Each year, thousands of groups head to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge for retreats, reunions, meetings, field trips, and vacations. They are families, friends, companies, scout troops, churches, youth groups, and teams wanting a place to play, learn, grow, relax, and call home.
Why do so many groups make the Great Smoky Mountains their top choice? Because the buzzing mountain towns of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge offer a wide variety of indoor and outdoor activities for groups, along with spacious venues, large group lodges, amazing scenery, and an extensive array of restaurants and shops to please kids and adults of all ages.
Read on for ways to save in the Smokies, places to stay for your group getaway, ideas on some ideal group activities, attractions that cater to groups, and more!
Fun for Groups in the Smokies
There is no shortage of attractions in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, and the community calendars are always jam-packed with events year-round. It won’t be hard to find something for your group to do. But to make it even easier, we’ve put together a list of some of the most popular group attractions, featuring places that are happy to cater to groups. You can even check on their websites (or give them a call) to see if they offer discounted group rates!
Dollywood Theme Park covers 150 acres with its 40 rides, 15 shows, Southern restaurants, dozens of shops, and 5 of the largest festivals in the South – including the ever-popular Festival of Nations each spring. It’s also adjacent to Dollywood’s Splash Country, which features summertime fun in the form of rides, slides, and water features for the little ones!
Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies
Inside this world-class, top-rated (#5 in the world) aquarium is an underwater world waiting to be discovered. Touch-A-Ray Bay, Ocean Realm, Shark Lagoon, Tropical Rainforest, Coral Reef, Gallery of the Seas, and Penguin Playhouse are home to thousands of magnificent creatures that will wow children and adults. Groups could spend hours exploring here!
Book your group (10+ guests) by calling 888.240.1358 ext 2156, get advance group pricing (1 FREE with 20 paid), get food vouchers for your group, book private events with their banquet and catering services, or get hands-on with the Penguin Encounter, Touch-A-Ray Bay and Behind-the-Scenes Tours!
Miniature Golf, Go Karts & Arcades
The Parkway running through Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge is well-known for its arcades, go kart tracks, and miniature golf courses – all great for groups in the Smokies.
Hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Whether you go it alone or enlist Smoky Mountain Guides to lead you, hiking on some of the 800+ miles of trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a great way to get your group moving in the great outdoors.
Smoky Mountain Ziplines
Looking for a great team-building activity for your group or just want to let loose? Smoky Mountain Ziplines and Canopy Tours have 9- and 14-line tours, along with experience guides to lead your group on an exciting ride through the lush Smoky Mountain trees!
Smoky Mountain Dinner Shows
Dinner shows are a great way to get out of the cabin with the group. Along with entertainment for all, many offer hearty 4-course meals that will keep everyone full and happy! Plus, several of the downtown shows are on our Cabins for YOU Partner Program, so you’ll save just by staying with us!
More things to do and places to explore with a group:
- Cades Cove (11-mile loop road with historic buildings, wildlife, and awesome scenery)
- Whitewater rafting and tubing (Pigeon River, Ocoee)
- Shopping (Tanger Outlets, The Village Shops, NOC, and more!)
- Ober Gatlinburg (indoor ice skating, skiing, alpine slide, OktOBERfest, Aerial Tramway)
- The Island in Pigeon Forge (show fountain, Ole Smoky Moonshine, Great Smoky Mountain Wheel, shops, restaurants, and more)
- Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community (8-mile loop of talented artisans with artwork, quilts, pottery, restaurants, and so much more)
Cabins for YOU Partner Program
When groups stay with Cabins for YOU, they save on some of the area’s top attractions. Our Cabins for YOU Partner Program offers guests deals just for booking. And it’s not just a group discount; each person in your group gets to save! Check out our partner attractions, including:
Amazing Animals Exotic Animal and Pet Show | Bent Creek Golf Course | The Comedy Barn | Country Tonite Theatre | Darren Romeo Magic | Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Show | Ober Gatlinburg | The Smoky Mountain Opry | Smith Morning Variety Show | Smoky Mountain Ziplines | Titanic Museum Attraction | Guinness World of Records Museum | Ripley’s Davy Crockett Mini-Golf | Ripley’s Moving Theater 5D | Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies | Ripley’s Haunted Adventure | Ripley’s Old MacDonald’s Farm Mini Golf | Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium | Ripley’s Marvelous Mirror Maze | The Escape Game
Talk to your vacation planner when you book about just how to receive your discounts. Some offer the deals at the door while others give you the best prices online. Either way, your group will save on Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg attractions when you stay with Cabins for YOU!
Events for Groups in Gatlinburg
Gatlinburg is busy year-round, with events devoted to the area’s history, showcasing local art, and celebrating the holidays, food, music, and more. As you plan your group trip, check ahead of time to see what’s happening when you’ll be in the area. Some great group events include:
Dollywood’s Festival of Nations | March – April
Smoky Mountain Wine Fest | April
Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage | April
Dollywood’s Great American Summer
First Independence Day Parade in the Nation | July 3 - 4
Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair | summer and fall
OktOBERfest at Ober Gatlinburg | September – October
Gatlinburg’s Festival of Trees | November or December
Resources for Planning Large Group Getaways
There are many venues and resources for those planning group getaways to the Smokies, including our Cabins for YOU blog that keeps you up to date with events going on in the area, new attractions, and more. We’re also always posting new tips on Gatlinburg travel, as well as ideas on things to do in the cabin.
The visit Gatlinburg app is FREE and offers useful info about the area, Gatlinburg.com offers information about event planning and groups, and both Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg have some fantastic meeting spaces, including:
Gatlinburg Convention Center | 234 Historic Nature Trail | Gatlinburg, TN
- 67,000-square-foot exhibit space in the Great Hall
- Adjoining W.L. Mills Conference Center (50,000 square feet)
- 38,200-square-foot Convention Center Gallery
- Meeting rooms, private parlors, and VIP/media suite
LeConte Center | 2986 Teaster Ln | Pigeon Forge, TN
- 232,000-square-foot exhibition space
- FREE parking & tram pickup
- Seating for 12,000
- FREE Wi-Fi
- 8-bay registration area
- Event owner’s office
Rocky Top Sports World | 1870 Sports World Blvd | Gatlinburg, TN
- 6 Astroturf fields, 1 natural turf field
- Ample parking
- Picnic tables
- Kids’ play area
- Bleacher seating
- Basketball and volleyball courts
- 3 Team Rooms
- Event planner workspace
Pigeon Forge Community Center | 170 Community Center Drive | Pigeon Forge, TN
- 86,000-square-foot recreation complex
- Basketball, walleyball, and racquetball courts
- 10-lane bowling center
- Aquatic center
- Meeting room
Gatlinburg Community Center | 156 Proffitt Rd | Gatlinburg, TN
- 52,000-square-foot facility
- Indoor pool
- Bowling center
- Fitness area
- Gym and racquetball courts
Large Group Lodges with Cabins for YOU
When you plan a large group vacation, retreat, or reunion, you’ll inevitably need a lot of space to sleep everyone. Instead of spreading out over many hotel rooms, book a large group lodge that can house everyone together. You’ll get more quality time with everyone, and you’ll have some great shared spaces to meet, relax, eat, and play together.
Our Gatlinburg lodges range from 5 to 14 bedrooms and can house anywhere from 16 to 53 guests! They boast an impressive lineup of amenities, from stunning mountain views, private indoor pools and movie theaters, and incredible game rooms to kitchens with double appliances, dining rooms that can seat a whole group, and plenty of outdoor space. Whatever brings you to the Smokies, our cabins can meet your needs!