One of my favorite traditions is our yearly trip to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. I have been going there since I was a child, and we have almost always taken a trip at Thanksgiving or Christmas. Even if you go at Thanksgiving, the town will be decorated for Christmas! Today I will be discussing a few of my favorite things to do in Gatlinburg at Christmastime. There are many more activities than this, as Gatlinburg continues to grow each year!
We went to Dollywood last year for the first time since I was in high school, and it was even more magical now than it was then! Dollywood is Dolly Parton’s theme park located in Pigeon Forge, which is a very short drive from Gatlinburg. The park features many rides, shows, restaurants, and gift shops, so there is something that will appeal to everyone! Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures from the park because I was constantly on a roller coaster!
2. New Year’s Eve Ball Drop
Downtown Gatlinburg closes down the main street on New Year’s Eve for their own ball drop from the Space Needle! I have not been to this event recently, but I have heard the celebration has grown! There are many parties you can go to at different locations, such as Ole Red, Ober Gatlinburg, and Skylift Park.
3. Trolley Ride of Lights
Take a ride on a heated trolley to view the Festival of Lights in Gatlinburg. You have to buy tickets for this quick, and it is always sold out when we go Thanksgiving. However, you can find the route at the Visitor’s Center and ride the route yourself.
4. Ice Skating at Ober Gatlinburg
Take an aerial tramway from the Parkway in downtown Gatlinburg all the way to Ober Gatlinburg, an amusement park nestled in the Great Smokey Mountains. You can also hit the slopes or go snow tubing in the winter at Ober Gatlinburg, but I’ve never done either of these activities. I do know snow tubing tickets sell out quickly, so book in advance if you plan to do this!
5. Christmas at the Biltmore Estate
If you are already in the Gatlinburg area, it is worth it to make the drive to Asheville, North Carolina to visit the historic Biltmore Estate, the largest home in America. The mansion is majestically decorated at Christmas and definitely worth the extra drive to see!