One of the many wonderful things about the Smoky Mountains area is the typically mild weather, regardless of the time of year. On average, during the winter months, you will experience low temperatures of roughly 30 degrees and high temperatures hovering around 50 degrees. While not as balmy as a tropical destination, the winter weather in Pigeon Forge still allows for many outdoor adventures – though you will want to add a few more layers to your wardrobe in order to fend off the chill. However, along with the cold comes rain and snow; two conditions that make exploring the Smokies or partaking in the myriad of outside attractions in the area, particularly difficult, if not altogether impossible. So if you wake up one morning during your family vacation in the Smokies, to the sounds of falling rain and ominous clouds blanketing the horizon, there’s no need to worry about a ruined itinerary. Instead, take advantage of some of the many indoor adventures found right here in Pigeon Forge. Continue reading to learn about fifteen unique and entertaining ways to keep the family cozy and dry during your stay in the Smokies.
Alcatraz East Crime Museum: Learn about the fascinating story of crime throughout American history when you visit Alcatraz East Crime Museum. Roam the five distinct galleries that explore various historical topics from studies of criminal intent, the penal system, forensic science, and more. With over 25,000 square feet, scaling two floors and stuffed full with unique exhibits and over 100 interactive displays for all ages to enjoy. Though the topic of crime can be a heavy one, a trip to this museum is a great way to fascinate and educate everyone in the family.
Pigeon Snow: It may seem counterintuitive to step into an indoor snow-park to beat the cold, but with inside temperatures ranging between 60 and 70 degrees, it’s practically tropical! Enjoy the thrill of racing down the tubing slopes in America’s only indoor winter attraction featuring real snow! At Pigeon Snow you can tube race, build snowmen, and enjoy all the wintery fun without ever having to put a coat on! It’s a great time for all ages but if you’re not too fond of that cold white stuff, grab a seat on the overlooking balcony and watch the kiddos have the time of their lives!
Smoky Mountain Escape Games: In the past decade, escape games have become a popular choice of indoor activity among friends and family. Bond with those you love as you put your minds together to attempt to escape from one of five challenging and interactive escape rooms at Smoky Mountain Escape Games. Each room comes complete with a unique theme, mission, setting and various puzzles. Think quick, work together, solve the mystery and escape, if you can! But even if you can’t, you and your loved ones are guaranteed to have an amazing time.
Hollywood Wax Museum: A visit to the wax museum is a vacation classic. Kids love to see and interact with the replicas of their favorite television and movie stars while parents can revel in the nostalgia. From Lucille Ball To Dwayne Johnson, rub elbows with some iconic faces and snap some fantastic photos with your favorite stars (you pick the poses) for an unforgettable afternoon while avoiding the cold.
TopJump: Let the kiddos burn off some energy (and even sneak in a fun workout yourself) on a cold and dreary afternoon by bringing them to the first trampoline park in the area! At TopJump, you can jump, flip, and soar through the air in a safe and jammed-packed adventure arena. From open jumping to 21 different “clip-n-climb” lines to the kids-zone and even their very own TopJump ninja course, everyone in the family will have plenty to keep them busy (and break a sweat) for a rainy day.
MagiQuest: Ideal for the little ones but with something for everyone of any age to enjoy, MagiQuest offers visitors with an interactive live-action, role playing game like no other in Pigeon Forge. Watch your young explores embark on quests and adventures full of dragons, magic and fantastical adventure. Along with enchanted quests, partake in an indoor 18-hole black light mini golf course, a mind-bending mirror maze and plenty of arcade games to keep the whole family busy and warm indoors.
Blake Jones Racing Center: Just because the day is gloomy and dark, that doesn’t mean your family and you can’t have an absolutely thrilling time. At Blake Jones Racing Center, drivers over the age of 10 and riders over the age of 3, can enjoy the fastest go-karts around. Fly past each bend in the route has you race to complete their indoor oval slick track, or experience breath-taking speeds on the only covered, figure-8 slick track in the county! When you’re done racing, burn off some of that adrenaline by holding on tight as you spin, bump and slide around the Spin Zone Bumper arena. And no need to worry about the smell of exhaust or the sound of roaring engines hurting your little ones’ ears – Blake Jones features the only indoor climate-controlled go-karts in the Smokies! Every day, even a cold and rainy one, is a fun day at the track.
Beyond The Lens: Experience a collision of technology and entertainment when you enter the front doors of Beyond The Lens. With over 150 interactive exhibits, this wacky attraction is a ton of fun for the whole family and is sure to leave you with loads of great memories and even better photos. Enjoy interactive VR games, a hunt for Big Foot, 2-minute escape rooms, a pop culture history walkthrough and so much more, all under the same roof! It’s an outrageously good time, you have to try for yourself!
Circle Bar T Forge & Bladeworks: It seems fitting, when visiting a town with the word “forge” in its name, to plan a trip to an actual forge. Avoid the cold by taking the family to Circle Bar T Forge and Bladeworks for some one-of-a-kind blacksmithing lessons. The professionals at Circle Bar T can teach anyone in your group (as long as they’re five years or older) how to smith their very own knife. Metal, safety protection, and easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions are all provided as a trained blacksmith helps you through the entire process. Once you’ve finished with your new creation, the knife is sharpened, polished and placed in its own leather sheath – now talk about a unique souvenir you can be proud of.
Four Sisters Old Time Photos: An absolute must, when visiting Pigeon Forge, is to get a set of your very own old-timey family photos. Allow the professionals at Four Sisters Old Time Photos to provide you with an unforgettable family heirloom and a fantastic set of new memories. Take a trip through time, dress up as anyone you’d like – from cowboy to flapper girl – and pose with your loved ones in a photo scene so lavish, you’ll think it’s a movie set. With their wide selection of costume types (and sizes) and scenes to pick from, you’re sure to leave with an image that captures your family’s personality, perfectly.
Wonderworks: Spend a day with the family at this amusement park for the mind with over 100 interactive exhibits for adventurers of all ages. Explore over 42,000 square feet of mind-boggling entertainment split in to six wonder zones and other thrills. Experience the extreme strength of category one hurricane force winds, take on an astronaut training gyro challenge, and gaze in awe at some Dr. Seuss’s unorthodox taxidermy sculptures (yes, they’re the real deal). If you still have time at the end of your day, maybe play a round of laser tag with the family or watch the kids as they scale the staggering 50-foot-tall indoor ropes course. While it may be impossible to fit all the fun into one visit, one-things-for-sure, everyone will sleep well after a day at WonderWorks.
Crave Golf Club: Described as Candyland meets Caddyshack, Crave Golf Club offers its visitors a whole wacky world to explore as you move from one hole to the next in this sweet 19 hole mini-golf course. If the weather isn’t too bad, you can also head up to the roof to explore the whimsical 19 holes of adventure you’ll find up there as well. However, if it’s just too brisk to play outside, you and your little ones can also enjoy the mini-bowling or try your hand at one of their 30-minute escape rooms. Just because you’re trying to stay warm, doesn’t mean the day can’t be memorable.
Sky Fly Soar America: Created by the same masterminds that helped bring the massively popular Soarin’ rides to Disney parks around the world, SkyFly Soar America is an experience like no other. Strap in and get ready to enjoy an unforgettable ride as the 50-ton ride platform shifts, and lifts yourself and other guest up into the air. With your feet dangling over the 50-foot spherical screen as well as wind, scents, mist and movements synchronized to the scene playing out in front of you, you and the family will feel as if you’ve taken flight! Take in stunning views and breathtaking vistas, SkyFly will take you all over the country from Maui all the way to Tracy Arm Fjord in Alaska, without ever leaving the theater!
The Redneck Comedy Bus: Stay warm as you and your family laugh their way through the Smoky Mountains. When you board the Redneck Comedy Bus, you are signing up for nearly two hours of laughs (rated pg-14 according to their website), seeing all sorts of scenery and learning a bit of history while you’re at it. All you need to bring with you is your camera, and a good sense of humor! If you’re looking for a great way to see some sights while keeping the family warm and thoroughly entertained, then you’ll definitely want to hitch a ride with these rednecks!
Titanic Museum: A Pigeon Forge staple and one of the most visited attractions in the area, the Titanic Museum is a great way to keep the family out of the cold while also expanding your horizons. Almost everyone has heard of the tragedy that is the Titanic, but have you ever walked through an interactive Titanic experience, complete with over 400 personal and private artifacts, the historic grand staircase, countless displays and even a real iceberg? As you and your loved ones make their way through the self-guided tour, learn about the history of this infamous ship and the very real people who boarded her over a hundred years ago.
Does leaving the house on a cold and gloomy day still sound unappealing, regardless of the destination? Then stay in at your Parkside Resort cabin! Heat up some hot coco as you enjoy your view of the smoke covered peaks. Start a roaring fire and curl up in an overstuffed arm chair while the rain quietly patters across the window panes. Or maybe a family movie marathon in your in-home theatre with the kiddos, lots of blankets and fresh popped popcorn is more your style? At Parkside, there is plenty to keep your loved ones entertained regardless of how bad the weather is! But no matter what you choose, staying nestled in your cabin or going out on the town, there’s no reason the family can’t have fun while staying warm during your stay in the Smokies this winter!