The Fourth of July is over and Labor Day is weeks away, but in the Great Smoky Mountains there are still plenty of events to keep your family entertained, whether for a weekend or a week. Enjoy the spectacular scenery and miles of ancient forests, see the history of the area through its music and crafts, or get carried away in a wonder of modern movie technology. Whichever your entertainment preference, you'll find it in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and the surrounding areas this summer.
What Do Bubbles, Meatballs & Trout Have in Common?
Dollywood's annual celebration, Kidfest, runs from mid-June to August 7, 2011, and features some of the most engaging shows south of Broadway. The Gazillion Bubble Show lives up to its name, entertaining kids and grownups alike with amazing bubble artistry and special effects. Imagination Cinema plays host to Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, a movie experience unlike any you've ever seen. The moving seats and 4D action make you feel as if you've landed in Swallow Falls, where meatballs rain from the sky in the world's tastiest weather phenomenon.
Nature lovers will appreciate the vast wilderness areas that surround Gatlinburg, and there are a lot of opportunities to enjoy the clean air and blue skies. Just a short drive from Gatlinburg you'll find an annual fishing tournament made just for kids, the Talking Trees Children's Trout Derby. Anglers as young as three compete for prizes in this fun-filled weekend event. This year's competition will be even more entertaining as the famous Dock Dogs will be on hand for some high flying antics.
Fun and Games for the Grownups
For a real treat, be sure to check out Stringtime in the Smokies, a weekend of music and games hosted by the folks at The Old Mill Square that takes place August 5 - 6, 2011. On Friday, you're invited to bring your own instrument and join the jam session, or just hang out and listen. Try your luck at the cornhole tournament on Saturday for a chance at the $1000 grand prize, and enjoy some good old-fashioned bluegrass music in the evening. In addition to Stringtime in the Smokies, The Old Mill Square offers plenty of food and shopping choices, so plan to arrive early and make the most of your weekend.
The Gatlinburg area enjoys a well-deserved reputation as a premier shopping destination, and summer is the ideal time to grab some one-of-a-kind gifts for someone special. The Gatlinburg Heritage on Display Festival kicks off in mid-August and features many of the fine artisans who make this area truly unique. You'll find traditional crafts such as quilts, woven baskets, and pottery, along with whimsical artwork and hand-crafted toys to delight everyone in your family. Spend a day wandering along the eight-mile loop known as the Tennessee Heritage Arts and Crafts Trail, and before you know it you'll have your Christmas shopping done.
Don't let the dog days of summer get you down. Head for the Great Smoky Mountains and see a show, catch a big one, or soak up a little history. No matter what your idea of a great vacation is, Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, TN have plenty to offer. Pack up the kids and head for the mountains to enjoy a fantastic family vacation this August.