15+ Things to Do in Pigeon Forge with Kids

If you’re looking for the best things to do in Pigeon Forge with kids, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed, but we’ve got you covered.

This unique town almost feels like a theme park itself, with hundreds of things to do and see!

A few years ago on a family vacation, we spent time in Pigeon Forge in Sevier County, Tennessee as part of our epic cross-country road trip.

It was our first stop and one of my favorite destinations on our massive 10,000+ mile journey thanks to a blend of scenic natural beauty and family-friendly attractions.

Pigeon Forge is a stone’s throw from Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most visited national park in the United States.

It’s also home to loads of super kid-friendly attractions and shows, like WonderWorks and the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel.

In this article, we’re taking a look at the top 15 Pigeon Forge kids-and-family friendly activities. Let’s get started.

Things to Do in Pigeon Forge with Kids

So, what are some top things to do in Pigeon Forge for kids and families?

Whether you’re looking for scenic views and outdoor activities or indoor and educational things to do, this article has you covered.

#1: Ride the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel

Great Smoky Mountain Wheel

At The Island in Pigeon Forge, look to the sky for the 200-foot tall Great Smoky Mountain Wheel. It’s one of the tallest attractions in the Southeast. 

It’s fun for the whole family by day, but completely awe-inspiring at night to watch it revolve when it’s all lit up. A total must while in Pigeon Forge. As a bonus, it’s pet friendly too.

#2: See a Musical Dinner Show

Dinner shows are a must while in Pigeon Forge for families. Try Dolly Parton’s Stampede.

You’ll be in for a four-course family dinner and an exciting, toe-tapping show that includes horses, bluegrass music, a patriotic salute and more.

Another top pick for all ages is the Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Feud for clogging, yodeling and comedy. Alternatively, check out the 75-minute Wonders of Magic variety show.

#3: Play Arcade Games

Arcade City at The Island in Pigeon Forge

While at The Island in Pigeon Forge, take your kids to Arcade City.

This was one of our first stops at The Island and my kids quickly found high payout games (as in, games that dispense loads of tickets to cash in for cool prizes).

We left the arcade with a giant inflatable crayon, two water balloon launchers and lots and lots of candy. 

#4: Explore Wildwood Grove

Make a beeline for new family attractions at Wildwood Grove, an expansion at Dollywood.

Centered around a “Wildwood Tree,” the tree will be aglow with multicolored lights after dark, as if they are colorful butterflies fluttering in the breeze.

At Hidden Hollow, a secret play area beckons that’s just right for jumping, crawling and climbing. Look for a new light show with fireworks and drones. 

#5: Play a Round or Two of Mini Golf

Crave Mini Golf in Pigeon Forge

There are at least a half-dozen mini golf courses on Parkway in Pigeon Forge (yes, the main road is simply called “Parkway”).

They’re all over-the-top too, like Crave Golf Club.

Here you’ll find sugary-sweet obstacles, like ice cream cones, candy canes and gumballs, spread across this 19 hole rooftop mini golf course.

There’s an indoor mini golf course too.

#6: Hike to Clingmans Dome

The entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park is 5-6 miles from Pigeon Forge. Stop in the Sugarland Visitors Center, then drive 45 minutes to Clingmans Dome.

It’s a .5-mile hike (I can’t lie, it’s steep) to the observation tower, but the views and scenic beauty from the highest point in all of Tennessee are fantastic.

After your hike, enjoy a leisurely drive around the park. Most visitors that visit this highly-scenic national park explore the park by car, so you won’t be alone if you opt to drive.

The 11-mile Cades Cove Loop and Newfound Gap are among the most popular destinations explored by park motorists. 

#7: Exercise Your Brain at WonderWorks

WonderWorks-Pigeon Forge with Kids

My kids love WonderWorks and not just because this interactive attraction is upside-down.

Play laser tag, shoot basketballs, lay on a bed of nails, get creative with a giant Lite-Brite set and blow massive bubbles at the Bubble Lab.

You’ll also find laser tag in a black-lit maze and a glow-in-the-dark ropes course. This indoor adventure park is so much fun for the whole family.

You could literally spend all day at WonderWorks-Pigeon Forge.

It’s one of the most popular things to do with kids in Pigeon Forge.

Also, check out the Titanic museum, which has rotating exhibits chronicling different aspects of the life and passengers aboard the Titanic, like a new exhibit honoring Jewish passengers.

Make one more stop before you leave the area at Beyond the Lens, a pop culture attraction.

Be sure to check out their FlyRide sensory experience that debuted in the summer of 2021!

#8: Fly on a Zipline

You can’t leave Pigeon Forge without racing down a zipline or navigating a treetop ropes course. Try Zip Gatlinburg for skyline views. Little ones five and up can ride on their own.

At Foxfire Mountain, you can ride on seven ziplines on a two-hour tour, including one that flies over a waterfall. 

My friend Kath of FamilyTravelsUSA flew across ziplines at Wears Valley Zipline Adventures in nearby Sevierville. You’ll find the longest and highest ziplines in the region.

One line alone is 2,000 feet long. She said this is a must for any bucket list that includes family activities in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

#9: Hike the Appalachian Trail

Wait. What? Okay, maybe not the entire Appalachian Trail (as in, more than 2,100 miles), but if you hike to Clingmans Dome, look for the “Appalachian Trail” sign on the way down.

Take a few steps on the trail and strike a pose in front of the sign to impress your friends. Or, hike as far as you like on the trail. The views are magnificent in every direction.

#10: Enjoy Free Concerts at The Island

When the weather warms up, nightly concerts kick off at The Island. We listened in for awhile. The bands are highly entertaining.

My favorite part was all the comfy rocking chairs. It was no easy task to get out of the chairs, but we were all about maximizing family fun, Pigeon Forge style.

You’ll find Pigeon Forge attractions for families at The Island too, like Sky Fly: Soar America, a flying ride that takes guests over natural wonders and landmarks.

#11. Indoor Snow Tubing

While you’re near The Island, check out Pigeon Forge’s indoor snow tubing at Pigeon Forge Snow

Open year-round, this unique family-friendly activity is a great way to cool off during the summer and hit the slopes year-round,  Tennessee-style.

#12: Go on a Llama Trek

At Smoky Mountain Llama Treks, adventures with llamas can last an hour or as long as overnight. The popular llama trek along the Padgett Mill Trail runs one to two hours.

As a bonus, you can add a ziplining or rafting excursion on to your llama trek for a full day or weekend of fun. Kusco and JJ Bird are eager to meet you for your trek.

#13: See the Singing Santa

It’s Christmas every day of the year at The Inn at Christmas Place in Pigeon Forge. Kids will love the 12-foot Christmas tree in the garland-festooned lobby.

Look for the beloved “Singing Santa” to share a few Christmas classics every Thursday and Saturday evening. 

Santa also pops by on Mondays and Fridays for a children’s story time.

Stay the night in a Santa Suite that includes a fully-decorated Christmas tree.

You may not be surprised to learn that The Inn at Christmas Place is located on Christmas Tree Lane. 

#14: Stay in Yogi Bear’s Den

Book a stay at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg.

Kids will love Yogi Bear’s Den, a cabin that includes a full kitchen, flat screen TV, bunk beds and a picnic table.

Alternatively, check in to one of several glamping tents that sleep up to five people. Look for movie nights and scavenger hunts at the campground.

#15: Fly on the Alpine Coaster

For high-speed, high-thrills fun, ride the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster for twists and turns down the mountain.

Billed as the longest downhill ride in the United States, kids and adults will love speeding down more than one mile of track.

It’s a great way to take in the scenery. The alpine coaster runs rain or shine. It’s also open every day of the year.

#16: Snap a Selfie at the State Line

Inside the national park, head to Newfound Gap. It’s about 25 minutes from the Sugarland Visitors Center.

You’ll find plenty of parking, a scenic overlook and the “Tennessee-North Carolina State Line” sign that was made for taking selfies.

Planning Your Pigeon Forge Vacation

Browse printable coupons for top Pigeon Forge attractions, like The Track Pigeon Forge (formerly Kids Country Pigeon Forge) and Pigeon Forge Snow.

You’ll also find deals and coupons for other Pigeon Forge kid-friendly attractions, like shows, trampoline parks and arcades, even the Hollywood Wax Museum. 

Need a family-friendly hotel? Here are the top-rated kid-friendly hotels in Pigeon Forge, according to TripAdvisor.

During our brief visit to Pigeon Forge, we stayed at the Music Road Resort Hotel (from $134 per night).

It’s just off Parkway in Pigeon Forge and has a huge water slide, a lazy river and a diving board. Even I went down the water slide a dozen times.

Music Road Resort Hotel-Watepark

For indoor fun, a heated indoor pool is just right for family fun too. The rooms are big and so are the bathrooms. Many rooms have scenic views too.

Here are a few of the most popular Pigeon Forge hotels and resorts for families:

Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort & Spa (from $219 per night)

Margaritaville Island Hotel (from $229 per night)

Country Cascades Waterpark Resort (from $110 per night)

Timbers Lodge (from $97 per night)

Alternatively, look to cabin rentals in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. On VRBO, you’ll find loads of Pigeon Forge cabins and pet-friendly cabins for your family, even extended family.

Brand new as of 2021, RV enthusiasts can check in to the brand-new Camp Margaritaville RV Resort & Lodge,  which opens in June. Also new is the Pigeon Forge RV Resort.

The Appalachian Springs Outdoor Resort & Trout Farm is another new attraction in Pigeon Forge, opened in 2021. Here you’ll find trout fishing, guide hikes, an arcade and live music. 

There are so many fun things to do in Pigeon Forge with kids. Hike at a national park, tour the historic Old Mill or check out rare and antique cars at one of many car shows. 

Things to Do in Pigeon Forge with Kids