By Darryl Payne
Posted on February 17, 2017
Rainy or snowy vacation days can give you time to relax and enjoy some of the best Smoky Mountain indoor activities. For regular visitors, some indoor attractions are among their favorite ways to have fun in Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg, and Sevierville, Tennessee. Here are a few ways to spend a rainy or snowy day in the Great Smoky Mountains:
Ripley's Combo Tickets
Ripley's has ticket packages that are a no-brainer for rainy or snowy days. With seven attractions on the Parkway, getting from one to the other is fast and simple. You can choose combo packages that include the Aquarium of the Smokies, plus up to six other attractions, including Ripley's Believe it or Not!, Haunted Adventure, 5D Moving Theater, Mirror Maze, Mini Golf, and the Guinness World Records Attraction.
Aquarium of the Smokies
If you can choose only one of Ripley's adventures, the Aquarium of the Smokies is a solid pick. Inside you'll discover a tropical rainforest, tanks of fascinating fish, and Touch a Ray Bay; a new exhibit where you can pet a live stingray. Don't miss the Shark Lagoon's innovative 340-foot glidepath, a moving sidewalk that carries you through a tubular tank while these notorious fish swim right over your head.
If you just need to wait out an afternoon shower, Gatlinburg's Mysterious Mansion is a fun place to do it. This attraction is a self-guided tour through an old "haunted" house. The trick is to find your own way out. As you search, you'll wind through secret passages, down dark corridors, up creaky staircases, and into creepy chambers. The mansion doesn't have an age restriction, but the caretakers consider it a compliment when people get scared enough to use an emergency exit.
WonderWorks is another indoor activity that can easily take up a whole rainy or snowy day. The facility is a 35,000-square-foot indoor amusement park dedicated to "edu-tainment," and the adventure starts as soon as you walk in the door. There are more than 100 engaging hands-on exhibits in six "wonder zones." Kids love the exciting simulations that demonstrate what a major earthquake feels like and what it feels like to try to walk in hurricane-force winds.
Flyaway Indoor Skydiving
If you've always wanted to try skydiving, head straight to Flyaway Indoor Skydiving for a rainy-day distraction. Flyaway has the country's first vertical wind tunnel, so you can safely experience the exhilaration of skydiving without jumping out of an airplane. You receive 20 minutes of training plus safety gear before entering the wind tunnel with an instructor.
Most kids are happy to have a do-nothing day to splash in the water. Book a hotel with an indoor pool and you'll be ready for cool weather surprises. River Chase Motel is a favorite thanks to their indoor and outdoor water slides and heated pools. The Pigeon Forge Trolley stops directly in front of the motel and will take you to other indoor attractions such as Dixie Stampede.
Wild Bear Falls Indoor Water Park
If your hotel or cabin doesn't have an indoor pool onsite, you can splash around at Wild Bear Falls, a giant 60,000-square-foot-indoor water park. The park has a variety of different areas, including a relaxing lazy river, thrilling water slides, and more. Pools are heated, so you can enjoy the park no matter the weather outside.
Magic Beyond Belief
Voted "Show of the Year," Magic Beyond Belief is two hours of family-friendly thrills. Award-winning magician Darren Romeo knows how to captivate a crowd with his large-scale illusions, celebrity impersonations, jokes, and original music. This show takes place in the evening, so it's a nice activity if you've had a rainy day inside and are ready for some action.
Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede
Another dinnertime activity for a rainy day is the ever-popular Dixie Stampede Dinner Show. This show has dramatic horse-riding stunts, sidesplitting family comedy, exciting special effects, and sing-along music. A delicious four-course dinner is included with the price of admission.
Shopaholics secretly hope for rainy or snowy days in the Smoky Mountains. With two outlet malls and a host of other shopping opportunities, you'll have no shortage of ways to spend the day. In Sevierville, you'll find the Tanger Outlet with dozens of stores including Coach, J. Crew, Levi's and Chico's. There are more than two dozen shoe stores, five home furnishing outlets, and plenty of restaurants and snack shops to keep you fueled up. In Pigeon Forge, the Factory Outlet Mall houses outlet stores for sportswear, handbags, children's clothing, and housewares.
There are so many entertaining things to do inside in the Smokies that rainy or snowy days just may turn into your favorite vacation memories.
About Darryl Payne
Darryl Payne is a native of East Tennessee in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. He is a web developer with a passion for building great websites. As a local, he can offer a unique perspective on where to stay and things to do while on vacation in the Smokies. To read his latest recommendations, please click the Google+ follow button.