughout the afternoon, beginning at 11:00 and ending at 4:00. The more intimate 2:00 p.m. show will take place in the Chapel. The chorus is sponsored by Clark Cattle Company of Sharon.

On Sunday afternoons, the park staff will present Polar Express at the Train Depot. Tickets for this event went on sale in June, and it is sold-out. “We added additional shows and times this year,” said Event Director Lauren Jones. “This is a very popular event, and we encourage anyone who can’t get tickets this year to watch our website or sign up for our newsletter so that they know when the tickets go on sale next year.” Polar Express is sponsored by Simmons Bank.

Discovery Park of America is a great place img_7086to shop for Christmas gifts, too. The gift shop contains unique and educational gifts. The Cafe offers delicious home-made fudge packages. And, membership to Discovery Park is a gift that keeps on giving throughout the year. Annual membership for children 12 and under is $30.00. For those 13 and older, it is $60.00. The membership provides free admission every day, discounts at the gift shop and Cafe, and early notification of concerts and events.

To finish out the year, the Events Department has planned two New Year’s Eve parties. “The first one is at noon, and we actually call it “Noon Year’s Eve,” Jones said. It is for children 12 and under, featuring crafts, games, and music in a festive and fun atmosphere. “We had so many children last year that we have moved the Noon Year’s Eve Party to Dinosaur Hall so we will have more space.” This event is free with park admission, thanks to sponsor One Main Financial.HomeTOWN_DPA

And, last but not least, J.D. Distributors is sponsoring the music for the New Year’s Eve Gala at the park. The popular dance band from Memphis, Magi, is providing music so you can dance the night away with friends at Discovery Park. Tickets are on sale now: $60.00 for members and $70.00 for non-members. In addition to great music, guests can celebrate the arrival of 2017 with a lovely atmosphere, great food, a cash bar, and champagne for each table.

From lights to Santa, shopping to music, Discovery Park of America offers something for everyone during December. For more information, visit the park’s website at Discovery Park of America is located at 830 Everett Blvd., and is a unique collection of history, science, artifacts and fun!