The goal of almost every Christmas vacation,
particularly a Christmas vacation to the Smoky Mountains, is to come as close to experiencing a literal Winter Wonderland as possible with your family or group; and we have several excellent recommendations for our guests who want to do just that for this Christmas season.
Take a look at what can complete the holiday season for you:
Dollywood's Smoky Mountain Christmas
Usually the first recommendation that comes to mind for Smoky Mountain Winter Wonderlands for a reason - Dollywood transforms almost the entire park into a Christmas dream come true. Millions and millions of lights are affixed to buildings, structures, trees and even some of the rides from one end of the park to the other. Classic decorations are in great supply - you'll see snowy textures, icicles, giant toys, gingerbread men, bells, wreaths and amazing Christmas trees.
The park stays open well into dark, until about 9:00PM (weather permitting) with many of the rides in operation. Christmas music fills the air from the theaters to the atmosphere music (often coming out of cleverly designed stereo systems masquerading as small stone boulders) alongside professional carolers and more. There are nightly parades featuring many of your favorite Christmas icons starting at 8:00PM and Santa's Workshop is back up and receiving visitors at the County Fair section of the park.
Christmas Shows for this year include:
See more on Dollywood
- - It's A Wonderful Life
- - Appalachian Christmas
- - Christmas in the Smokies
- - Christmas With the Kingdom Heirs
- - O' Holy Night
- - 'Twas the Night Before Christmas
- - MistleTones
* Gatlinburg Winter Magic Tunes and Tales
Downtown Gatlinburg itself offers plenty of good Christmas Appalachian atmosphere to enjoy while shopping and exploring the main strip. The Village is one such place where a quaint environment makes you feel a cozy sense of familiarity while The Mountain Mall offers a wide variety of unique shops with a mall structure you've likely never seen before. North Gatlinburg is as quiet and delicate as it comes; and then you have The Shops at Carousel Mall, Calhoun Village and so much more.
Is it possible to add even more to the experience? You bet, and that's where Gatlinburg Winter Magic Tunes and Tales comes from. Each weekend up to December 17th will have professional entertainers sing mountain songs, Christmas carols, tell stories and even showcase Christmas characters like Santa's elves, Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. It's a very delightful throwback to the ways of old and it mixes very well with the Christmas of today.
See more on Gatlinburg Winter Magic Tunes and Tales
Shadrack's Christmas Wonderland
Don't think Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg are the only places to have Winter Wonderland bliss in the Smokies, in between Sevierville and Kodak we have an awesome little place to entertain families and groups with at the Tennessee Smokies Baseball Stadium on Highway 66.
Shadrack's, like Dollywood
, transforms its amusement property into a full manifestation of Christmas spirit with hundreds of thousands of lights and lighting displays synced up to rock, synthesizer and orchestral arrangements of Christmas music - like those in Youtube videos you've probably seen except on a much grander scale and, of course, live action played right in front of you. Shadrack's also features a petting zoo, the "Double Play Cafe", inflatable fun things, photos with Santa Claus and plenty of other things to keep kids of all ages lit up with excitement.
See more on Shadrack's Christmas Wonderland
And yes, all of these attractions can be gotten to with relative ease from our vacation houses in the Smokies. You'll want to choose a cabin that comes closer to the attractions you're more interested to see, but you'll still be able to get there in back without taking up a huge portion of the day for travel alone.
Find the cabin that best serves you