And Other Amazing Smoky Mountain Christmas Light Displays
It’s hard to believe Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland actually began quite literally in my back door. I can still remember taking my first born to see his “first Christmas lights” at Shadrack’s synchronized Christmas light display in Bristol, TN. At six months old he was probably less than enthuzed, but his dad and I were mesmerized by the immersive drive through Christmas light experience. Viewing Christmas light displays in our pajamas with hot cocoa and candy canes has now become a family Christmas tradition.
Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland has since received nationwide recognition and has moved a few hours down the road, but that just gives us another great excuse to head to the Smokies for the Christmas season.
Here is everything you need to know about Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland for 2018 and if you are a Christmas Light Display junkie like me, I’ve included information on the millions of other Christmas lights in the Smokies.
Shadrack's Christmas Wonderland 2018 Season
November 9th – January 6th 2018
The 2018 Christmas season in the Smokies kicks off with Winterfest all over the area the second weekend of November. Shadrack’s opening night will be November 9th, 2018 and will continue nightly through January 6th, 2019. Cars can enjoy the synchronized Christmas light display from 6pm-10pm nightly with some extended hours on weekends.
Note: The lines can grow rather long on weekends and as the holidays approach. Visiting Monday-Thursday is advisable for shorter wait times.
Cars or Family Vans (8 passengers or less): $25
Activity Van, Limo, or Mini/Half Bus: $40
Tour/School Bus: $80
Tickets are purchased in person from your car with major credit cards or cash.
Santa's Workshop Opens November 16, 2018
Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland doesn’t stop with the amazing dancing Christmas lights. Santa’s Workshop opens on November 16, 2018 with a whole host of other fun Christmas activities.
- Have your pictures taken with Santa (photo packages begin at $24.99)
- Pet and feed animals at the Petting Zoo – $2
- Pony Rides – $5.
- Food Vendors are also on hand with hot chocolate, kettle corn, and more
- Inflatables for kids.
Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland is located at the Smokies Baseball Stadium in Kodak, TN.
Gatlinburg Christmas Lights
November 7th – January 26th 2018
The Christmas light festivities continue throughout the neighboring Smoky Mountain Towns. Gatlinburg Winterfest 2018 opening ceremonies include a Chili Cook Off and official lighting ceremony on November 7, 2018.
You can take a self drive to enjoy the lights, but for a special memory consider taking the Gatlinburg Trolley Ride of Lights. These specially designated trolleys run throughout downtown Gatlinburg and Hwy 321 so you can sit back and take in the more than 5 million Christmas lights and displays from the comfort of a heated enclosed trolley.
- Cost: $5 Children 3 and under FREE
- Dates: November 7, 2018- January 26, 2019
- Trolleys run at 6:30, 7:30, and 8:30 and do not run on Christmas eve or Christmas day.
Pigeon Forge Christmas Lights
November 7th, 2018 – February 28th, 2019
We spent the first weekend in November at the Margaritaville Island Inn and enjoyed the very convenient access to the Island Pigeon Forge while there. As a side note it was a GREAT HOTEL and I definitely recommend it and would stay there again. You can check the current rates here.
We were able to get a little early peek at the Christmas lights and behind the scenes decorating underway in anticipation of the official lighting ceremony of the Pigeon Forge Christmas lights which takes place in Patriot Park on November 6th. There are nearly half a million Christmas lights at the Island Pigeon Forge. Even the wheel is decorated with all the festive Christmas spirit.
There are more than 5 million Christmas lights in Pigeon Forge ranging from traditional sites like Christmas trees and Soldiers to the woodland animals and familiar icons of the area like black bears and deer.
Dollywood Christmas Lights
November 10th – January 26th 2018
No list of Christmas lights in the Smokies would be complete without paying tribute to the queen of the Smokies and her park. Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas certainly shine bright with more than 4 million Christmas lights in the park!
Our family has enjoyed many years of taking in the beautiful Christmas decorations and lights of Dollywood on many occasions. In fact, my brother used to be one of the men responsible for the quick turn from the fall season to the winter wonderland that transforms Dollywood into a sparkling shimmer of Christmas illumination.
- The Dollywood Christmas Parade of Many Colors runs nightly at 8pm
- Tickets purchased for the 2018 Christmas season can be upgraded to a 2019 Season pass. Enjoy two Christmas seasons for the prices of ONE! Click here for specials and packages on this year’s Dollywood Tickets.
Christmas Light displays are a favorite part of our family tradition and the Smokies have more than enough to satisfy.
What are your favorite family Christmas traditions? Do they include a visit to the Smokies?
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