There’s a reason the welcome sign at the Pigeon Forge city limits says “Family Vacation Hub.” Thanks to awesome places like Dollywood, the area draws well over 10 million visitors each year! Sure, you can spend the entire day at Dollywood, but Pigeon Forge has lots more to offer… Check out our curated list of family faves for an incredible day in Pigeon Forge.
Morning: Breakfast at Sawyer’s
Sawyer’s Farmhouse Breakfast is easily recognized by the massive, colorful rooster statue out front (which makes for an excellent family photo op). There’s a small store in the restaurant with toys and souvenirs. It’s a great diversion for little ones that tend to get impatient when you have to wait for a table. Sawyer’s is a popular place, and you’ll soon find out why.
The menu has over a half-dozen choices just for kids, and you may even get a visit from the Balloon Man as he shapes balloon animals for young guests. Check out their M&M pancakes, peanut butter syrup, and other unique offerings. Adults and kids alike will love their bananas Foster French toast, which is beautifully presented and large enough for sharing.
Take a cutting-edge children’s science museum, an amusement park, and an obstacle course, blend well, pour it into an upside-down building, and what have you got? WonderWorks! Even in foul weather, you can get your fitness (and fun!) on, thanks to attractions such as their Indoor Ropes Challenge, an aerial obstacle course with neon colors and black lights. Hit up their equally psychedelic laser tag arena. Who doesn’t enjoy competing against opponents from a well-chosen hiding place?
WonderWorks also features several “WonderZones” with themes such as Natural Disasters, where you can experience a 5.3 earthquake, 71-mile-per-hour hurricane winds, and the freezing waters of the Titanic tragedy. Other zones allow you to lie on a bed of nails, play with gigantic bubbles, and hook to an EEG machine to play a game that allows you to control a ball with the power of your mind. Learning and laughter are everywhere to be found at WonderWorks.
Evening: Dinner at Paula Deen’s
Once you’re done with WonderWorks, go for an early dinner at Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen. You’ll find the service exceptional, and they happily welcome families and large groups. The decor is clean and upscale yet casual enough for teens and toddlers alike. Good ol’ Southern cooking is key at Paula Deen’s. Their staples, such as fried chicken, meat loaf, and catfish, are the pride of Pigeon Forge.
You’ll find quite a unique dining experience at Paula Deen’s. All meals are served family-style. You pay a flat cost per person, choose a number of meats and sides from their vast menu, and they dish out huge portions that you pass around the table. Thanksgiving at Grandma’s has nothing on this place! Eat your fill, ask for seconds of whatever you choose, and share your meal — as a family should.
Late Night: Karaoke at Puckers
All right, this one is actually in Gatlinburg, but Puckers Sports Grill is too good to miss! This is a family-friendly restaurant and bar that offers your clan the chance to sing their little hearts out to the admiration of all. Karaoke is, after all, not just for intoxicated twenty-somethings. Everyone loves to sing! Though karaoke tends to get started long after your usual bedtime, you’re on vacation — so let loose and let the kids stay up a while. The grown-ups can have a few beers, the kids can drink Shirley Temples and sing Disney tunes, and everyone goes home happy.
Despite its small size, Pigeon Forge is huge on entertainment. Your kids will have a blast, and you’ll end your day feeling like a kid yourself after you immerse yourself in the world-class food and entertainment this awesome town has to offer. Pigeon Forge is definitely not for the birds.