8 Awesome Field Trips in Pigeon Forge & the Smoky Mountains


Aaaahh, another summer has come to an end and the school year is already here. During pre-planning, fight those early signs of anxiety or stress over the work to be done by planning a fun field trip! These 8 fantastic Smoky Mountain field trip ideas can be made in a day or created into an exciting overnight cabin trip for the class or homeschool group. Plan a big retreat with your homeschooling network by splitting the cost of a large lodge in Pigeon Forge! With field trip ideas ranging from environmental science and cultural arts to history, there is something for every age group and subject to conform to many core curriculums.

1) Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair
Culture, History, and Art
October 2019
$7 Per Person, Kids 12 & Under Free
Arts and crafts, food, music, and budget-friendly; what more could you ask for in a field trip?! This unique event gives visitors an opportunity to watch artisans at work while they create beautiful leather goods, intricate jewelry, complex quilts, charming birdhouses, blown glass, and so much more. With demonstrations of how so many different household items are made, students can learn to appreciate what creativity and hard work can do along with more contextual insights to what day to day life for the early settlers looked like. Many of the artists hail from the local Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community, the nation’s largest and oldest group of independent artisans, where their crafts have been handed down through the generations.

2 Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies
Environmental Science & Biology
Ticket Prices Vary by Specials and Group Rates
Voted “The Best Aquarium” by USA Today’s Reader’s Choice 2019, the Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies boasts captivating exhibits with over 200 species native to the ocean, tropics, and Antarctic climates! There are also resources specifically available for teachers and those planning a group field trip, here!

3 Titanic Museum
Ticket Prices Vary by Specials and Group Rates
More than just a tourist attraction along the Parkway of Pigeon Forge, the Titanic Museum allows visitors to feel personally connected to each passenger and crew member who would forever be a part of this monumental ship’s unfortunate history. At the beginning of the tour, each guest is assigned a real person who was aboard the colossal ship, providing a human context to the lives and culture of the times. There are even real artifacts and pieces of the RMS Titanic recovered by multiple expeditions for you and the students to see up close!

4 Dollywood
Theater & Culture
Check the website for promotions and group pricing!
Not all field trips have to be overtly educational, and during the school year the teachers and the students could really use the break for some rollercoasters, a wide variety of theatrical shows, and tons of delicious foods. With group discounts and seasonal events in constant rotation, Dollywood is a fantastic way for your students to have fun together while experiencing the magical world Dolly Parton designed with young minds and hearts at the center of her efforts.

5) Cades Cove
History & Environmental Science
With authentic, preserved cabin structures nestled among some of the park’s most beautiful scenery, Cades Cove is a fun, easy field trip you can incorporate so much into. Make it a pioneer field trip by having the kids dress up, pack sack lunches to picnic under the pavilion, and learn all about the early lives and times of the Smoky Mountain settlers.

6) Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage
History, Arts, & Environmental Science
April 21 – 25, 2020
Check out prices for student and adult options!
Educational guided hikes, photography workshops, nature journaling, birding with professionals, and a host of other curiosity-inspiring panels and activities make up this ever growing, exciting event! The Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage is hosted by the area’s top experts and educators in the fields of environmental science, wildlife research, and the environmental arts.

7) Wilderness Wildlife Week
Environmental Science
Around the beginning of the year, keep an eye out for 2020 dates
Boasted as one of the nation’s top educational wildlife events, the entire week is packed with seminars, guided hikes, workshops, and more all centered around the overflowing abundance of forestry and wildlife in the Smoky Mountain area! Kids and teens will love the hands-on experience and gain a wealth of knowledge while having a ton of fun.

8) 107th Cherokee Indian Festival
Culture, History, and Art
October 9-12, 2019
Ages 6-10: $5; General Admission $10
Children’s Day (Wednesday) every child 17 and under is FREE
This incredible cultural event is rich with art, dance, games, rides, and more! The gates open daily at 9 a.m. and stay open until 11 p.m. The members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians will put on daily demonstrations of their tribe’s sporting events, handmade arts, music, and dance – a rare opportunity for your students to experience the beautiful preserved culture of our nation’s original inhabitants.