Hiking to a waterfall in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Kids love looking at nature pics on their phones and iPads, so why not go “behind the screen” and let them see this beautiful scenery in person? The national park has more than 800 miles of hiking trails, including several to picturesque waterfalls. These hikes range in distance and difficulty, so whether your kids are naturally athletic or have never hiked in their lives, you should be able to find the right trail for them the Smokies.
A great starting place is Mouse Creek Falls, where you can choose between a 3-mile (roundtrip) hike to Midnight Hole and a 6-foot falls or a 4-mile (roundtrip) hike to a 45-foot waterfall on the far side of Big Creek.
Stretching their imagination at WonderWorks.
If it’s an ultra-hot day or summer rain showers are in the forecast, you’ll need a fun indoor activity for the kids that doesn’t involve watching a screen or moving a mouse. Problem solved at Pigeon Forge’s WonderWorks!
This exciting attraction features 35,000 square feet of “edu-tainment” with 100 hands-on exhibits in 6 unique wonder zones. From space travel to fine art, WonderWorks has something to peak every kid’s interest. There’s even an indoor ropes challenge and laser tag arena in a blacklight maze!
Beating dad (or mom) at a round of mini golf.
Want a good ole-fashioned way to have fun with the kids this summer? Why not try an afternoon of mini golf? Nothing will inspire the kids to leave their devices behind like a little challenge from their parents. Offer them $1 or even $10 (if you’re feeling generous!) for every hole-in-one they make.
Or offer to take them for ice cream (before supper!) if they can beat you in an 18-hole course. Pigeon Forge has plenty of mini golf courses to choose from, including Lost Treasure Golf, Firehouse Golf, and Hillbilly Golf.
Sifting for treasure at Pigeon Forge Gem Mine.
Instead of stacking jewels for points on an app, encourage your kids to get their hands dirty and sift for jewels at the Pigeon Forge Gem Mine! This unique attraction lets you mine for you own gems in their flume area. Then you can have your personal treasures cut, polished, and mounted into jewelry that can be enjoyed for years to come!
Exploring new heights at Smoky Mountain Ziplines.*
If your kids are looking for something a little more daring than sifting for gems, then bring them to Smoky Mountain Ziplines, where they can fly through the trees at speeds of up to 25 miles per hour! With 7 ziplines and a 2-hour long ropes course, this attraction will be way more exciting and much more memorable than an afternoon of playing video games. So be sure to invite your kids to get off the couch and onto a zipline during your next family vacation to Pigeon Forge.
Barreling down the mountain at Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster.
For another fun way to see the mountains and feel the thrill of soaring down them at exciting speeds, try the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster. The entire track is more than a mile long and takes approximately 7 to 8 minutes to complete. That may not sound like a lot of time, but in the world of roller coasters, 8 minutes is a lifetime! This ride is great for kids of all ages since little ones (3 to 6 years old) can ride with a guardian or parent. And you can control the speed of your coaster with an individual hand brake in each one.
Tubing down the river with River Rage Tubing.
Of course, when it’s summertime, one of the main reasons kids don’t want to get outside is because it’s too hot. But when you come to Pigeon Forge, your kids won’t be able to use that excuse when you plan a tube ride with River Rage Tubing! Not only will your kids stay cool in the triple-digit temperatures, but they’ll also have a great time floating and swimming along the Little River. You’ll be surrounded by the beauty of the Smokies—maybe even some Smoky Mountain wildlife—and have an afternoon that’s guaranteed to be device-free (except maybe a waterproof camera!).
Soaring above the scenery on a helicopter tour.
If nothing else gets your kids’ attention, a helicopter ride over the Smoky Mountains will! A flight with Scenic Helicopter Tours is the best way for your family to catch of glimpse of the full beauty of these mountains. You’ll fly over rolling hills, dipping valleys, fields of flowers, beautiful lakes, and rushing waterfalls. You may want to let your kids hang on to their iPhones for this adventure—the pictures they take will be one-of-a-kind!
Going back in time at the Titanic Museum Attraction.*
Okay, here’s the deal: don’t mention the words “history” or “learning” or “reading” before you bring the kids to Pigeon Forge’s Titanic Museum Attraction. Just let those things happen naturally as your kids explore the original artifacts, modern replicas, and hands-on exhibits of this Titanic-themed attraction. They’ll get their picture made on the famous Grand Staircase, touch a real iceberg, and so much more at this fascinating museum for all ages!
Getting wet and wild at Dollywood’s Splash Country.
You can’t bring your kids to Pigeon Forge in the summertime without at least one visit to Dollywood’s famous water park, Splash Country! With its whitewater rafting ride, 70-foot water slide, and large wave pool, this amusement park will keep your kids busy all day long, meaning they’ll be playing instead of posting and—get this—actually talking to you instead of snapchatting with their friends! What better reasons to start planning your family’s Pigeon Forge vacation today?
*Smoky Mountain Ziplines and the Titanic Museum Attraction are part of our Cabins For You Partner Program. Ask our reservation specialists for more information about the discounts available at these and other area attractions when you book your stay with us!
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