winter snow in the Smoky Mountains
November 30, 2022

Make the most of your holiday season this year by planning a visit to the Smoky Mountains for Christmas! This is a very special time of year to experience the magic of the Smokies, as you’ll find lots of festive seasonal events, spectacular light displays, and maybe a few snowflakes in the mountains! You can even take a few hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to work off those big holiday meals! Here are the top 4 reasons why you’ll love visiting the Smoky Mountains for Christmas:

1. National Park Open for Your Pleasure

Cades Cove church covered in snow

The wonderful thing about the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is that it is open all year round for your viewing pleasure, even during the Christmas holidays! This means you can access hundreds of hiking trails to enjoy the unique winter scenery and less crowded conditions! This is also an excellent time to take a drive along Cades Cove Loop Road to visit the historical structures and maybe even see some wildlife! Remember that while the park is always open, there are some seasonal road closures due to winter conditions at higher elevations! Also, note that the Visitor Centers within the park are closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

2. Stunning Light Displays of the Smoky Mountain Winterfest

Another reason you’ll love visiting the Smoky Mountains for Christmas is the stunning light displays of the Smoky Mountain Winterfest! If you’re planning on visiting the park in December, we’re sure you’ll be staying in the mountain towns of Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, or Gatlinburg! You’ll be delighted to know that the millions of Smoky Mountain Winterfest lights shine throughout all of these towns, and they can easily be seen while driving down the Parkway! These sparkling lights include lots of festive displays, including falling snowflakes, animated storybook characters, and scenes of animals native to the Smokies!

3. Festive Seasonal Events Throughout the Smokies

Christmas decorations at The Island in Pigeon Forge

There is nothing like the celebration of Christmas in the Smoky Mountains, as you’ll quickly discover with one of the many festive seasonal events taking place throughout the area! Some of the most popular Christmas events in the Smokies include the Smoky Mountain Christmas at Dollywood, Winterfest at The Island in Pigeon Forge, Enchanted Christmas at Anakeesta, and the Lights Over Gatlinburg at the SkyLift Park! If you’re lucky enough to be in Gatlinburg at the end of December, you also won’t want to miss the annual New Year’s Eve Ball Drop and Fireworks Show!

4. Fun Lodging Options for Your Christmas Celebrations

While visiting the Smoky Mountains for Christmas, you can enjoy one of the many fun lodging options near the national park! In addition to traditional hotels and comfortable condo units, you’ll find hundreds of cabin options where you can stay among the beauty of the mountains! Most of these modern cabins feature fully equipped kitchens where you can prepare a delicious holiday meal for your family and friends, as well as fun amenities such as outdoor hot tubs, fireplaces, game rooms, home theater rooms, and more!

We hope that you get the opportunity to visit the Smoky Mountains for Christmas and experience the magic of the holiday season in the Smokies! If you have just one day of your Christmas vacation to allocate to the National Park, be sure to check out our ideas for a day trip to the Smoky Mountains in winter!