Taking time off work for a fun-filled getaway doesn’t mean that you have to spend boatloads of money. My family has taken a weekend trip to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee twice and we hope to go back again in the future! Pigeon Forge is a mountain town that is enjoyed by both kids and adults.
The last weekend we spent in Tennessee was jam-packed with fun and adventure. The kids haven’t stopped talking about it since we got home and are already asking when we can go back!
(They had a blast when we returned to take them to Dollywood, 4 years later!)
Here’s how we spent a busy weekend in Pigeon Forge:
We checked the girls out of school at 10:00 a.m. and hit the road!
We had a nearly 6-hour drive from our home near Fort Liberty, NC to Laurel Crest Resort in Pigeon Forge. After checking in, we unloaded our things and stretched our legs until my brother and sister-in-law arrived with the cutest nephew ever.
After some hugging, talking, and general catching up, we headed to The Island for some fun!
We rode the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel, got lost in the Island Mirror Maze, and played super secret spies in the Vault Laser Maze Challenge. The kids loved every minute of it!
Fun Facts About The Island in Pigeon Forge:
- The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel is one of the tallest attractions in the Southeast.
- The Mirror Maze is one of the largest in the U.S. at over 3,000 square feet!
- The Island Show Fountains perform to light and music year-round.
After dinner at the Mellow Mushroom, which is also located at The Island, we headed back to the resort to get some sleep.
We were up early on Saturday morning for a meeting with the Bluegreen sales team. (This is the second time we stayed at one of their resorts after purchasing a ‘Sampler Package’.)
After listening to their spiel and telling them ‘NO’ once again (they just can’t seem to grasp the concept of that word), we went back to the room to get the kids dressed and head out for a day of fun!
Goats on the Roof
Our first stop was Goats on the Roof to ride the mountain coaster. Before our trip, I found a Groupon deal for discounted coaster tickets.
This mountain coaster can go up to 30 miles per hour and takes about 7 minutes from start to finish!
Lyvi and I were a little nervous, but each car has hand brakes, so you can slow down if you feel like you’re going too fast. (We definitely used our brake a couple of times!)
The kids LOVED it! They rode twice. Once you purchase the tickets, you can ride again for $5 each using that same ticket for the rest of the day.
In between coaster rides, we looked around the store and fed the goats.
Before we left, we also mined for gems!
We bought 2 buckets filled with dirt and buried gems. Then dumped them into mining pans before rinsing them in the water to reveal the treasure we found!
The kids loved being ‘real miners’ and playing in the water.
While we were in Pigeon Forge, we wanted to hike to Grotto Falls. It is the only waterfall in the Smoky Mountains that you can walk behind.
Unfortunately, it is also one of the most popular hiking spots in the area. Not only was the parking area completely full, but cars were parked on both sides of the narrow one-lane road for half a mile past the trailhead.
We met people in the parking lot finishing up their hike who told us the falls were so packed that there was over an hour’s wait time to walk behind the waterfall.
So, we decided not to take the kids on this hike and instead just enjoyed our drive through the park. We stopped at a few different spots along the way to get out and look around. It wasn’t the hike that I intended, but we still had a fun time.
The Old Mill
By the time we finished our ‘hike’ and drove back to Pigeon Forge, we were starving!
We stopped at the Old Mill for a late lunch/early dinner. And thankfully, there was no wait! That in itself is incredible.
Every time we have been there in the past, there was at least a 30-minute wait to get a table. The food was delicious and the servings were gigantic. Our group took home 3 boxes of leftovers!
After filling our bellies, we headed back to the resort. The baby took a nap, while the rest of us went down to the pool and hot tub. It was much-needed break after our busy day.
Then, after a shower and some dry clothes, we ate a dinner of leftovers and went out the door again.
Go-Karts & Arcade
On the back of our roller coaster tickets were coupons for BOGO go-kart tickets at Fun Stop on the Parkway. We paid only $26 for the kids to ride the go-karts….twice!
Then we went to their arcade and played games for more than an hour with just $20 each. (When you purchase a $20 arcade card, they give you $5 free!) The kids made out like bandits at the prize counter after winning more than 1,000 tickets!
We checked out of the resort and headed to one of the pancake houses.
Smoky Mountain Knife Works
After breakfast, we stopped by Smoky Mountain Knife Works. This is one of the largest and oldest knife stores in the world. We first visited this store back in December and my husband has looked forward to going back ever since.
The store sells more than just knives and they also have several awesome displays throughout the store. We spent way too much time and money here before heading home!
Whew….we might have needed a vacation to recover from our vacation!
We set out to make the most of our weekend in Pigeon Forge and I must say, “Mission accomplished!” We were also able to mark this item off of our Fort Liberty Bucket List! It was a fun-filled weekend that we will remember forever!