The scenic Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the perfect backdrop for a family vacation in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. There are endless attractions and plenty of fun things to do in Pigeon Forge with kids of all ages. Pigeon Forge is the perfect place to make lasting memories, from thrilling alpine coasters to a friendly round of mini-golf!
I have been making memories at Pigeon Forge with my family since I was little; however, seeing it through my daughter’s eyes has been the best. We want to thank the Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism for partnering with us to provide exceptional experiences that we cherish. #ad For more information on Pigeon Forge, visit their official website.
Please check the websites of respective businesses for specific information regarding the impact of COVID-19 on their operations.
Fun Things To Do In Pigeon Forge With Kids
The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel At The Island
Step inside a temperature-controlled gondola and gently climb 200 ft for one of the Smoky Mountains’ unparalleled views. Take a spin on the wheel at night to see the town aglow. The all-glass gondolas on The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel with room for up to 8 people are the perfect attraction for the entire family. Children two-and-under are free, so even babies can get in on the action! The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel is at The Island in Pigeon Forge, along with a variety of other attractions and restaurants.
You won’t want to miss the spectacular dancing fountain show at The Island either!
Ropes Course at the Island
The Island has plenty of small rides for little ones; however, they also offer a toddler ropes course for kids under 48 inches tall. A brilliant idea, since one of the hardest things for families traveling with children is that the younger ones always want to do what their older siblings are doing. With the ropes course on The Island, the little ones can test their skills while the older kids can enjoy the more exhilarating ropes course overhead.
A great money-saving option for families looking to spend a day at The Island could be the Unlimited Rides Pass, Ropes Course, and Quick Jump option.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the kids will be drawn to this massive castle along the Parkway. Once inside, the castle is home to four different adventures. Try to escape the labyrinth of mirrors in the Odyssey Mirror Maze. Pro tip: Keep your hands out in front of you to keep from running into a mirror face first. After the mirror maze, test your putting skills by conquering the 18-hole glow-in-the-dark Pirate Golf course.
After golf, venture upstairs, grab your magic wand and begin a magical quest that leads players to collect treasures, solve mysteries, and compete with friends through an enchanted fantasy world. The magic wands activate clues in this interactive role-playing game. Of course, a visit to MagiQuest isn’t complete without visiting the arcade.
Coaster At Goats On The Roof
The Coaster at Goats on the Roof is a unique experience in Pigeon Forge that the entire family will love. Upon arrival into this alpine coaster, guests are greeted by goats walking around on the buildings’ roofs. Kids squeal at the funny goats making their way across bridges from buildings then down a ramp to an area where guests can feed them. Goat gruel can be purchased inside.
The alpine coaster is nearly a mile in length and can reach top speeds of almost 30 miles per hour. It is the ideal attraction for all ages because the rider is in control of the brake, making the experience as mild or as hair-raising as desired.
After recovering from the coaster’s thrill, take time to browse the darling gift shop, feed the goats, or try your hand at gem mining.
Paula Deen’s Lumberjack Feud Show
Have you ever been to a Lumberjack Feud?! This is one entertaining show that is not to be missed. The Lumberjack Feud is in an outdoor arena and features a series of competitions between lumberjacks. The audience is divided into two teams to cheer on their lumberjack family!
Lumberjack cookies are awarded to the audience members throughout the show. The Lumberjack Feud is a fun family show that will be a great addition to any Pigeon Forge itinerary.
Tips For Attending the Feud:
- Bring ear protection for young children or those sensitive to loud noises; the lumberjacks use real chainsaws for many of the competitions.
- Consider packing or purchasing snacks and drinks. The show is outdoors and in a covered area, but it can get hot.
- Be sure to check out the attached adventure park to test your lumberjack skills.
- Stick around after the show to meet the Lumberjacks and Lumberjills.
Pigeon Forge Snow
Snow tubing in the middle of August? Yup, at Pigeon Forge Snow! As America’s first indoor snow park, Pigeon Forge Snow has paved the way to enjoy winter activities year-round. With a massive snow tubing hill, thrill-seekers will race down the snowy slopes time and time again. Kids of all ages will enjoy The Snow Play area where everyone can build a snowman, a snow fort, and have fun in the REAL snow. Best of all, the temperature is between 60-70 degrees inside year-round, so there is no need to pack a winter coat. Tubing passes can be purchased by the hour along with a Snow Play option. Snow Play only can be purchased in 30-minute increments.
Tips For Visiting Pigeon Forge Snow
- Children must be at least 38 inches and three years old to snow tube.
- The snow tubes pick up speed (up to 35 MPH) down the hill. Ensure kids know to hang on tight!
- The throwing of snowballs in the Snow Play area is not permitted.
- Bring a pair of pants for younger kids who may get cold playing in the snow area. A change of clothes is also a good idea, just in case they opt to sit in the snow.
- There is no set attire for guests. Closed-toe shoes are recommended, but not required.
- A snack bar is available along with a second floor that offers prime snow tube viewing.
Big Top Arcade
A fun rainy day activity in Pigeon Forge is Big Top Arcade. This circus-themed arcade is full of the latest games, and is sparkling clean. A visit to the arcade is never complete without a few rounds of classic skeeball or hoops. With tempting prizes, the high ticket payout games were quite popular. One of the neatest things about Big Top Arcade is that your tickets and points never expire, and they are electronically loaded on a Play Card. Save them to come back later during the day or later in the year!
Top Jump Trampoline & Extreme Arena
Bounce into fun at Sevier County’s first trampoline park, Top Jump Trampoline. This indoor adventure is ideal for beating the heat or rain while working off that extra energy. The whole family can get in on the jumping action, as they offer a toddler zone perfect for little ones under 42 inches. Dive into a foam pit, play a game of dodgeball, or bounce off the walls! Those seeking a challenge can try their Fire & Ice Ninja course, a virtual reality experience, and the cliffhanger challenges. Special socks will need to be purchased to keep feet from slipping on the trampolines.
One of my favorite things to do in Pigeon Forge with kids is to visit Dollywood. Thrilling rides and fabulous shows make Dollywood a pilgrimage many families make every year. It should come as no surprise that Dolly Parton’s theme park is bursting with southern charm and hospitality. Guests can enjoy various rides, shops, and shows, as the smell of the hot cinnamon bread wafts through the park. Hop aboard the Dollywood Express for a five-mile journey through the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains or take a spin on Lightning Rod, Dollywood’s fastest attraction.
Tips For Visiting Dollywood
- One of the best parts of Dollywood is that children younger than four don’t need a ticket to get in!
- Arrive within an hour, or right before the opening of the park to beat the crowds.
- Younger visitors will enjoy the Country Fair section of the park for rides and attractions aimed for smaller children.
- Take advantage of the Centralized Measuring Station. Your child will be measured and given a color-coded wristband to help you quickly identify if they are tall enough to ride by corresponding with color-codes on each ride sign.
- Download the awesome Dollywood app to help navigate the park. It also shows ride wait times.
- There are play/splash areas throughout the park. Pack a change of dry clothes.
Crave Golf Club
Mini-golf doesn’t get much sweeter than this! Crave Golf Club offers two unique 19-hole golf courses that take you through a candy-coated wonderland. If Candyland were a mini-golf course, this would be it! Play on the roof or play indoors, then venture into their signature sweet shop to indulge even more. In addition to mini-golf, Crave Golf Club also offers mini-bowling and escape room games.
Go-karts are one of the most popular things to do in Pigeon Forge with kids. Opting for a double kart, kids 38 inches tall can ride along with an adult. Older children can drive on their own once they reach driving height. The track at the Rockin’ Raceway is ideal for beginners, as it is simple to navigate with fewer karts on the track than some others found along the Parkway. Our daughter adored her first go-kart ride and immediately asked to go again! After a few races, venture inside the massive arcade to win tickets in an attempt to take home one of their fun prizes such as glittery unicorn putty—an all-time favorite souvenir of our daughter. Look for money-saving options by checking out the deals which offer a variety of go-kart and arcade combinations.
An upside-down building is bound to have cool things inside, but would you guess it is an entire indoor amusement park?! WonderWorks takes a scientific approach to fun by combining education with entertainment. With endless interactive exhibits, visitors can experience what it’s like to be in a restaurant during an earthquake,, or tackle an impressive ropes course. While there are plenty of great things to do with a toddler at WonderWorks, kids five and up are likely to enjoy it the most. Arguably, adults were having just as much, if not more fun, than the kids!
Take A Hike In The Great Smoky Mountains
Take a moment to connect with nature during a scenic hike in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The beauty of the National Park is unmatched, as majestic mountain streams meet an array of flora and fauna. With over 800 miles of hiking trails available, there’s bound to be a few perfect for your family. Popular trails include the Roaring Fork Motor Trail, Clingmans Dome, and Cades Cove.
Historic Old Mill District
A visit to the historic Old Mill in Pigeon Forge is a staple for visitors and locals alike. Built in 1930, the Mill is still in operation today with plenty of historic southern charm. The Old Mill has evolved over the years,with the nostalgic Old Mill Restaurant serving up family favorites, and one of our favorite spots to get a down-home country breakfast. Swing into the General Store attached to the Old Mill to pick up your pantry staples, homemade jams, and more to bring a taste of Pigeon Forge home with you.
Browse through the different artisan shops, discover the long history of pottery in Pigeon Forge, and, as my daughter says, “Don’t forget the ice cream!” while passing The Old Mill Creamery.
The Track Family Fun Park
Another favorite thing to do in Pigeon Forge with kids is to visit the Track Family Fun Park. Here, you’ll find racing fun for all ages. Race to the finish line on the elevated tracks, enjoy a great ride for all ages on the Family Track, and let the kids take the wheel on the Kiddie & Rookie Tracks. Keep in mind there are two locations in Pigeon Forge.
The Track with Kids Country offers plenty of toddler-friendly rides that our daughter loved. Enjoy toddler-size swings, being the conductor on the train, and pick your favorite horse on the carousel. Our daughter was able to enjoy spinning, soaring, and twirling in rides designed just for children.
That is just the tip of the iceberg (for the whole iceberg, visit Titanic Museum Attraction.) The Track offers bumper boats, a massive arcade, Fantasy mini-golf, a Skyflyer, and more!
Take A Stroll Along The Riverwalk Trail
Escape for the excitement of the city to enjoy a serene walk along the Little Pigeon River. The Riverwalk Trail is a paved trail that is a beautiful spot to get out and enjoy the natural beauty of Pigeon Forge. It is the perfect spot to take an evening stroll or go for a jog. The path is lighted at night, and has benches for resting along the two-mile greenway.
Stop In Country Candy Kitchen
Did you even visit Pigeon Forge if you didn’t step into one of their fantastic candy stores? With homemade candies, cases of decadent chocolates, and freshly pulled taffy, the phrase “kid in a candy store” resonates stronger than ever. Fill your basket with goodies to sample during your trip, and get some more to bring back home. You can even create a road trip goodie bag and fill it with a different candy to sample every hour on your ride home!
Where To Stay In Pigeon Forge
Stay in the middle of all the excitement by getting a hotel along the Parkway in Pigeon Forge. The perfect family hotel is the Inn at Christmas Place. Experience Christmas year-round! With dazzling decorations around every corner, it is hard not to experience Christmas’s warm feeling while strolling through the grand lobby.
One of the best yuletide decorations is the smiles on all the friendly elves who ensure your visit is magical. The hotel amenities are up to Santa’s standard, including an indoor pool with a hot tub, an outdoor pool, a splash pad, and a waterslide. Stroll through the beautiful gardens before listening to the Glockenspiel ring out Christmas carols on the hour.
Little details make your stay at the Inn at Christmas Place full of cheer. From an evening cookie social, Santa sing-a-longs, and a hotel-wide scavenger hunt, families will find it difficult to leave. Our daughter asked to stay forever as she wrapped up writing her letter to Santa.
During your stay, be sure to visit one of the country’s largest Christmas stores, The Incredible Christmas Place. Designed to resemble a Bavarian Village, shoppers will have difficulty choosing from the hundreds of ornaments, stylish decor, and Christmas collectibles.
We hope that this has inspired your family to embark on an epic vacation to Pigeon Forge. It is one that is bound to be full of remarkable memories.