My family loves going to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. We have been many times over the years. There are so many things to do year round no matter what your age or budget! I recently went with my grandparents and wanted to share a few fun and affordable family friendly activities you can enjoy when you visit Pigeon Forge too!
To make your trip even more affordable be sure to visit the various Pigeon Forge travel & attraction websites and print out any online coupons. You can also pick up lots of coupon books at the visitors center and many of the local stores and restaurants.
1. Local events & parks – There are various festivals and events going on all throughout the year in Pigeon Forge. During Christmas there is Winterfest & Trolley Tours as well as lots of Christmas themed musical shows. You can enjoy car shows, Wilderness Week, parades and more. Patriot Park, which is located at Old Mill Square is dedicated to veterans from Sevier County that served during wartime. It is a great place to visit and there are many events held throughout the year like the Patriot Festival on July 4th and Springtime in the Smokies where you can enjoy local music performances, fun and games every day during the spring. The Rotary Club Craft Fair in October is one of our favorites. You can find unique handmade crafts, decor, clothing and more all made by local artisans and craftsmen (and women).
2. Theaters & Shows – Pigeon Forge is known for it’s music. There are numerous theaters offering shows most every night. Whether you like country, rock, pop or oldies you can find a show you will enjoy. On our recent trip we went to the Memories theater where we enjoyed performances by talented singers impersonating Elvis, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Cher and more. The Smoky Mountain Opry is a newer show that is highly acclaimed. We have also enjoyed Country Tonite and other shows in the past years. There are several new shows that are more performances than musical like the Comedy Barn, The Lumberjack Feud and the Hatfield & McCoy’s show and of course the Dixie Stampede. (I haven’t personally been to any of those four shows).
3. The Apple Barn Cider Mill & General Store – This is a really fun afternoon trip for the entire family. You can visit the general store and do some shopping while trying out some delicious cider and apple butter. There is a Christmas Shop and also an Ice Cream Parlor. Be sure to come hungry and plan to eat at one of the two restaurants. Expect at least a 30 minute wait for lunch, longer for dinner. It is well worth the wait though. Your meal will start with Apple Julep’s (made with apple, orange, pineapple and lemon juice) and Apple Fritters and Apple Butter. You will get more than your fill of good, southern cooking.
4. Dollywood – I have been to many theme parks throughout the Southeast and I have to say I really had a great time at Dollywood! There is something for everyone to enjoy there. It is a theme park but it is not overrun with roller coasters and rides. You can enjoy many types of music shows all throughout the park each day. There are restaurants, shops and even a County Fair area. One thing not to miss is the train ride. Be sure to arrive early because the train fills up fast. Dollywood’s price varies depending on the season. One way to save and get more out of your Dollywood trip is to go one day at 3pm and you will get the next day’s admission free. This will give you a few more hours in the park. Get a park map and plan out what you really want to do and see and what performances you want to watch before your trip. This way you can maximize your time while there. Between the rides, shows, museum, scenery, history & all the activities if you plan your Dollywood trip out I feel you will get more than your money’s worth for the experiences and attractions you will enjoy.
- 5. Cades Cove – If you really want to enjoy the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and take a step back in time, Cades Cove needs to be on your list of Pigeon Forge activities. You can take a step back in time and see how the mountain community looked in the 1800’s while enjoying stunning views of the surrounding mountains, nature and wildlife. Take a picnic lunch and enjoy a day at Cades Cove. There are also cabins you can rent in the area if you would like to enjoy this scenic place for several days.
Another fun activity we love to do on vacation is play miniature golf. There are not any good putt-putt courses in the county we live in anymore. It is a super fun way to spend an hour or two in the afternoon while waiting for the shows to start or if you just have some time to kill. Many of the putt putt places offer the second game at half price and you can come back within a week for the second game.
There are of course numerous shops and restaurants you can enjoy all throughout Pigeon Forge. Three Bears is one we always stop at. Country music lovers will enjoy the Ernest Tubb Record Shop. They also have live bands and musicians perform outside the shop at different times throughout the year. There are some antique stores and many souvenir type shops down the parkway. The Shops at the Old Mill are another fun place to shop and visit. Be sure to take some popcorn or bread to feed the ducks on the river by The Old Mill too! No Pigeon Forge trip is complete without at least one delicious breakfast at one of the many Pancake Houses. We like Reagan’s Pancake House & also the Red Rooster Pancake House.
What about you? Have you ever been to Pigeon Forge? What is your favorite thing to do there? If you haven’t been before, which of the above activities would you most like to experience on a future trip? Feel free to comment & share below.