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aerial shot of gatlinburg tn at night

6 Things to Do in Gatlinburg at Christmas Time

The holiday season is full of good memories and cheerful spirits, but why not take it a step further by taking a holiday family vacation? From Winterfest’s magical light displays to the top attraction’s annual Christmas celebrations, you can escape the hustle and bustle and be transported into a winter wonderland! Find inspiration for planning a getaway to the Smoky Mountains and take a look at a few things to do in Gatlinburg at Christmas time:

1. Ride the Ober Mountain Tram

Some of the most spectacular views can be found along the ride up to Ober Mountain on their tram! Once you reach the top, enjoy winter sports such as snow tubing and skiing. There’s also a snow play area, an ice skating rink, shopping, and dining options, so there’s plenty to keep the entire family entertained for hours!

2. Experience Anakeesta’s Enchanted Christmas 

anakeesta at nightAnother one of the top things to do in Gatlinburg at Christmas time is Enchanted Christmas at Anakeesta. This popular attraction is transformed into a winter wonderland, and you can visit with Santa, listen to carolers, and experience the holiday market during the day, then enjoy the mesmerizing Christmas light displays when the sun goes down. 

3. See the Lights over Gatlinburg at Skypark

Lights over Gatlinburg is a highly anticipated Christmas event in Gatlinburg! Not only do you have incredible views of the Smokies lit up at night, but you can also walk the entire length of the SkyBridge, which is transformed into a shimmering tunnel of light!

4. Explore the Great Smoky Mountains National Park 

The national park is a fun and beautiful place to explore all year long! There are plenty of opportunities for winter hiking in the Smokies, and some areas may be less crowded during the colder weather. The Gatlinburg Trail is accessible in downtown Gatlinburg, and the beginner-friendly trail leads you to Sugarlands Visitor Center. And, of course, driving the Cades Cove Scenic Loop is a great way to see wildlife, learn more about the area’s history, and admire the natural beauty of the Smoky Mountains!

5. Go shopping along the strip 

baskins square sign during christmasPlaces in downtown Gatlinburg, such as The Village Shops, the Mountain Mall, or Baskins Square, contain a variety of unique stores selling local items you won’t find anywhere else. You will easily be able to find gifts for family and friends! The Tunes and Tales carolers are caroling along the streets of downtown again this year, so it’s the perfect atmosphere to enjoy the festive spirit while you shop. 

6. Eat a hearty meal at our downtown Gatlinburg restaurant. 

After a full and fun day, there’s nothing more satisfying than a delicious meal at our restaurant in Gatlinburg! We serve traditional Southern comfort food such as buttermilk fried chicken and smoked BBQ, but the Cumberland Jack’s menu also features a variety of unique seafood dishes, burgers, pasta, flatbreads, and more! Plus, we offer delicious handcrafted drinks and cocktails that you won’t want to miss. 

We hope you’ll join us for lunch or dinner during your holiday trip and enjoy the many exciting things to do in Gatlinburg at Christmas time! Want more restaurant recommendations to try during your vacation? Check out this guide on where to eat in Gatlinburg for one day!