What to do in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg when it’s raining

Rain in the Smokies

There are plenty of ways to enjoy a Smoky Mountain vacation indoors if it rains (stock photo)

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The Smoky Mountains are a beautiful place to visit year-round, but its wide elevation range can contribute to unpredictable weather patterns.

Some days it feels like you experience all four seasons in one day — with rain at any given moment.

So what do you do if it’s raining when you’re in Pigeon Forge or Gatlinburg?

Does it rain a lot in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg?

The short answer here is yes.

According to the National Park Service, the Smoky Mountains average about 8-11 days of rain out of the month in the spring and summer.

That means it’s raining for almost one-third of the month.

That being said, I’ve seen plenty of days where it’s raining one minute, and then it’s sunny and beautiful 20 minutes later.

So if you see rain in the forecast, try not to panic.

Fortunately, if the rain does stick around, there are plenty of things in the area to keep you entertained when the universe rains on your vacation.

Here are our top ten suggestions for things to do when it’s raining in the Smoky Mountains of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg:

At the Hollywood Wax Museum, guests of all ages will have a fun time posing with all their favorite stars (photo submitted by Candi Overholt)

10. Visit the Hollywood Wax Museum

Have you ever wanted to be a guest on the Ellen Degeneres Show? Or sit on a park bench with Forrest Gump?

Maybe you would rather sing on stage with Dolly Parton. It’s unlikely you will get any of these opportunities — but you can pretend to do all of those things at the Hollywood Wax Museum.

This entertainment center also features the Maze of Mirrors (self-explanatory), Castle of Chaos (a 3D reality experience) and Outbreak (a “stop the zombie” experience).

All access passes are available to see all four attractions.

Admission costs $29.99 for adults and $17.99 for children. All access passes are $39.99 for adults and $19.99 for children.

Sometimes booking with Tripster can save a couple bucks.

Visit the website for more information.

9. Try an Escape Room

Escape rooms seem to be a fairly recent trend that have taken tourist towns by storm.

You can find escape rooms in both Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, depending on what’s convenient for you.

I like the Escape Game at The Island in Pigeon Forge. It offers five different rooms: Prison Break, Gold Rush, The Heist, Mission: Mars and Classified.

Gold Rush is the most beginner friendly, and Prison Break is the most difficult.

Visit the website to learn more. You also book through Viator, which offers a best price guarantee.

At The Island, you get free parking, and there’s plenty of other shops and restaurants in the area to check out while you’re there.

For example, you can also …

8. See the Alcatraz East Crime Museum

This crime museum is a great stop for any crime show enthusiast.

This self-guided tour is filled with 25,000 square feet of informative (and sometimes disturbing) American history about true crime and punishment.

This museum offers five separate galleries with more than 100 interactive exhibits. It also has temporary exhibits, so there’s almost always something new to see.

Read Also: Is Alcatraz East worth it? An honest review

Tanger Outlets
Tanger Outlets is a popular place to shop in Sevierville, Tenn. (photo by Morgan Overholt/TheSmokies.com)

7. Shop at Tanger Outlets

While the walk between shops will involve a little “outdoor” time, the savings you’ll find once inside will make up for hitting a little rain on the way.

This outlet center features more than 3,000 outlet stores which are owned by popular, brand name manufacturers.

Visit their website before you shop for special offers and coupons.

6. Catch a show at The Comedy Barn

If you’re looking for clean entertainment for the entire family, The Comedy Barn has been a tried and true tradition in the area for more than 20 years.

The Comedy Barn is an award-winning variety show which features magicians, ventriloquists, jugglers, talented animals and more.

This show delivers family-friendly fun that is clean, yet witty, for all ages.

Visit them online to learn more.

5. If that’s not your speed, try the Stampede

No trip to the Smoky Mountains is complete without a Dolly Parton experience.

A true staple of the South, a ticket to the Stampede includes dinner and a show and features music, dancing and horse riding stunts.

Choose a side to sit on in a friendly North vs. South rivalry while enjoying a four-course, southern-inspired feast of vegetable soup, corn on the cob, rotisserie chicken and dessert. 

Visit the website to learn more.

Read Also: Top shows, theaters in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg

At the time of this writing, The Titanic Museum requires reservations. Be sure to plan ahead (photo courtesy of The Titanic Museum)

4. Visit the Titanic Museum 

This historic journey will transport you more than 100 years back in time and make you feel like a passenger on the real, ill-fated ship.

Upon arrival, you will receive a boarding pass with the name of a passenger from the real Titanic and find out that passenger’s fate at the end of the tour.

Step onto the cold deck and touch an iceberg or walk down the grand staircase and view the mesmerizing outfits from that time period.

At the time of this writing, The Titanic Museum requires reservations. Book with Viator or visit their website to learn more.  

3. Sample moonshine at Ole Smoky

There are several wineries and distilleries in the Smokies area, and it’s hard to pick a favorite!

Ole Smoky Moonshine is a solid choice because the Gatlinburg location, also known as, “The Holler,” produces all of the company’s flavors and is the country’s most visited distillery.

See the authentic moonshine stills in person and learn more about the history of moonshining in Tennessee.

While learning, enjoy samplings for only $5.

Remember to enjoy responsibly.

2. Jump around at Sevier Air Trampoline Park

Trampoline parks can be a great way to release energy for kids and “big kids” alike.

Sevier Air is a 38,000 square foot indoor adventure park which features rock climbing, basketball, dodgeball and junior or advanced Ninja Warrior courses.

Afterwards, you can refuel with pizza and ice cream to regain all those lost calories.

For the younger kids, they offer a 3-story net system for children as young as two.

Admission starts around $18 for an hour of jump time, or about $13 for kids 6 and under.

Visit the website to view current pricing or learn more.

A diver at Ripley's Aquarium of the Smokies interacts with kids
Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies has often been voted the best in North America (media photo courtesy of Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies)

1. See Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

This aquarium is one of my personal favorites, and it was even voted the best aquarium in North America.

This aquarium features thousands of exotic sea creatures, 350 individual species and many hands-on opportunities.

Special exhibits include the Touch-A-Ray Bay, Penguin Playhouse, a shark tunnel and a tropical rainforest.

Live shows and special experiences are also available, including hand paintings, or webbed-feet paintings … by a penguin. (Yes, really). 

Combo tickets are available so you can see even more Ripley’s attractions while in town.

Read Also: Is Ripley’s Aquarium worth the money?

Do you agree with our list? Let us know in the comments.

Disclaimer: While we do our best to bring you the most up-to-date information, attractions or prices mentioned in this article may vary by season and are subject to change. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any mentioned business, and have not been reviewed or endorsed these entities. Contact us at info@thesmokies.com for questions or comments.

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