Tag Archives: Winterfest

How to Properly Take Photos of Winter Light Displays

Nothing gets you in the cozy holiday spirit faster than taking a drive on a winter evening to marvel at the festive light displays.

There’s just something about the way they twinkle and light up the night that makes you feel nostalgic, happy and in the mood to celebrate. The lights of Winterfest in Pigeon Forge start to twinkle from early November and last through to the end of February. There are so many great light displays to admire all over the city.

You’ll probably want to capture the beauty of the lights on your camera – but taking photos of Christmas lights can be tricky. Read on for some tips on how to take the best possible pictures of the lights. Of course, the driver should be keeping their eyes on the road so make sure that the passengers are the only ones concentrating on taking photos!

Start at Dusk

What you might not know about night photography is that the best time to start is before it is fully dark. You should begin around sunset when it still appears semi-light to your eyes. This will give you time to plan your shot.

The lighting is better in the half-light of dusk before it gets fully dark. It allows you to see the brilliance of the lights while also seeing the details of the surroundings. You might need to ask homeowners nicely if they will turn their lights on early – many people don’t turn them on until it gets fully dark.

Keep it Steady

Use a tripod to steady your camera, as your shaky hands will cause blurred and streaky lights in your photos. If you are shooting with your smartphone, try to brace yourself against something solid with both hands. Also, make sure that you turn off your flash.

Make Sure to Include the Sky

A simple trick for adding more interest to your Christmas light photos is to include as much of the sky as possible. This will add more light to the composition and if you are photographing during dusk the sky will be a beautiful, complex background of blue and purple tones. Including other items such as lampposts and trees might also improve the composition of a photo. Here are some basic tips for understanding how to compose a great photo.

Consider “Night Portrait Mode”

If you want to take a photo of a friend or family member standing in front of the lights, try using the “Night Portrait Mode” if your camera has it. Many of the typical point and shoot cameras of today will have a “Night Portrait Mode.” This is a setting that fires the flash to light up the subject in the foreground, but also keeps the lens open for long enough to record the lights that are glittering in the background. You’ll be able to see your subject’s face but also capture the Christmas lights.

Keep these tips in mind while you’re taking gorgeous photos of the holiday lights during Pigeon Forge Winterfest!

Pigeon Forge Cabin Rentals with fireplace things to do in pigeon forge

Pigeon Forge Winter Bucket List: Things To Do Before Spring

Bucket List

Everyone boasts about the Smoky Mountains in the fall and forgets to appreciate the magic that Pigeon Forge has in the cooler months. So this is your reminder to embrace the fun winter activities that are offered during this short, sweet season and to cross off as much as you can from your Pigeon Forge Winter Bucket List before it’s too late. Because before you know it, the flowers will be blossoming, sun will be beaming down and the winter wonderland atmosphere will be gone. This list of things to do before spring is certain to keep you entertained and feeling accomplished on your next Pigeon Forge vacation.

Pigeon Forge Winter Bucket List:

  • Build a snow man
  • Go to at least one indoor attraction
  • □ Cozy up by a warm cabin firewinter pigeon forge
  • Warm up with a hot cup of coffee or hot cocoa
  • Go to a dinner show
  • Try a seasonal moonshine—Hint: With so many local moonshine distilleries in the Smoky Mountains, you have several seasonal flavors to choose from.
  • Take a trolley ride with the family—Hint: Winterfest’s Trolley Tour of Lights lasts until February 28th, so don’t miss your chance to see downtown Gatlinburg lit up.
  • Go on a winter hike. Hint: There are several hikes that get forgotten about in the summer months that are perfect for the winter. Try a short, easy winter nature trail or hike before the leaves fill in.
  • Hit the slopes at Ober Gatlinburgbiscuits-472409_640
  • Taste some down-home country cooking
  • Go shopping at the outlets
  • Experience Smoky Mountain traditions! Hint: The 16th annual Saddle Up Event  is the perfect opportunity to travel back in time and learn about Tennessee History with the cowboy poets, southern cooking and old western music.
  • Take photos of the snow covered Smoky Mountains—Hint: Some of the best mountain views are when the trees aren’t full, so you can see for miles without anything blocking your view. Share your photos on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Up for the challenge? You only have a few more weeks to finish the Pigeon Forge Winter Bucket List before spring is here. And if you finish the list early, just add more fun challenges to complete.


November 9th-February 29 Millions of twinkling holiday lights will be on display throughout Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, and the Great Smoky Mountains area. Take the family and enjoy the festive Winterfest Light Display.

Winterfest in Pigeon Forge

Pigeon Forge WinterfestThe Smoky Mountains are a magical place year-round, but especially in the wintertime. The valleys are covered in a thick blanket of soft white snow and the trees glisten with sparkling crystalline icicles. There is a quiet hush over this peaceful winter wonderland.

However, although the lakes turn to ice in the winter the fun doesn’t freeze over. In fact, the Annual Winterfest in Pigeon Forge makes winter one of the most exciting times to visit the Smokies.

Winterfest Begins

The celebration of winter begins on November 10th with a free kick-off event in Patriot Park that includes live musical entertainment.

During this magical time of year, every little mountain town in the Smokies will be hosting several events including mountain music performances, cider tastings and candy samplings. Take a tour around the region and treat yourself to handcrafted chocolates, home made pottery and much more.

The beautiful Winterfest light displays will shine until the end of February, so you will have many opportunities to admire these sparkling works of art. Also during the festival, Pigeon Forge theaters will present holiday shows that embody the spirit of Christmas.

At the end of February visitors to Pigeon Forge can look forward to Saddle Up, which is a celebration of the American West. This event creates a cowboy atmosphere and includes storytelling, music, chuck wagon cooking and much more.

Trolley Tour of Lights

The event also includes rides aboard the Trolley Tour of Lights, so you can admire the five million twinkling lights on the Winterfest displays. The trolley ride is one of the best way to see the lights sparkle in Pigeon Forge.

The Fun Time Trolley is heated and comfortable, allowing you to see all of the festive lights without having to brave the winter chill. Each trolley has a knowledgeable tour guide who will give you fascinating information about Pigeon Forge and the surrounding area – including great historical stories and folk tales.

The trolley departs every night at 6:30pm, 7:45pm and 9pm and costs only $5 per person. This is a great activity for children, as they will be enchanted by the sparkling lights. Checking out Pigeon Forge’s magical winter decorations can also be very romantic, so why not consider treating your sweetheart to a winter getaway?

Wilderness Wildlife Week

Another fantastic event to look forward to on the Pigeon Forge calendar is Wilderness Wildlife Week, which has been moved to May 2016. The new date will allow participants to enjoy better weather for outdoor activities.

In the past, Wilderness Wildlife Week has been held during Winterfest in order to help draw tourists to the region. However, moving it to warmer weather will give visitors more opportunities to get outdoors and schedule less weather dependent fun. Wilderness Wildlife Week will have a variety of different programs for all ages, including guided hikes, nature workshops and much more.

With fun events and festivities held in every season, you may have to come back and visit Pigeon Forge more than once.