WINTER WONDERLAND – Knoxville’s mild weather allows for an abundance of outdoor activities even in the wintertime. The First Friday Artwalk is a great way to drink in a little culture. Art of every kind is on display at the Visitors Center, Emporium Center, Knoxville’s Museum of Art and all along Gay Street shops. And, as is typical for East Tennessee, we can’t do anything without lots of music. Various tunes and many styles of dancing will be at each of these artistic locales. While you are roaming around downtown, a venture to Market Square will open the door for holiday shopping at the fun boutiques and fantastic food establishments around the perimeter and even ice skating in the center of the square. Downtown Knoxville, of course, is known for having The Historic Tennessee Theatre, the Official State Theatre of Tennessee but, there is more, the Bijou, Clearance Brown and Regal Cinemas. This makes entertainment really easy with music acts, musicals, great theatre and movies within walking distance.
If the kids are not already overflowing with excitement for the holidays to arrive then Fantasy of Trees will surely make them squeal with joy. With more than 300 sparkling custom decorated Christmas trees, hundreds of gingerbread villages, kid’s activities and booths with plenty of holiday ideas for decorations and gifts, this event transforms Knoxville’s Convention Center into a winter wonderland and raises funds for important projects at East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. Plenty more sparkling lights and decorated trees can be viewed and purchased at the Festival of Trees in Gatlinburg, as well. That event benefits the Boys and Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains. Hundreds of thousands of twinkling lights create an entertaining evening for a drive with the kids through Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland located at the Tennessee Smokies Baseball Stadium. This amazing light show is known as the world’s largest drive- through, fully synchronized LED Christmas light and music show.
If all of this glitz and glitter is just too much for your senses then, of course, a drive through the snow-covered Smokies or a winter hike where you can smell the pine is one of nature’s escapes that can only be found in this area of great natural wonders.