Tips & Tricks for a Day at Dollywood with Small Kids

Pigeon Forge is the ultimate family destination. There are plenty of activities geared toward children—even the youngest visitors to the Smokies can have a great time!
One of the top-rated family attractions in Pigeon Forge is Dollywood. Since it opened in 1986, Dollywood has become the premiere theme park of the South! With thrilling rides and award-winning entertainment, it’s no wonder Dollywood has been a family favorite destination for decades.
But Dollywood isn’t just for adults and teenagers. Young kids—even your little ones—can have a great time at this family-friendly theme park, too. You’ll find plenty of kid-friendly rides for your kids to enjoy. Besides that, we’ve come up with six tips and tricks that we think will help you get the most out of your Dollywood experience with the little ones in tow.

1. Take advantage of the Baby Care Center located in the park. For parents wanting to enjoy the thrills of Dollywood with even the youngest guests, Dollywood has created a convenient option for you. A Baby Care Center is located on Showstreet, offering a climate-controlled place to change, nurse, and rock your kids during your time in the park. The Baby Care Center has a private nursing area with six gliders and foot stools, two baby changing stations, and a restroom. Many of the other restrooms within the park have private nursing and changing rooms with two or three gliders. Also, for your convenience, the park’s restaurants can assist you with warming bottles throughout the day.

2. Use the park’s “Parent Swap” program, and say yes to your favorite rides! Most rides throughout the park have minimum height requirements, which your little ones probably won’t meet. But that doesn’t mean you have to miss all the fun! Instead of avoiding those rides, take advantage of the park’s “Parent Swap” program. You and your partner can take turns—one of you will stay with the child up at the line while the other enjoys the ride. And then you switch. This avoids the pain of having to wait in line twice and allows you to enjoy your time in the park as well!

3. Find healthy snacks for your kids at the park’s various restaurants. Although you cannot bring food items from home for your kids, you can purchase a variety of kid-friendly and healthy snacks for your little ones to enjoy while you’re in Dollywood. Juice can be purchased at Showstreet Bakery and Aunt Granny’s. And milk can be purchased at several Dollywood restaurants, including Miss Lillian’s, Aunt Granny’s, and Apple Jack’s. If you need something specific, you are allowed to leave the park and return later the same day by keeping your admission ticket and having your hand stamped as you exit.

4. Keep your little ones cool and hydrated. Everyone’s favorite time to visit Dollywood is the summer, so you’ll need to make sure to have everything you need to keep your little ones safe while they’re in the sun. Sunscreen and hats are a must, but just in case you forget something, these can be purchased in the park as well as at mercantile shops like The Dollywood Emporium and Cas Walker’s. Also in these shops you’ll find over-the-counter medications, bandages, and other items you might need while you’re out. And one of the most important things your little ones need to do to stay healthy and enjoy their time in the park is stay hydrated. Cups of water are available for free at all restaurants throughout Dollywood. Bottled water may also be purchased within the park.

5. Rent or bring your own stroller. Strollers are a great way to get your child and all his or her bags around without breaking your back! Dollywood offers strollers—first come, first served—for $11 a day for a single or $13 a day for a double stroller. You can also bring your own stroller. Either way, be sure to pay attention to signs identifying designated stroller parking areas at the various venues and attractions. And be sure to keep up with your valuables if you decide to leave your stroller unattended at any point during your time in Dollywood.

6. Check out story time with Miss Lillian and other fun kids’ events. Dollywood’s Miss Lillian not only serves some of the best fried chicken in the park, but she also plays the Chicken Lady at the Valley Theater, where she shares stories from Dolly’s Imagination Library! Be sure to check out the park’s website for more details on events geared especially for its youngest guests.

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