Where to see Santa in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge: Our top 10 suggestions

Santa visits Crave

Santa will be visiting Crave Golf Club again this year (photo courtesy of Crave Golf Club)

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Santa is officially making his rounds throughout the Smokies in East Tennessee for the 2021 season. And he’s excited to hear about your wishlists!

Because Santa tends to be a busy guy, we thought it might be helpful to share his current travel itinerary in this article.

But be warned, Santa’s schedule sometimes changes with little to no notice. Due to circumstances beyond his control, he often has to make emergency trips back to the North Pole.

With that in mind, it might be best to call ahead and confirm that he’s still there before packing up your own sleigh with tiny children.

Without further ado, here are ten places to get your photos made with Santa in Gatlinburg and the surrounding areas of Pigeon Forge, Sevierville, Kodak and Townsend.

10. Crave Golf Club (Pigeon Forge)

Crave Golf gets decked out this time of year with almost 100 trees, 30,000 twinkling lights and 20,000 ornaments as part of their candy-themed Christmas event. And we all know how Santa loves candy.

This year, free photo ops will be available with both Santa and the Grinch at Crave Golf on the following dates:

  • Santa: Saturday, Dec. 4, 6-9 pm
  • Grinch: Saturday, Dec. 11, 6-9 pm
  • Santa: Saturday, Dec. 18, 6-9 pm
  • Grinch: Wednesday, Dec. 22, 6-9 pm
  • Santa: Thursday, Dec. 23, 6-9 pm

For more information, visit their website.

Read Also: Mini-golf, putt putt in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg: Our top 10 ranked

9. Santa’s Claus-et (Gatlinburg)

This year, Santa has been hanging out in some new digs at Santa’s Claus-et: Santa’s Candy Cane Cottage.

At Santa’s Candy Cane Cottage, kids can tell Santa about what they want for Christmas, receive a personalized keepsake ornament and get their photos taken.

It’s free to visit Santa, but there will be a small charge if you want to take a photo home.

Santa has to keep up with rising labor costs to keep those elves happy. Good help is hard to find nowadays.

Santa will be making regular appearances at the Cottage throughout the months of November and December.

While hours may vary, especially on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, his general schedule at the Candy Cane Cottage will be as follows:

  • Wednesdays, 1-5 pm
  • Thursdays, 1-5 pm
  • Fridays, 1-5 pm
  • Saturdays, 1-5 pm
  • Sundays, 10:30 am-3 pm

For more information visit the Santa’s Claus-et Facebook page.

8. Little River Railroad and Lumber Company Museum (Townsend)

This year, the Little River Railroad and Lumber Company Museum will be hosting Christmas at the Museum.

This free family-fun event will feature a model railroad, local arts and crafts, Christmas lights, Santa visits and more.

This event will take place (weather permitting) on the following dates:

  • Saturday, Nov. 27, 5-7 pm
  • Saturday, Dec. 4, 5-7 pm
  • Saturday, Dec. 11, 5-7 pm
  • Saturday, Dec. 18, 5-7 pm

For more information, call (865) 661-0170 or visit their Facebook page.

Santas Haus
This year, Santa will be visiting Santa’s Haus Thursday-Monday at The Christmas Place in Pigeon Forge (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

7. The Christmas Place (Pigeon Forge)

If you want to find Santa in the Smoky Mountains, visiting The Christmas Place is a good place to start.

The Christmas Place will feature Santa’s Haus this year for guests to experience the magic of Christmas.

This year, Santa will be home at the following dates and times:

  • Thursdays, 10 am-5 pm
  • Fridays, 10 am-5 pm
  • Saturdays, 9 am-7 pm
  • Sundays, 10 am- 5pm
  • Mondays, 10 am-5 pm

For more information, click here.

Read Also: Christmas Place Pigeon Forge: A mini year-round holiday town in TN

6. Anakeesta’s Enchanted Winter (Gatlinburg)

Santa’s sleigh will also be landing on Anakeesta Mountain on select dates throughout November and December.

The dates are currently scheduled for:

  • Friday, Nov. 26, 11 am-3 pm
  • Saturday, Nov. 27, 11 am-3 pm
  • Friday, Dec. 3, 11 am-3 pm
  • Saturday, Dec. 4, 11 am-3 pm
  • Friday, Dec. 10, 11 am-3 pm
  • Saturday, Dec. 11, 11 am-3 pm

To check Anakeessta’s calendar, click here.

Read Also: Anakeesta Enchanted Christmas event begins Thursday, Nov. 11

5. Wilderness at the Smokies (Sevierville)

This year, Santa will be making his rounds at Wilderness at the Smokies with multiple meetup locations to choose from.

During the first hour of each scheduled appearance, Santa will be available at the outdoor Winter Wonderland seasonal attraction. During the last two hours of each scheduled appearance, Santa will be hanging out indoors at Santa’s Workshop located in the River Lodge Conference Room.

At Santa’s Workshop, kids can also enjoy cookie decorating and other holiday crafts.

Santa will make his appearance on the following dates:

  • Friday, Nov. 26, 12 pm-3 pm
  • Saturday, Nov. 27, 5 pm-8 pm
  • Friday, Dec. 3, 5 pm-8 pm
  • Saturday, Dec. 4, 5 pm-8 pm
  • Friday, Dec. 10, 5 pm-8 pm
  • Saturday, Dec. 11, 5 pm-8 pm
  • Friday, Dec. 17, 5 pm-8 pm
  • Saturday, Dec. 18, 5 pm-8 pm
  • Monday, Dec. 20, 5 pm-8 pm
  • Tuesday, Dec. 21, 5 pm-8 pm
  • Wednesday, Dec. 22, 5 pm-8 pm
  • Thursday, Dec. 23, 5 pm-8 pm

For a full list of holiday happenings at Wilderness at the Smokies, visit their website.

Read Also: Real outdoor ice skating rink returns at Wilderness in 2021

Santa's List
Kids can watch Santa make his famous naughty or nice list at Dollywood this year (photo by Alaina O’Neal/TheSmokies.com)

4. Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas (Pigeon Forge)

During Santa’s trips to East Tennessee, he also enjoys visiting his friend Dolly Parton.

Returning for 2021, “Santa’s List … Naughty or Nice” allows kids to see inside Santa’s cabin as he reviews his famous list.

Families can discover whether their name is on the list and also have their photos made as they watch Santa work.

For more information, visit Dollywood’s website.

Read Also: Christmas at Dollywood 2021: Your guide to this year’s festival

3. Townsend Holiday Homecoming (Townsend)

Families can celebrate harvest, home and the holidays with live music, crafts and visits with Santa.

The Holiday Homecoming will take place from 2 pm-5 pm, Saturday, November 20, at the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center.

Admission to the event is free.

For more information, visit their Facebook page.

2. Bass Pro Shops (Kodak)

Back by popular demand, Bass Pro Shops will host Santa from now through Dec. 24, 2021.

Advanced reservations are required. Guests can make their free reservations online up to seven days in advance.

To make a reservation to see Santa, click here.

Shadrack's Christmas in Kodak TN
Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland in Kodak, Tenn., is now open nightly (photo by John Gullion/TheSmokies.com)

1. Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland (Kodak)

Shadrack’s is a popular way to see Christmas lights in the Smokies, and this year, Santa will be available for photos from Nov. 19-Dec 23.

Santa’s Village is free with admission to the light show, which ranges from $25-40 per vehicle, depending on which night of the week you visit. Note that buses and activity vans cost extra.

For more information, visit their website.

Read Also: Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland: Clark Griswold’s dream becomes reality

Where do YOU plan to catch Santa this year? Let us know in the comments!

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 info@thesmokies.com for questions or comments.


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