I’ve lived in North Carolina most of my life and have grown up knowing that right over the border is a place called Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Over the years I’ve even visited a few times and it’s always been on my list of places that I wanted to take the kids back to. So, now that both my boys are old enough to really enjoy all that Pigeon Forge has to offer, we packed up the car last weekend and headed into Tennessee for a Spring getaway. I have to say, SO much has changed since the last time I visited and there were endless options of what to do, where to eat and what to see! As we drove into Pigeon Forge, the main strip was filled with museums, attractions and restaurants. In fact, I was at first overwhelmed and wondered where to start in this town full of amazing ways to be entertained. I will tell you that there is no way to see everything in one weekend (so be sure to plan at least a week trip when you visit) but we did make our way to many of the kid-friendly attractions that are sprinkled throughout Pigeon Forge! While I’ll be the first to admit that we didn’t get to visit everywhere, I wanted to share with you our top 4 Pigeon Forge Must Visit Attractions for Families!
Now, please know that we were able to see much more than these four family-friendly attractions during our visit to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. In fact, I’ll be sharing a follow up post dedicated specifically to Dollywood next week (it’s a must on any trip to Pigeon Forge!). But, at least in my mind, when I’ve heard Pigeon Forge in the past I’ve ONLY thought of Dollywood and I was delighted with how much more this cute mountain town has to offer! So, without further delay, here are my top 4 picks for family-friendly attractions in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee! And just in case you were wondering how I came to this conclusion, it was very diplomatic……I let my family vote and our top four choices all lined up with these favorite recommendations!
The Island in Pigeon Forge
The Island in Pigeon Forge was so much fun that we visited on our first day AND our last day in town! Think of it as a mini city filled with restaurants, attractions and a big old farris wheel type contraption in the middle that lets you take in the sights of Pigeon Forge! There are familiar names like Margaritaville and Paula Dean’s nested in the space as well as less know restaurants and attractions.
You can try your luck at The Escape Game or visit the Alcatraz Crime Museum. There’s even a Mirror Maze and Bumper Cars! I seriously recommend spending an entire day at The Island!
Inside The Island at Pigeon Forge, our two favorite attractions were The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel and The Island Ropes Course. Of course as soon as we arrived in town the boys were begging to go on The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel!
This huge wheel that feels very much like a traditional ferris wheel but has glass enclosed compartments is the perfect way to take in the sights.
It moves fairly slowly and goes around about five times, giving you a birds eye view of all that Pigeon Forge has to offer.
My little guy adored being so high up in the sky and wanted to ride The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel multiple times just to see all there was to see! For us, it’s a must on our Pigeon Forge to-do list! However, it’s not our top choice of attractions to do at The Island. While The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel was amazing, my boys’ favorite thing was The Island Ropes Course!
This amazing ropes course kept them entertained for hours! With zip lines, different ropes obstacles and a jump at the end, this was where we spent most of our time at The Island in Pigeon Forge.
I literally had to pull both the kids off when it as time to leave. Be sure to plan a few hours for this attraction and don’t be afraid to join in and climb yourself because The Island Ropes Course is for big and little kids alike!
The Titanic Museum
I’ll be honest, my crew generally isn’t into museums….they are more of an on-the-go group. However, this history loving mama insisted that The Titanic Museum was one of our stops and both my boys fell in love with it!
I’ve been obsessed with history for years but this museum is for more than just history lovers like me. Once you check in and get your boarding pass, you’re able to literally travel back in time.
Once inside the museum, you’re given handheld audio devices that allow you to tour the museum at your leisure. There are different audios for adults and children and it’s really an interactive experience! In one area of the museum you can shovel coal just like workers did to keep the boat running and in another you can actually put your hands in the chilly water that is the exact temperature as it was that fateful night. There’s even a lifesize recreation of the grand staircase from the ship!
The museum is completely interactive with life sized recreations of rooms and stories of the real people who were on the Titanic. You’re even assigned an identity when you board and can find out what happened to your assigned passenger as you exit the ship.
Whether you love history or not, this is a must-see attraction in Pigeon Forge and one that not only entertains but also teaches at the same time!
Two doors down from The Titanic Museum is WonderWorks. The minute my little guy spotted this upside down location, he declared that we had to visit and I have to say, the way it is built is crazy cool!
Once inside, you have a variety of activities to choose from including the ropes course, laser tag, the climbing wall and the 360 swing!
This fun attraction lets you pedal yourself into a 360 degree spin that’s kinda intense and crazy fun (note: you must be 58 inches tall for this attraction). While my big guys pedaled themselves in circles, my littlest took on the climbing wall and he even made it to the top!
We also took in the ropes course which is in the dark! After we had explored all WonderWorks had to offer, we were able to check out The Wonders of Magic show right in the same building. This family-friendly magic show is perfect for the littles and features some pretty amazing tricks that left my family’s mouths hanging open a time or two! Showtime is 7pm and it’s recommended that you make reservations in advance!
Flyaway Indoor Sky Diving
The fourth and final attraction that made our must-do family friendly list for Pigeon Forge, Tennessee is Flyaway Indoor Skydiving. I’ll be honest with you, this was the favorite activity for both of my boys and they declared that no one should ever visit Pigeon Forge without doing it!
This indoor skydiving facility allowed both the boys to get the experience of real skydiving from the safety of an indoor air tunnel. After going though a 15 minute training session, they were suited up and taken into the tunnel.
I have to say, our instructor was fabulous (he kinda reminded me of Bodhi from Point Break for those of you who are old enough to remember the original movie) and he was really what made the experience unforgettable for my boys. You’re able to purchase individual flying sessions or group session and the entire experience takes about an hour.
Pictures just don’t do this experience justice and thankfully, we got a video that shows exactly what this amazing experience is like! Be sure to check it out below!
While these four attractions definitely stood out as must-do for any family on our trip, they were far from the only things to do! There was mini golf, go carts, the Wax Museum and more! Honestly, in our three days in Pigeon Forge we only scratched the surface on all the fun that is to be had! That’s why we’re planning a trip back soon and as we do, we’re discovering more about all that Pigeon Forge has to offer! Now that you’ve seen how awesome this destination is, I’m sure your planning your own visit so be sure to START HERE by finding out the array of attractions and activities that make Pigeon Forge unforgettable!
Then be sure to check back next week when we’ll be sharing more of of our adventure including our amazing hotel, the food (OMG, the food) and of course Dollywood! But until then, tell me….have you ever visited Pigeon Forge, Tennessee?