Gatlinburg Tennessee Christmas: 14 Most Festive Things to Do

October 22, 2022

Christmas in the Smokies means heavenly holiday season hymns, millions of twinkling lights, and the sweet aroma of homemade fudge. 

Looking for the most festive things to do in Gatlinburg TN, during Christmas?

A Gatlinburg Tennessee Christmas provides endless options for holiday entertainment, first-class dining, bustling seasonal festivals, and so much more.

Steep yourself in years of Yuletide tradition when you celebrate at Dollywood or marvel at the illuminated light creations of Winterfest.

Take a break from the ordinary and allow yourself to be swept away by the enchantment and excitement of this time of year.

Ready to uncover the best of Christmas in Gatlinburg TN? Read on…

Gatlinburg TN Christmas Time Hotels

Spectacular nature, stunning mountain views, and a laidback down-home atmosphere make Pigeon Forge a perfect winter reprieve. 

Dial-up your relaxation when you choose to spend a night, or a week, at any of our optimal options for Pigeon Forge Hotels or Gatlinburg Hotels

Whether you are craving a picturesque cabin complete with a hot tub or a luxurious resort with full-service amenities, we have many choices to assuage even the pickiest travelers.

Reserve your Christmas in Gatlinburg TN, stress-free, knowing you are always guaranteed our lowest rates online. 

Psst..searching for even more reasons to spend Christmas in Gatlinburg Tennessee? Book a Gatlinburg Vacation Package and combine your holly jolly attractions with your choice of hotel.

exterior of Christmas Inn with pond with sprouting fountain in foreground surrounded by plants during day with blue sky in Pigeon Forge, Tennesee, USA

photo credit: The Inn at Christmas Place via Facebook

Book a Christmas Show in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge 

Hatfield & McCoy Christmas Disaster Dinner Feud - Pigeon Forge, TN

Grab your cowboy hat and get ready for some high-stakes feudin’, feastin’, and fun with the Hatfield & McCoy Christmas Disaster Dinner Feud. This rambling and rowdy dinner & show will leave you laughing till you’re as red as Santa’s face!

Related Post: Current Events and Festivals in the Smoky Mountains

Watch in awe as these two famed families come together for an extraordinary Christmas extravaganza, bursting with jaw-dropping stunts, Christmas songs, and good old-fashioned country comedy. 

Audience members best bring their appetites as their ticket includes a sumptuous all-you-can-eat Southern Homestyle feast featuring fried chicken, pulled pork BBQ, buttery biscuits, and Granny’s homemade specialty dessert.

Pro Tip: Have some cash on hand for tips, souvenir photos, beer, or moonshine cocktails, as they are not included in your ticket price.

Man with a red shirt and green and white striped overalls with ping pong balls in his mouth at The Comedy Barn in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, USA

photo credit: Comedy Barn Theater via Facebook

Christmas Show at The Comedy Barn - Pigeon Forge, TN

If laughter is the best medicine, you and your family will be as healthy as can be after an evening at the Comedy Barn, the most award-winning comedy variety show in all of the Smoky Mountains. The evening promises to deliver bushels of wholesome laughs. 

Kiddies and adults alike will be chuckling non-stop as they soak in amazing juggling, ventriloquists, magicians, and country music acts, all with a festive seasonal theme.

Guests will be swept up in the spirit of the holidays as they enjoy Christmas music, costumes, and brand-new Christmas acts.

Performers on stage at Country Tonite's Christmas show in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, USA

photo credit: Country Tonite Theatre via Facebook

Pigeon Forge Christmas Show at Country Tonite - Pigeon Forge, TN

Dazzling choreography, enchanting sets, and stunning holiday decor come together to make the Pigeon Forge Christmas Show at Country Tonite a not to be missed Yuletide experience! This musical variety show steps it up for the holidays and transforms into an unrecognizable winter wonderland.

Get ready for an uplifting seasonal performance featuring the nostalgic holiday tunes you know and love as well as:

  • Festive and colorful costumes
  • A breathtaking dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy
  • Magical Christmas toys come to life
  • Visits from Frosty the Snowman and Santa Claus himself!
  • Exclusive performances by special guest entertainers 

Pro Tip: Is your little one simply starstruck by the talent on display at this holiday show? Don’t forget to stick around post-performance for a meet and greet with the cast.

Ladies and Santa on a balcony gathered around a Christmas tree and Santa is putting the star on top at Dolly Parton's Stampede in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, USADolly Parton’s Stampede - Pigeon Forge,TN

An explosion of color, creativity, and festive fun, Christmas at Dolly Parton’s Stampede is as joyous as the queen of Tennessee herself. Saddle on up and prepare for a night of mesmerizing Christmas entertainment and excitement.

This live holiday extravaganza features: 

  • Incredible equestrian acts with 32 horses
  • A fairy tale worthy trip to the North Pole to witness their clashing rivalry with the South Pole
  • Live nativity scene featuring real camels
  • An appearance from Mr. Claus himself!
  • A mouthwatering four-course holiday feast with BBQ pork loin and whole roasted rotisserie chicken
A Snowman, nutcracker, and a gingerbread man standing together at the Pirates Voyage Dinner Show in Pigeon, Forge, Tennessee, USA

photo credit: Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show (2713 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN) via Facebook

Christmas Show at Pirates Voyage Dinner Show - Pigeon Forge, TN

Arrr, Ye landlubbers brave enough to conquer the high seas on this swashbuckling Yuletide adventure? This merry mashup of Pirates and holiday spirit is the most fun you’ll have on this side of the Atlantic! 

The Christmas Show at Pirates Voyage Dinner Show delivers solid entertainment gold with this special addition to their regular dinner show. 

Little first mates will chow down on a four-course feast worthy of Blackbeard himself as they soak in the festivities, which include:

  • Amazing acrobatic stunts performed above the lagoon
  • A live Nativity scene
  • Seasonal comedy from some castaways & a sea lion companion
  • A clashing sword battle between the two dueling pirate crews
  • An epic search for long lost Christmas Treasure
  • And more!
Singers preforming at the Grand Majestic Theatre in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, USA

photo credit: The Grand Majestic Theater via Facebook

Tis the Season Show at the Grand Majestic Theater - Pigeon Forge, TN

Dust off your vocal cords, and get ready to deck the halls when you attend the merriest show of all at the Grand Majestic Theater. Sing along to holiday favorites, in addition to traditional Gospel hymns, holiday hits from Elvis, and more at the Tis the Season Show. Cheery costumes and festive visuals will have everyone feeling the ho-ho-holiday spirit at this interactive musical experience.

Pro Tip: All that sweet caroling working up your appetite? The Tis the Season show offers ‘Dine-In’ service so you can grab a bite during the show.

Looking up at the staircase with garland and lights strung all over at the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, USA

Once Upon a Christmas Time, Titanic Museum - Pigeon Forge, TN

When: November-December 2022

Leo may have been ‘king of the world,’ but the Titanic Museum at Christmastime deserves its own crown! The Titanic Museum is a dreamy destination year-round thanks to its over 400 artifacts and 20 different galleries. However, come the holidays, it is transfigured into a glittering tribute to a true Edwardian Christmas. 

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Step back in time to that fateful voyage in 1912 as you observe a first-class suite, the music gallery, bridge, and even walk down the (recreated) Grand Staircase, resplendent in seasonal decor.

Make sure to make a pit stop at the Holiday Gift Shoppe to pick up a festive souvenir or gift for the Titanic lover in your life!

Pro Tip: The museum has spent over $100,000 on its historically accurate and stunning decor, so make sure to take your time spotting every lush garland, wreath, and towering Christmas tree!

christmas lights at dollywood's grist millFestivals

Smoky Mountain Christmas, Dollywood - Pigeon Forge, TN

When: November 5 -January 1, 2023

A little Dolly takes the chill out of any winter’s day! So get your fill of the queen of country at the celebration named the ‘world’s best Christmas event’ for over a decade. Smoky Mountain Christmas is a wholesome holiday spectacular that harnesses the love and tradition of the season with a country twist.

Climb aboard the Dollywood Express for a grand tour of the Smokies. Sit back and witness the 5 million holiday lights glowing and changing color just for you. Then, warm yourself with a cup of steaming hot chocolate and snack on a sugar cookie or two as you take in uplifting Christmas shows such as ‘Christmas in the Smokies' and Dolly’s favorite, ‘Heart of the Holidays.’ 

Other unmissable magical Dollywood holiday highlights include:

  • Incredible seasonal shopping
  • Dazzling Polar Bears and light creations of Glacier Ridge
  • Even more heartwarming live musical performances and carols
  • Participation in an interactive Naughty or Nice list
couple walking through path surrounded by lights at night at Winterfest Wonders of Light Walking Trail in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, USA

photo credit: My Pigeon Forge via Facebook

Pigeon Forge Winterfest - Pigeon Forge, TN

When: November 10th-February 19th, 2022

Hang up those stockings for Santa and get your butt out that door. Winterfest is waiting! With so many spectacular winter attractions, entertainment, and activities to experience, there’s not a moment to spare. 

Winterfest in Pigeon Forge is an all-encompassing Holiday festival that features everything from the 12 days of Christmas in lights down Pigeon Forge Parkway to the festive parades in Gatlinburg. 

Some of our beloved Winterfest highlights are as follows:

 

  • Appreciating the mystery and cosmic wonder of the stars at Anakeesta’s Astra Lumina
  • Enjoying piping hot cocoa and treats on the Polar Express Train
  • Snapping photos of the lavish Winterfest displays
  • Gatlinburg’s Festival of Trees which features an array of trimmed Christmas tree creations

Winter Lights & Trolley tours in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg

Volunteers carry a gigantic green Christmas ornament through downtown as part of Gatlinburg's Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade

Photo Credit: Visit Gatlinburg / Facebook

Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade

When: December 3, 2022

Ho, Ho, Ho! Grab that Santa hat and get ready to cheer on all of St. Nick’s special friends when you attend one of the top events of Gatlinburg. The Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade is a beloved spectacle of marching bands, lighted floats, balloons, and equestrian entertainment. Brave December’s chill, as you won't want to miss a second of LED lights and festive holiday characters. This spirited parade marks the beginning of Gatlinburg Winter Magic and commences at 7:30 p.m.

Close up view of the Aerial Tramway in motion at Ober Gatlinburg with the trees below covered in snow in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, USA

photo credit: Ober Gatlinburg via Facebook

Ober Gatlinburg

Glistening Great Smoky Mountain views, spellbinding aerial tramway rides, and boatloads of outdoor fun. Embrace your inner ski bunny, or maybe just curl up with a craft brew in the Loft Lunge when you journey to Ober Gatlinburg. An epic oasis of wintery fun, visitors of all ages will enjoy hours of ice skating, snow tubing, and wildlife encounters.

Amp up the adrenaline of your holiday getaway with a speedy ride with the Ski Mountain Coaster. Or, work on your Shaun White-worthy jumps when you book a snowboarding lesson. Then, after an afternoon of icy activities, fuel up with a mouthwatering piece of homemade fudge or a perfectly grilled Ober burger.

Sweet Delights

Nothing says the holidays more than curling your frostbitten hands around a warm mug of cocoa. If that cocoa comes with a Christmas cookie, we think it's a bonus! So listen up for our top picks for the yummiest seasonal treats and eats:

Almond Milk Cold Brew Coffee Latte in glass jarsBurg Coffees - Gatlinburg, TN

Just a short stroll from downtown Gatlinburg’s sparkling Christmas light displays, Burg Coffees is an ideal spot to warm up and re-caffeinate. Cozy up with one of their seasonal latte drinks, such as the ‘dirty snowman,’ or try their ridiculously rich hot chocolate, which comes in various flavors. 

Related Post: 7 Spectacular Things to Do in Gatlinburg at Night

Pro Tip: Not a fellow chocoholic? Burg Coffees also offers a sinfully spicy and sweet hot apple cider. For an extra treat, you can customize your beverage with caramel or cinnamon.

Espresso Yourself - Pigeon Forge, TN

Snag a comfy spot in one of Espresso Yourself’s signature log rocking chairs. Kick back and relax because you will never want to leave this charming cafe. From festive seasonal drinks to quaint Christmas decorations, Espresso Yourself fully embraces the holiday cheer! So indulge your sweet tooth with Peppermint Mocha or Gingerbread latte. Don’t forget to try one of their gingerbread man cookies (baked on-site).

group of friends with drinks seated around Fire Pit at Bear village in Anakeesta,Gatlinburg, Tennesee, USA

photo credit: Anakeesta via Facebook

Ready for a sumptuous vista of snow-covered mountains, a holiday comedy variety show, and a bellyful of good Southern cooking? We don't believe there is anything more heartwarming than a Gatlinburg Tennessee Christmas. 

Whether you are relaxing in a rustic mountain cabin with a cup of cocoa in hand or hitting every Christmas Show and extravaganza in Pigeon Forge, there are so many ways to celebrate the season of joy and good cheer in Gatlinburg.

However you choose to spend your winter in the Smokies, we hope you seize this opportunity to discover the beauty, hill folk charm, and warm character of this remarkable region. 

What Festive Things to Do in Gatlinburg TN During Christmas Did We Miss?

Do you know other festive events in the Smoky Mountains that we overlooked? Share them with us!



isis with mural in background

Written By Isis Maya

A New York native, Isis-Maya spent most of her professional life working in TV production until a vacation whisked her away to Central America and her love o ...

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