November 10, 2023
The Smoky Mountains become a magical place during the holiday season. You’re surrounded by the sights and sounds of Christmas cheer all around you in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Sevierville. Not only can you see all kinds of holiday lights and decorations as you make your way through town, but you can also take part in the festivities with various events throughout the season. Here are a few great festivals and events going on this winter to help you celebrate Christmas in the Smoky Mountains.
A favorite way to celebrate Christmas in the Smoky Mountains is by visiting Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas. During this award-winning festival, Dollywood transforms into a winter wonderland with over 6 million twinkling lights, larger-than-life Christmas trees, and all sorts of holiday decorations. You can watch heartwarming holiday shows, taste festive flavors, shop for gifts, and experience fun rides. New this year, Dollywood is introducing a Christmas drone show where you can see hundreds of drones light up the night and dance to festive tunes.
SkyLand Ranch is helping visitors celebrate Christmas in the Smoky Mountains with SkyLand’s Festival of Lights at The Ranch. This Sevierville attraction lights up the night with over half a million lights on display. This holiday festival starts the moment you embark on the scenic chairlift ride up to SkyLand Ranch. You’ll see spectacular displays that combine Western and traditional Christmas themes. At the top of The Ranch, you can stroll through illuminated tunnels and take photos with larger-than-life displays. Seasonal music and light shows fill the air. You can enjoy all of this while indulging in festive goodies and seasonal beverages.
The magical villages of Anakeesta come to life with light displays and holiday cheer to help you celebrate Christmas in the Smoky Mountains. Anakeesta’s Enchanted Christmas sets the mountaintop aglow with millions of twinkling lights, including a giant lit-up Christmas tree, winter lights programmed to festive soundtracks, and glimmering lights through the forest. You can listen to live music of the season in Black Bear Village as you sit around the fire sipping hot cocoa. On select days, you can even enjoy the very special Breakfast with Santa event.
If you want to do some holiday shopping, make sure you visit the Wonders of Light Christmas Village. This holiday event takes place November 9-12 and November 17-25. There are more than 35 craft booths to explore, each selling a variety of seasonal and gift items. You can find a gift for that special someone or the perfect addition to your holiday decor at home. There are also scrumptious holiday goodies to really get you in the mood to celebrate Christmas in the Smoky Mountains. The Wonders of Light Christmas Village can be found at Patriot Park in Pigeon Forge.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Gatlinburg’s Festival of Trees. This holiday event can be found in Gatlinburg at W.L. Mills Conference Center on Airport Road (formerly Historic Nature Trail) between November 22-26. The Festival of Trees features beautifully decorated Christmas trees and wreaths as well as photos with Santa and a children’s craft and play area. This is a favorite way for visitors and locals alike to get in the holiday spirit and celebrate Christmas in the Smoky Mountains.
If you’re looking for a festive way to celebrate Christmas in the Smoky Mountains, visit the Gatlinburg SkyPark to experience Lights Over Gatlinburg. This popular holiday event covers the SkyPark with Christmas lights and photo ops to immerse you in a winter wonderland. You’ll love seeing the 38-foot Christmas tree and walking through the record-breaking tunnel of lights that spans the length of the SkyBridge. You will also enjoy great views of the city of Gatlinburg below covered in holiday decorations.
These are some of the best ways to celebrate Christmas in the Smoky Mountains. Now that you know how you’ll spend your days and nights celebrating the season, it’s time to figure out where to stay during your visit. Find out why you should plan a winter getaway to our Smoky Mountain cabin rentals and start planning your trip today!