As the holiday season draws to a close, there's just one more celebration to plan: New Year's Eve. Don't spend another New Year watching the excitement on television. Join in the fun and create a new holiday tradition with your family in the Great Smoky Mountains.
Plan to kick off the New Year at the 26th Annual New Year's Eve Ball Drop and Fireworks Show in downtown Gatlinburg. The annual event draws crowds from all over the country to experience a street party unlike any other. You'll find live musical entertainment leading up to the big event, plus local restaurants and other businesses offer special celebrations of their own. At midnight, all eyes are on the 324-foot Space Needle to watch, as the lighted ball counts off the final seconds of the year, followed by a spectacular fireworks show to usher in 2014 in style.
There's more to see and do in Gatlinburg this New Year's than just witness the end of 2013, though. Surrounded by the splendor of the Great Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge offer activities for the entire family.
Outdoor Enthusiasts Will Love the Skiing
Just a short jaunt from downtown Gatlinburg you'll find the area's most famous attraction: Ober Gatlinburg. Grab your skis and hop aboard the aerial tramway for a trip that's nearly as fun as your destination. As the city falls away below, panoramic views greet you at every turn before you reach the top and a fun-filled day of winter sports.
Love to ski? Ober Gatlinburg features nine groomed runs ranging from beginner to advanced, including a freestyle terrain park where nearly anything goes. For more-casual fun, head over to the tubing hill and enjoy rocketing down the slope on a spinning inner tube. When it's time for a break, you'll find hot drinks and good food in one of several on-location restaurants, plus an indoor ice arena and arcade.
If you just can't get enough of shopping, you'll quickly discover a spectacular variety of locally made gifts and souvenirs. Home to one of the country's largest arts-and-crafts communities, the Gatlinburg area features the world-famous 8-mile Tennessee Heritage Arts & Crafts Trail. Established in 1937, this must-see destination offers shoppers a chance to not only purchase one-of-a-kind items, but also you'll actually get to meet and chat with the talented artists who live and work here.
While many New Year's destinations are for grownups, Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are known for their family-friendly atmosphere and attractions. Kids of all ages will enjoy dinner with the Hatfields and McCoys as they carry on their hilarious family feuding, or sit back and watch the lumberjacks battle it out for the chance to be named the fastest tree cutter in Tennessee. Up for something a little more…odd? Be sure to stop by Ripley's Believe It or Not for a glimpse at some truly fascinating artifacts.
Kick off 2014 with a family-friendly New Year's celebration in Gatlinburg, TN. Skiing and sledding promise adventure for everyone, while the world-famous arts-and-crafts community provides plenty of excuses for shopping. On the big night, you'll all enjoy the excitement of ringing in the New Year amid the lights and crowds downtown.
Jon Hoffman is Reservations Manager of Volunteer Cabin Rentals specializing in Smoky Mountain rental cabins in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, TN. Visit them today at http://www.volunteercabinrentals.com to book cabins for weddings, vacations, reunions and other special events.