2018 Holiday Dates and Special Events

What to Do in the Smoky Mountains

“Live with No Excuses and Travel with No Regrets”

Now that the new year has arrived, you’re likely wondering how you can spend more time with family, get outdoors more often, and enjoy some “me” time. We like the way you think! Don’t let 2018 get away without doing all of those things in the Great Smoky Mountains. Here’s a full year of reasons why you should pack a bag and head to the Smokies!

2018 Vacation Cabin Specials
1 Night Free | 2 Nights Free | Return Guest Discounts
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January 1-February 28
Smoky Mountain Winterfest: Winterfest is in full swing through February 28 with winter light displays throughout the county. Enjoy a Gatlinburg Trolley Ride of Lights on select dates through January 27.

January 1 (Monday)
New Year’s Day

January 15 (Monday)
Martin Luther King Jr. Day

February 14 (Wednesday)
Valentine’s Day

February 19 (Monday)
President’s Day

March 2-3
Spring Corvette Expo: Enjoy a horsepower & hotrod show, swap meet, sales corral and Corvette Cruise all starting and taking place at the Pigeon Forge Convention Center.

March 3-4
11th Annual Chuck Wagon Cookoff

March 11 (Sunday)
Spring Forward

March 17 (Friday)
St. Patricks Day
Dollywood Opening Day

March 17-April 9
Dollywood Festival of Nations: Culture in the form of costume, music, dance and food comes to Pigeon Forge from across the globe.

March 20-24
A Mountain Quiltfest: Annual Pigeon Forge quilt show featuring quilting classes for registered participants and a quilt show for the public.  Registration is Open!

March 21-24
Ponies in the Smokies – Unique Car Show featuring 55 years of Mustangs! Sevierville Convention Center.

March 29-31
Great Smoky Easter Arts & Crafts Show: Artists from the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community gather under one roof at the Gatlinburg Convention Center.

April 1 (Sunday)

April 7-8
Spring Smoky Mountain Trout […]

Plan Your Way to a Family Vacation

2018 Great Family Vacation

A brand, spanking new year is right around the corner! You may have a crisp new day planner you’re itching to put ink to, if you’re old school. There is something about looking ahead into the coming months that fills us with excitement, especially if one or more family vacations are in the offing. There are a few things you can do to ensure your whole crew has a great time.

First, make sure you have your first-choice accommodations lined up as far in advance as possible. When coming to the Smokies, cabin rentals include intimate and romantic one-bedroom cabins for two, up to five bedrooms that accommodate as many as 14 people. You’ll have a wealth of amenity choices too! Summer and fall are peak vacation times, but every season in the Smoky Mountains is something to experience. Watch for monthly specials and last minute deals if you can’t book now.

Second, get your vehicle a road worthy checkup. Once you arrive safe and sound, you may want to park your ride and take advantage of the area’s mountain rentals including street-legal UTVs, Jeeps, or motorcycles. Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge also offer city-wide trolley routes with fares from $.50-$2.00. (Limited operating hours during January-March.)

The best vacations are a nice mix of the spontaneous and the carefully planned! Make sure you bring your “must-do” activities list with time built in to simply relax or explore all of Sevier County. When planning a visit, you’ll want to find out “what’s happening” on local events calendars for fun and often free festivals, concerts and outdoor activities. And no visit to the Smokies is complete without spending a day at Dollywood or immersing yourself in the Great […]

By |December 8th, 2017|Great Smoky Mountains, Things to Do|0 Comments

New Years Eve

New Years Eve Celebrations
If you are ringing in 2018 in the Great Smoky Mountains, there are plenty of exciting ways to get it done right! There is truly something for everyone. Whether you prefer a loud bash or a quiet, intimate evening in a chalet, a variety of venues in the Great Smoky Mountains can help you start 2018 in a memorable way.
The kids will get a bang out of the “Noon Year’s Eve” celebration geared especially for them at The Titanic Museum! They’ll get a daytime version of a grownup’s midnight party, complete with a countdown to a Noon Year Balloon Drop, a museum tour, and a meet-and-greet with Alice in Wonderland and The Mad Hatter. Tickets are $10 for patrons aged 12 and under and $28.50 for adults.

Everyone in your crowd will want to be front and center for the legendary annual Gatlinburg New Year’s Eve Ball Drop and Fireworks Show in downtown! You’ll rub shoulders with fifty thousand revelers in a great mood to welcome the brand-new year, full of possibilities! Get there early and claim a parking spot near the Space Needle. Enjoy great live music and a truly festive atmosphere leading up to the fireworks show and ball drop! As 2018 rolls in, fireworks will be launched from the top of the 400-foot-tall Space Needle to the sounds of choreographed music and LED lights. Make a memory to last a lifetime at this special event.

Fans of The Smoky Mountain Opry Theater will want to be right on time (8 p.m.) for the start of the venue’s 2017 New Year’s Eve Party. After viewing the world-famous variety show “Christmas at the Smoky Mountain Opry,” party-goers will view the NYC Times Square […]

Christmas in the Smokies

A Smoky Mountains Christmas
Nothing spells Christmas joy better than celebrating Christmas in the Smokies in a cozy log cabin in the Great Smoky Mountains. Stockings arranged on the mantel while a fire roars in the fireplace, mom or dad flipping pancakes and frying sausage and – if you’re lucky – a light snow falling. If you can picture that, you can experience it! Plan now to spend the sacred season in these beautiful hills and make memories to last a lifetime.

You might think that leaving home behind means ditching tradition, but nothing could be further from the truth. The cozy, homey vibe of the hundreds of rental cabins and chalets in the Great Smoky Mountains makes for an enhancement of all of your normal family traditions. With all there is to see and do here, you can add new traditions! Most cabins have full kitchens opening to the family room, which means traditional meals can be served just the way they would be at home, with an emphasis on togetherness.

Some cabins are already decorated for Christmas by their owners and sit ready for renters to enjoy the season surrounded by cheer. If you rent one that is not, ask ahead if you can bring your own Christmas tree. You could revive an ancient Christmas tradition which calls for putting up and decorating the tree on Christmas Eve.

If you’re like most families and enjoy driving and looking at Christmas lights, a cup of steaming hot chocolate in hand, you are in for a real treat up here! Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland near Sevierville is a MUST-SEE drive-through Christmas light extravaganza. At only $25 per car or vanload, it’s a steal of a deal considering the high quality […]

By |November 17th, 2017|Holiday Celebration, Smoky Mountain Lodging|0 Comments

Cabins Decorated for Christmas Vacation

Pigeon Forge & Gatlinburg Cabins Decorated for Christmas Vacation
Considering gifting your family a Christmas vacation instead of ‘stuff’? In our busy and electronic lives filled with too much stuff, clutter and chaos, give your family the best gift ever: the experience of a Smoky Mountains Christmas.

We all know that things don’t last forever, but memories do! Here are just a few reasons why you should give the gift of a Christmas vacation in the Smokies…

1) The Smoky Mountains are a beautiful place to visit in every season, and we do the holidays like no other place you’ve been.

2) Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg are lit up with Christmas lights from beginning to end.   All three cities offer trolley rides or self-guided auto tours for viewing all the whimsical and traditional light displays.

3) There’s heartwarming entertainment at a variety of Christmas shows at Pigeon Forge theaters and Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas festival.

4) Spending time with nature isn’t limited to summer.   The mild East Tennessee weather invites you to take a cold weather hike, enjoy our welcome centers, and ski the slopes at Ober Gatlinburg.

5) Save money.   Considering the cost of individual gifts, you just might find that taking a vacation is less expensive and the value of family time is priceless!

There is no price that can be put on the family experience of exploring the Smoky Mountains, enjoying the area’s Christmas special events, spending quite time together, and even cooking a traditional Christmas dinner in the comforts of a Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg cabin. It’s what Christmas wishes are made of!

Heartland Rentals offers many cabins decorated for Christmas. Decorations vary from cabin to cabin, but you’ll find a Christmas tree, sparkling lights and […]

By |November 11th, 2017|Christian Event, Holiday Celebration|0 Comments

January Things to Do

January Special Events
Start the 2018 year off right by planning a winter vacation getaway in the Smoky Mountains.  Winterfest is in full swing and you can continue to enjoy things to do including the Christmas lights, trolley ride of lights, winter hiking and more!  Vacation in the Smokies this month for off season lodging discounts, less hustle, less bustle and fewer crowds.

Book Your New Year Vacation & Choose 1 Free Night or 2
Stay for 7 Nights, Pay for 5 | Stay for 4 Nights, Pay for 3
Valid January, 2018

1:  Titanic Museum Attraction Christmas & Winter Celebration
Inside and out, Titanic is magical during the winter holidays as it hails the arrival of Christmas with the seasons sights and sounds. After a tour of the Titanic’s holiday spirit, visit the Titanic Gift Shop for unique Christmas gift ideas and collectibles.

1- 4:  Smoky Mountain Christmas Festival at Dollywood
Dollywood remains filled with Christmas lights, music and themed entertainment through January 4. Don’t miss Dolly’s Parade of Many Colors on Showstreet at 8 p.m. each evening and the spectacular “It’s a Wonderful Life” production. Experience a winter wonderland like no other at Dollywood.

1- 7:  Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland
You don’t have to give up the magic of Christmas just yet!  Every night rain or shine it’s a Christmas Lights extravaganza at the Tennessee Smokies stadium in Kodak TN. From dusk to 10 p.m., experience the 1.5 miles driving tour through synchronous Christmas lights set to Christmas music.  Weekends are extremely busy, so a visit Monday-Thursday will help you avoid long lines. Visit online for pricing.

1- 31:  Gatlinburg Winter Magic Trolley Ride of Lights
A highlight of Gatlinburg’s Winterfest celebrations includes the trolley tour of Gatlinburg Winter Magic light displays.  Tours depart Ripley’s Aquarium Plaza at […]

December Winterfest Events and Christmas Celebrations

Celebrate the Season in the Smoky Mountains
It’s holiday celebration time in the Smokies and we are shining a few lights on special events and festivals taking place this December. Follow the Christmas lights from Sevierville to Gatlinburg and you’ll find Christmas shows, holiday dinners, music and dance in between. Bring your Christmas spirit or find it while you’re here!

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Gatlinburg’s 42nd Annual Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade: Thousands of people will line the streets well before the 7:30 p.m. parade kickoff so grab your chair or blanket and arrive early! Parade features lighted floats, marching bands, equestrian units and towering balloon characters. Parade starts on Hwy 321 and proceeds through downtown Gatlinburg to traffic light #10.

1-2, 8-9, 15-16
Winter Magic Tunes & Tales: Enjoy Christmas entertainment along the Parkway of downtown Gatlinburg with strolling performers, holiday music, and visits with Rudolph, Frosty the Snowman, and Santa’s Elves. Performances are from 5-9:30 p.m.

1- 3
Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community Christmas Craft Show: See members of the Gatlinburg Arts & Crafts Community as they gather under one roof at the Gatlinburg Convention Center to host their annual holiday show offering a unique Christmas shopping experience.

Pigeon Forge Christmas Shows: Most shows and dinner theaters begin their Christmas productions on November 1 and continue through New Year’s Eve. Christmas shows are offered by Country Tonite, Smoky Mountain Opry, Comedy Barn, Smith Family Theater and Sweet Fanny Adams. Christmas Dinner Shows include Hatfields & McCoys, Dixie Stampede and Biblical Times. Confirm operating schedules and showtimes with your chosen theatre.

1-January 4, 2018
Smoky Mountain Christmas Festival at Dollywood: The entire theme park will […]

Thanksgiving Dinner

In Cabin Thanksgiving Dinner
Going on vacation for the Thanksgiving holiday doesn’t mean you need to forego the traditional Thanksgiving dinner complete with turkey, ham and all the trimmings. If you’re staying the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge area, you have several flavorful and convenient options from which to choose. Book your cabin and order dinner for a relaxing and stress-free Thanksgiving in the Smoky Mountains.

Each of these local businesses offer “heat & eat” traditional dinners available for pick up as late as Thanksgiving day. Select their complete meals or create your own dinner menu with ala carte options. Plan ahead and order well in advance! You’ll want to confirm menu items, prices, and pick up dates and times because you sure don’t want to miss the big game spending time in the kitchen!


Bennett’s BBQ
2910 Parkway, Pigeon Forge | (865) 429-2200
714 River Road, Gatlinburg | (865) 436-2400
Sunday-Thursday: 8 a.m.-10 p.m.
Friday & Saturday: 8 a.m.-11 p.m.

Purchase your entire turkey dinner for up to 10 people or purchase an individual, whole smoked turkey or ham.

3584 Parkway, Pigeon Forge
(865) 453-7427
Open Thanksgiving Day at 8 a.m. for pickup

Choose Corky’s holiday meal package or create your own traditional dinner with individual ala carte menu items. There’s all the good stuff including Mac & Cheese!

Golden Corral
3610 Parkway, Pigeon Forge
513 Winfield Dunn Pkwy, Sevierville
(865) 774-8004

Offering prepared menus for feeding 6-8 or 10-12 people along with ala carte items including traditional and not so traditional fixin’s. No crowd too large!

HoneyBaked Ham
2740 Teaster Lane, Pigeon Forge
(865) 429-4267
Monday-Friday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Create your own menu with HoneyBaked Ham’s ‘Reserve for Pickup’ option. Order online and schedule date and time for in-store pick up.

Grocery Stores:

Food City Holiday Dinners
741 Dolly Parton Parkway, Sevierville […]

By |October 19th, 2017|Food, Holiday Celebration|0 Comments

Christmas at Dollywood

Celebrate Christmas Dollywood Style!
Stunning Christmas light displays. Dozens of family photo ops. Nonstop concerts to set the holiday mood. Plenty of delicious food and hot drinks to warm the body and the heart. Unique gifts for absolutely everyone on your list. We’re talking about Christmas at Dollywood, and this special holiday event is right around the corner!

Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas celebration is absolutely legendary in these parts. Why, it would not be Christmas at all without Dolly and her theme park full of fun and Christmas cheer that rocks and rolls this year from November 4, 2017 until January 1, 2018! It’s a Pigeon Forge Christmas party for all ages featuring good, wholesome family fun!

Dollywood is awash in over four million Christmas lights during this special annual celebration that’s become a family favorite for locals as well as visitors from around the world. There’s a beautiful parade every night at 8 p.m. on park operating days. Known as the Parade of Many Colors, this fairly new tradition treats park guests to gorgeous floats and dressed-up characters who interact with spectators. The parade is a way of celebrating Dolly Parton’s own family’s values, which were beautifully expressed in the popular NBC movie entitled “Christmas of many Colors: Circle of Love”.

Absolutely thrilling dramatic and musical performances light up venues throughout Dollywood during its Smoky Mountain Christmas. The professionals at Dollywood present “It’s a Wonderful Life,” the enduring Christmas classic, in a way that’s truly magical. It will move the most determined Scrooge in your entourage. There are also Christmas-themed performances from country and southern gospel singers and dramatic presentations highlighting the pre-eminent importance of the birth of Jesus Christ!

Your little ones will enjoy meeting Rudolph and friends […]

Thanksgiving in the Smoky Mountains

Enjoy a Thanksgiving Holiday Blessed by Nature
Want to make some great holiday memories away from home? Your Thanksgiving in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park can include some walks in nature that change the way you see our heavenly world up here where the air is clean.

Whether you have young children with you or the very elderly, anyone who can walk can get out on some of the park’s easier hiking trails and look for signs of fall in the park. It’s a great idea to make up a scavenger hunt-style game for the little ones…include trees, the songs of specific birds or other special sights within the park in a list of items to be checked off.  The reward could be a traditional Thanksgiving dinner cooked in your rental cabin, or a wonderful holiday meal at everyone’s favorite area restaurant!

If you have any budding biologists in your entourage, you may want to check out areas in the park where salamanders are abundant. Known as the “Salamander Capital of the World,” the Smokies are home to thirty species of this creature, including the “Hellbender,” which can grow up to nineteen inches in length. Mountain streams are alive with these sometimes very colorful creatures. They can be reclusive, but that will make the hunt through the fall colors even more exciting!

The park is replete with wild turkey. These rather large birds are resplendent when fanning their tail feathers! They are often seen in large groups in the ever-popular Cades Cove (a great place for picnics AND easy hiking). For tips on where to find these birds and other wildlife in the park, go to the National Park Service’s website and look for their “species mapper” tool! […]