Things to Do in Pigeon Forge during Christmas
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The Most Festive Things to Do in Pigeon Forge during Christmas

With the holidays right around the corner, it’s beginning to look at lot like Christmas in the Smokies. Pigeon Forge embraces the season with a mountain of festive things to do in Pigeon Forge during Christmas. To discover all that’s happening in this Smoky Mountain town this season, read on.

A child and young woman wear Santa hats and red Christmas sweaters and smile into the camera.
Oh what fun it is!

Trolley Ride of Lights

Through January 26, 2019, you can hop aboard a Gatlinburg Trolley to see the Winter Magic Light displays. The guided, enclosed excursions leave from traffic light #5 and go through downtown and Highway 321. Multiple tours leave nightly at 6:30 pm, 7:30 pm and 8:30 pm starting on November 7, 2018. Cost is $5 per person.

Dollywood's theme park grounds lit up with Christmas lights. Sights include a massive Christmas tree with green lights, a blue water fountain and trees with white lights.
Dollywood/Facebook

Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Festival

One of the best things to do in Pigeon Forge during Christmas is to attend Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Festival. Park goers are treated to a breathtaking display of holiday lights, with over four million lights decorating Dollywood. Kids will love the jolly good time of The Parade of Many Colors. Featuring floats adorned with bright lights, it marches through the park nightly. You can also meet Rudolph and Friends at Holly Jolly Junction, and watch spectacular shows like “A Christmas Carol” and “Christmas in the Smokies.” Plus, all of Dollywood’s rides and attractions are open for you to enjoy under the glow of the Christmas lights.

A young girl wearing 3D glasses and a winter hat inside a black car points at the Christmas lights at Shadrack's Christmas Wonderland in Pigeon Forge.
Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland/Facebook

Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland

Known as the “world’s largest drive-through, fully synchronized, LED Christmas light and music show,” this show is a highlight of the Christmas season. Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland is located at the Tennessee Smokies Baseball Stadium at 3540 Line Drive. The light display is open from November 9, 2018 – January 6, 2019, from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm every night (later on weekends). Families can also enjoy Santa’s Workshop, a petting zoo, pony rides (for an additional fee), and the DIY souvenir stations throughout the attraction.

A man dressed as Tom Hanks from the Polar Express waves to the camera from a homemade Polar Express float in the Gatlinburg Christmas Parade
Polar Express Float from Gatlinburg Christmas Parade.

Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade

Downtown Gatlinburg hosts the 43rd annual Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade on December 7, 2018 at 7:30 pm. The larger-than-life parade features dozens of marching bands from Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, George and Alabama, whimsical balloon characters, more than 100 floats, and, of course, Santa Claus.

A giant Christmas tree is stationed in front of the towering Biltmore Estate
Biltmore/Facebook

Biltmore Candlelight Christmas Evenings

The Christmas at Biltmore Celebration, a grand tradition, is scheduled for November 3, 2018, through January 6, 2019. America’s largest home is decorated with dozens of Christmas trees, hundreds of wreaths, bows and poinsettias, as well as miles of evergreen garland and thousands of ornaments. In addition, there is a massive 35-foot Fraser Fir tree adorned with beautiful ornaments and presents.

Visiting Biltmore for the Candlelight Christmas Evenings is one of the best things to do in Pigeon Forge during Christmas. Between the glow of the Christmas lights and the elegance of the grounds, it’ll be a Christmas season you remember for a lifetime. But remember to purchase your discount Biltmore Estate tickets ASAP to save time and money this holiday season.

Performers dressed as toy soldiers dance in a Pigeon Forge Christmas show
Christmas at Smoky Mountain Opry

Christmas Shows

Another one of the great things to do in Pigeon Forge during Christmas is enjoy holiday entertainment. You can get into the spirit of the season with spectacular productions celebrating with merriment, and a bit of mayhem for good measure.

Christmas at Smoky Mountain Opry
A festive holiday experience, complete with flying sugar plum fairies and angels, dancing elves, magical reindeer and an appearance from Santa Claus. The show also features the largest living nativity in the area, as well as a huge band, beautiful costumes, and special effects.

Christmas at Dolly Parton’s Stampede
Guests can enjoy a magical show, complete with twinkling lights, evergreens, old-fashioned holiday costumes, Christmas music favorites, elves and more. Plus, a festive four-course meal is served during the show.

Hatfield & McCoy Christmas Dinner Disaster
The Hatfield & McCoy’s are at it again; this time with a holiday twist. Sit back, enjoy your festive feast, and watch as the cast performs insane stunts, side-splitting comedy, and all of your favorite Christmas songs.

These are only a few of the Christmas shows that will delight your family this holiday season in Pigeon Forge.

Have a Very Merry Christmas in Pigeon Forge

Make these things to do in Pigeon Forge during Christmas part of your holiday plans. Your family will thank you!


Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Gatlinburg to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.
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