Editor’s Note- This guest post is written by Kelly of OohBother. Kelly is bringing her family to Dollywood for spring break, so we decided to share her blog for those who still may be making plans. We look forward to hosting them! Read her original post here.
Because there are rules about these things, I need to tell you guys that this spring break post is in partnership with Dollywood and Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort & Spa. But per usual, all thoughts, opinions and feelings are my own!
Because somehow February always ends up feeling like the longest month and cold and flu season is the actual worst, the gods of school calendars everywhere created Spring Break. It’s not much. A mere five days free from grade-level expectations and school bus regulations. But this tiny reprieve from the seemingly never-ending monotony of lunch-packing and nose-wiping acts as a faint whisper of the carefree, summer days to come.
And so you BEST BELIEVE we will be celebrating.
Like we’ve done every Spring Break since our oldest started elementary school (which is technically only two, but I like to think doing something more than once qualifies it as a “tradition”), our crew will be packing up and heading east to Dollywood and the DreamMore Resort.
This will mark our fourth trip to Dolly’s magical land of dinner theater (with real horses!) fabulous hotel rooms (with bunk beds!) and delicious food (with an omelet station attendant that referred to my husband as “the guy with the fancy haircut”, to whom I will be forever grateful!) Our first trip was scheduled as a quick pit stop during a drive from Nashville to Boston, but our family had such an incredible experience, that Dollywood has quickly become one of our very favorite destinations.
And so as much as I hate to risk spoiling the totally tolerable crowd levels and minimal line-waiting, by revealing my secrets to enjoying a family getaway at Dollywood to the masses, I will honor the motherhood code of sharing combination budget-friendly and memory-making moments with other moms, because that’s what we do.
Family Spring Break at Dollywood Tip #1
As much as I am all for living in the moment and taking life by the you-know-whats, try to book your trip to the DreamMore resort as soon as possible and you’ll save your family some moolah! (In years past, our family of four has stayed on-resort in a killer room, for less than $80 per night!) If you’re looking to relax and hit some non-theme park related attractions, you can totally do that on a we-have-4-kids budget.
Also, awesome news: included in your stay at the DreamMore, is a Time Saver pass to spend less time in lines, door-to-door shuttle service, access to the DreamMore guests ONLY entrance and early Saturday entry!
Basically, you get to everything before everyone else.
Family Spring Break at Dollywood Tip #2
If you’re wondering if you should pony up the extra dough (you’ll see why that’s a great pun in like two seconds) to check out Dolly’s Parton’s Stampede dinner theater show, the answer is unequivocally YES! Not only has our family attended this show on each of our recent trips to Dollywood, but I have actually taken part in one of the show’s audience-participation portions. You guys, I am NOT an audience participation kind of gal – but there’s something about Dolly that just speaks to me.
We’ve loved this dinner show because a) If you share a meal and they sit in your lap, kids under 3 are FREE*, b) Stampede tickets are less expensive if you visit the park too and c) Dolly Parton is basically the best human on earth and offers wonderful accommodations for people with special needs AND (you know I love this!) both vegetarian and gluten-free options!
*Just so we’re clear here, there is no possible way a 3-year-old could eat an entire Stampede meal. They are enormous and you will be glad to share!
Family Spring Break at Dollywood Tip #3
The DreamMore Resort offers a bazillion (that’s an accurate tally) free or almost-free, on-site activities so you never actually have to put on real pants. Some of our family’s favorites include:
- S’mores by the outside fit pits
- Bedtime stories in the living room
- Seasonal crafts – fun activities like painting, cookie decorating, sand art
- Swimming in the indoor and outdoor pools (basically all my kids ever want to do!)
- The family game room/arcade
- Sunday night Great Smoky Mountain ranger talks
And of course, I can’t forget to mention the ever-enticing and always super-exciting-for-some-reason: watching tv from the comfort of a hotel room bunk bed. Apparently our at-home bunk beds don’t hold a candle to the double decker sleeping situation at DreamMore because our kids can’t get enough of them. Honestly, I have a sneaking suspicion that we could drive to Pigeon Forge, literally never leave our room and still leave with two very happy kiddos, but there’s simply too much on my Dollywood to-do list to let that happen.
We’re still t-minus 5 weeks from our departure date, but our whole family is already counting down the days. Maybe if I start now, I can get all the laundry done and suitcases packed and ready for an on-time departure.