Last week we spent our annual summer vacation in Pigeon Forge and I must say, I had no idea they had so much to do in Pigeon Forge! Everyone always talks about Gatlinburg since it is only a short 20 minute drive outside of Pigeon Forge but In our opinion, Pigeon Forge was totally the hot spot!
Where to Stay in Pigeon Forge
I had never heard of Vacasa before but when searching for last minute cabin deals in Pigeon Forge, we found some really great places on their site. We thoroughly enjoyed our Pigeon Forge Perch Cabin. The three story cabin had 4 bedrooms, and was perfect for the kiddos.
The boys enjoyed playing pool, air hockey, and the arcade game available in the loft every night before dinner, and when it was time to wind-down, they watched movies and played board games in the basement. This rental is totally kid friendly.
The outdoor spaces in this cabin were equally enjoyable. On the bottom patio, you can enjoy hammock chairs while taking in nature, and on the middle balcony we grilled and soaked in the hot tub.
Kid Friendly Activities in Pigeon Forge
Wild Gals Pigeon Forge Old Time Photos
If you all have followed along on my Instagram for any amount of time, you will always catch my boys wearing costumes in my Instagram stories, so it’s no surprised they had a blast at Wild Gals Pigeon Forge Old Time Photos. I really enjoyed my time there as well! The boys dressed as outlaws and Mr Greg and I dressed as southern sophisticates.
Every bit of the process was a blast. We got to choose our costumes and unlike other old time photo brands I have tried in the past, Wild Gals Old Time Photo gives you ample time to choose the perfect look. I got to go through all of their dresses in their private “southern woman” dressing room. I also got to choose all of my accessories.
All of the costumes were of high quality and very authentic. Once we were fully outfitted, we were ready for our shoot. There were several rooms to choose from. We decided to go with the formal parlor and the Wild West room.
After the shoot was over, we got to sit down and go through our photos. I was blown away by the professional editing and quality of the photos. The photos look so authentic! I will cherish these photos and this memory for forever. I even plan on coming back in 5 years to recreate the photos with my boys. From little outlaws to a group of rowdy boy outlaws!
Also, is it just me, or does Jack (far left) look like a young Johnny Depp? Maybe it is the hair coming down in the front?
Dollywood Theme Park
You can’t go to PIgeon Forge without visiting Dollywood. Brought to you by Dolly Parton herself, Dollywood is the epitome of family fun.
Since we have boys that are tall enough for most of the big rides and a little guy who is in between, I was worried that it would be hard to find something for everyone. That definitely was not the case. There were plenty of roller coasters for the older boys and an equal amount of rides available for our youngest.
The park was so beautifully themed and very clean. There were a lot of food options, family shows, and music. We really appreciated the misting stations to cool off in between rides. While it was hot, we never felt uncomfortable. We arrived at lunchtime and stayed until the park closed to watch the nightly firework show. All in all, this was an incredible all day activity for the whole family.
Pigeon Forge Gem Mine
So this was my activity choice. I remember going to one of these mines when I was a kid and absolutely loving it, so much so that I wanted to do it again as an adult and the Pigeon Forge Gem Mine did not disappoint. We each got a bucket to mine. I chose the emerald and aquamarine bucket, jack chose the gemstone and fossil bucket, and James and Ransom chose the ruby and sapphire bucket. Once we were finished mining, we met with a gem and fossil specialist to properly identify our treasures. All of my boys are pirates at heart, as is their mother, that’s why this one was perfect for all of us.
Pigeon Forge Restaurants
Guy Fieri’s Downtown Flavortown
Whenever we go on vacation, we let each member of the family pick an activity. Mr Greg’s activity was Guy Fieri’s Downtown Flavortown. He watches Food Network on the weekends and has long been a fan of Guy Fieri. There was something for all ages at Downtown Flavortown.
As soon as we walked through the door, the kids went wild. Their eyes lit up when they saw the massive arcade area. We played games for a few hours before our duck pin bowling reservation. When it was time to bowl, the competitive side came out in all of us. If you bowl over 100 points, you automatically get a Downtown Flavortown rubber duckie trophy. Of course, Mr. Greg checked that box.
Now, the reason why Downtown Flavortown even exists, the food! The layers of flavor with ever dish is just incredible. I had the Fire Roasted Salmon and Mr. Greg tried Flavortown’s most popular dish, and the recipe that Guy Fieri won with, the Cajun Chicken Alfredo. We also gobbled up an order of Guy’s Trashcan Nachos. A MUST if you ever head to Flavortown.
The boys ordered a Plain Jane Burger, which was no where near plain in flavor, and the Funkin Donut Freak Shake for desert. The shake was super impressive. With a candy straw, white chocolate dipped rim covered in sprinkles, and a double donut garnish on top, we couldn’t resist passing the shake around the table. If you are headed to Pigeon Forge for a family trip, Flavortown is a must!
Dollywood Pirate’s Voyage Dinner Show
The boys picked Dollywood as their activity and the Dollywood Pirate’s Voyage Dinner Show was top on their list. This dinner show is top notch. We have been to pirate shows in the past, but this one had tons of acrobats and dare devil tricks. Think Cirque du Soleil but with pirates. Pretty cool combination, right? The food was truly yummy and authentic to time period. All throughout the show we waived our flags in support of our pirate and cheered him on to victory!
Dick’s Last Resort
This restaurant is not for the faint of mind, and I say that because the entire premise of the service is based on satirical serving. The staff’s goal is to push your comfort levels to the edge with funny jokes that often make you the butt! We didn’t mind. We knew it was all fun and games and we wore the chef hats they made with pride! We still joke about what James’ hat said, “I fart in the tub and bite the bubbles.” It was just too funny. Oh, and the food, it was great as well. Try Dick’s Last Resort for an over the top dining experience.
Everyone raves about Gatlinburg, and honestly I love Gatlinburg too, but this was my first time visiting Gatlinburg close neighbor, Pigeon Forge and boy was it a fabulous trip. Want to share this travel guide with your friends and family on Pinterest? Pin the image below to your favorite travel board.