Kid-Friendly Fun in Pigeon Forge: 7 Picks

Whether you are making your way to the Great Smoky Mountains for the weekend or planning ahead for the perfect multi-family summer cabin vacation, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg are home to a plethora of kid-friendly activities. With an area that has grown into the premier destination of the South, it can get a little overwhelming when trying to decide what to do with your time that fits your family’s tastes, interests, and budget. We are here to help make planning your itinerary as easy as booking your Pigeon Forge, Tennessee cabin! Our top 7 kid-friendly list of fun activities includes what each age group will love about the activity, how much it costs, and ways you can save!

  1. Dollywood
    Cost: Click here!
    Best for: Families with kids of all ages
    Dollywood has been a long-standing staple of the South, and it’s easy to see why when you pass through into the fantastical world that was all part of Dolly Parton’s grand visions. This Southern wonderland is home to over 40 rides ranging from cutesy rides like Black Bear Trail and Busy Bees to high-flying roller coasters like the Lightning Rod and FireChaser Express. Theatrical events like you’ve never seen, down-home musical performances from talented singers and dancers, and mouthwatering food only add to the incredibly fun rides. Insider tip for those families who don’t want the fun to end after just one day: if you enter the park after 3 p.m. with a single-day pass, you are granted access to the park again the next day!
  2. Float the River
    Cost: $10
    Best for: Families with children ages 3 and up
    Want to tour the beauty of the Smokies while you relax and the kids play? Hit the Pigeon River for a full day of fun in the cool waters under the hot Tennessee sun! River Rage Tubing is your best option for tubing because their prices are lower than most tubing companies in the area, and your tickets grant you ALL DAY access. Float 1 of 3 different routes before being shuttled back to the main office where you can unpack a picnic lunch out of the car or immediately hop on the shuttle to the next put-in location! It’s unlimited and one of the best (cheap) ways to cool off in the summer!
  3. WonderWorks
    Cost: Click here!
    Best for: Families with kids of all ages
    You are all likely to leave WonderWorks not only having had an awesome amount of fun after climbing the rock wall and playing laser tag, but with tons of new knowledge you didn’t even realize you were learning! Get “edu-tained” through the 150 interactive exhibits that take you and the kids exploring through the rings of Saturn and outer space, geological layers of rock and lava inside the earth, and the surreal sciences of physics and more. Just be sure to give yourself plenty of time to hang out in the upside-down attraction because you can easily spend hours having a blast inside those upturned walls!
  4. Short Hikes
    Cost: FREE
    Best for: Families with kids of all ages
    Over 800 miles of trails crawl throughout the Great Smoky Mountains leading to waterfalls, breathtaking overlooks, and stunning rock formations. It is one of our favorite attributes of this national park: variety! And speaking of variety, there are short trails that are flat or a quick climb, moderate trails varying in elevations, and long trails that encompass all the different terrains! If you have kids from 5-10, consider taking short hikes like the 2-mile paved walk to Laurel Falls and the well-maintained 3.5-mile trek to the mountaintop prairie of Andrews Bald. These hikes may be short, but they still reward your exercise with soul-stirring views! If you want the low-down on all our favorite hikes, check these out!
  5. The Escape Game
    Cost: $33-$36 per player
    Best for: Families with kids 7 and older
    Choose your adventure and work against the clock to beat the mob to hidden treasure, save your shuttle and get back to earth, catch the thief who stole an irreplaceable work of art, or bust out of prison, Shawshank Redemption style! With clues all around you and a ticking clock, the whole family will have to use their wits and unique strengths to solve each task to move through the game and beat time to win The Escape Game. The reviews on The Escape Game are consistently filled with soaring positives like, “awesome” and “best time in Pigeon Forge.” So, during peak season, you will definitely want to schedule your “escape” ahead of time by going to their website!
  6. Ripley’s Attractions
    Cost: Bundle and save!
    Best for: Families with kids of all ages
    Don’t let the touristy name deter you; the Ripley’s attractions are some of the most novelty fun to be had in the Smoky Mountain area. From the award-winning Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies to the supernatural scares of Ripley’s Haunted Adventure, these attractions provide a wide variety of entertainment. The younger ones will love the incredible exhibits and interactive learning of the Ripley’s Odditorium and putt-putting their way through Davy Crockett’s Miniature Golf Course. Or take your teens to get their scared in Ripley’s Haunted Adventure.
  7. Biking Cades Cove
    Cost: FREE (with your own bike); rental fees vary
    Best for: If you have your little one’s tricycle, then kids as young as 4 will love Cades Cove.
    Cades Cove boasts some of the best views in the Smokies along with some of the best wildlife viewing, too! The 11-mile Loop Road is closed to vehicle traffic every Wednesday and Saturday before 10 AM (May 8 to September 25) which leaves this dreamy valley quiet and open to ride for cyclists. There are cut-through roads too, so you can take the short 4-mile or moderate 8-mile trip and cruise through rolling valley with grazing wildlife and historic cabins from some of the original settlers! If you brought your own bikes, there are a few fantastic bike trails in the area that are great for families, too, with flat, paved riverside trails and quiet rides through the lush forests. Biking is great, free fun and probably the best way to experience the beauty of the Smokies for those who aren’t avid hikers. Check out these scenic rides here.

Pigeon Forge is packed with entertainment, and you should get out and experience this wonderful city, but when you book one of our cabins with indoor pools or impressive large lodges with rec rooms and home theaters, you don’t have to spend ANY extra money to keep the kids entertained and happy while you relax!