Winter lovers flock to the mountains, and the Smokies are no exception. Opportunities for skiing, snowboarding, ice-skating, and other cold-weather sports abound in the Smokies. The moderately cold weather averages about 39.2 degrees farenheit in the peak season of the snow peaks. Most shops and attractions stay open during the winter months, although some adopt fewer operation hours. But the winter holiday season really gets going in late November to early December starting with the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community Holiday Arts & Crafts Show. The Gatlinburg Fantasy of Lights Christmas Parade draws thousands of visitors' attention to the seasonal decorations and shopping adventures throughout the region. Most winter weekdays during the winter are peaceful in the Smokies, except for the bustling holiday season from late December through New Year's Day.
With melting snow and budding trees comes spring in the Smoky Mountains, and while chilly nights give way to cool days, amazing opportunities arise to witness the breathtaking bounty of nature. Beginning in March, wildflowers bloom, waterfalls cascade, and wildlife emerge from hibernation. Spring fever fully hits in March with the annual Holly and Shamrock Parade and the Smoky Mountain Springfest, which runs from March to June. April boasts Ribfest & Wings, the Smoky Mountain Trout Tournament, and the annual Spring Wildflower Pilgrimmige. The Gatlinburg Scottish Festival and Games is in May. Area parks adopt an abbreviated schedule during the spring, so check the hours before booking your trip.
But since most families take vacations during the Summertime when the kids are off of school, late June through early August are the busy times in the Smokies. Outdoor activities abound in the warm weather, and families make time for their time, this time. Theme parks are in full swing, and the lakes and rivers beg for whitewater rafters and flyfishermen. Don't let the occasional mid-afternoon shower deter you, the shops and outlet stores open for extended hours. Some summer festivals include June's Smoky Mountains Tale and Tunes, July's Midnight Independence Day Parade and Gatlinburg's Craft Fair.