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A few years ago, we took our family to Pigeon Forge for the first time. We had always heard about the Great Smoky Mountains. My in-laws had been vacationing there for years, and they loved how welcoming it was, not to mention the attractions, so we decided to head to Tennessee.  

A person wearing a helmet

To say that it is one of our favorite places is an understatement. The best way to describe Pigeon Forge is to say that it represents a simpler time. It’s like life just feels easy there… peaceful, relaxing, and comforting.   

When the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism reached out about a partnership, I didn’t hesitate for a minute. We are always excited to go to Pigeon Forge, and this was going to be an opportunity to explore new places with our family.    

NOTE: We went on this trip in March, before the pandemic. While we are home now, we were so glad that we were able to make the trip when we did. We look forward to going back again just as soon as we can.   Regarding the Pigeon Forge attractions & businesses mentioned in this blog, please check their respective websites for an update on their COVID-19 operational updates. Today I want to share some of our favorite things to do in Pigeon Forge with kids.  

10 Favorite things to do in Pigeon Forge with Kids: 

Dollywood Rides

This goes without saying.  It is our favorite amusement park, so I had to mention it here.  It fits in with the rest of Pigeon Forge: it has a simple feel to it, it is family-friendly, and everyone is welcoming.  I don’t think that you could find a nicer group of people working in one place.

The rides are so much fun… my favorite is the Lightning Rod.

3 of us on the Lightening Dollywood ride

Dolly’s House at Dollywood

I like visiting the replica of Dolly Parton’s house from her childhood.  Her mom actually decorated it at Dollywood, but it is so neat to see how they all fit into the small home. It’s like one of my favorite songs says…  “Love grows best in little houses… with few walls to separate. 
Where we eat and sleep so close together, we can’t help but communicate.  Oh, and if we put more room between us, think of all we’d miss.  Love grows best, in houses just like this.”

A group of people at a cabin
This was the only bed:

A bedroom with a bed and desk in a room
The story goes that, once a year, Dolly goes back to her childhood home for several days, without the internet, a phone, electricity, or anything else that she is used to.   She just stays there and she writes. Dolly said that she’s “had some major moments with God and with my writing when I get to that place where the headaches leave and my body is cleansed. You think so clear.”


3. The 1901 Schoolhouse at Dollywood

I also love the replica of a 1901 schoolhouse at Dollywood.  It reminds me of Little House on the Prarie.  
Here are a few pictures of the schoolhouse… 

The desks:
A wooden bench
The schoolroom:
A kitchen with a dining table

And don’t forget the rules for the teachers in 1901.  This is displayed on the outside of the schoolhouse.

A close up of a newspaper

4. The Cabins in Pigeon Forge. 

The cabins were beautiful.  We stayed in a cabin at Eagle’s Ridge Resorts.  Our cabin was called “Mountain Majesty,” and everywhere that we looked, we had a reminder of nature that surrounded the Great Smoky Mountains.

person overlooking woods
Plus, the kids loved the porches (front & back) and the front porch swing.
Kids on the swing on front porch of cabin

5. Pigeon Forge Snow

Our family loved playing at Pigeon Forge Snow.   The kids spent a full hour SnowTubing, and then they spent another hour playing in a room filled with snow.   We didn’t have to bundle up like we would if we were in the snow outside, so it was even more fun!  

6. Mountain Coasters

This was a new experience for us and one that we will repeat with each visit.   We were lucky enough to find two amazing mountain coasters and they were completely different. The first one that we went on was Coaster at Goats on the Roof, and the second was Rocky Top Mountain Coaster.  I liked both so much but in different ways.   You can see videos and pictures of our rides on my Instagram Stories.

A group of people sitting at a ride

7. Paula Deen’s Lumberjack Feud Show & Adventure Park

We knew that Paula Deen was a fantastic chef, and we’ve been to her restaurant in Savannah, Georgia, more times than I can count, but I didn’t know about this adventure.  

 posing for a photo
We spent one evening at the Paula Deen’s Lumberjack Feud Show, and I think it’s safe to say that it was one of the kids’ favorite things.  They won a “cookie” from a tree; they practiced Ax Throwing, they took pictures with the lumberjacks, and the kids cheered and laughed louder than they had the entire trip. 

A group of people posing for a picture

They also loved the Adventure Zone.  They had the best time – ziplining, climbing logs, and climbing through the ropes course.
A group of people standing in front of a building

8. Pirates Voyage Dinner Show

The dinner shows at Pigeon Forge are always so much fun, and this one did not disappoint!   The show was terrific, as was the dinner… and the company!   We all had such a fun time, and we were all equally amazed by the talent of these dancers, performers, and gymnasts.


9. FlyAway Indoor Skydiving

This was awesome!  Our 13-year-old had the best time skydiving inside.  He was trained on precisely what he needed to do, and then it was off to skydive.  He did a great job – I can’t imagine how I would have done, but I’m sure it wouldn’t have been as good as he did for his first try!   He remembered the signals and was able to fly for quite a while.  It was so much fun for us to watch and even more fun for him to experience.  Check out the videos on my IG stories.


10. Titanic Museum

I have always been interested in history, so it was no surprise that I enjoyed the Titanic Museum as much as I did.  It was full of pictures, audio recordings from passengers, stories of passengers, and artifacts that have been collected.   I could have spent hours and hours in the museum learning about the Titanic.   They even have a replica of the stairs from the Titanic. 

There were so many more things that we enjoyed & look forward to doing again, like jumping at TopJump, riding go-karts at The Track, and learning about the prisoners from Alcatraz East Crime Museum.  

All in all, if you are heading to Tennessee this spring or summer, you’ve got to stop by Pigeon Forge.   Have lunch at the Old Mill, spend the day having a blast at some of these places and end the night with one of their dinner shows.   You won’t be disappointed.  It’s the perfect place to make family memories.

Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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