This post is sponsored by Pigeon Forge Department of Tourism. All opinions are my own.
Families travel to visit other family members during the holidays. We have done that very thing for many years. It’s almost like a tradition that has been passed down from one generation to the next. However, a couple of years ago, we decided to instead visit tourist-y attractions during the holidays as a family like visiting Pigeon Forge for the Holidays!
This got me thinking. Why travel to another state and spend wads of cash at an amusement park when I have such wonder and beauty in my backyard? We live less than 3 hours from Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. Though it’s not marketed as the most magical place on earth, I can guarantee that the cabins in the mountains are the most relaxing place on earth. A well-kept secret is Tennessee is at its best and brightest during the holiday season. Don’t believe me? I wouldn’t have believed myself if I had not been visiting Pigeon Forge for the holidays!
Pigeon Forge and the areas surrounding are glowing with seasonal celebration and the smiles of workers and patrons alike. If you aren’t sold yet, let me give you some more information on the Pigeon Forge area and all it has to offer during the holidays.
Visiting Pigeon Forge for the Holidays
I know Dollywood like the back of my hand. Every year my parents took us to Silver Dollar City. What’s Silver Dollar City, you ask? Well, it’s Dollywood now. My family continued to go each and every year, sometimes multiple times a year after the Queen of Country music bought the park. Dollywood is a pretty popular attraction because it’s one of the best stops in Tennessee and it’s given itself a stellar reputation. Imagine attending a giant theme park with all your favorite rides, foods, and entertainment with the possibility to see the Queen of Country herself! Did I mention her family members are all employed there?
(Dolly Partons Niece)
(Dolly’s family, including her niece and brother!)
Now imagine that exact same theme park experience with a dash of southern charm surrounded by the breathtaking view of the Great Smoky Mountains. Now imagine all of that again while being engulfed in the glow of over four million Christmas lights and all the cheer the holidays have to muster. That’s what it’s like visiting Pigeon Forge for the holidays.
Even though I visited Dollywood throughout my childhood, it wasn’t until we moved to Tennessee that I was able to actually start taking in Dollywood for the Holiday Season! Visiting Dollywood for the Holidays is now one of our favorite traditions as Tennessee residents. Before we left, I made sure to check out 5 Things We Must Do At Dollywood during Christmas.
Did you know that Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas has been deemed the best Christmas event at any theme park, worldwide, for ten years in a row?! There are special holiday performances just for the season. Not to mention all the decorations and costumes outside of the millions of lights. Over 20 of the Dollywood rides still operate during the season, which means you won’t miss out on the fun and exhilaration from the twists and turns of roller coasters.
These are memories I will forever cherish. Every time we have visited Dollywood during the holidays, we have laughed, we have loved, and we have been so incredibly blessed by the wonderful atmosphere. How many places can you find today that continue to highlight the TRUE reason for the season along with fun and, of course, family being the focus?
Dolly Parton’s Stampede
After you’ve taken in Dollywood and the Christmas in the Smoky’s, you just cannot leave Pigeon Forge without dinner at the Dolly Parton’s Stampede! I mean, can we just all agree that Dolly Parton does an exceptional job with entertaining people?
What is the Dolly Parton’s Stampede? Well, how can I describe it in words? Have you ever seen a man riding an ostrich? Have you ever watched stunts being performed on the top of horses, all while stuffing your face with some classic southern food? The Stampede is filled with friendly North and South competition, thrilling horse riding stunts, spectacular special effects, phenomenal musical productions plus a mouth-watering four-course feast complete with a delicious dessert!
Well, that’s just a small glimpse of what Dolly’s Stampede has to offer. During the holiday season, they kick it up a notch and the showroom is transformed into a wonderland of snow, twinkling lights, warring hilarious elves, dozens of horses, and all the Christmas cheer in a performance you can handle. Christmas At Dolly Parton’s Stampede is perhaps one of the most mesmerizing shows you’ll ever watch.
There were so many good parts during the show that I can’t pick a favorite, but one thing I can tell you, I loved that they didn’t shy away from what Christmas truly represents to me and my family.
Also, since the Stampede is a dinner show—- I MUST mention the food! It is fantastic!
What is There to Do in Pigeon Forge on Christmas Day?
If you plan on being out and about with family for Christmas day, Pigeon Forge is the place to be. There are quite a few fun attractions open on December 25th. The difficult part is choosing which ones to pick! The following places are open on Christmas day in Pigeon Forge:
- Hollywood Wax Museum
- Christmas at the Titanic
- Hatfield and McCoy Show Christmas Disaster Dinner Show
- Christmas Lights of Winterfest (Don’t miss this! There are more than 5 million lights!!!)
- Book your stay at The Inn at Christmas Place if you don’t stay in a log cabin. The Inn is so beautiful and, well, Christmasy! Oh! By the way, do not miss A Christmas Carol at the Inn!
- Breakfast or brunch with Santa! Find this at the Old Mill Square.
Places to Eat During the Holidays in Pigeon Forge
Since it’s Tennessee, there are so many places you could go to eat. They’re known for their BBQ and hot chicken, but they serve up some mean southern food. We visited Tony Gore’s BBQ when we last visited and it did not disappoint. My husband is barbecue connoisseur and Tony Gore’s is in his top 5 worldwide (and that man has traveled the world, y’all!)! You’ll want to put this place at the top of your list for dinner without a doubt. Some other places that are highly recommended for the Pigeon Forge area are listed below. Some of these places are even open on Christmas day!
- Corky’s Ribs and BBQ
- Flapjack’s Pancake Cabin
- The Pottery House Cafe
- Wild Bear Tavern (New!)
- Frizzle Chicken Farmhouse Cafe
- Blue Moose Burgers and Wings
- Bullfish Grill
It’s about that time of the year that everyone starts making their plans for the holidays. Many of us go with the traditional plans we’ve followed for years and years. There’s definitely nothing wrong with sticking to traditions. However, traditions have to start somewhere, right? Why not try mixing it up a bit this year and plan a visit to Pigeon Forge for the holidays instead? I promise you won’t be disappointed you did!
Hope to see you there!