Blog for Zipline Attraction in the Smoky Mountains

Located in Pigeon Forge, TN and near Gatlinburg and Sevierville.


5 Winterfest Must-Do Outings

By Ross Bodhi Ogle
Posted on November 28, 2023

Winterfest is in full swing in the Smokies. Through the end of February, the towns of Pigeon Forge, Sevierville and Gatlinburg will be pulling out all the stops to make visitors' trips to the mountains ones that are full of holiday cheer. Millions of Winterfest lights and a heavy-duty slate of special events are just part of the formula that adds up to a magical experience in the Smokies.

The few weeks between now and the end of the year, however, will represent the peak of the Winterfest celebration. So if you happen to be in our area during that time, continue reading to learn our top five picks for what to do while you're in the area. After all, there's so much to choose from, it can be a challenge to narrow down all those choices.

See the Lights

There's no mistaking the fact that all those light displays are the shining crown jewels of Winterfest. From Exit 407 on Interstate 40 to the border of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you'll see millions upon millions of individual lights. Many are there to enhance landscaping or buildings or utility poles, while many take shape as static and animated light displays depicting scenes of holiday cheer. Contact the department of tourism or visitors bureau in each city to get more information on where its displays are located and the best way to view them.

Cross Off the Names

Still have Christmas shopping left to do? No worries. Kill two birds with one stone while you're in the Smokies and hit the outlet malls, craft studios and other specialty retailers. You're guaranteed to find something for pretty much every name on your shopping list, because the selection is immense. You'll find merchandise here that you won't find anywhere else in the country, and in the case of the outlet malls, you can also benefit from some pretty good deals.

Let Them Entertain You

Not everyone enjoys shopping (although many do), but just about everybody can appreciate a high-quality live show. In Pigeon Forge and other parts of the Smokies, the entertainment abounds thanks to the many venues that host music shows and other productions. We have it all, from country and bluegrass to rock and gospel to magic and comedy. There are also a number of shows that revolve around entertaining competitions, including Dolly's Stampede, Paula Deen's Lumberjack Feud to the Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Show. And this time of year, most of those shows have a Christmas/holiday theme, complete with special sets, costumes, music and characters.

Hooray for Dollywood

We went into more depth on this in our blog post a few weeks ago, but Dollywood is a Winterfest destination in its own right. The park's annual Smoky Mountain Christmas festival is sort of a microcosm of the Smokies as a whole, complete with millions of lights, holiday attractions and events, all of which are geared toward making the season a little more merry.

Counting Down

Here's one that's not necessarily Christmas-related. The Smokies are a great place to ring in the new year. Destinations like The Island in Pigeon Forge have special New Year's Eve events planned for December 31, but the mac daddy of them all is the ball drop and fireworks show at the Space Needle in downtown Gatlinburg. You can gather on the streets with tens of thousands of your best friends to count down to 2024, or you might visit an attraction like Ober Mountain, SkyLift Park or Anakeesta to watch the fireworks from a higher vantage point.

And in case you were wondering, yes, you can still visit Smoky Mountain Ziplines through the end of the year. We recommend bundling up in a few extra layers, depending on the weather, but zip lines, Pigeon Forge Winterfest fun and the spirit of the season will combine to create a holiday experience you won't likely forget.


This content posted by Smoky Mountain Ziplines. Visit our home page, for more information on zipline adventures in the Smoky Mountains.

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