loading spinner
Tennessee

Magic, Music & Nature: The Great Smokies With Your Grandchild

Program No. 21737RJ
Learn about show biz from local musicians, create a musical instrument and live life as a passenger on the Titanic as you discover the wonders of the Great Smokies with your grandchild.

Enroll with Confidence

We want your Road Scholar learning adventure to be something to look forward to—not worry about. Learn more

Protecting the Environment

We offset a portion of the emissions created by your travel. Learn more

Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
Age 8 - 12
ROOMING OPTION PRICING
The figures below indicate the rooming options available.
DATES
Jun 23 - Jun 28, 2024
Per Adult
1,849
Per Child
999
Select
Jun 23 - Jun 28, 2024
1,849
/ Adult
999
/ Child
1,849
/ Adult
999
/ Child
2,699
/ Adult
999
/ Child
SOLD OUT
Jul 7 - Jul 12, 2024
Per Adult
1,849
Per Child
999
Select
Jul 7 - Jul 12, 2024
1,849
/ Adult
999
/ Child
1,849
/ Adult
999
/ Child
2,699
/ Adult
999
/ Child
Select Date
Jul 28 - Aug 2, 2024
Per Adult
1,849
Per Child
999
Select
Jul 28 - Aug 2, 2024
1,849
/ Adult
999
/ Child
1,849
/ Adult
999
/ Child
2,699
/ Adult
999
/ Child
SOLD OUT

At a Glance

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be in show biz? Have you dreamed of performing magic tricks? Come join us for a fun-filled discovery of the music, culture and entertainment of the Great Smoky Mountains. Pigeon Forge started as a quiet mill town, but today it’s the “Entertainment Capital of the Great Smokies” and your grandchild’s learning playground for a week of theater performances, storytelling, theme parks and nature. Meet magicians, musicians and a local artisan.
Activity Level
On Your Feet
Walking two miles on varied terrain. Elevations up to 5,500 feet.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Explore the history of Dollywood, one of the most unique theme parks, packed with rides, concert venues and mountain crafts.
  • Meet a stage magician to learn about show-biz life, and laugh, listen and eat your fill at Dolly Parton's Stampede.
  • Explore Great Smoky Mountains National Park on a light, refreshing hike.

General Notes

Program is for grandchildren ages 8-12.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Mike Gwinn
Mike Gwinn has made Pigeon Forge his home since 1995, and has never regretted a moment. He is a charter member of the bluegrass group, Pine Mountain Railroad, and has been singing and playing musical instruments since he was a young boy. He plays a variety of instruments during presentations including the guitar, “clawhammer” banjo, banjola, and dojo. His love for music and this area are clearly evident as he shares bluegrass, old-time and mountain music.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Mike Gwinn
Mike Gwinn View biography
Mike Gwinn has made Pigeon Forge his home since 1995, and has never regretted a moment. He is a charter member of the bluegrass group, Pine Mountain Railroad, and has been singing and playing musical instruments since he was a young boy. He plays a variety of instruments during presentations including the guitar, “clawhammer” banjo, banjola, and dojo. His love for music and this area are clearly evident as he shares bluegrass, old-time and mountain music.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Pigeon Forge
by Veta Wilson King
Collection of photo's and postcards of the towns past history.
Great Smokies Myths and Legends: The True Stories behind History's Mysteries
by Michael R. Bradley
Is it possible that the woman who raised Abraham Lincoln was actually his half-sister, and that the man he knew as his grandfather had conducted a scandalous affair with a servant girl? Was Nancy Dude really a murderous witch, or the victim of relentless calamities that would stretch anyone beyond the bounds of sanity? Should Horace Kephart be considered a hero for his work to protect the area of the Great Smokies, where a moutain was named in his honor, or a drunken scoundrel who uprooted families from the homes and farms they’d had for generations? From Sam Houston’s childhood among the Cherokee to the mysterious “road to nowhere”, Great SmokiesMyths and Legends makes history fun and pulls back the curtain on some of this national park’s most fascinating and compelling stories.
Smoky Mountain Memories: Stories from the Heart of the Parton Family
by Willadeene & Dolly Parton
Book written by Dolly on their lives in the Smokies.
Smart Blonde: Dolly Parton
by Stephen Miller
Paperback book about Dolly Parton
Print All
Map details are not available for this location.
View Map
Expand All
6 days
5 nights
13 meals
5 B 4 L 4 D
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Pigeon Forge, TN
D
LeConte Hotel & Convention Center

Activity note: Hotel check-in available from 3:00 p.m. Remember to bring your nametag (sent previously).

Afternoon: Program Registration: 3:00 p.m. After you check in and have your room assignment, join us at the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff, get any updated information, and confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please locate your Group Leader and let them know you have arrived.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: Orientation will begin at 5:00 PM. During Orientation the Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities, and answer any questions you may have. We will review COVID-19 protocols and will adhere to applicable requirements and guidelines throughout the program. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/current conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. Following Orientation we enjoy dinner at the hotel . After dinner continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars as we gather for an Icebreaker game.

DAY
2
Make An Instrument, Titanic Museum, Dolly Parton's Stampede
Pigeon Forge, TN
B,L,D
LeConte Hotel & Convention Center

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. Walking at the Museum and Theater

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: An expert will join us for an introduction to Appalachian folklore, folk music, and instruments. We will learn about the history of music, see and hear unique instruments, and songs of the mountains. We’ll then have time to make our own musical instruments and maybe learn a chord or two.

Lunch: At a local restaurant

Afternoon: This afternoon we board our motorcoach to explore the Titanic Museum. While impressive, this two-story construction is only half the size of the ship that became the most famous shipwreck in history. As we enter, we will each receive a boarding ticket with the name of an actual passenger or crew member. Then, we’ll get a feeling for what it was like to be on that fateful voyage in 1912 as we explore recreations of key places on the ship. Grandkids will have a scavenger hunt through the bridge, passenger cabins, and the beautiful Grand Staircase.

Dinner: Is included at Dolly Parton's Stampede. A four course meal with dessert.

Evening: Tonight's show includes friendly horseback riding competition, thrilling horse riding stunts, spectacular special effects, phenomenal music productions and amazing aerial acrobats.

DAY
3
Dollywood Theme Park Full Day Field Trip
Pigeon Forge, TN
B,L
LeConte Hotel & Convention Center

Activity note: Getting on/off a trolley or shuttle bus; approximately 1 hour riding time. Walking up to 3 miles throughout the day, standing and sitting.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We’ll board a trolley and ride to the nearby Dollywood Theme Park. With an expert, we’ll have an introduction to the park, its history, and what it has to offer. Dollywood’s mix of activities vary by season. It might be watching master craftsmen in traditional Appalachian crafts, enjoying shows and performances from country and bluegrass to gospel and rock-and-roll, nature shows, amusement park rides, and more.

Lunch: We will have vouchers provided to choose what we like from the many different offerings.

Afternoon: We’ll continue to explore Dollywood’s mix of activities that vary by season. You can watch master craftsmen in traditional Appalachian crafts, enjoy fun entertainment and shows — from country to bluegrass, rock ‘n’ roll and gospel music — as well as exciting amusement park rides and attractions. For those wishing to leave the park early, our Group Leader, will accompany us by trolley back to the hotel at 4:00 p.m. Those who would like to stay on at Dollywood and return independently are welcome to take a later trolley back; the park closes at 10:00 p.m. The Group Leader will be happy to answer any questions.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Magician, Bandoleros, Illusionation show, Array Variety Show
Pigeon Forge, TN
B,L,D
LeConte Hotel & Convention Center

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; approximately 1 hour total riding time. Walking and standing during field trips; uneven, unpaved ground, some stairs.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: This morning we will be joined at the hotel by one of the magicians starring in the Illusionation show which we will see this afternoon. We will be treated to a lecture and have time to learn a magic trick. Following the morning lecture we will have free time to gather with our new Road Scholar friends and enjoy the pool.

Lunch: Pizza Party Poolside at the hotel.

Afternoon: This afternoon we board our motorcoach for the Mountain of Entertainment Theater. Upon arrival we are joined by the Bandoleros who will be performing in this evening's "Array Variety Show". We enjoy a lecture and demonstration on how they make noise by using all types of items including the floor. Next we settle in to enjoy the afternoon performance of "Illusionation: The Magic of Jason Hudy". Witness sleight of hand, mind blowing tricks, illusions and much more.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: This evening, we’ll return to the Mountain of Entertainment Theater for the "Array" Variety Show. “Array” features some of the area’s most talented musicians, singers and dancers performing songs from all genres of music spanning several decades. In addition to the music we enjoy hilarious comedy sketches and unbelievable specialty and variety acts.

DAY
5
Smoky Mountain National Park, Lumberjack Feud
Pigeon Forge, TN
B,L,D
LeConte Hotel & Convention Center

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 38 miles roundtrip, approximately 1.5 hours total riding time. Walking up to 3 miles, standing during field trips; trails, dirt, uneven surfaces.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will board our coach with our Group Leader for a trip to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. As the “peak” of the entire 2,100-plus-mile Appalachian chain, the Smokies offer the greatest variety of trees and plants, and the highest concentration of high peaks. We begin by exploring the Sugarlands Area with a short hike to Cataract Falls, the old time cemetery, and the Sugarlands Visitor Center. From here we travel through the beautiful Little River Gorge to Elkmont, and old logging camp and to “Daisytown,” the resorted summer resort of the more affluent residents of the era.

Lunch: A boxed lunch is included today at the Metcalf Bottoms area of the park, situated on the banks of the Little River.

Afternoon: Following lunch, we make our way back to the hotel, we will meander through the mountain cove area known as Wears Valley, which is surrounded by mountains on three sides. This area was originally home to Wears Fort and offered protection from the Cherokee Indians. Arriving back at the hotel we will have free time to gather with our friends at the pool or simply relax and get ready for our final performance of the week. Before dinner we board our motorcoach and make our way to the "Lumberjack Feud". Our last performance of the week features the feudin' Dawson and McGraw families. We enjoy spirited competition between the lumberjacks and lots of comedy.

Dinner: At a local restaurant

Evening: Following dinner we return to the hotel and gather once again poolside for our final evening activity. Here you will have the opportunity to share your thoughts on the week, participate in a trivia game and say goodbye to your new friends. After the evening wrap up, prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.

DAY
6
Program Concludes
Pigeon Forge, TN
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 10:00 AM

Breakfast: At the hotel. This concludes our program.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.