Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Pigeon Forge Tourism. All content was authored by me, and all photos unless otherwise specified from and used with permission.

Here in the Midwestern US (Ohio specifically), it feels like winter will never end. And while winter travel can be fun too, our family has never been big into skiing or other winter travel. Our idea of winter travel is flying somewhere warm and hanging out at the beach! But because of our family size (there are 8 of us), the economics of travel skew very hard towards driving all together in our minivan instead of buying 8 plane tickets! Pigeon Forge is about a 5 hour drive for us, so it’s the perfect distance – far enough way that we feel like we’re going on a real family vacation, but close enough that it’s within a reasonable day drive. If you’re planning your own spring break family vacation, here are 7 things for families to do in Pigeon Forge


I don’t know about you, but when I think of Pigeon Forge, one of my first thoughts is Dolly Parton and the Dollywood amusement park. The theme park that is now Dollywood was founded in 1961 and took the Dollywood name in 1986 when Dolly Parton became a part-owner. Now 30 years later, Dollywood is the largest ticketed attraction in Tennessee hosting nearly 3 million guests in a typical season

a group of people on a roller coaster

Dollywood has something for everyone in the family, including the world’s fastest wooden roller coaster (Lightning Rod), the country’s first wing coaster (Wild Eagle), 11 different themed experiences and Dollywood’s Splash Country, one of the country’s largest water parks.

Dinner at Dolly Parton’s Stampede

Besides the Dollywood amusement park, Dolly Parton has put her name on Dolly Parton’s Stampede, which is a restaurant and show geared specifically towards families. While being served a 4-course meal, be entertained by horse experts showing off trick riding, competitions, all set to stirring music. Come early for performances by Mountain Ruckus, a country and bluegrass band. For a limited time only, you can also get $5 off Dolly Parton’s Stampede with code MYPF18.

a group of people dancing

If you’re coming to the Pigeon Forge in the wintertime, be sure and check out the Christmas Stampede show, which puts a holiday twist on the traditional Stampede show. Generally the Christmas Stampede runs from the end of October through the beginning of January

Music in the Mountains Spring Parade

Each year (usually in early May), the Pigeon Forge hosts a parade through town. Dolly Parton has often been the grand marshal of this parade. 2019’s Music in the Mountains Spring Parade is Thursday May 3rd at 6p.m. and features school marching bands and choral groups and 4 larger-than-life hot air balloons. Baseball legend Cal Ripken Jr. is 2019’s grand marshal and there is also free bluegrass entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights. Admission to the parade, concert and entertainment is free.

Wonderworks Museum

Pigeon Forge has a bustling main street filled with attractions for all sorts of interests. One place that our family has had a lot of fun at is the Wonderworks museum, also known as “the upside-down museum” in our family.

a building with a falling roof

We haven’t had a chance to visit Wonderworks in Pigeon Forge, but we have visited a very similar one in Orlando and the kids had a blast. Wonderworks has a variety of different scientific experiments and places to play and explore. It’s definitely worth a stop on your family adventure to Pigeon Forge!

Whitewater Rafting

The West Prong of the Little Pigeon River runs right through Pigeon Forge and there are a variety of companies that offer whitewater rafting nearby Pigeon Forge. Rafting in the Great Smoky Mountains can range from Class 1 rapids (Easy) up through Class 4 rapids (Advanced). So no matter your skill level or comfort level on the water, there is something for everyone in Pigeon Forge!

Hiking in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Pigeon Forge is nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and there are tons of hikes for all ages and abilities within a short drive of Pigeon Forge. The 2,130 mile Appalachian Trail runs through the Smoky Mountains and there are a variety of day and half-day hikes.

a group of kids standing next to a sign

When we were in Pigeon Forge a few years ago, we took a morning hike up into the Smoky Mountains and the views were amazing!

a group of people standing on rocks two children sitting on a rock

And for someone like me that likes to “collect” places, Clingman’s Dome sits in the Smokies on the Tennessee / North Carolina border, about an hour’s drive south. Clingman’s Dome is the Tennessee state highpoint (but not the North Carolina highpoint!). The drive is uphill (obviously) but the highpoint is a relatively short (1/2 mile) hike from the parking area / visitor’s center, which was definitely doable for our family, even with me pushing a heavy 18 month old in a stroller!

Pigeon Forge Tennesse has a great mix of indoor, outdoor and amusement activities - fun for the whole family! From hiking to Dollywood to museums, whitewater rafting, parades and more, here are 6 things to do in Pigeon Forge for families.

Have you been to the Pigeon Forge area? What are your favorite things to do? Leave a note in the comments

This site is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as This may impact how and where links appear on this site. Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Some or all of the card offers that appear on the website are from advertisers and that compensation may impact on how and where card products appear on the site. Any opinions expressed in this post are my own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by my advertising partners and I do not include all card companies, or all available card offers. Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers and other offers and benefits listed on this page. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit to learn more. Other links on this page may also pay me a commission - as always, thanks for your support if you use them

User Generated Content Disclosure: Points With a Crew encourages constructive discussions, comments, and questions. Responses are not provided by or commissioned by any bank advertisers. These responses have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the responsibility of the bank advertiser to respond to comments.