People from all over the world visit Gatlinburg, TN, each year because it is a great vacation destination for families, couples, groups and people just wanting to get away from it all. There is something for everyone, including great entertainment, food and shopping year round. In January, the holiday lights are still flickering and snow may be gently falling. The holiday spirit is still alive, and the city is bright and exciting. It's a great time to bundle up and enjoy warm drinks, bakery-fresh treats, snowy hikes, trolley rides and strolls along the Parkway. Here is some information you might want to know for your January visit.
Things to Do Outside
New Year's Eve Ball Drop and Fireworks
December 31st – January 1st
A fantastic fireworks display and New Year's Eve party is held at the intersection of Parkway and Historic Nature Trail at the base of the Space Needle each year. Thousands of people will pack the streets and enjoy music, party favors and awesome fireworks.
Smoky Mountain Winterfest
November through February 29th
This annual event features a brilliant display of lights and dozens of events around Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville. The LED lights are shaped into sleighs, reindeer and presents, along with animals found in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park – rabbits, deer, foxes and more. Events during Gatlinburg Winterfest will include concerts, trolley light tours, storytelling, wine tastings, a chili cook off, decoration contests and much, much more!
Winter Magic Trolley Ride of Lights
November 7th – January 26th
Take a ride through downtown Gatlinburg and along Hwy. 321 this winter and enjoy the magic of the lights during Gatlinburg Winter Magic. Tickets are just $5, and rides run every Saturday during the month of January. The light displays are magnificent (and energy efficient) with amazing LED lights. Snowmen, fountains, reindeer, a rocking horse and cheerful children are just a few of the light displays along the way.
Gatlinburg Winter Magic
November 7th - February 28th
A $1.6 million custom designed display of holiday LED lights transforms Gatlinburg into a winter wonderland for four months each year. Guests can walk, drive or ride the trolley to enjoy this spectacular display.
Ober Gatlinburg winter sports
December 23rd – March 16th
Once December hits, the weather is just right for snow making at Ober Gatlinburg. By January, the conditions are perfect for skiing, snowboarding, tubing and more. Ober Gatlinburg has nine trails with two quad lifts, one double lift and one surface lift, and there is terrain for all skill levels. The aerial tramway, alpine slide and indoor ice rink are also open during winter months.
Special Olympics, Tennessee Winter Games
January 27th – January 29th
Ober Gatlinburg has hosted the State Winter Games of the Tennessee Special Olympics for 27 years. Participants compete in speed skating, alpine skiing and snowboarding at levels from beginner to advanced. Visitors can enjoy Ober Gatlinburg and cheer on the Olympians during this fun event.
Wilderness Wildlife Week
January 7th - 14th
Held at the Music Road Hotel Convention Center, this celebration of everything outdoors is 9 full days of activities, including hikes, lectures, exhibits and seminars. Wilderness Wildlife Week showcases the rich history of the mountain culture and promotes the enjoyment and conservation of nature. There is something for kids and adults alike, and all the activities are free!
Things to do Inside
While there are plenty of great things to do outside during January, there are also some great activities inside when it's time to warm up. Check out a few of these inside activities: