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Enjoying the snow covered mountains is one of the best things to do in Gatlinburg TN in January.

5 of the Best Things to Do in Gatlinburg TN in January

There is no better way to start off the new year than with a trip to Gatlinburg, Tennessee! Whether you’ll be celebrating with us at the stroke of midnight on January 1st, or you will be visiting later in the month, Gatlinburg is chock full of fun activities that you don’t want to miss. To help you make the most of your getaway, we’ve put together a guide to all of the best things to do in Gatlinburg TN in January:      

1. New Year’s Eve in Downtown Gatlinburg

Ole Red Gatlinburg signOf course, Gatlinburg’s New Year’s Eve festivities start on December 31st, but the party will keep on going until the wee hours of January 1st. At midnight, the new year will make an explosive entrance when the ball drops and brilliant fireworks launch from the Gatlinburg Space Needle. After the fireworks display, you can dance the night away at one of the excellent bars in downtown Gatlinburg, like Ole Red and Jason Aldean’s! Jason Aldean’s is having a New Year’s Eve bash, complete with a karaoke bar, a live music, and more. It’s the best way to ring in the new year!

2. Enjoy Indoor Activities

If you’re not a fan of the cold weather, January is the perfect time to explore some of the best indoor attractions in Gatlinburg! The city is home to fun-filled museums, indoor mini golf, escape rooms, and so much more. Of course, one place you have to visit is Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, which is home to more than 10,000 exotic sea creatures and some special experiences all ages will love. Walk through an underwater tunnel to see sharks, a sea turtle, and more, or venture across Shark Lagoon in a glass bottom boat! Other popular indoor attractions include Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, blacklight mini golf at Gatlin’s, and Ripley’s Mirror Maze. You can also go moonshine tasting at a popular distillery, or wine tasting!  

3. Skiing and Snowboarding

person snowboarding down a mountainJanuary is a great time to hit the slopes for some excellent skiing and snowboarding at Ober Mountain! Offering a variety of ski and snowboard packages, Ober has everything guests need to participate in winter sports, including equipment rentals and lessons. In addition to skiing and snowboarding, visitors to Ober can enjoy ice skating, snow tubing, thrilling rides, and a variety of other great things to do in Gatlinburg TN in January. Before you head out for your ski trip, be sure to check Ober Mountain’s slope report to make sure that the weather is cold enough for the resort’s snow machines to work.

4. Tennessee Winter Special Olympics

At the end of the month, Ober Mountain hosts the State Winter Games for Tennessee’s Special Olympics. This is a great opportunity to see some truly exceptional athletes compete in alpine skiing, speed skating, and snowboarding. The event takes place at several venues across Gatlinburg, including Ober, the Gatlinburg Convention Center, and Rocky Top Sports World. Come watch the opening ceremonies and cheer on the competitors! 

5. Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

Alum Cave Trail bridge covered in snowAt the beginning of every year, millions of people pledge to be healthier, happier, and to spend more time with their families. However, as the months go by, these New Year’s resolutions often fall by the wayside. This January, get a jump on your resolutions by taking a vacation in Gatlinburg.

Doubling down on your fitness goals is easy when there are so many great winter hiking opportunities in the national park. Some of our favorite trails include Alum Cave Bluff, Rainbow Falls, and Chimney Tops. A Gatlinburg getaway is also perfect for enjoying plenty of fun quality time with your family. Nothing brings a group closer quite like staying together in a real log cabin in the mountains. With so many amazing things to do in Gatlinburg TN in January and beyond, your family will want to stay here the whole year!

To keep up to date on everything going on in the area throughout the year, check out our Gatlinburg Events Calendar!