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Embrace winter in the Great Smoky Mountains! There are so many winter activities to warm you up and make you smile. From skiing and snow tubing to hiking, trolley rides through the magic holiday lights, moonshine and wine tours to so much more!

a family in the snow

Don’t miss Ober Mountain!

Ober Mountain is the place to go when you want some fun outside your cabin, especially in winter.

Ober Mountain 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.

Start your day at Ober Mountain 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, which runs from 9:40 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily 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!An Aerial Tram heading through snow-covered mountains.

Once you reach the top, outdoor adventures at Ober Mountain include Skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing and the children’s play area – Cubbies Snow Zone – where younger children can just, well, play in the snow.

The slopes are open for skiing and snowboarding 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily of the week. Find lift pass rates here. Ober Mountain offers ski and clothing rental, along with At Ober Mountain, there is natural snow as well as man-made snow.  Whether fresh snow is being made depends on the weather usually – you can find out each day via the Slope report. Find out all about snowmaking here: https://obergatlinburg.com/snow-making-explained/

Ober Mountain has 10 trails from beginner to advanced, including a freestyle Terrain Park. There are seven lifts to get you there. Be sure to book a lesson to start the day!

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.

Snow TubingTubers riding down the snow slopes at Ober Mountain.

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 $35. 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.

Check out some of the fun in this Ober snow tubing video and then get your tickets here.

Inside Fun

Prefer to stay warm and cozy inside? Ober Mountain 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 Mountain 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.

Ice Skating

a teenage couple ice skating indoors

Lace up for year-round skating for Ober’s 140 feet x 75 feet indoor ice arena. The “centerpiece of Ober Mountain’s enclosed mall,” the rink welcomes beginners and professionals alike.

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.

Buy your tickets here.


Fun for all ages, the classic merry-go-round carousel makes everyone smile with sparkling lights and colorful horses.

Nearby is the Market Mexican food stand for those breaks or for parents watching older children on the ride.


Diners digging in to a pizza while overlooking the indoor ice skating rink.

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. Trust me, you’ve earned it!

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!


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.

A Trolley Tour is a terrific way to see the light or drive through the lights on your own. More tour fun is included in Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland out of Kodak, Tenn., or via the Redneck Comedy Bus Christmas Lights Tour

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, North Carolina, 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.

Warm up with moonshine and wine tastings

White Lightning

Doc Collier's Moonshine displayed at the distillery.

Moonshine – known as white lightning, corn liquor, wildcat, cat daddy, skull cracker and a host of other names – can now be made legally in Tennessee with a proper license. It is still illegal to own a still in your home for making alcohol, but distilleries have popped up so everyone can have a taste and even take some home.  The first legal moonshine distillery opened In Tennessee in 2010.

The clear liquor is made by fermenting a sugar source to produce ethanol.  Unlike bourbon and whiskey, it is not aged. So, the resulting spirit has a high alcohol content – often greater than 100 proof.  Traditionally, moonshine is made from a mash of corn and sugar.  The alcohol is separated from the mash by a distillation process.

Ole Smoky has several unique distilleries in the Smoky Mountains – in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.

After the tour, $5 samplings are available all day Monday through Saturday.  The distillery is located at 903 Parkway Suite 128, Gatlinburg. Reach them (865) 436-6995.

Another distillery is Sugarlands in Gatlinburg, whose moonshine is now the official moonshine of NASCAR.  Located at 805 Parkway, (865) 325-1355, Sugarlands opened in downtown Gatlinburg in 2014.  Locally owned and operated with a funky fun vibe.  Check out this Sugarlands video for a taste of what you’ll be tasting.

Prefer wine?

Check out the Rocky Top Wine Trail – five local Smoky Mountain wineries within 12 miles of each other. With 70 unique wines to taste, you might want to make a couple days of the trail.

Smoky Mountain Winefest takes place each spring in Gatlinburg and is a wine-tasting and culinary experience worth planning to attend.

Check out our travel guides for more winter fun in the Great Smoky Mountains from Dollywood and indoor dinner shows to winter hikes and museum hopping to shopping and eating!

Book a Beautiful Smoky Mountain Cabin for a Winter Wonderland Vacation!

Let American Patriot Getaways’ experts help you find the right cabin and all the right fun, food and entertainment for your winter excursion. Call us at 800-204-5169.

You can even rent a cabin decorated for Christmas! Check out our cabins with indoor pools for a unique and luxurious winter experience.

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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