Tag Archives: kid friendly

Part 1: Kid-Friendly Things To Do – Activities by Age Group

kid friendly pigeon forge

Although you’ll truly find something for everyone here in the Great Smoky Mountains, Pigeon Forge truly is a perfect vacation destination for children of all ages to enjoy. A Pigeon Forge vacation itinerary includes fun, adventure and plenty of entertainment to keep things moving and everyone with a smile on their face – regardless of their age!


Vacationing With Kids

Planning a Pigeon Forge vacation with kids? You’re in luck: The mountains are the perfect playground to let the imagination run wild! Here you’ll find everything from world-class shows and entertainers to the natural beauty of the Smokies, with no shortage of activities for the little ones to enjoy. Regardless of whether you’re traveling with your kids, your grandkids or even with a group, you can take the guesswork out of your Pigeon Forge vacation plans by checking out a few of the kid-friendly activity suggestions below.

things to do with kids in pigeon forge

Ages 2-4

Your wide-eyed toddler is at a perfect age for learning to love nature, and you’ll find that opportunities for this abound in the Smokies. Consider checking out the following Pigeon Forge activities for toddlers.

WonderWorks

Though this family-friendly attraction features something for everyone, your pre-school age child will love exploring the magic of science and wonder at this interactive museum. Learn about the world around us with great exhibits on science, space, imagination and more!

Wonderworks

Ripley's Aquarium Of The Smokies

Marvel at every creature of the ocean without getting wet! From playful penguins to fierce-looking sharks, this amazing aquatic world is educational and fun - the highlight of downtown Gatlinburg. Be sure to check out their brand new Glass Bottom Boat!

Ripley's Aquarium

The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

Toddlers are fascinated by large vehicles and trains are no exception! From kid-friendly rides with familiar favorites like Thomas the Train and the Peanuts gang to breathtaking mountain views, the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad offers family-friendly fun for everyone to enjoy.

GSM Railroad

Ages 5-7

When kids enter school, their curiosity about the world around them grows even bigger. Make the most of these precious early-learning years by turning family fun into an education opportunity at the following Pigeon Forge attractions.

Adventure Park at Five Oaks

The Adventure Park at Five Oaks offers fun for the entire family! Their experienced zipline guides will take you on a fun and thrilling ride through and above 70 acres of beautiful foliage. Adventure Park also has horseback riding and a tree tops course, great for young adventurers.

Adventure Park

Comedy Barn Theater

Looking for a family-friendly comedy show that will leave everyone in stitches? Consider the Comedy Barn! This Pigeon Forge show offers homespun hilarity, complete with amazing animal actors that are sure to impress any school-age child – or even a kid at heart!

Comedy Barn

Local Festivals & Parades

At this age, kids start to appreciate other cultures and will love exploring the heart of the mountains at the special events you’ll find around Pigeon Forge. Springfest’s bright blooms, Harvestfest’s autumn breeze and other annual events will bring a smile to the face of any growing child! Check out our event calendar for complete listings of local happenings and more.

Events
things to do in pigeon forge

Ages 8-11

Tweens can be painfully picky, but they’ll find something to love in Pigeon Forge. From exploring special interests to racing down thrilling treetop ziplines, these older kids will embrace the Smoky Mountains with enthusiasm. Consider taking older kids and tweens to the following Pigeon Forge attractions.

Titanic Museum Attraction

Kids who have an interest in history will love exploring this world-class museum honoring the passengers and crew aboard the R.M.S. Titanic. Learn about the lives of people in the Edwardian era while exploring this elaborate, award-winning museum.

Titanic Museum
titanic museum pigeon forge

Lazerport Fun Center

From laser tag to go-karts to indoor miniature golf, your little one will have a blast at Lazerport Fun Center. This family-friendly destination can provide hours of fun on your Pigeon Forge vacation.

Lazerport
laser tag pigeon forge

Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Feud

Make mealtime memorable by checking out this free-for-all, featuring hillbilly hijinks and old-fashioned family fun! Hoot, holler and raise a ruckus to this comical show, served up with lip-smackin’ Smoky Mountain cuisine.

Hatfield & Mccoy
hatfield mccoy dinner show

Ages 12-14

Teens love novelty, and there’s always something new to explore in Pigeon Forge! Let them make the most of your family vacation by letting them have some fun and push down boundaries by exploring these Smoky Mountain attractions and activities.

Rock Climbing Wall

Check out the brand new rock climbing wall at Rafting In The Smokies! The four-sided climbing wall is accessible for all ages and fun for individuals of all skill and athletic levels. Combine your rafting trip, zipline canopy tour, or high elements ropes challenge course adventure with this new addition.

Rock Climbing Wall

Magic Shows

Pigeon Forge is your home in the Smoky Mountains for world class family entertainment. Some of our favorite magic shows in the area are Magic Beyond Belief starring Darren Romeo, Impossibilities with Chris Collins & Erik Dobell, and The Wonders Of Magic with Terry Evanswood.

Shows & Theaters
magic shows in pigeon forge

Arcadia

Located just below the Gatlinburg Space Needle, Arcadia boasts over 100 of the hottest games in this 25,000 square foot amusement center. Delight yourself with their vast variety of amusement games, simulators, and activities, great for all ages.

Arcadia
gatlinburg arcade

Older Teens & Adults

Make the most of your time in the Smoky Mountains by connecting and bonding over unique activities and experiences you’ll only find here in Pigeon Forge. No matter whether you’re traveling with just your sweetie or with the entire gang, you’ll find something for everyone here in the Smokies. Consider checking out these unique Pigeon Forge attractions you’ll find off the beaten path.

Play An Escape Room

Newly popular and all over Pigeon Forge, escape rooms are physical adventure games where players solve puzzles using clues, hints and strategy to complete the objectives at hand. Check out Headcase Escape Adventures, The Captured, and The Escape Game. Also be sure to read our blog on our experience!

Escape Rooms
escape games in pigeon forge

Rocky Top Wine Trail

The pristine lands around the Great Smoky Mountains have given way to some of the world’s most unique wines. From Italian-inspired classics to sweet finds made from locally-grown fruit, you’ll love learning about the region’s wines as you sip your way across the Rocky Top Wine Trail.

Rocky Top Wine Trail
rocky top wine trail

Flyaway Indoor Skydiving

The longest running wind tunnel in business today, Flyaway Indoor Skydiving gives you the chance to test your skills of human flight during a single flight session or as a participant in a personalized coaching program.

Flyaway Skydiving
indoor skydiving pigeon forge

Smith Creek Moonshine

Smith Creek Moonshine is a moonshine-tasting destination located in Tanger Outlets. Enjoy our moonshine tasting bar and retail store with bottled shines, apparel, jams, sauces, dry rubs, and more!

Smith Creek
Moonshine
smith creek moonshine pigeon forge

What are you waiting for? Start planning your family’s next Pigeon Forge vacation by browsing cabins, hotels and more at PigeonForge.com

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.

Ripley’s Glass Bottom Boats Launches Over Shark Lagoon

Glass Bottom Boat at Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies in nearby Gatlinburg has opened up another window to a wondrous underwater world with its newest attraction. The Gatlinburg TN aquarium recently launched its Glass Bottom Boat Adventure, giving visitors of all ages a chance to set out over the calm waters of the Shark Lagoon and get a new view into the habitats of thousands of creatures teeming below.

Glass bottom boat

Travel Under The Sea

Ripley’s Glass Bottom Boat Adventure puts just 3-inches between visitors and the aquatic inhabitants of Shark Lagoon. The 16-foot boats feature a large pane of glass in the center of each vessel’s floor – allowing passengers to peer into the water below to observe the creatures swimming in the reef underneath.

Shark Lagoon

Nearly 85,000 animals reside in the Shark Lagoon, according to information from Ripley’s Aquarium. Visitors will have a chance to see 75 unique species from tropical Atlantic and Caribbean reefs swimming about the Lagoon, including: Green Moray Eels, sawfish, nurse sharks, sand tiger sharks and even a sea turtle. As the boat travels across the lagoon, knowledgeable guides narrate the scenes below and share facts about the creatures below.

The attraction is the only one of its kind in Tennessee and the only similar attraction indoor attraction is at the sister Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach in South Carolina. Boats launch approximately every 20 minutes and each ride accommodates approximately 10 guests.

Details:

  • What: Glass Bottom Boat Adventure at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies.
  • Where: Traffic Light #5 on the Parkway in Gatlinburg.
  • When: Open 365 days a year from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday - Thursday and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday-Sunday.
  • How Much: Tickets are $29.99 for adults and $15.99 for children.
    The Glass Bottom Boat Adventure is not included in the cost of aquarium admission.
  • More Info: Visit the Ripley's Aquarium website to learn more.

Don’t be a landlubber! Make Ripley’s watery wonderland part of your Smoky Mountain experience! Looking for things to do you’ll only find in Pigeon Forge and the Great Smoky Mountains? Explore our Pigeon Forge attractions and start planning your next adventure!

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.

Arcadia

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.

Dollywood

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.

Fishing

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.

Wonderworks

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.