13 Offbeat and Unique Things To Do in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Pigeon Forge, Tennessee is rightly known as one of the silliest cities in the United States — in a good way. It’s a family-friendly destination in the Smoky Mountains with lots of fun attractions for kids and offbeat entertainment options for adults.

Dolly Parton’s theme park Dollywood is the most well-known Pigeon Forge point of interest. But the city of 6000 people has lots of other oddball attractions.

pigeon forge stages

They include a Titanic museum, an amusement park where you can ride coasters and feed goats, and the only U.S. park dedicated to zorbing, or rolling down a hill inside a transparent plastic orb. 

Keep reading to learn about the most unique things to do in Pigeon Forge!

Pigeon Forge is one of many popular towns near Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This list focuses on unique attractions within Pigeon Forge itself. For more ideas in the nearby town of Gatlinburg, scroll to the end of the article.

13 Unique Things to Do in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

pigeon forge welcome

Pigeon Forge has all sorts of family activities, like water parks, escape rooms, go-kart tracks, live music, horseback riding, laser tag, bumper cars, and more.

Let’s focus on the most interesting places to visit in the city.

Dollywood

You can’t visit Pigeon Forge without experiencing Dollywood. The Dollywood theme park has more than 50 high-energy rides, including the Big Bear Mountain roller coaster and the Barmstormer pendulum thrill ride.

Dollywood is one of the most popular attractions in this part of the country, so it would be criminal to come to Pigeon Forge and not visit the amusement park.

The complex also features a water park, dinner shows, and lodging options such as resorts and cabins.

Dolly is an American icon. She personally visits the park from time to time. My friend was lucky enough to see her march in the opening day parade on the day he happened to be visiting!

dollywood coaster
Roller coaster at Dollywood, one of the unique attractions in Pigeon Forge.

Dolly Parton’s Stampede

The Dolly Parton Stampede claims to be the world’s most popular dinner attraction. It’s a unique presentation that you definitely won’t see anywhere else.

While enjoying a four-course meal, including all sorts of authentic Southern cuisine, you’ll witness live entertainment, including music, dancing, comedy bits, aerial performances, horse riding stunts, and pyrotechnics.

The Stampede is enjoyable throughout the year. However, it’s especially fun to visit during the Holidays, as there are one-of-a-kind shows designed to keep the whole family happy.

If you can’t get tickets to the Stampede, try the Pirates Voyage Dinner Show, another fun dining option in Pigeon Forge.

Titanic Museum

The Titanic Museum might be one of the reasons to visit Pigeon Forge in the first place.

The world’s largest permanent Titanic exhibit holds about 400 artifacts in 20 different galleries. Give yourself plenty of time to explore every part of this museum.

This isn’t a typical museum. Here, you’ll feel as if you’re aboard the actual ship, as you enter the two-story boat and get your boarding ticket. Let’s hope this one doesn’t capsize!

This interactive experience is pretty popular in Pigeon Forge, making it nearly impossible for impromptu visits. For this reason, you need to book your ticket in advance for the most seamless adventure.

Tour the Old Mill on the Pigeon River

The Pigeon River is a fun place to spend time. If you prefer to learn about the cultural elements of Pigeon Forge, strolling by Pigeon River will lead you to the historic Pigeon Forge Mill.

old mill pigeon river

The mill was created way back in 1830 and has earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. 

The Old Mill offers regular tours five days a week. These small-group tours (maximum 10 people) will take you back to the 19th century and offer historic insight and facts.

After the tour, hang out and dine at one of the Mill’s restaurants and check out the pottery store or candy kitchen.

The Rock Spot

Another way to ground and immerse yourself in nature is visiting the Rock Spot in Pigeon Forge. As the name suggests, the attraction is where you’ll find distinct rock formations and fossils native to Appalachia.

The locally-owned store has the most eccentric handmade jewelry. Not only will you sport fashionable accessories, but you’ll also be supporting the local community.

If you’re into rock collecting, you’ll definitely want to stop by this spot. Still, the unique gemstones and high-quality crystals are exceptional souvenirs to bring home, so you’ll remember your trip forever.

Alcatraz East Crime Museum

True-crime fans will be ecstatic by visiting the Alcatraz East Crime Museum. That said, learning about crime history can be incredibly intriguing, especially due to the museum’s fascinating exhibits.

There are about 20 different exhibits to explore, explaining the history of various crimes, how they were committed, interesting facts about them, and the consequences.

One of the most impressive parts of the Alcatraz East Crime Museum is the pop culture gallery. There, you’ll find popular artifacts such as Ted Bundy’s Volkswagen Beetle and Al Pacino’s machine gun from Scarface.

The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel

Every quirky city needs a ferris wheel. Located in The Island complex, the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel stands 200 feet tall and offers some of the best views in the area.

It opened in 2013, so it’s still a relatively new attraction. The ferris wheel gondolas can fit up to eight people per car, and it’s pretty affordable by ferris wheel standards, so bring the entire family. 

Spend time in The Island for additional entertainment and dining options.

Parrot Mountain

Parrot Mountain will ignite your love for birds. Nestled within gorgeous gardens, this attraction houses hundreds of exotic birds and thousands of gorgeous flowers. Parrot Mountain also has a magnificent view of the Smoky Mountains.

After your visit, have dinner in the beautiful gardens and visit the gift shop for souvenirs. So, your friends and family will appreciate your visit to Parrot Mountain.

You have two options when visiting Parrot Mountain. First, spend the entire day feeding the birds and connecting with nature.

Alternately, you can rent a cabin with the entire family, staying the night while overlooking the gorgeous view of the mountaintop.

Goats on the Roof

Goats on the Roof is an amusement park located on the mountainside. It’s a cool place, whether you need to keep your kids entertained or want to unleash your inner child.

For an adrenaline-rushing day, ride the goat coaster along the mountains. Then wind down by playing with the goats that freely roam the location. The animals are the real draw of this attraction!

Additionally, Goats on the Roof offers plenty of entertainment through their family-friendly mini-golf course. You can also sit back, and let the kids entertain themselves by gem mining.

Smoky Mountain Cat House

Speaking of animals, if you love tiny, furry friends, you must stop by the Smoky Mountain Cat House. This is one of the most unique places to visit in Pigeon Forge!

This gift and collectible store has tons of cat-themed merchandise. If you’re lucky, you might be able to pet some kittens that live in the shop.

If you have pets back home, bring them back some souvenirs. The Smoky Mountain Cat House sells one-of-a-kind pet supplies, making it the ideal unique attraction for pet lovers visiting Pigeon Forge.

Outdoor Gravity Park

Have you ever heard of zorbing? Zorbing is rolling around in a giant inflatable ball. Kind of like the orbs on the old American Gladiator show.

Outdoor Gravity Park is the only park in the U.S. dedicated zorbing. The 11-foot see-through spheres are a great way to have fun with your friends while getting active. 

You can roll down a 1000-foot hill on a secure course with three different tracks. What a unique life experience!

To make the most out of your experience, make sure to book in advance, and bring your swimsuit, as the orbs contain cold water in the summer.

Smoky Mountain School of Cooking

Pick up new skills, enjoy authentic Appalachian food, and learn more about the history of Pigeon Forge’s cuisine at the Smoky Mountain School of Cooking

The school offers one-day demonstrations and classes for locals and tourists. Join a class, and you’ll be able to recreate these delicious dishes, surprising all your friends and family back home.

Cooking authentic Southern cuisine is also a perfect way to remember your trip to Pigeon Fork.

If cooking isn’t your thing, the location also has an Appalachian store. Trust on this one: Take home some of the fudge!

Forbidden Caverns

We’re leaving Pigeon Forge for one attraction in Sevierville: The Forbidden Caverns are an unconventional part of Teneessee history that deserves a visit, even if you’re not a nature lover.

The caves are hundreds of feet below the earth’s surface and are adorned with underground rivers, grottos, and rare cave onyx.

The guided tour offers insight into Pigeon Forge’s indigenous history and the natural rocky formations. It remains a constant 58 degrees in the caverns.

This tour is perfect for all age groups, as children will love walking through the caves, and adults will appreciate the history lesson. Since this activity can be physically taxing, wear comfortable shoes for the walk through the caverns.

Other Cool Pigeon Forge Attractions

wonderworks pigeon forge

A few other ideas to add to your Pigeon Forge itinerary: 
-Wonderworks Pigeon Forge, an “amusement park for the mind” inside an upside-down looking building
-Rowdy Bear’s Smoky Mountain Snowpark, which offers snow tubing during the winter and summer tubing when it’s hot
-Firefox Adventure Park, which offers a climbing wall and zip lines
-The Redneck Comedy Bus Tour

Offbeat and Unusual Activities in Gatlinburg

Gatlinburg is just a 10-minute drive from Pigeon Forge, and it has a huge number of quirky activities as well. Here’s a brief rundown of some of Gatlinburg’s unique offerings to add to your itinerary.

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies: Explore the Shark Lagoon, touch manta rays, observe penguins, and have other aquatic adventures at this kid-friendly attraction.

Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum: Nothing’s better than a quirky niche museum. This one has more than 20,000 salt and pepper shakers from around the world. And admission is only three bucks!

Hillbilly Golf: What could be more fun than a mini golf course that playfully pokes fun at Appalachian stereotypes? It just might live up to its claim of being “America’s most unique mini-golf course.”

Crazy Mason Milkshake Bar: Ice cream lovers, rejoice. This place has some of the most decadent creations you will ever see. Imagine a huge milkshake stuffed inside a glass, topped with a donut, cupcake, brownie, or waffle!

Smoky Mountain Llama Treks: Over in Cosby, you can hike with real llamas! This is another truly unique experience.

Most Pigeon Forge visitors also head into Great Smoky Mountains National Park to drive Cades Cove Loop Road.

See our guide to the Smokies, including lodging suggestions and recommended hikes, such as the Chimney Tops hike

Do you have any other suggestions for unique things to do in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee?

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