It may be the middle of the summer, but Christmas spirit can be found all around!

What does Santa do in the summer, and how can you find him?

When he's not in the North Pole and helping the elves design the best new toy, Santa travels down to Pigeon Forge for a little summer vacation.

"I go to a lot of different places; Bahamas, Rio. But I love just hanging out here in Sevierville, Pigeon Forge. It's relaxing and pretty here and people are friendly."

He trades in his suit for a bright, Hawaiian shirt, shorts and sneakers for summer vacation.

"You can't wear the big red furry thing up here in this heat, no one wants to see a sweaty Santa!" he tells 10News.

Even in summer, there is still work for St. Nick; he's already started checking "The List."

The big guy has a big appetite, too, and stays well fed.

"I try to take it easy, eat more salads than cookies and candy."

Sometimes, visions of sugar plums and other sweets still dance in his head. 

This summer, he will be on hand at Santa's Haus at The Incredible Christmas Place in Pigeon Forge. Good boys and girls can come sit on his lap, read a story and make a craft.

They can even write up their letter and attend the elf academy.

"It's great to spread Christmas joy all year long, why not during summer?" Santa said with a gleam in his eye.

Where to find Christmas all year-long

Twinkling lights and shimmering snow globes greet you as you enter a magical wonderland at The Incredible Christmas Place.

"When you walk in to our Christmas store, it is like you are totally transported to December the 25th," owner Toby Barnes said. "Transported to this Christmas, a childhood Christmas, all those memories they have about a Christmas."

The store is decked from floor to ceiling with holiday trinkets galore.

"Everything from trees, garlands lights, ornaments and little table top things," Barnes said.

Yes, there's even snow.

"Instant snow, you take powder, put it in your hand, pour water on it and the snow expands and feels cold and wet like snow," Barnes said.

It's an enchanting experience that leaves every visitor feeling holly jolly.

"You get that anticipation of Christmas coming. It helps people and their anxiety levels, brings that down," Barnes said.

The Incredible Christmas Place

2470 Parkway

Pigeon Forge, TN 37868 

Just across the street, the holiday spirit continues inside a special hotel, The Inn at Christmas Place.

"We want families to have a way to visit in the middle of the year if they can't come at Christmas," director of marketing Victoria Jones said.

All is merry and bright as Santa mingles at breakfast and performs concerts in the evenings. Plus, there are plenty of festivities to take part in. 

"Cookies every night at the front desk, and a scavenger hunt," Barnes said. "So many decorations in the hotel, families will go from 1st floor to 4th floor looking for elves and ornaments."

Each guest enjoys a cozy, Christmas-themed room and atmosphere that extends throughout the hotel.

"We get a lot of people who have come for 10, 20, 50 visits, and they feel at home here," Jones said.

The Inn at Christmas Place

119 Christmas Tree Lane

Pigeon Forge, TN 37868

Winter-like ways to beat the heat

We all like to dream about a white Christmas, and year-round you can get a little bit of the cool air and winter recreation that comes with the winter snow.

The first stop is Pigeon Forge Snow, where visitors will get a taste of wintry fun as they fly down a snowy hill. 

"This is the world's first indoor snow tubing complex," owner Matthew Ayers explained. "Real snow, the hill goes 3 miles an hour. You can ride to the top on the magic carpet, you don't even have to walk. And you can see real snow if you haven't."

There's no need for a puffy coat or gloves, the room is regulated to a comfortable temperature. 

"It's so hot and muggy outside, in here it's nice and refreshing. You just need shorts and a shirt," Ayers said. "Walking in on a day like today, it's 90 degrees outside, 65 in here. Feels great!"

Pigeon Forge Snow

2533 Teaster Ln

Pigeon Forge, TN 37863 

In the middle of summer, you'll not only find snow, but a chance to hit the ice. 

The frosty festivities continue at our second stop, the Ice Chalet in Knoxville. 

"It's nice and cool in the summer," owner Larry LeBorde said.

Come try your skating skills or take a class.

"The advantage of coming in the summer is not a lot of people come. That's a huge plus," LeBorde said.

A refreshing blast of air as you skate around the rink brings a perfect way to beat the heat.

"It's a great sport, it's fun to do," figure skater Channing Clarke said. "It's energetic, playful; you have fun."

Ice Chalet

100 Lebanon St

Knoxville, TN 37919 

Christmas Cooking

Here's two recipes if you are looking to get into the Christmas spirit and incorporate summer flavors into the food.


Ingredients: Fresh strawberries, banana, frosting (store bought or homemade), chocolate chips

1. Take your strawberries and cut off the end, a small half a centimeter. This will create Santa's "hat."

2. Peel and slice the banana into half a centimeter pieces.

3. Smear frosting on the lower half for Santa's Beard.

4. Layer the banana on top of frosting.

5. Add two chocolate chips for Santa's "eyes."

6. Put the larger end of the strawberry, the "hat," on top and add a teensy bit of frosting for the top.

7. Optional: use a toothpick to hold assembly together; don't use banana if you don't like it.


Ingredients: Watermelon

1. Cut watermelon in half, then in half again.

2. Slice against the shorter edge about an inch thick to have a large pie-shaped piece.

3. Cut the pie pieces in half to make skinnier, "tree-sized" slices. Use a Christmas tree cookie cutter if you have one. 

4. On the edge with the rhind, cut out a tree trunk.