Top 7 Cheap Things to Do in Pigeon Forge for Budget-Friendly Fun

Seeking a budget-friendly Pigeon Forge adventure? Look no further. Our guide to cheap things to do in Pigeon Forge goes beyond merely listing; it’s your key to unlocking an array of experiences that won’t drain your funds. Get set for outdoor bliss, cultural gems, and entertainment that cost little to nothing. Keep your wallet happy as you dive into Pigeon Forge’s affordable pleasures.

Savor the Scenic Beauty of the Smoky Mountains

The majestic Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most visited national park in the country, beckons with its enchanting vistas and diverse wildlife, all without demanding a single dime for entry. Imagine breathing in the fresh mountain air as you embark on your smoky mountain vacation, filled with adventures that don’t cost the earth but enrich your spirit. From the thrill of discovery along historic trails to the simple joy of a family picnic surrounded by nature’s splendor, the park offers a treasure trove of affordable activities, including:

  • Hiking
  • Wildlife viewing
  • Scenic drives
  • Camping
  • Fishing
  • Picnicking
  • Waterfall exploration

Within the park’s expansive embrace, opportunities abound for everyone, whether you’re cruising through Cades Cove, journeying past historic homesteads, or even cozying up in a cabin that brings the great outdoors to your doorstep. The park’s varied habitats are not only a sanctuary for creatures like the majestic elk and the elusive black bear but also a playground for nature enthusiasts and budget-conscious visitors alike.

Hiking Trails

The call of the wild is answered with every step along the park’s vast network of hiking trails, catering to all—from the casual stroller to the seasoned trekker. Whether you’re chasing the misty spray of waterfalls or wandering through ancient forests, there’s a trail that whispers your name. Popular hikes like Charlies Bunion and Alum Cave Bluffs promise vistas and experiences as rich as the history of the Smokies themselves.

Each season drapes the park in a different cloak of wonder, with spring’s wildflowers and autumn’s fiery foliage setting the stage for a truly magical hike. But remember, the ‘Hike the Smokies’ program rewards your exploration with every mile trekked. So, strap on your boots, pick up a trail map, and remember that while cell service may be scarce, the rewards of the journey are abundant.

Picnic Areas

After a morning hike, what’s better than a picnic lunch in the heart of the Smokies? With areas like Big Creek and Metcalf Bottoms offering tables and grills, all you need to bring is your favorite food and a desire to relax. Whether it’s a family feast or a romantic repast, these spots are open all year round, waiting to be part of your memories.

For larger gatherings, why not reserve a pavilion in advance? Or, if spontaneity is your style, you can claim one on a first-come, first-served basis. Just imagine grilling up a storm while the gentle sounds of nature provide the perfect background music to your alfresco dining experience.

Wildlife Encounters

In the realm of the great smoky mountains, witnessing the majesty of wildlife is a privilege that commands respect. Here, observing from a distance is more than a rule; it’s an act of conservation. With the right tools like binoculars and a quiet demeanor, spotting a white-tailed deer or a flock of wild turkeys becomes an exercise in patience and awe.

And for those unforgettable encounters, venture to open spaces like Cataloochee and Cades Cove during the quieter hours of dawn and dusk. But remember, a clean picnic is a safe picnic. By leaving no trace, we ensure the splendor of this black bear habitat remains undisturbed for your next visit and for generations to come.

Embrace History at Old Mill Square

Step back in time at Old Mill Square, where you can:

  • Visit the Pigeon Forge Mill, a storied grist mill from 1830
  • Experience the past meeting the present amidst the rumble of the mill and the aroma of freshly ground grain
  • Soak in the history for free, making it a budget-friendly activity

This is the heart of Pigeon Forge, offering a unique and historical experience.

Surrounding the Old Mill, quaint shops spill over with local crafts and Southern delicacies, offering a taste of Appalachian heritage without the price tag of a museum ticket. And there’s nothing quite like savoring the comfort of a hearty meal that echoes the simpler times of mill workers and pioneers.

Get Your Adrenaline Pumping at Budget-Friendly Attractions

For those who believe that excitement shouldn’t empty your wallet, Pigeon Forge answers the call. Feel the rush of the wind in your hair on the Rocky Top Mountain Coaster, the longest coaster in East Tennessee, where a single ride is less than the cost of a movie ticket. And if you’re craving more, budget-friendly vacation packages can pair your coaster thrill with other attractions for a full day of fun.

The secret to saving even more? Keep an eye out for repeat ride discounts or group deals that cater to budget conscious visitors and travel budget. Whether you aim to conquer every mountain coaster or take a zorbing ride down a hill, Pigeon Forge proves that the best cheap things really do come in exhilarating packages.

Mountain Coasters

There’s more to mountain coasters than just the thrill—they’re a way to see the Great Smoky Mountains like never before. Take a ride on the Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tramway, and you’ll find yourself at the doorstep of a coaster adventure that’s as affordable as it is heart-pounding. And when the stars come out, the Wild Stallion beckons with its night rides, weaving through the darkness in a dance of lights and excitement.

For those who serve, remember to ask about military discounts, a small way to say thank you for the big sacrifices made. So round up the kids, the daring, and the young at heart, because these mountain rides are waiting to take you on the journey of a lifetime, without the lifetime of debt.

Outdoor Gravity Park

Imagine tumbling down a hill, laughter echoing inside a transparent orb—that’s the unique thrill of zorbing at Outdoor Gravity Park. This budget-friendly attraction is all about the fun of rolling in a giant zorb, a family adventure that’s as unforgettable as it is affordable. And with online bookings, you can save money and beat the queues.

Looking for a one-of-a-kind group activity? The ‘Running of the Balls’ event offers discounted tickets for groups, making it a perfect addition to any trip. While there’s no senior or AAA discount, the park is ready to work with you to arrange group travel deals or private event packages for an adrenaline-filled day that won’t break the bank.

Immerse Yourself in Pigeon Forge’s Entertainment Scene

Pigeon Forge’s entertainment scene is a symphony of sights and sounds that tantalize without the expensive ticket prices. From the electric energy of live shows to the whisper of history in its museums, there’s a performance and story for every budget. Secure your spot in advance with Tripster to save on tickets and guarantee a front-row seat to the magic of Pigeon Forge.

The stage is set for memories that won’t cost a fortune, with everything from:

  • the grandeur of Dolly Parton’s Stampede
  • intimate comedy acts
  • interactive activities like Jail Cell Escape or the Top Detective Challenge at the Alcatraz East Crime Museum

These affordable activities in Pigeon Forge are not just abundant but also diverse.

Live Shows

The spotlight shines on Pigeon Forge’s live shows, where the talent is as rich as the variety. With options that cater to every taste and budget, you’ll find yourself lost in a world of music, laughter, and awe. And the best part? Some of the most captivating performances in Pigeon Forge include:

  • The Island Show Fountain’s dazzling water dance
  • The Comedy Barn Theater’s hilarious comedy show
  • The Smoky Mountain Opry’s spectacular musical extravaganza

And the best part? Some of these shows won’t cost you a dime.

So whether you’re in the mood for a toe-tapping musical or a spellbinding magic act, the stages of Pigeon Forge are ready to transport you there. With no shortage of budget-friendly shows, your evenings can be filled with entertainment that’s as priceless as it is economically priced.


In Pigeon Forge, even the museums offer a spectacle of savings. Step into the Great Smoky Mountain Heritage Center, where the past comes alive through guided tours and interactive exhibits, all without costing a treasure. Or delve into the intriguing world of crime at the Alcatraz East Crime Museum, where history’s most notorious figures are just a ticket away.

Whether you’re solving puzzles in an escape room or exploring the heritage of the Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community, Pigeon Forge’s museums are a testament to the rich tapestry of history and culture that can be enjoyed on a budget. It’s where every visit is an adventure, and every memory is a bargain.

Indulge in Affordable Family Fun at The Island

The Island in Pigeon Forge is a kaleidoscope of fun that’s as affordable as it is enchanting. With specialty shops like the legendary Emery’s 5 & 10 and attractions that light up the night without lightening your wallet, it’s a destination where the whole family can indulge in the joy of discovery. The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel’s light show, free to all, is a spectacle that proves the best things in life—and Pigeon Forge—are indeed free.

And for those looking for a bit more action, attractions like the 7D Dark Ride Adventure offer thrills for a fraction of the usual cost, while still allowing parents to join in the fun without a fee. It’s a place where budget-friendly meets family-friendly, and where every smile is a reminder that fun doesn’t have to be expensive.

Relax and Unwind at Local Parks

Amidst the excitement, Pigeon Forge offers tranquil havens like Patriot Park, where you can visit Pigeon Forge and:

  • Catch your breath on walking paths that welcome both you and your furry friends
  • Enjoy the simple pleasures of a picnic
  • Find a moment of peace as you watch the river flow

The park is a picturesque setting to relax and unwind, letting you experience Pigeon Forge at your own pace.

For those who find solace in the solitude of nature, Wear Farm City Park is a gem waiting to be discovered. With its unique playground and serene walking trail, it’s an invitation to enjoy the great outdoors, reminding us that sometimes the best way to recharge is to simply be in the presence of nature’s embrace.

Stroll Along the Riverwalk Trail

The Riverwalk Trail is Pigeon Forge’s serenade to the senses, a gentle path that follows the Little Pigeon River, offering pockets of tranquility at every turn. As you take a leisurely stroll, the soothing sounds of the river accompany you, while the greenery whispers stories of the Smoky Mountains’ timeless beauty.

With its pet-friendly policy and benches for moments of reflection, the Riverwalk Trail is a testament to Pigeon Forge’s commitment to accessibility and enjoyment for all. It’s a journey that connects you to the heart of this vibrant town and the calm of nature, proving that the simplest pleasures are often the most profound.


As our journey through Pigeon Forge comes to an end, we’re reminded that fun doesn’t have to come with a hefty price tag. From the natural splendor of the Smoky Mountains to the historic charm of Old Mill Square, the thrilling mountain coasters, and the bustling entertainment scene, Pigeon Forge offers a wealth of experiences that are as budget-friendly as they are enriching.

So whether you’re planning a family vacation, a couple’s retreat, or a solo adventure, let this haven of thrifty delights be your guide. Embrace the affordable fun and the priceless memories waiting for you in Pigeon Forge. Go on, pack your bags and set your sights on a getaway that’s as kind to your spirit as it is to your wallet.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Pigeon Forge worth going to?

Yes, Pigeon Forge is worth visiting for its unique attractions like the Titanic Museum and Dollywood, and its beautiful location framed by the Great Smoky Mountains. Enjoy the quirky charm of this town.

Which is cheaper Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge?

Pigeon Forge is generally the cheaper option compared to Gatlinburg for lodging, activities, and restaurants, but it’s important to compare prices for both cities before making a decision.

Are there any entrance fees for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park?

No, there are no entrance fees for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, so it’s a great budget-friendly destination for exploration.

What kind of animals might I see in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park?

You might see elk, black bears, raccoons, and white-tailed deer in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Remember to admire them from a safe distance and never feed them.

Can I get discounts on any of the attractions in Pigeon Forge?

Yes, you can get discounts on attractions in Pigeon Forge by booking online, returning for a repeat ride, or visiting as part of a group. Places like the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster and Outdoor Gravity Park are known for offering such deals. Enjoy your visit!