December in the Smokies

Tis the season once again and that means it’s time for some holiday cheer! No one can deny that when you visit the Great Smoky Mountains at Christmas time, it’s like you’re visiting our very own winter wonderland. From the moment you arrive, you are greeted by millions of twinkling lights decorating the town from Gatlinburg all the way to Sevierville. All the businesses put out their most festive decorations, so everywhere you look, the holidays are waving back at you. It’s the most wonderful time of year and it’s one that is loved by so many. It’s a special time full of getting to see our loved ones, reminiscing over old memories and traditions, and spreading a little joy everywhere we go. It’s also when we get to see good ole Santa Claus, so I hope you’re all on the nice list this year! The Smokies really go all out for the holidays and there’s just no place else we’d rather be, how about you all?! We’ve become a holiday tradition for so many families from all over the world and it’s for good reason. There is always so much going on for the entire family to enjoy and we just keep adding more to the list. Who’s excited to see what December in the Smokies is all about? Grab your elves and let’s get ready for one fantastic winter vacation!


This charming town is filled with nonstop holiday cheer. They have some of my favorite decorations and it’s one place that you’ll find yourself never wanting to leave. The first thing that we absolutely recommend for you all to check out is Santa’s Claus-et, the town’s largest Christmas store! You might just be able to find everything holiday-esque that you maybe looking for. They have everything from toys to personalized ornaments. If the kiddos are with you, their faces will light up if they just so happen to run into Santa while you’re there. My favorite part is that at night, they actually have their own little light display. The twinkling lights dance along to a synchronized set of songs that you can find on a radio station that they have posted outside the shop. It’s such a special added bonus for us all to enjoy during the holiday season. New this year, Anakeesta will be creating their very own Santa’s Village. Families will be able to visit the Anakeesta Parkway Plaza where they’ll be able to meet Santa and his elves! They can even have their picture taken, with some of the proceeds going to benefit the Wears Valley Ranch: Christian Children’s Home and School. It’s for such an amazing cause and is sure to bring nothing but smiles and fun for all of us. Ober Gatlinburg has officially started ski season! That’s right, they will transform into our very own ski resort full of winter magic. They will have skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing, ice skating, and even a kiddie play zone where families can build snowmen or start a friendly snowball fight. There are plenty of other goodies there like a scenic chairlift, mountain coaster, and more. It’s a must visit during especially during the month of December. There will also be plenty of excellent shopping to do all along the parkway. The Village is one place to definitely add to your list. It has an old world Christmas feeling to it, and is full of unique shops that will have one of a kind holiday gifts for everyone in the family!

Pigeon Forge

If you’re ready to have a holly jolly time, our charming town will deliver that and more. The first thing on the list to talk about is some of our fantastic holiday shows. The ones we always love to recommend are the Dolly Parton’s Stampede or Celebration!, Smoky Mountain Opry, Hatfield & McCoy, and Comedy Barn. These shows are sure to put you in the holiday spirit and may even have you laughing until you cry. The Stampede, Celebration, and Hatfield & McCoy are all dinner shows so you’ll be receiving one amazing four course feast that you and the entire family are sure to love. The Smoky Mountain Opry also has a special bonus for us all this year. Chris Blue, the season 12 winner of The Voice, will be the headliner for all their holiday shows. His voice is incredible and is sure to be one excellent addition to the performance. Don’t forget that as a thank you for staying with us, you receive a free adult ticket to Hatfield & McCoy, the Comedy Barn, and Smoky Mountain Opry. We also have a voucher available at the front desk for the Stampede and Celebration show! Next up, we all know that a trip to Dollywood is a must do. Their Christmas season is full of Christmas traditions. They will have a bunch of exciting and award-winning shows like Christmas in the Smokies, It’s A Wonderful Life, and more. Best of all, they have my favorite parade and I’m sure you all know I’m talking about. That’s right, the Parade of Many Colors is back again! The family will love getting to gather in the park and watch this special parade that expresses the values of faith, harmony, fun, and love. This has become a staple for so many of us during the Christmas season and we can’t wait to join our new visitors and repeats once again to experience it. The Island is another must visit. You’ll be able to get your holiday shopping all taken care of, while enjoying some exciting attractions in between. The decorations alone are enough to make you smile. Don’t forget to also visit the Incredible Christmas Place! We love it here this time of year.


Sevierville will also have a few things to make this Christmas season even brighter (literally!) One of our favorite stores to visit this time of year is called Christmas Done Bright (we love puns.) Here you can find all the outdoor lights and decor that you maybe looking for. Getting to see the shop all lit up at night is enough to make you want to create your very own Christmas Wonderland at your home. We’re sure that this may become one of your new must visit shops. Are you ready to see your new family tradition if you visit us during the holidays each year? Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland, located at the Tennessee Smokies Baseball Stadium, is a special extravaganza that is sure to bring on those genuine smiles and laughter for the whole family. Here you’ll get to see thousands of lights and display that dance to a synchronized set of songs that you will find on their very own radio station. That’s right, this is one you drive through and it’s sure to be a spectacle that you all will never forget. They’ll also have a petting zoo, pony rides, and the kiddos can even visit Santa’s workshop to meet our favorite guy in the big red suit and let him know what they want for Christmas this year. Trust us when we say, this is something you have to see this December.

We hope you enjoyed reading about what December in the Smokies could look like. While there are still so many other amazing and exciting things to do, we think we narrowed it down to our top favorites for you all to see. Our Downtown Pigeon Forge Vacation Rentals will put you right in the middle of all the action going on around us. We offer king size beds, beautiful mountain view balconies, gas fireplaces, fully equipped kitchens, a washer/dryer, and more. Come and join our family here at Big Bear Resort and get ready to experience one unforgettable December in the Smokies!

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