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Top 6 Winter Activities in Gatlinburg

In Gatlinburg, winter weather doesn’t necessarily mean it’s time to head indoors. Charming, Bavarian-style shops and pancake houses, snow-lined forests of evergreen trees, bustling ski slopes, and holiday-themed dinner shows make bundling up and heading out well worth it. For a memorable mountain vacation, check out our list of top winter activities in Gatlinburg.

Girls snow tubing at Ober Gatlinburg

1. Hit the Slopes at Ober Gatlinburg

Discover hours of winter fun at Ober Gatlinburg, from skiing to snow tubing and ice skating. Take the aerial tramway from downtown Gatlinburg to Ober and grab a pair of skis or a snowboard at the equipment rental counter before heading out. 

Prefer a pair of skates? Ober Gatlinburg has an indoor ice skating rink for ice skaters of any experience level! Warm up with a cup of hot cocoa and a pastry at one of the on-site eateries, then head back out for some snow tubing or an exhilarating ride on the Ski Mountain Coaster. 

2. Take the Lift to Anakeesta

Holiday cheer reaches new heights at Anakeesta. Take a scenic lift ride from downtown Gatlinburg to this magical mountain-top village. During the winter months, Anakeesta comes to life with thousands of Christmas lights, sweet treats along the Hot Chocolate Trail, and festive villages perfect for grabbing last-minute gifts. Plus, a trip to Anakeesta includes 360 degree views of the surrounding snow-capped mountains. 

3. Discover the Local Arts & Crafts Community

Steeped in a culture of craftsmanship, Gatlinburg is home to wood-workers, painters, glass-blowers, and other talented artists of all trades. Whether you’re on the hunt for a one-of-a-kind gift or hoping for a way to escape the cold, the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community is a great place to start. Hop between workshops and art galleries along this 8-mile loop of shops, and even try your hand at a trade during a guided art class.

Christmas lights on display in Gatlinburg, Tennessee

4. Get Festive During Winterfest in Pigeon Forge & Gatlinburg

It doesn’t get more festive than this… embrace the holiday spirit with a driving tour along one of the many Winterfest light display routes in Sevierville and along the Parkway in Pigeon Forge. The dazzling depictions of the 12 days of Christmas, local wildlife, and winter scenes will set your heart aglow. Although you can catch the millions of Christmas lights from your own car, consider taking a guided tour, like the Winterfest Driving Tour of Lights or the Redneck Comedy Tour Smoky Mountain Christmas Light Ride

5. Attend a Holiday Dinner Show in Pigeon Forge

What’s better than dinner and a show? How about a holiday-themed dinner show in the happening Pigeon Forge area? Enjoy a four-course meal as you watch dueling elves and a live nativity scene during the Christmas at Dolly Parton’s Stampede dinner show. Let loose with some knee-slapping comedy during the Hatfield McCoy Family Feud Christmas Disaster Dinner Show, or head to the Lumberjack Feud for hot cocoa, folklore and seasonal magic. 

Couple enjoying a pedicure at St. Somewhere Spa

6. Relax at St. Somewhere Spa

Last but not least, cold winter days in Gatlinburg are ideal for a soothing spa day. Head to the full-service St. Somewhere Spa at Margaritaville Gatlinburg and treat yourself to indulgent massages, replenishing facials, and soothing body treatments. After a day on the slopes or shopping downtown, the spa is where you need to be! 

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