Winter Activities in the Smoky Mountains

Winter is a magical time of year in the Smoky Mountains as the snow falls and the excitement ofthe holidays is in the air. If you’re thinking about taking a vacation in the area, you’ll be excited to know that there’s a bevy of winter activities to enjoy in the Smoky Mountains and surrounding Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg communities, including:

  • Winterfest Driving Tour of Lights –Adorned with more than five million holiday lights, Pigeon Forge creates a winter wonderland for locals and guests alike to enjoy during the city’s annual Winterfest celebration.
  • Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade – Watch a spectacle of LED light displays, marching bands, large balloons, dancers, and holiday characters parade on by during this family-friendly celebration.
  • Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas – Dollywood is a classic local destination and its annual Smoky Mountain Christmas is really something to see! With its millions of lights, award-winning shows, and 50-foot Christmas tree, you’ll definitely be feeling the holiday spirit.
  • Ober Gatlinburg – Hit the slopes at the area’s only ski resort. Adrenaline seekers can catch some air while skiing or snowboarding, while others can get their thrills at the tubing hill.
  • Winter hiking – Between the snowy landscapes and frozen waterfalls, hiking in the Smoky Mountains during this time of year will surely take your breath away.

Holiday Shopping

The line of shops in downtown Gatlinburg is gorgeous during the winter season. They are decorated with winter lights and other decorations, making them look like a scene out of a movie. After shopping, visit The Village and The Donut Friar for coffee and donuts.

Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community

Visiting the Arts and Crafts Community is a great way to support local artists. Pass by the Geoffrey A. Wolpert Gallery found inside the Arrowroot School of Arts and Crafts and learn more about the local art scene. There are more than 200 businesses selling traditional arts. This community comprises soap makers, woodworkers, potters, and glassblowers among other artists. The 8-mile loop in Gatlinburg, TN, is open all winter.


The Smokies museums are open all winter long. These museums offer educational and interactive exhibits. Some of the popular museums include Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, Titanic Museum Attraction, Alcatraz East Crime Museum, Hollywood Wax Museum, and WonderWorks, and Bush’s Visitor Center.

Smoky Mountain Knife Works

As the world’s largest knife retailer and over 100,000 sq ft of showroom space, Smoky Mountain Knife Works cannot be missed by the knife enthusiast. From small custom knife makers to major knife manufacturers, this place has it all. You’ll also find a wide selection of firearms, ammunition, antiques, clothing, kitchenware, sporting goods, and more. Only five minutes away from the resort!

Sevier Air

Sevier Air allows you to bring the outdoor adventure indoors. The Trampoline and Ninja Warrior Park offer 35,000 square feet of space featuring a wide range of activities, including trampoline dodgeball, wall climbing, and dunk contest among others. The Ninja Warrior Park is the center of the attraction, where actual American Ninja Warrior hopefuls train.

Hatfield & McCoy Christmas Disaster Dinner Feud

Starting in November, the popular Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Feud in Pigeon Forge begins their Christmas shows with hilarious historical dinner theatre performances with a full southern homestyle feast. Enjoy classic southern meals with fried chicken, mashed potatoes, coleslaw, and “Granny’s Famous Specialty Dessert” while your family watches the show.

Scenic Helicopter Tours’ Night Flights

The Winterfest Night Flight Tours by Scenic Helicopter Tours shows you the beauty of the Pigeon Forge’s Smoky Mountains at night. You will fly over Pigeon Forge and Sevierville and then to Dollywood and The Island. As you fly over the area, the pilots will tell you all you need to know about the area and its heritage.

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

You can visit the Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies any time of the year. This is one of the best aquariums in the U.S. and the best place to see penguins, according to USA Today. You can explore one or many of the exhibits and see all different types of sea life. Occasionally, there are special events where you can watch divers go into the shark tank. There is also a large playground for the kids to enjoy.

Pancake Breakfast

There are several delicious pancake restaurants in Pigeon Forge. The pancake culture here is so popular that you’ll find all different flavors of pancakes to enjoy during your stay in the area. One of the best places for a pancake breakfast is Pancake Pantry in Gatlinburg, Tennessee’s first pancake house established in 1960.

Oak Haven Resort & Spa

If you want to enjoy winter activities in the Smoky Mountains, there’s no better place to stay during your vacation than Oak Haven Resort & Spa. Our sprawling luxury cabin resort has an array of uniquely designed cabins, each one with a hot tub and cozy fireplace for you to shake off the winter snow and decompress. If you’d like to learn more about our one- to seven-bedroom cabins and schedule the winter vacation of your dreams, contact us today!

What is Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge like in the winter?

The area is bustling with Christmas-themed activities during the holiday season and the winter lights are up long after they’ve ended. The Smoky Mountain Winterfest is held between November and February. Temperatures get as low as 29 degrees Fahrenheit, with highs in the low 50s.

Does Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge get snow?

This area sees an average of about 1.3 inches of snow in December, 3.3 inches of snow in January, and 2.3 inches of snow in February.

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