When it’s cold outside, I would just rather be inside. I know that the fresh crisp air is supposed to be good for me, but I just don’t agree. There’s a reason that generations of my family have lived in the warm climate of the South and just endure those several months a year of cold and snow and bulky outerwear called winter.
But I also love to get out and about, so when I venture someplace when temperatures are not so warm, it has to be to a place offering me many options that involve indoor fun and activity. Thank goodness for everything there is to do in the Smokies!
History is my thing, so the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge always tops my list. My dad and I can spend hours looking at every photo, artifact and exhibit. The experience of “becoming” one of the ship’s 2,208 passengers or crew really brings the story to life, and every time I go I try to walk up the sloping deck (even though I know I won’t be able to) or put my hand in the 28 degree water so I can be totally immersed in the Titanic history. There is so much more to the story of the Titanic than it struck an iceberg or was an Oscar-winning movie, and you can find it among the 400+ authentic artifacts on display. It’s a wow and a “don’t miss,” and your family’s picture on the replica of the ship’s Grand Staircase is almost reason enough to go!
Shopping is also my thing, and I will actually brave a little bit of winter chill to move between shops at Tanger Outlet in Sevierville, The Island in Pigeon Forge and The Village Shops in Gatlinburg, just to name a few favorites. Tanger is always adding something new (my latest favorites are Brighton and Alex & Ani) and my husband likes that they have lots of places he likes, including all the major sports brands. Emery’s 5 & 10 at The Island just can’t be missed – I dare you to not come out without at least some old-timey candy or soft drink. And I have so many favorites at The Village that I can’t even decide what to recommend – although a stop at The Donut Friar will give you the energy you need to keep shopping!
I’m always looking for something different to do, so one of the appeals of Wonderworks is that the building is upside down! Well, technically, it’s not, but the façade makes it look that way. The inside is just pure fun – and you actually learn some things, too, which is not only good for children but for us big kids, too. From a 50-foot-tall glow-in-the-dark ropes course to a 4-D theater featuring a thrilling simulation ride, this place is a blast. I wish elementary school had made lessons this interesting– the way Wonderworks has combined education with entertainment in “wonder zones” with dozens of hands-on exhibits is an imagination journey of fun.
Another something different that my husband and I love is Dolly Parton’s Stampede because it combines so many things we love and that are fun in one experience. Horses and other animals (think longhorns, buffalo and pigs!) Check. Lots of delicious food. Check. Food that you don’t eat with utensils (think chicken, corn on the cob, huge potato wedge!) Check. Comedy and great entertainment and crowd interaction. Check. Ok, you get the picture. They say this is the most fun place to eat in the Smokies, and it truly is. My hubby can be hard to please when it comes to both food and entertainment and he loves this place. Best endorsement you could ask for!
So bundle up for just a few minutes and get to these fun attractions in the Smokies. And spring is almost here!