Ice skate on a ‘frozen wave pool’ at Wilderness at the Smokies in 2020

Guests ice skate at Wilderness at the Smokies (photo courtesy of Wilderness at the Smokies)

Guests ice skate at Wilderness at the Smokies (photo courtesy of Wilderness at the Smokies)

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The holidays are all about traditions, which is why Wilderness at the Smokies is excited to announce it is bringing back its outdoor ice skating rink Nov. 13, 2020-Jan. 10, 2021.

“Being outside in the fresh air ice skating together is the perfect family holiday tradition especially this year as we are all trying to social distance more,” said Pete Tennis, general manager of Wilderness at the Smokies.

The ice rink, which occupies 3,200 square feet of the resort’s outdoor wave pool, will be open daily for resort guests and the public to enjoy.

The admission fee will be included with room rates if guests use code: ICESKATE at the time of booking. At check-in, guests will be able to purchase admission for $10 per person.

At the rink, admission will be for $17.99 plus tax for guests or the public and will include skates.

The rink will be open from 10 am to 10 pm Saturday-Sunday, Thanksgiving and Christmas break; and 4 pm to 10 pm Monday-Friday.

Tennis adds there are a number of fun things planned for the rink this year including an onsite DJ on Friday Nov. 13, 20, and 27 from 7-10 pm. There will also be a figure skating performance every Friday evening from 7:30-7:45 pm.

For those who have never skated before, Cool Sports will be offering skating lessons every Saturday between 9-10 am. The cost of a lesson is $15 for 30 minutes or $25 for an hour.

Reservations will need to be made in advance at the Smoky Crossing Hut. In addition, Cool Sports will also be hosting a hockey game for folks to watch on Saturday, Dec. 5 from 7 am-noon.

Skate for a Cause

On Saturday, Nov. 21 from 10 am-10 pm the resort will be hosting a special fundraiser for Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee in which 100 percent of the public ice skating admissions will directly benefit the agency.

Additional Wilderness at the Smokies Holiday Traditions

Wilderness at the Smokies Thanksgiving
The resort’s Thirsty Miner’s Thanksgiving buffet will be returning this year but with some new safety measures in place. Enjoy a hearty buffet served by mask and glove-wearing staff, from 1-8 pm. Plexi-glass shields will protect the front and side of the buffet. 

Tables will be spaced apart from each other and will be disinfected between use. Reservations will be required.

To see a complete menu, visit the Wilderness at the Smokies website.

Please call 865-868-4473 to make your reservation.

The resort will also be hosting a Christmas Day buffet. Those details are still being worked out.

Santa Appearances
Resort guests will be able to meet and greet Santa Claus on Saturday Nov. 28, Dec. 5, 12, and 19 from 12-5 pm in the resort’s holiday-themed River Lodge Conference Center. Santa will be seated with two decorated Christmas trees between his chair and a chair for the child/children for photo opportunities. Santa will also be sitting behind plexi-glass with a piece in between him and his little guests for everyone’s safety.

Storytime with Mrs. Claus
Resort guests are invited to join Mrs. Claus on Friday, Nov. 27, Dec. 4, 11, and 18 and then on Thursday, Dec. 24 as she hosts 30-minute Christmas-themed storytimes at 6, 6:30, 7 and 7:30 pm at the River Lodge Conference Center. (Only 12 children will be able to participate in each story time.) To sign up for a time, visit guests services.

Santa Hustle Smokies 5K & Half Marathon
The Santa Hustle Smokies 5K and Half Marathon event is going virtual this year. Guests can choose to register for the Virtual Santa Hustle 5K, 10K, half marathon or marathon race and receive swag in the mail after registration.

Walk or run your designated race anytime and wear the finish medal proudly. Virtual runners will receive all the swag prior to their run: 

  • Women’s or unisex full zip hoodie
  • Santa hat
  • Santa beard buff
  • Finisher medal

The Virtual Santa Hustle will take place throughout the entire month of December. Cost of entry runs from $45-$55.

Winterfest in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville
Many of the region’s entertainment and tourist attractions transform for the holidays. Smoky Mountain Winterfest offers a spectacular display of lights and events across these three mountain towns to celebrate the chilly season with light displays, unique shopping, award-winning shows and attractions — all while showcasing the winter beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Wilderness at the Smokies is located at 1424 Old Knoxville Hwy, Sevierville, TN.

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 for questions or comments.


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