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Every year we get to travel down to the Great Smoky Mountains for a few days of fun and relaxation. There’s nothing like being in the mountains – escaping from reality for at least a few days. My parents have a time share in Pigeon Forge so we make the short 5 hour drive from Ohio once or twice a year. I’ve been going to Pigeon Forge ever since I was a baby. I can’t remember a year that has gone by where I haven’t been.
Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen
Thursday night, we all ate at Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen in Pigeon Forge. It’s a family style restaurant nestled in one of the newer developments on the strip. Honestly, I enjoyed Paula’s Lady and Sons restaurant in Savannah, Georgia more than this particular restaurant. The food was pretty good, but the prices were a little too high to my liking. The good thing about the food was that there was more than enough food to go around the table. I highly recommend trying this restaurant if you visit Pigeon Forge!
On Saturday, it was nearly 100 degrees outside! Not uncommon for it to be this hot in Tennessee this time of year. We decided to do something fun indoors so we went to a really cool place called MagiQuest. MagiQuest is a live-action role playing game where you take on the role of a Magi. You are equipped with an infra-red magic wand which allows you to interact with many different objects throughout the course. Pointing your magic wand at a nearby treasure chest will cause it to open and award you a certain amount of gold that saves to your individual user account. As you continue to progress through the game, you can unlock secret passages and extra goodies. The quest takes an hour (timed), but you go through the hour so quickly because you are working hard! The kids loved this! Our time ran out, but the good news is that your progress is stored for up to two years!
Cooper was super-excited to wave his magic wand at everything he possibly could! This particular tree stump lit up and made noise (we were in the training room). His curiosity and excitement for making things magically come to life lasted for about 15 minutes.
Carlee had a great time on her quest! She was so determined to unlock secrets and passageways. I was proud of her for not giving up!
Chad and Cason used their MagiQuest books to figure out what was next for them to collect in their quests. This interactive screen gave them hints and clues to use along the way.
Chad and Carlee had fun finding the magical book!
Before we went on our quest, we played a round of mini golf on the first floor of MagiQuest. I met a couple of interesting characters who agreed to take a break from their mutiny to pose with me.
Hard Rock Cafe, Pigeon Forge
It’s been years since we’ve eaten at the Hard Rock Cafe, so after a thrilling start at MagiQuest, we stopped by Hard Rock for a late lunch. Cooper was NOT interested in staying in his chair at all.
Being Silly in Grandma’s Room
Grandma decided that she and the kids were going to pretend to be babies. All participated except for the baby – he’s too busy reading!
By the looks on their faces you would never know that they were being spoiled rotten on vacation!!
He stayed awake most of the day until we got ready to meet some friends at the Apple Barn. No way I’m waking up a sleeping toddler!
We all had a great time with the kids and family on this little mini-vacation! Seeing the smiles on their faces was well worth the 5 hour drive time. I will say this – if you do decide to go to Pigeon Forge, try not to go in the middle of the summer. Late fall is a great time to go. It’s not too hot or crowded. There are still plenty of things to do in the middle of the summer, but be prepared for massive humidity.
Have you ever been to Pigeon Forge? What is your favorite thing to do while visiting?