Dollywood is known as one of the finest and most family-friendly destinations in the country. A theme park, it is also a cultural institution that introduces millions of visitors to many different elements of the Smokies region and the people who have lived there for centuries. Yet, for all of the amazing entertainment, food and activity that happens there throughout the year, it becomes an entirely enchanted spot at Christmas.
In fact, it is fair to say that Dollywood actually glows when the season comes around, and from November through January of every year, it becomes a perfect spot to bring kids of all ages.
The Main Christmas Events at Dollywood
The entire park takes on a winter wonderland appearance for the season, and visitors can enjoy:
- Parade of Many Colors
- Award-Winning Shows
- Visits with Rudolph and Friends
- Seasonal Dining
And illuminating all of this is more than four million holiday lights. In fact, beginning in 2018, the Dollywood park has a brand-new themed area along with the more familiar scenes and landscapes. Known as Glacier Ridge Wonder, it has a 50-foot video motion Christmas tree that turns the plaza into a symphony of lights. There is a stunning Northern Lights display, with an unbelievable “aurora borealis” effect, and there is also an all-new winter wonderland that brings the North Pole to Tennessee.
The Songs of Christmas
Entertainment options include the famous Christmas in the Smokies stage show that is a holiday tradition in Dollywood. The park also has a presentation of It’s a Wonderful Life based on the famous film, a version of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, and limited musical performances that include the Appalachian Christmas, a Southern Gospel show, performances by The Mistle Tones, and a presentation of O’ Holy Night. The daily Parade of Many Colors also includes musical performances along with stunning light displays and floats.
And to ensure that kids (or kids at heart) truly enjoy every moment spent at Dollywood, there are many family-friendly activities that include meetups with Santa, Rudolph and more.
There are also the park’s award-winning seasonal foods and treats that will satisfy even the most discerning (i.e. picky) eaters. From southern specialties at Aunt Granny’s Restaurant to new takes on old classics at the Front Porch, and from the treats at Miss Lillian’s Smokehouse to the Appalachian specialties at Granny Ogle’s Ham ‘n’ Beans, there are many delicious ways to experience a new holiday dining tradition.
Other eateries at Dollywood include Red’s Drive-In, Frannie’s Famous Fried Chicken food truck, Victoria’s Pizza, Lumber Jack’s Pizza, the Big Skillet, the wonderful snacks at the Grist Mill, Dogs N Taters, Crossroad’s Funnel Cakes, the Grandstand Café and the amazing Sweet Shoppe and Candy Kitchen. Grab some additional goodies from Spotlight Bakery or just step in to look at one of their 25-pound apple pies.
And if you want to share some worship time with the kids, Dollywood has its charming Smoky Mountain Christmas Chapel, which is an authentic country church beautifully decorated for the season!
For those of you who are over 21 and looking for something a little more "adult" to do while you are touring the Smokies, why not follow a local tradition and check out some of the fabulous local brew...
Here in Blount County, we like to encourage “leaf peepers” to savor the amazing local scenery. After all, you can stay right in Townsend and see some of the most beautiful autumn colors. Just choose a...
Although the United States Congress authorized the creation of the Foothills Parkway far back in 1944, it has remained incomplete for more than 50 years. Yet, a giant step forward has been made with t...