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Fun Things to Do in Pigeon Forge TN


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Special thanks to the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism for sponsoring this post.

There are dozens of fun things to do in Pigeon Forge TN! I know because my family tackled a bunch of them during Spring Break and we spent three full days of family fun exploring the options.

a collage of activities with title text reading Fun Things to do in Pigeon Forge

If you follow me on Instagram and/or Twitter, you might have caught some of the excitement while we were there. I saved all of my Instagram stories in a highlight so you can get a quick recap, but here I’ll provide you with all the details (including some tips for making the most of your trip).

Fun Things to Do in Pigeon Forge

Before I get to the list of things we did, I want to explain a little about how I decided on the order I’ve arranged them in. After we finished our last activity in Pigeon Forge, I asked each of the kids to rank the Pigeon Forge attractions in order of favorite to least favorite. Then, I tallied the scores.

The list below is arranged starting with the overall most popular attraction (according to my kids’ votes). In only a few cases did their preferences differ greatly and I’ll call those out in the description so you know why it scored better with the younger kids or older kids.

1. Outdoor Gravity Park

This was hands-down the most popular activity with my kids. They easily could have spent hours here (and they wished we had).

a father and daughter outside next to a giant ball people can ride in

This attraction was also on the top of my list because it’s the only one of its kind in the United States. I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to drive several hours from home, I want to experience something I can’t do right down the road from my house.

2. The Track

Before we even got to Pigeon Forge, everyone in my family had voted to do go kart racing during our trip. I’m glad The Track lived up to our expectations.

They have three different go kart tracks to choose from. We opted for the Wild Woody track.

3. Wonderworks

This was another attraction we all agreed on. In fact, we all voted that if you were passing through Pigeon Forge and could only go to one place, it should be Wonderworks.

an upside down building named Wonderworks

Aside from the attention-getting upside-down building, it was chock full of so many different activities and games.

4. Flyaway Indoor Skydiving

This was my daughter’s very favorite activity of the entire trip. I’ve ranked it below Wonderworks though since for the same price of Wonderworks, you get about 10 minutes of fun vs. an entire afternoon.

5. Alcatraz East Crime Museum

I know. I’m as shocked as you are that a museum was in the kids’ top picks. This ranked higher for my two 16-year-olds than it did for the 12-year-old and 14-year-old, but they all put it in their top half.

a man looking at a poster with title text reading Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid

6. Paula Deen’s Lumberjack Feud Show

This was an entertaining show for the whole family. My youngest ranked it higher than the older kids did, but it was in the top half of all activities for all of them.

My daughter’s opinion of the show was definitely swayed by her participation in the show which earned her a free pass to the Crave Golf Club for a free round of mini golf. She also won a “lumberjack cookie” for cheering enthusiastically and the cast members autographed it after the show for her.

The cast members work very hard to engage the audience and interact with them. Even though older kids (i.e. teens) will pretend they think this is cheesy, the can’t help but be amazed at the actual lumberjack skills displayed during the show — ax throwing, pole climbing, and speed sawing.

7. Dolly Parton’s Stampede

Another family-friendly show. Picture a Medieval Times dinner show, but done country style and you’ll have a really good image of this activity.

8. Island Ropes Course

The Island in Pigeon Forge is an entertainment complex that houses a variety of shops, restaurants, and activities. It’s home to the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel (a 200-foot ferris wheel that provides amazing views of the city) and the Island Show Fountains that play to music every 30 minutes.

It’s also home to the Alcatraz Crime Museum my kids loved, a multitude of rides, and the three-story ropes course with 30 different elements and two ziplines.

a family in front of an outdoor ropes course

9. Pigeon Forge Snow

It was really cool to go snow tubing in April when it was 77 degrees outside. There was even a section where the kids could have an indoor snowball fight and build a snowman.

10. Dollywood

We set aside an entire day for Dollywood because we expected it to be one of the highlights of our trip. Unfortunately, we must have picked the wrong day because our experience consisted mostly of waiting in lines.

If you’re going to go to Dollywood, consider buying the TimeSaver pass to bypass most of the long lines.

11. The Tomb

My family loves escape room games so we were excited to visit this unique version. As a group, you navigate through the pharaoh’s pyramid by solving puzzles that test your attention and deductive skills.

a family standing in front of a tomb

Our guide provided us with all of the answers instead of letting us work through the obstacles on our own. If you decide to give it a try, let your guide know whether or not you want help during the game.

More Things to Do in Pigeon Forge

Dining

We PACKED our three-day vacation with activities from morning to night which meant we were working up some big appetites during our visit. As a result, we got to sample a few Pigeon Forge restaurants and these meals were some of the high points of our trip.

Unlike our experience at the activities, customer service at Pigeon Forge restaurants was consistently amazing. From the hostesses who greeted us to the attentive wait staff, dining out was an absolute pleasure.

Also, we learned that it’s customary in Pigeon Forge for the restaurants to offer beverages to go before you leave. We never took them up on this, but there was something about this act of wanting to make sure that even after your departure your needs were being met, that made me love the dining experiences there even more.

Calhoun’s

Our first evening in Pigeon Forge we went to Calhoun’s, lured by the smell of BBQ and the promise of the “Best Ribs in America.” They won us over immediately with their out-of-this-world dinner rolls. Seriously, we’re still talking about those rolls because they were THAT good.

The ribs were definitely good, according to the four people in my family who ordered them. I had the brisket and it was some of the most tender and flavorful brisket I’ve ever had.

The Old Mill Pottery House Café & Grille

The historic Old Mill in Pigeon Forge is a charming area where you can see a hydropower mill in action, purchase homemade treats like jams and fudge, shop an amazing assortment of pottery and enjoy a delicious meal at one of two restaurants on site.
We ate at the Pottery House Cafe & Grille. My expectations were set high after reading the cover of the menu.
a menu cover for the Old Mill Pottery House Cafe & Grille
We were not disappointed. The service was outstanding from the minute we walked in until the moment we left and the food was just as wonderful.

Shopping

Pigeon Forge is a tourist destination so there’s no shortage of souvenir shops. However, you’ll also find charming country stores like the one we visited at the Old Mill when we were there.

My husband was excited to finally get a pair of all-leather moccasins. And the only reason he left Pigeon Forge without a new pair of boots is that there were so many to choose from, he couldn’t pick one!

 

There’s also a great outlet mall on the main strip. We didn’t shop there, but we drove by Tanger Outlets several times and saw signs for some of our favorite stores.

Lodging

One of our favorite features of this vacation was the lodging. We stayed in a spacious, yet cozy cabin in Eagles Ridge that was somehow secluded even though it was just minutes from all of the activities I listed above.

a cabin in the woods

The cabin was decorated like a home so it felt like we were staying somewhere familiar and welcoming. Having a full kitchen made it easier to stick to our dining budget since we could prepare some of our meals and easily store and reheat leftovers from the meals we ate out.

The pool table, arcade games, and hot tub were a hit with the kids who considered the cabin another vacation attraction. I loved starting each morning taking in the gorgeous view from the porch while I sipped my coffee.

You’ll find traditional hotels in Pigeon Forge as well, but I highly recommend staying in a cabin where you can truly relax and unwind at the end of your activity-filled days.

If you live within driving distance of Pigeon Forge, you can get to a fun-filled family vacation destination for the cost of a tank of gas. Skip expensive airfare and invest those dollars instead in activities and experiences your family will remember for a lifetime.

 

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