Free things to do in Pigeon Forge

The best part about travel is the chance to jump headfirst into the inspiring sights and sounds of an all-new environment. That said, the worst part can be how much it breaks the bank. Is money is the only thing stopping you from packing your bags and hitting the road? Then we have good news for you!

From outdoor adventures to cultural experiences and delicious tastings, Pigeon Forge is full of novel activities that don’t require sacrificing an arm or a leg! Plan your thrifty getaway around these free things to do in Pigeon Forge.

picnic at Patriot Park in Pigeon Forge

Picnic at Patriot Park

Patriot Park is a lovely little family spot in the middle of the Pigeon Forge hustle. This park hosts various festivals and celebrations throughout the year. Check the local events calendar before your trip to see what’s going on next. July 4th is an especially exhilarating day in Patriot Park. They live up to their name by putting on one of the most anticipated fireworks shows in the area. It’s completely free to access the park, walk the riverside trails, and bring a home-cooked meal for a cozy picnic in the fresh mountain air!

Would you rather skip cooking at home and have the budget for takeout? If so, Geno’s Pizza is guaranteed to turn your picnic into a special treat. You can get a medium cheese pizza for under $15, plus medium and large subs for under $10. To keep costs even lower, split a large Philly Steak & Cheese or Meatball Sub and a side of Hot Wings or Cheese Stix with a friend. Soon enough, you’ll be in for a lunch as tasty as the mountains are scenic for only a few bucks each.

biking on the Riverwalk Greenway

Riverwalk Greenway

The Riverwalk Greenway is a beautiful paved trail you can run, walk or bike. The trailhead can be accessed through Patriot Park. This four-mile stretch connects both sides of the city, so you can explore Pigeon Forge to your heart’s content. As you take in the wonderful views of the river, you can plan the rest of your day in Pigeon Forge.

visit the Horse Walk at Dolly Parton's Stampede

See the Stampede Horses

Maybe you don’t have the time to attend the spectacular Dolly Parton’s Stampede. But that doesn’t mean you can’t meet the stars of the show before their performances! It’s free to visit Dolly’s beautiful band of horses in the stalls right beside the ticket counter every day. It’s a great Pigeon Forge activity for both children and adults.

things to do at Old Mill Square

Watch the Masters at Work in Old Mill Square

An exquisite walk into the past, you can explore The Old Mill for free. It’s a flour processing mill still operating today. Built in 1830, The Old Mill is registered as a National Historic Place and is a tribute to the old pioneer days of the Smokies. You can watch a variety of artisanal masters at work at The Old Mill.

First, stop by the miller to watch corn, grits, and other grains ground into powder the traditional way – using the strength of this historic water-powered mill. The ground grain is then used at Old Forge Distillery for crafting spirits. Otherwise, it is passed along to the bakers at The Pottery House Cafe. The stone-ground grits, flour, and other products are also available to the public for sale at The Old Mill General Store and The Old Mill Farmhouse Kitchen.

Second, it’s free to observe the candy-making wizards at The Old Mill Candy Kitchen. This Pigeon Forge candy shop proudly preserves the Appalachian way of making candies like taffy, chocolates, caramels, and small-batch brittles. Make sure you spot the vintage taffy-making machine in action while you’re there. Also, feel free to ask the candy-makers any questions!

In addition to watching skilled hands performing the work of Appalachian tradition, you have the option to enjoy the fruits of that labor, too. There are many shops and restaurants at The Old Mill. So if you get hungry, you’ll have plenty of delicious local options to choose from. You’ll need your strength if you plan on hiking inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park!

moonshine tastings at Tennessee Legend Distillery

Indulge in Free Samples

Thanks to its long history of moonshine and whiskey distilling, it’s impossible to visit the Smoky Mountain area without sippin’ the good stuff! You can sample all the authentic Appalachian spirits you want to try without spending a fortune to purchase all of them. Many of the Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg distilleries offer free tastings of their products. That way, you have the option to purchase just one or two of the flavors that taste best to you.

If you’re headed out to Tanger Outlets to browse the shops, make sure to pop in at Smith Creek Moonshine. You’ll get to try any of their 13 moonshines, including flavors like Sweet Tea, Apple Pie, Salted Caramel, and Butter Cake. Plus, if you decide to purchase a jar of their ‘shine, you’ll receive a free shot glass!

Should your adventures lead you to Sevierville, don’t miss out on a visit to Tennessee Legend Distillery. Their expert distillers grew up hearing stories about the original bootleggers and now take inspiration from those legends. Discover unique whiskies, moonshines, cream liqueurs, gins, rums, vodkas, and tequilas during one of their free samplings!

free live music performance in Pigeon Forge

Catch Free Live Music

The love of country, gospel, and blues has influenced this region since its early development. Today, Southern Appalachian ditties can be heard echoing through the mountains at any given time, and many of these performances are free. If you know the song, always sing along! Participation keeps the music alive.

For starters, local establishments like Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery frequently put on live music events. Aside from the local distilleries, nightlife venues, and restaurants, Hope Now Pavilion is another place you can always expect to capture your ear. This “church on vacation” event venue is one of the best faith-based experiences in the Smokies. On select weekends starting this summer, Hope Now Pavilion presents HOPE NOW, a free live music show with Gospel keynote speakers. Stay tuned for their 2023 schedule to be announced soon!

window shopping at the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community

Go Window Shopping

If we could, we wouldn’t hesitate to buy all the pretty, shiny things in the whole world! However, window shopping on a budget can be equally rewarding when you’re in it for the cultural experience – or you just love haggling and bargaining! You’ll find the best window shopping venues in Gatlinburg and Kodak, TN.

There’s nothing quite like discovering one-of-a-kind handmade items among the Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community in Gatlinburg. This 8-mile loop is part of the Tennessee Heritage Arts & Crafts Trail – a must-do for those who enjoy cultural experiences. Enjoy free parking along the route. Don’t be shy, either! The artisans will love talking to you about their basket weaving, jewelry-making, ceramics, photography, silver-smithing, leather-working, or other such craftwork.

Head north until you reach Kodak, and you’ll still be in excellent window shopping territory. The Great Smokies Flea Market is a gigantic tent with over 1,000 rotating vendors. Entry, parking, and WiFi are all free on the premises. If you keep your bargain-searching eyes peeled, you’ll find plenty of other freebies, like free food samples and entertainment. If you do feel called to treat yourself and spend a little money – everything from apparel and children’s toys to electronics and gardening supplies is up to 70% off retail!

Clingman's Dome

More Free Things to Do in Pigeon Forge: Hiking

Let the Smokies take you higher without emptying your wallet! If you’re looking for more free things to do in Pigeon Forge and the surrounding areas, consider hiking inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There is no entrance fee to get into the park; however, be advised that the park will require a parking fee starting March 1, 2023. Parking tags are $5 per day, $15 per week, or $40 per year.

One of the best hikes inside the park is Clingmans Dome. At an elevation of 6,643 feet, Clingmans Dome is the highest mountain in the Smokies and the highest point in Tennessee and on the Appalachian Trail. Drive up to the trailhead and prepare yourself for a short but steep half-mile hike to the Dome. This isn’t the easiest Smoky Mountain attraction to conquer, but it is totally worth the effort. Just take it easy when you need to, and make sure to bring plenty of water and an extra layer.

If you’ve been wondering how you’ll be able to catch a break this year due to financial concerns, worry no further. The wide variety of free things to do in Pigeon Forge means you don’t have to empty your pocketbook! Live music, moonshine tastings, picnics under the peaks – there are so many ways Smoky Mountain culture can rejuvenate your soul without costing a penny. Show us which Pigeon Forge activities you explored by tagging us in your photos on Instagram @mobilebrochure!

Content on this page is subject to change. Please contact the locations mentioned to see if promotions, hours, pricing, etc. are still valid.

About Nicole Miller

Nicole Miller is a native Tennessean who currently resides in Asheville, North Carolina. She loves spending time in the great outdoors, such as camping, hiking, and mountain biking. She also enjoys exploring all that the Smoky Mountains have to offer.

2 Responses to “8 Totally Free Things to Do in Pigeon Forge”

    • Hollie Romei

      Hi Jeremy! With MobileBrochure many of the best attractions, restaurants, accommodations and more are right at your fingertips with your phone, tablet or computer! Be sure to save your favorites! While in the area, you can visit one of our many brochure racks around town to pick up your favorite brochures. Enjoy your trip to our beautiful Smoky Mountains!

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