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Smoky Mountains Christmas Lights To Brighten Up Your Tennessee Christmas

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The season is upon us yet again and Christmas in the Smoky Mountains is just around the corner. Don’t miss your opportunity to enjoy some of the beauty and wonder of the Smoky Mountains Christmas lights for the 2020 season.

There have been some significant changes to to this years Christmas light schedules in the Smoky Mountains so be sure to check the dates and book your accommodations accordingly.

In this post you will find everything you need to plan a wonderful Smoky Mountains Christmas holiday and enjoy all the amazing Christmas lights in the Smokies.

Smoky Mountain Christmas Lights

Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland 2020

November 13, 2020 – January 3, 2021

It’s hard to believe before Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland moved to the Smoky Mountains, it 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. 


The 2020 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 13th, 2020 and will continue nightly through January 3rd, 2021.

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. 

Ticket Prices For Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland

  • Cars or Family Vans (8 passengers or less) All Fridays & Saturdays and all days Dec 11th-27th: $30
  • Cars or Family Vans (8 passengers or less) All Sundays-Thursdays EXCEPT Dec 11th-27th: $25
  • Activity Van, Limo, or Mini/Half Bus:  $50
  • Tour/School Bus: $100

Tickets can be purchased online or in person from your car with major credit cards or cash.

Santa’s Workshop Opens November 20, 2020

Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland doesn’t stop with the amazing dancing Christmas lights.

Santa’s Village is free with the price of admission in includes a whole host of other fun Christmas activities.

SANTA’S VILLAGE – Open Nightly: 6-9:30PM , Nov 20 – Dec 23, 2020

  • Have your pictures taken with Santa
  • Pet and feed animals at the Petting Zoo
  • Pony Rides
  • 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.

Call For More Information: 888.321.7547

Gatlinburg Christmas Winterfest 2020

Gatlinburg Chili Cook-off

November 12, 2020

The 31st annual Chili Cook-off in downtown Gatlinburg will be held on November 12, 2020.

NEW in 2020, tickets will be required to enter. To accommodate for social distancing, event attendance will be limited. Due to the popularity of the event, advance ticket purchase is strongly recommended. Tickets are $10 and available online at

Gatlinburg Christmas Parade

December 4, 2020

The Gatlinburg Christmas parade will be held on December 4, 2020 at 7:30pm on the main parkway.

Gatlinburg Christmas Lights

November 13nd, 2020 – January 31, 2021

In years past, Gatlinburg would light the city on the night of the parade, however, in more recent years, the dates generally coincide with the beginning of the Pigeon Forge Christmas Light celebration.

At the time of publication, the dates are still TBD.

We will update as soon as we receive word on the official dates for the 2020/2021 Christmas Season.

Glacier Ridge Dollywood

Gatlinburg Trolley of Lights

At the time of this writing, the dates for the Trolly Tour have not been updated from the 2019 season. It isn’t clear whether the trolly tour will be offered for the 2020 Christmas Season and what changes may occur required due to the Covid-19 restrictions. We will update this section as soon as more information becomes available.

November 22, 2019-January 25, 2020

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. 

This year some special enhancements have been added to the Trolley of Lights tour including,

– A special costumed storyteller as your guide
– Complimentary cup of hot chocolate provided by Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies
– Special Christmas token to show our thanks and commemorate your experience on the Gatlinburg Winter Magic Trolley Ride of Lights

  • Cost: $10 Children 3 and under FREE
  • Dates: November 7, 2019- January 26, 2019
  • Trolleys run at 6:30, 7:30, and 8:30 and do not run on December 6, Thanksgiving, Christmas eve, or Christmas day. 
  • After Christmas, the trolley will continue to run on Saturdays at 6:30, 7:30, and 8:30 until January 25, 2020

Pigeon Forge Christmas Lights

November 13, 2020 – February 22, 2021

We spent the first weekend in November, 2019 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. 

This year the official lighting ceremony has been pushed back to November 13, 2020 and will take place with the lighting of the Tree at The Island (it has previously been in Patriot Park so take note).

The Island Christmas tree in Pigeon Forge will have 40,000 ornaments and more than 5,000 feet of garland so don’t miss it!

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 7th, 2020 – January 3rd 2021

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!     

Dollywood Christmas Lights
Smoky Mountain Christmas at Dollywood

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.

Of course the lights are just small part of what makes Dollywood special during the Christmas season. 

There are award winning shows and Christmas performances, great Christmas treats, and a nightly parade. 

More than 20 of the rides are in operation as well, so bundle up the kids and don’t miss the beautiful Dollywood Christmas lights this year.

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?

You Might Also Be Interested In our Other Smoky Mountains Adventures

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