Visiting Pigeon Forge with Kids

Pigeon Forge is one of the top family-friendly vacation spots in Tennessee. Its’ location is right next to the quaint downtown of Gatlinburg and minutes away from world class hiking in the Smoky Mountains National Park. This area makes for one of the best national park vacations any time of year. Here are some fun things to do when visiting Pigeon Forge with kids.

pigeon forge family

Pigeon Forge Attractions for Kids

1. Rent a Cabin

The first thing I recommend when staying in Pigeon Forge with kids is to rent a cabin. Cabin rentals in the area are plentiful and by choosing to stay in a cabin, you are adding to the mountain feel. We rented from Patriot Getaways. They have many options available, and we were very happy with the location, size of the cabin and amenities it offered. The kids often did not want to leave the cabin. They wanted to stay and enjoy the basement, balcony, and woods nearby- which made it very family friendly! An AirBnB is another great option, as there are many cabins and large homes available for rent.

Get $40 off your first booking with AirBnB by clicking here

2. Drive Down the Main Road

The main street in Pigeon Forge is similar to International Drive in Orlando (meaning it has a plethora of family friendly activities and tourist traps). They range from arcades, mini-golf, go-carts, museums, and souvenir shops. We did a few of them…

MagiQuest and Mini Golf

This is a giant indoor play area for kids. The MagiQuest itself is a sort of digital scavenger hunt, but we opted for mini golf. They had an indoor glow in the dark mini golf course that was pretty fun! It was raining that afternoon, so we decided on an indoor activity instead of staying in our cabin. The black lights added an element of fun, and for $9 a child, I thought…why not?

Dollywood Theme Park

Titanic Museum

Watch a Country Dinner Show

Watch a Lumberjack Show

WonderWorks

3. Ride an Alpine Coaster

Another one of the great Pigeon Forge attractions with kids was the Alpine Coaster. There are a few varieties available and are close by. This one was a little pricey at $15 a ticket, so I decided to go hunting on Groupon, and found 2 for $20 (so I just bought two of them for our family). Although $10 a ride is still a little steep in my book, it was a lot more fun than I thought it would be. You start off at the bottom of the mountain, and then slowly your “coaster” goes up the track. Once you are at the top, the coaster is ready to go down the track. Notice in the picture below, there are two levers that act as brakes (in case you feel you are going too fast). You never really go very fast, but this is a good option for those with small children (38″ can ride with an adult).

alpine coaster

4. Go Hiking in Smoky Mountain National Park

Our favorite activity to do in Pigeon Forge with kids is hiking a trail or driving around Smoky Mountain National Park. Once you get to the main road, follow the signs to the park. You can drive around and stop at the many overlooks to take pictures, and enjoy the mountain scenery.

We have hiked a few trails in the Smokies, yet our favorite remains Laurel Falls. We have done this hike twice in the winter (the first time the kids were 3 and 5, and the second time they were 5 and 7). It is a very easy, short family friendly hike (2.6 miles round trip).

There are a couple of sections where you scramble through some rocks, and even though there are steep drops, the trail is wide enough that you can safely hike with smaller children.

Smoky Mtn rock climbing

Most of the path, however, is level and paved (see above). There are many places to stop and take pictures, or just to relax and enjoy nature.

Smoky Mtn hike

As with most family friendly trails, there is a payoff – the reward of a gorgeous waterfall. We love waterfall hikes, and if you enjoy them too, you should definitely do this hike. To read more in detail about hiking in the Smokies, read my post on Laurel Falls or check out another Smoky Mountain Hike.

Laurel Falls family

5. Go Shopping

There are plenty of places to go shopping in Pigeon Forge. Less than 20 minutes away is the Sevierville Outlet Mall, which has great bargains. One last recommendation…The Old Mill area. They have a walkable section of shops, restaurants and a park to play around in. We ate at the restaurant and then had some ice cream at the creamery across the street. Old Mill Restaurant and Creamery.

6. Visit Gatlinburg

Gatlinburg is a quaint town about 10-15 minutes away from Pigeon Forge. It has great boutique stores, delicious restaurants, and a nice downtown strip. Distilleries are a popular destination here, as it is where moonshine originated. There is also skiing, snow tubing, and ice skating available at Ober Gatlinburg.

If you are up for some adventure, check out this post about ATV rides in Pigeon Forge.

Both times we visited Pigeon Forge was on a road trip around the South. We rented a huge SUV and traveled with family members for the holidays. We drove up from Miami and have stopped along the way at St. Augustine, Savannah, Atlanta, Helen, Greenville, and Charleston. For options on where to stay in Pigeon Forge, click here.

Another family friendly city nearby is Asheville, NC. Check out – Asheville with Kids. If you are traveling around Tennessee, check out our weekend getaway in Nashville, Mammoth Cave Visit, or this post on Chattanooga.

If you would like to read more about our travels please subscribe to my site – DQ Family Travel or follow me on Facebook or Twitter to be alerted on my new posts. You can also follow me on Pinterest and Instagram.

Pigeon Forge attractions with kids

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