Winter in the Smoky Mountains is magical – beautiful views from your Mountain Cabin hot tub, warm and inviting restaurants, thrilling fun on the mountain slopes from skiing and snowboarding and snow tubing to ice skating and bumper cars. Ober Gatlinburg is the place to go when you want some fun outside your cabin.
Ober Gatlinburg Amusement Park and Ski Resort is a “mountaintop of fun, excitement and beauty.” Little and big kids alike AND all the adults can find adventures and entertainment at Ober – outside or warm and cozy inside. Read our nine favorite outside and inside Ober Gatlinburg adventures, plus excellent restaurants!
High in the Sky
Start your day at Ober Gatlinburg by boarding the Aerial Tramway in downtown Gatlinburg and avoid the drive up the mountain while taking in, arguably, the best views as you soar above Gatlinburg for more than 2 miles. The cable car has been taking passengers from downtown Gatlinburg to the Ober amusement park and ski area since August 1973. Check out this video for a taste of what you’ll experience!
Skiing and Snowboarding
Once you reach the top, outdoor adventures at Ober Gatlinburg include Skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing and the children’s play area – Cubbies Snow Zone – where younger children can just, well, play in the snow for $5 or free with a current ski area ticket.
The slopes are open for skiing and snowboarding noon to 10 p.m. from Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays. Find lift pass rates here. Ober Gatlinburg offers ski and clothing rental, along with lessons for young and old.
Ober Gatlinburg has 10 trails from beginner to advanced, including a freestyle Terrain Park. There are seven lifts to get you there. Check out the Slope report and the live webcams. One camera points at the activities going on. The other camera is the Mountain Valley view.
Ober Gatlinburg has events running all winter on the slopes – college night and ladies night food drives that create inexpensive skiing and snowboarding nights in exchange for food donations; Church on the Slopes; and Jam weekend competitions Feb. 9 and 10. Thursdays are race nights through March. 7.
Another great adventure on the mountain is snow tubing. Ride an inner tube and giggle down the 400-foot hill. Ages five and up get 90 minutes on the hill for $25. There are 10 lanes to keep the fun moving.
At the bottom, the snow tubing slope has a “magic carpet” that takes the standing riders to the top, avoiding the exhaustion of schlepping up the hill.
That’s right, a roller coaster in the mountains, even in winter. Only this one at Ober Gatlinburg is one car at a time and you control the speed on your way down in the ADG Mountain Coaster carts.
Riders are towed 1,000 feet up through the treetops. On the way down, riders control their own speed for 2,750 of “turns, dips, zig-zags, corkscrews and G-force.” You can cruise through or reach speeds up to 25-mph.
This is definitely an adventure to try.
“The Mountain Coaster is a blast, it’s a must do! “ a TripAdvisor reviewer wrote in December after a Christmas stay with family.
Bobcats, turtles, snakes and bears – oh my!
At Ober’s Wild Encounter, visitors can meet some of the wildlife that resides in the Smoky Mountains.
Meet the black bear family that includes Minnie and BJ and their grown 6-year-olds, Holly and Chief. River otters play in the underwater viewing area. Raccoons, skunks, flying squirrels, turtles and snakes muck about in the Nocturnal House. Bobcats and birds of prey also are part of the family here.
Some of these guys hibernate so they aren’t ALL out and bout in the winter. Ober’s Wild Encounter is open every day 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For more on the wildlife in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, check out the National Park Service site for pictures and other viewing information.
Take the scenic chairlift to the midway point to jump into a sled-like cart and race or chill to the bottom of Mount Harrison on one of two 1800-foot parallel tracks. Use the push/pull lever to control your speed.
INSIDE FUN AND ENTERTAINMENT
Prefer to stay warm and cozy inside? Ober Gatlinburg has that covered too. Sports, fun, games and food for all.
Ice Bumper Cars
Bumper cars on an ice rink! That sounds like a lot of silly fun! Lighted round cars spin and bump as you play on about 1/3 of the entire ice rink. Check out this great Ober Gatlinburg bumper car video and plan your sibling revenge.
“Everyone had such a good time in our group, we couldn’t stop laughing,” one TripAdvisor reviewer wrote.
The ride opens every day of the week starting Jan. 30.
Lace up for year-round skating for Ober’s 140 feet x 75 feet indoor ice arena. The “centerpiece of Ober Gatlinburg’s enclosed mall,” the rink welcomes beginners and professionals alike.
Added to Foursquare in December 2017
The handrail around the perimeter helps novice skaters keep their balance. The rink is large enough to play host to Christmas specials, the Tennessee Special Olympics ice skating competition and Ice Skating Institute Team competitions each year.
In case you are considering making a marriage proposal, Ober Gatlinburg says the rink has been home to a few as a romantic place to take a knee and pop the question.
Buy your tickets here.
Fun for all ages, the classic merry-go-round carousel makes everyone smile with sparkling lights and colorful horses. Children over 36 inches and adults can ride the carousel all day for just one $3.50 ticket per person.
Nearby is the Market Mexican food stand for those breaks or for parents watching older children on the ride.
After you’ve worked up an appetite on the slopes or when you just want to take in the view at the top with dinner or a snack, Ober offers seven eating experiences.
Sit down at Seasons of Ober Restaurant and take in spectacular Smoky Mountain views while dining on hand-cut steaks, chicken or pork and homemade sides that include cinnamon apples and sweet potato casserole. Some of Season’s signature dishes include a strawberry avocado salad, fried green tomatoes and a center-cut pork chop.
The Ober Loft Lounge offers a full wine list, spirits and beer along with bar bites including chicken wings and fried pickle chips. The loft lounge is a great place for an Apres ski cocktail.
Also on the mountain is The Market, a sit-down Mexican eatery; Sidewalk Café with burgers, pizza and more; and Fudge Shop for some homemade confections. Fudge is a southern favorite that comes in many flavors – with and without nuts. It is rich and delicious and tastes like nothing else!
Check out this peanut-butter fudge recipe from Emily Lauren Holley who writes “Life in the Smoky Mountains.”
Ready to book your Smoky Mountain winter stay and start planning your Ober Gatlinburg adventure? Check out these cabins with hot tubs and book today for a winter wonderland stay in the Great Smoky Mountains!