sunrise over Gatlinburg, Tennessee

4 Fun Ways to Celebrate Christmas in Gatlinburg with Your Family and Friends

christmas ornaments
November 27, 2019

Gatlinburg is a magical place to be during the holiday season, making it the perfect destination for your Christmas celebration! You will not only find spectacular holiday light displays throughout town but also wonderful special events that will fill your heart with cheer! All the action is just steps away from our hotel! Here are the top 4 fun ways to celebrate Christmas in Gatlinburg with your family and friends:

1. Trolley Ride of Lights

holiday snowman lights

One of the best ways to celebrate Christmas in Gatlinburg is aboard the Gatlinburg Winter Magic Trolley Ride of Lights! While anyone can drive through downtown Gatlinburg to admire the dazzling light displays, there is nothing like soaking up the spirit of the season from the comfort of a Gatlinburg Trolley! During the 45-minute journey, you will travel through downtown and the adjacent East Parkway to view all of the beautiful Christmas lights. Your ticket also includes a special costumed storyteller as your guide and a complimentary cup of hot chocolate! This trolley route departs 3 times nightly from the Mass Transit Center at traffic light #5 with departure times at 6:30, 7:30, and 8:30 pm. There are no rides on the first Friday in December, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day.

2. Winter Smoky Mountain Tunes and Tales

When you really want to get into the Christmas spirit, simply take a stroll through downtown Gatlinburg to enjoy the Winter Smoky Mountain Tunes and Tales! This interactive program offers a variety of free entertainment throughout the city, including unique holiday music that combines Appalachia, bluegrass, and country! This is also a fun opportunity to meet with Santa’s Elves, Frosty, Rudolph, and many more of your favorite Christmas characters! The Winter Smoky Mountain Tunes and Tales performances take place on Friday and Saturday nights from 5:00 to 9:30 pm, starting the weekend after Thanksgiving until the third weekend in December.

3. Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade

parade float

If you are lucky enough to be in town on the first Friday in December, you are in for a real treat with the Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade! This spectacular parade kicks off at 7:30 pm from the Baskins Creek Bypass and features balloons, floats decorated by local businesses and groups, and nearly a dozen marching bands! The parade runs through the middle of downtown Gatlinburg before ending at traffic light #10. Be sure to arrive early to find a good spot on the Parkway to watch the parade! You can also purchase bleacher seats, which are near the start of the parade route and offer a fantastic view!

4. Great Smoky Christmas Arts and Crafts Show

Another great way to celebrate Christmas in Gatlinburg is with the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Show at the Gatlinburg Convention Center! This craft show features unique handcrafted gifts and products that have been created by artisans from the Great Smoky Mountains craft community. You can even take part in demonstrations to see how some of these wonderful products are made! The Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Show takes place during the first week of December, and the show hours are from 10 am to 5 pm on Mondays through Saturdays and from 10 am to 4 pm on Sunday. This is the perfect place to do any last minute holiday shopping and perhaps even pick up a gift or two for yourself!

Check out all of the rooms at our hotel in Gatlinburg TN today to plan your holiday getaway to the Smoky Mountains and enjoy the magic of Christmas in Gatlinburg! We look forward to seeing you this holiday season!