Pigeon Forge Family Vacations: How to Plan the Perfect Getaway

Intrepid families from all over the United States have vacationed in Pigeon Forge for decades. Each year they pack their bags and journey to this slice of Appalachia that simply overflows with outdoor adventure and Tennessee charm.

From the Smoky Mountains National Park trails peppered with waterfalls and wildflowers to theme park thrills courtesy of Dolly, you’ll find everything you need and more in a Pigeon Forge family vacation. Follow along with our expert recommendations, and you’ll be well on your way to planning a trip to Pigeon Forge.

Don’t let the stress of planning one (or several) Pigeon Forge family vacations get you down! Our ultimate guide will spill all the tea on everything from where to sleep, play, and eat.

Entertain little ones with swinging rope courses courtesy of Anakeesta, or cool off in the heat of summertime when you make a beeline for Dollywood’s Splash Country. Work on your putt-putt game with a round of sweeter-than-candy mini golf at Crave, or pose on the iconic Grand Staircase at the Titanic Museum.

From dynamic dinner shows to resorts filled with lazy rivers, family fun is never far behind on a Pigeon Forge vacation!

When to Plan a Trip to Pigeon Forge

Before you start loading up the minivan or purchasing flights, it’s time to narrow down your window of when to take your Pigeon Forge family vacation. At the same time, family vacations in this rugged mountain village are always welcome. Depending on your itinerary, budget, and travel style, you may opt to schedule your trip for specific months.

If you are seeking mild weather and low levels of crowds, we suggest planning to visit Pigeon Forge in early spring or fall. Both of these windows offer pleasant temperatures and breathtaking scenery.

However, if you have your sights set on the Yuletide cheer of a Smoky Mountain Christmas or want to spice up your summer break plans, you may forgo these months for a winter or summer getaway. Ultimately, every season offers plenty of reasons to visit this family-friendly playground of possibilities.

The island in Pigeon forge, restaurants and a shopping area with a ferris wheel at sunrise.
Photo Credit: The Island in Pigeon Forge via Facebook

Family Hotels in Pigeon Forge

Hotels, motels, and resorts, oh my! Thankfully, there are tons of options available when it comes to selecting your Pigeon Forge accommodations.

No matter if you’re on the hunt for more budget-friendly options or want the convenience of sleeping just minutes from Dollywood, Tripster delivers a medley of Pigeon Forge Family Hotels.

Let little fishes splash about in their special pool, or take the guesswork out of breakfast with some complimentary hotcakes and bacon. As always, book stress-free, knowing you are guaranteed our lowest rates online.

external view of Margaritaville Island Hotel pool and deck in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, USA

Family Resorts Pigeon Forge

Who says a family vacation can’t include a little luxury? Treat yourself to some premier-level lodgings when you book any of our top-tier Pigeon Forge Family Resorts.

Ease into your vacation with upscale amenities such as crackling patio firepits, resort-style pools, and deluxe bedroom suites. Or treat your brood to waterslides, spacious condos, and on-site brick oven pizza.

Soothe tired muscles with a stay in the sauna or load up on delicious carbs with a stop by the breakfast buffet. From complimentary wifi to children’s club services, Pigeon Forge Resorts for families makes quick work out of planning the ideal Sevier County family vacation.

Psst..want to save a bundle? Check out our thrifty Pigeon Forge family vacation packages for even more savings. If you can’t get enough of these jam-packed adventures, spice your trip with an extended family getaway Tennessee in the family resorts in Gatlinburg TN.

What to Pack

Does your Appalachian mountain fantasy include curling up in a Pigeon Forge cabin and sipping on a mug of hot cocoa? Or, perhaps you’re looking to earn a merit badge or two with afternoons of heart-pounding Smoky Mountain hikes?

Related Post: Things to Do in the Smoky Mountains – 10 Unique Ideas for An Amazing Vacation

Depending on what type of Pigeon Forge Tennessee family vacation you plan will require different packing needs. Consult our checklist for Pigeon Forge packing and ensure you never forget that all-important bug spray, portable charger, or pack of playing cards!

Zorb ball rolling down a grassy hill with trees in the background under a blue sky
Photo Credit: Outdoor Gravity Park via Facebook

Pigeon Forge Fun Activities

Museums, Ferris wheel rides, and mini golf. Oh my! No matter if your brood is filled with bookworms who will appreciate the history and artifacts of the Titanic Museum, or you are looking to glimpse the towering cascades of the Rainbow Falls Trail, there are endless ways to enjoy your family vacation Tennessee and entertain your family in Pigeon Forge.


Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The crown jewel of Tennessee, this iconic National Park is crammed full of mountain ridges, cascading falls, and curious wildlife.

Plan your family adventure for fall, and partake in stunning hikes painted by the vibrant hues of the changing Birch, Maple, and Hickory leaves.

Related Post: Smoky Mountains Hiking – 7 Easy Hikes for Stunning Views

Scout out scenic vistas, plan to seek out the Ramsey Cascades, or enjoy the historic structures of Cades Cove. Can’t wait to break into those hiking boots? For our complete guide to Smoky Mountain National Park hiking, click here.

aerial view of orange yellow sunset over summer green trees of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, USA


Big, blonde, and beautiful! No one harnesses the spirit of Appalachia quite like Dolly. Bring some wholesome fun to your family escape when you hightail it to Dollywood.

Boisterous broods of all shapes and sizes will find loads to discover as they enjoy the themed Country Fair play area or scream themselves silly on the Dragonflier.

Hop aboard the 110-ton coal-fired steam engine, or stop by for a scintillating craftsmen demonstration. Don’t forget to stay abreast of Dollywood’s seasonal festivals, where you can discover delicious treats, entertainment, and more.

Related Post: Facts About Dollywood – 10 You Didn’t Know

Swinging by during the balmy summer months? Refresh with plenty of H20-fueled fun at Dollywood’s Splash Country.


Looking for a way to entertain your ragtag gang of fearless rugrats? Keep your little ones on their toes when you plan to embrace the fresh air excitement of Gatlinburg’s award-winning adventure park.

Anakeesta delivers adventure for the whole family, from a ropes course to dueling zip lines. Attempt to cross North America’s longest tree-based skywalk bridge.

Or attempt to slide your way through the BearVenture Challenge Course. Savor 360-degree mountain views or sift for gems and fossils at the mine.

aerial view of Anakeesta surrounded by trees with mountains in distance during day in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, USA
photo credit: Anakeesta via Facebook

The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel

Three cheers from some sky-high sightseeing! Prepare to go up, up, and away when you mount the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel.  This towering tourist attraction tops out at 200 ft tall and sits in the foothills of the most visited national park in the United States.

Kids and adults alike will flip over the unparalleled views offered by its all-glass gondolas. Post Ferris wheel rides, make some time to soak in the Island Fountain Show or check out the area’s other buzzing rides, games, and attractions.


Titanic Museum

Iceberg ahead! Dive headfirst into some history at the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge. A homage to this stately ship, visitors of all ages can tour over 400 artifacts through 20 different galleries.

Step into the identity of a real-life passenger, feel frigid 28-degree water or stroll through the painstakingly recreated Grand Staircase built from Titanic blueprints. Be sure to strike up a conversation with a costumed crew member. Or even learn how to send a wireless SOS signal right at the Titanic Museum!

Exterior view of the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge
Titanic Museum Attraction

Crave Golf Club

Rain clouds threatening to put a damper on your day of Pigeon Forge plans? Hold out for a hole-in-one and indulge in some sweet competition when you bring your putt-putt game front and center at Crave Golf Club.

Work on that swing as you journey through Pigeon Forge’s only 19-hole indoor mini-golf course or 19-hole rooftop course, Crave Golf Club. From the climate-controlled Sugar Safair to the Jellybean Jungle, you’ll have heaps of options to satisfy that sweet tooth.

After your game, load up on sugary snacks at the Candy Store or aim for a strike with their mini bowling lanes.

Pigeon Forge Family Shows

Dolly Parton’s Stampede

Dinner, a show, and Dolly! What could be sweeter? Saddle up for some jaw-dropping special effects and equestrian entertainment when you make a date with Dolly Parton’s Stampede.

This dazzling dinner performance features horse riding stunts, aerial acts, live music, and more. Watch in awe as skilled riders sprint through the arena as you munch away on Hickory Smoked Barbecued Pork Loin and tender, flaky biscuits.

Feel your patriotic fire ignite as you sing along to a spread eagle salute to the Red, White, and Blue in Dolly Parton’s Stampede.

performers on horseback at Dolly Parton's Stampede dinner attraction arena in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, USA

Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Feud

Mountain-style madness plus plenty of Feudin’ Feastin’ Family Fun is what lies in store at Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Feud. You won’t be able to stop chuckling as you witness the side-splitting antics of these fightin’ cousins.

From country humor to Grandma’s cooking, Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Feud has a little something for everyone at this entertainment-packed supper. Watch grown men wrestle, cheer on the diving dogs, or see a real-life billy copter take flight!

Related Post: Coupons for Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Show – 6 Ways to Save Up to 29% Off

Come prepared with a hefty appetite, as you’ll want to sample heaps of crispy fried chicken, smashed taters, creamy coleslaw, and buttery corn on the cob.

Paula Deen’s Lumberjack Feud Supper Show

Break out that flannel and sharpen your ax because it’s time to see if you can make it as a lumberjack! Get a taste of famous Paula Deen cooking and witness some live-action lumberjack skills at her very own Feud Supper Show.

Paula Deen’s Lumberjack Feud Supper Show is a treat for all ages. Featuring splashtastic log rolling, tree sawing, and ax throwing. Get swept away in the comedy and crowd interaction as you dig into a BBQ Camp-style meal of saucy sandwiches, baked beans, and coleslaw.

Lumberjack Feud Dinner and Show performers in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, USA
photo credit: My Pigeon Forge (Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism)

Pigeon Forge Family Dining

Feeling famished after a long day of Blazing Fury rides at Dollywood or trekking through the Anakeesta Skywalk? From juicy burgers to fried catfish, we detail every last delicious meal for you and your family with our Best Restaurants in Pigeon Forge TN guide.

Cinnamon sugar clinging to your fingers, the familiar twang of Bluegrass, and the scenic vistas only afforded by Mount Le Conte. Truly, nothing compares to the memories crafted by a family vacation in Pigeon Forge.

Whether you need to entertain mini munchkins with slapstick comedy over a Southern-themed feast or long to impart your love of trailheads with your teen, a Pigeon Forge getaway is great for all ages.

Revel in the jaw-dropping views afforded by the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel or race on a zipline courtesy of Anakeesta. Tuck into buttery corn on the cob or munch happily away on smoky rotisserie chicken and herb-basted potatoes.

Pigeon Forge Family Vacation FAQs

As a rule of thumb, three days typically provide a satisfying taste of this vibrant, thrill-packed destination. You'll strike a balance between immersion in the town's Southern charm and a feast of thrilling rides, with time to spare for the stirring spectacle of the Great Smoky Mountains.

Curious about the best times to soak in every inch of excitement that this hotspot offers? Here's a friendly tip: pack your bags in the early spring (March to April) and fall (September to October) to delight in Pigeon Forge's allure.

Oh, the charm of Pigeon Forge! This travel darling has rapidly gained popularity, not just for its vibrant craft culture and acclaimed Dollywood amusement park but also significantly for its proximity to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Nestled so close to this natural treasure gives Pigeon Forge an enviable edge, offering its visitors an incomparable amalgamation of thrilling activities and serene mountain vistas.

Ready to Make Your Pigeon Forge Family Vacation a Reality?

Don’t wait; start planning your next adventure today!

What Did We Miss?

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Written by Isis Maya Nissman

A New York native, Isis-Maya spent most of her professional life working in TV production until a vacation whisked her away to Central...

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