Thanksgiving in Pigeon Forge: Where to Go and What to Do

October 7, 2022

Sweet southern hospitality, staggering Great Smoky Mountain National Park views, and the final vestiges of fall foliage. As jack o lanterns give way to plenty of turkeys and twinkling lights, there’s no better place to spend the Thanksgiving holidays than Pigeon Forge.

Follow along to discover exactly what to do in Pigeon Forge for Thanksgiving.

Visit the annual Smoky Mountain crafts show, where hundreds of vendors congregate to show off their pottery, leather wares, and quilting. Or try your hand at tubing, axe throwing, or other unique wintery attractions at Rowdy Bear Snow Park.

Choose from a diverse array of mouthwatering Thanksgiving meals at Paula Deen’s or the Mill. Or, for further festive offerings and entertainment, combine your feasting with equestrian feats at Dolly’s Stampede.

Step into the holiday season with a stirring Biblical Times theater production, or enjoy cozying up with a mug of cocoa in your rugged mountain cabin.

From expertly decorated evergreens to the yummiest candied yams, nothing quite holds a candle to a Pigeon Forge Thanksgiving. 

Pigeon Forge at Thanksgiving 

Pleasant temperatures, miles of hiking trails, and boatloads of family-friendly attractions. Pigeon Forge is the Tennessee respite that is just begging to be discovered. Allow the majesty and charm of the Smoky Mountain area to lure you away. Celebrate Thanksgiving with handcrafted gifts, rides aboard the Dollywood Express, and plenty of pumpkin pie when you visit Pigeon Forge this November.

Whether you’re dreaming of unforgettable Thanksgiving dinners in a cozy mountain cabin or can’t wait to catch all of the sparkling Winterfest lights, there’s much to be grateful for in Sevier County. 

Can’t get away for a Thanksgiving vacation? Save your holiday spirit for a Smoky Mountain Christmas trip in December. 

Close up of the Dollywood Express in motion at Dollywood on a sunny day in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, USA

photo credit: Dollywood via Facebook

Pigeon Forge Hotels

Indoor water parks, stunning Smoky Mountain scenery, and saunas, oh my! Craft unforgettable Turkey Day memories when you extend your Pigeon Forge stay. Whether you’ve been daydreaming about quaint Pigeon Forge Cabins or want to surprise the kids with an on-site arcade or climate-controlled water park, Tripster delivers top-notch options.

Enjoy fabulous fitness facilities and Little Pigeon River views, or sleep minutes from Dollywood to eke out extra time on the Dragonflier. Whether you’re a city slicker or a mountain man, we offer a number of premier Pigeon Forge Hotels to satisfy every type of traveler. As always, book stress-free knowing you are always guaranteed our lowest rates online. 

Exterior View of the Quality Inn & Suites at Dollywood Lane during fall - Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, USA

photo credit: Quality Inn & Suites Dollywood Lane via Facebook

Pigeon Forge Attractions open on Thanksgiving

Wondering just what will be open on Thanksgiving Day in Pigeon Forge? For all our type A planners, here is our ultimate breakdown on what to do on Thanksgiving 2022 in Pigeon Forge. Listen up as we spill the tea on where to watch lumberjacks, learn about the Titanic, or try an avalanche coaster:

Epic Attractions and Amusements

Is Dollywood open on Thanksgiving?

160 acres, over 50 rides and attractions, and a healthy helping of Dolly charm come together to create the perfect recipe for a Pigeon Forge Thanksgiving vacation. Give thanks to the hardest-working blonde in country music when you laugh, play, and celebrate at Dollywood this November. 

Unfortunately, Dollywood will be closed on Turkey Day. While you might not be able to scream your head off on the Lightning Rod and Wild Eagle on November 24, you can relish the park’s roller coasters and live entertainment before and after the holiday.

Carve out a day or three to chug along the Dollywood Express, clap along to Appalachian tunes, and chow down on cinnamon bread. Then, for an extra special serving of holiday cheer, pay Dolly a visit from November 5, 2022, through January 1, 2023.

Related Post: Ultimate Guide to Dollywood Coupons, Discounts, and Deals

Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas is a light-filled extravaganza featuring millions of twinkling lights, towering Christmas trees, and heartwarming live shows. Sing along to classic carols, visit the North Pole, and sip piping hot cups of hot cocoa. 

Obsessed with all things Dolly? Combine your love of ‘Jolene’ with any of our other amazing Pigeon Forge attractions when you select a Dollywood Vacation Package

Close up of the Lightning Rod coaster at Dollywood full of people going down hill on a sunny day in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, USA

photo credit: Dollywood

Rowdy Bear Snow Park

Gather up your adrenaline-loving cubs for a heart-pounding day of snow tubing, ax throwing, and coasters at Rowdy Bear Snow Park. This thoroughly unique outdoor adventure park  provides nonstop thrills for the whole family. Cruise through fresh powder, over 500 ft of track, and a 70 ft drop when you tackle Tennessee’s longest outdoor snow tubing hill.

Related Post: Upcoming Pigeon Forge Events and Festivals 

Ride high in the sky with their one-of-a-kind mountain glider. The country’s first flyer lets you perfect your aim on over 50 targets as you sail through the Snowpark. Feeling a bit more medieval? Release that aggression and live out your House of The Dragon fantasy when you conquer outdoor axe throwing. 

Revved up to conquer even more roller coasters and outdoor amusement? Take your pick of Pigeon Forge theme parks.

Titanic Museum

Iceberg ahead! Searching for a thoroughly educational and exciting way to spend Turkey Day? Stop by the Pigeon Forge Titanic Museum to experience a fascinating collection of artifacts, galleries, and interactive areas.

Related Post: Ultimate Guide to the Pigeon Forge Titanic Museum: Coupons, Discounts, and Deals

Enter the museum as a guest, and leave as a Titanic passenger. Waltz down the impressively recreated Grand Staircase, tickle the ivories of the Baby Grand Piano, or watch an iceberg grow.

Touch 28-degree water, snap photo after photo of the crew in period dress, and see the world's largest Titanic model. From November through December, savor the sparkle of lights, lush garlands, evergreen trees, and costumed merrymakers. With over $100,000 invested in decorations, the Titanic Christmas & Winter Celebration is a love letter to all things merry and bright.

Portraits of the musicians that were on the Titanic on the left and a grand piano on the right at the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, USAPaula Deen's Lumberjack Feud Show & Adventure Park

Pull on that flannel and prime yourself for an action-packed day of log rolling, boom runs, and more. Paula Deen’s Lumberjack Feud Show & Adventure Park is equal parts activity and entertainment. Visitors, young and old, will be hooting and hollering as they test their strength with various sports and obstacle competitions prior to the show.

Daring participants can up the ante with freefall adventures or a run on their extreme zipline roller coaster. Then take your seat, as you won't want to miss a moment of Lumberjack and jill drills during the 1.5-hour show. 

Related Post: 8 Terrific Things to Do in Pigeon Forge for Kids

Battle gravity, soar down a mountain top, or enter a world of topsy-turvy wonder. Pigeon Forge delivers an array of interactive attractions guaranteed to entice kids and adults alike. 

Lumberjack Feud Dinner and Show performers in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, USA

photo credit: My Pigeon Forge (Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism)

See a Festive Show

The strum of the orchestra, elaborate costumes, and dazzling dance numbers. There’s nothing like live theater to set the mood for the happiest season. Whether you want to brush up on the Old Testament with a stirring Biblical Times Dinner Theater production. Or, can’t wait to carol along with the Christmas spectacular at the Grand Majestic Theater, Pigeon Forge provides a plethora of world-class entertainment.

Hoping to stay out of the kitchen come Turkey Day? Set your tastebuds ablaze with a mouthwatering meal from Dolly Parton’s Stampede or the Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Feud. From live Bluegrass music to equestrian stunts and ethereal nativity scenes, these two dinner theater productions check every box. 

close up of toddlers in pink cowboy hats petting horse of performer at Dolly Parton’s Stampede in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, USA

photo credit: Dolly Parton's Stampede via Facebook

Thanksgiving Pigeon Forge Events

Winterfest Lights in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg

Ready to meet Frosty the Snowman? Prime yourself for visions of snowflakes, mesmerizing lights, and more when you enjoy the winter wonderland of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. Winterfest Lights is an annual celebration of the holiday season that includes festive light tours, parades, and Polar Express train rides.

From November 13 through February 19, 2023, delight in chili cookoffs, family-friendly shows, and trolley tours. 

building covered in colorful lights at night for Pigeon Forge Winterfest in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, USA

photo credit: My Pigeon Forge via Facebook

Anakeesta 

Ethereal evening beauty comes to life at Anakeesta’s otherworldly holiday event. Train your gaze on the night sky as you observe sparkling stars coupled with an astral song. This Enchanted Night Walk opens on October 21 and is the first of its kind in the United States.

Experience illuminating encounters, immersive visions, and celestial pathways when you tack on this transcendent attraction to your general admission ticket. 

Howdy, smart saver! Bundle your Anakeesta tickets with comfy accommodations when you reserve any of our Anakeesta Gatlinburg Vacation Packages.

group of friends with drinks seated around Fire Pit at Bear village in Anakeesta,Gatlinburg, Tennesee, USA

photo credit: Anakeesta via Facebook

Great Smoky Thanksgiving Arts & Crafts Show

Looking to really dial in your gift-giving this year? Surprise someone special with a one-of-a-kind present when you hit the Great Smoky Thanksgiving Arts & Crafts show. From November 28 – December 4, pursue the wares of dozens of talented artisans.

Stroll through stalls of gorgeous quilts, old-fashioned straw brooms, lovingly woven baskets, and hand-dipped scented candles. Purchase the perfect holiday gift for everyone on your list and support local Tennessee vendors when you shop till you drop at the Convention Center. 

photo credit: Visit Gatlinburg via Facebook

Pigeon Forge Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving dinner in Pigeon Forge doesn't have to mean tons of dishes! If you’re eager to ditch your Aunt Mable’s lumpy gravy and mashed potatoes, you’re in luck. We’ve done the internet sleuthing to figure out what’s open in Pigeon Forge. Munch away on thanksgiving meals featuring herb-roasted turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie, or opt for a non-traditional feast:

  • Mama’s Farmhouse - may be known for tender, flaky buttermilk biscuits. Nonetheless, their Thanksgiving menu featuring roasted turkey, stuffing, sweet potato casserole, and more promises to wow.
  • Seasons of Ober - enjoy your honey-glazed ham and pecan pie with a side of searing Smoky Mountain views when you dine at the delectable Seasons of Ober restaurant. 
  • Old Mill Restaurant - gaze in wonder at the 200-year-old Mill and inspiring Little Pigeon River vistas as you nibble on corn fritters, giblet gravy, and cranberry sauce. 
  • Paula Deen’s - deep-fried delights and endless portions make Thanksgiving at Paula Deen’s a go-to for any unyielding diner. From candied yams to corn casserole, Paula’s family-style cooking fills you up. 
  • The Park Grill - a rustic log cabin atmosphere nestled in the foothills of the Smokies provides the perfect backdrop for your dinner of gratitude and gravy. 

photo credit: The Old Mill via Facebook

Coming back for more holly, jolly fun in December? Be sure to check out our guide to the Most Festive Things to Do in Pigeon Forge during Christmas.

Experience a Smoky Mountain Thanksgiving

Brisk temperatures, fresh mountain air, and stick to your ribs fare. This time of year in Pigeon Forge gives way to all the feelings of fall. 

You’ll love the sublime Smoky Mountain views afforded by hiking and the promise of snowfall.

Warm your hands around a cup of cider at Dollywood as the cheer of her Appalachian Christmas Show washes over you. 

Or, travel back to the age of luxury ocean liners and a very young Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet when you visit the Titanic Museum.

Inject your Thanksgiving dinner in Pigeon Forge with southern flavor when you break bread at Mama’s Farmhouse or gobble up BBQ with the feuding Hatfields and McCoys.

Ready to celebrate your favorite Thanksgiving yet? Don’t wait; book your Thanksgiving in Pigeon Forge today!

Tell us, What’s Your Top Thanksgiving in Pigeon Forge Tradition?

Did we miss any of the best Pigeon Forge Thanksgiving activities?

Leave us a comment below!



isis with mural in background

Written By Isis Maya

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

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