Unique gifts and amazing attractions with the beautiful Smoky Mountain backdrop combine to help end 2020 on a celebratory note!

Smoky Mountain Christmas

Let’s start with Dollywood! American country music icon Dolly Parton can put a smile on anyone’s face. Smoky Mountain Christmas at Dollywood starts Nov. 7 to get you in the holiday spirit.

More than 5 million glistening lights and fireworks will light up the winter sky at Dollywood this year. Award-winning shows, culinary delights to warm your belly, seasonal shopping and, the spirt of Christmas that brings us all together envelop visitors.

The sparkling lights will adorn every building, illuminate each walkway and glow in the sky above. “Every part of the park is saturated in uniquely colored lights – no area feels like the last. As you explore, you’ll encounter classic Christmas red and green that turn to crisp, arctic blues that transform into warm gold hues.”

Merry & Bright Fireworks

An all-new Dollywood Christmas event, Merry & Bright fireworks will take place every Friday and Saturday and some busier operating days – so watch the schedule – during Smoky Mountain Christmas. “Merry & Bright” fireworks will fill the sky with light in rhythm to new holiday Christmas tunes.

Cherished holiday stories “unfold onstage in a perfect harmony of song, family and celebration.” “Christmas In The Smokies” and “Kingdom Heirs Christmas” are two fan favorites returning with daily shows performed indoors with reduced capacity.

All new this year at the DreamSong Theatre is “Heart of the Holidays” features members of Dolly Parton’s extended family sharing stories and showcasing songs from her new Christmas album, along with classic holiday favorites. These heartwarming holiday shows will tug at your heart and lift your spirit. Other Christmas shows include “Appalachian Christmas,” “Christmas in the Smokies” and “O Holy Night.”

Keep an eye on the Daily Schedule.

Seasonal Culinary Delights

The flavors of the season will light your pallet with the limited-time culinary creations from drinks and snacks to full meals available across the park. How about hot chocolate and a warm cookie from Spotlight Bakery for a quick snack. For heartier fare, sit down and warm up at Aunt Granny’s for a complete Christmas dinner with all the trimmings!

Dining locations

Holiday Shopping Favorites

Take home a piece of the Smoky Mountains from heritage products such as Dollywood’s apple and pumpkin butters from the Sweet Shoppe, seasonal home decor from Mountain Laurel Home and everything in between from the Dollywood Emporium. Check out the park’s shopping locations

Or maybe buy someone season pass or tickets for a weekend.

A little Christmas Music to get you in the Holiday Spiritchristmas music sheets and decor

How about Dolly Parton’s new Christmas album – A Holly Dolly Christmas? It’s the reigning queen of country music’s first holiday album in 30 years. Oh and the swag is fine!

The album 2020 includes some timeless Christmas songs such as Holly Jolly Christmas, All I want for Christmas is You and I Saw Momma Kissing Santa Claus; along with some original songs and some fantastic duets with Michael Bublé, Billy Ray Cyrus, Miley Cyrus, Jimmy Fallon and Willie Nelson, plus a special song with her brother, Randy Parton.

Here’s the full list:

  1. Holly Jolly Christmas – Dolly Parton
  2. Christmas Is (feat. Miley Cyrus) – Dolly Parton
  3. Cuddle Up, Cozy Down Christmas (with Michael Bublé) – Dolly Parton, Michael Bublé
  4. Christmas On The Square – Dolly Parton
  5. Circle Of Love – Dolly Parton
  6. All I Want For Christmas Is You (with Jimmy Fallon) – Dolly Parton, Jimmy Fallon
  7. Comin’ Home For Christmas – Dolly Parton
  8. Christmas Where We Are (feat. Billy Ray Cyrus) – Dolly Parton
  9. Pretty Paper (with Willie Nelson) – Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson
  10. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus – Dolly Parton
  11. You Are My Christmas (feat. Randy Parton) – Dolly Parton
  12. Mary, Did You Know? – Dolly Parton

Dollywood is located at 2700 Dollywood Parks Blvd, Pigeon Forge, 1-800-DOLLYWOOD. Masks and social distancing required.

Pigeon Forge Winterfest

Running from November 13, 2020 through February 15, 2021

Winterfest Lights In Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg 2020

Experience a true winter wonderland in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville when you visit during Winterfest! Millions of small, twinkling lights come together on streets throughout the mountain towns to form elaborate displays that will leave you in awe. A drive down the Pigeon Forge parkway will treat you to a view of the 12 Days of Christmas in lights. Head to Gatlinburg to see intricate displays of animals native to the Smoky Mountains. Pigeon Forge Winterfest takes the bite out of winter frost and transforms the area into a metropolis of winter fun.

Drive through the lights on your own or let someone else take you – trolley tours, Shadrack’s Christmas tour out Kodak, Tenn., or by comedy bus!

Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland

November 13 – January 3

“Enjoy a drive-through Christmas light show this winter at Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland. The lights will take place from dusk to 10 pm nightly at Smokies Stadium. Additional attractions are available, including photos and visits with Santa, a petting zoo, pony rides and food vendors. Admission into Santa’s Workshop is free with admission to the light show.”

Redneck Comedy Bus Christmas Lights Tour

November 13 – January 30

“Beware of merry rednecks and drunken’ reindeer aboard this fun-filled festive adventure.” Wear your tackiest holiday sweater and join the “Christmas carolin’ (Redneck style), and  jingle all the way through Winterfest.”

The tour boards at Cooter’s Place, 177 E Wears Valley Rd, Pigeon Forge, on select dates in November, December and January.

Great Smoky Mountain Railroad Polar Express

Another extraordinary attraction for the Christmas season is the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad’s Polar Express, which starts running Nov. 6 and operates through Dec. 31. “The 1¼ hour round-trip passenger excursion comes to life as the train departs the Bryson City, Tenn., depot for a journey through the quiet wilderness for a special visit at the North Pole.” All of this is set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack of the same name.

“Guests on board will enjoy warm cocoa and a treat while listening and reading along with the magical story.” Santa will board THE POLAR EXPRESS™, greeting each child and presenting them with a special gift as in the story, their own silver sleigh bell. Christmas carols will be sung as they return back to the Bryson City Depot.

My sister Heather said it is one of her favorite Christmas memories with her kiddos – my niece Ana and nephew Alex – when they were young. So sweet.

While you’re in town, finish your holiday shopping

women christmas shopping

Do the Loop around The Arts and Crafts Community to find the perfect gifts.

The largest independent organization of artisans in the United States, the Arts and Crafts Community is filled with a wide assortment of items from dulcimers to stuffed bears to ceramics. “The artists often will talk with visitors and discuss the history of their craft.”

With more than 100 artists and craftsmen, Gatlinburg’s Arts & Crafts Community “is a living, breathing tribute to the history of Tennessee. The carvers, weavers, watercolor artists, casters, soap makers, potters, silversmiths and dozens of other artisans skillfully demonstrate their abilities before thousands of visitors. The community is located on an 8-mile loop road that’s designated a Tennessee Heritage Arts & Crafts Trail. The Arts & Crafts Community can be reached using the Yellow Trolley from downtown Gatlinburg.

Outlet malls

Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg – are best for finding fashion and household item bargains. In Sevierville, you can visit Five Oaks Tanger Outlets, while Pigeon Forge features the Factory Merchants’ Mall and Pigeon Forge Factory Outlet.

“Gatlinburg has two smaller malls, the Mountain Mall and the Village Shops, both of which have locally owned businesses offering more one-of-a-kind wares. Be sure to visit Alwine Pottery in the Village Shops, and Mountain Village Décor in the Mountain Mall, both of which sell local hand-crafted items. Nearby, the popular Jonathan’s “The Bear Necessities” has home items, apparel, books and scrapbook supplies with a decidedly mountain theme.”

Looking for a truly customized souvenir to bring home? Head to Wood Signs of Gatlinburg and have them create a lasting personal memento that you can hang up either inside or outside.

The Gatlinburg Mountain Malldubbed as a “premier indoor shopping experience.”

Each shop has a unique theme such as hand-crafted candy and local foods, hand-made jewelry, custom-blended tobacco products, quilts, dolls, magic tricks, sports, clothing for your dog, collectible toys and locally made artwork.

Walk around the two indoor fountains, one of which is 30-feet tall. Check out the now-and-then photos as you stroll around the mall. The photos are of the general store that once stood on the same spot – Ogle’s General Store. The Ogle family still owns the Mall.

Check out all the merchants.

Mountain Mall is located at Traffic Light #6 across from Ripley’s Aquarium. 611 Parkway, Ste F15, Gatlinburg.

The Village

The Village in Gatlinburg at Christmas

Nearby, a few steps off Gatlinburg’s bustling main street, is The Village. Here a collection of 27 unique boutiques, eateries and galleries make for a pleasant shopping experience.

Walk and shop through the quaint village of Old World-style buildings and brick paths. It’s like stepping back in time. The Village is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year! Celebrate the anniversary at The Village June 1, 2019 at 1 p.m.

Located just past Traffic Light #6, The Village address is 634 Parkway, Gatlinburg.

The Island

The Island at Christmas

The Island in Pigeon Forge is another great shopping destination. More than 60 unique shops.
While you’re there, sit, take in the sights, play, eat and shop. Sit in a sweet rocking chair and watch the dancing fountain – coordinated to music all day and night. Play! There’s The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel and the Island Rope Course. You can pan for gold at Island Miner’s Gems and get lost and a little woozy in the Island Mirror Maze.

Among the interesting shops are:

Savannah Bee Company – honey tasting, honey accessories, honey lip balm – I bought a unique Mint Julep balm last time I was there.

Old Smoky Moon Shine – pick up some white lightning and accessories to take home and share with friends.

The Paula Deen Store – celebrity chef Paula Deen has a retail store and a restaurant at The Island. Butter anyone?

Farmhouse 9110 – made in the U.S. original home décor from signs to coffee mugs, reclaimed wood and farmhouse charm.

Build-a-Bear – you remember these. You make your own bear and even put its heart in as the final touch.

Book a Cabin for the Christmas and Celebrate in the Smokies!

Whether you want a beautiful cabin near Wears Valley shopping, down low near Tanger outlet or a secluded cabin you can just lose yourself in relaxing after all that shopping, let American Patriot Getaways’ experts help you find the right cabin and all the right fun, food and entertainment. Call us at 800-204-5169.

You can rent a cabin decorated for Christmas!

Check our Pinterest boards for Pigeon Forge cabins with a view. Also, see our board on economy cabins.

If you need more help planning your Smoky Mountain Vacation, be sure to check out all our vacation guides, and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram!

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