A child enjoying the holiday lights hung in Winter in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Winter in Gatlinburg: How to Do More Than Chill Out in the City

Taking a trip to Gatlinburg Tennessee in the winter months? Then you’re in for a treat. It’s a great place to spend Christmas or New Year’s Eve – or to just enjoy some fun in the snow. Explore (or gaze at) snow-covered mountains or take time away from the cold inside some of Gatlinburg’s best museums and activities.

Winter in Gatlinburg is a special time of year, and you want to make sure that you have a special time while you’re here. Here’s the best of the best for when you’re in Tennessee.

Downtown Gatlinburg’s Popular Winter Activities

There is so much to do either in downtown Gatlinburg or just a stone’s throw away. Skiing, ice skating, and twinkling light displays – what more could you want? What’s that – you said snowy mountain views and cozy cabin rentals? Don’t worry, we have those too.

Ober Mountain

Formerly known as Ober Gatlinburg, this attraction is so much more than just a ski resort.

Ober Mountain offers fantastic slopes for snowboarding, skiing, and snow tubing and spots for ice skating, but there are also ice bumper cars, a wildlife habitat, and rock climbing. Oh, and don’t forget the breathtaking aerial tramway where you can get an eyeful of the beautiful, serene, snow-covered mountains.

Downtown Gatlinburg Winter Magic Tour of Lights

All along Parkway during Winter Magic, you can see a stunning display of twinkling lights. From November to February, the area becomes a sparkling Winter Wonderland.

Don’t let the fear of the colder temperatures stop you from enjoying a Winter Wonderland in downtown Gatlinburg. You can always take a heated trolley ride instead. What could be more charming than riding an old-fashioned trolley through a stunning display of Christmas lights?

Winter Hiking at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Love the great outdoors but hate bugs? Winter is the best time to hike without worrying about packing your bug repellent. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has beautiful hiking paths like the Old Sugarlands trail that are open all year round. During the winter season, you can take in the majesty of frozen waterfalls.

Experience a Winter Wonderland at Anakeesta

If the lights on Parkway aren’t enough to satisfy your appetite for holiday lights, then you can get more at Anakeesta. While this spot is a great place for summer fun thanks to its mountain coasters and zipline, it’s also a great place to visit during the holiday season. Their Enchanted Christmas winter event is sure to delight your family – and you can even have breakfast with Santa Claus himself.

Curl Up Near a Gatlinburg Cabin Fireplace

After a fun day skiing or taking in the sights on the Gatlinburg Space Needle, you can grab yourself some moonshine at a local distillery and curl up in a cozy cabin. When you visit Gatlinburg, you have over 340 cabins to choose from – each with its own special charm.

Nearby in Pigeon Forge

Don’t forget about Gatlinburg’s next-door neighbor. During your getaway to Gatlinburg, you can always hop over to Pigeon Forge to have even more seasonal fun.

Pigeon Forge Snow Indoor Snow Park

If the weather isn’t wintery enough during your trip, you don’t have to miss out on fun in the snow. Pigeon Forge is home to America’s first-ever indoor snow park, where you can go snow tubing, build snowmen and forts, and more. Who said you have to freeze yourself to enjoy winter sports?

Rowdy Bear Outdoor Snow Tubing

You can also enjoy the longest and fastest snow tubing hill in Tennessee in Pigeon Forge – and a steaming cup of hot chocolate after. Or maybe you’d like the unique experience of having a shootout with your family on a ski lift? Then Rowdy Bear Outdoor Snow Tubing is the place for you.

Winterfest Holiday Lights

What’s that – you still haven’t had your fill of holiday lights?

We get that. Luckily there’s even more to see in Pigeon Forge during their Winterfest. You can also see these from that cozy heated trolley we mentioned earlier – or if you’d like, you could check out a Christmas parade.

Enjoy All This On Your Gatlinburg Winter Getaway and More

We ho-ho-hope you get your fill of holiday cheer when you visit Gatlinburg — or take in all of the winter magic at the beginning of the year. If you’re still looking for more excitement to end the year on – no worries. From Ripley’s Aquarium to the views at the Newfound Gap, there’s always more to do. Check out our blog for even more places to see and things to do during Winter in Gatlinburg – or for any season!