The Smoky Mountain area is blessed with a temperate climate that makes it possible to enjoy outdoor activities all year round. Sometimes, however, the weather just doesn’t cooperate with your plans to go hiking or picnicking in the national park.
Fortunately, the cities of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, TN offer a number of excellent indoor attractions that you can take advantage of on a rainy, snowy, or unusually chilly day. To help you make the most of your vacation, Visit My Smokies has put together a guide to six of the best indoor activities in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg.
1. Titanic Museum Attraction
A visit to the Titanic Museum Attraction is an absolute must for anyone vacationing in Pigeon Forge. When you come aboard this unique attraction, you will be transported back to 1912 for an immersive look at history’s most famous maritime disaster. Visitors to the museum will find full scale recreations of rooms on the RMS Titanic, over 400 artifacts from the real ship, and a variety of interactive exhibits that demonstrate what life was like on the ocean liner. Every guest receives the identity of an actual passenger on the Titanic, and in the museum’s final section, you find out the fate of your passenger.
2. Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies
Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is ranked among the top 10 aquariums in the nation by TripAdvisor, and it’s easy to see why! This popular attraction is home to over 10,000 sea creatures for guests to observe and learn about. One of the most popular sections of the aquarium is the Penguin Playhouse, a special habitat for Ripley’s African penguins. The Playhouse is a hit with kids because it is outfitted with special clear tubes that they can crawl through to get a closer look at the penguins. Another highlight of the aquarium is Shark Lagoon, an underwater tunnel with a moving sidewalk that is filled with the ocean’s most feared predators.
MagiQuest is home to some of the most popular indoor activities in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. This enormous castle on the Parkway offers four attractions for guests to enjoy:
- The signature MagiQuest role-playing adventure, which is like a live-action fantasy video game.
- The Odyssey, the largest mirror maze on the planet.
- Pirate Golf, an 18 hole blacklight putt-putt course with a Caribbean pirate theme.
- The Vault, a Mission Impossible-style laser challenge.
Guests to MagiQuest can choose to only pay for one or two of these activities, or they can save money by bundling all four of the activities for one low rate.
4. Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum
The Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum is one of Gatlinburg’s hidden gems. This one-of-a-kind museum is entirely dedicated to salt and pepper shakers, with over 20,000 sets of shakers in its collection. What makes this museum so astounding is the impressive variety of shakers on display from all around the world and every decade. Virtually all of the shakers feature unusual designs, with everything from U.S. Presidents to space aliens in the collection. Admission to the museum is only $3.00 (kids 12 and under are free) and that money goes toward the purchase of any set of shakers in the gift shop.
5. Flyaway Indoor Skydiving
If you’re looking to add some thrills to your vacation, Flyaway Indoor Skydiving is definitely for you! Flyaway offers all of the fun of actual skydiving without jumping out of a plane. To create the sensation of free falling, this attraction employs a vertical wind tunnel that provides gusts of 120 mph. No prior experience is needed to fly, and everything you need (helmet, flight suit, goggles, ear plugs) is provided for you.
6. Shows in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg
Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg are both home to a wonderful collection of fun shows that your whole family will love. Whether you’re looking for live music, magic, or comedy, you are guaranteed to find great entertainment in the Smokies. Some of the area’s theaters even offer full dinners, so you can enjoy a delicious feast with your show. Here are some of the popular shows in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg:
- Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede
- Country Tonite Theatre
- Impossibilities – An Evening of Magic, Mindreading, and Mayhem!
- Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Show
- Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre
- Soul of Motown
For a complete listing of all the indoor activities in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg (and plenty of outdoor attractions, too!) check out our guide to Things to Do in the Smoky Mountains.