The winter is one of the most special times of year to visit Gatlinburg as the peaks of the Smoky Mountains are gently covered with snow and the crowds of the holiday season have subsided! While you might think that many attractions, shops and restaurants are closed for the winter season, almost everything is still in full swing for your enjoyment! Here are the top 4 fun things to do in Gatlinburg during the winter months:
1. Enjoy the Winter Sports at Ober Gatlinburg
One of the most popular winter destinations in the Smoky Mountains is Ober Gatlinburg, where you can enjoy skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing and ice skating! If you have always wanted to try skiing, Ober Gatlinburg offers professional ski lessons where you can learn the basics and practice on a small slope just for beginners. You can also rent all the ski equipment you need to hit the slopes! For those who prefer snow tubing, you can purchase tickets for 90 minute sessions on the snow tubing hill. You don’t even have to walk back up the hill as the Magic Carpet escalator system takes you back to the top after each run!
2. Visit the Enchanted Winter Celebration at Anakeesta
Experience the magic of the winter season in the Smoky Mountains by attending the Enchanted Winter Celebration at Anakeesta! This special event runs until mid-February and is a celebration of winter with twinkling lights, whimsical decorations and an outdoor fire pit! As you stroll from Firefly Village to Vista Gardens, immerse yourself in an enchanting 1,000-foot tunnel of sparkling arctic lights. You can also explore the Treetop Skywalk at night and discover the Forest of Firefly lights! Don’t miss the Anakeesta Snow Globe, the perfect selfie spot where Great Smoky Mountains National Park acts as a natural scenic backdrop!
3. Play Indoor Miniature Golf at Gatlin’s Fun Center
Another one of the fun things to do in Gatlinburg during the winter is mini golf! While this might seem like a traditional summer attraction, you can play a unique indoor course with Blacklight Golf at Gatlin’s Fun Center! This 9 hole indoor course takes you on a virtual journey under the sea as you play your way around a giant octopus, beautiful mermaid, playful dolphins, tons of tropical fish and even a sunken pirate ship! Challenge your family and friends to see who can become the miniature golf champion and try your luck at scoring the elusive hole-in-one!
4. Explore Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies
Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is one of the most fun things to do in Gatlinburg at any time of year, and the winter months are a particularly good time to visit with lower crowds! This state-of-the-art facility features a variety of fascinating exhibits on two levels, including the Shark Lagoon, Touch a Ray Bay, Coral Reef and the Penguin Playhouse. You can sign up to participate in some unique experiences too, such as the Glass Bottom Boat Ride through the Shark Lagoon where just 3 inches of glass separates you from 12-foot sharks! Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies also offers live shows and a gift shop where you can find all types of cool souvenirs!
These are just some of the fun things to do in Gatlinburg this winter! Check out more area attractions and start planning your trip. We look forward to seeing you soon at Black Bear Inn & Suites!