The Great Smoky Mountains are a playground for the entire family with fun for grandparents, grandkids, and everyone in between! Natural beauty, adventure, and entertainment exist among great food and shopping, making Pigeon Forge in the Smokies a perfect destination for your next family getaway. Come see how many fun things to do in Pigeon Forge there are for your whole family.
For Nature Lovers
We begin our survey of things to do in Pigeon Forge by rounding up a couple of fun-filled outdoor activities that are certain to catch the nature lover’s eye.
If you’re looking for free things to do in Pigeon Forge, an outdoor hike like Ramsey Cascades Trail is your best bet. Walk through some of the oldest and most whimsical parts of the lush forest that lead you to stunning views of the tallest waterfall in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This is a tough hike, so make sure to pack plenty of water and a snack for your journey. The sooner you leave, the sooner you’ll get there! If you’re not into the intense hikes, there are plenty of additional outdoor spaces that allow you to bask in the beauty of the Smokies without breaking a sweat or the bank.
Cades Cove Loop is the perfect family-friendly adventure, without the intense inclines. The Loop is filled with historical homesteads and meadows packed with wildlife and beautiful scenery. Walk, bike, and hike with the Smoky Mountains as your backdrop. Leave plenty of time to explore the rich history that lives in these mountains.
Looking for more free things to do in Pigeon Forge, TN? Explore the Chimney Tops Trail. These views are some of the most sought after in the area, accompanied by fields of wildflowers and great chances to spot local wildlife. Start your journey on the trailhead just outside Gatlinburg. Winding creeks flow beneath storybook bridges, which are particularly beautiful in the spring and summer months. This is a difficult but short hike to the near summit of Mount LeConte. Due to the unfortunate wildfires that plagued this region recently, there is a new observation point just 1.8 miles up the Chimney Tops Trail that allows visitors to stay safe while taking in the beautiful mountain views. If you are willing to spend a few extra dollars, some of these great outdoor activities should definitely be on your list.
Enjoy three and a half miles of beautiful mountain scenery as you are saddled on one of Big Rock Dude Ranch’s horses. Enjoy a relaxing experience viewing the Smokies as you try and catch a fish from their stocked pond (bait, rod, and reel are provided for a nominal fee). Or, if you want something to pump your adrenaline, take a 4×4 ATV through some gorgeous mountain areas.
Take a guided trail ride on an ATV through the foothills of the Smoky Mountains. There are trails for families and experienced riders alike. Take advantage of access to 6,000 acres of terrain, providing numerous opportunities to take in majestic mountain views. Come prepared to snap photos of breathtaking picturesque scenery. The pacing is perfect for a scenic tour and less of an adrenaline rush.
Those thrill seekers looking for a rush won’t be disappointed by the adventures found in Pigeon Forge!
Flying through the trees over 25 mph is one of the best things to do in Pigeon Forge for adventure seekers. At Smoky Mountain Ziplines, professionals are there to guide you as you glide through the Smoky Mountains. Channel your inner mockingbird (the state bird of beautiful Tennessee), as you and your family create unforgettable memories above the canopy.Getting a once-in-a-lifetime view of our beautiful Smokies.
If you’d rather be a little closer to the ground, but still want to spread your wings and fly, test your skills in the art of body flight at Flyaway Indoor Skydiving. This is one of those bucket-list experiences that you do not want to miss. Can you imagine what it’s like to truly fly? Now is your chance! Experience one of the most fun things to do in Pigeon Forge and learn to fly like a pro.
Off the beaten path, and a little ways away from the hustle and bustle of the main drag in Pigeon Forge, even more adventure awaits at Bluff Mountain Adventures. Prepare yourself for a wild ride as you and your family hit the trails on ATVs. The perfect way to see the mountain trails with no traffic, you’ll cross streams, climb the mountains and see some spectacular views.
Barrel down a 1,000-foot hill in a giant OGO ball with ten gallons of water slushing around you. Do it solo or with up to two other friends. This activity is great for any season. They keep the water cool in the summer and warm in the fall. If you have younger thrill seekers in your party, the OGO can handle kids five and up.
It’s not just “a track.” The Track is a family recreation center that has big thrills and fun for everyone. With go-karts, mini-golf, and bumper car rides, there’s fun for the whole family. What about the little ones, you ask? They have an area just for your pint-sized adventurers that includes a train, carousel, ferris wheel, and kiddie carts. If you want to fall your way into adventure, take a 65-foot drop from the bungee tower. Plus, one of the best features of The Track is that when you buy their Bonus Packs, they never expire!
For Entertainment Junkies
Pigeon Forge is packed with things to do for those who love unique and sensational entertainment attractions.
The Island in Pigeon Forge is a walkable entertainment destination packed with 23-acres of shops, restaurants, amusements, and entertainment to excite the entire family! The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel is a 200-foot tall observation wheel featuring an unparalleled view of the Great Smoky Mountains day or night! Heated, all glass gondolas ensure your ultimate comfort. Rides begin at 10:00 AM daily. The Island Show Fountain is a state-of-the-art, multi-tiered show fountain featuring a jaw-dropping presentation of water and light choreographed to music for an experience to delight all the senses. Shows play every 30 minutes at the top of the hour, Monday-Sunday from 10:00 AM – 11:30 PM. The Island Mirror Maze is one of the country’s largest mazes at over 3,000 square feet. You’ll get lost in fun as you experience this mind-bending labyrinth of illusions! Also featuring an arcade, carousel and many more attractions, The Island has entertainment for everyone and is as close to a one-stop destination the Smokies have to offer.
May’s the starting point for tubing at Smoky Mountain River Rat. Enjoy a family-friendly float for ages 2 and up, or the upper section of the Pigeon River for ages 6 and up. You can get a season’s pass if you don’t want just one ride. At $29.99 (subject to change), it’s a steal! Reservations can be made directly through the website or you can call 865-448-8888.
Fun for all ages, WonderWorks is an upside-down adventure park featuring more than 100 exhibits and interactive displays showcasing the work of the world’s greatest scientist, Professor Wonder, and his attempt to create a man-made tornado and harness its power. This master experiment gone awry created a vortex that carried the laboratory from a remote island in the Bermuda Triangle and dropped it on its head in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee! Explore the lab and the wonders of science and nature by experiencing a 5.3 magnitude earthquake, the force of hurricane winds, or put yourself inside of a bubble. Featuring a 4-story glow-in-the-dark ropes course, laser tag arena, and the #1 magic show in the Smokies, WonderWorks has something for everyone! Group discounts are offered, and they have several rental options for private groups, including wedding receptions.
We all have to eat, and Pigeon Forge’s vast selection of eateries will not disappoint!
Enjoy family style food served for breakfast, lunch, and dinner at Mama’s Farmhouse. Bring your little ones, because kids five and under eat free! Part of the Johnson Family of Restaurants, which also includes our friends, Mad Dog’s Creamery, Alamo Steakhouse, Big Daddy’s Pizzeria, and Bennett’s Pit BBQ, you will find the same quality cooking and friendly atmosphere here. Be sure to go with an empty stomach, because it’s all-you-can-eat and nothing you can take home! If you do want to take a souvenir, they have a great gift shop with shirts, sauces, peach butter, mixes, honey, and collectibles.
Have you ever met a dessert you didn’t like? Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen serves up the best mouth-watering desserts and home-cooked meals. Come thirsty and hungry and enjoy a true Southern dining experience. After your meal, you can visit the new 4,000 square foot Paula Deen Retail Store. You’ll find everything from cookbooks to cookware, and accessories and gifts in between.
To top off our list of fun things to do in Pigeon Forge, here’s just one of many shops where you can find original products that make perfect souvenirs. After all, what’s a vacation destination without shopping?
Celebrating 27 years, Lid’l Dolly’s has over 300 different quilt designs as well as locally handcrafted girls’ heirloom dresses for your little southern belle. They boast over 25,000-square-feet of shopping space. Come and find the wide selection of keepsakes on-site, including unique houseware items, lid’l dolls, and accessories.
Stop in for a quick bite to eat or drink. From lattes to cappuccinos, and muffins to croissants, you won’t be disappointed with the selection. The Margaritaville Coffee Shop is inside the new Margaritaville Hotel and Restaurant in The Island. You can also buy signature blends to take home with you like the dark roasted “Pirate’s Gold.”