4 Ways to Enjoy the Gatlinburg Winter Magic Celebration

Gatlinburg Winter Magic lights depicting caroling snowmen.

Every year, from November through February, Gatlinburg, TN observes its annual Winter Magic Celebration. During this special time of the year, our Smoky Mountain city is transformed into a winter wonderland, complete with beautiful decorations and fun seasonal events. transformed into a winter wonderland, complete with beautiful decorations and fun seasonal events. To help you make the most of your vacation, Chalet Village has put together a guide to four of the best ways to enjoy the Gatlinburg Winter Magic Celebration.

1. Take the Trolley Ride of Lights

One of the most popular parts of the Winter Magic Celebration is the city’s beautiful holiday lights. Located throughout the downtown area, these stunning LED lights cost $1.6 million to install – and they were worth every penny! Gatlinburg’s Christmas light displays depict traditional holiday scenes, Smoky Mountain critters, and other wonderful designs.

To see the Winter Magic Lights, we recommend taking the Trolley Ride of Lights. These fun trolleys drive right by all of the stunning light displays, so you can kick back, relax, and enjoy the sights. The Trolley Ride of Lights only costs $5 and children 3 and under are free if they sit on an adult’s lap.

2. Stop By These Special EventsA marching band in the Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade in Gatlinburg TN.

The Gatlinburg Winter Magic Celebration includes a number of great events that your whole family will love! Here is a quick look at some of the most popular seasonal festivities:

  • The Thanksgiving and Christmas Arts & Crafts Shows are held back to back in the Gatlinburg Convention Center in late November and early December. If you’re looking for beautiful handmade holiday gifts, you’ll love these events!
  • Smoky Mountain Tunes and Tales is a holiday tradition! On Friday and Saturday evenings between Thanksgiving and Christmas, talented musicians congregate in downtown Gatlinburg to perform free concerts for everyone to enjoy.
  • The Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade draws over 60,000 people to downtown Gatlinburg to see lighted floats, marching bands, holiday characters, and enormous balloons.
  • The New Year’s Eve Ball Drop and Fireworks Show at the Gatlinburg Space Needle is the best party in the Smokies!

3. Enjoy Winter Sports at Ober Gatlinburg

When you visit Gatlinburg this winter, you’ll have the chance to enjoy Tennessee’s only ski resort! The Ober Gatlinburg Ski Area opens for snow tubing in mid-November and starts its ski and snowboarding season around mid-December. In addition to all of the winter sports, Ober also offers a wildlife encounter, indoor ice skating rink, a mountain coaster, arcade, and other fun activities.

(See Related: 5 Advantages of Staying at Our Cabins Near Ober Gatlinburg)

A log cabin in Gatlinburg covered in snow.4. Relax in Your Cabin

Sometimes, just relaxing in your cabin can be the highlight of a winter vacation in Gatlinburg. The cabin rentals at Chalet Village offer everything you need for an unforgettable getaway, including toasty fireplaces, breathtaking mountain views, and Christmas decorations. Chalet Village is located minutes away from both Ober Gatlinburg and The Strip, so you will be just a short drive from all of the Gatlinburg Winter Magic fun.

To start planning your winter retreat, browse our selection of Gatlinburg cabin rentals!