Only a few tourist destinations truly get into the Christmas spirit. The Great Smoky Mountains are one of those places. Thousands of lights are strung up to create a cheery atmosphere. From the small shops in Gatlinburg to the historic streets of Pigeon Forge, each corner is dressed in holiday splendor.
If you are planning to spend the holidays in the Great Smoky Mountains, there is a lot you can do here. Some of the most popular seasonal activities in the region include the following.
1. Rent A Cozy Cabin
Renting a cabin in the Smokies lets you enjoy the natural surroundings to the fullest. Among other things, you can venture out for a family snowball fight, build a snowman, or take a leisurely stroll through the serene woods amid the breathtaking scenery.
Apart from that, the flexibility offered by a private cabin enables you to tailor your celebrations according to your family’s unique preferences. Whether it is setting up a Christmas tree together, organizing a Secret Santa gift exchange, or singing carols by the fire, you have the freedom to set the tone for a personalized holiday experience.
And if you think cabin rentals are only for big families or a large group of friends, you couldn’t be more wrong. The cabins in Smokies cater to all kinds of vacationers. People can even rent 1 bedroom cabins in the Smoky Mountains with all the necessary amenities. Moreover, the convenient location of these cabins means you will get to stay at a place where you will not be far from all the action.
2. Attend A Candlelight Christmas Eve Service
If you find yourself in the Smokies during the holiday season, do not miss the opportunity to join in this heartfelt celebration.
Finding a Candlelight Christmas Eve Service is as simple as visiting a local church. Many churches welcome both regular attendees and tourists alike. These services are typically announced in advance, either through church websites, community boards, or local newspapers.
The service begins with the lighting of the first candle. As the flame spreads from person to person, the entire room gradually becomes aglow with flickering candlelight to create a beautiful and peaceful ambiance.
3. Watch Christmas-themed live Performances
The Smokies’ love for live performances could be traced to the region’s extensive history of Appalachian music and storytelling. The area has a deep-rooted tradition of folk music, bluegrass, and gospel. No wonder live performances are a big deal all year round here. But come Christmas, everything gets a makeover. The theaters and music halls light up with holiday decorations that draw everyone in.
Take Dollywood, for instance. It is already a popular theme park, but at Christmas, it is like stepping into a winter fairy tale. There are live shows featuring talented singers and dancers who perform classic Christmas songs. The whole park is adorned with twinkling lights, making it a mesmerizing experience for families and friends.
Then there are the local theaters. They stage all kinds of Christmas-themed productions, from traditional plays to modern musicals. Imagine sitting in a cozy theater and watching actors bring beloved holiday stories to life. The energy is virtually infectious, and you can feel the excitement in the air.
The icing on the cake is that many of these performances encourage audience participation. So you might find yourself singing along or even dancing in your seat.
4. Witness A Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
Witnessing a Christmas tree lighting ceremony is one of the most anticipated activities in Smokies. These ceremonies are usually held in prominent public spaces, such as town squares, parks, or community centers. The atmosphere is charged with anticipation as families, friends, and strangers gather to witness the transformation of a simple tree into a dazzling centerpiece.
Local choirs and musicians serenade the attendees with beloved Christmas carols. Often, there are speeches from community leaders to remind everyone of the importance of unity and goodwill during the holiday season. And then, the highlight of the evening: the lighting of the Christmas tree. As the switch is flipped, the crowd collectively gasps in awe.
5. Take A Carriage Ride Through Decorated Streets
The soft glow of Christmas lights, the smell of pine in the air, and the gentle sound of hooves on the pavement create a sensory experience. The carriage ride offers a unique perspective that you would not get from a car or any other mode of transportation.
If you are traveling with your partner, the ride will prove to be a romantic escapade. But be sure to wear something warm that makes you feel at ease. The weather could be chilly during winter evenings, so wear layers, gloves, and a cozy scarf. Being comfortable will allow you to focus on the experience without being distracted by the cold.
6. Shop At The Christmas Place
Many cultures across the world place great emotional and cultural weight on the custom of exchanging gifts at Christmas. It symbolizes love, generosity, and the spirit of giving. One exceptional destination that captures the essence of this tradition is Christmas Place. Shopping at this retail store offers an immersive experience that elevates the joy of gift-giving to a whole new level.
You will be in awe of the store’s festive ambiance as soon as you step inside, thanks to the sweet smell of holiday sweets wafting through the air and the melodic sounds of Christmas songs playing in the background. What makes shopping at Christmas Place truly special is that it boasts a wide array of gifts. Whether you are searching for a sentimental keepsake, a thoughtful gift for a loved one, or a festive addition to your own home, the store has you covered.
When it comes to Christmas vacations, the Smokies always rank high. After reading all the region has to offer during the holiday season, it is easy to see why people speak so highly of it. So why keep waiting? Since Christmas will be here before you know it, now is the time to start planning your Christmas trip to the Smokies.