4 Fun Things to Do in Gatlinburg for the Holidays

Holiday light display celebrating Christmas in Gatlinburg.
December 1, 2021

The holiday season is a magical time in the Smoky Mountains! From the beautiful snow-covered mountains to the buzzing nightlife and the Gatlinburg festivals, there is joy all around during the holidays. No matter how you spend your holiday in Gatlinburg, it’s sure to be a winter wonderland to remember! Here are 4 things to do in Gatlinburg for the holidays:

1. Enjoy Winterfest

From November to February, the City of Gatlinburg lights up to celebrate the holidays with Winterfest. More than $1 million of LED, environmentally-friendly lights bring visitors a truly special and unique type of visual entertainment. In the past few years, the city has made the Gatlinburg Winterfest light display more energy efficient, keeping the lights on longer with less energy. Light up your holiday season by driving around and enjoying the light displays with lights shaped like trees, holiday decorations, and local wildlife. Don’t miss out on all of the winter magic this season!

2. New Year’s Eve Ball Drop and Fireworks Show

space needle

Ring in your new year with the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop and fireworks show in Gatlinburg! Gather in style to watch the Space Needle and surrounding areas shine bright. The awe-inspiring light and fireworks show is one of the fun things to do in Gatlinburg for the holidays, so grab a hot cup of cider and all of your loved ones for this event. The show includes glowing lights on the most magnificent local buildings and music to go along with the choreographed fireworks show. Visitors of all interests will be glad they rang in the new year with the Gatlinburg New Year’s Eve Ball Drop and Fireworks Show.

3. Check Out the Trolley Ride of the Lights

This festive winter trolley ride will truly get visitors in the holiday spirit! Every winter, there are trolleys dedicated to and decorated for the Trolley Ride of Lights. Hop on a local trolley for a relaxing trip through the Smoky Mountains, downtown, and Highway 321. LED lights designed like local wildlife and other holiday cheer is gives visitors of all ages a one-of-a-kind look at the magical wonder of Gatlinburg Winter Magic. Although the tickets are inexpensive and the ride runs through the end of January, it’s recommended to make reservations in advance.

4. Year-Round Festive Activities

Other year-round activities in Gatlinburg will keep you and your loved ones busy during the holiday season. One of the best winter activities you won’t want to miss out on is skiing in the beautiful Smoky Mountains at Ober Gatlinburg. You can also go snowboarding and snow tubing at Ober! Other fun things to do in Gatlinburg during this time of year include visiting Gatlinburg SkyLift Park, Anakeesta, and Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies!

Now that you know all the fun things to do in Gatlinburg for the holidays, you can start planning your winter trip to the Smokies. Want to know more about why Gatlinburg is such a great place to vacation? Learn more about the area and discover the all the fun activities your family will love!