Pigeon Forge

Photo credit: Carmel Mooney / Pets & Service Dog TravelingMom

The Pigeon Forge and Sevierville area of Tennessee is a traveling family paradise. While fabulous shows and thrilling rides are only part of the excitement in the region, you shouldn’t overlook the area’s excellent museums that make learning fun.

We try to visit almost annually – which says a lot because we live on the other side of the continent.

Recently, we were fortunate to be back in the dazzling cute little lit-up town of Pigeon Forge, where we visited their Wax Museum, which was quite an adventure in itself.

The walkways meander past dozens of Hollywood celebrities made into wax mannequins, looking almost identical to the real celebrity. All the way from Natalie Portman and Tom Hanks to Michael Jackson and Dolly Parton herself – the likenesses are amazing. After this very realistic self-tour, we went up to the roof of the wax museum to get a picture with a replica of a life-sized King Kong, climbing the Wax Museum building. In our group this time were two moms and two teens and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

Pigeon Forge

Photo credit: Carmel Mooney / Pets & Service Dog TravelingMom

Another highlight included visiting the Titanic museum, which was a complete historical and educational blast into the past. We learned very interesting history behind the Titanic, its plans and construction, captain, crew, fascinating passengers, route, and fateful sinking. This museum included many real artifacts from the actual passengers on Titanic. We each received a small profile card of the passenger we were ‘portraying’. It showed our class (1st, 2nd, or 3rd), our age, and what our lives were like before Titanic and aboard Titanic.

One especially fascinating and gripping display simulates the steep incline of the decks during different phases of the sinking so visitors can stand on the decks and experience a tiny glimpse into the terror and difficulty passengers faced as they scrambled up nearly vertical decks in an attempt to hang on to the end.

Unlike other Titanic Museums, this museum also included real props and costumes from James Cameron’s movie “Titanic,” such as clothes worn by the actors and actresses from the movie, as well as the script, director’s jacket, and even a film slate. The real ‘Heart of the Ocean’ necklace prop that was used in the movie was on display. The museum also covered lesser known facts about the dogs sailing on Titanic. There was also an exhibit where you could actually put your hand in freezing cold water that was the same frigid temperature as the water of the Atlantic ocean at the time of the ship’s sinking.

Pigeon Forge

Photo credit: Carmel Mooney / Pets & Service Dog TravelingMom

In Pigeon Forge, we also love Wonderworks, which truly was a wonder in the works. We’ve visited before and they often add new exhibits. You will love so many bizarre, yet interesting and fun facts, hands-on exhibits and activities and education mixed with wonder. It is a perfect place to take any kid to learn about space, art, logic, and many other fun facts. They even have a rope climbing wall that the kids enjoyed when they were little and now seems to enjoy even more as teens.

None of the museums in the area welcome pets but service animals are always welcomed. You can contact the local visitors bureau for suggestions on pet boarding and kennels.

Pigeon Forge and Sevierville have all the usual high speed thrilling attractions, dinner theaters, and miniature golf courses, but allow some time to enjoy a few museums that blend learning with hands on fun.