We hope you are planning a Winterfest trip to the Smoky Mountains. With dazzling light displays throughout the towns, Christmas ribbons around the lamp posts, and some rendition of “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” playing in every store, it almost feels like we’re living in a snow globe this month- we’ve even enjoyed a few flurries already! But with so much to see and do, it can be hard to narrow down the best shows and activities to fit in your schedule- not to mention something that all ages will enjoy together! We’ve narrowed down 10 of our favorite Christmas activities that have proven to fill every heart with cheer- even hearts that are two sizes too small! 😀
If you are planning a visit to Hidden Mountain this month, here are a few of our favorite things:
- Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas– Until January 5, enjoy a wonderland of Christmas decorations, shows, and cheer at Dolly Parton’s theme park. Don’t miss “Glacier Ridge,” a new expansion of Christmas fun for the family! Dollywood is open every day in December, except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The park opens at 11 AM or 2 PM, depending on the day, and closes at 9 PM. To find business hours for the day of your visit, click here.
- Christmas at The Island– With shopping, dining, dancing fountains, and rides, The Island is a wonderful place to soak up some Christmas cheer. From fried chicken and butter cake at Paula Deen’s to the oldest family-owned five and dime in the country, Emery’s 5 & 10, there’s a good time around every corner at The Island. Find business hours here.
- The Smoky Mountain Opry– If this joyful show doesn’t delight your Christmas spirit, you may find yourself in danger of being labeled a Grinch. This Christmas variety show is headlined by Chris Blue, season 12 winner of The Voice, and features most genres of Christmas hits plus an appearance by the jolly old elf himself- Santa! Find showtimes and tickets here.
- Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland– If getting out of the car on a cold night just isn’t your thing, then crank up the heat, swing through Krispy Kreme, and head out to Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland at the Smokies Stadium. Tune your radio to their station and drive through acres of enchanting Christmas lights. Cars or Passenger Vans with 8 passengers or less are $25. Be prepared to experience long car lines on the weekends or visit during the less crowded Monday-Thursday dates. For hours and additional activities available, visit here.
- Gatlinburg Trolley Ride of Lights– For guests who want the full Winterfest experience without having to navigate the mountain traffic, hop on this Trolley ride and enjoy a heated tour of Gatlinburg. You won’t miss a Christmas light and you may even meet some new friends! We recommend purchasing tickets in advance here.
- Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade– December 7 only! Enjoy the 43rd annual Christmas tradition as it floats through downtown Gatlinburg with enough Christmas cheer to power Santa’s sleigh! Did you know Blake Shelton is opening a new business in Gatlinburg? Ole Red’s is sponsoring the Gatlinburg Christmas Parade this year! Will Blake be there? I’m not sure. Will you be there? Find out when to arrive and where to park here.
- Christmas at Dolly Parton’s Stampede– Save your calories because you’ll enjoy a hearty meal while watching this riveting Christmas show with live horseback-riding feats and family friendly entertainment! Featuring a live nativity with sheep, goats, donkeys, & camels, Dolly Parton’s Stampede reminds us of the true meaning of Christmas. Find show times and tickets here.
- Hatfield & McCoy’s Christmas Disaster– Because not every family likes spending time together. ha! But you can still have fun together while enjoying two other families feud it out this holiday season while you sit back and enjoy your dinner. Find showtimes and tickets here.
- The Comedy Barn Christmas– While this is #9 on this list, it was my first show of the season. If you love to laugh- especially with kiddos- this is a fantastic show! Find tickets here.
- Christmas Eve Candlelight Communion– If you’re in town for Christmas, we invite you to visit First Baptist Church in Sevierville on Christmas Eve as we honor and celebrate the gift of Christ Jesus.