January Events in the Smoky Mountains (2024)

Smoky Mountains in January

A list of upcoming events in the Smoky Mountains for January

January is a peaceful time to visit the Smoky Mountains and the surrounding areas of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville in Tennessee. After the New Year and Christmas, many of the crowds have dissipated. Yet visitors can still enjoy a winter wonderland since the Smoky Mountain Winterfest celebration officially continues until mid-February. The traffic is usually much better in January as well, at least on the weekdays. But be warned, since January is one of our slowest months of the year, some area attractions, theaters and restaurants may revert to a limited winter schedule or close entirely. For example, the Dollywood theme park and Shadrack’s light show close for the remainder of their season.

Below, you will find a list of local events happening throughout the area. Some of our favorite recommendations include sightseeing at Anakeesta, skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing on the slopes at Ober Mountain (formerly Ober Gatlinburg), ice skating at Wilderness at the Smokies (in early January) and visiting with the penguins at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies.

A highly suggested activity inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is checking out historical sites and wildlife spotting along the drivable Cades Cove Loop (if weather permits). Take a winter hike to either Laurel Falls or Grotto Falls (by way of Trillium Gap Trail), both of which feature beautiful waterfalls. This time of year, they can sometimes freeze and form ice formations or icicles. Alum Cave Trail and Rainbow Falls are also popular hiking trails to explore.

a man in downtown gatlinburg looks cold in the snow while wearing a heavy winter jacket and a hat
Don’t forget to pack winter gear for your January trip to the Smokies – it’s going to be cold! (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

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Are you planning an upcoming trip to the Smokies in January? Let us know in the comments below. If you’re a local attraction that would like to add an event to our calendar, 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.

10 thoughts on “January Events in the Smoky Mountains (2024)”

  1. We are suprising our 3 teenagers to with a trip to Gatlinburg Jan 13-17th 2022!
    First time for all of us. We live in Orlando & are hoping to see some snow! Any must do must sees please pass along! Thanks for the info! See you soon.

  2. my granddaughter and I are coming January 29th-30th, It is her 18th birthday and wants to come to Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg. What fun things can we enjoy

  3. My husband and me are coming for our 45th Anniversary January 15 to 17th. We’re are doing the Hat fields and Mccoy dinner show. Hope it’s not to crowded. Anything we should know and look for we haven’t been In a long while.

  4. I am going to pigeon forge January 28-31 with a large group of people. Is is safe to drive regular vehicles and what are some nice attractions to visit during this time?

  5. My boyfriend and I are planning on coming Jan 28 – 30th for our 6 year anniversary. I’d like to make an itinerary to get the most attractions possible in such a short time. Are there any discounts available and how can I get help planning a personalized itinerary to help with openings, show showtime, best route to follow without backtracking.
    Some of the things we’d like to do is…
    Sky Wheel
    Drive thru Lights in gatlinburg
    Snow tubing at ober
    Possibly comedy show
    Sky lift park

  6. My daughter in law and I and my 3 granddaughters are coming January 28th-30th for my birth! What fun things can we do?

    • Hi Nancy! Certainly, check out either Anakeesta or SkyLift Park (or both!) around downtown Gatlinburg – you also may enjoy shopping around The Island in Pigeon Forge or listening to some live music at The Listening Room Cafe! There are several options, it just depends on what you’re interested in! Remember that Dollywood is closed for the season and some dinner shows are running on a limited schedule. Hope that helps! Happy birthday!

  7. me and my best friend will be comming there jan 14th through 28th 2024 i hope gatlinburgs restaurants and attractions arnt closed up ala the aquarium,mountain mall and local burro


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