12 Days of Christmas in Gatlinburg: Reasons We Love the Smokies

Immeasurable beauty, fantastic wildlife, endless attractions, delicious cuisine, cozy cabins…it’s easy to see why we love the Smokies but hard to limit those reasons to only 12. However, in the spirit of Christmas and for the sake of a holiday classic, we’ve done just that. Get ready to discover why the Smoky Mountains is a great vacation destination for all ages and spin a new twist on “The Twelve Days of Christmas” while we’re at it!

On the 1st Day of Christmas, the Smokies Gave to Me — A Cabin for My Whole Family.
From enjoying incredible mountain views and relaxing in the outdoor hot tub to baking cookies for Santa in the fully equipped kitchen and reading “The Night Before Christmas” to your little ones by the fire, a cabin stay in the Smoky Mountains will not only enhance your vacation experience but also help create precious memories in the process. Plus, with sizes ranging from a few bedrooms to a dozen, you can take your whole family — no matter how large!

On the 2nd Day of Christmas, the Smokies gave to me — 2 Amusement Parks.
Entertainment won’t be an issue with multiple amusement parks throughout the region. At the top of the list is Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, boasting daring rollercoasters, musical performances, Southern treats, and fun festivals. Join Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas, where you can attend the Parade of Many Colors, watch award-winning shows, view impressive light displays, and meet the red-nosed reindeer himself! Don’t forget to visit Ober Gatlinburg Ski Area and Amusement Park — complete with year-round ice skating, an awesome arcade, an indoor carousel, and a wildlife encounter with river otters, bobcats, owls, and more.

On the 3rd Day of Christmas, the Smokies gave to me — 3 Dinner Shows.
For topnotch entertainment with your meal, check out the local dinner shows around Pigeon Forge. Following in Dollywood’s footsteps, Dolly Parton’s Stampede hosts a Christmas special during the holiday season with trick riding, fun-loving elves, a live nativity, and a festive feast to boot! Head over to the Biblical Times Dinner Theater to experience The Christmas Story like never before or venture yonder to The Hatfield and McCoy Christmas Disaster Dinner Show to see the famed feudin’ families come together for the holidays.

On the 4th Day of Christmas, the Smokies Gave to Me — 4 Mountain Coasters.
The best way to experience the Smoky Mountains? Why on a mountain coaster, of course! Feel the wind in your hair and inhale that mountain-fresh air as you soar through the trees for a unique view of the Smokies. Be it the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster (the longest downhill ride in the U.S.), the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster, the NEW mountain coaster at Anakeesta, or the Coaster at Goats on the Roof (yes, there are actual goats), get ready for an unforgettable adventure — where you control the speed up to 35mph!

On the 5th Day of Christmas, the Smokies Gave to Me — 5 Christmas Shops.
Perhaps the most important number on this list due to our innate human need for Christmas trinkets, ornaments, knick-knacks, and the like, you’ll be pleased to know that Christmas shops are ready for the picking year-round in both Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg! For more modern Christmas merchandise, check out The Incredible Christmas Place and the Christmas & Candle Shop at The Apple Barn.
For unique or handcrafted items, Santa’s Claus-et, Christmas Eve Gift, and Christmas & Collectibles have you covered, and then some!

On the 6th Day of Christmas, the Smokies Gave to Me — 6 Pancakes Steaming.
Unending stacks of butter-melting, syrup-inviting pancakes await in the Smokies. With more than 15 pancake houses in the area, including Reagan’s House of Pancakes, the Red Rooster Pancake House, the Smoky Mountain Pancake House, the Little House of Pancakes, and the Log Cabin Pancake House, your pancake dreams can come true in the Smokies for breakfast and lunch —and don’t forget to take some back to your cabin for dinner!

On the 7th Day of Christmas, the Smokies Gave to Me — 7 Wines Aging.
You can’t go wrong with a sweet red from the Apple Barn Winery, Hillside Winery, Mountain Valley Vineyards, Smoky Mountain Winery…the list just keeps going! Enjoy wine tasting for days on the Rocky Top Wine Trail, featuring 6 locations open 7 days a week. Also in the area are quite a few moonshine distilleries, such as the Old Forge Distillery and Ole Smoky Moonshine. So roll up your sleeves and prepare for an impactful sip of Smoky Mountain flavor!

On the 8th Day of Christmas, the Smokies Gave to Me — 8 Ripley’s Serving.
Believe it or not, 8 Ripley’s attractions serve the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge area with 3 interactive locales, 2 intriguing museums, 2 mini-golf courses, and an award-winning aquarium. From early morning oddities and sea life viewings during the day to evening putt-putt rounds and a haunted mansion at night, Ripley’s sure knows how to keep their guests on their toes!

On the 9th Day of Christmas, the Smokies Gave to Me —9 Black Bears Climbing.
That’s right, approximately 1,500 black bears call the Smokies home. As excellent climbers, the expansive sea of trees in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park provides the ideal habitat for these guys. In fact, a black bear can climb a tree faster than you could start. Pro tip: If you disturb a black bear by getting too close or other means, climbing a tree won’t help! Instead, announce your presence calmly, make yourself look large, move away slowly, and NEVER turn your back on them.

On the 10th Day of Christmas, the Smokies Gave to Me — 10 Friends Escaping.
Do you have what it takes to free yourself from an unjust prison sentence, recover a priceless masterpiece, dissolve an international terrorist threat, repair your broken spaceship, find Clyde Hamilton’s gold, or solve impossible Atlantean puzzles before it’s too late? Well, if you feel you’re ready, try your hand at The Escape Game in Pigeon Forge or Gatlin’s Escape Games in Gatlinburg.

On the 11th Day of Christmas, the Smokies Gave to Me — 11 Crafters Crafting.
Local artists and artisans are around every corner in the Smokies, but for a real treat, take a drive around the loop road (8 miles following East Parkway, Buckhorn Road, and Glades Road) that makes up the Tennessee Heritage Arts & Crafts Trail. There you’ll meet the talented people of the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community, the largest group of independent craftsmen in North America. Discover one-of-a-kind pieces, such as handwoven baskets, landscape paintings, glass jewelry, natural soaps, handmade pottery, detailed sculptures, leather goods, stained glass windows — you name it!

On the 12th Day of Christmas, the Smokies Gave to Me — 12 Hikers Hiking.
Loaded with hiking trails, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the perfect place for your next outdoor adventure. With enchanting wildlife, cascading waterfalls, gorgeous flora, and stunning mountain views, you won’t regret a walk through the Smokies! Grab some hiking boots, a large bottle of water, a few snacks, and a group of friends and hop to it — just not literally as that could be risky on the trail (safety first!).

Sing-A-Long to “The Smokies’ Twelve Days of Christmas”
Sing as fast as you can for a real challenge!

On the 1st day of Christmas, the Smokies gave to me
A cabin for my whole family

On the 2nd day of Christmas, the Smokies gave to me
2 amusement parks and
A cabin for my whole family

On the 3rd day of Christmas, the Smokies gave to me
3 dinner shows
2 amusement parks and
A cabin for my whole family

On the 4th day of Christmas, the Smokies gave to me
4 mountain coasters
3 dinner shows
2 amusement parks and
A cabin for my whole family

On the 5th day of Christmas, the Smokies gave to me
5 Christmas shops
4 mountain coasters
3 dinner shows
2 amusement parks and
A cabin for my whole family

On the 6th day of Christmas, the Smokies gave to me
6 pancakes steaming
5 Christmas shops
4 mountain coasters
3 dinner shows
2 amusement parks and
A cabin for my whole family

On the 7th day of Christmas, the Smokies gave to me
7 wines aging
6 pancakes steaming
5 Christmas shops
4 mountain coasters
3 dinner shows
2 amusement parks and
A cabin for my whole family

On the 8th day of Christmas, the Smokies gave to me
8 Ripley’s serving
7 wines aging
6 pancakes steaming
5 Christmas shops
4 mountain coasters
3 dinner shows
2 amusement parks and
A cabin for my whole family

On the 9th day of Christmas, the Smokies gave to me
9 black bears climbing
8 Ripley’s serving
7 wines aging
6 pancakes steaming
5 Christmas shops
4 mountain coasters
3 dinner shows
2 amusement parks and
A cabin for my whole family

On the 10th day of Christmas, the Smokies gave to me
10 friends escaping
9 black bears climbing
8 Ripley’s serving
7 wines aging
6 pancakes steaming
5 Christmas shops
4 mountain coasters
3 dinner shows
2 amusement parks and
A cabin for my whole family

On the 11th day of Christmas, the Smokies gave to me
11 crafters crafting
10 friends escaping
9 black bears climbing
8 Ripley’s serving
7 wines aging
6 pancakes steaming
5 Christmas shops
4 mountain coasters
3 dinner shows
2 amusement parks and
A cabin for my whole family

On the 12th day of Christmas, the Smokies gave to me
12 hikers hiking
11 crafters crafting
10 friends escaping
9 black bears climbing
8 Ripley’s serving
7 wines aging
6 pancakes steaming
5 Christmas shops
4 mountain coasters
3 dinner shows
2 amusement parks and
A cabin for my whole family


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