5 Things to Do in the Smoky Mountains With Kids This Winter
Winter is a magical time to visit the Smoky Mountains. There are numerous festivals and events to attend, in addition to all the wonderful attractions that are open year round. If you are planning a vacation with children, you do not have to worry about there not being enough for them to do. Here are 5 things to do in the Smoky Mountains with kids this winter:
1. Experience Smoky Mountain Christmas at Dollywood
Dollywood is an amazing attraction to visit any time of year, but it is especially magical around the holidays. The Smoky Mountain Christmas festival runs all the way through early January so you have plenty of time to check it out. When you step into the park, you will be transported into a beautiful winter wonderland. During the day, there are so many fun activities for children. They will love watching performers sing and dance in one of the many heartwarming holiday shows. You can also take the family on a festive ride aboard the Dollywood Express, a 110-ton coal fired steam engine.
Once the sun goes down, the lights come out at Dollywood. You will be amazed when you see more than 5 million twinkling Christmas lights. The spectacle all concludes with a beautiful firework show that is sure to leave a smile on your child’s face!
2. Take a Trip to Ober Gatlinburg
If you want to see snow this winter, Ober Gatlinburg is the perfect place for you! They also have a large amount of fun winter activities for children! While some of these things are open year round, Ober has a few seasonal attractions you will want to check out while you are there. One of the biggest hits among kids is the Winter Snow Tubing.
This thrilling attraction is open now and remains in operation until the end of March. Each ticket comes with a 90-minute session that allows your family to ride down the 350 foot hill as many times as you would like. The best part is that after you get to the bottom of the hill, the “Magic Carpet” conveyor belt will take you back to the top so there is no climbing involved. This makes it easier for both adults and kids to not wear out so you have more time to enjoy snow tubing. In addition to snow tubing, your child can experience dozens of other snow sports, including snowboarding, skiing, ice skating, ice bumper cars, and so much more!
3. Ride the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel
Located at The Island in Pigeon Forge, The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel stands at over 200-feet tall. The brilliant ferris wheel is always something that kids love to experience. When you reach the top, you will be amazed at the breathtaking views you have of the Smokies. During the winter, there is a good chance you will be able to see snow glistening on the mountain peaks. The best part about this ride is that you do not have to worry about it being too cold. Each glass gondola can hold up to 8 people and they are all temperature controlled.
After you ride The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel, there are plenty of other activities at The Island for your children to explore, including arcades, laser tag, bumper cars, and a mirror maze!
Be sure to hang out after the sun goes down for an amazing show! As part of the Winterfest at The Island event, there is a show where you can see an 18-piece band play your favorite Christmas songs. While they perform, the fountain and a 40-foot LED Christmas tree will dance along to the music in the background! This is something you will not want to miss!
4. Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland
If your children love lights and music, you need to take them to Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland. Hosted at Smokies Stadium in Sevierville, you can drive your car through one of the best synchronized light shows you will ever see! Before you enter, you will be told what station to set your radio to. As you drive through the lights, you will notice they dance in perfect synchronization with the music. It is truly something that you have to see to believe!
After you enjoy the light show, take a trip to Santa’s Workshop located on the concourse of the stadium. There you will find dozens of wonderful activities for kids, including a petting zoo, pony rides, hot chocolate, and of course Santa himself! This is one of the best things to do in the Smoky Mountains during winter.
5. Take a Winter Hike
Do you want to embrace the weather and enjoy the beautiful views of the Smoky Mountains? If you don’t mind the cold, winter is the perfect time to take a family hike. There will be fewer crowds on the trails and you will have the opportunity to see some of nature’s most magical sights, including icicles and snow!
If you are looking for the best hikes to take this winter, one of the ones we recommend is Alum Cave Trail. There are a couple of reasons why this is a popular hike to take during this time of year. For one thing, the hike is fairly short at just 2.5 miles long. This makes it easy to finish the hike before the sun goes down to avoid extremely cold temperatures. While this is a shorter trail, you will still be able to experience plenty of amazing things along the way. It offers amazing views of the mountains and you may even see icicles hanging from the bluffs!
Now that you know about some of the best things to do in the Smoky Mountains with kids this winter, be sure to check out all the other amazing attractions in the area! We hope to see you soon in the winter wonderland we call the Smokies!