Getaway to Pigeon Forge, TN
I was granted admission/discounts to some of these venues for purpose of review.
Pigeon Forge, TN is a popular destination for Louisville area families. Since it’s about 4 hours away, you can get there for a long weekend or stay even longer. There’s definitely enough to do! With the help of MyPigeonForge.com, I was able to put together an itinerary of fun that everyone enjoyed. We did not tackle everything, that’s what’s great about Pigeon Forge – you can repeat a visit but do an entirely different list of things each visit. Next time, we want to try a mountain coaster and visit Dollywood.
There are so many options that it can be overwhelming. My family tends to be loyal to Choice Hotels because we can accrue points and they are always modest in price – and many have indoor pools and breakfast included. I searched the Choice Hotels website and actually found a Gatlinburg Sleep Inn that was very reasonably priced and from what I could see, was just a few miles from Pigeon Forge. The hotel was very simple and met out needs. It was not anything that would knock your socks off and the room was small but we literally slept and ate breakfast there (one dip in the pool) so price was my most important factor. It was just $80/night.
If you prefer to find lodging in the main, bustling part of Pigeon Forge, click here.
Here’s a synopsis of all of the things that we did – it was busy! Pick up one of the many coupon books around town because there are so many coupons and discount available.
Titanic Museum: We loved this museum. You get handheld speakers to go through the museum and listen to details about each items you are learning about. It kept moving and the kids were very intrigued. I think it’s appropriate for kids 7 and up. It’s very close to WonderWorks so you can do those in the same day with lunch in between.
WonderWorks: We chose to get the basic ticket and not try the laser tag – we knew we would do that somewhere else. WonderWorks was on point for my kids’ ages (7&8). We pretty much touched and tried everything and spend about 3 hours there. My son and I tried the glow ropes course and it was challenging in a fun way. Beware of groups! You might want to call ahead and see if there are any scheduled.
The Island: This is an outdoor shopping area that has restaurants and attractions – see coupons. It’s particularly fun in the evening when the fountains dance to music in lights. We ate at Margaritaville, which we all enjoyed, and played in the arcade. Arcade City was one of the nicest arcades I have been in, it was so clean! And, the kids played for $40 each and were actually able to get decent prizes – a large stuffed animal and a nice college branded basketball. While at The Island, there was also a band playing live music, a mime putting on a show and more – that was all free. It’s the type of place where you can spend as little or as much as you want.
Dixie Stampede: This show was one of the best parts of the trip. Be sure to get there early for the pre-show, we missed about half of it and wished we had gotten there earlier. The food was really good (the soup…the soup is AWESOME) and the kids enjoyed the “hands on” nature of the meal. The staff was so friendly and added to the fun but also, the show was just great. If we go again someday, I’d get a seat right in the middle of the arena – we were on a corner and it was good (don’t think there’s really a bad seat) but I think being in the middle would be ideal. Get your tickets early, the do sell out during peak travel times like spring break or fall break.
The Comedy Barn: Talk about good, clean fun! This show was probably the highlight of our trip – my son went up on stage and it was just hilarious. It will stand as one of our best family vacation memories ever. The show is interactive, fun for all ages (parents and grandparents laughed plenty) and it is so affordable. Definitely a must!
Go-Karts/Arcades/Mini Golf/Laser Tag
Oh my! There are about a million go-kart places and arcades along the main strip in Pigeon Forge. We wound up at Lazer Port Fun Center because it seemed to have it all. We actually didn’t play arcade games there because we played at Arcade City at The Island but we did play Glow Mini Golf, laser tag and take a spin on the Go Karts. The mini-golf was indoor so that’s a great option if you have a rainy or cold day. The Go Karts are FUN – you zip around 3 floors of track at a pretty decent speed so there’s so squealing from the kids! The laser tag was fine, nothing that stood out, just your normal laser tag experience.
The Old Mill: This is an area within which you will want to spend some time. We found parking difficult so it would be a good idea to take the bus there or walk if you are staying nearby. The Old Mill restaurant is a MUST. It was so delicious, home cooking, and you won’t have to eat the rest of the day. FOR REAL – so much food. Don’t be afraid if you see a line, they move everything very quickly. In the Old Mill area, I spend the most time in the pottery store. I took home some gifts (some for myself!) and we watched the artisans craft the items. We also enjoyed the blacksmiths, definitely unique. There’s a cafe, ice cream parlor, general store, candy shop and more. It’s a great place for lunch and then spend the day “milling” about.
Smoky Mountain Candy Makers: There’s taffy all over the place in Pigeon Forge. We chose Smoky Mountain Candy Makers totally at random. They had dozens of taffy flavors and the store was just so cute. Of course, they were making taffy so the kids loved watching and sampling. They also had chocolates and many other choices to take back to the hotel for dessert or the drive home – which is exactly what we did.