Go With the Snow: 4 Fun Things to Do at Gatlinburg Winterfest
Winter is here in the Smoky Mountains! That can only mean one thing … It’s Winterfest time! The gorgeous mountain town of Gatlinburg comes alive with holiday spirit at night as festive lights and decorations bump the already cozy and charming nature of our city up to a Level 10! You can’t help but explore town and feel that familiar Christmas spirit! Add in some beautiful powdery snow and suddenly you’re living in a real winter wonderland! Here are 4 funs things to do at Gatlinburg Winterfest:
1. The Gatlinburg Christmas Parade
Ah, an old classic! Gatlinburg’s Annual Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade is a time-honored tradition among both locals and guests in the Smoky Mountains! More than 60,000 people come each year to see the award winning parade featuring decorated floats, high school marching bands, giant balloons and of course, the main attraction, Santa Claus! Featuring fun and excitement for even the youngest of guests, the parade is a perfect family friendly activity at Gatlinburg Winterfest! The parade begins at 7:30 p.m. on the first Friday of December from Baskins Creek Bypass and East Parkway through downtown before ending at traffic light #10. A special tree lighting ceremony starts at 7:25 p.m. on the Parkway Plaza.
2. Anakeesta’s Enchanted Winter Celebration
You can’t beat the natural beauty at this Gatlinburg Winterfest attraction! As the sun sets on these bountiful mountains of ours, holiday lights and festive elements take over the theme park at Anakeesta’s Enchanted Winter Celebration! Everyone in the family will find fun and the Christmas spirit at this outdoor adventure hub featuring a treetop play area, zip lining, chondola rides and much more! Gather around a toasty fire as you warm up with a hot toddy, hot chocolate or coffee and take in the serene night time scenery! Stroll through the magical villages as you enjoy light displays and enjoy one of several delicious dining experiences.
3. Walk the Gatlinburg Parkway
Everyone likes to save some money! Well, here’s one that doesn’t cost a dime! Spend some time at night walking the Gatlinburg Parkway as it’s lit up with colorful and festive lights and decorations! The Gatlinburg Parkway is home to an endless list of awesome shops, restaurants and attractions, meaning there are plenty of places to stop for some unique fun! Attractions on the Parkway include entertaining options like Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, Hollywood Stars Cars Museum, Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery and of course choices of miniature golf, go-karts, laser tag and much more!
4. Lights Over Gatlinburg at Gatlinburg SkyLift Park
Tens of thousands of guests from across the United States visit Lights Over Gatlinburg at Gatlinburg SkyLift Park each year! You’ll enjoy the special holiday atmosphere that includes 20 new dancing trees on the SkyTrail, a 30-foot-tall multicolored Christmas tree, a 300-foot tunnel of lights on the record-breaking Gatlinburg SkyBridge and photo opportunities for the family! This Gatlinburg Winterfest attraction runs daily and is included with your SkyLift Park admission ticket at no additional cost!
Don’t miss out on these other fun Gatlinburg attractions you should do this winter!
We know you’ll have a blast visiting these awesome Gatlinburg Winterfest attractions! If you’re looking for something to do that’s both active and outdoors during your visit to the Smoky Mountains this winter, we suggest checking out these great winter hikes in the Smokies!