#34 of 48 Gatlinburg Things To Do

Christ in the Smokies Museum & Gardens

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Christ in the Smokies Museum & Gardens: Religious Inspiration in the Peaceful Mountains
Staff Score:
4.5 / 5
The Bottom Line:

If you're looking for a peaceful, inspirational experience, the museum and gardens offer just that. Though some may find the presentation through wax figures a bit cheesy and others the price tag slightly hefty, the overall experience lets you connect with your religious beliefs in the beautiful Smokies.

- The SmokyMountains.com Local Expert Team

Travelers in the Smoky Mountains who want to connect to their religion should look no further than Christ in the Smokies Museum & Gardens. It’s a top inspirational attraction perfect for visitors of all ages. Life-size wax figures create lifelike scenes of the Story of Christ, with lightning, narration, and music adding to the experience.

Located at the former Christus Gardens property, the updated museum offers visitors the chance to wander through a Biblical world. The gift shop also stocks unique offerings at reasonable prices, and the prayer garden is a spot to reflect while near the peaceful, beautiful Smoky Mountains surroundings.

The museum opens daily at 9 a.m., and guests have access to free all-day parking. Though you can always purchase tickets at the box office when you arrive, you’ll save a bit of money (and time) by buying your tickets online in advance. If you buy online, you’ll save $2 off the usual $12.99 adult ticket price, and $1 off the usual $5.99 child entry for children 6 to 12 years old. Children under 6 enter for free. Keep in mind that listed prices don’t include tax.

Remember to print your tickets if you do buy them online. You’ll need to present them at the box office to receive entry to the museum.

Christ in the Smokies Museum & Gardens boasts many return visitors, but if it’s your first time checking out the museum or you’ve only been to the former Christus Gardens, you should know what to expect (think: a wax museum tour depicting the life of Jesus, not a museum chock full of artifacts). The first component is a walk through experience, which is the central part of this attraction.

The wax figures on the walking tour bring to life the key moments of Jesus, from his life to his death, resurrection, and ascension. After the tour, you’ll exit into a greenhouse prayer garden. The museum updates the experience of the old Christus Gardens, which stood at this spot until 2008.

You might expect some cheesiness from a wax museum, but Christ in the Smokies Museum & Gardens does a good job presenting its story. In addition to the wax displays, well-presented narration guides you through Jesus’s life. Added Bible verses lend an authentic touch that goes beyond a simple explanation of each scene. Stop by the gift shop for a store well stocked with reasonably priced, meaningful items. Overall, the museum’s presentation combined with the peacefulness of its mountain setting provides an inspirational experience.

Christ in the Smokies Museum & Gardens takes the already peaceful nature of the Smoky Mountains to new inspirational heights. You can look forward to a moving experience that connects you with the life of Christ. Look forward to seeing the lifelike, life-size representations of important scenes from the story of Jesus Christ, and make sure you leave some extra time to explore the gift shop and reflect in the prayer garden.

Insider Tips: 

  • Depending on your plans, it’s worth it to call ahead to the museum. If you’re going as a group, make sure to call in to confirm group rates. The size of your group may mean you’ll get different rates than the prices for adults and children quoted on the museum’s website.
  • Likewise, if you want to hop on a tour, you should call ahead to learn the last tour times of the day. A typical tour takes about an hour, and they begin approximately every 15 minutes throughout the day. Don’t be surprised if you have a brief wait when you arrive before the next tour starts.