3 Fun Cabin Activities for Kids

Adults love soaking in hot tubs and playing cards or reading books late into the night. But what about kids? If your cabin doesn’t have kid-type arcade games, what can you do with them? Here are some ideas: 1. Bring a few surprises. Wrap up some fun new things, like kid’s games and toys that […]

Review of Rainbow Falls Trail in Smokies

So, here’s one thing we learned from this experiment: a moderate-to-rugged 5.4 mile hike in the Smokies is much, much different than a similarly rated hike in Indiana. Our kids are pretty good hikers. Kinsen, the 7-year-old, especially. She can go as far as I can and is usually in great spirits the whole time. […]

Making Camping Fun for the Family

While I’m not a psychological expert on children, I do have some qualifications that allow me to pontificate about what they like: namely, I was one. Throughout my youth I can tell you that I loved adventure – well not actual adventure, I was, after all, an extremely cautious kid — but I loved anything […]

High-Tech, Family Treasure Hunts!? Oh Yeah…

When I was 6ish, my parents decided it was time I got a boy’s room. You see, I had two younger sisters and I think dad wanted to make sure I had my own space. So dad went out and bought me bunk beds. Not just any bunk beds — but the exact bedroom suite […]

5 Ways to Save Money on Vacation

Vacationing … the Steph and Dan way. That’s cheap. Stephanie is my husband’s sister. She and her husband are AMAZING at stretching the dollar! So I enlisted her help at finding 5 ways to save money on your vacation. Here they are (the savings are estimated over a one-week vacation): 1. Split a meal. At […]

10 Smoky Mountain Deals

Here are the 10 best deals I can come up with right now! 1. Don’t visit the area without checking out the Smoky Mountain Navigator. With more than 100 coupons for deals on hotels, shops, attractions, cabin rentals, restaurants, museums and mini golf, you can’t beat it. 2. Smoky Mountain Coupons is another great site […]

Be a Smoky Mountain Scientist for a Day!

So, spring is here! Now is the time to head to the Smokies to enjoy the mountains and the beautiful outdoors. Here’s some information about a neat way to enjoy that fresh air! The Citizen Science Field Project is a great way to get your family involved in the area. Approximately once a month this […]

3 Fun Activities for Groups in a Cabin

So, you’ve rented a cabin, divvied up the bedrooms and are suddenly faced with a whole week in which to entertain yourselves. Television can only go so far. This post will explore three ideas for fun things to do when boredom strikes, and no one feels like taking a hike or visiting attractions. 1. Four […]

Ripley’s Mini Golf — Best Courses for Family Fun


One thing the Gatlinburg area has plenty of — miniature golf courses! If you’re visiting in nice weather, it can be natural to choose a sunny afternoon and hit one of the courses. I haven’t played all of the courses, but I have been to several. And though there are a few that deserve honorable […]

Visit The Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum in Gatlinburg!

As you drive through Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg, you are constantly assaulted by “things to do” — shows to see, go-carts, putt-putt, shops, you name it. This is part of a series in which I’ll be telling you about about a few places that are a bit more unique. Places, in some cases, that a […]