So what’s Sevier County got in store for New Years Eve parties for 2023? Here’s what the cities are posting:
Pigeon Forge: New Years Eve Celebration At The Island
From their website: “Ring In the New Year With a Bang!
Join us at The Island in Pigeon Forge as we countdown to 2023 with a dazzling Island Show Fountain and midnight fireworks production on Saturday, December 31! The Island in Pigeon Forge will be open on Saturday, December 31st from 10 a.m. to midnight, and we look forward to celebrating with you as we ring in the New Year! The Island in Pigeon Forge is excited to offer families the opportunity to celebrate and make cherished memories together while ringing in the New Year in spectacular fashion! Join us on New Year’s Eve for a day of family fun and incredible midnight fireworks, and let’s kick off 2023 with a bang!”
Gatlinburg: New Year’s Eve Celebration and Fireworks Show
From their website: “Gatlinburg will ring in the new year under the cover of the iconic Gatlinburg Space Needle for its 35th Annual New Year’s Eve Ball Drop and Fireworks Show on Saturday, December 31. Since 1987, this free, family-friendly celebration has been one of the largest organized New Year’s Eve events in the nation, and this year’s celebration is set to be a spectacular end to the year.
Visitors are encouraged to arrive early to take advantage of the celebration specials offered by many Gatlinburg restaurants and businesses. Live music begins at 10 p.m. at the base of the Space Needle on Historic Nature Trail/Airport Rd.”
From their website: “Ring in the New Year at the Gatlinburg SkyLift Park!
The city of Gatlinburg is getting ready to have its fireworks display from the top of the Gatlinburg Space Needle this New Year’s Eve! To get the very best, and most unique view, of the fireworks in (and above) town, you need to get your VIP “NYE Lights of Wonder” tickets for an exclusive fireworks viewing on top of the SkyLift Park’s mountain and SkyBridge. From the SkyBridge, you will be vieiwing the fireworks from 500 feet above Gatlinburg and roughly 100 feet above the Space Needle’s firework’s launchpad. View the fireworks from the best spot in town, enjoy the Lights Over Gatlinburg lights after-hours at the SkyLift Park, AND come back to visit the SkyLift Park as many times as you would like to the very next day- January 1st!
Tickets are limited at will sell out, so get yours today before it’s too late!”
From their website: “Ring In New Year’s With Us! Join us as we say goodbye to 2022 and welcome in 2023 in a variety of fun ways!
Monty’s Mini New Year’s Eve Bash Wilderness at the Smokies will be hosting a Mini New Year’s Eve Party on Saturday, December 31st from 12‐1:30 pm for children under the age of 11. The event will occur in the River Lodge Conference Room and will include a dance party and party favors and sweet treats for kids to enjoy.
Camp Social’s New Year’s Eve Crab Legs and Prime Rib Buffet From 2-8 pm on New Year’s Eve our Camp Social will be having a Crab Legs and Prime Rib buffet unlike any other.
Reservations will be required. Please call 865.868.4483 to make your reservation.”
A new era of virtual reality is forming around us in the early 2020s; and one place where that technology is literally soaring (or as close to it as virtual reality can allow) is the SkyFly attraction at The Island in Pigeon Forge.
Their official brochure provides the details:
“Great Ready To Take Flight!
SkyFly: Soar America utilizes a state-of-the-art ride system to give you the feeling of flight. You will hang suspended before a 50-foot spherical screen while our award-winning film whisks you away on an exhilarating journey across the United States. Special effects, including wind, mist and scents, combine with the ride’s motion to create an unforgettable experience for all ages.”
In SkyFly, you will get onto a ride mechanism that will physically function like an airship. While immersive experiences like this have been around for a few decades, SkyFly takes it to much more advanced technological heights to make you really like you have been taken to some serious heights yourself! Your destinations will include:
* Yellowstone in Wyoming
* The Tetons in Wyoming
* Yosemite in California
* The Sequioa Groves in California
* Squamish in British Columbia
* Niagara Falls in New York
* Mount Rushmore in South Dakota
* Maui in Hawaii
* The Everglades in Florida
* Chimney Rock of North Carolina
* The Grand Canyon in Arizona
* The Tracy Arm Fjord in Alaska
* The Fisher Towers in Utah
* The Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee
* The Smoky Mountains in, you guessed it, Tennessee
A video trailer of the experience made by the SkyFly owners and operators can be seen here:
Like the article says, this post is all about the Smoky Mountain rollercoasters we have in the area that you and the kids can enjoy! We’ll skip a protracted intro and go right to the list, which includes rollercoasters at Dollywood, Ober Gatlinburg, Anakeesta and the independent ones in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Wears Valley.
Dollywood – Blazing Fury “An out-of-control fire is just minutes away from engulfing this 1880s town, and chaos ensues as the town’s residents, a cast of characters ranging from firefighters to gunslingers and damsels in distress, hurry to escape the blaze. Riders scream through town on this indoor roller coaster, taking each hill and curve with great speed as they try to outrun the fire.
Dollywood – Daredevil Falls “Only a real daredevil will venture into an abandoned logging camp for a one-of-a-kind boat expedition. If you’re up to the challenge, let our adventurous guides help you navigate your way through some close calls with the bears and the old left-behind lumber machinery. But, just when you catch your breath, your boat careens over a waterfall down a 60-foot drop at a heart-racing 50 mph!
Dollywood – FireChaser Express ® “They say where there’s smoke, there’s fire. In the Smoky Mountains that’s more than just a saying. Fortunately, it seems like with every big blaze, there have always been a few brave souls willing to answer the call – heroes able to tame nature’s fury and preserve the Smokies for generations to come! Now comes your turn to celebrate that heroic spirit in a new coaster sure to test your mettle, and leave you screaming for more! It’s FireChaser Express – the nation’s first dual-launch family coaster – blasting riders forward and backward!
Dollywood – Lightning Rod ® Themed after a tricked-out 1950s-era hot rod, Lightning Rod ® launches riders from zero to 45 mph more than 20 stories up its lift hill to one of the ride’s first airtime moments. At the crest of the hill, riders face twin summit airtime hills before tackling the daring first drop. Lightning Rod races down the 165-foot drop and propels guests along its 3,800-foot track to a top speed of 73 mph. There is no surprise why USA Today readers have consistently named Lightning Rod ® one of the top-10 best roller coasters in the country.
Dollywood – Mystery Mine ® What if there is no light at the end of the tunnel? Find out on Dollywood’s Mystery Mine® steel coaster where a 1,811-foot track travels through an abandoned coal mine. Uncertain encounters and amazing maneuvers await, including a hair-raising 95-degree, 85-foot vertical drop that plunges into darkness!
Dollywood – Tennessee Tornado What happens when a mighty twister sweeps through an old Tennessee Mining Company? Locals say the swirling winds twisted ore into what we now call the Tennessee Tornado. A force of nature all its own, this triple spiral-looping coaster makes you feel like you’ve landed inside a funnel cloud as you zoom down a 128-foot drop through an actual mountain at speeds nearing 70 mph. It’s enough to make local weather forecasters issue a “Tennessee Tornado Warning!”
Dollywood – Thunderhead ® An old sawmill once moved lumber out of the mountains at Thunderhead Gap. Wood is still the focus, but now the operation known as the Thunderhead is the wildest ride in the woods! Carefully situated between two mountains, this massive wooden coaster stands tall among the mighty trees and takes advantage of the area’s rough and tumble terrain to create a daring ride featuring a 100-foot drop and a top speed of 55 mph.
Dollywood – Whistle Punk Chaser® Whistle Punk Chaser, a junior coaster, throws thrilling twists and turns at Dollywood’s younger loggers, helping prepare them for the day they can join their parents aboard the award-winning Thunderhead wooden coaster.
Dollywood – Wild Eagle ® America’s first wing coaster, the first ride of its kind in the U.S., is perched 21 stories above Dollywood and takes riders on a unique experience that feels as if they are actually soaring high above the Smoky Mountains. Instead of having the train on the track, Wild Eagle® seats riders on either side so there is nothing but air above and below the rider!
Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster The Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster is the longest downhill ride in the United States,with over 1 mile of track! So if you are looking for an unforgettable experience in your vacation here in the” Great Smoky Mountains”, this is a must do!
The vehicles are designed to carry two visitors in comfort but can be handled easily by one alone. The riders are in control of the velocity (up to about 30 mph) and this gives them a unique hands-on experience! Rain, snow or sunshine no problem – the excellent braking effect is unchanged so you can ride year-round!
Rocky Top Coaster Welcome to Rocky Top Mountain Coaster, the longest coaster in East Tennessee! Join us for over 9 minutes of twists, turns, tunnels, and maybe even some unexpected surprises along the way! Whether you have a need for speed, or enjoy a slower coaster experience, RTMC has something for everyone. Bring your entire family for an unforgettable experience.
Rowdy Bear Mountain Ski Lift Shootout Coaster Rowdy Bear Ridge is home to North America’s first Alpine Flyer. This is a 2 seater suspended coaster that swings, dips, and soars through the Ridge of Rowdy Bear. This coaster is suitable for riders 40” tall and up. Coaster operates day and night and can be combined with our incredible Tubing Hill by purchasing a combo ticket.
Avalanche Snow Coaster Strap in for an awesome ride on our Avalanche Snow Coaster and zip through the Ridge at whatever speed you want! That’s right, you control the speed on this coaster! Whether you’re looking for a calm ride or you want to go full throttle, the choice is yours! Simply push the handle forward to speed up or backwards to slow down!
Goats On The Roof The Coaster at Goats on the Roof is an exciting journey through the hills of Tennessee at speeds just under 30mph and with a view that can’t be seen anywhere else in town. Whether you enjoy riding alone or pairing up – it doesn’t matter since the carts are designed to comfortably carry one or two people. Each cart is equipped with hand brakes so you can go slow if you are a little nervous, or let it rip if you are a speed demon. This hands-on ride is fun for the whole family, from children to grandparents. All are guaranteed to have a fantastic and memorable time!
Moonshine Mountain Coaster Ride the best mountain coaster attraction in Gatlinburg!
The single or double rider coaster cars coast down the mountain on a specially-designed silent track. Use indvidual brake handles to control your speed and enjoy the ride, any way you like. Gatlinburg’s FIRST and NEWEST mountain coaster is a safe, unique, family-friendly thrill ride that puts you in the driver’s seat, literally! The single or double rider cars coast down the beautiful Smoky Mountains where you can enjoy the beautiful views at speeds up to 30 mph. You may even see a bear or two! Check out our gift shop, and purchase your ride photo and other great merchandise! Groups are welcome!
We’re open year-round, so bring the family (some age and height restrictions apply)… no special skills required. We have an uphill lift that takes you to the top. Then get ready for an exciting coaster ride down the mountain. The Moonshine Mountain Roller Coaster lets you enjoy the Great Smoky Mountains in a whole new way!
Ober Gatlinburg – Ski Mountain Coaster The Ski Mountain Coaster departs near the Snow Tubing Park. The ride begins with a 1000 ft tree-covered and relaxing ride to the top. At this point, the rider simply enjoys the view, as it is a comfortable tow to the top of mountainside. Once at the top, riders are now in control of their own speed for the next 2750 ft of turns, dips, zig-zags, corkscrews and G-force adventures. Although the mountain coaster can be exhilarating, it is the ultimate family experience any age can enjoy. Riders may choose to leisurely cruise the coaster track or reach speeds up to 25 MPH, while hugging turns and dips down the mountain. Designed for comfort, the unique ADG Mountain Coaster carts provide a secure and comfortable ride with room for two riders. Their higher backrests and shorter brake levers allow for easier handling and control.
Anakeesta – Rain Runner Anakeesta’s single-rail mountain coaster is the first of its kind in the United States! Fly down the mountain on this single rail track with 1,600 feet of downhill twists and turns at speeds up to 25 mph! Race through the trees at your own speed with a 400 ft elevation change! This exhilarating ride offers a thrill at every turn before enjoying a scenic uphill ride to the top of Anakeesta Mountain. Our Rail Runner carts feature back and headrests for a comfortable and safe ride! We offer solo and tandem rides for guests with small children.
When you’re in your teenage years, you feel like you want to spread your proverbial wings and fly as chemicals in your body are combusting at the speed of light and you just can’t get that adrenaline out fast enough. This is especially true in a place like the Smoky Mountains where the high treelines and insane topography make the sky above even more of a limit to be broken and a playground to play in.
Well, we can’t help you grow wings and hollow out your bones to make aerial dynamics a thing your body can do (not until legislation passes), but we can do the next best thing with our many zipline providers in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Sevierville. In this article, we’ll detail a handful of them out for you as well as their official descriptions as they come from their websites.
From the top of Legacy Mountain exists views of the Smoky Mountains for miles. We wanted to create an experience that let our guests take in these spectacular views in a spectacular way. You’ll soar, speed, laugh, and maybe even scream on your way through this top-rated tour.
At Legacy Mountain Ziplines, safety is our top priority. We do detailed inspections routinely on our lines and our equipment is checked daily by our professionally-trained experts. Don’t miss a thing trying to get the perfect shots of your ziplining experience by adding on our photo package.”
From their website: “7 Lines…2 Hours…Too Many Thrills to Count! Book Your Smoky Mountain Ziplines Canopy Tour Today, and Take Your Family Adventure to New Heights in Scenic Pigeon Forge Tarzan did it…now so can you! Flying through the trees at up to 25 miles per hour is an exhilarating experience you will never forget. The fun begins once you arrive at our base camp, located just off the Pigeon Forge Parkway. After safety instruction and gearing up, you are ushered to the first zipline via our unique, off-road-style transportation. Our professionally-trained guides are with you the entire time to deliver an adrenaline rush unlike any other! No Other Pigeon Forge Canopy Tour Can Deliver This Much.
Several things make Smoky Mountain Ziplines the preferred choice for adventure seekers in this area. Experience, location, size, special features, and group accommodations combine to give you more value and fun for your money.”
From their website: “Enjoy the longest, highest, dual zipline course in the TN Smokies! Pigeon River Canopy Tours is the ONLY Zipline Canopy Tour near Gatlinburg that soars over the Big Pigeon River. Follow your friends on dual zips that fly you beside, above and across the Pigeon River and back to your starting point at heights up to 120 feet above the river. Enjoy a soaring and gliding experience naturally fueled by a gradual elevation change in the beautiful Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. All Canopy Tour Rangers are trained to, and all courses are built and inspected to, ACCT Standards to provide for your well-being and fun.
Cliff Hanger Canopy Tour: The Cliff Hanger Canopy Tour takes you high into the forest to our Cliff Hanger Platform. From there, you’ll thrill to 12 ziplines, venture over 4 sky bridges, and explore a scenic Smoky Mountain Creek cascades. Your last zip is the Highline, our fantastic final zip that is 1300 feet and flies you 120 feet above the river!
River Ziplines Tour: A terrific introduction to to adventure ziplining. The River Ziplines Tour is a shorter version of the full course. You’ll fly across the Big Pigeon River twice on the awesome 1300 foot long Highline zip, and navigate 3 treetop sky bridges and 5 more zips before returning to the ground!
Our canopy tours will now accommodate kids 8 yrs. old and up with a minimum weight of 60 lbs. (1 adult/kid under 12 yrs. old).”
From their website: “Opened in 2008, Wahoo Ziplines was the first in the Smokies. Wahoo has approximately 2 miles of cables threaded through beech and oak forests at various elevations. From above, under or through, these cables attain heights 40 to 250 feet from the ground. Guides divulge fun and wild shenanigans for you to perform on each line as you fly through the Tennessee sky!”
“Come create the stories your family will always talk about! Our top-rated and world-class Mountaintop Zipline tour is nestled right across the street from the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, you can explore one of the most beautiful places on earth in a unique and exciting way. What we don’t offer is cheap thrills. Our tours are guided, educational, immersed-in-nature, 5-star, oh-my-goodness-look-at-that-view, step-out-of-your-comfort-zone type of experiences that the whole family will be talking about for years.
Soar high above the mountain top on our NEW dual-line Mountaintop Zipline Tour – you’ll experience higher vantage points and longer lines than ever before. Take in epic 360˚ panoramic views of the Great Smoky Mountains from each platform and learn about the rich history of the Smokies. Along the tour you will zip side-by-side on six dual zip lines, walk across four aerial bridges, rappel off one of our platforms, and enjoy a fun ATV adventure to the top of the mountain.”
Zip above our beautiful, 70-acre nature park with views of the Smoky Mountains on 7 unique ziplines that are up to 2,000-feet long. Within a few minutes of the start of your tour you’ll be away from the noise of the city and into, or above, the forest.
Dual Racing Lines Challenge your friends and family to a race across the sky! Zipline side by side for bragging rights at high speed. Strike your most aerodynamic pose and leave your challenger behind.
Safety Safety is our top priority so you can focus on the fun. We do detailed inspections routinely on our lines and our equipment is checked daily by our professionally trained experts. Our employees are carefully chosen and trained at the highest level, understanding every aspect of proper zipline safety.”
We have the best canopy / zipline course available in these parts by far. Our full course includes the most thrilling experience ever. We have 2 miles of zipline / canopy tour, high flying adventure, and 6 lines! They are all built unique and with different breath-taking scenery. Each line has a different surprise waiting for you around the corner. Other ziplines just can’t compare!
Leave your fears and worries behind as you experience the thrill of a lifetime at Jayell Ranch’s Ziplines! Prepare for high-flying fun as you harness up and glide through the air on this thrilling, action-packed zipline adventure. Experience a rush as you soar, mountain to mountain, over the trees, with breathtaking views of our surrounding mountain ranges, including beautiful views of Mount Leconte and North Carolina.
You will be assisted by our well-trained and experienced staff. They will fit each guest with a 5-point harness, helmet and all the appropriate gear. They will go over all of the procedures that you will need to ensure a safe and thrilling zipline adventure.
Our facility and equipment is inspected regularly and meets or exceeds all industry standards. Ages 2 and up are welcome.”
There’s adventure for everyone at Foxfire Mountain Adventure Park! We have a wide variety of attractions for people of all ages. Book your visit online or contact us today!
We have 3 zipline tours:
Waterfall Canopy Zipline Tour Seven ziplines and two skybridges. Zip through the tree canopy, and fly over the lost mine waterfall and the creek. Start with 3 intro lines, then take a ride to the higher lines. Age Requirements: 7+ Years Weight Requirement: 45 – 265lbs
Goliath Zipline Tour Five of the fastest and longest ziplines in the country. Zip up to 60 mph, over 1/3 mile long and over 500ft high (higher than the statue of Lady Liberty). An adrenaline pumping, exhilarating experience. Age Requirement: 10+ Years Weight Requirement: 100 – 250lbs
Ultimate Zipline Tour The ultimate package. A total experience for the thrill seeker! Up for the challenge? Complete both the Waterfall Zipline and the Goliath Zipline Tours in one day. That’s twelve lines across the sky. Tour with one of our expert guides. The entire experience may last up to 4 hours.”
Look, we know teenagers love shopping and we know the American experience known as the “mall”, in its cultural parlance, has been pushed into obscurity as the internet took hold in bringing the world together… to shop. These two things can exist in the same timeline and dimension in 2022, and the place to find that dimensional nexus point is the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee!
We do actually have some pretty awesome Smoky Mountain malls here in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, Sevierville and such that have been reliable places for teens for decades (even during the 90s and 2000s, the teenagerest years in American history!) and in this article, we’ll lay that info out for you and the teens (or just you if you are a teen looking up the Smokies for whatever reason possessed you).
Shops Of Interest To Teens:
– American Eagle Outfitters
– Ben & Jerry’s
– Earthbound Trading Co.
– Hot Topic
– Old Navy
– Rue 21
– Under Armour/Under Armour Youth
Shops Of Interest To Teens:
– The Rhythm Section
– Cowboy Way
– Martial Arts Superstore
– Smoky Mountain Novelties
– The Hemp Store
– Doug Wyatt Music (Guitar and Synthesizer Shop)
– Smoky Mountain Tactical
We often get this question and have also traveled with kids so we want to give you some suggestions that cover many thoughts and ideas.
As far as Discounted Kids Meals or Free Kids Meals, please contact the restaurant to be sure they are continuing the most recent deals we are aware of.
Cici’s Pizza allows kids 3 and under to eat for $1.99, includes drink.
Golden Coral allows the 3 and under to eat free with an adult meal.
Texas Roadhouse allows older kids eat for $2.99 with an adult meal.
Shoney’s allows kids under 4 to eat with an adult at no cost.
We hope you like these suggestions. There are so many more but these are some of our favorites.
Frizzle Chicken Farmhouse.
Located in Pigeon Forge, on the parkway, this restaurant is also an affordable choice as they honor kids with a free meal with an adult! 100 singing chickens will entertain the kids while they wait for their food!
Big Daddy’s Pizza
Located in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, we can recommend this place for its excellent pizza and menu that accommodates many diet types families may have. Find a great atmosphere and excellent food at Big Daddy’s Pizza. Find arcade games and good diet choices.
Because Pizza is a popular family choice, you will find many Pizza Places. Mellow Mushroom is on the parkway in Pigeon Forge along with Big Daddy’s we mention above. You will find a Pappa Johns, Dominos, Little Caesars, and Pizza Hut in each community. Genos Pizza is on the Parkway in Pigeon Forge and also will delivery about anywhere. Pick up Pizza by the slice and many other delicious ready made and price friendly things at Weigel’s stores.
Breakfast and the Pancake Houses.
The Flapjacks Pancake Houses and Reagan’s Pancake House and the Log Cabin Pancake Houses are ALL GREAT! There is an IHOP in town on the Parkway between Sevierville and Pigeon Forge also if that is a favorite. You will find the Pancake House type restaurants in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville and really all of them are very good. If you happen to be in Wears Valley give Hillbilly’s Restaurant a try!
In this small article, we wanted to highlight a recent trip to the Sunliner Diner restaurant in Pigeon Forge and their clever integration of Pigeon Forge identity and the listing of food items and services commonly referred to as a “menu”. We just wanted to highlight this bit of creativity you can find from a newer and very popular restaurant in our area!
Yes, the menu for their burgers, fries, chicken tenders, waffles, chicken and waffles, appetizers, meatloaf, fish and chips, sandwiches and more are all printed on the back of this page. It’s a wonderfully nice touch for a restaurant designed to make you feel like you’ve gone back a couple eras!
Want to know what some of the most varied unsung heroes of Smoky Mountain tourism are? The fudge shoppes. From downtown Gatlinburg to midway through Sevierville, the main connected road has more than a few cocoa confectionery places with a variety of flavors to suit tastes, along with sugar-free fudge available at many of the stores. Most fudge that can be purchased come in candy stores that offer even more taste-tackular options for the sugar-craven.
Here are some fudge places to hop through listed here:
From their website: “Appalachia has long been a haven for homemade candies. The Old Mill Candy Kitchen proudly carries on this regional tradition, with fudges, brittles, divinity, caramels, taffy, hand-dipped chocolates, and hard candies to satisfy every sweet tooth. From bubbling copper kettles cooking up brittle to our vintage taffy-wrapping machine, The Old Mill Candy Kitchen is filled with old-time candy-making fun. And we add a fresh twist with seasonal favorites and our own innovations like our famous Bear Paws. Stop by or shop online today!”
From their website: “See taffy being made daily in our stores (times vary somewhat). Choose your favorite flavors or grab a handful of assorted. The copper kettle fudge is our original recipe, and really is handmade in copper kettles. Choose assorted or your favorite flavor, a handy knife is included (Peanut Butters are not included in assortments). Marble slab homemade fudge is a new recipe and comes in 8 oz. slabs all the way up to 6 pound slabs. Great for parties and family get-togethers! Our hand-dipped chocolate candies come in an assortment of nut clusters, caramels, pecan turtles and jellies. A wonderful choice for gift giving or sampling.”
From their website: “Fresh delicious fudge. Seasonal and year around programs. Low minimum orders. We combine sugar, pure cream, butter, corn syrup and the base flavoring to make each batch. For example, we use real imported Dutched Chocolate for the chocolate bases and pure natural vanilla extract for the vanilla bases. All the base ingredients are combined in a big copper pot and cooked until they reach the correct temperature. The base is then poured onto a marble slab and allowed to cool. After about 10 minutes of creaming air into the fudge it begins to get thick and its much harder to toss. That’s when we swap out the paddle for a small spatula and continue the creaming process. The final step is for you to come and enjoy some for yourself!”
From their website: “We at Kilwins always enjoy serving you the highest quality, best tasting products we possibly can. As we work through the recovery phase of the pandemic our caring store owners are doing their best to serve you. Each store is now open subject to that store’s specific needs, requirements and guidance from national, state, and local authorities. We continue our concern and support for those impacted by the pandemic with our number one concern being health and safety. Please call your local store or select the “Locations” link at the top of this page to find a Kilwins store near you for store hours or any questions you may have. Thank you very much for your patronage, which we really appreciate. We continue to do our very best.”
From their website: “Homemade sweets and treats made from scratch. Between salt water taffy, creamy fudge, crisp caramel apples, gourmet popcorn and gelato you are sure to find something to satisfy your sweet tooth. Come on down, meet our friendly staff and taste the best candies in the Smokies! Free samples anyone?”
Now that the Winter Holidays are done for another 10 months or so, we enter a quieter season of the other half of Winterfest in the Smokies. Don’t think that there isn’t anything worth coming to Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg and Wears Valley, though, with the special events no longer the big focus of the season, there are different things that these Winter months provide visitors and locals alike.
And the biggest one of them is snow.
Although we do often see some snowfall before January, and 2019 into 2020 showed us a little more snow than usual, our real season for snow doesn’t begin until after the near year begins. We see our biggest snowfalls in January, February and sometimes in March as well. We usually get at least one really good snowfall of several inches at once, good enough to close local schools for a week, but we don’t always know when we can expect that snowfall to come in. Therefore many people come to the Smokies wondering where they can see the snow, because it is possible for snow to come in with short notice while they are vacation, and there are major elevation differences where it is possible to see snow high in the mountains even when it’s reasonably mild on the parkway in Pigeon Forge.
Here are our recommendations of how to enjoy snow in the Smokies and where to find them:
Ober Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge Snow
The first recommendations are sort of a cheat, but if you want to be as close to guaranteed snow-styled fun in the Smokies, Ober Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge Snow are the best places for them. The reason for this is they CREATE their own snow at their attraction establishments daily – Ober Gatlinburg from early-mid December to around the start of the March (give or take a week) and Pigeon Forge Snow all-year-round. Ober Gatlinburg creates snow so winter sports enthusiasts can get their snowboarding, skiing, snow tubing, ice skating and fill of more while Pigeon Forge Snow offers indoor snow tubing and a snow play area for the little’uns. And don’t forget the views you can see from the Ober Gatlinburg attraction and its gondola cars.
Newfound Gap is also somewhat tricky as it comes with the caveat that, often, when there is snow, the National Park Service will close sections of the road for safety. That being said, because Newfound Gap is the road that goes straight into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, connecting Gatlinburg to Cherokee, even if the road is closed at the Sugarlands Visitors Center, you will still get quite a lot of gorgeous views of the snow covering the dense and lush surrounding forest – and the Visitors Center itself and the outdoor trails to it are usually open during snowfall as well. This author himself has hiked the nearby trail when 2 or more inches of snow had fallen and shut down much of the rest of the town. It was an extremely memorable experience.
Gatlinburg SkyLift and SkyBridge
The Gatlinburg SkyLift is one of the oldest attractions in town and has consistently provided decades of views and atmospheric wonder for Gatlinburg visitors. They have a much newer attraction and one that got national attention with the SkyBridge that was completed in 2019. The SkyBridge is the longest pedestrian suspension bridge on the continent and both the Lift and the Bridge will give you incredible views of snow-covered Smoky Mountains – some that were previously unable to obtain without a drone.
Short of turning yourself into a bird, there is no better way to see the sights of Gatlinburg from the center of the city than the impossible-to-miss Space Needle. The Space Needle takes visitors over 400 feet above the ground of the downtown strip and allows for full 360 degree views of the city, the woods, the mountains and the peaks of the mountains as well as coin-operated super binocular stations that let you see incredibly close up on the city and those distant, white-covered peaks. Practically no visit to Gatlinburg is complete without going to the Gatlinburg Space Needle.