downtown gatlinburg in november

10 Things to Do and Places to Eat During Thanksgiving in Gatlinburg

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and you may be trying to decide what you will do and where you will eat when you’re in town! There are plenty of fun activities to try when you’re here for the holidays, so there’s something for everyone in your group to enjoy! Check out these 10 things to do and places to eat during Thanksgiving in Gatlinburg:

1. Enjoy Winterfest Lights

winterfest lights ripley's aquariumWhile in Gatlinburg, take advantage of the millions of LED lights shining in the city. Take a drive or even a walk through downtown Gatlinburg, and you take in the bright colors of glowing lights with representations of bears, deer, rabbits, foxes, squirrels, and other traditional holiday scenes. All your favorite attractions will be decorated in holiday lights and decorations!

2. Visit the Festival of Trees

Get in the spirit of Christmas during Thanksgiving in Gatlinburg! From November 22nd to November 26th, the W. L. Mills Conference Center will be hosting The Festival of Trees for the purpose of raising money for the Boys and Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains and the Gatlinburg Chamber Foundation Scholarship Fund. You will have the opportunity to see showings of beautifully decorated Christmas trees of all shapes and sizes, and your children can create beautiful crafts to bring home, as well as play in the play area! Of course, you can’t forget to take a picture with Santa Claus!

3. Gatlinburg Thanksgiving Arts and Crafts Show

gatlinburg arts and crafts communityIf you are a fan of arts and crafts, you will definitely find pleasure in the Gatlinburg Thanksgiving Arts and Crafts Show from November 21std to November 26th. The craft show is hosted in the Gatlinburg Convention Center, and it features Gatlinburg’s famous Arts and Crafts Community’s handcrafted items such as pottery, jewelry, paintings, quilts, candles, brooms, baskets, dulcimers, and much more. You will be exposed to over 100 artists and crafters creating their pieces by hand in this historic area. Best of all, admission is free and all interested individuals are welcomed.

4. Spend Time at Anakeesta

A great way to spend Thanksgiving weekend is to hang out at Anakeesta! This downtown Gatlinburg attraction provides you with incredible mountain views, a relaxing atmosphere, and plenty of fun activities your family will love! Grab a bite to eat at one of the restaurants, and pick up a souvenir or two before you head back down the mountain! From November 18th through November 23rd, the attraction is hosting a Thanksgiving Celebration at the Smokehouse, where guests can enjoy a special plated dinner with smoked turkey breast, mashed potatoes, sautéed green beans, smoked gouda dressing, and cranberry salad.

5. Gatlinburg Black Friday Shopping

entrance to the village shops Like other places all over the world, Thanksgiving in Gatlinburg will be welcoming Black Friday shoppers. Find the best Christmas gift deals here in Gatlinburg with sales you won’t find anywhere else. Some stores you may want to check out include The Nantahala Outdoor Center and The Village Shops. Shop for great deals on anything like winter coats, boots, camping gear, recipe books, high-end cookware, pottery, handcrafted jewelry, and much more.

6. Snow Tubing at Ober Mountain

If you are fascinated by playing in the snow, snow tubing at Ober Mountain is a fun activity for your family. Starting mid-November, you can race down the hill on packed snow for a ton of fun! There will also be countless activities including skiing, snowboarding, snow playing for children, snow sporting lessons, snow tubing, and more!

7. Enjoy the Holidays at Gatlinburg SkyPark

gatlinburg skylift parkDuring this time of the year, Gatlinburg SkyPark is decked out with colorful lights and bright decorations that will get you in the holiday spirit! You’ll love riding to the top of the mountain on the chair lift and looking out at the sweeping views of the Smokies. Walk across the SkyBridge so you can look down into the forest below when you make it to the glass panels, and enjoy getting a drink in the SkyCenter!

8. Smith & Son Corner Kitchen

If you want to have your family and friends’ Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant instead of preparing it yourself, Smith & Son Corner Kitchen is the right fit for you. Choose from crispy fish and chips, sizzling fajitas, or tangy barbeque ribs for your meal. This restaurant also has burgers, sandwiches, salads, and pasta. Plus, you can get your favorite beer to go with your meal!

9. The Park Grill

the park grill sign

In the heart of the Smoky Mountains is The Park Grill. This particular restaurant will have you feeling cozy with the mountain lodge feel. You can’t go wrong with having ribeye, New York strip, or filet mignon for Thanksgiving. However, if you want a more traditional meal, you can enjoy The Park Grill’s Thanksgiving Feast!

10. No Way Jose’s Cantina

No Way Jose’s Cantina is another restaurant that will be open on Thanksgiving day. Again, if cooking Thanksgiving dinner is not your thing, this is a great place to have a meal with your loved ones! Share the chicken or steak fajitas, try one of the burritos stuffed to the brim and covered in sauce, or get a combo meal if you just can’t decide what you want. Don’t forget to get a margarita or another classic cocktail to go with your delicious meal!

These amazing things to do and places to eat during Thanksgiving in Gatlinburg are only a few of the many activities you can experience. Have you decided where you will stay while you’re in town? Look through our Gatlinburg hotel rooms and book one for your trip!