Top 5 Activities for Kids at Smoky Mountain Christmas Top 5 Activities for Kids at Smoky Mountain Christmas

Top 5 Activities for Kids at Smoky Mountain Christmas


December 02, 2022

Dollywood's Smoky Mountain Christmas is packed with family fun! From lights to rides to shows, Christmas brings a wide range of seasonal experiences to the park. If you are visiting with children during this festival, you'll have no trouble filling your day at Dollywood, but be sure to check out these five must-do experiences for kids at Smoky Mountain Christmas:

1. Wonderful Christmas at the Plaza at Wilderness Pass

Wonderful Christmas during Smoky Mountain Christmas

Experience a winter wonderland as you watch a light show on Dollywood's massive 50-foot Christmas tree, which only gets better when the snow begins to fall! Children will love the impressive LED programmable lights dancing along to festive music, but their favorite part will likely be playing in the snow flurry. This show starts at 6 p.m. each night and repeats every 20 minutes throughout the evening.

Insider Tip

If you visit on a Friday or Saturday, check out Merry & Bright, a firework display set to holiday music! Check the This Week at Dollywood guide for more information. Remember that fireworks are dependent on weather conditions and can be cancelled if conditions are unfavorable.

2. Santa's List‚ Naughty or Nice?

Head to Heartsong Theater to see Santa himself, but be prepared-this is no regular visit with Santa. Santa is hard at work in his cabin, and children get a peek into his world! In the lobby of the theater, you'll meet an elf or two and get the chance to write a letter to Santa. When it's your turn to meet the big man himself, you'll peer through the glass and even get a glimpse of his famous list. Can you find your name on the nice list? Visit Heartsong Theater and find out!

3. See a Show

Dollywood is known for its incredible shows, and Smoky Mountain Christmas is the perfect time to experience one with your family. While young children may not be ready to sit through a long performance, there is a show that fits everyone's needs at Dollywood. "O Holy Night" plays in the Valley Theater and has a short 15-minute run time. This sweet show tells the story of the first Christmas through the eyes of a child, illustrating the beautiful Nativity story and the true meaning of Christmas. "O Holy Night" is a great show for children, as it is short enough to hold their attention and takes place in an outdoor theater, making it easier to slip out early if necessary. "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" is another perfect show for children and can be found in the Pines Theater. While it has a longer run time (45 minutes), the story of a little girl making a Christmas wish that comes true with a little help from Santa is a favorite for children. My children (ages 4 through 11) all love this show!

4. Ride the Dollywood Express

No trip to Dollywood is complete without a ride on the Dollywood Express, and this year your coal-fired steam engine adventure is even more exciting! Dollywood has added a field of lights to the upper train loop, extending the millions of lights adorning the park to a whole new area. For the best experience viewing the lights, try riding the Dollywood Express after the sun begins to set.

5. Enjoy a Seasonal Treat

Dollywood is known for its amazing food, and the seasonal offerings at Smoky Mountain Christmas are truly delicious. Make sure to check out some of the holiday treats on your visit! For children, some great options include the gingerbread men cookies from Spotlight Bakery, the Gingerbread Funnel Cake from Splinter's Funnel Cakes or Crossroads Funnel Cakes, and the Gingerbread Churros from Sweets and Treats.

Insider Tip

If you arrive at the park before official opening time, you can grab your gingerbread man cookie from Spotlight Bakery before the rides even begin to run! This makes the perfect morning snack and gets your day off to a festive start.


All Insiders Festivals


All Insiders Festivals

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