Dollywood: A Romantic Date Night in the Smoky Mountains
When most people think of going to a theme park it sounds like a fun place to take the kids, probably in the summer, to ride some rides and get some energy out. I know that when planning our family vacation last summer to Pigeon Forge, Dollywood was at the top of everyones list when coming up with fun things to do as a family. Indeed, it did end up being the highlight of our trip and we spent almost two full days there. We rode every roller coaster multiple times, saw a couple of shows, and left at closing time totally exhausted but with smiles on our faces.
Romantic Place To Visit For Any Season of the Year
However, on our most recent visit to Dollywood we left all the kids at home and decided to have a Dollywood Date Day on New Year’s Eve! With record cool temperatures we bundled up and headed to Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas. Dollywood is a great place to visit for a romantic date for any season of the year. They have some great events coming up and an amazing 2018 entertainment lineup that you don’t want to miss! You can read more about Dolly’s $1 Million dollar music investment here.
Dollywood Offers So Much More Than Just Roller Coasters
I’m a kid at heart when it comes to roller coasters so we were a little disappointed that most of the rides were closed due to the extremely cold temperatures. That disappointment quickly disappeared once we realized how much more there is to see and do at Dollywood besides the amazing rides. There were so many live Christmas shows and music scheduled that we didn’t even have time to fit them all in. There were also artisans doing demonstrations like glass blowing, woodworking, and pottery.
Download the Dollywood App
We decided we needed to have a game plan to make the most of the time we had so we sat down with a cup of peppermint hot chocolate and downloaded the Dollywood app on my phone. I highly recommend that everyone download this super helpful app before entering the park to help plan you day! It is completely user friendly and includes locations and times of all the shows, wait times for rides, and even walking directions to where you want to go using GPS.
Entertainment, Music, & More
Our first stop was the Back Porch Theater to Appalachian Christmas where we were taken back to a simpler time listening to acoustic Christmas music. Next, we headed to DP’s Celebrity Theater to see “Christmas in the Smokes”, one of Dollywood’s greatest traditions. The cast of 14 singers and dancers performed hometown holiday favorites along with a live band. The show lasted about an hour and was a beautiful reminder to slow down and remember the true meaning of Christmas. The theater itself is gorgeous and there isn’t a bad seat in the house. I can see why this is the most popular Christmas show at Dollywood!
When we came out of the theater we were so surprised to see that it had started to snow a little. We warmed up by one of the heaters that Dollywood has placed throughout the park and decided to swing by the Grist Mill before the next show.
Fresh Cinnamon Bread at The Grist Mill
The Grist Mill was built in 1982 and was the first fully operating grist mill built in the state of Tennessee in more than 100 years. We bought a loaf of fresh out of the oven cinnamon bread and upon the advice of locals we also got a loaf to go. That turned out to be excellent advice because after one bite of that cinnamon bread we were hooked. It was the perfect midnight snack!
Dollywood’s Showstreet Palace Theater
Our next stop was the Showstreet Palace to see “It’s a Wonderful Life.” The show is based on the timeless holiday story of love and generosity and is the newest addition to Dollywood’s Christmas lineup. We sat in church type pews and snacked on our cinnamon bread while watching the performance.
Beautiful Christmas Lights at Dollywood
When we walked out of the Show Street Palace I was giddy with excitement to see that not only had Dollywood been transformed with the setting of the sun into a Winter Wonderland of twinkling lights everywhere but it was also still snowing! We decided to walk around and take it all in. There are over 4 million Christmas lights and over 150 acres to explore and it truly was one of the prettiest light displays I’ve ever seen.
We ended up at Chasing Rainbows, a state of the art museum featuring everything Dolly Parton. There was so much to see that we could have spent hours looking at everything but we both really wanted to make it to the New Year’s Eve service at the Robert F. Thomas Chapel.
Chapel Services at Dollywood
Every Sunday at 5:30 there is a service inside the one room country church with simple wooden pews and hardwood floors. We decided to stand on the covered porch and listen to the inspirational message from outside the front doors.
It was such a special time just reflecting on the past year and looking forward to 2018 with my husbands arms wrapped around me and the snow falling around us. It was the perfect ending to an amazing date day at Dollywood.
The staff at Dollywood is so friendly and go out of their way to answer any questions or assist in any way. The park, surrounded by the Smoky Mountains, is clean and easy to navigate. The landscaping is beautiful and there were photo ops everywhere that we took advantage of to remember one of the best date nights ever. Dollywood is a great place to visit for a romantic date for any season of the year.
Lodging near Dollywood
Make your date night into a romantic weekend getaway. There is the Dollywood DreamMore Resort right next door and the Dollywood’s Cabins. Both selections are located in Pigeon Forge, TN and just minutes away from Dollywood and Splash Country providing you free shuttle to both parks. Lodging here will allow families to connect more away from their daily lives and embody the Dollywood motto of “Where Family Togetherness Just Comes Naturally.”
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