Guide to Pigeon Forge in the Fall

We stayed at Black Fox Lodge this trip and were very impressed with it. It’s within walking distance to a lot, yet just off of the Parkway which gave it a more private feel. I was lucky enough to have my Mom and sister, Ellie, to go with me and the girls!

A few of our favorite things about Black Fox Lodge were the cozy interior and the fireplace area that was perfect for socializing. The hotel has great warmth to it and enjoying the coziness of the season makes my heart happy. We were thrilled to get to enjoy the beauty of fall at the lodge during our stay.

We greatly appreciated the hot breakfast, the rooms being very clean and comfortable, and the balcony overlooking the river. We had lots of fun on the balcony during our stay. When hotels have that extra space on the balcony it makes the room feel a lot larger. If the kids were still asleep in the morning we could have coffee on the balcony without waking them up. It was great!

The first night of our stay, we went to the Grand Majestic Theater to see the Soul of Motown Show. We had the best time! They sang the hits, songs that the adults knew and songs that the kids knew from movies. We all love The Temptations so that was an especially fun part of the show. The girls were dancing and singing along with the biggest smiles on their faces. Grand Majestic has different shows each day, so make sure that you check their calendar here to organize your schedule accordingly.

For dinner that night we went to the Sunliner Diner. The last time we went to Pigeon Forge we really wanted to go there but the line was out the door and the girls just wouldn't have made it. They don't take reservations, but we found Monday to be a great time to go. We waited about 20 minutes and were lucky enough to get to have dinner at one of the car tables. The girls were living their best lives in the car pretending to drive it and waving to everyone who walked by. They had the best food, too. The fish and chips were really good, and the balsamic dressing on the salad was delicious. The waitress we had, Neveah, was so sweet. Such a fun place!

The next day we went to The Island and the girls were so excited that their Aunt Ellie was going to get to ride all the rides with them. The last time we went it was just my Mom and I, so we were thrilled to have one more parrot roller coaster and froggy rider to switch on and off with. The rides at The Island are lots of fun and great for all age groups.

While at The Island we had lunch at Timberwood Grill and the bison chili was really good! Definitely something to try during cooler months in Pigeon Forge (which I personally find to be the best time to visit).

We had dinner at Mama's Farmhouse that night, and it was delicious! The restaurant is in an old farmhouse, and everything is served family style. The waitresses wear overalls, too! So cute! There is a play area for kids and adults, as well as rocking chairs all around the porch.

It has such a homey feel to it and the food was fabulous. They have a great peach jam they bring with the biscuits. We had the meatloaf, turkey & dressing, and fried chicken with lots of yummy sides. Dessert is also included and they had one of my favorite desserts - peach cobbler. My favorite restaurant from our trip!

One of our favorite places to play in Pigeon Forge is Dollywood. It doesn't matter what time of year you go to Dollywood, because it never disappoints! Especially when it comes to the treats!

There's always something new happening and the themes change with the seasons. If you love the fall and winter I really urge you to see Dollywood during those times. All of their décor is stunning and there is attention to every detail. Dollywood was having their Great Pumpkin LumiNights event while we were there which was very neat.

The girls were so much more adventurous this time and wanted to ride all the rides! They both have grown since December so they were tall enough to ride on so much more than our last visit. There was lots of fun to be had between rides with Mom, Mimi and Aunt Ellie. My sister likes to ride the fast, high rides, and it took a little convincing and sweet faces from the girls to get me on the swinging boat and bird ride. I don't know anyone who could turn down one of those sweet faces though, so I bucked up and hopped on! They had so much fun and you could just see how happy they were all day in their faces! We got to go to Wildwood Grove this time (we ran out of time on our last trip and missed it) and we loved it! I think that section is my favorite. I mean how cute is that bear ride!

The girls love the County Fair section of the park too because they have all the original kid rides in that section, The elephant ride was mine and Lil's favorite. LG is now my little dare devil and was flying high in the sky with her Aunt Ellie riding all the big girl rides! They're growing up so fast and it's just crazy. Still little Mama's girls though. Love my babies! Between the ducks, the bees, the elephants and the 'high in the sky' rides, you're sure to find something for all your little ones. Oh, and you just have to get a frozen banana covered in chocolate and sprinkles Lil says!

We took a walk through the Great Pumpkin LumiNights and it was beautiful. We all loved seeing the fun pumpkin carvings during the day and once they were lit up at night they were even more beautiful. Such a neat thing for everyone to see and each ride had themed pumpkins, too. The giant pumpkins were really impressive. There were so many everywhere you looked it was amazing! Little Sis was loving the spider!

We spent the whole day in the park and couldn't have asked for a better time. I love the way Dollywood represents family, faith and freedom in every one of their shows, too. You'll hear me say that a lot about Pigeon Forge because it's true! We've been to a lot of family attractions, parks and destinations and no one so far has matched the emphasis Dollywood and PF put on those important values. It's wonderful! Dollywood is an incredible place for families and I'm always so excited to share it with you!

The next morning we went to The Old Mill Restaurant to have breakfast. I ordered the Old Mill Country Breakfast for myself and the girls to share and it was enough for all of us! They serve everything family style and it was scrumptious! I recommend going here for breakfast before you begin your daily adventures, it was so good. They bring mini banana nut muffins to your table when you sit down and the girls loved them. They had me bring them with us back to the hotel and they snacked on those every night until they ran out.

That afternoon we went to the Lumberjack Feud show. We had a great time and Lil ended up being the star of the show! They did lots of competitions and told jokes and various other fun ways to entertain the crowd. The host of the show asked one of the lumberjacks if he could carve a bear, and the lumberjack assured the crowd he could. As you can see in the second photo it looked nothing like a bear! As he joked around with the host he accidentally cut the ears off of the "bear". He asked someone to come on stage to help him and chose Lil! The bear's "cut off ears" ended up being a chair for her and it was the cutest thing. She was so shy on stage, but then waved and smiled at the lumberjack from her seat all through the rest of the show. He was so sweet as was the rest of the staff. We had such fun and would love to go back!

We grabbed a quick bite to eat and headed to the Country Tonite show. I was really looking forward to this show because I love classic country music. My girls love country music so they loved it. There were kids in the show too, which made the girls love it even more. They were really talented. Heaven help us too because as we were leaving LG whispered in my ear she was in love with the boy on the stage! I said, "Oh good Lord!! Here we go!"


What I love most about shows in Pigeon Forge is that they always openly support faith in Jesus, freedom and family. I believe those are the most important things in our lives, so I love that they do that! I will say that if I had to choose between the Country Tonite Show and Smoky Mountain Opry, I would have to say the opry show. We did see the Christmas version last December, so that may have played a role in my vote, who knows! I do know the Opry was closed while we were in Pigeon Forge due to CV-19 restrictions so if traveling soon check their operational updates prior to your visit.

We went to go look around at Christmas Place after we checked out of our hotel on our last day in Pigeon Forge and it was absolutely magical as always. As everyone knows this moving thing is killing me this close to Christmas. I think my stress is greater because we won't get to decorate as much this year with packing and all the moving stuff. I feel like my favorite holiday is being taken from me! Oh well, Christmas in July..? Can we make that a real thing this year? I love that place, and it just makes you happy the whole time you're in there! It's probably a good thing I wasn't in a position to need Christmas décor for the new house because I feel deep inside that I need it all. Definitely suggest visiting this one on a girls trip! You'll be in there for hours!

We stopped by Big Daddy's Pizzeria on the way out and ate way too much but it was so good! This is a great restaurant to go to if you're looking for a casual family-friendly pizza place. The waitress was sweet and the pizza was really good! We actually snacked on it the whole way home. The girls pick and choose what they like (changes every week) so I always just get an 'everything' pizza and let them reconstruct their slices themselves! I loved the Hawaiian pizza. So yummy!

We had the best time in Pigeon Forge this trip, just like we always do! Pigeon Forge is a place for families of all ages. The shows are family friendly and always are so accommodating. There are so many little things in each show, restaurant or park that can accommodate any traveler from a young family to guests who may need a wheelchair or walker. There's no profanity in the shows. When you combine that with tons of entertainment and the beautiful views of the mountains, you can't go wrong with a trip to Pigeon Forge this fall or winter. I encourage you to check out everything I've linked here as well as my other blog post on Pigeon Forge in December here!


For more information on Pigeon Forge, visit the official website here.


Regarding the Pigeon Forge attractions & businesses mentioned in this blog, please check their respective websites for COVID-19 operational updates.



*Trip made possible by the DOT of Pigeon Forge/My Pigeon Forge*





Emily M. Duncan

EMILY M. DUNCAN