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pigeon forge


Junior Member
I lost my husband in the spring and my boys and I have decided to skip Thanksgiving this year and go to the mountains. Pigeon Forge has a theme park so that's where we're headed. I am a little nervous about travelling alone with them and want to know as much as possible before we get there. Has anyone visited that area? My guys are 6, 11, and 12. Other than Dollywood and the Great Smokey Mountains park, what other things might interest them?


Pigeon Forge is right outside of Gatlinburg. There are a lot of places there as well. They have a great aquarium and a lot of things for kids.


Senior Member
I'm not sure if it's in Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg (they are close), but there is a REALLY neat Putt Putt Golf place on the side of a hill/mountain! You have to ride a sky lift type thing to get to the top to start playing. The whole area is surrounded by trees. It was so cool! My kids were 11 and 13 at the time and they LOVED it. I saw kids of all ages there! Also, if you like horse back riding then that's there too. Most are guided tours but they were so fun! I love that area! Have fun, you'll love it.
On a side note... sorry for your loss.


Senior Member
Wonderworks. . .

. . . is advertised as an amusement park for the mind. It looks like an upside-down building and there are lots of things to do. It would be a great place to go on a day when the weather is not wonderful.

In nearby Gatlinburg, just on the edge of town, is Sugarlands. Here one can see mounted specimens of the wildlife in the park. It is park headquarters and there is no charge (as far as I know) and a good day to go after a day of splurge spending. Back in Pigeon Forge, there's a NASCAR place with cars one can drive around tracks.

If the weather is nice and you are into hiking, after a short drive up to Clingmans Dome, one can walk less than half a mile on the Appalachian Trail to a tower reached by a spiraling ramp. Often the view is disappointing because you are walking through a cloud. It is kind of thrilling to walk on even a small portion of that trail.

If you do a google search, you will find lots more information. I hope you have a great time. I think a trip like this is better for your family than staying home to face such a different Thanksgiving from the usual. (I live about 30 miles from there and would be glad to answer any questions.)


Full Member
Lots of things to do!

I am sorry for your loss. I believe you have the right idea. This is a great time to go to the smokies! Who knows, this may become your new tradition. The Christmas lights will be up and you should be able to take a trolly ride around Gatlinburg for around a dime or a quarter each. We stayed in a cabin just up above Dollywood, we could hear the train, and drove to a spot to catch the trolly. It is a lot easier to ride the trolly into Gatlinburg than to try and drive and find a parking spot. So much to do and see in town. It was fun just walking around and looking. We got a cup of hot chocolate and looked around. My nephew, played putt putt golf inside one of the buildings. He said it was fun. There is a Hardees right on the street that you can grab and go if you want or just sit and eat and watch the crowd go by. Did you send off for free information? You would get a mailbox full. Don't forget to stop at rest stops and pick up info. There are always cupons that you may use.
Don't forget it gets "COLD" there at night. It snowed on us the year we went. Oh another thing we did that was fun was a chair lift up to a high look out point and hot apple cider. I think there was one in Gat. and also another one called Ober something or the other. There was an ice skating rink at the Ober one. They were also making snow for the first time that year.
Life changes are never easy, but I know you are doing the right thing. I hope you and your children have a good time and start a new tradition.
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Senior Member
I"m sorry to hear of your loss and hope you enjoy yourselves so much that you start a new tradition! Who says Thanksgiving has to be sitting around with family eating turkey. One of the most memorable Thanksgivings we had was a year we went away. There were supposed to be pots and pans in the unit, but there was nothing and we went out at 9:30 at night to buy stuff so I could cook the food I brought. It was so much fun to "rough it" and we still talk about it years later.

I know nothing about that area, but hear really good things. Enjoy the time with your precious boys!


Senior Member

This is the 2nd post I've seen about the Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge areas. It sounds like so much fun! I am reading with interest everyone's suggestions. ARe there any cabin areas that can be recommended? I googled it in and so many came up, I wouldn't know where to begin. I am not trying to take over this thread, but maybe that info would help the OP, too. Thanks!


Senior Member
We took our son 2 years ago when he was 6. He loved the Haunted Mansion in Gatlinburg. They also have a Ripley's Believe it or Not Museum, a car museum (of TV cars) and a dinosaur theatre/ride type of thing.


Senior Member
It'd be harder to find things NOT to do there. THere is just about everything in the world to do there, except for Shamu.

NJ Teacher

Senior Member
I'm also sorry for your loss

I think there's a Ripley's Believe It Or Not Aquarium there, that your boys will enjoy. I love the Smokey Mountain National Park, and you could drive through it to the Cherokee NC side where there is a great Native American museum.I'm not sure what ranger programs there are at this time of year, but most national parks participate in the Junior Ranger program where kids can earn a badge or patch by doing some activities in the park. In the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area, we went to a Dolly Parton "Battle of the North and South" where you were seated on a side of the arena and groups of riders "battled" it out to determine who won. They served a dinner there, too. I know this has to be a bittersweet time for you, but I wish you as much happiness as you can in making new memories and traditions for your family. Safe travels!


Senior Member
Pigeon Forge

Definitely go to Dixie Stampede (I think that's what NJteacher is talking about) - it's dinner and a show and I think they'd love it! I've never been (we're going in Dec.), but I've heard rave reviews about it. You can google it to get more information. If you decide to go, make sure you reserve tickets ahead of time - I think it sells out easily. You can get a combo ticket with Dollywood and save some money, too.

I agree that Ripley's would be a great idea for them as well! We took our boys several years ago and they had a ball in there!

We're staying in a cabin that has a pool table and video arcade, so you might find something fun like that. The downside to that is driving into the mountains if the weather is icy. I just knew we wanted space to "feel at home" with a kitchen, living room, several TVs, etc... so we could relax after playing all day.


Senior Member
Pigeon Forge

I, too, am sorry for your loss.

One thing that hasn't been mentioned is the GO CARTS!!!!Your sons will LOVE them. There are even ones that your youngest son can enjoy. There are tons of things to do. I mentioned on the Gatlinburg thread the Comedy Barn. It's family-oriented comedy that is really fun. Check out the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg chamber of commerce for more ideas.

Be sure to get the coupon booklets that are in the hotels --- they have good deals.

Also try horseback riding. We did this a couple of years ago and LOVED it! I would have rather stayed on the horse than the go carts, but that's just me!

OOOOhhhhhh I really wanna go now!!!



Junior Member

Thanks for all the ideas. I checked out the sites for some of the shows with the boys last night and they are getting excited.


Senior Member

I, too, am sorry for your loss.

You are gonna love Pigeon and Gatlinburg. It is quite overwhelming when you first enter the city. :eek:

My husband and I always took our church youth groups..they would have a blast!!!

The Gatlinburg Aquirium(sp) is really good.
While in Gatlinburg, do go through the Ripley's Believe It of Not.
Visit the candy stores, and you gotta eat pancakes somewhere!!!! <!--yummy-->
Just browsing through the shops was neat.

In Pigeon, Dollywood is GREAT.
Go-Cart racing for boys is a must!!! <!--sing--> They will LOVE it!!!
The NASCAR Cafe was OK; it was a little too loud.
The video arcades will drive the boys mad!!! :D
They also have some great putt-putt golf places!

If you want a good ol' hamburger/fries/ and shake, go to Mel's Diner. :cool: The Old Mill is a good place to eat, too.

There is a lot to do. And...it can get a little $$$$$, so be prepared!!