The winter season brings cooler temperatures and the magic of the holidays. There are plenty of things to do in the winter in Pigeon Forge and the surrounding areas!

Why The Winter Season a Great Time To Visit Dollywood

Winter is a perfect time to visit Dollywood, especially during the Smoky Mountain Christmas. the park transforms into a winter wonderland with over 6 million twinkling lights and festive decor everywhere, creating a magical atmosphere. You can enjoy holiday shows like “Christmas in the Smokies” and “Twas the Night Before Christmas”. They also have a new nightly Christmas drone show, new seasonal festival foods and You can even see Santa!

When Does the Winter season start and end at Dollywood?

 Dollywood kicks off the winter season on November 1st through January 5th. From the moment the park opens at 11 a.m., visitors can enjoy all of Dollywood’s winter celebration. Whether it’s strolling through beautifully decorated pathways, enjoying rides, or eating all of the holiday food, there’s something for everyone to enjoy during this special time of year.

When Is The Best Time To Visit in the Winter Season?

The first week of November and the first two weeks of December are highly recommended. The week following Halloween in November is typically quiet and the first two weeks of December normally give you the opportunity to experience the decorations, shows and rides without the intense crowds that come with Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Watch out for holidays, like Thanksgiving and school winter breaks. If you want to enjoy with less crowds, you should plan your visit during the week if possible.

How is The Weather During the Winter Months at Dollywood?

Here’s a look at what weather to expect during your winter getaway to Dollywood:

Tip: Keep in mind, these temperature ranges are averages, and the weather can vary.
Always double check the weather before your trip.

Packing Tips and Essentials for The Colder Weather

Layered Clothing

Consider packing clothes that can be layered for your winter visit as the weather can get chilly, especially if you’re not used to cold temperatures. That way, you can take off layers and put them back if needed.

Winter Jacket

Investing in a good winter jacket is essential. The Smoky Mountains can be cold, and a reliable winter jacket ensures you stay warm and cozy during your visit.

Tech-Friendly Gloves

Don’t forget to pack tech-friendly gloves to keep your hands warm while you use your phone. I’ve been in situations where I didn’t have them, and it was inconvenient to remove my gloves every time I wanted to take a picture or use my phone.


Handwarmers provide a boost of warmth, keeping your hands toasty, especially when you’re spending extended periods outdoors.

Power Bank

Electronic device batteries tend to drain faster in the cold. By Having a power bank you can quickly recharge any device on the go.

Umbrella or Poncho

It’s always a good idea to carry a small, portable umbrella or a waterproof poncho just in case you get unexpected rain.

Unique Winter Flavors at Dollywood

Here are just a few of the delicious winter flavors you might find at Dollywood’s 2024 season;

  • Holiday Turkey Dinner:

    Oven roasted turkey breast cooked with savory spices like thyme, sage and rosemary.

  • Red Velvet Peppermint Cupcakes:

    Treat your sweet tooth to these festive flavors of red velvet complemented by refreshing peppermint—a perfect pair.

  • Loaded Potato Soup:

    This hot, creamy soup has potatoes, bacon, cheddar, chives and topped with crema – Perfect to warm up on a cold day.

  • 3 Been Beef Chili:

    Warm up with this delicious chili that has cannellini, pinto & kidney beans, ground beef and it comes with a cheddar corn muffin.

  • Eggnog Cheesecake:

    Made with rich eggnog , cream cheese and a gingersnap crust, this is the perfect cheesecake for Christmas!

What Can You Find at Dollywood In The Winter

Dolly Parton’s Theme Park at winter time is something out of a Christmas movie, especially at night. It’s also a time for the park’s most beloved event: Smoky Mountain Christmas.
Here are just a few things you will find at Dollywood during their winter celebration besides all of your favorite rides & attractions;

  • Enchanting Atmosphere:

    During the winter season, Dollywood is filled with holiday spirit!. They have a 50 foot Christmas tree, decorations, festive tunes and holiday cheer everywhere you look.

  • Over Six Million Holiday Lights:

    The heart of Smoky Mountain Christmas is the mesmerizing light display of over 6 million dazzling lights that fill the park. It turns Dollywood into a winter wonderland!.
  • Award Winning Holiday Shows:

    Dollywood has heartwarming holiday shows and performances during the winter season that can only be enjoyed during this time of year, like “Christmas in the Smokies” and “Twas the Night Before Christmas”. These shows are amazing and can be enjoyed together with the entire family.

  • Festive Treats:

    Winter at Dollywood means trying new holiday dishes and treats!. Every year they come up with a new “Festival Menu”. This year’s dining options include savory foods like Pork Belly Skillet, Christmas Toastie Sandwich or Chipotle Turkey Nachos.

    If you have a sweet tooth, you will not be disappointed! There’s many sweet treats to try like Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream Sandwich or a Hot Cocoa or Eggnog Cupcake. These are just some of the holiday treats you will find at Dollywood’s Christmas Festival. You can see their Full Menu here.

If you want to learn everything about Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas, Click Here to find out all you need to know!

Exploring Nearby Seasonal Events 

There are plenty of local events to choose from in the Smoky Mountains to keep you in the Holiday Spirit. Here are a few;

Nearby Beyond Holiday Activities

There’s more to enjoy beyond just holiday festivities in the Smoky Mountains during the winter season. Here are some of the many local attractions to explore during your winter visit.

Ober Gatlinburg Ski Area & Amusement Park

Ober Gatlinburg has so many fun things to do in every season! Here are 2 of our favorite things to do as a family there;

Show off your most impressive skating moves at Ober Gatlinburg’s Ice Skating rink!
This 140 X 75-foot rink is the centerpiece of Ober’s indoor mall and is open year-round.
Regardless of the weather outside, you can always strap on a pair of skates and enjoy some winter fun! Ober’s rink is great for skaters of all ages and levels. If you are just starting and need extra help, They have a handrail that goes all around the rink’s perimeter. 

During the winter season, Ober Gatlinburg also offers snow tubing fun for the entire family!
Sessions are 90 minutes long. The Tubing Hill is 350 feet long with a 50 foot total drop and they have a  “Magic Carpet” (outdoor escalator) that takes you back to the top of the hill after each run.

Kiddos must be at least age 6 years old & 42″ tall to ride alone. Kids Ages 3 – 5 must ride with an adult 18 years or older. Ages 2 & under or pregnant mamas can’t go tubing.

You can check out all of their activities/rates here.

Family Adventures at Rowdy Bear’s Smoky Mountain Snowpark:

This adventure park is home to some exciting rides like the Tubing Hill, Outdoor Axe Throwing, and Avalanche Snow Coaster

Snow Tubing Hill

Grab your family and friends to go have some fun Snow Tubing! Tubing sessions are 90 minutes long and the lanes are over 500’ in length with a 70’ drop and they have two Magic Carpet Conveyors back to the top of the hill.

You Must be at least 48″ tall to ride alone and Kiddos must be 40″ tall to ride with an adult over the age of 18. Pregnant Mamas can’t go tubing.

Avalanche Snow Coaster

Strap in for an awesome ride and ride through the hills! You control the speed on this coaster, Pull the handle back to speed up, or push the handle forward to slow down.

You must be 51″ tall to ride alone and Kiddos 40″ tall have to ride with an adult. Max weight per cart is 440lbs.

Outdoor Axe Throwing

See how good your aim is with an Axe Throwing activity! Their trained staff will be there to assist you the whole time and teach your own to properly throw your axe. Must be 10 years and older to participate.

Enjoy and make beautiful memories and new traditions together, have fun!
Did you visit Dollywood during their Winter Wonderland festival or any other activity in the area? Share your experience with us in the comments!

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