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A Holly Dolly Scavenger Hunt

One of my favorite holiday traditions growing up was a Christmas scavenger hunt in our local community. Friends and family would all meet at the same home where we received our lists, divided up into teams by carpool and began our friendly competition to find everything on the list before any of the other groups. In order to check something off the list, we had to have photo proof that we had found it (since most of it was public property and not something we could take with us!) Keep in mind, this was long before the world of smart phones, so we used disposable cameras to record the proof we had seen everything on the list—and then the waiting began!

As all the teams finished, they had to drop off their cameras at the one-hour photo. We’d hang out with hot chocolate, cookies and Christmas songs until the film was developed, and we could determine the winner. Waiting had never been more fun. It remains one of my sweetest memories of the holiday season.

Perhaps you already have your family traditions picked out for the season, or perhaps you’re looking to start some or maybe add a few extra! Either way, I thought it might be special to add even more fun to your traditional visit to Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas by including a scavenger hunt list for things to look for around the park while you are there! I’ve even included a printable PDF list if you want to print it out to do on your own, or split into groups and turn it into a little friendly competition.

Should you turn it into a game with friends or family members, take pictures on your phones to serve as proof that you completed the list! Perhaps you decided the winner gets a hot chocolate, a Dollywood souvenir, or simply the joy of knowing they won (high fives all around!) Either way, here are some things to be looking for while you’re at Dollywood this holiday season. I’ll include some of the visuals here, but be sure to print out the full list to make a fun game of it!

The Scavenger Hunt

Who doesn’t love a good vintage Christmas!? If you find your way to the beautiful display of vintage Christmas decorations, can you spot this little guy working on Santa’s Workshop!?

Speaking of Santa’s helpers, this one might be a little harder. Try to find this little elf hiding somewhere inside one of the shops at Dollywood. I’ll give you a hint: look up!

There’s one thing you won’t miss at Dollywood and that’s the butterflies. Your mission is to capture at least three different types of lighted butterflies.

Dollywood is known for having a beautiful chapel, but can you find these smaller chapels hiding in a window somewhere near where Dolly “used to live?”

And while you’re in Dolly’s neck of the woods, see if you can find a tree that may not be as glamorous as the other trees around the park, but one that is near and dear to her heart.

Speaking of trees, they are EVERYWHERE! It’s too easy to take a picture of just any tree, so here’s the specific ones to look for to complete this list!

-Four Red Trees, all in a row!

-Peppermint Bark. Hopefully, this is obvious!

-We Three Trees: three trees in a row, each a different color.

 

Not only will you not want to miss seeing the light wall, your goal is to take a selfie in front if it!

 

Insider Tip

For better results when taking pictures with Christmas lights behind you, have someone else shine their flashlight on you to “light you.” This way you’ll avoid showing up as a dark shadow while still capturing the lights behind you!

You’ll notice prizes that can be won at different games around the park, all of which are appropriately Christmas-themed. While it’s not a requirement to win something, can you spot someone who has won the large candy cane!?

A meaningful part of Christmas at Dollywood is the story of the manger scene. You are sure to see a most magnificent manager scene, but can you find the star of Bethlehem?

Speaking of manger scenes, while you’ll see a few around the park, we couldn’t make this too easy. So, should you stumble upon a cozy fireplace spot, can you spot these three wise men on their way to the manger?

One thing Dollywood is not lacking in is Christmas spirit! Say hi to the friendly hosts at Dollywood, whether walking around outside or serving you some delicious food, and capture their Christmas spirit in a photo— the more hosts you can get in one photo, the more points you get!

Snowflakes are another beautiful touch you will see all over the park, seeing as how snowflakes are known for each being unique, capture at least two different type of snowflakes!

If you’re going to be riding rides at Dollywood, please remember cameras are not allowed on the rides; safety first! But getting a picture on a ride isn’t impossible for this scavenger hunt! Find this test seat (used to ensure people fit on the ride) and capture someone in your group pretending to fly (that’s also your hint)!

One thing you certainly can’t miss during the holiday season at Dollywood is the largest tree in the park, which is also a light show complete with Christmas songs and snow. It’s sure to make you feel the Christmas spirit come alive! Your goal is to get a group photo in front of the tree, a memory you are sure to cherish! Whether you take a selfie with your team or approach someone to take it for you, be sure to have someone light you to capture your group clearly and the bright colors of the tree!

Be sure to check the tops of all the trees. Some have stars and some have angels, but close to the top of this special tree is Dolly’s guitar of many colors! I’ll give you a hint; wait until the end of the night closer to when you may be leaving to look for this special decoration!

Now get out there, explore the park, ride the rides and enjoy the lights! And if you want to add an extra memorable experience, print out this PDF list for your Holly Dolly Christmas Scavenger Hunt. There are a few extra items on the full list, but feel free to get creative and capture your own interpretation. Gather together at the end of your day around the park to see who captured the most and celebrate the Holly Dolly Scavenger Hunt winner!

Bonus Round!

Can you get a picture with Santa!? Doesn’t have to be the real Santa—could just be with a stuffed animal or a statue. Again, get creative!

Merry Christmas from Dollywood!

By | 2022-11-29T12:53:19-05:00 November 29th, 2022|Festivals|0 Comments

About the Author:

Born and raised on the beaches of South Carolina, JJ made the West Coast her home for most of her adult life. But from Hollywood to Dollywood, JJ has made her way back east to call Chattanooga, Tennessee, home. JJ is an artist, author and standup comedian who has performed in comedy clubs, churches and awkward dinner parties all over America. Passionate about storytelling and creating memorable experiences for people, JJ found herself inspired by Dolly’s ability to make her own gift for storytelling come to life in the magical place that is Dollywood. When she’s not performing, painting or trying to find her way back to the ocean, JJ is introverting at home (baking, napping or snacking) in Tennessee with her husband, Josh Newton.
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