sunrise over Gatlinburg, Tennessee

7 Things to Do When You Spend Your Thanksgiving Weekend in Gatlinburg - Sidney James Mountain Lodge in Gatlinburg, TN

gatlinburg fall pumpkin sign
November 24, 2017

If you decided to come to spend your Thanksgiving in Gatlinburg, you picked a time of year when a lot is actually happening. Even though traffic isn’t as bad during late November there’s still plenty of excitement with local attractions and festivities going on. The Sidney James Motel Lodge wants to share 8 things you can do while spending your holiday here in the Smokies.

1. Ober Gatlinburg

Ober Gatlinburg is a winter sports resort. It offers snow tubing, year-round ice skating, snowboarding, and skiing. You can bring your own gear, or rent anything you need onsite. Ober operates on man-made snow and real snow, weather permitting, so season opening can depend on the local weather.

2. Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers the beauty of changing seasons and fall colors. When you spend Thanksgiving in Gatlinburg you can travel into the park for a hike or a stroll to either build an appetite for dinner that night or work off some of that turkey from the night before. The weather in the park in at this time of year is pretty chilly. Down jackets and boots are recommended especially if you travel to any high elevations where snow is highly likely to be.

3. Thanksgiving Arts and Crafts Show

Gatlinburg is home to a diverse and skilled set of local craftsmen and artists. Around Thanksgiving time a large arts and crafts show occurs to showcase the skills of these men and women. This is the perfect opportunity to learn about local heritage from the East Tennessee area and find a few unique souvenirs.

4. Festival of Trees

The Festival of Trees is a local event that features crafts, twinkling Christmas trees, entertainment each day, and visits from Santa Claus himself. Admission is free, but any collected proceeds from the festival got to the Boys and Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains. The Festival of Trees is a wonderful way to get excited for the holiday season.

5. Christmas Lights

holiday snowman lights

A calming and fun thing to do one night during the holiday weekend is take a drive around Gatlinburg to see their holiday Christmas lights. In the last few years, Gatlinburg reinvested and bought bright, new LED lights to display around town. Going to explore and see the lights will be a memory your kids won’t soon forget.

6. Black Friday Shopping

One of the most notable activities to do during the Thanksgiving season is go Black Friday shopping. Instead of fighting traffic and other shoppers at a mall, enjoy a walk through Gatlinburg enjoying your vacation as many stores have Black Friday deals.

7. Plenty of Restaurants to Try

Thanksgiving usually comes down to showcasing a bountiful, delicious meal for the whole family. Maybe you don’t want to make all of that effort, luckily there are plenty of restaurant choices in the Gatlinburg area that are happy to make your Thanksgiving meal. Some local favorites include The Alamo Steakhouse, the Cherokee Grill, the Trout House, and many more.

Whether it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas, or anytime of the year Gatlinburg will offer plenty for you to see and do. Make sure you get the best deals ahead of time and worry less about last minute planning when you come stay in our cozy rooms for your future getaway.