Posted by Phil Rodgers in Things to Do
We're about one week into a new year, which means that a lot of things have slowed down in the Great Smoky Mountains. In the national park, several road closures are in effect due to winter weather conditions and scheduled repairs/maintenance. Most of the music theaters in Pigeon Forge are on a winter hiatus, as are Dollywood and a number of outdoor-based attractions.
This is the time of year when the beat of the drum slows its tempo somewhat and the tourism business rides out the winter lull until spring and warm temperatures return, ushering in renewed interest in traveling to the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.
But that doesn't mean you shouldn't come to the Smokies in January, February or March. Far from it. While there are some things that visitors simply can't do right now, there's still lots of fun to be had. And coming to this area in winter even offers a number of advantages that you won't be able to experience any other time of year.
What exactly can you still do in Pigeon Forge right now? Most of the non-theater attractions are still open. That includes Goats on the Roof in Pigeon Forge, where our mountain coaster, gem mining area and unique store continue to go strong, weather permitting. This time of year, the goats' availability might be limited, depending on that day's temperatures, but otherwise, come feed them courtesy of our Goat Cycle and watch them graze on our roof.
Most of the larger indoor attractions are still up and running, such as WonderWorks, the Titanic Museum Attraction, Beyond the Lens! and the Alcatraz East Crime Museum. Also, a lot of the amusement-oriented companies that offer activities like go-carts and mini golf are still in operation. Look for attractions like Fantasy Golf, Fast Tracks, Fun Stop and Blake Jones Racing Center to keep the family playing together all year long, weather permitting.
Don't forget about outlet mall shopping. The stores in Pigeon Forge are still open right now, and just after the holidays is a great time to look for deep discounts on all kinds of merchandise. The outlet malls are also fertile ground for spending holiday cash gifts and gift cards.
Speaking of gift cards, if you received a gift card to a national chain restaurant for Christmas, there's a decent chance that you'll find that eatery somewhere in Pigeon Forge or elsewhere in the Smokies. So while you're in town shopping and playing, don't forget to put those gift cards to use when it's time for lunch or dinner.
Another reason to visit Pigeon Forge right now is accommodation rates. Hotels, motels, condos and cabin rentals generally have lower pricing in the winter season, so why not take advantage of those discounts and book a few days or a week in the Smokies while it's economically advantageous?
Also, traffic in Pigeon Forge is much easier to deal with in winter. With the kids back in school, the period between now and spring break offers the lowest density of traffic you'll experience all year long. Since it's quicker to get from place to place, you'll have more time for doing fun travel things, and you'll spend less time in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
And finally, Winterfest is still going in Pigeon Forge. The Winterfest lights will be up all over town through the end of February. And special events like the annual Wilderness Wildlife Week (1/24 through 1/28), the Smoky Mountain Jubilee (3/15 through 3/17) and the Spring Corvette Expo (3/24 and 3/25) are just a few examples of unique ways to spend your time on your off-season trip to Pigeon Forge.