When you visit Pigeon Forge, I can guarantee one thing: You will never be bored. This city, located in Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains, is pretty much non-stop fun. There is something to do, see, taste and experience around every corner. And best of all: It’s all geared toward families.
Because there are so many fun activities and attractions available, it can be difficult to narrow down just what to do. If you enter into Pigeon Forge without some sort of plan, you can quickly become overwhelmed. My kids wanted to visit every single museum and shop that we saw as we traveled down the main drag — and believe me, there are a lot.
We were only visiting Pigeon Forge for three days, though, so we had to narrow down our choices. I think we managed to hit many great attractions during our visit, with a mix of fun, adventure, education … and, of course, great food. Here is where to stay, where to play, and what to eat in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
Where to Stay in Pigeon Forge
One of the great things about visiting Pigeon Forge is that there are a multitude of accommodation options. Cabins, campsites, hotels, motels, rentals — the list goes on. We decided to stay at Country Cascades Waterpark Resort, an extremely family-friendly hotel in the middle of all of the action. Because our trip was during the off season, the waterpark was not open (it’s an outdoor waterpark at Country Cascades), but that didn’t affect our stay in the slightest.
One of the great things about Country Cascades is that they have themed suites for families. We stayed in one of their treehouse suites, which has two sets of themed twin bunk beds, as well as a king-sized bed in the main sleeping area. My kids were delighted to find a treasure hunt inside our room: a safe full of goodies that they could only unlock once they found all of the clues around the room.
Remember when I mentioned that Country Cascades is extremely family-friendly? We probably could have spent the whole day just having fun inside this hotel. Inside the resort, there is a bowling alley, arcade, rock climbing wall, gemstone mining, and a gift shop where you can build your own stuffed animal. Kids’ activities happen throughout the day, so there’s always something to participate in. Plus, the hotel has its own ice cream parlor, pizza restaurant, candy and popcorn shop, coffee shop and breakfast restaurant. Not to mention the waterpark, when you visit during the summer months. Country Cascades is an all-in-one place to stay and play!
There’s SO Much to Do in Pigeon Forge!
There are so many activities, museums and experiences to explore in Pigeon Forge, it can be overwhelming to narrow them all down. Here’s what my family and I decided to check out during our action-packed, three-day stay in this Smoky Mountain city.
TopJump Trampoline and Extreme Arena
One of the first things we did after a long car ride to Pigeon Forge was to get our legs moving and blood pumping at TopJump Trampoline and Extreme Arena. This is the place to visit if you have active kids, because they can jump on trampolines, play dodge ball, navigate their way through a ninja course, rock climb and much more.
Crave Golf Club
The indoor and outdoor putt-putt courses at Crave Golf Club are huge and creatively designed. The sweet treats that decorate the miniature golf courses will put you in the mood to indulge in your own sweets. Luckily, there’s a candy and soft-serve shop located inside, right next to the mini bowling alley and escape room.
Pigeon Forge Snow
Play with snow and go snow tubing indoors? Yes, please! No matter the weather, there’s always snow at Pigeon Forge Snow, an indoor snow park and snow tubing place with fun for all ages. Kids can race down the slopes, build snowmen and snow forts, and have all kinds of wintry excitement. It was hard to pull my kids away from this place!
WonderWorks Pigeon Forge
We knew we were in for a good time before we ever set foot into WonderWorks Pigeon Forge. From the outside, this science and technology museum looks like it’s upside down! This “museum for the mind” has more than 100 hands-on exhibits, featuring everything topics ranging from the weather, space, light and sound, and a glow-in-the-dark ropes course for adventure seekers that sends you high up above everything!
The Track Family Fun Park
Voted the best go-kart track in town, The Track Family Fun Park features lots of fun for the whole family. You’ll find four go-kart tracks, mini golf, blaster boats, bumper cars and an arcade. Single and double go-karts allow for even younger kids to enjoy go-karting with an adult.
Beyond the Lens
Are your kids obsessed with video games like mine are? Do they love all-things virtual reality? Then they will absolutely love Beyond the Lens. This is a great place for all ages, but I think older kids will get the most out of this interactive museum. Which was perfect for my family, as my kids fit into that “older kid” category. Packed with more than 150 interactive exhibits, we had a blast checking out all of the VR games, as well as the four-story-high, state-of-the-art Flyride, a flying adventure that makes you feel like you’re really flying!
Toy Box Mini Golf
Are you on a mini golf course, or did you shrink and transport yourself into a kid’s toy box? This is a question you might ask yourself as you play a round of putt-putt at Toy Box Mini Golf, possibly the cutest miniature golf course around. Once you’re done playing 18 holes (and taking selfies by the giant toys), head inside for a laser maze and treats at the sweet shop.
My kids were first introduced to MagiQuest when we visited a Great Wolf Lodge that had it as one of the activities. Ever since then, my kids have been hooked on the interactive role-playing game. They were super excited to see MagiQuest at Pigeon Forge, so we made sure to dedicate an afternoon to completing quests. They brought their own wands with them (I told you they loved MagiQuest), but you can rent wands here if you don’t have your own. Inside the MagiQuest castle, you’ll also find a black-light pirate-themed mini golf course, a mirror maze, and an arcade.
Rocky Top Mountain Coaster
Riding a mountain coaster might have been one of our favorite activities of our trip to Pigeon Forge! The Rocky Top Mountain Coaster is the longest coasters in eastern Tennessee, and features lots of turns, tunnels and beautiful mountain views over 20 acres of property. Kids as young as 3 can ride on these coasters (with an adult), which can go up to 30 miles per hour … or slower, if you choose. Riders can control the pace with a handle that controls the brake. For a totally different experience, Rocky Top offers night rides, too!
Titanic Pigeon Forge
One of the largest permanent collections of Titanic artifacts and memorabilia can be found in Pigeon Forge at Titanic Pigeon Forge. When you enter the exhibit, you’re handed a card with information about one of the people who were on the Titanic. By the time you make your way through the informative, beautiful and sobering museum, you find out if the person on your card made it off of the Titanic … or if they didn’t. Reservations are required to visit Titanic Pigeon Forge, because it’s definitely one of the more popular experiences in town!
The Island in Pigeon Forge
There is a LOT to do at The Island Pigeon Forge. It’s a destination unto itself! One of the biggest draws is the 200-foot Great Smoky Mountain Wheel. At the top, you’ll see beautiful views of Pigeon Forge and the surrounding mountains. My children especially loved The Island Ropes Course, a three-story adventure with zip lines and a simulated free fall.
You’ll also find lots of carnival-like rides, like a mini coaster and swings. One of my top tips for visiting The Island? Get the unlimited wristband. This will grant you unlimited 48-hour access to dozens of the rides, including the wheel.
Where to Eat in Pigeon Forge
There’s a theme with the food you’ll find in Pigeon Forge: delicious … and lots of it! There really is something for every family’s taste in this city. Here’s a rundown of must-visit restaurants in Pigeon Forge.
The Old Mill Restaurant
Serving Southern classics family-style in a beautiful historic setting, The Old Mill Restaurant is the place to find delicious comfort food in Pigeon Forge. This large-group-friendly restaurant has a warm, welcoming atmosphere, with tables that overlook the Little Pigeon River as it flows through the water wheel of a 200-year-old mill. Breakfasts come with complimentary mini banana nut muffins and freshly squeezed orange juice. They also have a large lunch and dinner menu. Reservations are recommended, as The Old Mill Restaurant is a go-to in Pigeon Forge, and fills up quickly!
The Local Goat lives up to its name here in Pigeon Forge. It truly might be the G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All Time) because of the delicious food that they serve that’s locally sourced from around eastern Tennessee. They also make everything from scratch — including the ketchup! They’re also a great restaurant to find gluten-free and allergy friendly food. Local Goat is also extremely family friendly. When we visited for lunch, there were lots of families, especially families with babies. Just make sure to snag a reservation before you visit if you don’t want to wait. Local Goat gets very busy!
Country Roads Axe Company featuring West By God CoalFired Pizza
The name of this pizza restaurant is a mouthful. But you will forget about the sesquipedalian name when you get a mouthful of the pizza! You will find West By God CoalFired Pizza inside Country Roads Axe Company, a digital axe-throwing place. The pizza at West By God is some of the best pizza you will have anywhere, let alone in Pigeon Forge. West By God is unique because they cook their pizzas in a coal-powered oven — one of only two places in Tennessee to use a coal as their heat source. Pizzas come in small (personal sized) and large (enough for a family of four). They also have a kids’ menu. I highly recommend you try the “School Favorite,” which are baked pizza rolls stuffed with cheese and served with a side of marinara. Oh yeah, and there is axe throwing here, too. You don’t need to do axe throwing in order to dine inside the restaurant and enjoy the food, but it’s a bonus!
Pottery House Cafe & Grille
A cozy little place to enjoy a meal, the Pottery House Cafe & Grille serves freshly made sandwiches, salads, soups and hearty entrees on dishes created by local potters right next door. During the wintertime, enjoy your meal near the crackling embers of the restaurant’s original stone fireplace, or reserve an igloo to dine outdoors in a unique way. This restaurant is incredibly popular, so you will probably have to wait a short while for a table. (They do not take reservations!) But no worries. While you wait, pop over to the pottery house next door to gaze at all of the beautiful ceramic creations or watch a pottery demonstration.
Iron Forge is just a tad north of Pigeon Forge proper (it’s located in Sevierville). But this family-friendly brewery is being included in this list because it has great food, great service, a great atmosphere, and it’s a little less crowded than some of the restaurants in Pigeon Forge. And: Just look at that beautiful outdoor seating with twinkly lights and fire pits! The kids menu is large, and for the adults, they will give you samples of their house-made beer. It’s a great place to chill when you have time to explore outside of the city.