Christmas light display in Gatlinburg, TN
December 1, 2023

One of the best ways to celebrate the holiday season is taking a trip to Gatlinburg, TN. From holiday light displays to winter activities to snow-capped mountain scenery, this town has so much to offer this season. Here’s a list of some of the awesome things you can do when you spend Christmas in Gatlinburg this year.

1. See the Lights from the Gatlinburg Space Needle

Gatlinburg and its neighboring cities go all out for the holidays. You’ll get the chance to see millions of Christmas lights and displays as you drive through the area. Gatlinburg itself glows bright with a variety of lights and holiday displays all along the Parkway. One of the best ways to fully enjoy this spectacle is from the top of the Gatlinburg Space Needle . You can ride a glass elevator to the 400-foot-tall observation deck and see a 360-degree view of Gatlinburg and the surrounding Smoky Mountains. From this vantage point you can see the city of Gatlinburg glowing with an array of festive lights. This is a great way to get in the holiday spirit during Christmas in Gatlinburg.

2. Visit Anakeesta’s Enchanted Christmas

Anakeesta during Christmas in Gatlinburg

Another great way to celebrate Christmas in Gatlinburg is by visiting Anakeesta’s Enchanted Christmas celebration. You can ride the chairlift to the mountaintop park where you’ll walk among millions of twinkling lights. There are a number of festive decorations to see and take photos with as you stroll through the villages and along the scenic paths. Performances of holiday music will fill you with Christmas cheer. You can also enjoy a variety of festive flavors at Anakeesta’s dining locations, with everything from smoked ham to gingerbread funnel fries to toasty hot chocolate. Just note that Anakeesta is open for most of the Christmas season but will be closed on Christmas day.

3. Snowsports at Ober Mountain

If you are looking for some thrilling fun this Christmas in Gatlinburg, make sure you visit Ober Mountain . This popular Gatlinburg attraction has lots of winter adventures to explore. You can ski or snowboard down the slopes on trails that range from beginner to advanced. If you don’t have your own equipment or are new to these snowsports, you can rent what you need or sign up for lessons. Another great activity is snow tubing where you’ll have the chance to race one another down a snowy hill on inflatable tubes. This offers lots of fun and excitement without requiring any special skills. Other wintery things you can do include ice skating, ice bumper cars, the Snow Zone, and more!

4. Go Shopping

Santa's Claus-et in Gatlinburg

Gatlinburg is known for having lots of great places to shop! You can find everything you need to celebrate Christmas in Gatlinburg or to bring home as gifts for loved ones. There are stores that specialize in everything from apparel to food items to pottery to Christmas decorations, and everything in between. Check out the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community to explore unique shops that sell handmade crafts created by local artisans. In this community you’ll also find Santa’s Claus-et where you can purchase holiday decorations, ornaments, old-fashioned toys, and anything else you could need this holiday season.

5. Eat Great Food

There are so many delicious restaurants in Gatlinburg that it can be hard to choose where to eat. You can enjoy everything from Southern comfort food to seafood to international cuisine. A number of these great restaurants are even open on Christmas day, so you won’t need to worry about finding a place to eat. Some of the restaurants open on Christmas in Gatlinburg include Crockett’s Breakfast Camp, Smith & Son Corner Kitchen, Cherokee Grill, No Way Jose’s Cantina, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co, and more. No matter where you choose to eat this holiday season in Gatlinburg, you’re sure to enjoy a tasty meal!

Where to Stay This Christmas in Gatlinburg, TN

When you spend Christmas in Gatlinburg, you need to stay somewhere cozy so you can relax after a long day of holiday fun and adventure. The best place to stay this holiday season is in the comfort of a Smoky Mountain cabin rental. Find out why our Gatlinburg cabins are the perfect place to stay this Christmas season and start planning your next trip today!

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