Thursday 7 December 2023

Ten tips to enjoy your family vacation with kids

This is a collaborative post

Planning a family vacation can be both exciting and a little stressful, right? Especially when you have kids, you need to think about so much more than just your flight and hotel. That's why places like Pigeon Forge are such a hit for families. Located in Tennessee, Pigeon Forge offers a unique mix of fun, relaxation, and adventure. It is not surprising that it attracts around 10 million visitors annually. 

Whether you love the thrill of amusement parks or the serenity of nature, this place has something for everyone. So, let’s look at some tips that will make your family vacation in Pigeon Forge not just good but great.

1. Opt for Family-Friendly Lodging

First things first, where you stay matters a lot. Sure, you might be tempted to go for the cheapest option, but remember, you're traveling with kids. Places like Pigeon Forge offer a wide variety of accommodations like cabins, condos, and hotels. 

Look for cabins that have amenities like a swimming pool, play area, game room, hot tub, and, most importantly, a fully equipped kitchen. These features can make your stay way more comfortable. And let's be honest, if the kids are happy, you're happy.

2. Be Weather-Wise

Nothing can ruin a vacation quicker than being unprepared for the weather. Pigeon Forge has four distinct seasons, and each has its own wardrobe requirements. If you're visiting in summer, you'll need light clothing and plenty of sunscreen. But in winter, you'll need layers and perhaps even some snow gear. Always check the forecast before you pack so you're not caught off guard.

3. Visit Paula Deen's Lumberjack Feud

When you're in Pigeon Forge, Paula Deen's Lumberjack Feud is a must-see. Think of it as a show and adventure rolled into one. What makes Paula Deen’s dinner show even more special is that while you’re watching the feud unravel, you can indulge in a BBQ camp-style supper that includes delicious BBQ sandwiches, baked beans, coleslaw, and a cookie. 

It's fun, engaging, and something a little different than your usual theme park experience. 

4. Indoor and Outdoor Activities

One of the best things about Pigeon Forge is that you can have a blast both indoors and outdoors. So, make sure your itinerary has a good mix. Take your kids to the local museums or indoor amusement parks on days when the weather isn't great. And save the outdoor adventure parks or nature trails for sunny days. A balanced plan will keep everyone in the family engaged and excited.

Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Photo credit Milly Montoya via Unsplash

5. Don't Miss Dollywood

If there's one place you absolutely must visit in Pigeon Forge, it's Dollywood. With the wide variety of entertainment options it offers, it’s no surprise that so many vacationers visit Dollywood throughout the year!

This amusement park is perfect for families and offers a range of rides that even little kids can enjoy. From thrilling roller coasters to carousels, there's something for everyone. Plus, the park often has shows and parades that are super entertaining for kids. Trust me, you don't want to miss out on this.

6. Explore the Great Outdoors

If your family loves nature, you're in luck. Pigeon Forge is right next to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You'll find plenty of family-friendly trails where you can hike and explore. It's a fantastic way for the family to spend quality time together while taking in some of the most beautiful landscapes you'll ever see. 

But that’s not it; you also get to experience wildlife in its natural habitat. Be prepared for sightings of black bears, deer, elk, raccoons, foxes, and coyotes. Oh, and don’t forget to pack some snacks, water, and perhaps a camera to capture the perfect moments you make with your family.

7. Savour the Local Food Scene

Who doesn't love good food, especially on vacation? Pigeon Forge offers a variety of dining options that'll satisfy even the pickiest eaters in your family. From Southern comfort food to classic American dishes, there's a lot to choose from. Look for family-friendly restaurants where kids can enjoy special menus or play areas. Remember, happy tummies make for happy vacations!

8. Plan Your Budget (But Leave Room for a Few Treats)

Vacations can get expensive, particularly when you're traveling with kids. That's why it's a good idea to set a budget beforehand. Decide how much you're willing to spend on lodging, food, and activities. Once you have that sorted, feel free to set aside a small 'treat fund.' Whether it's for a special souvenir or an unexpected attraction, having a little extra cash can make your vacation feel even more special.

9. Take Advantage of Discounts

Nobody likes to pay full price when they don't have to, right? Luckily, Pigeon Forge offers plenty of ways to save. You'll find discount coupons for restaurants and attractions in local guidebooks, at your hotel, or even online. Some places also offer family packages that can save you money on admission prices. 

10. Keep the Schedule Flexible

When you're excited about your trip, it's easy to jam-pack your itinerary. But here's a tip: don't. Kids are unpredictable, and you never know when you'll need to take an unplanned break. Plus, some of the best moments happen when you stumble upon something unexpected. So, by all means, have a plan, but also leave room for some spontaneity. It'll make your trip a lot more enjoyable.


So, we've covered a lot of ground here, from choosing the right place to stay to making sure you take time to explore and eat well. But most importantly, remember that vacations are all about creating wonderful memories with your family. Pigeon Forge offers a multitude of ways to do just that. Whether you're riding roller coasters, hiking through beautiful landscapes, or simply enjoying a meal together, the time you spend with your family is what will make this trip truly unforgettable. 

Follow these ten tips, and you're well on your way to a fantastic, stress-free vacation in Pigeon Forge. Safe travels! 

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