8 Best Things to Do at Christmas in Gatlinburg

Spend the holidays at Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg for a tropical twist on a vacation filled with Christmas lights and fun.

Two girls snow tubing during a winter in Gatlinburg

There’s no better place to celebrate the holidays than Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg. With modern rooms filled with island vibes and easy access to Gatlinburg’s lively Christmas festivities, we give families a fantastic resort experience with a tropical twist. Our chefs will be preparing meals to make your stay with us unforgettable. And when you’re ready to venture out, here are the top eight things to do during Christmas in Gatlinburg.

Visit Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas

Dollywood is known for its amusement park rides and entertainment, but from early November through Jan. 1, millions of lights sparkle in the darkness. Santa’s Village lights up with its green and red lights whereas the Glacier Ridge section of the park is covered in blue lights that create a beautiful wintry feeling. Indoors, you can catch classic stage performances like “Twas the Night Before Christmas” and “Christmas in the Smokies.”

See A Christmas Show in Pigeon Forge

There’s nothing like a holiday show to ring in the Christmas season. The Grand Majestic Theater offers a holiday sing-along with Christmas classics, Elvis hits, Gospel hymns, and more. The Country Tonite theater offers a Christmas production with appearances from Frosty the Snowman and the Sugar Plum Fairy. Even The Comedy Barn Theater offers a Christmas show, touted to be the funniest around.

Cruise the Winterfest Driving Tour of Lights

From the warmth of your car, cruise the Pigeon Forge Parkway and enjoy the sight of more than 5 million Christmas lights from Pigeon Forge to Gatlinburg. The Winterfest Driving Tour of Lights is truly a magical winter wonderland. Along the way, you’ll pass under a tunnel of lights, see Mother Goose, Humpty Dumpty, and other children’s book characters, as well as beautifully decorated trees and buildings.

Shop at Christmas Stores in Gatlinburg and Beyond

Take your Christmas spirit to a whole new level when you visit Pigeon Forge and Gatliburg’s Christmas shops, many that are open year-round. Christmas Place in Pigeon Forge has everything from designer-themed trees to collectibles and ornaments. It’s the largest permanent Christmas retailer in the South, so you might find yourself spending hours in there. In Pigeon Forge, Christmas & Collectibles offers an array of Christmas items from traditional angels to Dr. Seuss’ Grinch. In Gatlinburg, Santa Claus-et sells food, toys, games, locally themed ornaments, and collectibles. Santa has been known to make an appearance here.

Ski and Snowtube at Ober Gatlinburg

Take the carefree spirit of the islands to the ski slopes at Ober Gatlinburg. This winter wonderland offers lessons for beginner skiers and snowboarders, diverse terrain, and snow tubing. Its snowmaking operation ensures that there’s snow on the slopes even when the grounds around Margaritaville are bare.

Explore Great Smoky Mountains National Park

We’re going to let you into a little secret. The best time to avoid crowds in Great Smoky Mountains National Park is winter time, so bundle up, put on good walking shoes, and experience the beauty of America’s most popular national park. Stop in the Sugarlands Visitor Center for advice on where to hike and to peruse the bookstore.

Treat Yourself at St. Somewhere Spa

After a day outside in the Smokies, unwind at St. Somewhere Spa. We offer a number of beauty services to soothe your sore muscles from your adventure on the slopes or in the national park. And if the most active thing you did was peruse Christmas shops, our spa can help put you in the relaxed island mindset.

Watch Gatlinburg’s Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade

For guests who check in in early December, don’t miss the Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade. It’s Dec. 2, 2022, this year. Along the parade route, you’ll see high school marching bands and brightly lit-up floats decorated by local businesses and organizations. Afterwards, watch the lights get illuminated on the Gatlinburg Christmas Tree. The parade route starts at Baskins Creek By-Pass and continues to traffic light #3 before turning onto the parkway and ending at traffic light #10.

With tropical island vibes, Margaritaville Resort Gatlinburg offers a magnificent mountain resort getaway filled with memorable holiday activities. Take full advantage of our amenities for an unforgettable Christmas celebration.