The Christmas lights and decorations might be packed away for another year at your house, but there's still plenty of winter fun to be had in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, TN. Enchanting light shows delight everyone from toddlers to grownups, well-groomed slopes challenge any skier, and lots of local food and music make wintertime in the Great Smoky Mountains a family favorite.
Sevierville's Winter Wonderland
All season long, the streets of Sevierville are transformed into a magical dreamscape filled with sparkling lights, food, and fun. Local businesses welcome out-of-town guests with specials on dining, gifts, and more, so be sure to plan for a day or two just to explore and take in the sights.
Saddle Up! in Pigeon Forge
Don't forget to bring your boots and cowboy hat, because the 14th annual Saddle Up! event is coming up quickly. Treat yourself to the music, storytelling, and food, all with a western flair.
The four-day festival kicks off February 19 and includes legendary performers Boys in the Bunkhouse, Hot Club of Cowtown, Andy Nelson, and more. In addition, you'll enjoy a foot-stompin' cowboy dance, delectable chuck-wagon cook-off, and entertaining history lessons all about the culture of the Wild West. This is a "don't miss" event that brings visitors back year after year.
Outdoor Activities for the Entire Family
The Great Smoky Mountains are teeming with thousands of species of plants and animals, and Wilderness Wildlife Week, from January 25 through February 1, 2014, is the perfect time to get to know them. Whether your passion is fly-fishing, black bears, or even wildflowers, you'll find dozens of fun, educational programs to attend during the 25th annual event. Seminars and workshops provide an introduction to the area and its history – both natural and human – and guided hikes encourage visitors to see the mountains in a new perspective.
Both adults and kids will find activities to suit them, so bring the whole family for an entertaining week. Your trip to the Smokies will be a far richer experience when you see the beauty and history of the area during Wilderness Wildlife Week.
If you just can't get enough of the snow, be sure to hit the slopes at Ober Gatlinburg for a day of skiing and snowboarding with the family. With nine groomed runs and an anything-goes terrain park for thrill seekers, Gatlinburg's only ski resort is a favorite stop for skiers of all skill levels.
Whether you're looking for a way to enjoy the rest of what winter has to offer, or you just need a place to escape the day-to-day, the Great Smoky Mountains are a fantastic destination the entire family will love. From history to music to outdoor fun, there truly is something for everyone at Winterfest. Make plans to bring the kids this winter. It might just turn into your new favorite family tradition.
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.