As usual, Tennessee's Smoky Mountains are bustling with holiday activities, and you won't want to miss a single thing. From light displays, live music, and parades to incredible fireworks displays to ring in the new year, there's fun for everyone in the coming months. Here's what's ahead in November and December in Gatlinburg:
Nov. 4–Jan. 6 / GET DIRECTIONS
The spirit of the season shines brightest during Smoky Mountain Christmas, voted America's Best Christmas Event for more than a decade. Here, the skies dance with the glimmer of more than 6 million twinkling lights, the sounds of our award-winning shows fill the air with Christmas cheer, and family memories are made beneath star-lit mountain skies. This event is not one to miss!
Nov. 9, 4:00–8:00pm / GET DIRECTIONS
Celebrate the kickoff of Gatlinburg's Winter Magic at the 34th Chili Cookoff presented by Bush’s Chili Beans. Offering mouth-watering recipes of homemade chili ranging from mild and delightful to wild and adventurous, the city of Gatlinburg will this annual event on Thursday, November 9 from 4 to 8 PM. Festivalgoers will enjoy free, live entertainment offered throughout the event from On the Border, the ultimate Eagles tribute band! TICKETS ARE REQUIRED FOR THIS EVENT.
Nov. 9–Dec. 31 / GET DIRECTIONS
First told in the award-winning book by Chris Van Allsburg, this is the story of a child’s Christmas Eve journey. It was adapted to the big screen in 2003, and now it comes alive each year with THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride! All ages can enjoy the experience, warmth, and fun of the Christmas season on a special steam train trip to the North Pole! Certain dates and car types will sell quickly, so you’ll want to book soon to reserve your preferred seating!
Nov. 9–Jan. 31 / GET DIRECTIONS
Lights Over Gatlinburg is the most popular holiday lights event in Tennessee, attracting tens of thousands of visitors and media attention from across the country every year. This year it get's bigger and better! The entire park will be covered with all things Christmas, with THOUSANDS of New Christmas Lights, photo ops for the entire family, a HUGE 32 ft. multicolored Christmas tree, and the famous tunnel of lights on the record-breaking Gatlinburg SkyBridge! Access is included with your SkyPark admission ticket at no additional cost.
Friday and Saturday nights from Nov. 24–Dec. 16
Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales returns this winter to entertain Gatlinburg visitors! Tunes & Tales is a street performance festival featuring costumed musical performers, dancers, and storytellers portraying characters from time periods as far back as the 1800s. Daily performances will be from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Dec. 1, 7:30–9:00pm, Gatlinburg Parkway
More than 60,000 people will come to Gatlinburg to view this award-winning parade featuring lighted floats, marching bands, giant balloons, and, of course, Santa Claus! Beginning from Baskins Creek Bypass and East Parkway, the parade festivities span through downtown before ending at traffic light #10. Spectators are encouraged to arrive early on parade day, or buy grandstand seats ahead of time!
Dec. 31, 10:00pm–12:30am
To get the very best, most unique view in town of Gatlinburg's New Years fireworks celebration, you will need a VIP "NYE Lights of Wonder" tickets for an exclusive fireworks viewing on top of the SkyPark's mountain and SkyBridge. From the SkyBridge, you will be viewing the fireworks from 500 feet above Gatlinburg and roughly 100 feet above the Space Needle's fireworks launchpad.
Dec. 31, beginning mid-to-late evening
For the 36th straight year, the Space Needle area at traffic light #8 comes alive with a fabulous New Years Eve/Day celebration. The evening, dubbed the best NYE show in the south, will feature family-friendly entertainment, a ball drop, and a massive fireworks display. Visitors are encouraged to arrive early to take advantage of the celebration specials offered by many Gatlinburg restaurants and businesses. Live music begins at 10:00pm at the base of the Space Needle. For more information, CLICK HERE.
When the sun sets in the Smokies, Anakeesta mountain comes to life with a celebration of lights during the Enchanted Christmas celebration. Gather around the fire with family and friends for hot cocoa or your favorite hot toddy, then stroll through magical villages and enjoy a mountain of light displays that will fill your heart with holiday cheer. Entry is included with general admission to the park.
The most wonderful time of the year is just around the corner, and there's no better place to spend it than a Mountain Laurel Chalets cabin! With new homes being added to our portfolio weekly and more variety to choose from than ever, you are sure to find the perfect place for you and yours to enjoy as you celebrate the wonder of the holidays together!