Tennessee: Pigeon Forge, Winterfest 2013/2014 - Best Ever Family Vacation Fun.
Beginning in early November the annual four-month winter celebration is loaded with things to do with kids including entertainment, special events, twinkling lights, shopping bargains and Southern mountain-style hospitality.
Enjoy the lights.
This year's Winterfest
promises to be a blast. More than five million lights are used, and several displays including the celebration's signature snowflakes along the Parkway have been fitted with energy-saving LED bulbs. Bonus points:
The Pigeon Forge Fun Time Trolleys conduct a Winterfest Tour of Lights with hosts and hostesses onboard serving as guides. There will be music in the air and marvelous starry nights to be enjoyed. Find the perfect gift.
Along the trolley route, The Historic Old Mill is a landmark. The gristmill houses a general store filled with gifts and memorabilia rich with the history of Tennessee. Artisans display their talents, spinning, weaving and throwing pots as shoppers watch. Bonus points:
Connecting to the Old Mill Square is Patriot Park, a 16-acre park with a walkway along the river.
Share a Smoky Mountain Christmas at Dollywood
(Early November to early January).
Dollywood adds to Winterfest's light displays with more than four millions lights and the nightly lighted Christmas parade. In addition to memory-making musical entertainment see Polar Express 4-D Experience, described as a magical cinematic experience full of multi-sensory thrills and surprises. Shop for bargains.
A paradise for bargain hunters, the area has more than 200 stores plus Belz Factory Outlet World, Pigeon Forge Factory Outlet Mall, Tangier Factory Outlet Center, Z-Buda Outlet Mall, River Vista Factory Stores, and River View Factory Outlets with bargain prices well below retail. Find designer clothes, athletic wear, luggage, home furnishings, crystal, china, tools, toys, books, music, shoes, leather goods and more. Discovery:
Bell Tower Square (the South's largest year-round Christmas village) offers thousands of unique items including exceptional toys, and distinctive Christmas items. Visit the Old Mill Village for hand-thrown pottery, original art, woodcarvings and one-of-a-kind souvenirs. Prepare to be entertained.
From music and dancing to laughter and magic, the city's theaters present all styles of entertainment. The best part is that they are dedicated to presenting wholesome family programs. Audiences are treated to amazing costumes, heart pounding music, thrilling horsemanship, racing ostriches, mind-reading pigs, fire-eaters, jugglers and perhaps the best Elvis impersonator outside of Graceland. Tickle your funny bone at Elwood Smooch’s Ole Smoky Hoedown where the art of laughing has been has mastered. Audiences enjoy one liners, banjos playing, and gospel singing. Black Bear Jamboree Dinner & Show creates comical chaos. Pointed one-liners, jokes music and songs are ideal for young families. The Comedy Barn Theater provides reasons for everyone to laugh. This is the family version of a nightclub. From ventriloquists providing comedic banter on stage as dogs jumped over children selected venues make everyone laugh.
Walk on the wild side.
Winterfest includes a series of remarkable annual events each with a memorable line up. The 20th annual Wilderness Wildlife Week (mid January) offers a series of outdoor themed activities designed to connect visitors with the natural beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains. During the unique event nearly 100 experts on wildlife and nature, host walks, guide hikes, conduct seminars and provide clinics on variety of topics, including AppalachiaFest, Smoky Mountain history, music, and folklore as well as plant and animal life. Bonus points:
A number of Wilderness Wildlife Week programs are designed for children. Try tracking and identifying scat coordinated by Mary Burke. Enjoy storytelling moments and introduce your children to the majesty of the outdoors. Hear the music, tap your toes.
Rounding out the season the annual Saddle Up! Celebration (end of February) will feature concerts by some of America’s finest western musicians and cowboy poets. Bonus points:
Events include the Cowboy Symphony, concerts, a chuck wagon cook off, and Cowboy Church.
Make it happen.
The four-month-long celebration runs from early November through the end of February 2014. A complete listing of all Pigeon Forge Winterfest
events is available at the Pigeon Forge website. A brochure is also available, call toll-free 1-800-WINTERFEST or the Pigeon Forge Office of Special Events at (865) 429-7350 or www.mypigeonforge.com
Content and images provided by Pigeon Forge CVB. Comments by FTF staff. Copyright 2013