I can’t believe summer is over already. This one went by especially fast. Last week we decided to take the kids for one last summer hurrah before school starts this week, and after some research we decided on Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. I’ve never been to that area and I’ve always heard good things and it looked like a great place to entertain the kids. Some of the things we did were discounted for review purposes, though that doesn’t change my opinion of them. The entertainment options in Pigeon Forge are plentiful, so there’s always going to be something for every member of your family to enjoy.
The Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Feud
This was our first dinner theater experience and the kids kept asking to go back each night. The food was pre fixe and family style, but it was all you can eat which is great for my growing boys. The show was really cute- the story is that the feud started over a stolen pig, though you later find out the thief’s intention was to run off with his girlfriend who never showed up to meet him 50 years ago. I won’t spoil the ending for you but everything works out eventually.
The thing that struck me most about my stay in Pigeon Forge was that it was the city that Dolly Parton built. She could have taken her success and kept it all to herself, but instead she invested in her community so that the people around her would have jobs. What an amazing act of love for her home! Stay tuned for a more comprehensive review of Dollywood on Louisville Family Fun.
I like to find places off the beaten path for food, especially when that food is Thai. We spotted this place on the drive into Pigeon Forge and it was so worth going a little out of our way. The food was some of the best Thai food I’ve ever had and the people were so friendly! I wish I would have gone back again before I left. That curry is going to haunt my dreams!
I visited the Ole Smoky Moonshine Holler in Gatlinburg to learn about the oldest legal moonshine distillery in Tennessee- established in 2010 after the state laws changed to allow smaller distilleries. There are 2 locations in Gatlinburg open 10a-10p daily and one in Pigeon Forge open 10a-11p daily. Look for the story soon on The Whiskey Wash.
I can honestly say this was my first ever wax museum. I loved the Star Trek area and there were lots of opportunities for the kids to dress up and strike poses with the figures. We also climbed to the top observation deck for a bird’s eye view of Pigeon Forge. Then we went to the adjacent complex to check out the mirror maze, haunted house, and zombie experience there. My eldest says that was the best mirror maze he’s ever been to. My youngest was scared by the zombies even though he begged to do it, so we had to exit halfway through. The combo ticket is a lot of entertainment bang for your buck!
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
We love to go hiking, so naturally we had to check out a few trails while we were in America’s most visited National Park. We hiked up to Clingmans Dome one day- don’t let the map fool you, it’s not an easy hike. We hiked to Laurel Falls another day- also not an easy hike though it is paved the whole way. Before we left we drove through Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail and took in the scenery one last time before we hit the road home. We were sad to learn there were only 2 dog friendly trails, so unfortunately our fur baby had to be left behind most of the time. But the trails we did see were well worth the effort.
Have you ever seen those weird upside-down houses and wondered what they might be? I was pleasantly surprised by what I found inside. My kids climbed rock walls, did the blacklight aerial ropes course, and tried out the bed of nails. There’s so much cool stuff in there we could have easily stayed twice as long. Wear tennis shoes to this attraction so you can participate in all the activities.
There’s so much to do in Pigeon Forge you could go back every weekend and still not do it all in a year. We spent 4 days and we barely scratched the surface! We’re looking forward to a return trip in the future.
Photos Courtesy of Maggie Kimberl