How Long Has It Been Since You’ve Had a Smoky Mountains Vacation?

Smoky Mountains covered in snow in the winterA Smoky Mountains Vacation is a rite of passage for many Americans. If it has been several years since you have been in Smoky Mountain TN, you should start planning a return trip. The Great Smoky Mountains feature ancient mountains, old-growth forests, striking assortments of wildflowers, black bears, elk, and other wildlife. Visitors wondering what to do in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge will be pleasantly surprised to learn that many new attractions have been built.

Gatlinburg is next door to Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Gatlinburg’s prized Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum has been completely rebuilt since its 1992 fire. Ripley’s has gone on to build a moving 3-D theater, a haunted house, a mirror maze, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, and other Gatlinburg attractions. Live actors thrill guests at Ripley’s Haunted Adventure. The former casket factory has been upgraded into a topnotch, lavish horror set. Visit Ripley’s Mirror Maze for a less scary, but still crazy, experience. Ripley’s promises a different experience each time. Inside the 2,000 square feet of mirrored pathways is Ripley’s Candy Factory.

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies may be inland but is one of the nation’s best aquariums. The diverse exhibits include the Ocean Realm and the Tropical Rainforest. Get up-close views of ocean predators in the Shark Lagoon and marvel at the fantastic colors of the Coral Reef. Tour Stingray Bay and then touch stingrays in the interactive exhibit. Crawl through underwater tunnels at the indoor and outdoor Penguin Playhouse.

Combine your aquarium visit with a trip to the RainForest Adventures Discovery Zoo in nearby Sevierville. The RainForest Zoo shows hundreds of animals highlighting species from rainforests around the world.

WonderWorks, another science themed family attraction, has a location in Pigeon Forge. Attractions include an indoor 50-foot ropes challenge course, an inversion tunnel, and a virtual roller coaster. Lie down on a bed of nails, feel the force of a 6.0 earthquake, and form a massive bubble around yourself.

Many things to do in Pigeon Forge center around the iconic Dollywood theme park. In the past 10 years, many themed areas have been added, including Chasing Rainbows, Thunderhead Gap, and Adventure Mountain. The Southern Gospel Museum and Hall of Fame opened in Dollywood in 1999. Dollywood now closes its doors annually to host the induction ceremony, which features music performances throughout the entire day.

The Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge opened in 2010 and is the world’s largest Titanic museum. The two-story museum is shaped like the RMS Titanic and anchored in water. Upon admission, visitors are given a boarding pass with a 1912 passenger’s name. When the visitors reach the Titanic Memorial Room, they can check the name and learn the passenger’s fate.

Make your next vacation a Smoky Mountain vacation. Tennessee vacations are perfect for families, retirees, newlyweds, and everyone else. The Smoky Mountain region offers a complete combination of museums, musical entertainment, theme parks, and outdoor activities and scenery.

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Tennessee Winter Special Olympics 2013

Gatlinburg covered in snow in the winterThe Tennessee Winter Special Olympics 2013 with be held from January 29 through January 30 at Ober Gatlinburg for it’s 28th annual year. Thousands of athletes with disabilities gather at this event to showcase their skills in sporting event competitions. Special Olympic athletes have a real passion for what they do and live up to their highest potentials both on the field and off. Not only are the Special Olympics about competing with one another for medals and prizes, but it is also about having fun, meeting new friends, becoming part of a team and learning new skills along the way. Children and adults are urged to train for the Tennessee Winter Special Olympics which offer three different events to compete in.

Tennessee Winter Special Olympics Sports
Whether you have friends and family that are competing in the Tennessee Winter Special Olympics or are simply visiting the area, this is an amazing event to attend. There is a tram available at the bottom of the mountain that can take guests up to Ober Gatlinburg. Watch competitions in Speed Skating, Alpine Skiing and Snowboarding at different levels from beginner to advanced and see which athletes go home with the gold during the 2013 season.

Cabin Rentals
Those interested in attending the event may opt to take advantage of Gatlingburg cabin rentals. Make the very most out of Gatlinburg TN vacations by relaxing in spacious accommodations that can comfortably fit your entire family. Cabins are located near Ober Gatlinburg, making it the prime place to stay when planning to check out the Special Olympics event during your stay. Cabin rentals can have several bedrooms, a full-size kitchen, living space, private porch, fireplace and much more. Enjoy the winter in Gatlinburg spending quality time with the family.

What to do in Gatlinburg – Attractions
In addition to attending the Winter Special Olympics at Ober Gatlinburg, there are many other attractions that can be enjoyed during your stay such as Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre & Music Hall, or Hollywood Star Cars Museum. When traveling during the winter, check out Winterfest which features millions of Christmas lights in planned displays throughout the town. Because Gatlinburg is located in the Great Smoky Mountains, you may opt to take a drive up the the National Park and view historic sites as well as scenic overlooks for breathtaking views.

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Night Magic Skiing In Gatlinburg TN

Ski resort at night with man snowboardingA special time awaits visitors with Night Magic Skiing In Gatlinburg TN from January 2nd through 31st. Visitors can purchase lift tickets to Night Magic Skiing at Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort & Amusement Park from 6 PM to 10 PM, Monday through Friday. The resort is located at 1001 Parkway #2 in Gatlinburg. Night Skiing in Gatlinburg TN is a unique way to enjoy the scenery of the Smokey Mountains. The snowy white snows glisten in stark contrast to the dark silhouettes of the surrounding trees. Lights have been installed along the slope so that the entire family can participate in Night Skiing. Both skiers and snowboards can slide down the mountain well in the night during the event. Night Skiing is an exciting answer to the question of what to do at night in the Gatlinburg.

Visitors to the Ober Gatlinburg Resort can also enjoy the facilities daytime skiing, ice skating, snowboarding, tubing, scenic chairlift, wildlife encounter, carousel, chair swing, arcade gaming center, shopping, and dining. Winter sport lesson are taught at the facility for those who want to hone their skills before Night Skiing. A visit to the Ober Gatlinburg Resort should include a ride on the scenic aerial tramway, which provides a majestic panoramic view of Gatlinburg and the surrounding gorgous Smokey Mountains.

Gatlinburg is also home to many distinctive fun-filled attractions like the Guinness World of Records Museum, Gatlinburg Ziplines Family Adventure, Haunting A Live Ghost Show, Hollywood Star Cars Museum, Mysterious Mansion of Gatlinburg, Motion Ride Movie Theater, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokey’s, Ripley’s Haunted Adventure, Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium, and Shoot Em Up Cinema. Scrumptious culinary delights can be found at Gatlinburg area restaurants like the Cherokee Grill, Hard Rock Café, The Peddler Steakhouse, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., Smokey Mountain Brewery, and Park Grill Steakhouse. Area shopping is plentiful in Gatlinburg at centers like the Mountain Mall Shopping Center, Village Shopping Center, and Park Plaza Shopping Center as well as many quaint boutique and gift shops in downtown Gatlinburg.

A great way to end a Night Skiing in Gatlinburg TN excursion is by relaxing at a Gatlinburg Cabin Rental with a steaming cup of hot chocolate and sugar cookies. Gatlinburg Cabin Rental options feature a wonderful array of amenities such as fireplaces and hot tubs. Both are ideal for winding down after a thrilling night of skiing. Rentals are available near Night Skiing as well as close to other Gatlinburg area attractions.

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Resurrection 2013 Puts Focus On Participants’ Relationship With God

View of downtown GatlinburgResurrection 2013, a weekend of spiritual revitalization, is coming in January to the Gatlinburg, TN Convention Center. This important weekend retreat, geared toward middle school and high school students, strives to give youth a prime worship and growth experience and has done so since its inception nearly 20 years ago. The event has grown so large since its early days that it now requires two separate weekends of worship, fellowship and teaching to handle the more than 12,000 students and leaders who descend on the Gatlinburg Convention Center from around the area and even outside the state.

Resurrection 2013 is a time for youth to develop a closer relationship with God and with other youth group members as well as their leaders and mentors. In 2013, the youth conference will feature two separate sessions the weekend of January 18-20 and one session the weekend of January 25-27. In addition to dynamic speakers and rocking, celebratory music, participants have the opportunity to share their own talents during the conference via an audition process.

Prayer is an essential part of the Resurrection 2013 spiritual retreat. A prayer room will be available for anyone can use as needed, whether he’s a student or an adult leader. The Prayer Path, a special prayer labyrinth that includes multi-media presentations, will be offered to participants during Saturday sessions. The Prayer Path strives to help youth and adults alike deepen their relationships with the Lord as they examine their walks of faith. A Leaders Prayer Breakfast, scheduled before the Saturday morning sessions, helps the adult leaders and mentors lift up the needs of their groups and the retreat itself in prayer.

While the weekend retreat primarily focuses on the spiritual growth of the participants, there’s still time for fun and relaxation. Gatlinburg is a family vacation spot that offers a multitude of activities young people will enjoy. From go-karts to video game arcades, a museum dedicated to the cars of Hollywood stars, or Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies there are so many things to do that group members will have trouble choosing just one or two options. If the weather cooperates, groups may even be able to enjoy some skiing in Gatlinburg.

Lodging in Gatlinburg is group friendly. There are a number of large cabins available for weekend rental that can sleep from a dozen to over 50 people easily. These cabins have kitchen facilities that can be utilized to prepare meals as an alternative to purchasing restaurant meals. No matter what a youth groups’ needs are, accommodations are available that will help make members’ participation in Resurrection 2013 both memorable and life-changing.

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Crossroads Ministries 2013 Gatlinburg TN

View of downtown GatlinburgCrossroads Ministries is hosting a gathering of people on January 18th, 2013 through January 21, 2013 at the Gatlinburg, TN Convention Center. They are hosting a number of specialized events and activities. The goal of the Crossroads Ministries gathering is to help visitors to the event socialize with each other as well as better themselves physically and spiritually. The event is open to all ages.

There are a variety of activities scheduled during this event. These activities include fellowship, aerobics. weight-lifting, athletics, and other various programs.  Discussion, socialization, and the exchange of ideas is important because they contribute positively to the community. As such, fellowship will be offered to visitors of the event who wish to participate.

Many physical activities are planned for the Crossroads Ministries event. Athletics are an important part of learning teamwork and bettering ourselves and our lives. Weight-lifting and aerobics are among the physical activities that are scheduled for this event.

If you choose to attend the Crossroads Ministries event, and do not live in the immediate area, you may later find yourself thinking about what to do in Gatlinburg. The city is located in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains. Because of this, there are many outdoorsy activities for families to partake in during visits.

Hiking and trail walking are healthy family friendly activities to enjoy. There are many nature trails with excellent scenery in the area just waiting to be utilized. Fishing is another family friendly activity that the area is known for. Looking out over the sparkling mountain waters while bonding with friends and family is an amazing way to unwind at the end of the day.

If you’re looking more for indoor activities, there are many to choose from. These include but are not limited to laser tag, golf, putt-putt, rope climbing, ice skating, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, and the movies. These activities are always available in the area.

The Crossroads Ministries will provide many days of fun and fellowship for attendees. It will be an excellent way to boost physical, social, and spiritual needs. The event will be held at the Gatlinburg, Tennessee Convention Center which is located at 234 Airport Road in Gatlinburg, TN.

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Tennessee Christian Teen Convention 2013

Three crosses on a hillThe Tennessee Christian Teen Convention event is to be held from January 11, 2013 through January 13, 2013 at the Gatlinburg Convention Center. Teenagers from around the country come to this event to share their wisdom and knowledge of Christ. Join groups of others around your age who share the same belief systems that you do and enjoy a fun-filled weekend complete with worship services, famous speakers, concerts, comedy acts and so much more. Celebrate Jesus together atop the mountain while enjoying this truly unforgettable experience.Continue Reading

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Winter Xtreme 2012 – 2013 in Gatlinburg TN

Gatlinburg covered in snow in the winterThe Winter Xtreme 2012 – 2013 is set to be held from December 27, 2012 through January 2, 2013 at the Gatlinburg, Tennessee Convention Center. This event is aimed towards the youth of today who long to learn more about and share their wisdom of Christ. More than 6,000 teenagers come to each day of the event to see some of the top Christian artists and performers take to the stage for a day of fun and music. Speakers and youth communicators will be at Winter Xtreme 2012 to share their own stories about Christianity, their beliefs and to bring teens closer together through worship services. Some artists that will be present at Winter Xtreme 2012 include Casting Crowns, Newsboys and Tenth Avenue North. Speakers said to attend the event feature big names such as Josh McDowell and Nick Hall. Conference tickets should be purchased in advance to ensure your group a spot at the event.Continue Reading

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2012 Gatlinburg Christmas Parade

Balloon toy soldier playing the trumpetThe mountainous resort city of Gatlinburg in Tennessee is full of excitement. It is hosting its Gatlinburg Christmas Parade on Friday, December 7, 2012. This popular parade is also known as the Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade and takes place in downtown Gatlinburg. The parade is held annually and this year will take it to the 37th mark. This parade is full of excitement and attracts extremely large crowds in the upper tens of thousands, this year the parade is expecting an impressively large turnout of 80,000 attendees.

The parade is open to all and there admission is free. The parade is full of life with over 100 parade entries including beautifully lighted floats; Santa Claus’s all around who hand out small treats, if you are able to make it to the Riverbend Mall located at Traffic Light No. 3 in between 6:00 and 7:00 in the evening, a special autograph party is being held which will include a very special Santa Claus and his little elves; many marching bands from throughout the state as well as from other states including North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, and Alabama; equestrian units; a display of gigantic helium balloons; and much more. The parade will block sidewalks and balconies as it travels down its route and offers the huge turnout of spectators to enjoy and be amazed by the illuminating glow of the lights.

The parade begins promptly at 7:30 in the evening and will last approximately 1 1/2 hours, thereby ending around 9:00 p.m. The starting point of the parade will be at Traffic Light #1A located at Hwy 321 and the finishing point will be at Traffic Light #10 located on the Parkway and Ski Mountain Road. For out of town visitors who are not staying in the city, it is strongly advised that you arrive early, as lines are known to go all the way down the strip even hours prior to the start of the parade.

The best place to view the parade is in the downtown area along the strip or from a balcony if you are staying in a hotel located downtown with a balcony. In addition, there are a limited number of seats on the bleachers located at the front of the parking garage which you will find on Traffic Light No. 3. All of these options will give you a great view and will allow you to take stunning pictures.

The Gatlinburg Christmas Parade is known to consistently deliver and to draw large crowds. It has been given high recognition by the International Festival and Events Association and is considered a first class parade. It is also among the Top 20 events ranked by the Southeast Tourism Society. This year, the parade was appropriated funds in the sum of $1.6 million for the displays as well as to fully convert to energy efficient light emitting diode bulbs.

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Winterfest Gatlinburg TN 2012 Continues Annual Traditions

Winterfest signThe Gatlinburg, Tennessee Winterfest officially begins with the annual chili cook-off. Spending Thanksgiving and Christmas in the Great Smoky Mountains offers people a “bit of the heavenly” holiday traditions that have been celebrated for generations. The setting is perfect for a winter vacation.

Gatlinburg is a very open and friendly community that welcomes people annually from around the world. The winter magic begins as October ends in the Smoky Mountains, as the fall season wraps up and Gatlinburg residents and businesses provide “treats” for everyone. The community honors the magic of All Hallows Eve, with all of the mystery and “mystical” fun that it provides, for children and adults alike.

Many vendors line the main street for the chili cook off Gatlinburg TN to bring out what they each hope to be the best chili you have ever tasted. On November 7th, these vendors will treat you to their very best recipes as a kick-off for this year’s amazing Winterfest. Chili, with all of its wonderful ingredients, is great on a cold, snowy day. This day involving hot, spicy chili and warm cocoa creates an opportunity to meet others and to watch your children play at a variety of “play stations” along the way. Traditionally, live entertainment is provided, and the evening ends with the miraculous “lights on for the Winterfest” event.

The Nutcracker “Sweet” is presented on November 23rd, 2012 and November 24th, 2012. The show is put on by the Smoky Mountain Dance Theater Company. This performance always adds a special touch to the holiday events.

December 7th is the day for The Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade. Gatlinburg has received International praise for this particular event. The Festival of Trees and the Arts and Crafts Show both lend a bit of magic to all of the festivities in this Great Smoky Mountain region.

The Old Mill Square in nearby Pigeon Forge offers a tour of the old mill with an opportunity to see flour grinding done and candy being made. The square itself is full of unique shops and homey restaurants. The town and the event project the simpler life and atmosphere that exist here in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. This year’s tour takes place on December 10th, 2012 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Smoky Mountain Gospel Christmas will be sung on December 14th, 2012 in the Grand Resort Hotel and Convention Center in the Pigeon Forge – Gatlinburg area. This is their second annual event.

New Year’s Eve is celebrated with a “ball drop” and fireworks. If you choose to stay awhile into 2013, you can participate in the Regional Ice Carving Competition on January 19th.

This region of the world is ideal for a fantasy-filled Thanksgiving and Christmas. Snowy mountain tops draping evergreen trees and sparkling lights, both up-close and in the distance, will escort your every move during this wonderful vacation experience. You will be amazed at all of the events and just what winter magic awaits your arrival in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

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What to do in Gatlinburg, TN in November

Soldier saluting American flagIf you are wondering what to do in Gatlinburg in November then one special day to remember is Veterans Day a day we honor all of the Veterans who have served our country so faithfully. One special day of the year, we stop and recognize the sacrifice of our men and women who have served in the military. Gatlinburg, Tennessee is one of official Veterans Day Site. This means their Veterans Day observances coincide with celebrations held at Arlington Memorial Cemetery. It is one of only 65 cities that is

This year’s event will be held on November 11, 2012 with festivities starting at 2 PM with speeches from notable Military heroes. Veterans from all wars will be honored for their sacrifice and attending veterans will be given special recognition. The event will take plaza at the Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. Spirited music from local bands will stir the patriotic soul as will the traditional military flyover.

Why celebrate Veterans Day in Gatlinburg? Gatlinburg has one of the finest celebrations of winter found in the United States. Winterfest in Gatlinburg is a time of wonder with millions of tiny, twinkling lights and special activities from the beginning of November through the end of February. Get in the spirit of Christmas with many local attractions. Check out the shows in Pigeon Forge, take a tour of the Great Smoky Mountains or take a trolley ride to see the wonderful array of Holiday lights.

While celebrating Veterans Day, take a walk through Gatlinburg, visit the shops and dine in one of many fine restaurants. Enjoy their Southern cuisine and hospitality while you are getting into the Christmas spirit. Make it a long weekend to enjoy all of the attractions that Gatlinburg and the surrounding area has to offer.

Pigeon Forge and Dollywood offer special Christmas programs and shows during Winterfest. One admission price will allow you to see any of them you want to see for one price.

Smoky Mountains during Winterfest is a beautiful sight and a great place for a family vacation. Try skiing or snowboarding in the mountains or just relaxing in front of a fire and enjoying the view. Christmas in Gatlinburg is a marvelous time of the year.

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