Celebrate winter with these great things to do in Gatlinburg in December. Here is a Gatlinburg vacation guide with the best attractions and activities to keep you busy during your winter visit.
From experiencing the great outdoors to cozying up indoors, there’s something for everyone in Gatlinburg this time of year.
If you’re looking for a festive and wintery vacation, Gatlinburg is the perfect spot. This charming Tennessee town comes alive in December with holiday lights, events, and attractions.
Here are some of the best things to do in Gatlinburg in December!
Festivals in Gatlinburg in December
- Trolley Tour of Lights– During Winterfest, the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge trolley system runs special tours from November to February. It’s a great way to see the lights in both towns and enjoy some special family time together.
- Tunes & Tales-Winter– If you are as big of a Dickens fan as I am, you are going to love the weekends in Gatlinburg during the Christmas season. On Fridays and Saturdays, storytelling characters dressed in Dickens-style attire, take to the streets to sink tunes and tell some tales. You don’t want to miss this!
- Ober Gatlinburg Ski Season- It’s the most wonderful time of the year…in Ober Gatlinburg. If you have always wanted to Ski in the Smokies, December is a great time to do so!
- Thanksgiving & Christmas Craft Shows (Nov. 21 – Dec. 3, 2023)- Christmas is, of course, a very special time of the year for our arts and crafts community. The artisans in Gatlinburg come together after Thanksgiving for a two-week craft show. The first week it’s all harvest season-themed crafts, and the second week brings in the Christmas decor and crafts galore. Come ready to get your shopping done in one swoop and give the best hand-crafted and unique Christmas gifts to your friends and family.
Does it snow in Gatlinburg TN in December?
In December, Gatlinburg has an average high temperature of 50 degrees Fahrenheit and an average low temperature of 28 degrees Fahrenheit.
The record high temperature for Gatlinburg in December is 71 degrees Fahrenheit, and the record low temperature is -17 degrees Fahrenheit.
Gatlinburg usually sees 3-6 inches of snowfall each year. However, weather patterns can vary greatly from year to year.
Be sure to check the weather forecast before you venture out so you can dress appropriately.
And if you’re wondering if there are bears this time of the year, well, while you could technically see a bear if you were lucky (or unlucky) enough to spot one out in the wild, most bears are hibernating by December.
Now that you’re all set for the winter, let’s now take a look at some of the best things to do in Gatlinburg in December.
What Clothes To Pack For Gatlinburg in December?
If you’re planning a trip to Gatlinburg in December, you’ll want to make sure you pack the right clothes. The weather can be unpredictable, so it’s important to pack layers that will keep you warm.
Here are a few items to consider packing for your trip:
- A jacket or coat: You’ll need something warm to wear when the temperatures start to drop at night.
- Long pants: Jeans or other long pants will help keep you warm when the temperature starts to cool off.
- Sweaters or sweatshirts: These can be worn as layers under your jacket or coat for extra warmth.
- Hats and gloves: These will come in handy when the temperatures really start to dip.
- Comfortable shoes: You’ll want to make sure you have comfortable shoes to walk around in. Gatlinburg is a pretty hilly place, so sneakers or other sturdy shoes are a good option.
Smoky Mountains 7-Day Itinerary
I understand how difficult it can be to plan a trip, especially if it’s your first time going. That’s why I created this 7-day itinerary for the Smoky Mountains. It outlines all of the best places to go in the area and comes with insider tips that will save you a lot of stress–trust me, they saved me when I was planning my own trip!
- Our 7-day itinerary takes you to the best places in the Smoky Mountains.
- You’ll get to see all the best sights and attractions with driving directions
- The itinerary is designed to show you the most scenic routes.
- Packing Checklist for every season.
- You’ll have everything you need to make the most of your trip.
- Insider Tips!
Here’s a quick overview of our Smoky Mountains 7-Day Itinerary.
- Day 1: Cades Cove Loop
- Day 2: Rich Mountain Road
- Day 3: Cataloochee Valley
- Day 4: Newfound Gap Road
- Day 5: Roaring Fork Motor Trail
- Day 6: Little River Road
- Day6: Foothills Parkway
Get Your FREE Winter Packing List For The Smoky Mountains!
Recommended Gatlinburg Vacation Resources
- Smoky Mountains Vacation Guide
- Pigeon Forge Vacation Guide
- Fun Things to Do in Gatlinburg in March
- Great Smoky Mountains Family Vacations Facebook Group
MORE RELATED RESOURCES
There’s something magical about the Smoky Mountains during the holiday season. If you’re looking for more ways to enjoy your winter getaway in December, be sure to check out our post on Smoky Mountains Christmas lights which will surely get you in the festive mood.
Since everybody’s into vlogging these days, why not capture your winter getaway with one of these awesome cameras for youtube? Coz why not!