Winter Brings Fabulous Family Fun To The Great Smoky Mountains

Posted by Leif Palmer in Things To Do

Big-city shopping sprees are a delight for teens and grownups, and amusement parks cater to the younger set, but when you want to enjoy a getaway with family members of all ages, where do you go? The Great Smoky Mountains, of course.

With dozens of family-friendly attractions and endless shopping and sightseeing opportunities, there's simply no better place to take the kids and even grandma and grandpa for a quick vacation. Best of all, winter brings two must-see events that families have been enjoying for decades.

A Christmas Light Extravaganza

It's not too late to get into the Christmas spirit. At Shadrack's Christmas Wonderland, every evening at dusk the lights come up and create a magical experience for everyone from toddlers to grandma and grandpa. This drive-through park features hundreds of thousands of lights decorating more than 1,500 individual trees and other elements, and they're all choreographed to your favorite holiday tunes.

Throughout the years, Shadrack's has been voted among the best holiday destinations by Forbes Magazine, Southwest Airlines and others, and it's easy to see why. With everything on site draped in a dazzling array of colored lights, and modernized renditions of songs such as "The Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy" and the "Nutcracker Suite," it's a delightful show you simply won't want to miss.

There's more to see than just the lights, though. You'll also want to check out the pony rides for the little ones, a special kids' tent bursting with inflatables for hours of fun, and the unforgettable Orbitron ride. All that fun is sure to work up an appetite, so snacks and refreshments are available on site as well.

Shadrack's is open each evening through January 4.

Meet The Locals During Wilderness Wildlife Week™

One of the most anticipated events in the Smokies, Wilderness Wildlife Week™ features fun learning activities for all ages, as well as a chance to get to know local flora and fauna. The event, which takes place from January 24 to January 31 at the LeConte Center in Pigeon Forge, is open to the public and free to attend.

Music aficionados will want to be sure to catch the cultural presentations that highlight the history of the area through its music. Listen to historic mountain ballads, hymns and more, and learn about the traditional instruments the Appalachian people play.

Photography buffs have plenty to learn as well, with workshops on taking better wildlife shots as well as how to easily (and inexpensively) edit your own digital photos. You'll even get a chance to head out on the trail for some hands-on experience.

Leif Palmer - Smokies blogger

About Leif Palmer

Leif Palmer loves residing in the Smoky Mountains. He is an avid outdoorsman: rowing for exercise on the lake, trail hiking, and free climbing rocks in the mountains. He indulges his arty side by periodically beating up pieces of marble by sculpting. He is always frustrated by his inability to sink long putts, and hates his curly hair (but his wife loves it). Leif has been known to muster enough courage to change a diaper, and hopes his son will become a chip off the old block.


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