“Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas….” Ah, wintertime, the time of the year that we bring out our coats, dust off those “lovable sweaters” that the in-laws love to bestow on us each Christmas, and stock the cabinets with our favorite soups and coco. Out in town, the storefront windows are starting to become decorated with our favorite winter scenes and the street lights are getting dressed with displays of snowflakes, snowmen, and wreaths.
Here in the mountains of Sevier County, you’ll find that the cities of Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg are all decked out in lights from November 7th through February 28th for the 27th Annual Smoky Mountain Winterfest Celebration. Here you will be able to enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the Holiday Season all while still having fun at the area attractions. You’ll enjoy millions of lights, some twinkling, as you drive down the parkway and surrounding streets taking in the lighting displays.
Sevierville – You’ll want to check out the live music, kids events and hayrides with Santa! The city will have a kickoff celebration in early December at the Sevierville Community Center including inflatable bounce attractions, fireworks and coco by the mugful. Stay around for the winter themed firework show just after the Christmas parade. If you’re looking for something to do while you wait for the lights to come on, don’t forget all the Christmas shopping that can be done at Tanger Outlets and the many other specialty shops and store around town.
Pigeon Forge – If theaters and Christmas shows are your thing, you’ll be set in Pigeon Forge. Here you will find theaters with such shows as Christmas at The Smoky Mountain Opry, featuring a multi-million dollar Christmas production that features flying sugar plum fairies, soaring angels, dancing elves, and most importantly, spotlighting the celebration of the birth of Christ with the area’s largest living nativity. Country Tonight Christmas Show promises a holiday bonus for everyone. You’ll get the regular season show during the first half and then the holiday magic abounds when the stage opens for the second half, including the Smokies most talented award winning singers and dancers, covering a number of holiday classics. The Comedy Barn Christmas will have you laughing over holiday themed magicians, jugglers, ventriloquists and family comedians along with live Christmas and gospel music and barnyard animals.
If you forgot to eat while you were out shopping don’t worry, as you’ll find many dinner theaters in town ready to provide you with holiday cheer in the form of delicious meals to fill your stomach. Dixie Stampede Christmas is your favorite arena transformed with softly falling snow, twinkling lights, evergreens, poinsettias, old-fashioned holiday costumes, and familiar holiday music. Christmas at Dolly Parton’s Lumberjack Adventure will have you cheering for either the McGregor’s or the Wheelers as they fight for control over the old saw mill on Locus Ridge. You’ll be served a feast big enough for, well, big enough for a lumberjack, while watching the families compete in a variety of activities showcasing their lumberjack skills all in a holiday setting. At the Hatfield & McCoy Christmas Diner Disaster, it doesn’t matter if you’re city-folk or country cuzins, you’ll love all the Christmas themed singing and dancing. These two families have become the longest running feud in history and this holiday season, you can help the Hatfield’s and McCoy’s try to settle their differences, mountain style.
No trip to Pigeon Forge would be complete without a stop at Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Festival. Here you’ll find yourself immersed in millions of lights while still enjoying rides on all your favorite coasters, as well as the new Lightning Rod coaster, which is finally running on a permanent basis. Be sure and check out the all new show, It’s a Wonderful Life, performed daily in Dollywood’s Show Street Palace Theater as well as the new Parade of Many Colors, premiering on November 16th. Many beloved classics will return such as Christmas in the Smokies, Christmas with the Kingdom Heirs, O’ Holy Night, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, and Timber Canyon Festival of Lights.
Gatlinburg – Enjoy your stay in Gatlinburg by riding around town on one of the trolleys during the Trolley of Lights. These special tours are only $5 a person aboard a specially designed Gatlinburg Trolley and run at 6:30, 7:30 and 8:30 PM daily. The Gatlinburg Space Needle will provide you a view of the Christmas lights from 407 feet up above the city! You’ll see the lights in a way you have never thought of before from this sky high view. Ober Gatlinburg will provide the adrenaline rushes you are looking for with ten different skiing trails, a terrain park and three chairlifts. If skiing isn’t your thing, check out the tubing or the indoor ice skating rink.
Of course, don’t forget that you’re at the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park; if the hustle and bustle is too much, you can always take a leisurely drive through the natural snowy wonderland found in the higher elevations. A hike through the balsam forest just after a frost comes through is truly an experience not to be missed. Whatever you decide to do on your visit, you can be sure that your Christmas in the Smokies will be a memorable one!