The days are shorter, the nights are colder. The trees are bare, and activities are sparse…or are they? While wintertime in other parts of the country might mean sitting inside and getting cabin fever, winter at Ober Gatlinburg is synonymous with fun! Check out these 8 ideas for beating the winter blues at the Ober Gatlinburg Amusement Park & Ski Area this year:
- Go snow tubing with the family.
Especially for those traveling to Gatlinburg with their family, we recommend an afternoon of snow tubing at Ober. The kids (and grown-ups, too!) will love racing down the snowy mountain as many times as they want during a 90-minute session. Snow tubing for 2016 will open November 19, and new this year, you can purchase advance (not same day) tubing tickets online (click here for more details).
- Play with your little ones in the Cubbies Snow Zone.
Another great option for little ones is the Cubbies Snow Zone at Ober Gatlinburg. This area is for children less than 48 inches tall, and all children must be accompanied by a responsible adult. This year, the Cubbies Snow Zone is predicted to open sometime in late fall or early winter. To check on weather conditions before your visit, please call Ober Gatlinburg directly at (800) 251-9202.
- Spend an afternoon skiing down the slopes.
For many guests, this is exactly what they have in mind when they think about a winter visit to the Smoky Mountains. Wintertime = time to hit the slopes! According to the Ober Gatlinburg website, ski slopes are expected to open sometime in mid-December. So get your gloves, your hat, and your bibs and get ready for a fun time of gliding down the mountainside at Ober! And if you don’t own all the winter gear you think you’ll need, don’t feel like you have to rush out to buy it! Ober Gatlinburg conveniently offers clothing rentals along with equipment rentals.
- Try something new with a snowboarding lesson.*
If every year you end up skiing at Ober, then mix up your winter fun in 2016 with something brand new like snowboarding! Ober Gatlinburg uses the successful American Teaching System for beginning snowboarders, and you’ll be learning from expertly trained professionals. They’ll teach you how to glide, slow down, stop, and turn so you can maximize your safety while having a great time.
- Go extreme on the Freestyle Terrain park.
First, let’s just say we don’t recommend #5 on our list until you’ve completed #4…but for those who have mastered skiing and snowboarding, the Ober Gatlinburg Freestyle Terrain park is for you! Since it was opened in the 2009–2010 season, this park has been expanded and improved so you can have a great time on a variety of setups while maintaining your own safety and that of other guests.
- Practice your triple axel on the ice skating rink.
The ski slopes aren’t the only place to enjoy some wintertime fun at Ober Gatlinburg. Another exciting option is the huge indoor ice rink that’s never out of season! For only $9, you can skate for a 3-hour continuous session (and that includes your skate rental). That should be plenty of time for you to master the triple axel, right?
- Take a break from the cold at the indoor arcade.
When your cheeks turn red and your teeth start chattering, it might be time to take a break from the cold. So head inside and spend a few hours at the Ober Gatlinburg arcade! You’ll find hours of indoor fun and a variety of games for every age—and if this Ober Gatlinburg attraction appeals to you, don’t miss our Gatlinburg cabins with arcade games, game tables, and huge rec rooms for hours of indoor entertainment!
*Note: To promote your safety and the safety of others, Ober Gatlinburg requires all first-time skiers and snowboarders to participate in a beginner lesson. Group and private lessons for adults and children are also available.