Travel Guide

Pigeon Forge Winter Travel Guide | Things To Do In The Smoky Mountains

Pigeon Forge Winter Travel Guide

Check out all the things to do in Pigeon Forge in the winter with our Pigeon Forge Winter Travel Guide! The magic of winter is blowing into the Smokies in December, January and into February. Bundle up and head to the Smoky Mountains. Glittering Winterfest light displays twinkle throughout our mountain town, holiday music and the smell of crackling fires fill the air and the warmth of Smoky Mountain hospitality is felt everywhere. These are the days to head to Pigeon Forge, TN. See our other travel guides!
Winter Travel Guide from PigeonForge.com

Winter In The Smoky Mountains

The beauty of the winter season brings cooler temperatures and holiday spirit but also smaller crowds and a change of pace. During the months of December, January and February, life slows down a bit in Pigeon Forge and the Smoky Mountains and harkens back to a time when things were simpler. Curl up in a cabin with a fireplace and unplug with the ones you love. There are plenty of things to do in the winter in Pigeon Forge but being together is the best one.

Pigeon Forge Winterfest: Click to visit website.

Photo Tip

For smartphone users, the key to getting a great shot in low light is holding the camera steady. Try leaning against a lamp post or resting your elbows on a bench. The other important thing is getting the right exposure. If you have an iPhone, you can adjust exposure in photo mode by tapping the screen (where the subject of the photo is) and then swiping down to make it darker. For more photo tips, check out our guide to taking pictures of Winterfest lights.

Smoky Mountain Winterfest

15 Million Lights

As the day begins to sink beneath the mountains, millions of lights begin to light up the night sky. It is easy to see why Winterfest in the Smoky Mountains draws visitors from around the country to see the wonderous display of sparkling lights. Displays of wandering wildlife, the twelve days of Christmas, seasonal characters and more illuminate the parkway and businesses across Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville.

Winter Activities

Winterfest Kickoff

Catch Gatlinburg's Chili Cookoff on the parkway on November 10th to kick off the Winterfest celebration in the Smokies.

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Townsend Lights

On weekends through December, stop by the Christmas village and drive through light show at the Townsend Visitors Center.

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Snow Tubing

Rowdy Bear Mountain transforms into a one of a kind snow tubing experience including tubing races, a snow play area, and more.

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Nov 12 - Dec 31

Santa Claus

Santa is visiting lots of places in the Smoky Mountains this year. For photo ops and wishlist visits, check out our blog at the link below.

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Polar Express

Enjoy warm cocoa on the GSM Railroad while you listen and read along to the magical story of The Polar Express.

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Craft Show

Visit GSM Arts & Crafts Show to peruse a selection of old fashioned pottery, hand crafted jewelry, and all kinds of holiday gifts.

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Starting November 11, enjoy an incredible drive through experience of Smokies Stadium as it's lit up for the holiday season.

Christmas Parade

Gatlinburg's famous Fantasy Of Lights Christmas parade takes place along the parkway on December 2, 2022.

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Dec 3

New Years

Ring in the New Year with firework celebrations in Gatlinburg and the Island in Pigeon Forge.

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Dec 31

Winter Hikes

The Great Smoky Mountains are a great place to go stomping through the snow. Click below for top winter hiking trails.

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Redneck Bus Lights Tour

Laugh your way through the Smokies in the most hilarious way to see Pigeon Forge Winterfest light displays. The lights tour starts November 11 with availability through the end of the year.

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TN Cider Company

Stop by one of Tennessee Cider Company's locations for free samples of seasonal flavors and collect your 32 ounce growler.

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Photo Ops
Santa waving from Ripley's Aquarium

Gatlinburg Aquarium

The most beautiful Christmas tree makes a great backdrop for your next family photo at Ripley's Aquarium.

Lots of colorful holiday candy and ornaments

Crave Golf

Get your holiday sugar fix at Crave Golf Club. The courses are turned into candy wonderlands for the season.

Car driving over a bridge decorated with holiday lights

Under The Bridges

There are three bridges with light displays you don't want to miss: Jake Thomas Rd, Old Mill Ave, & Dollywood Lane.

Christmas Place

The Incredible Christmas Place is in the holiday spirit year-round, but you can't miss their special winter lights.


"Christmas isn't a competition, but the prize itself. The gathering and sharing of the things that matter most." - Dolly Parton


The mountaintop theme park in Gatlinburg is decked out in lights and decor for Enchanted Winter at Anakeesta.

Titanic Museum

Both the interior and exterior of the TITANIC Museum Attraction will be extraordinarily decorated in Edwardian Christmas displays.

Festival Of Trees

Stop by the WL Mills Conference Center in Gatlinburg Nov. 22-27 for some fabulous holiday displays at the Festival of Trees.

Holiday Shows

Dolly Parton’s Stampede

Starting in November you can catch this classic holiday show featuring holiday tunes, timeless characters, family friendly comedy, and 32 magnificent horses - all while enjoying a delicious 4 course meal.

Dates & Info

Country Tonite

The colorful set, enchanting choreography, and cheerful singing at Country Tonite will excite and astound all ages. You'll see familiar characters like Frosty, Santa, and the Sugar Plum Fairy in this spirited holiday production.

Dates & Info

Hatfield & McCoy

This Christmas disaster puts the holler in hollerdays. The show features something for everyone, including holiday song & dance, side splitting comedy, and even some jaw dropping stunts.

Dates & Info

Lumberjack Feud

Sing along to holiday tunes, sip on hot chocolate, and enjoy forested folklore with the Dawsons and McGraws as they feud it out this season. The lumberjacks turn sawdust into Christmas magic starting in November.

Dates & Info


This civil war themed show gets a holiday twist beginning in November. Audiences will enjoy razor sharp wit, historical accuracy, and a heart warming ending.

Comedy Barn

Get in the Christmas spirit with the funniest show in the Smokies. From cloggers to canines and all the jokes in between, the Comedy Barn knows how to keep their audience jolly with laughter.

Dates & Info

Grand Majestic

Music lovers will enjoy contemporary holiday favorites, traditional Gospel hymns, and even some hits from The King at the Smokies' favorite sing-a-long show.

Gift Ideas

Get Cozy

If the wintry outdoors are a little too chilly for your liking, consider making the lodging portion of your holiday trip to the Smokies part of the vacation in itself. Here are our top picks for where to stay this winter.

Find the perfect winter lodging for your vacation.

  • Cabins With A Fireplace: Who could deny the comforts of cozying up near a fireplace on a crisp winter evening?
  • Hotels With Indoor Pools: If you're traveling with the family, this is a great option. Indoor pools are a wonderful treat for kids looking to burn off some energy.
  • Cabins With A Hot Tub: Brace the chilly night air in your swimsuit and ease into a bubbling hot tub to take the edge off - it's worth it.

Play To Win

More than just video games, arcades in Pigeon Forge are full entertainment centers with laser tag, indoor mini golf, & virtual reality. You will stay toasty & dry indoors when the weather turns. [ Arcades → ]

Beyond The Classroom

Don’t tell the kids, but Pigeon Forge has many learning opportunities. By combining education & entertainment, many museums in Pigeon Forge take a fun approach to science & history. [ Museums → ]

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