Every time I go on vacation, I bug my husband to go ziplining. There is something about zooming through the forest that heightens the senses and gets your adrenaline pumping — I love it. Out of all the places I’ve gone ziplining, the Smoky Mountain ziplines are my favorite.
The greater Smoky Mountain region is home to several ziplining options. From timid beginners to daredevils, there’s a zipline for everyone. Choose from these exciting Smoky Mountain ziplines for an adventurous vacation in Pigeon Forge.
Zipping in the Smokies
As the most affordable ziplining option, Zipping in the Smokies is available through Rafting in the Smokies. This 6 line zipline tour also features a 150′ swinging bridge that leads you to a 10-acre wooded island in the Big Pigeon River. Also, combine your ziplining experience with an exhilarating rafting trip down the river for the ultimate adrenaline rush.
Zipping in the Smokies is ideal for beginners looking for a quick zipline excursion in the Smoky Mountains.
Adventureworks Climb, Zip, and Swing
Looking to go ziplining with the entire family? Out of all the Smoky Mountain ziplines available, I’d recommend that families visit Adventureworks Climb, Zip, and Swing. This course offers 55 different obstacles, including:
Swinging grape vines
Hanging cargo nets
Differing heights of obstacles
If your family is the adventurous type, you need to experience the full course at Adventureworks. For families traveling to Pigeon Forge with smaller children, be sure to sign them up for the Little Zipper zipline course. This course is designed exclusively for small children and includes four little ziplines on the ground.
Adventure America Zipline Canopy Tours
Calling all adventurers, daredevils, and down right adrenaline junkies — these are the Smoky Mountain ziplines you’ve been searching for. At Adventure America Zipline Canopy Tours, you’ll zoom down 12 ziplines over the course of 3.5 hours. Plus, this is the only ziplining tour that actually crosses the Pigeon River.
Yes, you read that correctly. You’ll be flying at heart racing speeds over the rapid-filled Pigeon River. Sounds incredible, right? This tour is perfect for experienced zipliners or first-time zipliners with a wild side.
This ziplining tour does not allow children under the age of 10 to participate.
Adventure Park Ziplines
Out of all the Smoky Mountain ziplines, Adventure Park Ziplines is the most conveniently located. Situated right off of the Parkway, across from the Five Oaks Tanger Outlet Mall, this zipline course features 7 ziplines with varying lengths and speeds. You’ll soar through the magnificent hills of Pigeon Forge as you complete this 1.5-mile zipline course.
Adventure Park Ziplines also offers horseback riding on-site. Visitors can purchase a ziplining and horseback riding combo ticket for the ultimate outdoor excursion in the Smoky Mountains.
Foxfire Mountain Adventures
For some, the speed of ziplining is what frightens them. For others, it’s the height from the ground. If you’re an adrenaline fan looking for the tallest Smoky Mountain ziplines around, you’ll find it at FoxFire Mountain Adventures.
No matter which zipline course you choose here, you’re in for quite the rush! From soaring down 15 different ziplines to conquering a 60-foot challenge wall, FoxFire Mountain Adventures is home to a wide variety of thrills.
Don’t forget to try the aerial adventure course while you’re here. This high ropes course is a challenge, but so much fun!
Legacy Mountain Premier Ziplines
For the best views of the Smoky Mountains, visit Legacy Mountain Premier Ziplines. Out of all the Smoky Mountain ziplines, you can’t beat the views from this course which is 4.5 miles long and includes seven lengthy ziplines. Plus, did you know it’s the first eco-friendly zipline adventure course in the Smoky Mountains? In addition to the views and the ziplines, visitors scale rope bridges and other obstacles for a thrilling excursion in the Smokies.
Know Before You Zip
If this is your first time ziplining, there are a few general guidelines you need to know. Follow this advice for a memorable ziplining experience in the Smokies:
Wear Closed-Toe Shoes
All Smoky Mountain ziplines will not allow guests to participate if they are not wearing shoes that completely cover the toes. This is for your safety and the safety of others. Don’t show up wearing flip-flops or you’ll be sorely disappointed. Sneakers are your best option.
Know What the Minimum Age Limit Is
Depending on the intensity of the course and terrain, certain Smoky Mountain ziplines have age limit restrictions. Do your research before purchasing tickets so that you don’t have a sad child during your Pigeon Forge vacation.
No Cell Service and No Cameras
Various ziplining courses have little to no cell service due to their location in the Smoky Mountains. Be prepared for this. Also, a few Smoky Mountain ziplines do not allow guests to bring cameras on the tours. Ask your guide before you try to put a camera or cell phone in your pocket.
Follow All Guide Instructions
Each ziplining course includes expert guides who will instruct you on how to properly use the ziplines. It is vital that you listen to their instructions at all time. Also, the rules and restrictions are in place for your safety and the safety of others in your group.
Get Ready to Experience the Smoky Mountain Ziplines
Have you decided which ziplining course is right for you? Purchase your tickets on Reserve Pigeon Forge and head on out to the mountains!
Families come from far and wide to visit Dollywood, Tennessee’s renowned theme park. Visitors of all ages love the park for the wide range of entertainment, from rides to shows to the delectable food. However, there’s far more to Dollywood than meets the eye. From secret apartments to bald eagles, you’ll be surprised by many of these intriguing facts about Dollywood.
1. Dollywood Wasn’t Always Dollywood
Before the iconic theme park gained popularity, it had quite the past. Originally a small tourist attraction named Rebel Railroad, the first iteration of the park had a coal-fired steam engine, a general store, a blacksmith shop, and a saloon. The train drew visitors from all over and is still an integral part of Dollywood today.
In 1970, Art Modell (previous NFL Cleveland Browns owner) purchased the attraction and relaunched it as Goldrush Junction. Not long after, Herschend Enterprises bought the amusement park in 1976, renaming it Silver Dollar City. Yes, just like the theme park in Branson, Missouri.
Once Dolly Parton expressed interest in the park, Herschend Enterprises rebranded the park as Dollywood for the 1986 season. More than 30 years later, Dollywood continues to entertain guests daily.
2. Dolly Opened Dollywood to Give Back
Dolly Parton is known for her incredible generosity and love for all. You’ll find that many facts about Dollywood and Dolly Parton’s career are linked to her giving spirit.
Her interest in the theme park stemmed from her desire to give back to the Sevier County community. As she stated in a 2010 interview celebrating the 25th anniversary of Dollywood, “I always thought that if I made it big or got successful at what I had started out to do, that I wanted to come back to my part of the country and do something great, something that would bring a lot of jobs into this area.”
In fact, Dolly has mentioned that her financial advisors thought purchasing the park was too risky. However, Dolly stuck with her gut feeling, bought the park, and turned it into the magnificent success we know today.
3. You Can Visit a Dolly Parton Museum
If you’ve ever had a desire to learn everything about Dolly Parton and discover more facts about Dollywood, visit the Chasing Rainbows museum inside Dollywood. Guests can browse through artifacts, pictures, and more, all detailing Dolly’s life and accomplishments.
With more than 3,000 employees (and counting) on the payroll, Dollywood is consistently ranked as the top employer throughout Sevier County. It looks like Dolly’s dream of helping her community has come true and far exceeded expectations.
6. Dollywood Stopped Traffic for 6 Miles on Opening Day
When Dollywood first opened in 1986, the theme park was already so popular that it halted Pigeon Forge traffic to a complete stop for six entire miles on US-441. And you thought driving on the Pigeon Forge Parkway was bad!
7. Dolly’s Secret Apartment
Everyone needs a place where they can destress and relax. My happy place is a coffee shop, while Dolly Parton’s place happens to be a secret apartment in Dollywood. Above Apple Jack’s sandwich restaurant, you’ll find her hidden apartment. That is, if you can find the entrance.
8. Several Eagles Call Dollywood Home
Inside Dollywood, you can check out the Eagle Mountain Sanctuary, which is the country’s largest presentation of bald eagles. These majestic birds live in a 30,000 square foot aviary house, as they are deemed non-releasable to the wild for their safety. Members of the American Eagle Foundation are onsite to teach visitors about the birds, their habitat, and show just how magnificent these creatures truly are. Talk about one of the more wild facts about Dollywood, right?
9. You Can Visit Dolly Parton’s Childhood Home… Almost
While the authentic Parton family cabin is still standing in Sevier County, you can visit a replica of the home during your Dollywood vacation. Both Dolly’s mother and brother helped to construct the exact copy of the family cabin. See what life was like for a young Dolly Parton as you tour the home.
10. Now You Can Stay at Dollywood
In 2015, Dollywood opened the DreamMore Resort with the intent of providing guests a fully immersive Dollywood experience from the moment they arrive. The resort is situated just a few minutes away from the theme park and water park and offers several different room types to accommodate all types of families.
Did You Know these 10 Facts about Dollywood?
I told you a few of the facts about Dollywood were surprising. Of course, there is always more to learn about Dollywood. And the best way to do so is by experiencing it first hand. Purchase your Dollywood tickets from Reserve Pigeon Forge and start planning your vacation in the Smoky Mountains today.
The Smoky Mountain community is known for its arts and crafts, which makes it a perfect home for A Mountain Quiltfest. This five-day long event gives quilters the opportunity to attend classes that are based on skill level and technique. There will also be a quilt show that displays a variety of quilts for your viewing pleasure.
Festival of Nations at Dollywood
Dates: 2017 festival dates to be determined
Celebrate entertainment and traditions from around the world at the Smoky Mountain’s premier theme park: Dollywood. The theme park produces high-energy cultural shows, authentic demonstrations from multiple different countries, and mouth-watering food from around the world during the spring festival.
Spring Smoky Mountain Trout Tournament
Dates: April 1-2, 2017
This 2-day fishing tournament on April 1st and 2nd, 2017 is an all ages event featuring more than 10,000 trout waiting to be caught. All fishing fanatics flock to the Smoky Mountains for this competition. Also, there are cash prizes to win! There is also a fall tournament to participate in on October 7th and 8th, 2017.
Spring Rod Run
Dates: 2017 festival dates to be decided
Calling all classic car fans: The Spring Rod Run is one of the top Pigeon Forge festivals held each year. Classic, historic, and new cars can be viewed during this one-of-a-kind car event. If you plan to attend this spring festival, be aware that Pigeon Forge traffic can be extremely congested due to the influx of visitors. This event is also held in the fall for those that cannot make it to the Smoky Mountains during the spring season.
Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage Festival
Dates: April 11-15, 2017
As winter fades away, and spring blooms, the Smokies celebrate with the 67th annual Wildflower Pilgrimage. The festival offers over 150 programs including an array of instructional walks and guided hiking tours tailored to meet individual walking skill and ability, along with demonstrations and guest lecturers. As a result, attendees get a wide perspective on everything from flowers to amphibians to trees and birds.
Wilderness Wildlife Week
May 9-13, 2017
Attention nature lovers! Wilderness Wildlife Week presents a variety of programs, hikes, classes and seminars designed to engage those of all ages. This spring celebration of the great outdoors is free and open to the public
Gatlinburg Beans and Cornbread Festival
Dates: May 11, 2017
Presented by Bush Brothers & Company, this event features a Beans and Cornbread Cook-Off, antique engines and lots of beans and cornbread for the tasting. It’s a true celebration of Appalachia’s culinary history. Hours are from 5-8pm. Entry is free, but a $10 tasting pass needs to be purchased for sampling.
Bloomin’ Barbeque and Bluegrass Festival
Dates: May 19-20, 2017
Each spring, the world’s best barbeque and bluegrass come to the Smoky Mountains for one of the most intriguing Pigeon Forge festivals. Tap your foot along to world-class music while sampling the top barbeque cuisine – what could be better?
Dollywood’s Barbeque and Bluegrass Festival should not be missed. Dollywood/Facebook
As you might have guessed, the summer season is the peak time for Pigeon Forge festivals. From celebrating our great country to an annual firefly gathering, there’s really no time like the summer in the Smoky Mountains.
Make sure to catch these great Pigeon Forge festivals during your summer vacation.
Dollywood’s Barbeque and Bluegrass Festival
Dates: 2017 festival dates to be determined
The greater Smoky Mountain community really loves BBQ and bluegrass. Not to be confused with the also popular Bloomin’ BBQ and Bluegrass Festival, Dollywood pulls out all the stops for this early summer festival. Stroll through the theme park and you’ll find professional chefs cooking exceptional BBQ and musicians playing toe-tapping bluegrass. Plus, there’s new surprises in store for guests each year!
Smoky Mountain Tunes & Tales
Dates: June 10-July 29, 2017
Tunes & Tales is a summer-long street performance festival featuring costumed musical performers, storytellers and artisans portraying characters from time periods as far back as the 1800s. Performers arrive nightly at 6pm. Then, visitors are treated to an evening of strolling entertainment where the sidewalk becomes the stage.
Synchronous Fireflies at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Dates: 2017 dates to be determined
Did you know that fireflies can synchronize their flashing light patterns? Every year at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, guests apply by lottery application to witness a jaw-dropping natural event. Over the course of a two week period, primarily with the goal of mating, fireflies synchronize their flashing light patterns and create awe-inspiring visuals. You have to see it in person to understand how outstanding this event truly is! 2017 dates to be determined by the National Park Service.
Great American Summer Festival at Dollywood
Dates: 2017 festival dates to be determined
When it comes to Pigeon Forge festivals, Dollywood leads the pack – especially with the Great American Summer Festival. The annual summer festival at the theme park offers longer hours, spectacular performances, a phenomenal fireworks display, and so much more.
Pigeon Forge Patriot Festival
Dates: July 4, 2017
The weeks surrounding Independence Day are by far some of the busiest in Pigeon Forge. To celebrate our great nation, first head over to Gatlinburg for the First Independence Day Parade. At 12:01am on July 4th, you and your family can enjoy one of the most renowned parades in the country.
After the nationally recognized parade, get some rest because the remainder of your day is packed with fun at the Pigeon Forge Patriot Festival. This day long tribute to our nation and military includes musical groups, food, kid-friendly fun, and more.
The Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival
Dates: August 16-20, 2017
Every summer, the most talented musicians and songwriters from across the country and world head to the Smoky Mountains for a weekend of musical inspiration. At the Smoky Mountains Songwriters Festival, guests can put their talents to the test in song competitions, meet their favorite artists, and also learn about the songwriting process through various workshops.
Dates: Entire month of August
Another one of the best summer Pigeon Forge festivals is Celebrate Freedom which occurs every August. Throughout town, participating businesses offer discounts and promotions for active and veteran military personnel, police officers, firefighters and emergency responders. Also, proper identification is required to receive the discounts and promotions throughout the duration of the festival.
Fall in Pigeon Forge is the most colorful time of year!
As the fall foliage appears, the many fall Pigeon Forge festivals get into full swing.
Shades of the Past Hot Rod Roundup
Dates: September 8-9 2017
The Pigeon Forge area is a popular destination for car shows, such as the Shades of the Past Hot Rod Roundup. From classics to customs, you’ll get to browse an incredible assortment of cars at this festival.
Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival
Dates: September 1-October 31, 2017
The autumn season is in full swing every year throughout the Smoky Mountain region. In September and October, some of the top Pigeon Forge festivals are held as part of the overall Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival. These festivals and events include:
Shocktober at the Iris Theatre at the Gatlinburg Space Needle
And So Much More
There’s no shortage of fun during the Smoky Mountain Harvest Festival.
Dollywood National Southern Gospel and Harvest Celebration
Dates: 2017 festival dates to be determined
Dollywood offers yet another magical festival for families to enjoy. This autumn festival includes gospel music’s top talent, incredible performances, and more fall fun throughout the theme park.
A snowy winter scene in Gatlinburg.
If you’ve ever had the chance to experience the Pigeon Forge area during the winter time, you know how beautifully breathtaking it is. These Pigeon Forge festivals make the most of the picturesque landscape of the Smoky Mountain area.
Dates: November 1, 2016- February 28, 2017
This 4-month long celebration of the winter season is packed with entertainment, dazzling lights, fun activities, and more. From incredible parades to the Trolley Tour of Lights, there’s something for everyone to enjoy at Winterfest in Pigeon Forge.
Christmas in the Smokies Bluegrass Festival
Dates: 2017 dates to be determined
If you can’t tell, the Smoky Mountain area loves bluegrass music. As the center of the bluegrass region, musicians, fans, and songwriters from all over come to Pigeon Forge each winter to celebrate and perform their music. With the area all lit up for the holidays and the sounds of bluegrass music filling the air, you can’t help but have a great time at the Christmas in the Smokies Bluegrass Festival. The festival is held this winter on December 7-10, 2016 with 2017 dates to be determined.
Smoky Mountain Christmas at Dollywood
Dates: 2017 dates to be determined
For a classic Christmas experience in the Smoky Mountains, head to Dollywood. Once again, the theme park knows how to deck the halls with performances, visits with Santa, and phenomenal synchronized light displays. As one of the top Pigeon Forge festivals in the winter, you do not want to miss a Smoky Mountain Christmas at Dollywood. The festival is currently ongoing from November 5th to January 1st, with 2017 dates to be determined.
Enjoy Fantastic Pigeon Forge Festivals Year Round
No matter which season you choose to visit Pigeon Forge and the greater Smoky Mountain area, you’ll have so many festivals to choose from. Therefore, the best time to visit the Smoky Mountains is all year long!
I’d like you to take a moment and imagine spending Christmas in the Smoky Mountains. You wake up on Christmas morning to the following scene:
After greeting the day, you walk into the kitchen of the stunning cabin your family rented for the holidays. You grab a cup of coffee, walk past the Christmas tree surrounded by presents and grab your coat. You walk out to the porch and spend the morning relaxing in a rocking chair, sipping your coffee while the sun rises over the picturesque Smoky Mountains, waiting for the rest of the family to wake up.
While you were reading that, I’ve already rented my cabin and packed my bags for Pigeon Forge. Aside from the marvelous views and warm holiday feeling, you simply cannot top Christmas in the Smoky Mountains.
Still need some convincing? Here are 7 reasons why you need to spend Christmas in the Smoky Mountains.
Clingman’s Dome in Winter, photo by Doug Kerr / flickr
1. The Pristine Weather
I was born and raised in New England. Therefore, I prefer my winter holidays on the colder side. I don’t need to be buried under a blizzard, but a few snowflakes or flurries will do the trick.
When you’re up that far in the mountains, you’re pretty much guaranteed a chilly morning while you open presents or gather around for breakfast. When you choose to celebrate Christmas in the Smoky Mountains, you’re bound for perfect holiday weather – not too hot, but definitely crisp. And, if you’re lucky, you’ll experience a bit of snow!
To enjoy this perfect winter weather, head to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park for a hike. In the case of snowfall, watch your footing and follow all signs and/or regulations put in place by park rangers. Our trail guides will help you plan for a memorable holiday hike:
2. Outstanding Christmas Attractions in Pigeon Forge
Everyone knows that Pigeon Forge is packed with exciting attractions. From Dollywood to the Titanic Museum, there’s nonstop fun and entertainment for the whole family. But have you experienced these attractions and theme parks during the Christmas season? Visit these Pigeon Forge sites for a memorable Christmas vacation.
When celebrating Christmas in the Smoky Mountains, you have to go to Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Festival. From November to early January each year, the park lights up with spectacular holiday shows, meet and greet opportunities with Santa and friends, moving Sunday worship services, and an over-the-top holiday parade. Dollywood really knows how to celebrate the Christmas season!
Another magical Christmas attraction in the greater Smoky Mountain area is the Trolley Tour of Lights. Available in both Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, the trolley ride takes you through the most notable areas of town – all glowing with holiday LED displays. If this trolley ride doesn’t put you in the Christmas spirit, I don’t know what will. When spending Christmas in the Smoky Mountains, riding the trolley and seeing the light displays should be at the top of your list.
For even more bright holiday fun, head to the Tennessee Smokies Baseball Stadium for Shadrack’s Christmas Wonderland. While at the attraction, guests can marvel at the synchronized LED display and visit Santa’s Workshop for even more holiday excitement. Enjoying Christmas in the Smoky Mountains is not complete without a trip to this wonderland!
Ober Gatlinburg / Facebook
3. Play in the Snow
What Christmas in the Smoky Mountains would be complete without playing in the snow? Head to Ober Gatlinburg for extraordinary winter activities including:
A Kids Snow Zone
Freestyle Terrain Park
Ober Gatlinburg is great for those who want to experience the thrill of skiing/snowboarding and those who would rather go snow tubing. There’s something for everyone at the winter park. Don’t forget to ride the Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway for jaw-dropping views of the Smoky Mountains in winter!
Remember to reserve your seats for a Christmas show!
4. Reserve Your Tickets for a Christmas Show
All of your favorite Smoky Mountain shows transform for the holiday season. From hilarious comedy shows to mesmerizing productions with outstanding musical performances, there’s no better way to spend Christmas in the Smoky Mountains that at one of the top Christmas shows.
These holiday productions are extremely popular, so book your tickets for the following Smoky Mountain Christmas shows today:
You don’t want to miss these renowned Christmas shows this holiday season.
Finish your Christmas shopping at the Tanger Outlets.
5. Finish Your Last Minute Shopping in the Smoky Mountains
If you’re like me, you’ve waited until the last possible minute to do your Christmas shopping. It’s not an ideal scenario, but it happens. Between the main strip in Gatlinburg and the Tanger Outlets in Pigeon Forge, you’ll have plenty of places to quickly finish up your holiday shopping.
Of course, there’s no better gift than the gift of travel. Reserve Pigeon Forge makes it easy for customers to purchase a gift certificate, valid for attraction, show, experience tickets and even hotel rooms. It’s all you need to give a great vacation!
6. Christmas Pancakes. Enough Said.
Gatlinburg is the pancake capital of the South. Don’t believe me? Watch this and you will! But be warned: your stomach will growl the entire time.
Celebrate Christmas in the Smoky Mountains with the festive holiday pancake specials from Gatlinburg’s top pancake houses. I promise your stomach will thank you.
Spend your Christmas vacation in a Smoky Mountain cabin.
7. The Perfect Lodging Options
We’ve all seen the quaint cabins with a snowfall background illustrated in our favorite holiday books. I firmly believe these scenes were inspired by the cabins all across the Smoky Mountains.
Renting a cabin is the key to a memorable Christmas in the Smoky Mountains. Rental companies offer everything from magnificent cabins designed to fit large and extended families, to cozy cabins for the couple looking to get away for the holidays. There’s a cabin style and location for everyone.
Although, if you’re not a fan of cabins, I know just the place for your Christmas in the Smoky Mountains vacation. Why not stay where it’s Christmas all year long? The Inn at Christmas Place offers guests a holiday experience unlike any other. From the decor to the amenities, you’ll feel as though you’ve been plopped in the middle of the North Pole.
Reserve Your Christmas in the Smoky Mountains Vacation Today
There’s a reason families choose to vacation in Pigeon Forge. The charming town tucked in the Smoky Mountains offers activities for everyone — including your toddler. Once you try these 8 fantastic things to do with toddlers in Pigeon Forge, it’ll become your vacation destination for years to come.
1) Spend a Day (or Two) at Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country
Dollywood is the perfect amusement park for the whole family. The theme park boasts towering roller coasters and thrill rides as well as toddler-friendly rides and attractions.
Splash Country: Dollywood/Facebook
The “Country Fair” area of Dollywood is where you’ll want to head first. This section of the park was built specifically for toddlers and younger children. Rides include the Amazing Flying Elephants, Piggy Parade, and Sideshow Spin, the rollercoaster suited perfectly for toddlers.
Don’t forget to grab a seat at one of the family-friendly shows at Dollywood, too!
If your toddler prefers to splash the day away, head over to Dollywood’s Splash Country. At the water park, toddlers can enjoy Little Creek Falls, Mountain Waves, Downbound Float Trip, and Bear Mountain Fire Tower for a splashing good time.
To get the most out of your toddler’s Pigeon Forge vacation, visit Dollywood after 3pm to receive free admission to the park valid during the next operating day.
2) Sneak in a Lesson
Toddlers learn best when having fun. The Pigeon Forge area offers an abundance of interactive learning opportunities for children. While they have a great time tinkering with the hands-on exhibits, you can have peace of mind knowing they’re learning something new while on vacation.
Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies
Your toddler will adore WonderWorks. Legend has it that a storm in the Bermuda Triangle picked up the top secret laboratory and landed completely upside down in Pigeon Forge. Be sure to have your toddler visit the Sound Lab, Bubble Lab (a popular exhibit), Space Zone, and the Wonders of Magic show. They’ll love playing with the exhibits and you’ll love how much they are learning.
If your toddler loves animals, schedule a trip to Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies. Ranked #5 on the list of “Best Aquariums in the World”, this aquarium visit will not disappoint. Inside you’ll find everything from the Shark Realm to the Penguin Playhouse and Sting Ray Bay. Two full levels of marine life education await you and your toddler here!
3) Up for a Round of Mini Golf?
Who doesn’t love mini golf? For a fun time with your toddler, schedule a round of mini golf at these spectacular Pigeon Forge courses:
The best time to visit the mini golf courses is right when they open to the public. The crowds will be minimal so your toddler can take your time enjoying one of the best things to do with toddlers in Pigeon Forge.
4) Get Tickets for a Pigeon Forge Show
If your toddler is captivated by the magic of the theater, you’re in luck. From magic shows to comedy shows and everything in between, seeing a show is one of the top things to do with toddlers in Pigeon Forge.
For a jaw-dropping theatrical performance, purchase your tickets for Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede. With stunning costumes, delicious food, incredible set design, and of course, a renowned performance, your toddler will love the entire show. Children under the age of 3 are free if they sit on a parent or guardian’s lap during the show.
Don’t forget to pick up your tickets for these amazing Pigeon Forge shows too!
These shows will have you and your toddler on the edge of your seat!
5) Go on a Journey at MagiQuest
Your toddler will be fascinated with this one-of-a-kind Pigeon Forge attraction. MagiQuest is an interactive story where you are the main character. Your child will go on a quest using a personalized wand, battle dragons, see mythical creatures and find hidden clues to unlock the story along the way. Families can complete the quest as individuals or as a team. If your child needs help with the quest, you can be right there to guide them.
Parrot Mountain and Gardens
6) See Exotic Birds at Parrot Mountain and Gardens
Parrot Mountain and Gardens is another spectacular attraction for your animal loving toddler. Explore four acres of landscaped gardens with hundreds of tropical, colorful birds throughout. All birds are housed where they can enjoy all of the sun, fresh air, and rain they desire. The entire family will enjoy seeing birds from all around the globe at this coveted Pigeon Forge attraction.
7) Get Ready for an Adventure at FoxFire Mountain
Does your family love outdoor adventures? If so, head over to FoxFire Mountain Adventures. While many of the experiences are meant for participants ages 7 and up, your toddler can join in the fun with the Little Adventurer Obstacle Course. This part of the park is exclusively for children under the age of 7. Complete with a mini-zip line and swinging rope challenges, your toddler will have a blast on this supervised aerial adventure.
8) Get Away to The Island
When I say that The Island in Pigeon Forge has everything, I mean it. You can stay, eat, relax, shop, and play all at this Pigeon Forge attraction. If part of your family wants to shop while your little one wants to play, it’s completely possible at the Island. From the Island Show Fountain to the Island Express train ride, there’s always something for your toddler to enjoy. With several kid-friendly rides, games, stores, and restaurants, the Island is one of the greatest things to do with toddlers in Pigeon Forge.
Experience the Best Things to Do with Toddlers in Pigeon Forge
Ready to pack up the family and go on a toddler-friendly vacation? By visiting Pigeon Forge your family is guaranteed to have a memorable trip. Use Reserve Pigeon Forge to easily reserve your tickets for all of the phenomenal things to do with toddlers in Pigeon Forge today.
Every other year, my family gets together in Pigeon Forge for a family reunion. With 50 of us and counting, we found that hotels are not ideal for a group of our size. Instead, a Pigeon Forge cabin vacation is the perfect solution.
Pigeon Forge offers many types of cabins, from cozy a cabin for a couple on their honeymoon to massive cabins able to host 50 or more people.
Before you start planning your trip, use this guide for a spectacular Pigeon Forge cabin vacation.
Research Your Cabin Options
In life, a little research can go a long way. The last thing you want is to blindly reserve a cabin, only to find it doesn’t meet your expectations.
Consider the following factors before making your cabin reservation:
The Season — Pigeon Forge experiences a surge of tourist traffic during the spring, summer, and fall seasons. If you plan to visit the area during these busy months, book your cabin well in advance. Otherwise, you’ll have a limited selection of cabins to choose from.
Necessary Amenities — Does your cabin need to have specific accommodations? Many Pigeon Forge cabins are wheelchair accessible, pet-friendly, offer Wi-Fi, and include other amenities. If you have questions about cabin amenities, a quick call to the company or owners will provide your answer.
Your Budget — Establishing a budget is the best way to find a cost-effective cabin. Shop around for cabins that fit your budget and offer the necessary amenities you need for a wonderful vacation.
Cabin Location — Some cabins are tucked back into the serene and calm woods of Pigeon Forge with long travel times to attractions. Families looking for quick access to Dollywood and other attractions should consider the location of their cabin before making a reservation.
Your Car — During one Pigeon Forge cabin vacation, our cabin was at the top of a steep hill with a long gravel driveway. The larger, more powerful vehicles made it up the driveway just fine. My little sedan, however, did not. Before booking, consider the type of car you own and the terrain traveled to access the cabin. The cabin company can provide this information if is not online.
Cabin Reviews — Before booking your Pigeon Forge cabin, hear what others have to say about the cleanliness of the cabin, the customer service provided by the company, and any other opinions from previous travelers. Remember to take reviews with a grain of salt. What may have been an awful experience for one traveler, may be completely fine for you. By booking your cabin through Reserve Direct, you can read reviews from travelers who have recently stayed in one of Pigeon Forge’s many cabins.
Once you’ve found a great cabin for you and your family, it’s time to decide if cabin vacations are best for you.
The Advantages of Vacationing in a Pigeon Forge Cabin
Staying in a cabin can provide a wealth of benefits for your family or group.
Cost — Whether you’re traveling with your significant other or a large group of people, you will find that cabin vacations are a cost-effective option. Many travelers prefer cabins to hotels because of the low cost for luxury amenities.
Included Amenities – All Pigeon Forge cabins include incredible amenities. The cabins I’ve stayed in have included full kitchens, hot tubs, stocked game rooms, indoor movie theaters (seriously), complimentary Wi-Fi, Jacuzzi tubs, and more. You won’t find all this in a similarly priced hotel room.
Privacy —By renting a cabin, you now have an entire house to yourself. The only people who can bother you are the people you chose to vacation with. Say goodbye to hearing the TV from the hotel room next door or little children running up and down the hotel hallways.
Downtime — When you have downtime in a hotel, you might watch TV, go for a swim if a pool is onsite, or buy an overpriced drink at the bar. When you reserve a cabin, there’s so much to enjoy inside and outside of the cabin. I’ve found that I enjoy the time inside the cabin just as much as I enjoy exploring Pigeon Forge.
Quiet Time — Where else can you drink a freshly made cup of coffee while watching the sunrise over the mountains from the comfort of your rocking chair? Some of my favorite Pigeon Forge memories involve a cabin porch, a cup of coffee, and long conversations with family and friends. A hotel continental breakfast or bar doesn’t have the same allure.
The Disadvantages of a Pigeon Forge Cabin Vacation
As with any vacation lodging option, cabins do have their downfalls.
Cooking Meals — Pigeon Forge cabins offer full kitchens complete with many cooking appliances. While the majority of travelers find this appealing, others find it to be a nuisance. If you would rather have meals prepared for you by professionals, you will be better off in a hotel.
Made a Mess? Clean It Up. — In a hotel, your towels and bed sheets are replaced daily. Cabins provide guests with washers and dryers, but a cleaning service won’t take care of your messes every day. It’s up to you and your guests to ensure the cabin is clean and tidy.
Limited Main Road Access to Attractions — If you prefer in the middle of the action, a hotel would be better suited for your Pigeon Forge vacation. Cabins take advantage of the quiet Smoky Mountain nature and tend to be away from the main roads.
Limited Cell Service — Depending on your cell phone provider, you may or may not have service at your cabin. While cabin companies and owners cannot control this, it’s good to be aware.
A Few Tips for the Road
Once you’ve booked your cabin, it’s time to hit the road and enjoy your vacation. Over the course of my many Pigeon Forge vacations, I’ve picked up a few tips that will make your cabin visit worthwhile.
Plan Your Meals — Personally, I love to take advantage of the cabin kitchens. By planning your meals ahead of time, you can make a quick grocery shopping trip upon arriving to Pigeon Forge. Trust me, there’s nothing better than a home-cooked meal in a comfy cabin overlooking the Smoky Mountains. Plus, you’ll save money by not relying on a restaurant for every meal and snack.
Stock Up on Cleaning Supplies — While many cabin companies and owners generously provide enough supplies for your stay, it’s in your best interest to be prepared. Supplies can be depleted fast when vacationing with a big group of people.
Bring Games and Activities — If you’re traveling with friends or a large group of people, game nights in the cabin are the best. Bring outdoor activities such as a soccer ball or lawn game to keep the fun going.
Remember Your Cabin Address — In the off chance that you become lost, it’s good to always remember your cabin address.
Pigeon Forge is the ideal location for a family getaway. From white water rafting and hiking to Dollywood and numerous shows, there’s something for everyone. Pigeon Forge is located right off of Interstate 40, positioning the town within a day’s drive or less away from two-thirds of the country. As a popular vacation destination for families and couples, traffic on the main road can be an absolute nightmare. Conquering the legendary Pigeon Forge traffic is no easy feat. But with a bit of planning, forward thinking, and determination, you can beat the rush.
The Pigeon Forge Parkway with no traffic–what a sight!
Avoid Traveling During Peak Seasons and Times of the Day
Pigeon Forge is home to car shows, events, gigantic cabins for reunions and weddings, and so much more. With so much always going on, certain times throughout the week and throughout the year can mean extremely hectic traffic.
The busiest times for Pigeon Forge traffic include:
Major Holidays — Fourth of July week/weekend, winter holidays, Memorial Day weekend, Labor Day weekend, and spring breaks draw an enormous amount of traffic to Pigeon Forge.
Car Shows — Car shows such as the Spring Rod Run, Fall Rod Run, Great Smoky Mountain Jeep Invasion and more call Pigeon Forge home throughout the year.
Parades — Who doesn’t love a good parade? While they are fun to see, they are not fun to navigate around. Some of the largest Pigeon Forge parades include Dolly Parton’s Homecoming Parade and the 4th of July parade.
After 3PM on Fridays — This is around the time that families and couples will flock to Pigeon Forge for a weekend getaway.
Between 10AM and 1PM on Sundays — During this time, the weekend vacationers have checked out of their hotel room, cabin, or lodge and are all heading in the same direction: home.
Avoid traveling during these busy times of the day and year and you’ll be all set for an amazing Pigeon Forge vacation.
Navigate Pigeon Forge in the Morning or at Night
Traffic throughout the greater Pigeon Forge area tends to be the worst during the afternoons and early evenings. During this time, families are traveling to and from their attractions all across the town. To avoid this, plan to drive during the morning and nighttime hours.
If possible, plan activities within close proximity of one another to avoid traveling long distances through Pigeon Forge traffic.
Plan to Visit Pigeon Forge During the Week
Since the majority of vacationers will choose to conveniently travel on the weekends, you can avoid the influx of cars by planning to visit Pigeon Forge on a weekday. Keep in mind that during peak seasons such as spring breaks, winter breaks, and summer, weekdays may be just as busy as a weekend.
Choose to Travel to Pigeon Forge During an Off Season
Although short, Pigeon Forge does have an off season. From New Year’s Day to Easter, Pigeon Forge can seem like a ghost town! It’s hard to believe, but true.
If you can fit a visit to Pigeon Forge in during these months, you might drive down the Parkway without every touching the breaks (except at stoplights and stop signs, of course).
Two years ago, I took advantage of a January weekend in Pigeon Forge. Never once did I hit a bit of traffic.
Use Traffic Shortcuts
As with any town, Pigeon Forge is filled with shortcuts and roads that the locals keep secret. Use these to your advantage!
One bit of advice is to drive down Veterans Boulevard when possible. This road connects Parkway at traffic light #8 with Dolly Parton Parkway, which skips about 7 traffic lights. When you learn just how congested Pigeon Forge traffic gets, skipping 7 traffic lights can be a real time saver.
Locals also have a “secret” traffic tip — take advantage of Highway 441, also known as Chapman Highway. Once on this route, there are back roads that will lead you to all of the main points of the Pigeon Forge Parkway. Chapman Highway also connects to other shortcuts such as Veterans Boulevard.
Your Lodging Option Also Effects Traffic
To avoid as much traffic as humanly possible, try staying in less popular (but equally beautiful and convenient) areas such as Wears Valley, the Upper Middle Creek Road cabins by Dollywood, or Sevierville. Look for hotels and cabins in these areas to skip as much traffic as possible.
Research, Plan, Repeat
The ultimate tip for avoiding Pigeon Forge traffic is to plan ahead and stay up to date on the traffic patterns. If you do your research and take advantage of these travel tips, you’ll have no problem navigating Pigeon Forge traffic.