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KNOXVILLE—Classes may be over and most students gone, but there’s still plenty to do on the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, campus. So if you’re anticipating a holiday at home—a “staycation”—here are some happenings you won’t want to miss:

Holiday Express at the UT Gardens

Holiday Express is a 4,000-square-foot miniature railway stationed in the UT Gardens. The display is made up of a quarter-mile of track that weaves through a miniature landscape featuring twelve garden-scale model trains on ten different rail lines. Thousands of lights illuminate the miniature landscape of rivers, waterfalls, and more than one hundred buildings decorated for the holidays, including elaborate, to-scale replicas of existing area architecture during the eras depicted. A crackling fire and hot cocoa will help visitors warm up, relax, and enjoy the atmosphere. The Holiday Express will be open through January 1. Admission is six dollars. It’s free for children 4 years old and younger. Hours are noon to 8:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and noon to 6:00 p.m. on Sundays through Christmas Day. From December 26-29 and on January 1, the hours will be noon to 6:00 p.m. Children’s holiday crafts, family scavenger hunt, and visits with Santa are also available during Special Event Sundays, December 4 and 18. For more information, please visit

Clarence Brown Theatre

The campus theater has two shows that will continue until December 18. The classic tale of a life redeemed is celebrated in the annual performance of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol showing in the Clarence Brown Theatre. It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play returns to the Carousel Theatre this year. Inspired by the classic American film, the play is performed as a 1940s live radio broadcast in front of a studio audience. Live and on the air, five actors perform the dozens of characters, produce the sound effects, and break for commercial. Patrons who buy tickets to one of the holiday shows can bring their ticket to the box office for 25 percent off admission to the other holiday show. For more information, please visit:

Frank H. McClung Museum

The McClung Museum on campus has collections of anthropology, archaeology, decorative arts, local history, and natural history. It is easy to spend hours wandering through the displays, learning about geology, history, art, and culture of Tennessee as well as places around the world. Current exhibits include: Ancient Egypt: The Eternal Voice, Archaeology and Native Peoples of Tennessee, Windows to Heaven: Treasures from the Museum of Russian Icons, The Decorative Experience, Geology and Fossil History of Tennessee, Human Origins: Searching for our Fossil Ancestors, The Battle of Fort Sanders and Tennessee Freshwater Mussels. The museum is free and open to the public. It will be closed December 24 and 25 and January 1. For more information, visit:

UT Basketball

During the holidays, you can watch the Vols take on UNC Asheville (December 20), ETSU (December 23), The Citadel (December 29), Chattanooga (January 2), and Florida (January 7). Meanwhile, the Lady Vols will play Old Dominion (December 28), Chattanooga (January 3), and Georgia (January 5). Admission for UT students is free, but tickets must be requested online. For the complete schedule, please visit: — C O N T A C T : Amy Blakely, (865-974-5034,