Crisp mountain air plus mountains sprinkled with colorful leaves means family-friendly fall events are just around the corner in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. As the heat of summer dies down and cool autumn breezes make their way through the Great Smoky Mountains, it’s the perfect time to host fall festivals, county fairs, car shows, scenic marathons, country concerts, craft shows, annual gatherings, and Halloween fun!
For the 2022 autumn calendar, there’s a lot planned for locals and visitors to enjoy in downtown Pigeon Forge, Sevierville, and Gatlinburg. Families and friends can gather together and spend quality time experiencing unique and fun events, fall festivities, and special moments at a cozy cabin in the Smokies. Check out what’s to come and plan your memorable fall stay in Pigeon Forge today.
Fall Festivals in the Smokies
Country-style fairs and fall festivals are making their way to Pigeon Forge starting this September. Food trucks, fair rides, local vendors, livestock shows, carnival games, neat exhibits, live music, friendly competitions, and autumn displays help make up these classic fall events.
Sevier County Fair | Aug 30 – Sep 5
Rides, contests, games, workshops, exhibits, livestock, wrestling, dancing, animal shows, and tons of fair food await at the Sevier County Fair. Children 10 and under are FREE, and adult tickets are $6 (Aug 30 – Sep 2 & 5) or $12 (Sep 3-4). The unlimited-rides wristband is $25 and totally worth it!
Dollywood Harvest Festival | Sep 23 – Oct 29
Incredible autumn works of art and seasonal treats spread throughout this Smoky Mountain theme park when fall rolls into town for the Dollywood Harvest Festival. At night, feast your eyes on the Great Pumpkin LumiNights with incredible lit displays. Harvest Festival is accessible with a ticket or season pass to Dollywood.
Ober’s OktOBERfest | Sep 23 – Oct 30
Mirroring Oktoberfest from Munich, Germany, Ober Gatlinburg’s OktOBERfest features barrels of beer, German cuisine — including schnitzel, strudel, and bratwurst — beer souvenirs, the Smoky Mountain Oompah Band, and Bavarian folk dancing. OktOBERfest is accessible with tramway tickets to Ober Gatlinburg.
Old Mill Heritage Day | TBD (Sep)
This day celebrates Appalachian heritage at The Old Mill in Pigeon Forge. Make moonshine, pet animals, enjoy bluegrass, see cloggers and twirlers perform, grab munchies from the farmer’s market, and peruse local arts and crafts. Best of all, this family-friendly event is FREE!
Gatlinburg Chili Cookoff | Nov 10
Kicking off Winterfest is the Gatlinburg Chili Cookoff that serves up friendly competition with all kinds of chilis you can sample. Plus, there’s live entertainment and the grand lighting ceremony that showcases millions of sparkling lights throughout the city. Admission is usually about $10 per person.
Gatlinburg’s Festival of Trees | Nov 24-28
Benefiting the Boys & Girls Club of the Smoky Mountains and the Gatlinburg Chamber Foundation Scholarship Fund, Gatlinburg’s Festival of Trees is an end-of-fall event that rings in the Christmas season with tons of beautiful tree displays, activities for kids, choir performances, good food, and Santa himself! Admission is FREE, though donations are always appreciated.
Fall Car Shows in Pigeon Forge
Oh yeah, car shows are a staple in the Smokies and must-visit Pigeon Forge events this fall! Car enthusiasts and gear heads unite in a sea of hot rods, rare car parts, fun souvenirs, and friendly competitions.
Shades of the Past Hot Rod Roundup | Sep 9-10
Got a thing for older cars? Shades of the Past features classics up to 1972, including roadsters and ‘57 Chevys. Some of these older models are even modded with new parts to create one-of-a-kind pieces. Admission is $20 per day and free to children under 12.
Fall Rod Run | Sep 15-17
With a grand prize of $10,000, you can bet to see stunning hot rods at the Fall Rod Run this year! There’s a huge swap meet to explore plus souvenirs to take home from the largest automotive event in the area. Outdoor car fun is FREE, and it’s only a small fee (around $15) to enter the LeConte Center.
Autumn Competitions in Pigeon Forge
Any runners in the house? These Smoky Mountain marathons are perfect for a challenge and benefit local charities to boot. Plus, fall brings milder weather, ideal for outdoor sports — including a trout fishing tournament!
Ober Uphill 5K | Sep 24
Support the local Boys & Girls Club with a run from the bottom of Ober Gatlinburg to the top. It’s quite the climb, but you’ll get a free ride down the Aerial Tramway with gorgeous views of the mountains and city. Pre-registration (before Sep 1) is $40, or register later or the day of for $45.
Cades Cove Loop Lope | Nov 13
As the only organized foot race in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, this autumn marathon in Cades Cove is a neat one to try. You can opt for the 5K or 10-mile loop. Registration is typically $75 — all proceeds will go to park projects and programs for preservation, conservation, and restoration.
Fall Smoky Mountain Trout Tournament | TBD (Oct)
Right after the rivers have been stocked with trout, Rocky Top Outfitters hosts its biannual Trout Tournament for a fun weekend of fishing that includes trophies, gift certificates, attraction passes, fishing gear, and cash prizes up to $500!
Smoky Mountain Concerts This Fall
From country beats to gospel music to classic rock ‘n’ roll, there are plenty of concerts to choose from this fall in Pigeon Forge! You’ll find some held at Dollywood, convention centers, local theaters, or Country Tonite.
- We The Kingdom | Sep 24
- National Quartet Convention | Sep 25 – Oct 1
- Rodney Atkins | Oct 21
- Charlie Griffin | Oct 23
- Gene Watson | Nov 18
- Hearts on Fire | Nov 18-19
Halloween Fun in the Smokies
Spooky thrills and chills creep into Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg every October… Got kids? No worries! There are kid-friendly Halloween events with candies and activities, too.
Ripley’s Fright Nights | Oct 1-30
Whether you’re up for spine-tingling, hair-raising, or scream-worthy scares, Fright Nights at Ripley’s Haunted Adventure delivers…big time. This year-round haunted house pulls out all the stops each weekend in October (including Halloween night) to give guests a petrifying fright — at no extra charge!
Spooktacular Halloween Event | Oct 27
Scare-free and filled to the brim with candy for the kiddos, Spooktacular is held every year at the Pigeon Forge Community Center to provide a safe space for families and friends to go trick or treating together. There’s even a kid-friendly haunted house. Best of all, it won’t cost you a dime.
Annual Trick or Treat Kickoff Karnival | Oct 31
Held at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, the Annual Trick or Treat Kickoff Karnival features characters, yummy food, games, contests, and loads of candy! Kids can trick or treat safely, and you can make Halloween a night of family fun. Kindly, admission is FREE!
Local Arts & Craft Shows
Handmade goods, souvenirs, and gifts can be found at local craft shows this fall in the Smokies. Attending these craft shows is a great way to see tons of Appalachian handiwork, meet and greet with master craftsmen, and take home a piece of the Smokies.
Chalkfest at The Island | Oct 9
You won’t believe what these artists are able to do with a box of chalk and a slab of sidewalk! Hosted by The Island, enjoy the crisp autumn air and the magical Show Fountain, and watch the chalk artists compete and create sidewalk masterpieces in Pigeon Forge at Chalkfest.
Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair | Oct 13-30
Around 200 booths displaying unique pieces of art — from top artisans across 14+ states — gather in the Gatlinburg Convention Center each year to showcase the area’s top-quality crafts at the annual Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair. Find one-of-a-kind pottery, leather goods, intricate wood carvings, copper art, accessories, miniatures, stained glass, captivating paintings, and dozens of other handcrafted items. Plus, you can enjoy live music on stage while you browse. Admission is $10 for adults, and kids 17 and under are FREE with a paying adult.
Great Smoky Thanksgiving & Christmas Arts & Crafts Show | Nov 22-27
Folks from the area and out of town pile into the Gatlinburg Convention Center to check out the latest and greatest pieces of local arts and crafts from the largest group of independent artisans in the nation at this unique show. Homemade tools, decor, jewelry, birdhouses, instruments, and foods are just a few of the many finds at this FREE event.
Autumn Celebrations in the Smokies
Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg welcome annual celebrations to the area each fall that focus on building faith, owning feminine pride, coming together to worship, and celebrating freedom.
- Annual Summit of the Worldwide Pentecostal Fellowship | Sep 5-8
- Women of Joy | Oct 7-9
- Celebrators Conference | Oct 10-13
- Veterans Day Celebration | Nov 11
MORE Fall Things to Do in Pigeon Forge
Perfect Weather for the Great Outdoors
As warmer summer months bend to cooler breezes in September and October, it creates some of the best days to get outside and explore the Smoky Mountains without suffering from that summertime heat. Take advantage of some of those last warm days and tour the Pigeon River with Wildwater Rafting before the end of the season or cast a line for rainbow trout or largemouth bass.
With crisp autumn air to keep you cool during your trek, hiking those longer trails to Alum Cave and Mt. LeConte in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is so nice. As the lush mountain forestry begins to transition from bright shades of green to sultry autumn colors of red, orange, and yellow, your views from Andrews Bald and Clingmans Dome become an incredible fall canvas against the long horizons.
Scenic Mountain Biking
In the early fall following Labor Day, the Cades Cove bike rental shop reports fewer visitors to the area, perfect for those bicyclists interested in wildlife viewing and a quieter ride along Loop Road as the first shades of autumn begin to creep among the leaves. While the entire route is 11 miles, there are 2 cut-through roads providing a 4-mile route and an 8-mile route — with both bike trails lending scenic views of the Smokies plus historic homes and churches.
Crisp Mountain Evenings by the Fire
After fun-filled days of exploring, shopping, and enjoying unique attractions, like the Escape Room, MagiQuest, and WonderWorks, unwind by your Pigeon Forge cabin rental’s stacked-stone fireplace, outdoor firepit, or deck fireplace. Our cozy cabins provide the best end-of-the-day spot to kick back with a few beers or sip hot cocoa with the kids. Cold nights under the bright stars or quiet evenings cuddled on the couch call for some romantic flames to warm you up, no?
Another way to explore Cades Cove that just screams “fall festivals” in the South is a scenic hayride! The fully-narrated tour is the perfect way to learn and soak in all the beauty of the autumn-splashed mountains while relaxing in a hay-filled trailer pulled by a truck. Put on your thick plaid shirts and jeans and listen to tales of early life in the Great Smoky Mountains as white-tailed deer leap through the valley plains, wild turkeys chuckle in the forests, and black bears forage for their last meals before hibernation.
With changing scenery, stunning views, and perfect temperatures, the Smoky Mountains act as an incredibly beautiful backdrop to local golf courses! Perfect your golf swing next to serene mountain streams in the rolling valley of the Bent Creek Golf Course, a par-72 course designed by 3-time Masters champion Gary Player. Or take your time playing 18 holes while enjoying the breathtaking views of one of America’s most gorgeous courses — the Gatlinburg Golf Course — great for seasoned and beginner golfers.
Colorful Leaves & Cabin Amenities
Spending hours, a whole day, a weekend, or an entire week making memories at cool autumn events, attractions, shops, and eateries means you’ll need a comfortable and affordable place to stay near town. At Pigeon Forge TN Cabins, we have 450+ vacation rentals that range from 1-16 bedrooms around the area. Whether you’re traveling with your spouse, a few friends, pets, the whole family, or a large group, we have you covered — with loads of amenity options, too!
15 Things to Do at Your Cabin in Fall
Spices fill the crisp mountain air as you prepare a heartwarming meal, steam rises as you slip into the hot tub under the stars, marshmallows roast as you prep for dessert s’mores around the firepit…this cabin stay is special. Why? You chose to visit a log cabin in the Great Smoky Mountains during (arguably) the most beautiful and peaceful season of the year — fabulous fall.
Autumn presents the perfect opportunity to whisk your family, friends, loved one, or close-knit group away for a memorable time tucked away in the colorful mountains — best seen from a Pigeon Forge cabin with mountain views!
- Cook yummy fall recipes and bake apple-filled autumn treats in the fully equipped kitchen with major appliances, pots and pans, cutlery, dishes, and more provided. All you need are the groceries!
- Shoot pool, dominate the air hockey rink, lead your foosball team to victory, play shuffleboard, and beat the highest arcade scores in the rec room with fun games at your loaded cabin rental in Pigeon Forge.
- Take much-needed and well-deserved spa baths in the indoor jetted tub with massaging jets, tranquil melodies, bath bombs, scented candles, bubbly soaps, bath salts…you name it!
- Unleash your creativity. Write the story you’ve always wanted to tell, work poetry and songs from the heart, make leaf presses, or paint a new masterpiece — whatever inspires you.
- Roast marshmallows and add tasty extras — like berries, dark chocolate, cookies of all sorts, peanut butter, caramel, coconut shreds, pretzel bits, and divine Nutella — for fall-tastic s’mores around the firepit.
- Slip into your swimsuit for soothing soaks in the steamy hot tub where the sounds of nature, the twinkling of stars, and the scent of autumn keep you relaxed at your Pigeon Forge cabin with a hot tub.
- Sway on the porch swing with a mug of joe, a warm blanket, and your best friend or opt for a rocking chair to take in the beautiful kaleidoscope of colors across the Appalachian Mountains from the deck.
- Clear the dining table for board and card games, crafts and coloring with the kids, dessert and coffee, or a great big puzzle to tackle throughout your stay at a Pigeon Forge cabin rental.
- Pop in a Blu-ray or DVD filled with laughs, thrills, adventure, scares, romance, or fantasy and settle in for movie night in the private home theater with surround sound, a huge screen, and theater-style seating.
- Read your favorite novel, sip wine with your spouse, or enjoy a wholesome chat by the crackling fireplace that really adds to your cabin stay in the Smoky Mountains in fall.
- Tap into the complimentary high speed Wi-Fi to keep up with emails, do a little online shopping, check out your favorite blog, scroll for memes, or Zoom chat with friends and family back home.
- Splash, wade, and play in the private indoor pool! Some of our cabins with pools even offer special features that include waterfalls, swim-in grottos, bridges, islands, color-changing lights, spa areas, and fountains.
- Host a cabin cookout with the gas or charcoal grill. Set out snacks and drinks on the outdoor dining or picnic table and play some music while you wait for the steaks, burgers, or veggies to cook.
- Snuggle with your love or opt for alone time in a king suite with a private en-suite bathroom for convenience, a king-size bed for comfort, and a flatscreen TV for entertainment.
- Breathe in the fresh autumn air and take in the stunning fall views all around — with radiant trees, mesmerizing mountains, or a sparkling river.
Book your fall stay online or let our vacation specialists help you plan at 1.866.513.7885. Popular autumn events are coming soon, so booking ahead is your best bet!