Traditional family holiday time doesn’t just mean football on the TV and a turkey in your home oven anymore. Gatlinburg is a popular destination for families to spend holidays year ’round. You don’t have to worry about finding something to do or somewhere to eat; Gatlinburg has something to offer families of every size from 2 to 32 and larger. Here are just a few ideas for the upcoming winter holidays:
1. Food, glorious food. Let’s face it…most of us equate holidays with a chance to eat all the traditional family favorites from turkey and ham to sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie. Don’t be afraid to try it away from home. The local Food City offers holiday packages that only require that you place the order and pick out the fixings. You can leave the rest to the professionals. However, if you just can’t imagine not cooking this holiday season, renting a cabin could be your solution. Cabins usually come with fully-equipped kitchens, but make sure you bring specialty pans and cooking utensils with you. And for those of you that just want to show up to the meal, there are plenty of restaurants open every holiday.
2. Shopping. Are you afraid to miss out on the post holiday sales and specials? Never fear. Gatlinburg offers the ultimate shopping experience with everything from local artisan crafts to brand-name outlet stores. The deals abound and many stores are clustered for your shopping convenience. Read more about Shopping in the Smokies.
3. Decorating. Don’t think that having a destination holiday experience means you have to forgo the holiday decorations. Many rental cabins come fully-decorated for the holidays, and if you are looking to bring your own decorations…just ask. Gatlinburg is known for customer service and hospitality. ERA In The Smokies thinks of visitors as their guests and always try to accommodate requests.
4. A White Christmas. Do you live somewhere that never sees snow? Come on over to the Great Smoky Mountains. The Smokies get a small amount of snow each year. Even though it rarely snows at Christmas, the ski slopes at Ober Gatlinburg are often open by mid-December even if it requires man-made snow. Ober Gatlinburg now offers snow tubing, too!
5. Holidays on Ice. For many people, winter holidays conjure images of ice skating, woolen mittens and hot chocolate. Ice skating is a popular year ’round activity at Ober Gatlinburg ski resort. Don’t worry about driving up the mountain in icy weather; the aerial tram offers a breath-taking view and eliminates the need to drive.
6. Winter Adventure. There are lots of activities that shut down in the Mountains during the winter due to the temperature or precipitation; however, there are just as many that are great fun regardless of the weather. Take a wild and wacky and snowy roll inside an inflatable Zorb ball or take an off-road Hummer tour with the whole family! And Walden Creek Stables offers horseback riding even in December!
7. Twinkling Lights. Does your home town offer a beautiful lights display? So does ours. Gatlinburg loves holiday lights so much that they are up from the first week in November to mid-February each year. From Dollywood to Downtown, whimsical LED light displays are a beautiful reminder of the holiday season and a great reminder of Gatlinburg’s vow to go green. Read more about Holiday Lights locations.
8. Fa La La La La. Most of the Smoky Mountain musical shows that your family loves have special holiday editions. From the always-funny Sweet Fanny Adams and to the brand new Smoky Mountain Opry Christmas Spectacular, holiday music abounds. You won’t miss caroling either. Each year the City of Gatlinburg sponsors roving minstrels, carolers and story tellers. The Village even has photo opportunities with old Kris Kringle himself!
9. Buy an Ornament. Did you buy an tree ornament for your baby’s first Christmas? First year in school? Why stop there? Gatlinburg offers a varied assortment of shops dedicated to just holiday decorations. The Christmas Tree offers a quaint shopping experience in the heart of downtown Gatlinburg where you can buy your Department 54 favorites or a hand-painted one-of-a-kind. Christmas Eve Gift is a world of Christmas all year long and is located in the heart of the Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts Community. In addition, many of the Downtown Parkway’s shops carry souvenir Christmas ornaments as well as other ornaments and souvenirs for each and every holiday. Make collecting ornaments part of your family’s tradition.
10. 12 Days of Christmas. This is one of my family traditions. Pigeon Forge puts up a light display featuring the 12 Days of Christmas from the Partridge in a Pear Tree at the Sevierville end to the 12 Drummers Drumming on the Gatlinburg end. Each year, my family piles in the car and sings the song as we pass the individual displays for each day. Of course, traffic lights and placement mean we end up singing v – e – r – y – s – l – o – w – l – y or sometimes very very fast to keep up, but it always ends in laughter. I’ll photograph the 12 Days of Christmas light display this year and feature it in a separate blog post. Don’t miss this light display.
This blog is sponsored in part by ERA In The Smokies Realty and Rentals located at 207 Parkway in Gatlinburg, TN. For more information on a Gatlinburg Cabin for your Smoky Mountain Vacation or all the reasons to move to the Smokies, call 1-800-309-0277. ERA In The Smokies is a leader in chalet and Log Cabin Rentals and Real Estate Sales in the Gatlinburg area.