October 16, 2023

Many folks planning a vacation to Gatlinburg during the holiday season are interested in finding out if anything is open on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Most shops, restaurants and offices in your hometown are probably closed on these holidays. However, it is often business as usual in Gatlinburg! If you are looking for something fun to do on Thanksgiving or Christmas, here are 4 fun attractions in Gatlinburg TN that are open for your enjoyment:

1. Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

See how the amazing sea creatures at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies celebrate the holidays with a visit to this popular attraction! There are 2 huge levels of exhibits for you to explore, including the Ocean Realm, Shark Lagoon and Coral Reef. You can also sign up for some unique experiences such as the Penguin Encounter and the Glass Bottom Boat Adventure. Be sure to to check out Ripley’s Cargo Hold Gift Shop! Here you can purchase yourself a Christmas gift to remember your fun day out!

2. Skiing and Snow Tubing at Ober Mountain

man skiing on snow

If you want to experience some winter sports action during the holidays, head on over to Ober Mountain for a day of skiing or snow tubing! There are 10 ski trails available at Ober Mountain, as well as a terrain park for those who prefer to snowboard. While the ski slopes might not be open by Thanksgiving, you can check the Ober Mountain slope report for the latest weather updates. Snow tubing opens in mid-November and is available in 90 minute sessions. This is a great activity for the whole family!

3. Anakeesta

Another one of the fun attractions in Gatlinburg TN that is open on Thanksgiving and during the Christmas season is Anakeesta! This mountaintop attraction has hours of fun and relaxation for all ages. On Thanksgiving, enjoy the Smokehouse Thanksgiving Celebration for a special plated dinner menu complete with special dessert options. Although the attraction is closed on Christmas Day, visitors can ride to the top of the mountain on Christmas Eve to enjoy the Enchanted Winter Celebration, complete with holiday lights and festive treats.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Entrance Sign4. Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Despite the chilly weather during the holiday season, you can still enjoy a scenic winter hike at Great Smoky Mountains National Park ! Hiking during the holidays is a fun way to see the Smokies in a different perspective! And it's a great way to work off your Thanksgiving meal or Christmas dinner! While the national park is open 365 days per year, note that the visitor centers within the park are closed on Christmas Day.

Where to Stay

Stay close to these wonderful attractions in Gatlinburg TN with a holiday getaway in one of our Gatlinburg cabins! We have cabins of all sizes to accommodate your needs! You'll even find that we have a selection of pet friendly cabins so you can bring your pup along too! There all types of amenities you can enjoy with us. Including private decks with a bubbling hot tub, full kitchens, fireplaces, game rooms and much more!

Check out all of our Smoky Mountain cabin rentals today to plan your holiday vacation near these fun attractions in Gatlinburg TN! We look forward to seeing you soon at Parkside Cabin Rentals!

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