No matter where you go in Gatlinburg during the months of November-February, you’ll be enchanted with endless hot cider tastings, lively mountain music, candy samplings and the most imaginative light displays. This lively hub of winter festivities is overflowing with fun ways to spend the holidays.
Here are the top 9 reasons to come see Christmas in the Smokies:
1. Snow in the Smoky Mountains
Mid-November through February: Winter in the Smokies is generally moderate, but extremes in weather do occur, especially with an increase in elevation. It is not unusual to have warm temperatures in the low elevations and snow in the higher areas. About half the days in the winter have high temperatures of 50 degrees or more.
Highs occasionally even reach the 70s. Most nights have lows at or below freezing. But lows of -20°F. are possible at high elevations. In the low elevations, snows of 1″ or more occur 1-5 times a year. Snow falls more frequently in the higher mountains and up to two feet can fall during a storm. January and February are the months when one is most likely to find snow in the mountains.
Current weather forecasts for the park are available by phone at (865) 436-1200 extension 630 or online from the National Weather Service.
2. Christmas Snow in All the Right Places
When it snows in the Smokies, most of the accumulation is high in the mountains. There may be a light snow flurry in downtown Gatlinburg, but most of the snow will be in the higher elevations.
If you’d like to play in the snow during the holidays, simply take a drive into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. From Gatlinburg, the New Found Gap Road climbs up 4,000 feet in elevation to where you’ll find winter snow and ice for Christmas magic.
3. Icy Waterfalls in the National Park
Icy waterfalls are another reason the Smoky Mountains are an ideal winter wonderland to explore during the holidays. During extended cold spells, a heavy coating of ice can form on waterfalls.
4. The Christmas Place: Magical Holiday Store
The Incredible Christmas Place, at the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, is the premier destination for Christmas gifts and collectibles, designer-themed Christmas Trees, novelty and traditional Christmas Lights, hundreds of Personalized Ornaments, and all your favorite Holiday brands like Department 56, Lemax, Christopher Radko and many more!
5. Fun Christmas Themed Attractions and Shows
Everyone loves coming to Gatlinburg for the beautiful views of the Smoky Mountains. But there are also world-class shows in town for all ages. Chances are, you’ll find a Christmas show in the Smokies that will warm your heart during this lovely season.
6. Christmas Lights Everywhere
The Gatlinburg area and Smoky Mountains in the winter are a sight to behold. Majestic pines covered with a sparkling blanket of snow, charming walkways lined with street lamp poles all strung up with multi-colored, twinkling lights and the warm glow of welcoming city lights through frosted windowsills of shops and homes everywhere.
7. Ober Ski Mountain and Winter Sports
From December through March, Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort is alive with speed and color as skiers hit the slopes. Ober Ski Mountain also offers other Christmas activities like indoor ice skating rink and snow tubing as well!
8. Awesome Christmas Parades
The 41st Annual Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade will be held on Friday, December 2, 2016. More than 60,000 people come to view the award winning parade featuring lighted floats, marching bands, equestrian units, giant balloons and of course Santa Claus! The parade route is through downtown Gatlinburg.
9. Snowy Hikes in the National Park
Winter in the Smoky Mountains is an amazing time of the year to check out even more hiking trails. During the winter you will see things that may normally be hidden in leaves during the other months of the year, and you will also get to experience the frozen wonders of the Smoky Mountains.