Planning a grand summer vacation with a few friends or your whole family to the Great Smoky Mountains of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, is super. There are so many things to do in Pigeon Forge in summer. You can play at water parks, ride roller coasters at an amusement park, go whitewater rafting, picnic by a sparkling river, shop at The Island, and swim in your cabin rental’s private indoor pool! Pro tip: check out free summer activities in Pigeon Forge.
The Parkway is lined with family-friendly Pigeon Forge attractions, and there are loads of fun things to do in neighboring Gatlinburg, Wears Valley, Sevierville, and across East Tennessee — including tons of outdoor activities. Need recommendations for Pigeon Forge summer activities? Let’s jump into 25 ways to play this summer in Pigeon Forge!
Plus, if you haven’t been to Pigeon Forge in a while, be sure to check out some of the new Smoky Mountain attractions and fun things to do. From trails and restaurants to shops and rides, there’s plenty of new fun in the Smokies for your Pigeon Forge summer getaway.
1. Cool Off at a Smoky Mountain Water Park
With daytime temps reaching the high 80s, cooling off at a water park in the Smokies is super refreshing in the summertime! Lounge in a lazy river, zoom down water slides, and wade in a giant wave pool at Dollywood’s Splash Country or Soaky Mountain Waterpark.
2. Ride Roller Coasters at Dollywood
Dollywood Theme Park features the best roller coasters and park rides around for both adults and kids — including water rides in summer. Drop down Daredevil Falls, splash at Smoky Mountain River Rampage, and soar on Lightning Rod!
3. Snow Tube & Make Snow Angels — Inside!
Pigeon Forge Snow is America’s first indoor snow park that harbors 15 snow tubing lanes and a snowy play area for year-round snow fun — even in the summer months. What a treat to play in the snow out of season!
4. Shop, Dine & Play at The Island
Featuring more than 80 shops, great restaurants, and tons of fun things to do for the whole family — like ride The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel — The Island in Pigeon Forge sits on 23 sprawling acres in the heart of downtown Pigeon Forge. You can’t miss it on a drive along the Parkway, and with so much to do, see, taste, hear, and experience — you won’t want to!
5. Watch a Live Performance at Country Tonite
Offering entertainment for more than 20 years, Country Tonite boasts quality entertainment with comedy antics, professional choreography, country music, and incredible talent you won’t find anywhere else.
6. Hike to a Beautiful Waterfall in the National Park
As the most-visited national park in the country, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park boasts many hiking trails, and many lead to cascading waterfalls, like Laurel Falls and Abram Falls.
7. Take a Scenic Drive with Marvelous Mountain Vistas
If you’re not up for a hike in the heat of summer in Pigeon Forge, take an air-conditioned scenic drive instead. Cades Cove offers nice valley views, wildlife spotting, and historic structures, while Roaring Fork showcases woods, streams, and peaks.
8. Go Whitewater Rafting & River Tubing
Feel the thrill on a whitewater rafting adventure down the Pigeon River with Rafting in the Smokies. They even offer an outdoor ropes course, ziplining, and rock wall climbing on Family Adventure Island. Or opt for river tubing down the river with Tube River Rage!
9. Sample Ole Smoky Moonshine
Moonshine is part of the Appalachian culture in Pigeon Forge. You can try samples for $5 at Ole Smoky Barn on The Island or at Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery — the country’s most-visited distillery — in nearby Gatlinburg.
10. Splash with Rays at Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies
June, July, and August are hot in Pigeon Forge! When you need a break from the summer sun, head inside Ripley’s Aquarium in Gatlinburg and get into knee-deep water with majestic rays, play with adorable penguins, and watch a mermaid show (only performed in summer).
11. Hop Aboard a Mountain Coaster
Zoom through the trees or take in the views at a leisurely pace aboard a mountain coaster in Pigeon Forge on lovely summer days in the Smokies. Favorites include Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster, Coaster at Goats on the Roof, and the Rocky Top Mountain Coaster.
12. Visit Unique Museums
Pigeon Forge boasts plenty of entertainment for all ages, including fascinating museums. Touch a real iceberg at Titanic Museum Attraction, seek justice at Alcatraz East Crime Museum, and pose with celebrities at the Hollywood Wax Museum.
13. Eat Ice Cream at The Old Mill
The Old Mill Square features restaurants, neat shops, and most importantly, The Old Mill Creamery — where you can get yummy ice cream! Enjoy your summertime dessert by the wishing fountain or the Little Pigeon River, where the old mill still runs.
14. Spark Imagination at WonderWorks
Enjoy 100+ interactive exhibits that combine education and entertainment at the kid-friendly WonderWorks, a 35,000-square-foot Pigeon Forge attraction that also features an indoor ropes course, 4D XD ride, and laser tag!
15. Picnic by a Sparkling River
Whether relaxing at your riverfront cabin, exploring the national park, or hanging out in downtown Pigeon Forge, consider planning a picnic with fruit, finger sandwiches, and chips by the water.
16. Attend a Family-Friendly Dinner Show
A super fun thing to do in Pigeon Forge in summer is to attend a family-friendly dinner show with a 4-course Southern feast, cool stunts, and amazing theatrics. Check out Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show, Dolly Parton’s Stampede Dinner Attraction, and the Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Feud.
17. Explore Anakeesta — A Mountaintop Adventure Park
An aerial adventure park with a shopping village, restaurants, and outdoor fun on a mountaintop, Anakeesta features dueling ziplines, a single-rail mountain coaster, an observation tower, Vista Gardens, and more fun things to do in summer!
18. Go Zorbing at Outdoor Gravity Park
Straight from New Zealand, zorbing is basically jumping into a giant inflatable ball (like a hamster) with a splash of cool water inside and rolling around an adventure course. Outdoor Gravity Park in Pigeon Forge is the only place you can go zorbing in the U.S.!
19. Putt-putt on a Roof at Crave Golf
A classic Pigeon Forge summer activity, mini-golf is fun for the whole family and offered all around town. But there’s only 1 place where you can challenge a mini-golf course on the roof — Crave Golf Club! You can also play their indoor course, go mini bowling, and shop for candy.
20. Fly Fish in a Mountain Stream
On your summer getaway in Pigeon Forge, grab a fishing license, book a Pigeon Forge angling guide, cast a line into one of the many streams in the national park, and reel in a catch of beautiful rainbow trout.
21. Become a Lumberjack for a Few Hours
Paula Deen’s Lumberjack Feud Show presents a stellar cast of lumberjack professionals who compete in log games in an outdoor, climate-controlled arena for your viewing pleasure. Then, you can test your own logging skills at the accompanying Adventure Park!
22. Receive FREE Gifts Along the Rocky Top Wine Trail
Not only can you enjoy free samples of local wines and free winery tours, but you can also receive several free gifts when you collect stamps at 3 and all 5 locations on the Rocky Top Wine Trail in Pigeon Forge.
23. Race Go-Karts at The Track
Racing go-karts is a great way to have fun with family and friends in summer. The Track Family Fun Park in Pigeon Forge boasts multiple go-kart tracks for rookies and racers plus an arcade, blaster boats, kiddy rides, and a thrill ride for teens and adults.
24. Ride Horses in the Valley of Cades Cove
There’s nothing quite like horseback riding in the Great Smoky Mountains when visiting Pigeon Forge. View the lush greenery, summer wildflowers, historic structures, and animals — like black bears, white-tailed deer, and salamanders — on horseback with Cades Cove Riding Stables!
25. Swim in YOUR Cabin’s Private Pool
Swim in your very own private indoor pool when you book a pool cabin with Pigeon Forge TN Cabins! Luxury pools feature waterfalls, log bridges, islands, and spa areas. Or you can opt for a cabin with a private outdoor pool or community pool access to splash under the summer sun.
Many of our cabin rentals boast hot tubs, home theaters, rec rooms with game tables and arcade games, gas/charcoal grills, and mountain views! Whether it’s a family vacation, trip with friends, or corporate retreat, our 450+ options that range from 1-16 bedrooms have you covered
Ready to plan your memorable summer vacation in Pigeon Forge, TN? Reach out to Pigeon Forge TN Cabins to book your stay and get even more recommendations on fun things to do in the Smoky Mountains in summer at 1.866.513.7885.