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If you’re looking for a fun family vacation spot that checks all the boxes, consider traveling to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. You won’t run out of things to do and your trip is sure to start kids talking about ‘next time’. This is a holiday win! Here are the top things to put on your family’s “don’t miss” list when visiting Pigeon Forge.
The writer received free housing in Pigeon Forge and admission to specific activities. All opinions belong to her.
My teenage daughter and I spent six days at Pigeon Forge this summer and found no shortage of fun and family friendly things. I’ve heard about this destination and watched Pigeon Forge have fun in the social media feed for years. Now that we’ve experienced the Pigeon Forge firsthand, we’ll definitely be planning a return trip. The mountain scenery as well as the many activity options left us wanting more.
10 Fun Things To Do In Pigeon Forge With Kids
1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Pigeon Forge and nearby cities such as Sevierville and Gatlinburg lie at the entrance to the Tennessee side of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Whether or not you’re visiting the park for sightseeing, hiking, or other outdoor activities (I wouldn’t recommend skipping them), the Smokies wallpaper makes for a great setting for your family fun.
There are plenty of things to do within the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Two of my favorite spots are Cades Cove and Klingman’s Dome. The latter is the highest point on the Appalachian Way. It’s a steep hike but the road is paved and there are plenty of places to stop and rest.
Further Read: 18 Must-see National Parks You Have To See For Yourself
2. Dollywood and Dollywood Splash Country
Dollywood is a wonderful family amusement park located just minutes from downtown Pigeon Forge. The two parks are located on a common site but separate admission is required for each park. Dollywood has something for the whole family.
This is a great park for young people. The ride strikes a great balance between not being extreme and intimidating. The thrill rides were enough to keep my family interested but not so intense that we couldn’t enjoy most of them together. There is also a selection of games geared for younger children that can accommodate adults as well.
A measuring station near the front of the park measures kids once and provides a wrist strap that indicates what they can ride on to simplify boarding. My kids were way too tall for this, but I remember when they were smaller and they were stopped several times throughout the day (sometimes more than once per attraction) to get measured, so this is a plus for parents of little ones.
Standard theme park fare available: turkey legs, hot dogs, and kettle corn. There is also a sit-down restaurant serving a family style of home cooking, Aunt Granny’s.
Moms tip: I highly recommend Timesaver Passes. Unlimited time-saving passes is $80 per person and allows you access to a private Timesaver font, bypassing the regular one. We visited on a Friday in June when the park was crowded and walked straight to every but one trip.
Dollywood Splash Country
In addition to the Dollywood Theme park, Dollywood also has a water park: Splash Country. This family-friendly water park is located near Dollywood park but has a separate parking area and entrance. The park is beautifully landscaped and has a wave pool, lazy river, splash platform for kids, several water slides and more. Check out Dollywood discounts and specials here.
3. Mini golf
Although we can play mini golf at home, this is one of my kids’ favorite holiday activities. Pigeon Forge has many locations where you can play mini golf as a family. We tried both Toy Box Golf and Crave Golf Club and enjoyed them both. Crave has both indoor and outdoor courses.
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4. Rocky Top Mountain Coaster
This was one of our family’s favorite activities at Pigeon Forge. The ride, from start to finish, takes 9 minutes, so it’s a bit too long for a roller coaster ride. The trolleys can accommodate one or two people. You can buy single flight tickets or all day tickets. You will get a discount on frequent trips.
Rooftop goats and Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster are other mountain coasters to check out in the area.
Read more: What is a roller coaster and why you need to ride one…Now!
5. Pigeon Forge Snow
Pigeon Forge Snow has a snow tube stream as well as a snow play area. Pay by the hour. There is a parental control area upstairs. If you visit during the hot summer, Pigeon Forge Snow might top your list of fun things to do.
6. The Lumberjack Runner Paula Deen
There is a lot to do here. The adventure park includes the first of its kind zip-lining, The Flying Ox, free fall, ropes course, and more. The lumberjack runner’s 1.5-hour show occurs twice daily. Guests cheer for Dawsons or McGraws as both teams engage in a variety of great lumberjack competitions. The show is heavy on audience interaction and is a great all-round time.
7. Sky Fly America
Sky Fly Soar America is located on Margaritaville Island. The island is a popular tourist destination in Pigeon Forge with plenty of shopping, entertainment, and dining options.
Sky Fly Soar America is a one-ticket attraction similar to Soarin’s ride in Disneyland or Walt Disney World. Guests go on a simulated trip around the United States, seeing several sites showcasing nature and natural beauty before returning to Pigeon Forge. The entire experience takes about 20 minutes.
8. Top Jump Trampoline Park
Top Jump Trampoline Park is a great place for kids who have a lot of energy with their tired parents. There’s plenty of trampolines to jump in, as well as a climbing track, a gladiator-style obstacle course, and a dribbling ball. There is also a dedicated area for young children and a parental control platform.
Jumpers start and end in blocks, so you may have to wait a bit before the jumping period starts. We waited about 40 minutes from the time we entered the door until the kids jumped in. This included waiting in line, signing waivers, payment terminal, security video, and a wait of about 25 minutes for our group to get started together.
9. Track Family Fun Park
Track Family Park features go-kart rides, interactive arcade games, mini golf, horseback riding and more.