It was a normal weekday afternoon. My family and I were about to grab some lunch at Blue Moose, and we had a bit of time to burn while we waited for a table.
After walking around the strip, I stumbled upon something that I – somehow – had never noticed before.
In one of the shop windows, there were sweet little monkey faces looking back at me.
Now, as a writer for TheSmokies.com, sure, it’s a little embarrassing I didn’t know about these little monkeys before now.
But this little-known gem might just be your new favorite experience when you visit the mountains.
What is the Three Monkeys Photo Emporium in Pigeon Forge?
The Three Monkeys Photo Emporium is an interactive photography experience in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
Technically speaking, this isn’t necessarily a new attraction for the Smokies.
Their former home was right off of the Parkway located near the Three Bears General Store. They relocated from the Parkway to Teaster Lane in February 2021.
The Three Monkeys (which is technically now four monkeys) include Sasha, Cody, Lola and baby Merlin, all of whom were born right here in the Smoky Mountains.
When you enter Three Monkeys, you’ll see the monkeys immediately to your left (or out and about interacting with guests), monkeying around, eating grapes and doing typical adorable monkey things.
If you buy a monkey photo package, you can choose to wear costumes or select certain backgrounds, including photoshoots that have circus-themes or pirate-themes.
Best of all, the monkeys here all seem very happy. In fact, the owner said that they’re like his children.
You can also have a Monkey Interaction experience
In addition to photo packages, the company also offers 20-minute Monkey Interaction experiences.
This one-of-a-kind “edutainment” experience will let you interact with the monkeys and learn more about them while you take your own photos and record your own videos.
At the end, you’ll receive prints of your photos, and of course, memories that are sure to last a lifetime.
It’s important to note that this experience is for adults and mature children only. As a general rule of thumb, children under 6 are not allowed, and children aged 6-9 are accepted on a case-by-case basis.
This is because the monkeys can sometimes play a bit rough by pulling hair, fingers or ear lobes, which can be upsetting to small children.
At the time of this writing, this experience is $129.99 for two people, and $10 for each additional person after that.
The Three Monkeys Photo Emporium currently has a 4.8-star rating on Google, with many guests reporting that the experience was the “highlight” of their trip or the “most favorite” thing they did.
Do they have other animals too?
The Three Monkeys Photo Emporium also has two in-house birds, a scarlet macaw named Red as well as a rose-breasted cockatoo named Amnaris.
Guests can have their photos made with birds as well.
How much does a photoshoot with the monkeys cost?
At the time of this writing, photos with up to four people cost $50, and $5 for each additional person after that.
If you wish to get a photo with the monkeys and birds, it’s $70 for 1-4 people, and $7 for each additional person.
Individuals can take a selfie with the monkeys for only $25. Add a selfie to any photo package for only $10.
Photo packages and prices are subject to change and may vary by season.
Watch them monkeying around anytime
If you just can’t wait to see these adorable little monkeys, you can check them out online and see them monkeying around on the company’s Facebook page.
As you can see from the videos, the monkeys can be helpful around the office. Sasha is seen helping with the company’s taxes while Cody works the printer.
The videos help us gain an insight to their daily life and learn that they are just adorable little foodies at heart, much like the rest of us.
Where is the Three Monkeys Photo Emporium?
Three Monkeys Photo Emporium is located at 2430 Teaster Lane, Suite 114 in Pigeon Forge TN.
They are open Sunday-Thursday from 11 am-5 pm and Friday-Saturday from 11 am-8 pm.
Hours may vary by season and are subject to change. Store hours in general around the Smokies may sometimes change without much notice, so if you have your heart set on monkey photos, it’s best to verify the hours before you visit.
For more information, visit their Facebook page or call (865) 446-2155.
Have you ever had an interactive monkey experience? Let us know in the comments!