December Events in the Smoky Mountains (2024)

Smoky Mountains in December

A list of upcoming events in the Smoky Mountains for December

December is an incredible time to visit East Tennessee and the surrounding areas of Pigeon Forge, Sevierville and Gatlinburg. Below, we’ve put together a list of local events and attractions happening throughout the Smoky Mountains in December.

Our top suggestions for events and attractions include Lights Over Gatlinburg at SkyPark, Shadrack’s Christmas Lights Show, Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Celebration presented by Humana featuring live concerts, Anakeesta’s Enchanted Christmas and the annual Gatlinburg New Year’s Eve Ball Drop. And of course, no December trip to the Smokies is complete without a stop at The Christmas Place. It’s the south’s largest Christmas shopping village.

Also be sure to catch some live music at Ole Red’s, Hard Rock Cafe, Jason Aldean’s and Puckett’s on select nights. If you’re the outdoorsy type, you might want to pick a moderate-weather day and go for a hike on one of our popular trails. The Laurel Falls trail which is open year-round features beautiful waterfalls. If winter hiking isn’t your thing, you could instead take a scenic drive on the Cades Cove Loop Road. You can enjoy nature from the comfort of your heated car. And of course, there’s also skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing at Ober Mountain, Tennessee’s only ski destination. Be sure to click on the “details” buttons below for additional information about each event.

Note: While we do our best to keep this list updated, dates and times are subject to change without notice. Always call ahead or visit the event’s website before planning your trip. 

Vehicles driving in the snow on the strip
Pro-Tip: If you’re coming to the Smokies in December, make sure you bring a Front Wheel Drive or All Wheel Drive vehicle (photo by Morgan Overholt/

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Are you planning an upcoming trip to the Smokies in December? Let us know in the comments below. If you’re a local attraction that would like to add to our calendar of events, please contact our editorial team.


Disclosure: We have used and experienced all the products and activities recommended on The Smokies. We may receive compensation when you click on links to some products and experiences featured.

5 thoughts on “December Events in the Smoky Mountains (2024)”

  1. We are planning on coming to Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg are arriving Monday Dec 12 and leaving on Friday Dec 19. We are wondering what the crowds will be like. Would also like to take in a show or two. Wouldn’t mind checking out Dollywood but we don’t ride any rides so what are the ticket options? Thank you.
    Looking forward to starting our holiday season with you.

    • Hi Jim & Michele! Typically, crowds can be a little thick as it gets closer to Christmas, especially on weekends. Allow yourselves plenty of time to get around.

      Dollywood does not have a limited activity ticket, but they do offer great shows. (Remember, the park is closed on most Mondays & Tuesdays in December) If you want to check out a show in the Smokies other than Dollywood, there are several in the area. You can view a list here:

      Hope that helps! 🙂

  2. We plan on bringing our adult children to visit the mountains the 1st weekend of December. Is there a Christmas parade that weekend?

    • Hi Kim! Looks like the Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade is currently scheduled for December 2, 2022 from 7:30-9. It will begin at Baskins Creek Bypass and East Parkway in Gatlinburg.

  3. Hello my name is Tammy..we have a group of 13 coming to pigeon forge and gatlinburg Dec 15 thru Jan 2…we want to see a Christmas show, see christmas lights, and a cheap cabin for us all…any recommendations would be grateful…thanks so much…


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