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Christmas in the Smoky Mountains is one of the most magical times of the year. This is when families from all across the country are invited to the Smokies for a fun and memorable holiday experience.
That being said, what would a Christmas celebration be without a special appearance from Mr. Christmas himself, Santa Claus? At Visit My Smokies, Santa is one of our favorite holiday characters. That is why we have formed a list of all the thrilling events where guests can meet Santa in the Smoky Mountains this Christmas.
Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland
Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland in Sevierville is one of the most exciting and visually stunning Christmas attractions in the Smoky Mountains. Here, families and groups are invited to take a scenic auto tour through thousands of holiday lights and displays.
Keep in mind, these aren’t your typical holiday lights. Each of the many vibrant displays is synched to dance with music that guests can tune into with their car radio, making this a truly memorable event.
The fun doesn’t end there. Guests to this year’s Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland in Sevierville will also get the chance to get out of their car and explore Santa’s Village where they will find a ton of delicious snacks and family-friendly things to do, including a special meet and greet with Santa!
Taking a quick break from the North Pole, Santa and his friends will be present every night of this festive event to give visitors a chance to smile and take pictures with their favorite holiday hero.
Dates for this year’s Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland in Sevierville are November 7-January 4. Operating times are dusk-10 p.m. every evening, rain or shine.
Admission to Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland is based on car sizes.
- Family car/van: $20
- Activity van, limo or mini-bus: $30
- Tour or school bus: $75
Click here to learn more about Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland in Sevierville.
Hands down, the Dollywood Christmas Festival is one of the most popular holiday events in the Smoky Mountains. Named America’s Best Christmas Event five years in a row, this Smoky Mountain event is definitely one you and your family will not want to miss.
To find Santa and his friends at Dollywood’s Christmas Festivals, guests just need to head over to Santa’s Workshop in the Country Fair section of the park. Along with Santa, guests to the workshop will find an array of larger-than-life toys, interactive activities and more!
This year’s Dollywood Christmas Festival is going on November 8-January 3. For ticket prices and operating hours, be sure to check out Dollywood’s website at www.Dollywood.com.
Incredible Christmas Place
If you don’t have your fill of holiday songs and laughter at Dollywood’s Christmas festival, be sure to check out our friends at the Incredible Christmas Place in Pigeon Forge. Dedicated to all things Christmas, year-round, this unique Pigeon Forge store is packed full of ornaments, gifts, and more!
The Incredible Christmas Place is located at 2470 Parkway in Pigeon Forge.
Guests visiting the Smoky Mountains will love celebrating the start of winter with the memorable Pigeon Forge Winterfest Kickoff. Filled with fun and family-friendly things to do, this special event is the perfect way for visitors to get a jump-start on their holiday celebrations.
Not to mention, Santa will be joining in the fun as a special guest to this year’s event. He and Mrs. Claus will be in attendance to smile for pictures and make a list of wishes for all the good little boys and girls at the event.
Keep in mind, the Pigeon Forge Winterfest Kickoff is being held on Veterans Day this year, November 11. You and your family can honor America’s service men and women this year by arriving early and watching the annual Salute to Veterans parade. The parade will begin at 4:30 p.m. at Patriot Park.
Click here for more details on what to expect at the Pigeon Forge Winterfest Kickoff.
Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade
Wrapping up our list of the best places to see Santa in the Smoky Mountains this Christmas is the Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade. Celebrating 39 exciting years, this winter-themed event features over 100 parade entrants, including marching bands from all across the Southeast region, and, of course, Santa Claus!
Along with Mrs. Claus, Santa will be front and center, leading the festivities on a beautifully decorated float.
This year’s Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade will be held on December 5 at 7:30 p.m. We suggest you and your family plan to arrive early to get a good view! Parade organizers are expecting a crowd of over 80,000 guests.
The parade route stretches from Traffic Light #1A to Traffic Light #10 through the heart of downtown Gatlinburg.
For an example of what to expect at the Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade, click play on the video below.
Looking for a peaceful place to stay after you and your family have your photo taken with Santa Claus at one of these exciting Smoky Mountain Christmas events? Be sure to check out the Where to Stay in the Smoky Mountains section of our website. There, visitors will find a ton of local cabins, condos, bed and breakfasts and campgrounds to choose from.