Find things to do your whole family will enjoy. Of course, we highly recommend you bring your board games and enjoy the cabin you have rented! Many cabins are specially decorated for the Holiday Season. As your family searches for things to do in Gatlinburg over the Christmas Season, keep your eyes out for the Gatlinburg Winter Magic scenes throughout downtown Gatlinburg, and consider making the trip to Dollywood to see the Smoky Mountain Christmas they have created at the beautiful theme park.
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Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies – Don’t leave the Smokies without visiting Ripley’s Aquarium. This is one of Gatlinburg’s most premier attractions and one look at the complex on River Road will show you why. Whole oceans worth of sea life await you and your family at Ripley’s Aquarium with video presentations, classes, divers, play area, interactive fun stuff, and African Penguins (you read that right, penguins from Africa). Ripley’s Aquarium is also often the site for Gatlinburg’s special events. There is nothing to not love about the Aquarium, so make sure you don’t leave Gatlinburg without a visit! www.ripleys.com/gatlinburg.
Space Needle – The tallest structure in Gatlinburg is a center place for a good portion of the entertainment in the city. From the top of the tower, you can see for miles and miles around of the Smokies. At the bottom is Arcadia, a 25,000 square foot arcade and family entertainment center and several entertainment shows. Watch for the Space Needle on New Years Eve where the city of Gatlinburg traditionally lines the whole structure up with fireworks and creates one of the most spectacular displays you’ll ever see. www.gatlinburgspaceneedle.com.
Christ in the Smokies – Formerly “Christus Gardens”, this is one of Gatlinburg’s oldest and most dignified attractions. Christ in the Smokies is a museum dedicated to the story and portrayal of Jesus Christ with over 100 life-sized wax figures and the famous “Carrera” face of Christ. Look for special items, decorations and possible events during the Christmas season. www.christinthesmokies.com.
Guinness World of Records Museum – Consider this to a compliment to the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum. Also owned and managed by Ripley’s, Guinness World is a sister site where you can indulge in more interactive weirdness and awesome displays of official incredulity like the world’s tallest man, the world’s fattest woman, the longest jump by a human being and much more. The world’s most incredible display of dominoes and much more! www.ripleys.com/gatlinburg.
Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre – Gatlinburg’s premiere theater for serious comedy and theatrical entertainment enthusiasts, Sweet Fanny Adams has had 40+ successful seasons in town with no signs of slowing down! Has a special show for Christmas called “Mistletoe and Malarky” in a vaudeville style variety of dances, routines and songs. If country music isn’t your thing, come to Sweet Fanny Adams for comedy stylings in the vein of Monty Python, Mel Brooks, and more. www.sweetfannyadams.com.
Gatlinburg Arts and Crafts – The reason the city is here: The Arts and Crafts Community is famous throughout the country as being the largest collection of independent artists and artisans in The U.S. Potters, painters, broom-makers, fine restaurants, sculptures, sketchers and incredible stores of all kinds could take days to see in full. Decorates and provides special decor and gifts for the Christmas season. www.gatlinburgcrafts.com.
Ober Gatlinburg – An icon in the large roster of attractions in Gatlinburg, Ober has been a site for many things for over 40 years in the city. During Winterfest, it’s the only place for miles around to go for skiing, snowboarding and ice skating. In the warmer season, it’s a mountain-high family fun park with mini-golf, arcade, park rides, shops, indoor ice skating and more. www.obergatlinburg.com.
Fort Fun – The name says it all at Fort Fun! This is where you go to get set up for Old Gatlinburg Golf and Games, The Venturer Motion Ride, Lazer Tag, 3D theater, escape games and much more! Bring the kids and make a whole afternoon of fun at the Fort that bears its name. www.fortfungatlinburg.com.
A Brit of Magic With Keith Fields – Gatlinburg does have a small vein representing a UK culture in the area, and that small but pleasant vein grows with the entertainment of Keith Fields – world champion street magician who has appeared on Broadway in New York, London’s West End, Las Vegas, and apparently even had Robin Williams as a warm-up act. How many entertainers like that do you get to see in the Smokies? www.gatlinburg.com/things-to-do/details.aspx?id=1309.
Gatlinburg Ziplines – Few things are more thrilling to modern men than soaring through the skies and Gatlinburg Ziplines gives you the opportunity to see and experience the Smokies like you never have before! This is one of the most adrenaline-filled attractions you can find in Sevier County, and it’s well worth the visit no matter what time of the year you come to town. www.zipgatlinburg.com.
Gatlinburg Craftsmen Fair – A special event so large, Gatlinburg has to throw it several times a year! Two of those times are reserved for Thanksgiving and Christmas, in fact. Arts and Crafts enthusiasts better make some big plans, because the Craftsmen Fairs are HUGE – taking place in the mammoth W.L. Mills auditorium in downtown Gatlinburg and routinely featuring over 100 artists and artisans from East TN and way beyond. www.craftsmenfair.com.
Big Daddy’s – There are many pizza places in Sevier County, but few give you the creative, gourmet options that Big Daddy’s in Pigeon Forge, Sevierville and Gatlinburg give you! The menu starts with “Tuscan Pizza”, “Cuban Pizza”, the “Big Kahuna”, “Porky Pie” and more! Desert pizzas and sandwiches are also available. www.bigdaddyspizzeria.net.
Texas Roadhouse – Hot rolls with cinnamon butter, seasoned fries with honey mustard, chicken, steaks, burgers and even a sample of free ribs if you’ve never been to a Texas Roadhouse before is just the start of what the restaurant can offer you! Locations in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville. www.texasroadhouse.com.
The Smoky Mountain Brewery – One of the area’s favorite hangouts for visitors and locals alike, the Brewery is part, well, brewery, and part restaurant specializing in ribs, wings, pizzas and half-priced pizzas on Tuesday nights, sandwiches, burgers, spaghetti and a ton of other items on the menu. www.smoky-mtn-brewery.com.
The Peddler Steakhouse – How would you like a proper fancy dinner at one of Gatlinburg’s oldest restaurants where a fat, succulent steak, cooked over hickory charcoal is waiting for you next to some mountain trout or prime rib, New York cheesecake or hot blackberry cobbler. This is one of many amazing food combinations you’ll find at The Peddler Steakhouse. Wine Menu also available. www.peddlergatlinburg.com.
Wild Boar Saloon – Formerly Howard’s in Gatlinburg, but with the added advantage that is both a new restaurant, and the original restaurant available upon request. Some of the best steaks and steak burgers, roast beef sandwiches, grilled pork chops, chicken sandwich platters and much more just waiting for you to take your next trip to Gatlinburg! www.bestitalian.com/wild_boar_saloon.html.
Pancake Pantry – When you drive down the main street and, at any given day during the morning, you see a line from the outside of the door extending around to the inside of the Village just to get in and EAT, you know you’re looking at the best pancake restaurant in the city! Chocolate chip pancakes, sweet potato pancakes, cherry waffles, pecan waffles, western omelettes, breakfast cereals with banana slices and much more! www.pancakepantry.com.
The Best Italian – Not just a boastful name, “The Best Italian” proves itself to many a visitor with starting rounds of their famous “garlic knots” and continues on with some of the best homemade pizza you’ll find in the city, or Filet Tips Linguini, Chicken Linguini with White Sauce, Tenderloin Tips Marsala and more amazing Italian dishes that earned them the name on this listing. www.bestitalian.com.
North China Restaurant – North China is Gatlinburg’s only Chinese Restaurant and it is one worth visiting before you leave the mountains. North China specializes in excellent service and even better dishes of chicken lo mein, beef, General Tso’s, hunan beef and more. Located on River Road just behind the main downtown strip.
Greenbrier Restaurant – If ever you needed to find a restaurant with a real mountain atmosphere in Gatlinburg; off the beaten path but offering some of the highest quality and highest class surroundings with views of the Smokies off in the distance, Greenbrier is where you want to go. Tucked back in the greenery like an exclusive secret, romantic dinners and special occasions are what Greenbrier is all about! www.greenbrierrestaurant.com.
Three Jimmys – Drive by Three Jimmys on Glades Road next to Family Dollar on Highway 321 (Gatlinburg) and you’re sure to see a mostly full parking lot at any given night of the week. That’s how good this restaurant and bar has been in just under a year of service! Serves lunch and dinner, offers live music, entertainment, covered outdoor patio, catering services, banquet room rental, and the best beer for miles around! www.threejimmys.com.