So you thought Pokémon Go would be a nice change because, hey, at least your kids aren’t locked in their rooms anymore, right? Well, we’re offering you an even better solution: a real-life scavenger hunt in the Smokies! This is a chance for your family to work together, checking out popular attractions in Gatlinburg and nearby Pigeon Forge.
Below, we’ve listed 6 things that really are in the Smokies—from mini-donkeys to real-life mermaids! We’ve provided as many helpful hints as we can, but it’s up to you to solve the riddle! (And don’t worry—we’ve provided answers at the bottom of the page if you get stumped.)
The great news is, every Smoky Mountain attraction we’ve listed offers some kind of discount when you book your stay with Cabins For You. We call these Cabins For You partners, and we invite you to start a chat with one of our online consultants to find out more about our partnering program today!
- A mini-donkey in a zebra suit
You can find me any given Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday surrounded by many other highly trained, “paw-tastic” performers. Some of my “Comedy Critter” friends include pigs, parrots, housecats, and dogs. You’ll find us in Pigeon Forge on a stage with our owners, Anthony and Alenka King.
We have performed more times than I can remember (donkeys don’t have an elephant’s memory!) for Animal Planet’s Pet Star and The Tonight Show, at theme parks and fairs, and for pet expos, conventions and corporate events across the USA. In the Smokies, you’ll catch me performing at 2 p.m. Do you know where I am?
- One of the biggest American flags in the Smokies
I’m part of an exciting Smoky Mountain show that’s celebrating its 20th season this year. Besides American patriotism, this show features dynamic singing and dancing, knee-slappin’ comedy, powerful gospel music, and good ole-fashioned entertainment.
This show is also the only one in Pigeon Forge to feature youth performers, so bring the whole family to see me and the kids for our fast-paced, country-themed production in the Smokies. You’ll find it in a multi-million-dollar theater with room for 1,500 guests, and you can catch our show nearly every night of the week at 8 p.m. Can you guess which show I’m in?
- An authentic steam engine train
That’s right—not everything is modernized in the Smokies. You can take a ride with me: an authentic, 110-ton, coal-fired steam engine that will take you on a 5-mile journey through the foothills of the Smoky Mountain.
You’ll enjoy beautiful scenery as I take you back to a time when all Tennessee visitors would have traveled to and through these mountains with coal in the air and the wind in their hair. Join the journey anytime from the end of March through the first day of January. Do you know where to find me?
- A 2nd-generation family of black bears
Hi there! Minnie and BJ are our names, and our kids—now 4 years old—are Holly and Chief. We don’t live in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, although many of our friends and relatives do. We live in Gatlinburg with other furry friends, including bobcats, river otters, and flying squirrels. Our home is a large concrete enclosure with lots of places to dig and climb.
You can get close enough to see us, but not so close that we’ll scare you or your kids. And even though we love the goodies in your bag, please don’t feed us. We receive a strict, balanced diet from some of the country’s top zoologists. We hope you’ll come see us soon, but can you guess where we are?
- Real-life mermaids
You probably don’t believe us, but we really do exist! We live in Gatlinburg, and you can find us in a huge coral reef exhibit, swimming with the colorful fish. We’ll put on a show for you every day at 4 p.m.
But you need to come when it’s warm! We only hang around in Gatlinburg for the summer! Do you know where to start looking?
- A vampire killing kit
Traveling to Transylvania anytime soon? You need to come find me in Gatlinburg first! I’m a bonafide vampire killing kit, created in the 1840s. I was designed for travelers just in case they ran into unwanted vampires. I offered them protection via my ivory cross-shaped gun complete with silver bullets, some garlic, and, of course, a wooden stake. Come see me for yourself the next time you’re in the Smokies … if you can guess where to find me!