Monday, October 29, 2018

Family Fun and Travel: Christmas At The Island: Pigeon Forge, TN!! #Travel #FamilyFun #PigeonForge #TravelBlogger #Gatlinburg #Smokies #SmokyMountainTravel


Hey Y'all! I wanted to spend a few minutes today to tell you guys about one of our very favorite places in Pigeon Forge! The Island is a HUGE entertainment/shopping/retail/hotel type complex in Pigeon Forge. It's a relatively new place, and has been around for the last few years, but they are still adding to it and getting things in order. It really has come a long way in the past few years, and it is a really great place to hang out. When it comes to family fun in Pigeon Forge, this is a really great pick! 







Where is The Island? The Island is located centrally in Pigeon Forge, right behind the Comedy Barn theater. You really can't miss it, as there is a GIANT Ferris wheel, known as The Wheel! It's super easy to get to The Island, and usually you can walk from just about anywhere in Pigeon Forge. If you are too far away to walk, you can definitely take the trolley from just about anywhere, and if you do decide to drive, keep in mind that they have a shuttle service to get you from the parking lot over to the main shopping and entertainment area. 

So, what will you find when you get there? Oh, just a little bit of everything! There is so much to do at The Island, really, I think you could spend hours there and still not get to see or do everything! There is a ton to do, so let's go over some of the best things! 
EAT: Of course, this is one of the best parts of any vacation, and The Island does not disappoint when it comes to restaurants. You will find Paula Deen's Family Kitchen, Margaritaville, Timberwood Grill and Mellow Mushroom, just to name a few. If you know me, you know I am going to recommend steering clear of the chain restaurants, not only for the financial aspect but for the atmosphere as well. It's not that I am a hater when it comes to big chains, but I would definitely recommend trying out a more local or even regional chain to get more of a feel for the area and really get the full experience. If I was going to recommend a place to eat at The Island, I would go with Timberwood Grill, who has some really great deals on certain days. I would check their Facebook page for more on that. I have also heard great things about Poynor's Pomme Frites, which is a small German food shop. Of course, if you are looking for a bar or an ice cream stand, or of course, a fudge shop, The Island has you covered on those as well! 

PLAY: When it comes to things to do and play at The Island, there is so much you can check out and experience. There are some great fun family things like arcades, as well as the giant Wheel that you can ride and get a great view of the mountains. There really is so much to do, no matter what it is that you have your heart set on, from a ropes course that hangs high above everyone, to an old time carousel, gem mining, and more. Really, there is so much that you can do here, and you can spend a whole day exploring! 

SHOP:  There is also tons of shopping at The Island, and I believe they advertise more than 60 retail shops! There really is something for everyone here, and the great part is that the shops at The Island are small little retail shops, sort of like mall shops, so it doesn't feel like shopping at a huge outlet mall. It really does feel more like walking down Main Street in a small town, and that is the feeling that I love about it! 

THE ISLAND: WILL IT BUDGET!?!  
First of all, shout out to Rhett and Link, who I blatantly stole "Will It" from, please guys, don't sue me, you are already bajillionaires. Next, let's get to my tips for doing The Island on a budget. If you are going to try to attempt this, first of all, let me say, this is going to be a challenge. This place IS, by all definitions of the word, a tourist trap and a money pit. That doesn't make it any less fun, but, really, let's not sugarcoat it. It is what it is, and if you were to just open your wallet at every retail shop, food stand, and fun "thing to do" at The Island, you are going to be walking out of there at least $1000 poorer than when you walked in. 

There are things you can do to lighten the load on your wallet,so listen up. First of all, you are going to want to focus on the EXPERIENCE of this, not the GETTING OF THINGS. (That's a good life lesson by the way folks, so remember that!) If you have kids, I am going to go ahead and recommend that you pack a snack and some drinks when you head over, or else you are going to be "snacked" and "drinked" to death by your kiddos. Now, once you get there, whether you trolley, shuttle, walk over, or drive over, make it all about the experience. Night time is a great time to go, because there are so many lights and beautiful attractions, and just walking around is a gift! 

I cannot overstate how great it is to just walk around, window shop and especially visit the fountains and the light show. This is SO much fun, and you can just sit in the rocking chairs, relax, people watch and enjoy the fountains. Honestly, this is my favorite part of the entire thing! Also great is a visit to Ole Smoky Moonshine, where for the small cost of $5.00, you can do a moonshine tasting that is guaranteed to leave you more than a little tipsy! I also love going in the little shops and looking around, talking to people, and just hanging out. We had a great time, for example, in one of the magic shops, and spent about 45 minutes in there, chatting with the employees and teaching the boys' magic tricks! So much fun! 

All in all, The Island is a great and amazing place, and if you are in town, you will not want to miss visiting it, at least once. This is one of those experiences you can make as cheap or as expensive as you want! Definitely don't forget to check out THIS PAGE for coupons to any of the millions and millions of shops that you can visit on your trip! 

PS: Don't forget to check out all of our other posts about our FAVORITE place in the world, the Great Smoky Mountains! You can read all about things like the Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Feud, The Ripley's Aquarium, The Music Road Inn, Wilderness at The Smokies, and Tips On Choosing A Cabin Or Hotel!! 

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