When you think of the Great Smoky Mountains, you might automatically envision plunging down a raging river, gliding through the trees on a zipline, or racing along a rollercoaster track at breakneck speeds. But if you don't take the opportunity to enjoy some old-fashioned family fun in a classic dinner theater, you're missing out on one of the area's greatest attractions.
Fine Dining and Fantastic Entertainment under One Roof
Dinner and a movie might be cliché, but enjoying dinner accompanied by live entertainment is a once-in-a-lifetime event that shouldn't be missed. First popularized in the 50s, dinner theater is a fun way for a family to spend the evening – although venues are a bit more difficult to find than they were in the past. Today you have to travel to a vacation hotspot such as the Great Smoky Mountains to get a glimpse of this family-friendly blast from the past.
Don't think dinner theaters show anything but Arsenic and Old Lace and other well-worn plays? Dinner theaters in the Smokies offer exciting, interactive storylines and incorporate live music, comedy and even horse-riding stunts and cattle drives.
Something for Every Taste
It doesn't matter if you're in the mood for a few laughs, a thrilling murder mystery, or even a mock Civil War battle, you'll find it in the Great Smoky Mountains. Not only that, but, as with many of the area's attractions, you'll find dinner theaters that appeal to everyone from the very young to the young at heart.
For an evening of belly laughs, have dinner with the Hatfields and the McCoys. These feuding families are still at it, only now they've taken their fight to the stage. Your entire family will enjoy the dancing, singing, and non-stop action at this popular show. As you might expect, the meal includes southern favorites like fried chicken and pulled pork, so be sure to bring your appetite.
Murder mysteries are always popular in dinner theater, and that's true in the Great Smoky Mountains as well. Immerse yourself in an episode of America's favorite talent show as the cast of Murder on American Idle try to pick a winner while figuring out whodunit. And don't be surprised if you end up on stage as one of the contestants, because audience participation is half the fun. Kids over 13 will enjoy this show as much as you, but keep in mind that the subject matter might not be suitable for younger children.
If you're looking for something completely different in a dinner theater, check out Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede. It's one of the only area dinner theaters where horses and buffalo take over the stage and fireworks light the sky. You'll love watching the southern belles dance with their beaus, and the down-home Bluegrass music will have you tapping your own toes, too. But soon enough the thunder of horses hooves will fill the arena as the North and the South wage a light-hearted battle for your family's entertainment.
Dinner and a show is a fantastic way to spend an evening in the Great Smoky Mountains, but do remember to plan your trip in advance. While most dinner theaters in the area take walk-in customers, seats can fill quickly, so it's best to purchase your tickets ahead of time. With so many dinner theaters to choose from, you may even opt to see more than one.