Gift Certificates are Great for Any Occasion! Click here for details!
Smoky Mountain Winterfest

Everything You Need to Know About Smoky Mountain Winterfest


There’s no better way to enjoy the holiday season than by staying at one of our cabin rentals in the Smokies and being close to all of the festivities Smoky Mountain Winterfest offers! If there’s one thing Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg know how to do, it’s celebrating Christmas! Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about this annual Smoky Mountain event:

Winterfest Lights Driving Tour

Christmas in Pigeon Forge is truly a magical time. Along the Parkway, millions of twinkling lights and impressive displays are everywhere you look! You can go on a trolley ride or drive at your own pace as you soak in the beautiful scenery and Christmas lights. Get out and stretch your legs at Patriot Park or the Riverwalk Trail as you wander through the mesmerizing light displays that get bigger and better every year. Other attractions to explore during Smoky Mountain Winterfest include The Island, well known for its majestic light and fountain display, and places like the Old Mill District, which turns into a festive wonderland yearly. 

Dollywood Smoky Mountain Christmas

dollywood sign during christmastimeOne of the biggest holiday events has to be Smoky Mountain Christmas at Dollywood. From Christmas shows and live music to delicious food, a giant Christmas tree, and opportunities to see Santa, Dollywood is no doubt one of the highlights of Winterfest. New in 2023 is a spectacular drone show that occurs every night, shining bright in the night sky and filling everyone with the holiday spirit! 

Enchanted Christmas at Anakeesta

Christmas at Anakeesta is a unique opportunity you won’t want to miss during Smoky Mountain Winterfest! Arctic Alley features a light show with a soundtrack of your favorite Christmas songs, and the Anakeesta Carolers spread festive cheer throughout the attraction. Astra Lumina and the Treetop Skywalk at night are even more exciting this time of year, and plenty of other special events are also going on, including breakfast with Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus! 

Gatlinburg’s Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade 

gatlinburg holiday lights If you’re visiting Gatlinburg during the first week of December, then you must attend the Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade! On Friday, December 1, 2023, beginning at 7:30 PM, the main drag of Gatlinburg transforms into a holiday parade with spectacular floats, bands, balloons, and of course, Santa Claus will make an appearance! You’ll also get to experience the lighting of the giant Christmas tree on the plaza next to traffic light #3. If you plan to go, you’ll definitely want to arrive very early, as space will fill up quickly.

SkyPark’s Lights Over Gatlinburg 

For a Christmas lights show unlike any other, head over to Gatlinburg’s SkyPark and experience Lights Over Gatlinburg. The tunnel of lights extends the entire length of the SkyBridge, and the best part is that there’s no extra cost for this special event! Access during the evening is included in your ticket price, so you can enjoy SkyPark during the day and return at night for the Christmas experience. 

Now you know all about Smoky Mountain Winterfest! We can guarantee that you’ll love spending the holidays in the mountains. Are you interested in more holiday content? Take a look at the best shops in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg you should visit for the most unique Christmas gifts.