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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 the kids talking about “next time.” That’s a vacation win! Here are the top things to put on your family’s “don’t miss it” list when visiting Pigeon Forge.
The writer received complimentary lodging in Pigeon Forge and admission to select activities. All opinions are her own.
My two tweens and I spent six days in Pigeon Forge this summer and found no shortage of fun, family-friendly things to do. I’ve heard about this destination and seen Pigeon Forge fun in social media feeds for years. Now that we’ve experienced Pigeon Forge firsthand, we’ll definitely plan a return trip. The mountain scenery plus the many options for activities left us wanting more.
10 Fun Things to Do in Pigeon Forge with Kids
1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Pigeon Forge, and the nearby cities of Sevierville and Gatlinburg, sit at the entrance to the Tennessee side of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Whether you visit the park for sightseeing, hiking or other outdoor activities or not (I don’t recommend skipping it) the backdrop of the Smokies provides a stunning setting for your family fun.
There are tons of things to do inside 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 Trail. It’s a steep hike but the path is paved and there are plenty of spots to stop and rest.
Read More: 18 Drool-Worthy National Parks You Have to See in Person
2. Dollywood and Dollywood Splash Country
Dollywood is a fantastic family amusement park located just minutes from downtown Pigeon Forge. The two parks are co-located but separate admission is required for each park. Dollywood has something for the whole family.
This is a fantastic park for tweens. The rides strike a great balance between not being too mild and being terrifying. The thrill rides were enough to keep my family’s interest but not so extreme that we couldn’t enjoy most of them together. There’s also a selection of rides geared toward younger kids that can accommodate grownups as well.
There’s a measuring station near the front of the park that measures kids once and provides a wrist band indicating what they can ride to streamline the boarding process. My kids were too tall for this, but I remember when they were smaller and being stopped multiple times throughout the day (sometimes more than once per attraction) to have them measured, so this is a plus for parents of littles.
Standard amusement park fare is available: turkey legs, hot dogs, kettle corn. There’s also a sit-down restaurant that serves homestyle cooking family style, Aunt Granny’s.
TravelingMom Tip: I strongly recommend the Timesaver Passes. Unlimited Timesaver Passes are $80 per person and allow you to access a special Timesaver line, bypassing the regular line. We visited on a June Friday when the park was busy and walked right on to every single ride except one.
Dollywood Splash Country
In addition to Dollywood theme park, Dollywood 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, a lazy river, a children’s splash pad, several water slides and more. Check out Dollywood discounts and special offers here.
3. Mini Golf
Even though we can play miniature golf at home, this is one of my kids’ favorite activities to do on vacation. Pigeon Forge has several spots 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 in Pigeon Forge. The ride, start to finish, takes 9 minutes, so it’s pretty long for a roller coaster ride. The carts can hold one or two people. You can purchase single ride tickets or all-day passes. You’ll get a discount on repeat rides.
Read More: What’s an Alpine Coaster and Why You Need to Ride One…Now!
5. Pigeon Forge Snow
Pigeon Forge Snow has a snow tube chute chute plus a snow play area. Pay by the hour. There’s an upstairs parent observation area. If you visit during the hot summer, Pigeon Forge Snow just might top your list of fun things to do.
6. Paula Deen’s Lumberjack Feud
There’s a lot to do here. The adventure park includes the first of its kind zip coaster, The Flying Ox, free fall, a ropes course and more. The 1.5-hour lumberjack feud show happens twice daily. Guests cheer for the Dawsons or the McGraws as the two teams go through a variety of impressive lumberjack contests. The show is heavy on audience interaction and is an all-around great time.
7. Sky Fly Soar America
Sky Fly Soar America is a single-ride ticketed attraction similar to the Soarin’ ride at Disneyland or Walt Disney World. Guests go on a simulated flight around the United States, seeing various spots that showcase nature and natural beauty before returning back to Pigeon Forge. The whole experience takes about 20 minutes.
8. Top Jump Trampoline Park
Top Jump Trampoline Park is a great place for kids with lots of energy with tired parents. There are lots of trampolines to bounce on, plus a climbing course, a gladiator style obstacle course and dodge ball. There’s also a dedicated area for younger kids and a deck for parent observation.
The jumpers start and end in blocks so you may have to wait a bit before your jump period starts. We waited about 40 minutes from the time we walked in the door until the kids were jumping. This included waiting in line, signing waivers, the payment station, the safety video and about a 25-minute wait so our group could start together.
9. Track Family Fun Park
Track Family Fun park has go-kart rides, interactive arcade games, mini golf, rides and more.