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Best Things To Do In The Smoky Mountains in December

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Enjoy the best of winter with amazing things to do in the Smoky Mountains in December. Here in this Smoky Mountains vacation guide, you’ll find a whole lot of fun treats for the whole family to enjoy.

While some people might think that December is a slow time of year in the Smokies, there are actually plenty of fun activities to enjoy during this festive season.

Things To Do In The Smoky Mountains in December
Things To Do In The Smoky Mountains in December

The Smoky Mountains are a beautiful place to visit any time of year, but in December they take on a special kind of magic.

The snow-capped peaks and twinkling lights make the area even more enchanting. Here are some of the best things to do in the Smoky Mountains in December.

Book 5 Bedroom Cabin Gatlinburg

Is December A Good Time To Visit Smoky Mountains?

Yes, December is an excellent time to visit the Smoky Mountains! The weather is cool, making it perfect time to experience different winter activities like skiing and even hiking. Plus, the holiday season is in full swing so that you can enjoy festive events and attractions throughout the region.

Smoky Mountains In December Weather is cool, with an average high temperature of 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The average low temperature is 30 degrees Fahrenheit.

December is also one of the snowiest months in the Smoky Mountains, with an average of 2-6 inches of snowfall. However, snowfall can vary greatly from year to year. Some years may see very little snow, while others may see several inches.

Things To Do In The Smoky Mountains in December
Things To Do In The Smoky Mountains in December

December is one of the cheapest months to visit, as lodging prices are lower compared to the peak season of summer. While there are generally fewer crowds during this time, you can still expect to see a large crowd on weekends and during special events in the area.

Whether you’re looking for a winter wonderland or a festive escape, the Smoky Mountains are sure to please.

Things To Do In The Smoky Mountains in December

Pack your bags and enjoy a winter getaway to the Smokies! Here are the best things to do in the Smoky Mountains in December.

Can You Drive Through She Smoky Mountains In The Winter?

Yes, you can drive through the Smoky Mountains in the winter. However, you need to be prepared for colder temperatures and potentially icy road conditions.

Make the most out of your road trip this winter and head to our guide on the Best Driving Roads In Smoky Mountains

Also, be aware that some of the roads in the park may be closed during winter due to weather conditions. So, it’s always a good idea to check the weather forecast and status of roads before you travel. Check seasonal road closure at the NPS site.

Festivals & Events in the Smoky Mountains in December

  • Trolley Tour of Lights- The trolley system in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge provides unique excursions from November through February. It’s a wonderful way to get a taste of Christmas in both towns while also spending quality time with the kids.
  • Smoky Mountain Tunes and Tales – This annual event offers visitors the opportunity to step back in time and experience the music and stories of the Smoky Mountains. Street performers dressed in period clothing entertain guests with traditional bluegrass, gospel, and mountain music, as well as tales of the region’s rich history.
  • Thanksgiving & Christmas Craft Shows– 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. 
  • Gatlinburg Winter Magic – Every December, Gatlinburg comes alive with over two million lights and more than 80 displays strung throughout the downtown area. This family-friendly event also features a variety of fun activities, like live entertainment, caroling, and roasting marshmallows.
  • New Year’s Eve Ball Drop and Fireworks Show – Ring in the new year with a spectacular fireworks show set to music in downtown Gatlinburg. The festivities also include a live DJ, dance floor, and of course, the famous ball drop at midnight.

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!

Related Smoky Mountain Resources


To make the most out of your winter getaway, make sure to check out our list of the best things to do in the Smoky Mountains in winter.

And to make your vacation even more exciting, try a photo scavenger hunt game that will help develop you and your kids’ photography skills.

Don’t Miss These Smoky Mountains Web Stories!

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