sunrise over Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Top 4 Things to Know About Enchanted Christmas at Anakeesta

anakeesta at night
November 18, 2023

While some people might consider the winter months as the “off-season” in Gatlinburg, this is actually one of the best times to visit the Smokies! You will not only find less crowds in Great Smoky Mountains National Park but also lots of special events throughout the winter months! One of the most exciting events is the Enchanted Christmas at Anakeesta, where the family theme park is transformed into a winter wonderland! Here are the top 4 things you need to know about Enchanted Christmas at Anakeesta:

1. What to Expect

Anakeesta at Christmas

Enchanted Christmas at Anakeesta is a celebration of the winter season with festive light displays, unique shopping opportunities, seasonal dining, and more! This is a perfect time to visit with Anakeesta with your family and friends, since you can gather around the fire with a hot cup of cocoa, stroll through the magical shopping villages, and enjoy a delicious dinner! For a fun experience, climb to the top of the AnaVista Tower perched on the summit of the mountain. This observation tower is the highest point in downtown Gatlinburg and provides an amazing view of the light displays not just at Anakeesta, but in all of downtown Gatlinburg! Don't miss the opportunity to see a classic Christmas tree farm, watch winter lights programmed to festive seasonal soundtracks, and experience a sensory walk through Vista Gardens!

2. Shopping Options

You will find plenty of exciting shopping options throughout Anakeesta such as the Mercantile at Black Bear Village, Catching Fireflies, Adventure Outpost, and the Great Outdoors Trading Company. If you are visiting during the holiday season, this is the perfect chance to pick up some seasonal decor and gifts for your loved ones! Of course, you can always find farm-style home goods, nostalgic games, candies, handcrafted pottery, and much more. Be sure to check out Bear Essentials in downtown Gatlinburg as well!

3. Seasonal Dining Experiences

prime rib with mashed potatoes

One of the best parts about attending the Enchanted Christmas at Anakeesta is the opportunity to enjoy the seasonal dining experiences. The Clifftop Restaurant features smoked her-rubbed prime rib and creamy smashed potatoes, Chef's veggines, horseradish sauce, and pan jus. The Smokehouse features hickory-smoked ham with pineapple glaze, garlic herb beans, mac and cheese, and cornbread. Stop by the Watering Can for a Christmas tree waffle on a stick, or grab some gingerbread funnel fries from the Snack Shack. Be sure to save room for a peppermint hot chocolate or wassail from Pearl’s Pie in the Sky.

4. Operating Hours and Ticket Information

The Enchanted Christmas at Anakeesta is open from late November to the end of December, giving you plenty of time to visit this festive event during the holiday season. When planning your trip, be sure to check the official operating calendar for Anakeesta for the current operating hours as well as to see what special events or live performances are happening that day. The general admission tickets to Anakeesta include a ride on the Chondola or Ridge Rambler to the summit, North America’s longest Treetop Skywalk, Vista Gardens, AnaVista Tower, the special villages, access to all of the beautiful light displays, and more! Rides on the mountain coasters, the dueling ziplines, and food, drink, and merchandise all cost extra.

Check out all of the rooms at our hotel in downtown Gatlinburg today to stay just minutes away from the Enchanted Winter event at Anakeesta! We look forward to seeing you this winter at the Sidney James Mountain Lodge!