A Smoky Mountain Winter

 

Winterfest is in full effect here in the winterfest lights.jpgGreat Smoky Mountains. Everywhere you turn you are filled with the joy of the holidays, lights throughout the city and holiday decor on every corner will definitely put you in the mood!

Take the Trolley Ride of Lights to sit back, relax and enjoy all the lights in the comfort of a Gatlinburg Trolley. The journey takes you all around town to view the one of a kind displays put out by the city. The new LED lighting provides a bright blast of new and old scenes that portray what Winter means to us, showing off native wildlife to the Great Smoky Mountains as well as holiday themed scenes and some classics from the last 23 years.

 

dollywood-chapelDollywood has all the classic shows going on through their own celebration, Smoky Mountain Christmas. Featuring shows including It’s A Wonderful Life, O’ Holy Night, ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas and more, you’re sure to get in the spirit of Christmas! Stop by Santa Land with the kids for crafts, huge toys and of course a visit with Santa and meet Rudolph and his Friends too! The Parade Of Many Colors closes the night with a spectacular show of lights, floats, characters and more.
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Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland is a Christmas light show unlike one you’ve ever seen before. It is the largest drive-through, fully computerized, LED light and music show of its kind! You just pull up and tune your radio station to the one provided and start your drive through a magical wonderland of moving lights that are synced to the music. After your tour, stop by Santa’s Workshop for several attractions including a petting zoo, pony rides, inflatables, crafts, Christmas movies and of course pictures with Santa! They are located at the Tennessee Smokies Baseball Stadium.

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For over thirty years The Christmas Place has give us the opportunity to enjoy Christmas all year long and is now the South’s largest Christmas shopping village. With over 60 themed Christmas Trees, there is definitely something for everyone! They have everything you may need for Christmas, including decorations, presents, collection items and many others! You can even personalize an ornament for each member of the family. Now that would be a Christmas tradition you wouldn’t forget!

 

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This blog is sponsored by ERA In The Smokies Realty and Rentals located at 207 Parkway in Gatlinburg. For more info. 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, Pigeon Forge, and Smoky Mountain areas.

Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country Summer Time Fun

Dollywood

Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country have always been a must see attraction here in the Great Smoky Mountains.With only a short drive away from Gatlinburg, visitors can experience endless fun and build memories to last a lifetime at these great theme parks. Dollywood now has 46 different rides, shows and attractions and Dollywood’s Splash Country now has more than 23 water adventure rides with something for the entire family!

wild eagle The newest addition to Dollywood is the Wild Eagle roller coaster which opened last spring. It is 21 stories above the park and gives riders a one of a kind experience. Instead of having the train on the track, seats are placed on either side of the track so there is nothing but air above and below the rider providing a true flying experience.

Dollywood has opened a National Roller Coaster Museum inside the park that is available for viewing all day from May 25,2013 to October 30,2013.  This museum is located in the Craftsmans Valley area of Dollywood.

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The current festival at Dollywood is the Great American Summer festival. This festival includes Gazillion Bubbles: New Dimension, The Little Engine Playhouse, and Salute to America. GACTV and Dollywood also team up to present the Great American Country Show May 10,2013- October 26,2013. There is something for the whole family to enjoy! Every night from June 22,2013 to January 04,2013 visitors can enjoy Dolly’s Nights of Many Colors, a spectacular firework show that you don’t want to miss! Dollywood has extended hours of 10:00 A.M-10:00 P.M. June 22,2013- August 04,2013 

river rush New this year at Dollywood’s Splash Country is the River Rush, Tennessee’s 1st and only water roller coaster! It features 4 drops, 4 stories high with its highest drop at 25 feet at a 45 degree angle and holds four people at a time. This hydromagnetic roller coaster open in May and offers guest a truly one of  a kind experience!

Make sure and book your cabin at ERA In The Smokies today and don’t miss all the Summer time fun at Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country! 

Dollywood Season 2013

The whole area is on the edge of its seat with anticipation! Dollywood is reopening soon, bringing with it another year of fun and games, rides and shows, food and more! Check out all the wonderful things coming this year.

Festival of Nations

Mystic IndiaDollywood opens with the Festival of Nations, March 23 through April 22. “Guests can experience new and exciting cultures from around the globe, including China’s pageantry in Cirque Shanghai and the enchantment of India in Mystic India, right here in the Smokies. More than 25 countries are represented through their respective heritages of music, dance, food and art in this internationally diverse festival. Authentic cuisine and ethnic activities provide a great insight of other cultures while reminding guests, ‘We all smile in the same language.'” New shows this year for the Festival of Nations include:

Mystic India
“Mystic India takes audiences on a celebratory journey through India via a stunning performance which fuses dance, theatre and visual effects into an amazing explosion of color and energy. This astounding production, located in the Showstreet Palace Theatre, features 25 professional dancers, hundreds of ornate costumes and the dynamic music of the Bollywood film industry.”

Cirque ShanghaiCirque Shanghai
“Cirque Shanghai combines traditional and modern Chinese acrobatics alongside amazing displays of physical strength and incredible feats of balance. This heart-pounding production mixes graceful folkloric pageantry with beautifully-costumed performers and a visual feast of breathtaking white-knuckle stunts. And the award-winning circus and acrobatic talent and has been described as ‘amazing to the extreme!'”

Mariachi Divas
“A multi-cultural, all-female ensemble, Mexico’s Mariachi Divas are three-time Grammy Award-winners with unique songs always infused with the Latin sounds of mariachi. The Mariachi Divas have made numerous television appearances in the United States and Mexico. Never stepping too far from what brought them together, the sound of mariachi rings through every song that is played, no matter what style of music they choose to perform. Mariachi Divas play in the Valley Theatre.”

Pause CafePause Cafe
“From France, Pause Café performs traditional and modern French folk music on a variety of instruments, including the rare hang drum. Guests will enjoy the enchanting rhythms, original compositions and familiar favorites performed by these gifted musicians. Pause Café performs at the Valley Theatre and the Backporch Theatre.”

Ugandan Children’s Choirs
“Two Ugandan children’s choirs perform at the Valley Theatre during Dollywood’s Festival of Nations. Ugandan Thunder – A choir comprised of children ages 8-15 from the Royal School and Orphanage of Mityana, Uganda, will capture your heart with their sound. Dates: March 23 – 29. Suubi Tribe – A second captivating Ugandan choir performing Ugandan drum songs, as well as several English songs familiar to Americans. Dates: April 1 – 7.”

The Great American Summer

Great American SummerThis year Dollywood introduces The Great American Summer, June 22 through August 4. The park will stay open from 10 am to 10 pm to allow families to enjoy the warm summer nights. And to take full advantage of the later hours, Dollywood will be putting on a spectacular new fireworks display every night, Dolly’s Nights of Many Colors! “Look inside Dolly’s most cherished memories as her family, including her brother, sister and nieces, share songs and stories in the new show My People—Dolly’s Letter Home. Adding exciting new twists to Guest favorites, Gazillion Bubbles: New Dimension and the Little Engine’s Playhouse return with even more elements of surprise. GACTV and Dollywood team to present The Great American Country Show May 10 through October 26. The 40-minute show features six singers and a six-piece band, as well as a special appearance by one of country music’s legendary performers along with video appearances by your favorite GAC personalities.”

RiverRush at Splash Country

RiverRushWhen Dollywood’s Splash Country re-opens on May 11, they do so with a brand new water coaster- RiverRush. “It’s Tennessee’s first and only water coaster, and it’s coming to Dollywood’s Splash Country in May 2013! Get ready for the next generation of water coasters as RiverRush races through the trees four stories in the air as you experience four drops along a track that thrills with multiple hairpin turns and dark tunnels- all combined with rushing water! It’s everything you love about a traditional land coaster- powerful climbs, twists, turns- with more than a splash of water!”

Smoky Mountain Christmas

A Dollywood Christmas CarolThe area is filled with Christmas shows when the season comes, but at Dollywood you can get your fill of festive productions for one all-day price! While most shows cost at least $30 per person, at Dollywood, a day pass costs only $56! For that one low price you can see several shows, not to mention enjoy some great rides and roller coasters and much more! Here are some of our favorite Smoky Mountain Christmas Shows:

A Dollywood Christmas Carol
“In A Dollywood Christmas Carol, the three spirits of Christmas visit stodgy Ebenezer Scrooge in this inspiring story of redemption told through song and story. The original musical adaptation entertains audiences with a 15-member cast, fully orchestrated musical tracks, Victorian scenery and period costuming.”

Christmas in the Smokies
“Dollywood’s musical Christmas tradition features a 12-member cast performing hometown holiday favorites that celebrate the joy of the season.”

‘Twas The Night Before Christmas
“A family finds its own Christmas miracle with the help of a mysterious, white-bearded stranger in this delightful musical featuring a 12-member cast and a four-piece band.”

Sky HighwayWhen you come to enjoy all Dollywood has to offer, why not stay in a beautiful Smoky Mountain cabin! Just imagine… mountain view, hot tub, fireplace, game rooms, privacy, and more. Whether you’re looking for a cozy romantic getaway, or a whirlwind family vacation, ERA In The Smokies has the perfect cabin for you!

Spring Break In The Smokies

Click Here to Subscribe by Email!This year at Spring Break, don’t follow the crowd to the beach, follow the fun to the Smokies!

Go Swimming in the SmokiesGo Swimming

At Spring Break in the Smokies, the outdoor pools usually aren’t opened yet, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on swimming!
Indoor Swimming Pools– There are two indoor swimming pools in the area that can accommodate you for just a couple dollars per person. The indoor swimming pool at the Gatlinburg Community Center is open every day, even in winter and spring. Check their website for hours of operation and prices. The Pigeon Forge Community Center also offers an indoor swimming pool. Hours are: Monday, Wednesday, Friday- 8:00am – 8:00pm; Tuesday, Thursday- 6:30am – 8:00pm; Saturday- 10:00am – 5:30pm; Sunday- 1:00pm – 5:30pm. The Day fee for non-residents in $6.59 and includes access to the entire community center, including basketball courts, racquet ball, bowling, and more. Call 865-429-7373 for more information.
Indoor Water Park– There is an indoor water park as well, with a little bit of extra watery fun! The Wild Bear Falls Water Park in Gatlinburg “is the ultimate indoor/outdoor water park experience. Not only is there 60,000 sq ft. of watery fun for kids and adults, the water park also features an entry-level pool for toddlers. For those that are in need of a break from the water or want to recharge, there is a snack bar, gift shop and an arcade on the mezzanine level. High above the fun, the mezzanine also permits you to take in the action below or keep an eye on your family.”

Visit a Theme Park

Dollywood opens on March 23 this year, with endless opportunities for family fun! On hot days, water rides are available. Roller coasters and rides provide plenty of thrills, including the still new Barnstormer and Wild Eagle Rides. The Festival of Nations is hosting the Cirque Shanghai. Shopping, shows, food, and dozens of children’s activities round out the experience. ERA In The Smokies can help you with discounted 2-day passes if you stay in one of their cabins or chalets!

Enjoy the Spring Weather and Wildlife

Hiking To Chimney TopsPerfect Hiking Weather
Thousands of people flock from far and wide to enjoy all the amazing hiking trails of the Great Smoky Mountains. While a novice might expect summer to be the best time for hiking, anyone who has been hiking in summer knows that spring and autumn are the best seasons for hiking by far. In summer it can get quite warm, and when one is hiking, this increases the body heat as well, and can work up quite a sweat! In the spring, the beautiful color of new leaves fills the Smokies, the birds and animals are flitting about, the wildflowers are coming out in profusion, and the temperature is perfect. On a perfect spring day, it may seem just a bit warm down in the town of Gatlinburg, but as you climb in elevation in the Park to get to the trails, the temperature will drop a bit. When you get out of your car to begin the hike, you will probably feel a bit chilly. Just put on a light jacket, and start hiking! Within about ten minutes, you will likely be getting pretty warm again. Just remove your jacket, tie it around your waist, and continue on your hike! See some more hiking tips.
Waterfall Season
In spring, the frequent rainfall and melting snow contribute to gorgeous, roaring waterfalls! If you are one of those people for whom waterfalls hold a mesmerizing attraction, the Smokies is the place for you! From small cataracts cascading along the side of the road, to huge falls of 50 ft or more, the Smokies are riddled with waterfalls. Meigs Falls and Place of a Thousand Drips are accessible by car-ride, and tons of others are available by hikes, long or short!
Wildflowers
There are wildflowers for every season, but none holds such a profusion of color and scent as spring-time! If you visit us during the last weekend in April, you can take advantage of the Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage to assist in your discovery of our spring wildflowers! “The Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage is an annual five-day event in Great Smoky Mountains National Park consisting of a variety of wildflower, fauna, and natural history walks, motorcades, photographic tours, art classes, and indoor seminars. Most programs are outdoors in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, while indoor offerings are held in various venues throughout Gatlinburg, TN.”

Have a Boardwalk Experience

Both in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, the main strips play host to such a variety of attractions, a walk down either could keep you entertained for days! The term boardwalk brings up images of shopping, eateries, ice cream, fudge, mini-golf, go-karts, shows, and more! Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge offer all this and more.

See a Show

There are so many show here in the Smokies, you could never see them all! Some of our favorites fall loosely into three categories, although most shows contain all three elements in some degree!
Comedy
Sweet Fanny Adams
“On your next visit to the Great Smoky Mountains, head for Pat & Don MacPherson’s Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre, Gatlinburg´s ONLY Musical Comedy Entertainment Attraction and the OLDEST Purveyor of Professional, Live-On-Stage, Original Musical Comedies, outrageous humor and hilarious fun in the Smokies.”
Comedy BarnThe Comedy Barn
“The Comedy Barn® Theater, located in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee , is the award winning family comedy variety show in the Smoky Mountains. Our show features magicians, fire-eaters, jugglers, ventriloquists, clean family comedians, live country and gospel music as well as fun barn yard animals.”
Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Feud
“Howdy! Welcome to the Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Show in Pigeon Forge. You are just in time for the big ole barn dance tonight and boy, is it gonna be a wild one. Seems somehow someone invited BOTH the Hatfields AND the McCoys to the party! Everyone knows just how well those two families mix so you might be able to guess just how busy our newly elected sheriff is gonna fair in the next few hours.”
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Dixie Stampede
“Searching for family fun and adventure during your vacation in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee? Join Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede Dinner Attraction in Pigeon Forge, TN for a family feast and fantastic show fun for all ages. Filled with friendly North and South competition, thrilling horse riding stunts, spectacular special effects, phenomenal musical productions plus a mouth-watering four-course feast complete with a delicious dessert!”
Lumberjack Feud
“Pigeon Forge has a new attraction, and it’s not your ordinary dinner show. With competing ESPN Lumberjack Athletes, you won’t want to miss the “Rowdiest Good Time Dinner Show in the Smokies!”
Music
Smoky Mountain Opry
“The Smoky Mountain Opry is the area’s largest musical variety show featuring music from Big Band Swing through today’s country.  See the most talented cast of singers, dancers, comedians, and musicians the Smokies has to offer! Marvel at our special effects, laser lights, pyro, giant video screens, dazzling costumes, and high flying musicians!”
Smith Family Dinner Theater
“Since 2004, the theater, located at 2330 Parkway in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, has been treating visitors to a stage show heavily steeped in Southern music and culture. For two hours each performance, the Smiths charm their audiences with their unique brand of music and comedy in an intimate, familial style.”
Country Tonite
“Looking for true Pigeon Forge entertainment? Look no further as we are celebrating our 16th Spectacular season in Pigeon Forge, Country Tonite launches a BRAND NEW PIGEON FORGE SHOW – which means new production numbers, new choreography, new lighting effects, new side-splitting comedy, and new costumes.  Country Tonite’s 2013 season promises to surpass all expectations as they combine your favorite country classics with hot new country hits and hilarious country comedy in this fast paced show.”

Hollywood Wax MuseumSneak In Some Educational Fun
Hollywood Wax Museum
“Come Play with the Stars! The all-new Hollywood Wax Museum is part of the Hollywood Wax Museum Entertainment Center entertainment attraction at 106 Showplace Boulevard in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. If you’re waxing for fun in the Smoky Mountains, get into the action with your favorite stars at the largest Hollywood Wax Museum in the United States. From Michael Caine to Michael Jackson and Lucille Ball to Lucy Lui, you’ll find classic and current stars ready and waiting to take pictures with you. In addition to posing with the stars, you’ll learn about their pets, pet peeves, accomplishments, charity work and more. The two-story Pigeon Forge Hollywood Wax Museum also includes themed tributes to film genres including western, action, romance, sci fi, comedy, and horror. The Wax Museum near Dollywood in Pigeon Forge brings you into the world of celebrities like never before.”
Titanic Museum Attraction
“Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge is a half-scale, permanent, three-deck reproduction. The museum houses 20 galleries to display hundreds of authentic, priceless Titanic artifacts that were either carried from the ship and into lifeboats by passengers and crew or were found afloat soon after the sinking and quickly salvaged by rescue boats.”
Wonderworks
“WonderWorks Pigeon Forge began as a Top Secret research laboratory on a remote island in the Bermuda Triangle. As legend has it, the world’s greatest scientists – led by Professor Wonder – were given the task of creating a man-made tornado and harnessing the POWER of it. During this experiment, something went awry and the power of the tornado was unleashed throughout the laboratory. This created a swirling vortex that was strong enough to rip the laboratory from its foundation. It was carried thousands of miles away and landed upside-down on the top of a theater in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Remarkably, all of the experiments remained intact and functional.”

Enjoy the View
This area is famous for it’s gorgeous mountain views. There are multiple ways to enjoy the view, including just driving down the road!
National Park Scenic Overlooks
Take a drive through the National Park and you will find several pull-offs at various scenic overlooks. Take a few minutes at each one to take in the view and take a view pictures.
Get up High, Stay Close to Town!
Take the Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway and enjoy the view all the way up to the top of Ski Mountain. The view from the parking lot at the top is phenomenal in its own right! Ride the Gatlinburg Sky Lift to a height of 1,800 ft on Crockett Mountain and fin another spectacular view. Ride up 407 feet in a glass elevator to the top of the Gatlinburg Space Needle, which affords a 360 degree view of the surrounding city and mountains!
Take a Hike, Take a Picnic
An especially great way to enjoy the view is to be a part of it! Hike up to the top of one the peaks in the National Park and gaze out at the beauty surrounding you. You’ll be hungry by the time you get up there, so be sure to pack a small lunch to enjoy when you arrive! Our favorite spots for a mountaintop picnic are the top of the Chimney Tops Trail and Charlies Bunion Trail.
Check out the view from the hot tub at Southern Comfort!Rent a Cabin With a View
The best way to enjoy the view is from the deck of your very own Smoky Mtn Cabin! Sit out with your favorite drink and your favorite person and relax. Or jump into the hot tub and feast your eyes from there. Just imagine, getting up each morning to the spectacular vista of the Great Smoky Mountains, taking your lunch out on the deck, reading a book in a rocking chair in the fresh air, soaking in the hot tub while listening to the crickets and all with those beautiful mountains right in front of you! Sigh…. heaven! The folks at ERA In The Smokies can help you find just such a cabin to make your Spring Break the best one ever!

Family Winter Traditions in the Smokies- 2012

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Gatlinburg Cabin Easy Livin' features a Big Screen TV.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:

Order your holiday meal today!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. Click to Learn more about Shopping in the Smokies!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.

Almost Heaven is always decorated for the holidays!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.

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!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.

Make Winter Adventure your new Family Tradition!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!

See the lights at Dollywood this holiday season!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.

See Yuletide Madness at Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre!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!

Start your ornament collection in Gatlinburg!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.12 Drummers Drumming

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 – ys – 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.

ERA In The SmokiesThis 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.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year- 2012

Subscribe to A Day In The SmokiesThe Holidays are coming! In fact, if you come to Gatlinburg, you’ll think they’re already here! The calls come in daily… “What are some good Christmas shows to go to?”, “When can I see the lights?”, “Tell me about the Christmas parade!”. If you think summer is the only time when Gatlinburg is throbbing with excitement, you should try coming here for the holidays!!

Sweet Fanny Adams' Yuletide MadnessThere are enough shows to make your head spin! Most of the theatres and dinner theatres around here have a special Christmas or Holiday show, including: Dixie Stampede, Smoky Mtn Opry, Country Tonite, Sweet Fanny Adams Theater, and the Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Feud! First Baptist Sevierville will put on a magnificent Singing Christmas Tree on Dec 2 & 3 at 6:30pm, both evenings. You can call the church office at (865) 453-9001 with any questions! The Great Smoky Mountain Dance Theatre will present The Nutcracker “Sweet” at the W.L. Mills Auditorium on November 23 & 24 at 7:00 pm both evenings. Call (865) 680-7369 for information and reservations. Throughout the streets of downtown Gatlinburg, each Friday and Saturday evening between Thanksgiving and Christmas, view the Winter Magic version of Gatlinburg’s Tunes and Tales, with live music to enjoy as you’re exploring our downtown Parkway! If ice skating tickles your fancy, enjoy Christmas on Ice, presented at Ober Gatlinburg’s ice-skating rink, or go ice skating for yourself! Dollywood is also doing a Christmas on Ice show!

Dolly Parton's Great Smoky Mountain ChristmasDollywood will have a lineup of mesmerizing Holiday events to thrill every one of your five senses! “See the Smokies’ most spectacular light display and a lineup of live Christmas shows that celebrate the true meaning of Christmas, all at Dollywood. 4 million lights drape the park in holiday splendor, casting a warm glow that sets the scene for a winter wonderland like no other. Create a family tradition at Dollywood’s sensational shows, including the triumphant return of perennial favorite Christmas in the Smokies. Let the heartwarming sounds of the season set the stage for a Christmas the entire family will enjoy. Don’t miss Dollywood’s Christmas on Ice, which is performed by the Ice Theater of New York. This spectacular indoor ice skating production features amazing spins and spirals choreographed to the beautiful sounds of the season! And don’t forget, everyone loves a parade, especially Dollywood’s daily Parade of Lights featuring Christmas floats adorned with brightly colored lights.”

Gatlinburg's Holiday Light Display!If you like to look at Christmas lights, don’t miss the Smokies! Gatlinburg is gleaming with millions of LED lights, transforming the town into a gorgeous winter wonderland! Pigeon Forge is also covered in LED lights! You can even take a Trolley Tour of Lights! And don’t forget Sevierville, your hometown in the Smokies! You can even view their LED light display in 3D with special 3D glasses available while supplies last!

Christmas Shopping!What better place to do your Christmas shopping than Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountain Area! From charming local shops to the bargains of the outlet malls to an array of Christmas stores, the Smokies has everything you need to have an enjoyable Holiday shopping experience!

Rent a Cabin!Perhaps some of you come here in the winter specifically to find the snow! I don’t think you will be disappointed! Although the snow rarely sticks around for long down in town, you can easily drive or hike up into the higher elevations to find some snow to play in, if it doesn’t snow in town while you’re here! You can even rent a cabin up in the higher elevations, if you’d like to really surround yourself with snow!

Gatlinburg Festival of Trees!The Festival of Trees will be on display in the W.L. Mills Conference Center on November 22 – 26. “Step into a festival world of Christmas Trees as you experience Christmas in the Smokies at the 2011 Festival of Trees, Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Surrounded by the twinkling lights and sounds and smells of the holidays, shop the many handmade centerpieces and craft items, and return to the joys of celebrating Christmas in the Smokies.”

Christmas ParadeEveryone wants to know about the Christmas Parade! The Gatlinburg Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade starts at light #1A on Hwy 321, and ends at light #10 on Parkway! It will be on December 7, beginning at 7:30 pm. Over the course of about an hour and a half, the parade excitement for young and old also includes more than 100 parade entries, over a dozen marching bands from Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, and Alabama, and giant helium balloons taking to the streets, as more than 80,000 people line the streets! Don’t miss the excitement!

Holiday Craft Show!“Get a head start on your Christmas shopping at our Christmas Craft Show beginning on  November 26 – December 2. Doors open at 10am daily and as usual the admission is free to everyone! Shop in the comfort of the Gatlinburg Convention Center amidst the holiday decor and surroundings. This will surely get you in the Christmas mood and kick your holidays off just right. Give a craft for Christmas… it’s sure to be the most unique gift you can give and it’s one-of-a-kind!”

New Year's Eve Ball Drop and Fireworks!And for the grand finale, will be the New Year’s Ball Drop and Fireworks in downtown Gatlinburg! “Gatlinburg will welcome the arrival of 2013 in unique style with its 25th Annual New Year’s Eve Ball Drop and Fireworks Show around the intersection of Parkway and Historic Nature Trail at the base of the Space Needle late Monday night, December 31.. At the stroke of midnight on January 1, 2013, the Space Needle area will shine with a red glow from the surrounding rooftops at the beginning of a music program which includes selected songs followed by a choreographed fireworks show produced by Pyro-Shows of LaFollette, Tennessee.”

It truly is the most wonderful time of the year!!!

ERA In The SmokiesThis blog is sponsored by ERA In The Smokies Realty and Rentals located at 207 Parkway in Gatlinburg. For more info. 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.

Dollywood’s Southern Gospel & Harvest Fest 2012

Subscribe to A Day In The SmokiesDollywood’s Annual Southern Gospel & Harvest Festival returns this year October 3 – November 3, 2012! This is, in our experience, Dollywood’s busiest time of year. It’s so exciting to come and see all the hustle and bustle!

The PerrysIf you enjoy Southern Gospel music, this is the time for you to come! Your Dollywood admission covers entrance to all the concerts. You could stand in line for hours and still miss the show you want to see if you don’t plan ahead, though, so here are some tips!
1. Plan to arrive 30 minutes earlier than when the park opens! They will often go ahead and let you into the park this early and you can make a beeline to the door of the first concert you want to see! If nothing else, planning to be 30 minutes early ought to get you there on time even if you hit traffic or other delays on the way.
2. Want to avoid waiting in line for those indoor shows? Get a Q-Bot! The Q2Q system will hold your place in line for rides and indoor shows while you enjoy everything else the park has to offer! It only costs $15 per person, and the 6th person is free! If you have a gold season pass, it’s only $12 per person. They have a limited number of Q-bots available, so you will still want to plan to get to the park 30 minutes early!
3. If you’d rather wait in some lines than spend a little extra on the Q-bots, make sure to plan out your goals for the day in advance, and then prepare to be flexible. You can find the show schedule ahead of time on the Dollywood website. Plan to make a beeline for the first show you’d like to get into as soon as you get to the park. Then plan to get in line at least an hour and a half before show time for any other indoor shows you’d like to see. If you are looking forward to some of the outdoor shows, plan to arrive about 5 minutes before the end of the previous showing, in order to jump on some decent seats, as soon as the audience from the previous showing leaves. If you get there late for the outdoor shows, you may not be able to see, but at least you will be able to hear!

Southern Gospel and Harvest FestivalThere are plenty of other wonderful sights, sounds, smells, and tastes to enjoy! Talented crafters will have booths set up all over the park, demonstrating their skills and offering their goods for sale. Special fall recipes will be tantalizing you all over the park, including Dollywood’s signature fried green tomatoes, a true Southern dish! And beautiful fall decorations will delight you everywhere you set your foot. Don’t miss out on this year’s Southern Gospel and Harvest Festival!

ERA In The SmokiesThis blog is sponsored by ERA In The Smokies Realty and Rentals located at 207 Parkway in Gatlinburg. For more info. 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.