What to do in Gatlinburg in December 2024

Why you should visit Gatlinburg in December

Visiting Gatlinburg in December is a magical experience filled with festive cheer, stunning holiday decorations, and a variety of seasonal activities and events. The picturesque mountain town transforms into a winter wonderland, offering visitors an enchanting escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventure, holiday shopping, or simply want to immerse yourself in the charm of a small mountain town during the holidays, Gatlinburg has something to offer everyone.

Gatlinburg Weather in December

In December, Gatlinburg experiences a winter wonderland with average temperatures ranging from 27°F to 50°F (-3°C to 10°C). Visitors can expect chilly temperatures, the occasional snowfall, and the opportunity to enjoy classic winter activities such as ice skating, cozying up by the fire, and taking in the stunning snowy landscapes. The crisp, refreshing air and the gorgeous snow-covered mountain views create a serene and enchanting atmosphere that captures the essence of the holiday season.

Gatlinburg Events in December

Gatlinburg’s Festival of Trees

The Festival of Trees is a beloved annual event that takes place in early December at the Mills Auditorium in Gatlinburg. Visitors can marvel at dazzling displays of elaborately decorated Christmas trees, participate in holiday-themed activities, and even bid on their favorite trees during the silent auction. The event’s festive atmosphere and creative displays make it a must-see for anyone seeking to embrace the holiday spirit in Gatlinburg.

Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade

Don’t miss the Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade, a spectacular procession featuring illuminated floats, marching bands, and costumed characters parading through downtown Gatlinburg. This enchanting event is a highlight of the holiday season, captivating audiences with its vibrant displays and lively atmosphere. The parade’s dazzling lights, joyful music, and holiday cheer create magical memories for all who attend.

Gatlinburg Winter Magic Trolley Ride of Lights

Experience the enchanting Winter Magic Trolley Ride of Lights, a delightful tour through Gatlinburg‘s winter landscapes adorned with dazzling LED light displays. Visitors can hop on board the specially designated trolleys to take in the sparkling holiday scenes while listening to festive music and enjoying the cozy warmth of the trolley. This captivating experience allows guests to marvel at the town’s festive decorations and immerse themselves in the magic of the holiday season.

Gatlinburg’s top places to visit in December

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Explore the winter beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, where snowy landscapes transform the trails into a breathtaking wonderland. Visitors can enjoy activities such as hiking, wildlife viewing, and photography amidst the snow-covered mountains, creating unforgettable winter memories.

Ober Gatlinburg

Visit Ober Gatlinburg, a premier mountain resort and amusement park offering an array of winter activities, including skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, and the Aerial Tramway for panoramic views of the snow-capped peaks.

Gatlinburg SkyBridge

Embark on a memorable stroll across the Gatlinburg SkyBridge, the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America. Enjoy the breathtaking panoramic views of the mountains and the town, with the added charm of holiday lights and decorations in December.

Downtown Gatlinburg

Experience the festive charm of downtown Gatlinburg, where visitors can stroll along the Parkway adorned with twinkling lights, explore unique shops for holiday gifts, and indulge in delicious seasonal treats at cozy cafes and bakeries.


For an enchanting winter experience, consider visiting the Mount LeConte and Clingmans Dome areas for the chance to witness stunning snow-covered landscapes and panoramic views.

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