There are only a few spots in the world that make family vacations a breeze. Some of those places make it quite costly, but luckily Pigeon Forge and the Great Smoky Mountains make affordable family vacations a reality. Within a 20 mile radius of Pigeon Forge you can find years of family vacations that will never lose their fun, adventure, and excitement. From hiking and nature centers to rollercoasters and helicopter rides you will find something that will put a sense of wonder in the heart of everyone in your family. We have curated some of the best things to do with kids in Pigeon Forge and the Great Smokies.
Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are loaded with fun activities for kids.
Begin your outdoor fun with a stop at one of the four Great Smokies visitor centers. Cades Cove, Sugarlands, and Clingman’s Dome are three of which that are close to Pigeon Forge.
Cades Cove Visitor Center Open every day except Christmas Day.
|January||9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.|
|February||9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.|
|March||9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.|
|April – August||9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.|
|September – October||9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.|
|November||9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.|
|December||9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.|
Location Inside the park near the mid-point of the 11-mile, one-way Cades Cove Loop Road.
Special Programs Ranger-led programs are conducted seasonally. Check at the visitor center for times.
Exhibits Indoor and outdoor exhibits of Southern Mountain life and culture. Includes Cable Mill, a grist mill which operates spring through fall, the Becky Cable house, and other historic structures.
Available Facilities Great Smoky Mountains Association bookstore and shop. Public restrooms.
Sugarlands Visitor Center Open every day except Christmas Day.
|January – February||8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.|
|March||8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.|
|April – May||8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.|
|June – August||8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.|
|September – October||8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.|
|November||8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.|
|December||8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.|
From January 7 to mid-March 2013, the lobby at Sugarlands Visitor Center will be undergoing renovations to improve visitor services. During this time, the natural history museum portion of the visitor center will be closed to the public. All other services including general information, the park film, and the bookstore will remain available.
Location Inside the park, 2 miles south of Gatlinburg on US-441.
Special Programs Ranger-led programs conducted seasonally. Check at the visitor center for locations and times.
Exhibits Free admission to 20-minute film about the park. Extensive natural history exhibits.
Available Facilities Great Smoky Mountains Association bookstore and shop. Public restrooms and telephones. Soda and water machines. Backcountry permit station.
Clingmans Dome Visitor Contact Station
|April – October||10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.|
|November||9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.|
Location At the Clingmans Dome trailhead, 7 miles off US-441 on the Clingmans Dome Road.
Available Facilities Great Smoky Mountains Association bookstore and shop. Park information. Public restrooms in parking area.
The Pigeon Forge area has more museums than you can fit in a week. Here are some of the best:
The Hollywood Wax Museum: Your Pigeon Forge family vacation would not be complete without a much-needed dose of celebrity. Hollywood Wax Museum Pigeon Forge gives you the chance to rub elbows with your favorite Hollywood stars of movie and TV. You’ll find current stars like Bradley Cooper, Anne Hathaway, Natalie Portman and Brad Pitt standing side by side with classic entertainers like Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Charlie Chaplin, and John Wayne.
The Titanic Museum: This new World Class museum in the Great Smoky Mountains provides a highly interactive, hands-on experience for children, teenagers, and adults of all ages. Call NOW to reserve your Titanic Museum Attraction tickets! 800-381-7670.
Ripley’s Believe It or Not Odditorium: Visit the strangest place in Gatlinburg! Ripley’s Believe It or Not! has been proudly freaking out families for over 90 years.
Tennessee Air Museum: The Tennessee Museum of Aviation is open year round,we are a “living” museum, therefore our exhibits and aircraft change frequently. Bring your family to reminisce with veterans willing to share their memories with the next generation. Step back in time and explore history at our amazing Smoky Mountain Attraction.
Hollywood Star Cars Museum: A tour through the Hollywood Star Cars Museum is a trip through some of the most famous movies and TV shows of the last 50 years. We feature the best Hollywood movie & TV cars in recreated settings displayed with sound, lights, and action! Many of the cars are the creations of George Barris, who has created more famous Hollywood movie & TV cars than anyone. The most Famous being the 1966 TV Show Batmobile