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Thanksgiving in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge: Top 5 Activities for Your Holiday Getaway

thanksgiving dinner on the table
November 1, 2019

If you’re looking for something different this Thanksgiving, we recommend celebrating the holiday in the Great Smoky Mountains! The breathtaking scenery of East Tennessee provides the perfect backdrop for a few days spent enjoying food and fun with the people you love the most. When you stay at one of our cabins in the foothills of the mountains, you will have the perfect home away from home for your getaway. To help you make the most of your Thanksgiving in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Timber Tops Cabin Rentals has put together a guide to all of the wonderful holiday activities going on in the Smokies.

1. Have a Thanksgiving Meal at Your Cabin or in Town

A tasty plate of Thanksgiving food.

Food is at the center of any Thanksgiving vacation, and visitors to the Smokies will find a number of options when it comes to their big holiday meal. All of our cabin rentals in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge come with fully equipped kitchens, so the chef in your family can whip up a tasty feast for everyone to enjoy. There are plenty of grocery stores in the area, so you can pick up all of the ingredients you need to make your favorite Thanksgiving dinner in Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge!

On the other hand, there are some vacationers who also want to take a vacation from cooking (and we don’t blame them!). Fortunately, there are lots of excellent restaurants in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge that serve fantastic Thanksgiving meals. Here are a few eateries open in Thanksgiving with special holiday menus:

2. See the Winterfest Lights

During the holiday season, the cities of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are decorated with millions of beautiful lights. After your Thanksgiving dinner, you can drive around town to see these lovely LED displays. In addition to traditional Christmas scenes, the gorgeous displays also depict local landmarks like The Old Mill and animals that are native to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Visitors can pick up a free map of all the light displays in Pigeon Forge at the city’s trolley office or welcome center.

3. Enjoy Fireworks at the Titanic Museum Attraction

thanksgiving day fireworks

Every year, the Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge celebrates Thanksgiving with an incredible fireworks display. The breathtaking pyrotechnics are a tribute to the 2,000+ passengers and crew members on the Titanic, along with their brave rescuers. The fireworks will begin at 7 p.m. on Thanksgiving and will be visible from the Parkway. In previous years, the festivities at the Titanic Museum have also included costumed characters and falling snow.

4. Visit the Great Smoky Thanksgiving Arts & Crafts Show

The annual Arts & Crafts Show is another can’t-miss event for anyone spending Thanksgiving in Gatlinburg. Running for six days during the week of Thanksgiving, this popular tradition brings hundreds of skilled artisans and craftspeople to the Gatlinburg Convention Center. All of the artists are members of the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community, which is the largest group of independent artisans in the United States.

The Thanksgiving Arts & Crafts Show is the perfect place to get a jump on your holiday shopping! During the event, the convention center will be filled with handcrafted gifts and souvenirs, including paintings, photography, stuffed animals, pottery, jewelry, wood carvings, baskets, candles, and so much more. All of the artists will be on hand to chat about their products and answer any questions you may have.

5. Experience the Smoky Mountain Christmas Festival at Dollywood

Dollywood sign at Christmas

If you’re ready to get into the Christmas spirit right after Thanksgiving, a trip to Dollywood is definitely in order! From November through the end of the year, the Pigeon Forge theme park hosts the annual Smoky Mountain Christmas Festival . This beloved festival transforms the park into a winter wonderland, complete with four million sparkling Christmas lights.

The Smoky Mountain Christmas Festival is famous for its spectacular entertainment. Guests can attend a variety of holiday-themed shows, including an adaptation of It’s a Wonderful Life, a gospel concert from the Kingdom Heirs quartet, and a Nativity story. Other highlights of the festival include the nightly Parade of Many Colors, Santa Land, and meet and greets with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and his friends.

Ready to start planning your Thanksgiving in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge? Browse our wonderful selection of cabins in the Smoky Mountains!

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