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6 Fun Things to Do at Dollywood Besides Rides

Posted on June 10, 2024
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While Dollywood is famous for having fantastic roller coasters and rides, not everyone enjoys the adrenaline rush of thrilling rides. If you’re not interested in rides, don’t worry! There are plenty of other things to do at Dollywood. Here are some of our favorite Dollywood activities that will keep your feet firmly planted on the ground.

1. Watch Shows

outdoor concert at Dollywood in Pigeon ForgeOne of the most popular things to do at Dollywood is watch the many incredible shows on stages throughout the theme park. The lineup changes throughout the year, but you can be sure there will be plenty of talented performers and entertaining shows to see during your visit. Some classics include Smoky Mountain String Band, Kingdom Heirs, Wild Roots Band, Heartsong, and Wings of America Birds of Prey. Depending on when you visit, you could encounter street performers and seasonal spectaculars that perfectly capture the season.

2. Explore Craftsman’s Valley

Another one of the best things to do at Dollywood for anyone who doesn’t do rides is exploring Craftsman’s Valley. This is the place to go if you enjoy seeing craft demonstrations and shopping for handmade souvenirs. You can find craftsmen at work making and selling handmade goods made from leather, metal, glass, wax, and more! Some of the craft shops even have hands-on experiences so you can try the trades for yourself, such as dipping your own candles, making your own blown glass ornament, or forging your own knife.

3. Eat Tasty Food

Cinnamon BreadThere are plenty of tasty food options to try at Dollywood’s restaurants during your visit. Your culinary adventure can include anything from homestyle Southern cuisine and barbecue to pizza and burgers to handheld snacks and sweet treats. Step back in time to the ‘50s at Red’s Drive-in for delicious burgers and fries, or have an all-you-can-eat feast at Aunt Granny’s Restaurant. You can’t visit Dollywood without also trying their world-famous cinnamon bread at the Grist Mill! During seasonal festivals, the theme park serves specialties unique to the season so you can get your tastebuds involved in the festivities.

4. Visit Eagle Mountain Sanctuary

One of the most unique things to do at Dollywood that doesn’t involve rides is visiting Eagle Mountain Sanctuary. This is a 30,000-square-foot aviary that houses the country’s largest presentation of non-releasable bald eagles. You can see these incredible birds of prey in a beautiful mountain setting. Watch eagles and other amazing birds in action at the Wings of America Birds of Prey show next to the aviary. You can visit other birds next to the theater, each with its own unique story.

5. Learn About the Life of Dolly Parton

Dolly's Tennessee Mountain Home at DollywoodNo trip to Dollywood is complete without diving into the interesting life of country music legend Dolly Parton. Get an idea of how Dolly grew up by visiting Dolly’s Tennessee Mountain Home, a replica of her childhood home. The Dolly Parton Experience is another place to learn about the star. This area features a number of interactive elements and exhibits that will take you on a journey alongside Dolly from her hometown to stages around the world. Learn about her iconic career, her inspirations, her signature style, and more!

6. Play Games

If you don’t do rides, one of the exciting things to do at Dollywood is playing games. There are a number of booths in Country Fair and other areas of the theme park that offer fun carnival games. Test your skills or compete against your family and friends! Win fun prizes that you can share with a loved one or take back home as a keepsake of your day at Dollywood. These games range from shooting free throws to ring tosses to skee ball and much more.

Staying Cool at Dollywood

These are some of the best things to do at Dollywood for anyone who doesn’t do rides. If you’re visiting during the warmer months, you’ll be happy to know that the theme park has plenty of fun ways to cool off. Take a look at this list of great ways to stay cool during a summer visit to Dollywood so you can beat the heat and have an amazing time at the theme park!

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