Your Guide to an iPad-free Vacay


Technology is a big part of our culture, and sometimes it can feel like it’s taking over. If you have kids (especially teens), you may find yourself constantly trying to pry their noses out of iPads and phones and away from the TV. While technology can be a good thing, it’s always nice to take a break from screens and have some quality time with family. It’s easy to do that in the Smokies, where outdoor activities abound, the scenery is gorgeous, cabins are loaded with games and relaxing spaces, and attractions offer hands-on fun for all ages.

So if you’re tired of TV, maxed out on Netflix binging, bored with your phone, and fed up with the iPad, read our guide to a technology-free vacation in the Smoky Mountains. It’ll guarantee less time staring at screens and more face-to-face time laughing, playing, and reconnecting with each other.

Screen-free Cabin Time
On days you want to stick around the cabin – whether it’s rainy or just a lazy day – there are plenty of ways to spend time together without everyone sitting on their own phones or tablets. Many of our cabins have impressive rec rooms, which boast everything from shuffleboard, pool, and air hockey to arcade games, foosball, and dart boards. Or you can a cabin with an indoor pool and spend your days swimming and splashing around. You can also bring along your favorite board games and hang out in the living room, clear off the dining room table for card games, or check out our blog for easy in-cabin recipes and spend the night cooking together!

Into the Woods
Outdoor fun is endless in the Smoky Mountains, whether you want a relaxing day in the great outdoors or some high-adrenaline fun. Fortunately, many of the outdoor activities make it difficult, or even impossible, to have your phone in your hand or your face in an iPad while you’re doing them. You can bring fishing equipment and spend a day in the streams of the Smokies, go horseback riding through the woods, take a whitewater rafting trip, or lace up your hiking boots and hit the trails.

Smoky Mountain Ziplines will take you on a treetop tour as you fly high above the forest floor, or you can tumble down a hill in giant inflatable ball at the Outdoor Gravity Park in Pigeon Forge. If you want something a little more low key, a picnic in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and a drive (or walk or bike ride) through Cades Cove are great options.

Interactive Fun for All
Pigeon Forge is known for its many attractions, from go kart tracks and arcades to the upside-down WonderWorks and the massive Titanic Museum Attraction. The attractions in downtown are incredibly interactive, so it will be easy to put your phone away and enjoy them. You’ll be handed a boarding pass of an actual Titanic passenger for your tour at the museum attraction, and you’ll learn about the people aboard, touch an iceberg, walk the Grand Staircase, and stand on a sloping deck along the way. WonderWorks teaches kids (and adults) about art, science, space, and more with a completely hands-on approach.

Outbreak: Dread the Undead is a terrifyingly fun zombie experience; Dollywood has roller coasters, kiddie rides, live shows, and carnival games; Dollywood’s Splash Country is the perfect summer-day solution; Goats on the Roof has live goats, a mountain coaster, gem mining, and lots of sweet treats; and the Parkway is lined with go kart tracks, miniature golf courses, and laser tag arenas where you’ll need your hands free to have some family fun!

Check the Calendar
Besides the attractions that offer year-round fun, you’ll have your pick of community events in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. From holiday celebrations and fall festivals to spring workshops and summer parades, there is always something going on. Stay up to date with what’s happening via our blog, and read on for some upcoming events this spring and summer.

Pigeon Forge Spring Rod Run
April 6 – 8

Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage
April 11 – 15

Great Smoky Easter Arts& Crafts Show
April 12 – 18

Dollywood’s Great American Summer
June 17 – August 6

Whether you stick around the cabin, play at the attractions downtown, explore the great outdoors, or hop from event to event, a vacation to the Smokies means dozens of opportunities to ditch the phones and iPads, get away from the screens, and have more face-to-face time with family. Browse online or give us a call at 866.513.7885 to start planning your family getaway! With less technology time and more family time, you’re sure to make some amazing memories in the Smoky Mountains!