Top 5 things to do in the Smokies to get you in the Christmas spirit

Gatlinburg's Skylift Park

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Christmas is a magical time in the Smokies, and if you’re already in town, congratulations! It’s hard to go wrong from here.

But if you’re looking for something more specific, look no further. Here are my top 5 picks on what to do to put ya right in the Christmas spirit:   

5 – Visit Gatlinburg SkyLift Park

The Gatlinburg SkyLift Park has the longest pedestrian bridge in North America, and it’s famous for offering some of the absolute best views of the Smokies, complete with a glass bottom at the highest point and heights at about 140 feet. 

Around Christmas, the park puts on the Lights Over Gatlinburg event, where thousands of lights illuminate the bridge. Take a stroll through a mesmerizing tunnel of Christmas magic. Afterward, relax on the SkyDeck by the fire pit, sipping on hot chocolate or cider. It’s a walk you’ll definitely remember, without the sad ending.

The lights are live now through January 31.

Price range: $19.95 per ticket

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4 – Go to Anakeesta

Anakeesta is a great place to eat, shop and chill out. Their special event for the holidays is the Enchanted Winter Celebration, which features thousands of canopy lights, a walk-in snow globe and photos with Santa on special dates. In Firefly Village you’ll find whimsical Christmas trees, each decorated with a unique theme. The Treetop Skywalk at night is illuminated to create a memorable experience for kids young and old. There’s enough here to keep you entertained all day, and it’s an experience that won’t be easily forgotten.

Price range: $21.99 per ticket  

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See Also: A review of Anakeesta 2019 — A getaway from your getaway

3 – Take a trolley tour

There are a lot of lights to see in the Smokies if you haven’t caught on yet, and one of the best ways to see them is by taking a trolley tour. The trolley carries you through downtown Gatlinburg and down the Parkway. 

Starting this year, visitors now receive a special costumed storyteller, complimentary cup of hot chocolate (courtesy of Ripley’s Aquarium) and a special commemorative token. A portion of proceeds go toward benefitting the Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce. 

Price range: $10 per ticket

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Dollywood's Smoky Mountain Christmas
Photo by Laura Akens

2 – Go to Dollywood

In case you haven’t heard, Christmas at Dollywood is so magical someone wrote a whole movie about it. Dollywood pulls out all the stops when decorating for Christmas. The new expansion, Glacier Ridge, features a Northern Lights display, a 50-ft tree and a symphony of lights in the plaza. Throughout the park, you’ll find special crafts, holiday treats and a variety of shows. To boot, most of the rides and roller coasters will continue to run through the cold weather conditions permitting. The lights are on now through Jan. 4, 2020.

Price range: $79 per adult

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1- Rent a cabin

Last but certainly not least, rent a cabin. Relaxing in a rustic cabin with mountain scenery is one of my absolute favorite things to do all year, but especially in Winter. With the breathtaking tree-top views, cozy fireplaces, outdoor hot tubs contrasted with the crisp mountain air, it’s enough to keep you from wanting to venture anywhere else.

Browse cabins

 Merry Christmas and happy planning!

Disclaimer: While we do our best to bring you the most up-to-date information, attractions or prices mentioned in this article may vary by season and are subject to change. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any mentioned business, and have not been reviewed or endorsed these entities. Contact us at [email protected] for questions or comments.


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