Things to Do at Christmas
in Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge
Is Christmas a Good Time to Go to the Smoky Mountains?
Because each of the 4 seasons in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge area are different, anytime is a good time! Every season has something special and something different.
If you want all the happiness and trimmings of a traditional mountain, romantic Christmas that you have seen only in pictures, you will find it here. You have so many options! From getting away from it all in a cozy, warm mountain cabin, to joining the hustle and bustle of shopping, Christmas lights, winter attractions, indoor and outdoor fun, parades, celebrations, and Christmas cheer. It's all up to you, and you don't have to choose, you can have it all.
Below is a list of some of the best and favorites! (in no certain order)
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1.) SkyLift Park, 706 Parkway, Gatlinburg
Skylift Park is where you will find The iconic Chairlift, SkyDeck, SkyWalk Boardwalk, and SkyBridge! All are decked out for Christmas in beautiful lights that you can't see just anywhere. SkyBridge is a unique pedestrian bridge that goes 140 feet above ground between 2 mountains. The panoramic views are unlike any others. You can relax and have drink, or a bite to eat inside at the SkyCenter or outside in a comfortable chair by the firepit.
2.) Trolley Tours of Lights, Pigeon Forge & Gatlinburg
Let the trolley take you so you don't have to drive and you can relax and stay warm too. See the millions of energy efficient LED light displays that twinkle all over Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge every year. (Note: Trolley tours do not run on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day) Call Pigeon Forge Trolley Office for more information at 865-453-6444. Gatlinburg Trolley at 865-436-3897.
To do your own driving tour of Winterfest lights, check out my video here.
3.) Shadrack's Christmas Wonderland, 3540 Line Dr., Sevierville
Get in your car, tune into the radio station that will play the music, and drive through this awesome spectacular Christmas light show. Great for staying warm, families, relaxing and getting into the Christmas spirit. Note: Due to popularity, it can be a long wait, you will be in the car for a couple hours. Plan accordingly!
4.) Get A Cozy Cabin, Gatlinburg
If you do nothing else, it is worth it to book early and get a cabin to stay in at this time of year. Just being in the Smoky Mountains at Christmastime is magical enough. Be sure you check out the secrets to getting the best cabin as you browse through the thousands of cabin listings. Wouldn't you love to have dinner with your loved ones as a warm fire burns in the fireplace, and a beautiful view and a porch to watch the snow on? Also check out Large Cabins, Small Cabins, Cabins with Indoor Pools and Cabins with Elevators.
5.) Dolly's Stampede Christmas Show, 3849 Parkway, Pigeon Forge
A tradition some families refuse to miss! Especially loved by Dolly fans and horse lovers, this is a great show.
There are also other dinner shows in the area that also have Christmas shows as well. Check out Hatfield & McCoy's, Biblical Times, The Grand Majestic Dinner Theatre and Pirate's Voyage, just to name a few. Call or go online early as possible for reservations.
6.) Do a Frozen Waterfall Hike, Great Smoky Mountains National Park
The Great Smoky Mountains look alot different in winter. You'll see things in winter months that you never knew were there after the leaves reveal what they have been hiding. It's like a whole new world. Caution is advised for slippery surfaces, but take your time, dress warm and check out Laurel Falls, a 2.4 mile hike to the falls. While there's no guarantee it will be frozen, the scenery during winter is unlike any other season. Also check out Porter's Creek Trail, and Cataract Falls for other family frienly day hikes. See my tips on how to hike safely.
7.) Christmas Parades, Gatlinburg & Sevierville
Each year in December, Gatlinburg holds its annual Christmas parade downtown, so arrive early to get the best spot! Sevierville also has its annual parade in December as well. It's fun and its free entertainment, and the Smoky Mountains know how to entertain! Check my Events pages on the menu at the top of this page for dates.
8.) Christmas Shopping
You can find the best and most unique shopping in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville. Whether it's Christmas shopping or other Smoky Mountain gifts and souvenirs, you will find what you want. Here's a list just to get you started:
Tanger Outlets, Bass Pro Shop, Harley Davidson in Sevierville
Smoky Mountain KnifeWorks, Sevierville
The Island in Pigeon Forge
The Village and Downtown Gatlinburg
Pigeon Forge Old Mill District
The Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts Community
The Shops at Lumberjack Square, Pigeon Forge
The Christmas Place, Santa's Claus-et, and Christmas & Collectables
Pigeon Forge Factory Outlets
9.) Stay at The Christmas Inn, 2470 Parkway, Pigeon Forge
You can stay at this award winning, year-round Christmas themed hotel that sits right on the main Parkway in the middle of all the action. It's also across the street from the famous Christmas Place, the largest Christmas store in the south. It has an indoor pool for cold days, fitness and business center, a Visiting Santa, beautiful Bavarian décor, Christmas music, rooms with fireplaces, elevators, and more.
10.) Ober Gatlinburg, 1001 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN
Ober Gatlinburg is a Winter lovers paradise and has TONS to offer. Drive or ride the iconic aerial tramway up to the top of the mountain for year round fun. Christmas and winter are the perfect time for snow skiing, snow tubing, panoramic views, ice skating, ice bumper cars, arcade, carousel, snowboarding, freestyle terrain park, chairlift, alpine slide, rides, restaurant, shopping and more. There's even a small kid's area to play in the snow. Oh and let's not forget the Mountain Coaster and Wildlife Encounter.
11.) Dollywood Smoky Mountain Christmas, 1020 Dollywood Lane,
Everything Dolly touches turns to gold and Christmas at Dollywood is no different. See exciting live holiday shows, millions of lights, and fireworks. Taste the seasonal food at the park's eateries and shop your heart out. The rides, Christmas music, snowmakers, and hot chocolate are just the beginning of this world famous, very family friendly park.
12.) The Island Christmas Tree Lighting, 131 The Island Dr., Pigeon Forge
Carolers, Santa sightings, shopping and Christmas treats are just a few things The Island has at Christmas time. This pet friendly park has a ropes course, kid's rides, arcade, food and popular restaurants, Escape Games, and the now famous landmark, "The Wheel" ferris wheel. Also you will enjoy relaxing in a rocking chair, and having a drink around the beautiful, colorful, musical fountains and much more. Check out these links for cabins near The Island or more information about The Island.
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Check out Guide to Spotting Scopes for the Most Breathtaking Views
For more information about where these cabins are located, see my Area Guide page.