Calling all penny pinchers! If the best things in life are free, there’s no need to break the bank this June in Gatlinburg. Our mountain town has offered affordable fun and free things to do for generations. Here are a few of our favorite ways to have big fun for little (or no!) cost and be sure to check out all of the free events in Gatlinburg happening each season.  

National Great Outdoors Month

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Couple hikingNational Great Outdoors Month reminds us to turn to nature for life’s greatest adventures. Great Smoky Mountains National Park is not only the most-visited national park in the U.S., but holds boundless potential for budget-friendly activities from camping and hiking to chasing waterfalls and sunsets. Don't forget to stop by Sugarlands Visitor Center to pick up your parking tag
 

National Picnic Day

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Picnic in Great Smoky MountainsNational Picnic Day is the perfect time to pick up grab-and-go meals from area restaurants in Gatlinburg. Places like Tennessee Jed’s, J.O.E. and Pop's Sub Shoppe and Parton’s Deli serve authentic southern fare that travels well and makes a perfect picnic lunch. Pop into local grocer Food City if you prefer to make your own meal to go or to pick up essentials like ice and a cooler to keep your food and drinks cold.

Summer Solstice

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Disc Golf courseSummer Solstice, the longest day of the year, happens towards the end of every June and has long been celebrated worldwide. Take advantage of the longest day of the year by slowing down and making your own nature-friendly fun – whether it’s playing a round of disc golf at the Gatlinburg Disc Golf Course or exploring one of the three Gatlinburg City Parks. Take a drive along the 8-mile loop of the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community to explore the artsy side of Gatlinburg and maybe find that unique, special souvenir.  

Social Media Day

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Family in front of Gatlinburg signSocial Media Day doesn’t cost a dime and is a good excuse to perfect your selfie! Stop by the Gatlinburg mural to capture your own black bear sighting or head to the butterfly mural at Gatlinburg Community Center. Document those magical mountain moments at Gatlinburg’s attractions – from the iconic fountain in The Village to majestic vistas backdrops at Gatlinburg SkyBridge, Anakeesta’s AnaVista Tower and on Ober Mountain’s Aerial Tramway. Bring creatures into the picture at the Shark Lagoon Tunnel at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies or head into the Park to capture photos of wildlife - you may even get lucky and see a bear, but just remember to keep a safe distance of at least 50 ft between you and the wildlife.

Synchronous Fireflies

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Synchronous FirefliesSynchronous Fireflies in the Smokies outdo any man made light show. Scientifically known as Photinus carolinus, synchronous fireflies are one of at least 19 species of fireflies – also called lightning bugs – living in the Smokies. Whether you catch a synchronous display or not, looking for lightning bugs while camping or backpacking is always free!