Family Fun and Relaxation in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Some of our favorite family vacations are often in unexpected places full of surprises. One area we have shared before and want to see more of is Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.  We had such a fantastic time there last fall.  We had no idea that this exciting, family-friendly town located at the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains offered a ton of fun and scenic beauty that inspired unforgettable memories. The more that I research and plan our next trip there, the more excited I get. Today, I am sharing an epic planning guide for exploring Pigeon Forge with kids.  I thought I’d share all the fun we had and everything we hope we get to do next time we go.


When we plan our trips, we try and pick a few “must do” items, and we try really hard to visit those spots.  But traveling with toddlers is never predictable, so we also approach our vacations with very laidback attitudes.  I’d hate to miss something really cool because we were too focused on our itinerary.

The Island in Pigeon Forge
We literally stumbled upon The Island, and we immediately fell in love.  It is family-oriented and super affordable.  The kids ran toward the huge Ferris wheel right away.  I thought they’d be scared, but they had such a great time.  You get to ride in an enclosed bucket, and they pipe in fun music.  We had our own little dance party at the top. The views are amazing.


The dancing fountains were a big hit too.  The kids had so much fun watching the “splashes”.  And, let’s be honest, as moms, we love a photo op with our families.  Seriously, pack a tripod when you visit The Island.  There are so many cute spots to capture.


We practically begged my mom to watch the monitors later that night so we could sneak back out to enjoy The Island.  We had a delicious dinner on the patio of the Timberwood Grill.  It was so fun to sit and chat as we looked out over all the fun.  The twinkling lights of the Ferris wheel were the perfect backdrop for our date night.

Overall, this is the perfect place to relax and spend a fun afternoon with your traveling tribe.


Great Smoky Mountains National Park
When I think about what we want to do in Pigeon Forge, I go straight to exploring the Great Smoky Mountains.  I’d love to see everything in bloom over Spring Break.  I can’t believe we missed this last year.  It is first on my “must see” list for our next trip.  How can you go to Pigeon Forge and not visit America’s most visited national park?  We’re planning to hit Sugarlands Trail for a 0.9 miles hike with all the little legs in tow.  After a quick snack, we’ll load up the mom van for a scenic drive along Foothills Parkway.  I can’t wait to see some of the most incredible views of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.


Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride
OK, let me be clear, this is for your tiny, dinosaur-loving Littles only.  This attraction has been around for a while, and it could use a little love, but our toddlers went nuts over it.  You get to take a little boat through an indoor dinosaur wonderland with tons of roars.  For our little ones, it was very real, and they couldn’t wait to get back to the hotel to tell their Grammy they saw dinosaurs.  We realized that our dinosaur adventure made everyone pretty hungry, so it was nice when we walked just next door to TGIFridays.  There are tons of family-friendly restaurants along the main road.


We don’t often include theme parks when we plan family trips.  They’re often tricky with three toddlers, but I love Dolly so much, and I have to add this to our to-do list.  The Country Fair area of the park is the perfect stop for little visitors.  There are tons of rides for your little ones to enjoy.  Then, we’re going to hop on the Dollywood Express.  Is your house full of train-loving minis?  Mine is, and our trip wouldn’t be complete without a ride on this historic beauty.


Christmas Place
Ok, I know, I know.  I have a ridiculous obsession with all things Christmas.  What can I say?  I just love that time of year so much.  I always seek out little Christmas shops in every town we visit.  The Incredible Christmas Place is pretty much my year-round Christmas dream come true.  The kids loved the trains going round-and-round in the courtyard.  And, we had to take a few fun family photos, and of course, I had to take home an ornament for our collection.


Home Away from Home
Last year, we stayed in a fun hotel with a waterpark attached.  The kids had a fantastic time splashing around in the water every day.  Next time, I’d like to stay in one of the gorgeous cabins available throughout Pigeon Forge.  I love having the option to really settle into the place where we stay and make it feel like a true home away from home.


Learn more about planning a Pigeon Forge, Tennessee family vacation here.

This post was sponsored by My Pigeon Forge.  We had a wonderful family vacation, and we can’t wait to go back.  As always, all opinions are my own.

23 responses to “Family Fun and Relaxation in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee”

  1. It seems like there are some fun things to do here! I never thought of Tennessee as a vacation place, but this changed my mind. I think these all sound like really great places to bring children, especially the Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride.

    1. Angelica Kajiwara Avatar
      Angelica Kajiwara

      It’s such an awesome vacation spot! And yes, the kids went nuts over the dino adventure. It’s worth a visit, for sure.

  2. Happy to know that you and your family had a great time. I think my boys would love the Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride. I would love to see more of their Christmas Place. Thank you for sharing your family’s adventure.

    1. ToddlinAcrossAmerica Avatar

      I bet your boys would love it. My little ones still talk about it. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I have heard a lot about Pigeon Forge! It sounds like a great place for families. Christmas in July sounds especially fun! I’m always looking for good destinations to take my toddler, and this sounds like a great!

    1. ToddlinAcrossAmerica Avatar

      It is such a cool town. We loved every minute of our stay. And yes, it is super toddler-friendly. Let me know if you have any questions when you plan your trip.

  4. Jane Dempster-Smith Avatar
    Jane Dempster-Smith

    What a fun place Pigeon Ford turned out to be. I am such a big kid I would love the Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride. Loved all the photo opportunities as well.

    1. ToddlinAcrossAmerica Avatar

      I’m starting to love dinosaurs myself – LOL. I guess it comes with the territory. I never thought I’d know so much about them. And, I’m a sucker for a good photo op. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. As someone who most often travels with the family, I am always on the lookout for fun places. I like how Pigeon Forge has a variety of options for the young and the young at heart. It’s so important to take our children out into the open and having places like this certainly helps.

    1. ToddlinAcrossAmerica Avatar

      We love that we are creating these experiences and memories for our children. It is a special privilege. Thanks for stopping by

  6. So weird! I didn’t even know of Pigeon Forge 2 weeks back (came across it while researching about places to visit around smoky mountains) and now you have penned such a beautiful article about the place! It sure looks like a place where the whole family can have a lot of fun, the Island especially! 😀 And Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride sounds like such a chill, downtime enjoyment ride, even for grownups 🙂

    1. ToddlinAcrossAmerica Avatar

      That’s so cool! I’m so glad you found my article. It is such a fun town and so family-friendly. The Island is a “must see” and little ones will love the dinosaur ride, for sure.

  7. I’m in love with your kids, they’re so beautiful! I’ve never heard of Pigeon Forge before, but then there are so many places in the US I still want to visit. Those views are stunning, and clearly it’s a great family destination, and also good for outdoor lovers too.

    1. ToddlinAcrossAmerica Avatar

      Thank you so much! I’m pretty in love with them myself. Yes, Pigeon Forge is a wonderful town and so family-friendly. We can’t wait to go back.

  8. Sounds like you had a great time out with the family. I’ve never heard of this place before but there are still so many natural parks in the US I need to explore. Thanks for sharing your story.

    1. ToddlinAcrossAmerica Avatar

      Thanks for stopping by!

  9. I am a family traveler and love such destinations. This pigeon forge in Tennessee has many fun things to do for kids like Jurassic Jungle boat ride and Great Smoky National park. I would also to splash with dancing fountains. Your kids were looking cheerful.

  10. Pigeon forge looks like a perfect place for family visit. As a parent of a 6 year old, I know how difficult it is to travel with them. we are always in the lookout for kid friendly places and Pigeon forge is one of them. Love the idea of Christmas all year round.

  11. I did travel to such places with my kid and you hit the nail on the head here. It does feel like a home away from home. Cannot get enough of their smiles. Especially the Jurassic ride seems fun! Would love to get down there someday.

  12. That’s great that you’re laidback about your vacations. I find that the best hidden gems are often times discovered when you least expect it. Just like Pigeon Forge I guess. Have never heard about this place until now and it looks perfect for family vacations! Can defs see you had a great time judging from your bright smiles!

  13. Omg to be a kid at Pigeon Forge, Tennessee would be so much fun! I too would have totally run straight to the ferris wheel first. So good that your kids absolutely loved it and had the best time here. I too tend to stir away from theme parks on my trips, but Dollywood sounds like so much fun – omg I do love Dolly Parton so I think this is the spot for me.

    1. ToddlinAcrossAmerica Avatar

      It is such a fun town! The area made me feel like a kid again, that’s for sure. Thanks for stopping by!

  14. You had me on your opening line, “Some of our favorite family vacations are often in unexpected places full of surprises.” That has been the case with me too. Serendipitous travel is the best kind of travel for me. Pigeon Forge, Tennessee looks so much fun for family travel.

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