Category Archives: Kid Friendly Pigeon Forge

Top 5 Kid Hikes in the Smoky Mountains

kid friendly hikes in the smokies

What could be better than going out with your kids on a sunny day and exploring the beauty of nature? Going on hikes in the Smoky Mountains is a great way to bond as a family, be active and learn about the outdoor world. Pack some snacks and water and head out for an adventure on one of these kid friendly hikes in the Smoky Mountains.

Elkmont Nature Trail

The Elkmont Nature Trail is a great kid hike because it is short and filled with opportunities to learn about the forest ecosystem. Although the self-guided walk is less than a mile long, it is designed to educate visitors about how the landscape evolves from time to time. There is even a point on the trail where you can see the traces of the railroad underneath the new forest growth. While the kids are enjoying looking at tracks, the parents can pick up a brochure and read about the areas history.

Laurel Falls Trail

This scenic trail was originally created in 1932 to provide local fire crews with access to Cove Mountain in case of a forest fire. It is a paved trail, so it’s a lot easier for little feet to navigate than trails with bumps and exposed tree roots. Another reason the Laurel Falls Trail is named a top kid hike is because of the impressive waterfall at the end. This a gorgeous spot for photo opportunities, but make sure you supervise your children—there are some steep drop offs and slippery rocks near the falls themselves. We also strongly recommend starting your hike early in the morning to beat the crowds, as this is a popular trail.

Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail

Parents with newborns and infants will love the Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail because it is the only trail in the park that is wheelchair accessible. Not only does this mean it is a flat kids hike, but it also means parents can easily take a stroller on the hike as well. This half-mile, circular route is great for people of all ages to get some fresh air. Pick up a guide booklet at the trail head for more information about the trail. As you wind along this relaxing stroll next to the stream, you will see the remains of the old Smoky Mountain vacation homes from the early 1900’s.

Porter's Creek Trail

This trail is a great kids hike in the Smoky Mountains for families who are looking for a moderate hike through quiet forests filled with waterfalls and wildflowers. It is a four-mile journey, and it will take you past a cemetery from the early 20th century, the remnants of an old mountain community and the 19th century John Messer farm site. The trekk conveniently starts down a gravel road near the Greenbrier entrance to the Smoky Mountain National Park.

Alum Buff Cave Trail

This is one of the most popular trails in the park. When you see the stunning views from the top lookout, you will understand why. Alum Buff Cave Trail is a beautiful trail divided into two sections. The first part leads up to Alum Bluff Cave which is an old mine. From that point you can turn back if the little ones are tired, or continue to the second part which takes you to the top of LeConte Mountain. This is a great hike for kids who have previous hiking experience because it is longer than the other kid hikes mentioned, totaling 11 miles round trip.

These are just a few of the best kid hikes in the Smoky Mountains. It is never too early to hike the wilderness with your little ones and start teaching them the importance of nature. Once you cross these off your list, you can also try our list of Beginner Hiking Trails in The Smokies.

5 Free Family Activities In Pigeon Forge

free things to do in pigeon forge

Smoky Mountain memories that last a lifetime don’t have to come with a steep price tag. In fact, you’ll find dozens of free things to do and enjoy all along the Parkway. Here are 5 of our favorite totally free things to do with the family in and around Pigeon Forge.

old mill pigeon forge

1. Visit the Old Mill District

Take a stroll back in time by exploring the Old Mill District in Pigeon Forge. Without spending a dime, you and your family can see a working flour mill nearly two centuries old, sample old-fashioned sweets and even feed the ducks. If you’re feeling spendy, consider splurging just $3 per person to see the mill up-close with a guided tour.

smoky mountain hiking

2. Take a hike and explore

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is doesn’t charge an entry fee, which means you and your family can take in all of nature’s splendor at no charge. Hike more than 800 miles of trails, explore historical areas like Cades Cove, splash in waterfalls and interact with exhibits in the Sugarlands Visitor Center all without dropping a single dime.

3. Check Out The Glades

The Glades, located in nearby Gatlinburg, is a unique district of art studios, galleries and venues. Many of the artists at work here practice centuries-old folk arts and crafts, creating original pieces including candles, baskets, quilts, brooms, pottery, jewelry, dolls, ceramics, scrimshaw, silversmithing, leather, stained glass, wearable fashions, fine photography, frameable art, oils, watercolors and more. It’s free to explore the neighborhood – and you’ll likely find many opportunities to learn more from the artists at work as you wander. See demonstrations, hear histories and more as you interact with these skill artisans.

pigeon forge biking

4. Bike the greenway

There is no better way to see the beautiful sights Pigeon Forge has to offer. The greenway runs along the Little Pigeon River and stretches across four miles. The main entrances can be found in Patriot Park, Jake Thomas Road, and Butler Street at Ashley Avenue. Check out our map for more information on where to begin.

little river railroad company

5. Visit the Little River Railroad & Lumber Company

The Smoky Mountains have a rich history. Head back in time and learn about the region’s logging heritage at the Little River Railroad and Lumber Company in nearby Townsend. This free museum is open year-round and lets history buffs of all ages learn about a turn-of-the-century sawmill and the folks who worker there more than 100 years ago.

Top 5 Easter Activities in Pigeon Forge

The Great Smoky Easter Arts & Crafts Show

There aren’t just fun activities on Easter Sunday in Pigeon Forge, but instead the town has Easter attractions and events all weekend. Get in the spirit by stopping by the Great Smoky Easter Arts & Crafts Show at the Gatliburg Convention Center Wednesday, April 12 to Tuesday, April 18. Unique handcrafted gifts and products produced by members of Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community are placed on display and offered for sale as they host their annual Easter show.

Peanuts™ Easter Beagle Express

All aboard The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad Train! April 14 & 15, join Snoopy, Lucy, Charlie Brown and friends on a trip to a small North Carolina town. The adults can appreciate a beautiful spring view along the Tuckasegee River while kids enjoy activities such as an Easter egg hunt, crafts, coloring sheets, temporary tattoos, snacks and more!

Easter Egg Hunt with the Easter Bunny

We highly recommend this Easter Activity in Pigeon Forge because it is one the kids will remember forever. The Easter Bunny will be visiting the Patriot Park in Pigeon Forge on Saturday, April 15, just in time for an Easter Egg hunt. We will have thousands of eggs and tons of prizes! Come join us and you may just even get to see the Easter Bunny!

Breakfast or Brunch with the Easter Bunny

What better way to celebrate Easter than eating a delicious meal with your family? This Easter enjoy breakfast or brunch at The Old Mill Pottery House Café & Grille from 9:30 am - 11 am. After breakfast there will be a variety of kids activities to enjoy as well. Meet the Easter Bunny, win door prizes and even participate in a free Easter egg hunt.

Visit the Easter Bunny at Christmas Place

Christmas Place is a magical place to spend any holiday— Easter is no exception. Dress the kids in their Easter outfits and come meet the Easter Bunny on Sunday, April 16.

These are just a few of the best Easter activities in Pigeon Forge 2017. Of course, there are a ton more ways to celebrate Easter in the Smokies. Share with us on our Facebook page about your favorite Pigeon Forge Easter tradition!

25 Kid Friendly Activities In Pigeon Forge

One of the best things about Pigeon Forge is that it’s a destination for fun for all ages. When you’re planning a family vacation to the Smokies, you’ll find countless things to do that your whole group will enjoy. We’ve put together an awesome list of our favorite kid-friendly activities in Pigeon Forge.

Ripley’s Aquarium

A full day of fun is just a short walk or trolley ride away. Explore all the areas in the aquarium including Tropical Rainforest, Ocean Realm, Systems Controls, Coral Reef, Shark Lagoon, Discovery Center, the Gallery of the Seas, Stingray Bay, Touch a Ray Bay and our Penguin Playhouse.

Zip Through The Smokies

Looking for a Pigeon Forge zipline adventure? Few Pigeon Forge area vacation adventures compare to the thrill of a ziplining tour. The adrenaline rush of flying above the treetops on a wire while secured in a harness is pure exhilaration. The joy of ziplining provides a fun-filled, action-packed excursion for the entire family.

Impossibilities Of Magic

Magical Comedian Chris Collins and Master Mentalist Erik Dobell present a night of stunning magic, reality shattering mindreading and hilarious mayhem. An evening of family fun where impossibilities are brought to life right in front of your eyes.

Kid Friendly Dining

When it comes to planning your kid-friendly Pigeon Forge vacation, you might find that food can be one of the most fun – and possibly most exasperating – aspects of traveling with little ones. Be sure to pick a Pigeon Forge restaurant that suits the needs of every member of your family.

Rent A Cabin With A Swimming Pool

Looking for Pigeon Forge cabin rentals with a pool? Many of our Smoky Mountain and Pigeon Forge cabin rentals have swimming pools. If you’re looking to take a dip on your next visit to to Pigeon Forge, check out this list of cabin rentals with either an indoor or outdoor swimming pool available for use.

Wilderness At The Smokies

Wilderness at the Smokies contains the Wild Water Dome, which is the largest indoor waterpark in Tennessee. There are also two outdoor waterparks. Not in the mood for splashing? Adventure Forest is a wonderful indoor family adventure center with a 3-story ropes course + laser tag and black light mini golf. There is also an enormous arcade.


Enjoy over 100 of the hottest games in this 25,000 square foot amusement center. Located below the Gatlinburg Space Needle, Arcadia was established in 2009 after the construction of our brand new, multicolored facade. You can follow the glistening, lighted pillars right into our front entrance. There our friendly staff will greet you, ready and eager to supply you with play cards for the ultimate gaming experience.

Ride The Fun Time Trolley

Since 1986, Pigeon Forge’s Fun Time Trolley has provided a safe, affordable, and convenient form of transportation for all visitors and residents alike. With a fleet of more than 30 trolley buses, the trolley stops all throughout Pigeon Forge as well as a portion of Sevierville. Through the summer, the trolly operates from 8:00 AM – midnight, and in November and December from 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM.

Xtreme Racing

Xtreme Racing Center in Pigeon Forge is dedicated to bringing guests the ultimate Pigeon Forge go kart experience with the choice of three thrilling courses! Totalling 3,500 linear feet, our ‘Xtreme’ track is filled with winding turns, narrow straightaways and thrilling adventure as guests race inside one of our professional-grade Sodi GT-5 go karts. These karts are sure to create a memorable ride for all who visit.

Take A Hike

What could be better than going out with your kids on a sunny day and exploring the beauty of nature? Going on hikes in the Smoky Mountains is a great way to bond as a family, be active and learn about the outdoor world. Pack some snacks and water and head out for an adventure on one of these kid hikes in the Smoky Mountains.

Stay At A Hotel With A Water Park

Cool off and splash around without even having to leave the comfort of your lodging experience in Pigeon Forge. Many hotels in Pigeon Forge include a water park for guests to enjoy throughout their stay. Sit back and relax while your little ones enjoy themselves.

Governor’s Crossing Theater

Governor’s Crossing Stadium 14 Cinema is the premier luxury theater in Sevier county. Amenities include Dolby 7.1 audio, luxury seating featuring leather recliners, and large format presentations in the 40,000 watt SXS auditoriums. Bring your friends and family for a movie night to see the best blockbusters out today.

Horseback Riding

Horseback riding in the Smoky Mountains is an exciting way to enjoy the outdoors. There are about 550 miles of the park’s trails that are open to horses. If you own horses, take advantage of the park’s horse camps. There are five different horseback riding camps available from which to choose. The camps provide ready access to backcountry horse trails.

Great Smoky Mountain Railroad

The most beautiful landscapes in America can be see on this excursion. Marvel at small towns, rushing rivers, ancient mountains, and peaceful scenery. Bryson City is located on the edge of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The historic charm of this train delights all who board. Discover the transformation of mountain folks during a time when their railroads transported them from pristine wilderness to the big city.

Check out top-rated seasonal events like the Pumpkin Patch Express and the Polar Express Train!

Comedy Barn

Any time you go to the Comedy Barn Theater® in Pigeon Forge you can be guaranteed one thing: you will laugh till your sides hurt! The Comedy Barn® is proud that it has repeatedly been voted “Funniest Show in Town” by its fans 20 seasons in a row. Check out pricing for different shows on our site.


If you’re planning a trip to Pigeon Forge, TN, then you have to consider visiting Dollywood while you’re in town! This must-visit Pigeon Forge attraction is one of the country’s most-loved theme parks — complete with thrill rides, award-winning shows, great restaurants and more!

Hollywood Wax Museum

Stunning wax likenesses of celebrities + a 5D experience. Open 365 days a year. Four exciting attractions under one roof in the heart of all the action of Pigeon Forge. Open 365 days a year, this is a fun place to get your much-needed dose of celebrity. Hollywood Wax Museum in Pigeon Forge gives you the chance to view amazing wax figures of celebrities and icons of popular culture.

Visit A Waterfall

Abundant rainfall and mountain terrain are the perfect ingredients for creating waterfalls. Even the smallest of creeks and rivers produce small cascades. Below are 3 of the more popular trails in the Smokies. These three, although rated moderate in difficulty, are lower mileage. Be sure to stop in one of the park’s visitors centers to pick up a park map before heading out on the trails.

Become A Junior Ranger

If you’re between the ages of 5-12, you can become a Junior Ranger at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park! Pick up a Junior Ranger booklet for $2.50 at any park visitor center or at the Cades Cove or Elkmont campground. Complete the activities in the booklet, then stop by a visitor center to talk to a ranger and receive your Junior Ranger badge!

Bike The Cades Cove Loop

The 11-mile one way road is a popular biking area for families. It provides bicyclists with excellent opportunities for wildlife viewing and touring 19th century home sites. During summer and fall, bicycles may be rented at the Cades Cove Campground Store (located near Cades Cove Campground).

Pokémon Go

Pokémon have been spotted all over Pigeon Forge and visitors are having a a blast catching all the different Pokémon and meeting other visitors doing the same. In the heart of Pigeon Forge in the Old Mill area and in downtown Sevierville by the courthouse, our staff found a slew of Pokémon and gyms.

Go Tubing/Rafting

Pigeon Forge white water rafting in the Smoky Mountains is one of the most pulse-pounding recreational activities available near the Great Smoky Mountains. Rafting can be enjoyed by anyone and can be done with little to no experience. There is nothing quite like speeding down river in a rubber raft crashing through rapids, over waterfalls while paddling furiously to stay on course. Or if you want to take it slow, float down the Big Pigeon River in a tube and soak up some sunshine.


The Great Smoky Mountains is home to one of the last wild trout habitats in the eastern United States. With over 2,115 miles of streams in its boundaries, the park offers a variety of angling experiences from remote, headwater trout streams to large, coolwater smallmouth bass streams. For a map of all park water as well as other information, stop by a visitor center and pick up your free copy.

Treetop Ropes Course

The Adventure Park at Five Oaks offers fun for the entire family! Our experienced guides will take you a fun and thrilling trek through and above 70 acres of beautiful fall foliage. No experience is needed. Book today for an adventure your family will never forget! This ropes course includes Tarzan bridges, cargo nets, floating planks as well as ziplines and more along the way.


Step into the upside down mansion in Pigeon Forge! Open 365 days a year and 7 days a week. Interactive hands-on fun for all. The interactive exhibits are unbelievable! Check out our site for coupons.


7 Ways to Spend Father’s Day 2016 in Pigeon Forge

father's day_blog

If you’re looking to plan a day of appreciation and fun for that special father figure in your life, look no further. Pigeon Forge and the Smoky Mountain area have tons of options for a group getaway on Father’s Day weekend.

1. Treat him to a spa day.

Treat dad this year with some of the best quality pampering in Pigeon Forge. Take him to the spa for a day, or maybe even book a romantic weekend for two. RiverStone Resort is offering a special Summer Spa Package that includes a 30 minute sugar scrub for that much needed moisturizing and exfoliation, followed by a rejuvenating 50 minute therapeutic massage. Whatever package you decide on, you can’t go wrong with this kind of relaxation. Make your reservation today on their site.

Looking for a different kind of stay? Check out more Pigeon Forge hotels on the parkway.

Smoky Mountain Hiker2. Plan an outdoor adventure.

For the outdoors-man, consider a camping trip or just a day hike on one of the Smokies’ many beautiful trails. With 850 miles to choose from, you’re guaranteed to see some gorgeous scenery and really take in that fresh Smoky Mountain air. Or perhaps you’re feeling a bit more adventurous; if that’s the case, plan a white water rafting trip  on the Big Pigeon River. Get your adrenaline pumping on a group trip, or for the more experienced, enjoy a kayak excursion individually. The surrounding communities offer equipment rentals for whatever adventure you decide. Check out our Attractions page for more information on booking a rafting trip.

After your outdoor getaway, be sure to vote for your favorite campground, rafting, and overall attraction in the Best Of Pigeon Forge 2016 awards.

3. Take a ride on the Fontana Trestle Train.

Back by popular demand, the Fontana Trestle Train will be celebrating with BBQ & Brews Fontana Trestle Trainon the Saturday before Father’s Day. The ride will include slow-cooked BBQ in Sweet Baby Rays sauce, smoked chicken quarters, and beer or root beer tastings showcasing local breweries. Family friendly seating is available so the whole crew can enjoy the trip. The train departs from Bryson City at 7 pm for a 2 hour excursion to the beautiful Fontana Trestle, arriving just around sunset for a spectacular view reflected on Fontana Lake. Ticket prices include a souvenir tasting glass for samples of the hand crafted selections. You can find all the details here.

4. Take him out to the ballgame.

While the Smokies won’t be playing the weekend of Father’s Day, there’s no reason you can’t still treat a baseball lover to an evening at the ballpark. The Tennessee Smokies will face off against Chattanooga the Tuesday before Father’s Day and Pensacola the following weekend, all right around the corner in Smokies Park. Check out the full Smokies schedule and plan a trip for your whole group whenever it works best.

If you need some more convincing, check out the Top 3 Reasons Tennessee Smokies Baseball Games Are Great For Families.

5. Sip on some moonshine on a distillery tour.

Show some Father’s Day love with a tour and tasting moonshine-stillof one of East Tennessee’s famous moonshine distilleries. Doc Collier Moonshine in Gatlinburg offers sample tastings of all their products, including their famous Moonshine Brandy. If dad has more of a sweet tooth, you can also visit The Old Forge Distillery. The Tasting Bar is open daily with sample flavors like chocolate, french toast, and blackberry. There’s also Ole Smoky, which will be hosting live music on Father’s Day at their Gatlinburg location. Ole Smoky offers some tasty moonshine mixers like the Apple Ginger, Dirty Shirley, and the Moonshine Mule.

After your visit, you can vote for your favorite distillery in the Best Of Pigeon Forge 2016 awards. Do you know what the “XXX” on a moonshine jug means?

6. Start the day with a pancake breakfast.

Start Father’s Day off right with a delicious pancake breakfast at one of the Smoky Mountain area’s many pancake houses. Check out Log Cabin Pancake House at their Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg locations, where you’ll find exquisite pancakes topped with fruit, nuts, or chocolate chips and accompanied by mouth-watering country ham or biscuits and gravy. Nothing says satisfaction quite like a stomach full of tasty breakfast!

If you’re craving a different meal, check out the many restaurant options in the area.

7. Entertain the whole family with a show.

Comedy, drama, and even magic: Pigeon Forge offers a show for every entertainment craving. Tickle his funny bone with some homespun humor at The Comedy Barn or enjoy a more interactive performance that piques his curiosity and appetite at the Great Smoky Mountain Murder Mystery Dinner Show.  For your own amusement, get him hypnotized by Guy Michaels at this unique comedy show at the Smoky Mountain Resort in Gatlinburg, or hit up the Space Needle for Magic, Mindreading, & Mayhem.  If he’s a music man, stop by Country Tonite Theatre  or the Smoky Mountain Opry.  Check out our shows & dinner theaters page for more options and information.

Father’s Day is Sunday, June 19, so it’s time to start planning your gift to dad. Keep Pigeon Forge at the top of your list and you’re sure to have a great time with the whole family. For more ways to organize your itinerary, take a look at our tips for planning an affordable family vacation.