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Here at 'Great Smoky Vacations', we have tried to compile a list of attractions and things to do in the area. It would truly be impossible to list all of the attractions and activities in the area. Here are a few attractions.

 

Looking for activities in Pigeon Forge TN you can enjoy with your kids? You'll find all kinds of fun things to do! Whether they love theme parks, museums, or games, there are activities for every interest in Pigeon Forge. Check out 5 of the best activities in Pigeon Forge TN for kids:

 

  1. WonderWorks

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Do you want to find something fun and educational for your kids to do? Take them to WonderWorks! This attraction is an interactive museum your whole family will love. The building is commonly called the upside down house, so you definitely can't miss it! Once inside, you can find fun in all of the Wonder Zones. You can feel how cold the water was the night the Titanic sank. Feel what hurricane winds and an earthquake are like. Lay on a bed of nails and get in a roller coaster simulator. Test your skills at virtual sports. Jump on the giant piano and on the Alien Stomper. There's so much to do at WonderWorks!

 

  1. Arcade City

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Located at The Island in Pigeon Forge, Arcade City is a great place to take the kids if they love games. You'll find all kinds of fun claw games where you can grab prizes. Win points by playing basketball and skeeball. Try to stop the light to win the jackpot, and try to get a ball to drop in the jackpot slot in other games. Once you've gained all the points you can, you can trade the points for prizes, such as stuffed animals, plastic figures, and so much more!

 

  1. Dollywood

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Dollywood is one of the most popular activities in Pigeon Forge TN. Kids and adults will both find things to entertain them at Dollywood. There are shows everyone will enjoy watching, from comedy to singing and dancing. Small children will love riding Busy Bees, while older kids will enjoy The Scrambler and the Dizzy Disk. Have a kid who loves thrills? Take them on The Barnstormer or the Tennessee Tornado. You'll find plenty of snacks your kids will love around the park, from frozen lemonade to giant cookies from the Spotlight Bakery. Everyone will love their day at Dollywood!

 

  1. The Track

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If you're looking for maximum entertainment, you need to take your kids to The Track in Pigeon Forge. You'll find go karts for kids of all ages. The most popular is the Wild Woody, where the track winds up to 3 stories tall! After you ride go karts, get on some of the kiddie rides or splash each other on the bumper boats. Play a round of mini golf where you'll spot animals you might see on a safari. Once you're done outside, you can play games in the arcade!

 

  1. TopJump

 

What child doesn't love to jump on trampolines? Your kids will love spending time at TopJump, an indoor trampoline park. There are open areas where you can just jump around. There's also a climbing center where you can test your skills. Kids also love seeing how far they can get in the Fire & Ice Ninja Course. For small kids, the Kid Zone is the perfect place to play! Your whole family will find something that will entertain them at TopJump!
You'll love the wide variety of activities in Pigeon Forge TN. Check out these other attractions you'll want to try while you're in town.

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When it comes to travel, almost everyone likes the idea of stepping out of their comfort zones. The mere act of leaving our normal routines, friends, homes and entering new environments has a beautiful way of shaking up our perspectives on ourselves, our lives, and the world.

Many of the best, most transformative travel experiences are direct products of the unfamiliar and unexpected: doing things we wouldn't normally do, meeting people we wouldn't ordinarily meet, and learning new perspectives that make us better versions of ourselves.

However, for most travelers, the actual process of stepping out of our comfort zones can be uncomfortable, or daunting or downright scary — step too far and we risk remembering a vacation for all the wrong reasons. As a result, we tend to revert back to the safest, most predictable plans, taking solace in knowing exactly what we'll get.

This is why I'm an advocate of single decisions that make the process of stepping a little bit outside your comfort zone on your next vacation easy, automatic, and even fun! From years working with the most innovative vacation rental hosts in the world on the Vacation Rental Marketing Blog, my favorite single decision lies in the kind of accommodations in which you stay: instead of booking a traditional hotel, choosing the right vacation rental property opens many doors and facilitates all kinds of meaningful experiences.

Embedding one's self in a residential neighborhood away from groups of tourists means meeting local culture in an entirely new way. And in this environment, we're more likely to encounter delightful surprises and explore more of the unknown. No matter where you're heading for your next vacation, choosing the right vacation rental can be that single choice that makes all the difference.

Here are four ways in which choosing the right vacation rental can make your next trip almost by default more adventuresome, interesting, and memorable.

1. Automatic Local Friends

Since most vacation rental operators live in the area and love it, they make for the ideal destination ambassadors and therefore the perfect local: friends. The best vacation rental hosts are able to recommend their favorite haunts, introduce guests to the right guides or contacts, and even let visitors in on insider secrets. One of my favorite anti-comfort zone moves is to invite your vacation rental host out for lunch to their favorite restaurant.: Use this chance to pick their brains, to help you organize your itinerary, or merely to get a lay of the land. Very few hotel concierges are able to offer this level of personal attention due to the size of the business — a vacation rental host is that all-too-valuable connector you can't do without.

2. The Excuse to Be Curious

Staying in a vacation rental as opposed to a traditional hotel means everything is less formulaic and that is the best way to digest local culture. Instead of relying on room service or overpriced hotel taxis, I like to encourage travelers to wander out and use the excuse of being a new neighbor to ask questions! Where's a great place for a lazy afternoon lunch? What's the best way to get downtown? What's it like to live here? Preface any of these questions with the fact that you're only playing neighbor for the week and you're bound to get a warm reception and sense of place.

3. The Fun of Dining In

Eating out on vacation every day can get expensive, if not downright exhausting. A vacation rental's kitchen is the ideal alternative and amenity that breaks down comfort zone barriers because it encourages local grocery shopping excursions and the improvisation of putting together a meal of your own. If you're looking for inspiration, try to replicate a popular local dish or seasonal specialty… experiment with something you've never made before. If you're feeling fancy, ask your host about a private chef. And if you're feeling lazy, order delivery and enjoy lounging around the ultimate comfort zone — the living room.

4. The Permission to Get Lost

At home when we're in our typical routines, getting lost is frowned upon: it makes us late for work, embarrassed before friends, and disappointed in ourselves. But when traveling, getting lost is a virtue — a plus that leads to some of the best vacation memories. By choosing a professional vacation rental instead of a traditional hotel, we remove the compass and maps of structured tourism and embrace the idea of not knowing exactly where we are or where we are going. This is not an endorsement to put anyone's life in danger — it is permission to enjoy the journey and not just the destination. It is a good reminder to relish the beauty of travel at its core, which is the consent to relinquish a bit of control and find your own way.

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Visit Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies

Rain or shine, snow or sun, there's never a bad time to visit Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies! This immersive facility is regularly recognized as one of the top aquariums in the United States.  In 2016, it was named by USA Today as the best place in the US to see penguins! There are so many exhibits to explore and animals to see, that you could spend the entire day at Ripley's and still have more to do.  Once you're done checking out the fish, the kids can enjoy the aquarium's new gigantic indoor playground! If you're looking to escape the cold and still have an adventure, Ripley's is the place to go.

Speedway Fun

Drive at the Blake Jones Racing Center. If it's too cold outside for go karts, head over to Blake Jones Racing Center.   One of the few covered Figure 8 Slick Tracks in the area and the only indoor Electric Go-Karts and Spin Zone Bumper Cars.

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Escape Game Rooms

The Escape Game in Pigeon Forge  Located at The Island, this real-life escape game requires guests to work together to try to escape a locked room. Find clues, solve puzzles, and get out in under 60 minutes!

Kryptology Escape Rooms is a fun, challenging way to spend time with your family during the winter. When you take on the challenge at Kryptology, it's like stepping into a real-life video game. You're given 60 minutes to find clues, answer riddles, and solve puzzles while trying to discover how to escape the room your placed in. Each room has a different immersive theme, like "The Orphanage" or "Vanished in Roswell". Even though the rooms and challenges are very exciting, every room is family friendly and safe for younger children. You should plan on spending a total of about 90 minutes with Kryptology from start to finish.

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Scenic Drives

A wonderful way to experience the beauty of the Smokies is with a scenic drive. There are some great options in the area (including the Foothills Parkway), all with beautiful overlooks along the way. Pack some snacks, drinks, and a jacket and camera for when you want to hop out for a bit.

Anyone who has driven through Cades Cove knows that is one of the most beautiful parts of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.  Cades Cove is situated on an 11-mile one-way loop road that gives you the chance to sightsee at a leisurely pace. Along the way, there are plenty of pull-offs if you want to stop and take in the scenery. You'll definitely want to take your time.  Some of the animals you could potentially see include black bears, white-tail deer, coyotes, turkeys, and more!

Community Centers

The Pigeon Forge Community Center offers basketball courts, pools, exercise equipment, and much more.

Shopping

What better way to pass a busy day than shopping? Head over to the Tanger Outlets in Sevierville to get great deals on clothes, accessories, electronics, home goods, specialty foods, toys, tools, and more! The Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community is the largest collection of crafters and traditional artists in the United States.

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Visit an Amazing Museum Attraction

Visiting one of the many amazing museums in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg is a great way to spend a rainy day. All of the museums in the Smokies pride themselves on offering one-of-a-kind, interactive exhibits. With so many different options to choose from, there's something for everyone. Be sure to check out our blog, 7 Best Museums in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, for a full list of the best museums in the Smokies.

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The Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge – You can touch an iceberg, feel how cold the water would have been on that fateful night, try to stand on a sinking deck, walk the Grand Staircase, and explore the ship as a passenger or crew member before learning your fate.

Gatlinburg Activities

Click on the link above to see a video of some of the many things to do in Gatlinburg.  Gatlinburg is a quaint town on the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains.

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Pirate battles, live animals, custom-designed costumes, and more.  Arrive 50 minutes before the show for the chance to explore Pirates Village, where your kids (and you too!) can dress up like pirates and mermaids and enjoy pirate-themed beverages and snacks.  adjacent to The Island in Pigeon Forge and includes a 30,000 square-foot arena that seats nearly 700 guests. During the show, guests will get to see the Crimson and Sapphire pirates battle on deck, in the water, and in the sky above their full-sized pirate ships in a 15-foot-deep indoor lagoon.  Enjoy a four-course pirate feast at the show! The menu will include the Walk the Plank Peach Turnover, creamy vegetable soup and fried chicken.

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Recently, my son and his family were visiting Gatlinburg, Tennessee from their home in Indiana. In order to satisfy the varied interests of our group, who ranged in age from 3- to 59- years old, we loaded up the cars and headed to Anakeesta, Gatlinburg's recent addition to their top-tier attractions. While there, we found […]

via Anakeesta: Getting High on Life in Gatlinburg, Tennessee — Travels with Bibi

Want to get your adrenaline pumping on your vacation? What better way to get excitement in than to go ziplining in Gatlinburg TN! You'll love racing through the trees at top speeds, feeling the wind on your face in the summer. Check out 4 of the best places to go ziplining in Gatlinburg TN on your vacation:

 

  1. CLIMB Works

 

Do you want to zipline with someone else to help you be brave? At CLIMB Works, they have a dual zipline where you can ride side by side with your friend or significant other down the mountain. If you'd rather ride alone, you can go on the treetops ziplines that include 9 ropes, 3 sky bridges and an ending that will surprise you! To get up to the beginning of the courses, you'll ride an ATV up the mountain. You'll love seeing the stunning view of the Great Smoky Mountains while you ride down! If you're still craving adventure after you go ziplining, be sure to check out their mountain bike trail on a rental bike!

 

  1. Zipping in the Smokies

 

Zipping in the Smokies has a total of 2,400 feet of ziplines you'll get to ride! You'll come across 2 sky bridges where you can see awesome views of the Great Smoky Mountains terrain. The ziplines self-brake, ensuring your safety. You'll be in a full body harness and helmet, attached to the cables with a carabiner. Once you're done ziplining, you should go white water rafting or hang out in the picnic area to eat some snacks or a meal — you've earned it! This outpost is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, so get your summer fun in while you can!

 

  1. Anakeesta

 

Not only is Anakeesta a great place to see amazing mountain views, shop til you drop, and eat some delicious food, it is also great since it has ziplining! You can ride down the mountain with a friend or family member on the dual ziplines. You'll be able to zip over 150 feet of zipline ropes  over the forest floor 50 feet in the air. Once you finish your ziplining adventure, you take a short trip back to the chondola station to ride back to the top where you can ride the Rail Runner, a mountain coaster, or check out the tree canopy walk and watch other people zipline!

 

  1. Zip Gatlinburg

 

Looking for a place that will accommodate anyone from 5 to 85 years old? Head over to Zip Gatlinburg, where you will ride 9 lines through the treetop canopy. You will also find 14 elements in the self-guided TreeTrek, which is sure to be fun! Guides help you at every step along the way, from walking to the next line to braking when you're close to a sky bridge. They also offer ziplining in Gatlinburg TN off the dome at Pigeon Forge light #10 for a fantastic view of the Pigeon Forge Parkway. You definitely don't want to miss it!
If adventure is in you, you'll definitely want to go ziplining while you're in town! Not sure what else you want to do in Gatlinburg or the surrounding cities? Take a look at all the other things to do in the Smoky Mountains!

The Gatlinburg History Museum highlights a century of the arts and crafts community in Gatlinburg.  The exhibit features a collection of handcrafted items by generations of Gatlinburg families including furniture, fabric and other functional items.  Community organizations and businesses also made significant contributions that add to the story.

The Gatlinburg History Museum is located at traffic light #5 in Downtown Gatlinburg. Visitors can find the museum in an area to the right of the ticket counter at Ripley’s Aquarium. For hours of operation, please call (800) 588-1817 and ask about the museum exhibit.

458 Parkway, Carousel Gardens, Gatlinburg, TN 37738-3018

 

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From Smoky Mountain apparel to beautiful, handmade pieces, the Gatlinburg shopping scene has so many things for you to discover. Whether you're looking for the perfect souvenir or a gift for a loved one, you're sure to find just what you set out for here. To help you plan for your trip, here are 5 of the best places to go shopping in Gatlinburg.

 

  1. The Spice & Tea Exchange

The Spice & Tea Exchange is located in The Village Shoppes in Gatlinburg. You'll absolutely love the Old World spice trading atmosphere when you walk through the door. This specialty store offers more than 140 spices, over 80 exclusive hand-mixed blends, 16 naturally flavored sugars, an array of salts from around the world, and more than 30 exotic teas. Their main focus is to provide high-quality products and accessories to chefs, home cooks, and tea lovers. You'll be so excited to take these products home and try them out when you're cooking!

 

  1. Pepper Palace

Another great stop in The Village Shops in Gatlinburg is the Pepper Palace! This store encourages a fun and fiery environment that you'll immediately notice when you step through the front door. Inside, you can browse through all of their famous hot sauces, salsas, seasonings, and rubs. Their small batch, handcrafted, natural, and award-winning products are just what you need to add a little charisma to your everyday meals that might be starting to taste a little bland.

 

  1. Novus Candela Bath & Crafts

Who doesn't love a beautiful candle to add a warm glow to their home? The scented soy candles at Novus Candela Bath & Crafts are absolutely wonderful and are sure to make any room you put them in seem cozier. In addition to their lovely, handmade candles, you can also find goat's milk soaps and essential oils there. They also carry a large selection of gorgeous handmade quilts, jewelry, paintings, and scenic pictures.

 

  1. The Celtic Shop

If you're planning on spending the afternoon on the Gatlinburg Parkway, you should definitely make a stop at The Celtic Shop! It features a wide selection of genuine Celtic pieces that were hand selected by the staff during their previous visits to Ireland and Scotland. From apparel and jewelry to posters and other fun knick-knacks, there are so many items for you to look at that will remind you of your trip to the Smokies and your heritage!

 

  1. Brandywine Pottery

The pieces from Brandywine Pottery make both thoughtful gifts and great additions to any room in your house! The influential artist that this shop is named after, Brandy Ward, creates functional pottery inspired by the forests of the Smoky Mountains. Each of his pieces is hand thrown and glazed with an airbrush. His technique truly makes the pottery sold in this store one-of-a-kind.
There's always something new and unique to discover when you shop here! Come see all of these fantastic shops for yourself, and you'll most likely walk away with some amazing new treasures! Be sure to also check out all the other places to go shopping in Gatlinburg for a truly unforgettable trip.

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There is no better place to spend your family vacation than in the Smoky Mountains! Our cabins provide you with a great place to stay, so now all that's left to decide is what you want to do while you're here. To help you plan your visit, we've put together a list of the top 4 family-friendly things to do in Gatlinburg.

 

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Ober Gatlinburg is a top destination for families all year long! If you visit during the winter, spend your day on the slopes skiing, snowboarding, or tubing. If you visit during the summer, try the water rides! There are exciting things to do year round at this ski and amusement park. You can ride the Ski Mountain Coaster, take in the views from the Aerial Tramway, or visit the Wildlife Encounter. There is even a special area just for the kids to enjoy with tunnels, slides, and rides!

 

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Anakeesta lets your whole family experience the magic of the mountains. Your adventure begins with a ride on the Scenic Chondola, with gorgeous views of Gatlinburg and the Smoky Mountains all around you. Once you reach the summit of Anakeesta Mountain, you'll enter Firefly Village. Firefly Village is full of shops, dining, and entertainment. Ride the Dueling Zipline, try the Tree Canopy Walk, or play on the Treehouse Village Playground! There is so much fun for the family at Anakeesta. If you get hungry while you're there, be sure to try Cliff Top Grill & Bar, where you can top off a delicious meal with a gorgeous view.

 

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At Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies, you'll have the chance to see all of your favorite aquatic animals! Not only that, but you'll also get to interact with some. You can touch a jellyfish, feed a sea turtle, swim with stingrays, and even waddle with penguins. Ripley's Aquarium has been voted one of the best aquariums in the country, and with all the unique experiences they offer, it's not hard to see why. One of the best experiences for families is the Glass Bottom Boat Adventure. You'll travel out into the middle of Shark Lagoon, with just 3 inches of glass separating you from the 12-foot sharks that call the lagoon home!

 

  1. Ripley's Believe It or Not!Ripley's Auditorium

 

Ripley's Believe It or Not! is full of the most strange and unusual items from all across the world. There are 3 stories that each include hundreds of artifacts and oddities. You'll have the chance to see shrunken heads, an albino giraffe, the world's tallest man, a car covered in crystals, and so much more. There are also fun interactives for the kids to enjoy. Our favorite part of the odditorium is the tribute gallery to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which includes exhibits on the synchronized fireflies and the world's tallest underground waterfall.

 

These are just some of the best family-friendly things to do when you visit! Check out more things to do in Gatlinburg, and start planning your trip.