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When it comes to the holidays, our motto is it’s never too early to start getting in the spirit of things. That’s why we’re already planning all of our seasonal festivities, starting with a weekend getaway to Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains, filled with seasonal songs, holiday shopping and so many fun activities for the whole family.

If you haven’t been to Gatlinburg around the holidays, you’ve been missing out on one of the most magical ways to celebrate the season. From the annual Christmas parade to the Festival of Trees to taking a Trolley Ride of Lights, Gatlinburg is a fun and festive escape for both kids and adults.

Gatlinburg's Winterfest is a fun family tradition.

The spirit of the holiday season is contagious in Gatlinburg.

Gatlinburg's Winterfest is a fun family tradition.

Book a stay at a cabin or chalet in Gatlinburg and enjoy a cozy and seasonal stay.

Gatlinburg's Winterfest is a fun family tradition.

The thrill of a snow tube ride can be enjoyed by all ages.

“With its elaborate decorations and magical lights all over the city, Gatlinburg is definitely the place to get in the holiday spirit,” says Marci Claude of the Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Winter is one of the most magical times to visit Gatlinburg; whether you’re looking to stay in a cozy cabin in the Smokies or to venture along the Parkway for holiday shopping or live entertainment, you’ll find so many fun family attractions.”

Gatlinburg’s winter calendar of events is packed with fun activities like Winterfest, Great Smoky Thanksgiving Arts & Crafts Show, Festival of Trees, Winter Magic Tunes and Tales, the Great Smoky Christmas Arts & Crafts Show, the Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade, and the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop and Fireworks show, just to name a few. (For a full list of attractions, be sure to check out the handy calendar here!)

Additionally, for the second year in a row, the celebration will include whimsical life-sized snow people dispersed all around the city, providing fantastic photo opportunities for visitors. While you’re having fun exploring the city, you can efficiently cross off some gifts on your Christmas shopping list — who doesn’t love a good multi-tasking trip?

Gatlinburg's Christmas parade is a fun family tradition.

The Christmas parade is always a big draw for Gatlinburg’s locals and visitors alike.

Gatlinburg's Winterfest is a fun family tradition that includes new year's fireworks.

Ring in the new year with a spectacular fireworks show.

Winterfest includes life-sized snow people.

Be sure to keep an eye out for the life-sized snow people that are scattered throughout the town during Winterfest.

While the allure of the holiday attractions take center stage during the fall and winter months, there are countless other appealing aspects of this charming city. Among many other spots to grab a bite, here are a few ways to satisfy any craving. Crockett’s Breakfast Camp and many other local pancake houses make for a great meal to start the day. For an afternoon bite, J.O.E. and POP’s Sub Shoppe or Loco Burro are just two of the numerous delicious options and Alamo Steakhouse, Calhoun’s Restaurant, The Park Grill or the new Chesapeake’s Seafood Restaurant are tasty options for dinner.

Other can’t-miss attractions include the brand new SkyBridge, the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America, as well as Anakeesta, an outdoor adventure park for all ages, which has many of its own holiday celebrations, too.

So whether you choose to fill your time there with an action-packed seasonal schedule or with a peaceful stay in a cozy cabin retreat, a trip to Gatlinburg is sure to become your family’s most treasured tradition for years to come.

To learn more and to start planning your Gatlinburg escape, visit

This article is sponsored by the Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau.

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