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Ever Wanted to Homeschool at Dollywood in TN? You can with their special Homeschooling Days!

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Did you know that the famed theme park, Dollywood, has Homeschool Days? The park offers reduced admission and educational programs plus all the fun of the rides and experience of the attractions.

If you are looking to have an adventure, Dollywood will be offering Homeschool Days for families that are utilizing the homeschool option. These days focus on mostly science and math – and really, what’s cooler than learning about the laws of physics by riding a roller coaster?

Dollywood Roller Coaster

Be sure to check out the newly installed whimsical area of the park, Wildwood Grove, complete with rides, including a new roller coaster called DragonFly. There is plenty to see and do at the park in addition to the educational programs offered these days.

What Do Homeschool Days Include?

Homeschool Days at Dollywood are geared for kids in Kindergarten through 12th and include a new curriculum, Science in the Park, that utilizes the scientific principles that make many of the rides at the park actually happen like velocity and speed.

Wildwood Grove at Dollywood

There will also be lots of visual learning through craftspeople doing glass-blowing, candle making, and forging. The Tennessee Valley Authority partnered with Dollywood to create STEM-related learning experience that kids can do throughout the park. Some activities are learning about water filtration, kinetic energy, solar and wind energy, eco-friendly transportation, and weather.

Kids can also learn about the science of birds by visiting the 30,000 square feet Eagle Mountain Sanctuary at the park, which houses the largest collection of non-releasable bald eagles in the country.

Admission & Dates

Normal admission to Dollywood is $79+ for people ages 10-61 but on Homeschool Days, parents can take advantage of $41/ticket for kids in grades K-12 and $51/ticket for each accompanying adult. Huge savings!

To obtain the tickets, you need to call (888) 428-6789 at least 72 hours ahead of your visit. These tickets are not available at the gate. Parking is $20/car so plan for that cost as well.

Homeschool days for 2023 are August 7 – September 18, 2023. The park is not open every day so be sure to look at the calendar before planning your trip. Dollywood Splash Country also has homeschool days from August 8 – September 10, 2023 and tickets are discounted to $37/person.

Where to Stay

Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort is a beautiful hotel that offers free transportation to the park. The resort is offering 20% off a standard room for homeschool families Sunday – Thursday.

We’ve personally stayed at these places below and can recommend them as wonderful options for families.

Margaritaville Island Hotel
A stay at this beautiful and trendy hotel will be a relaxing experience. Margarita makers are in every room and balconies overlook either the river or the Island at Pigeon Forge. You can explore the Island, take a ride on the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel, grab a margarita at the bar (or in your room) and just chill. Read our review of our stay at this awesome hotel. 

131 The Island Dr, Pigeon Forge, TN

Greystone Lodge By the River
One of the very last family-owned hotels in Gatlinburg, the Greystone dates back originally to the early 1960s and has become the go-to hotel for generations of families. The location cannot be beat as it is steps from the aquarium and across the street from Anakeesta, within walking distance to shops and restaurants. They also have a great pool and free breakfast. It’s perfect for families looking to have a restful and accommodating place to call home during their trip. We stayed there and absolutely loved it

559 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN


Foothills RV Park & Cabins
If you are not into tent camping but are still looking for a cheaper option than a hotel, Foothills has bare bones cabins to rent where you bring your own linens/sleeping bags and pillows. This is a good option if you’re really trying to stay within a budget but want someplace clean and comfortable. The location is right on the cusp of Pigeon Forge, very close to Dollywood, and maybe ten minutes from Gatlinburg. Camping cabins are rented April through October and start at $52/night.

4235 Huskey St, Pigeon Forge, TN

The Ridge Outdoor Resort
The Ridge Outdoor Resort is about ten minutes from Dollywood and has two zero-entry pools, a lazy river, a catch & release pond, a deli and laundry facility on-site, two fenced in dog parks, a playground, a game room, and one of the pools has a hot tub. We stayed in one of their two-bedroom glamping tents and it was amazing!

1250 Middle Creek Rd, Sevierville, TN

Glamping tent at the Ridge Outdoor Resort
Some of the glamping tents at the resort

Camp Margaritaville RV Resort & Lodge
A water slide, pool, beautiful rooms, on-site restaurant, arcade, and amazing staff make this spot an incredible place to stay. Relaxation and fun are perfectly balanced here. Read our review of Camp Margaritaville RV Resort & Lodge to plan your own trip.

149 Cates Lane, Pigeon Forge, TN

Pool at Camp Margaritaville

Smoky Hollow Outdoor Resort
Stay in a covered wagon or tipi at this resort in Sevierville, TN for the ultimate pioneer adventure. The resort is close to Soaky Mountain and minutes from Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and the Smokies. Read our review here.

660 Gists Creek Road, Sevierville, TN

Smoky Hollow Wagon

Go Lodge

Be blown away by the 17 room game mansion in Gatlinburg! It has more than 300 indoor and outdoor games and sleeps up to 20 people. This is perfect for a multi-family or big friends vacation and about 15 minutes from the main strip in Gatlinburg.

Camp LeConte
Kicking up the glamping a notch further is Camp LeConte, which offers a treehouse, safari tents, and a retro camper. You can even catch the trolley into Gatlinburg from the campground. Depending on the time of year, the two-person safari tent starts around $128/night. Read our review here.

1739 East Pkwy, Gatlinburg, TN

A tent at Camp Leconte

Other Things to Do Nearby

There are a ton of things to do in the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is minutes away – and it’s free. Anakeesta, the SkyBridge, PINK Jeep Tours, and lots more are all within a 20-30 minute drive of each other and excellent opportunities for both learning and fun.

Here is our Ultimate Guide to Gatlinburg & Pigeon Forge, which has lists of all kinds of activities to enjoy during a trip to the area. We also have a guide to nearby Sevierville, TN for some lesser known, but super fun, things to do and places to eat and visit.

Will you take your kids to Dollywood for Homeschool Days?

Incredible Natural Wonder in Georgia: Tallulah Gorge State Park

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Tallulah Gorge State Park is a natural wonder in Georgie that families will really enjoy. With gorgeous hiking, waterfalls, swimming holes, and more, the park is full of the stuff that amazing and memorable day trips are made of, so get packing. Kristina tells us all about how to enjoy this beautiful Georgia State Park, what to expect, and even where to grab something to eat.

Day Trip to Tallulah Gorge

It’s a day trip! Getting to Tallulah Gorge State Park, approximate driving time from:

  • Greenville, SC 90 minutes
  • Atlanta, GA 90 minutes
  • Columbia, SC just under 3 hours
  • Charlotte, NC 3 hours

Planning to stay awhile? If you’re planning a family vacation or weekend getaway, here’s where to stay near Tallulah Gorge State Park. Note: Kidding Around earns when you book through this link via an affiliate relationship with STAY22.


Everyone Can Find An Adventure At SouthTown Wake Park in Rock Hill, SC

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Have you been to SouthTown Wake Park? Summer adventures are calling us, and new and exciting things become harder to find towards the end of the season. We made a discovery in Rock Hill, SC, that will have you hopping in the car and making the trip to York County! SouthTown Wake Park has something to keep everyone entertained, no matter how adventurous you are!

For more fun things to do in the Charlotte Area, Check out our Guide To Fun With Kids In Charlotte, NC.

Southtown Wake Boarding

SouthTown Wake Park in Rockhill, SC

Just about 90 minutes from here is one of my favorite day trip destinations. York County, South Carolina, has so many fun adventures to enjoy. My children and I have made countless trips and have yet to scrape the surface of possibilities. However, SouthTown Wake Park is worth the trip all on its own! This Aquapark has something for all adventure levels, so don’t worry if you don’t share the same enthusiasm for watersports with the rest of your family.

Wake-Boarding at SouthTown Wake Park

Traditionally wakeboarding consists of a boat pulling a rider around a body of water from a two rope, while they stand on a single ski. At SouthTown Wakepark riders are pulled around one of two lakes by a cable system. This activity is fun and in no time you can be zipping across the lake. SouthTown also offers wakeboarding if you have never done anything like this and want to ease into it.

The instructor will start you out on the straight cable, where there aren’t any features to complicate things. Here you will learn the basics and what to do if you let go of the cable system. Once you feel at ease, it’s on to the lake with the ramps and a cable system that loops the lake. Don’t worry, you won’t be jumping any features just yet, you’ll just work on holding on as that cable rounds the corner.

Wakeboarding is one of the fastest-growing extreme sports, and my son loved his time on the lake. He took to it and if we lived closer, he would be there every week.

  • $25 – 20-minute one-on-one coaching session (including rentals) on the training cable
  • $15 for rental of required gear (board, life vest and helmet)
Learning how to wakeboard

The Floating Obstacle Course At SouthTown Wake Park

SouthTown also has a floating obstacle course for families to enjoy. This is a great activity to tire those kids out, as it takes a ton of energy to climb and jump over the obstacles. While you don’t need to be straight off the set of “American Ninja Warrior” to enjoy the course, I do caution you against participating if you have any back issues. While falling off the platform requires little effort, pulling yourself back up onto the platform requires a bit more muscle.

  • Ages 7+ and at least 48″ tall – 45 minutes session starts at $18 per person

If you enjoyed this course, you can Tackle the Floating Obstacle Course at Charleston Aqua Park

Paddle Sports At SouthTown Wake Park

For younger kids, and parents that aren’t into the excitement involved in the previously mentioned activities, SouthTown offers kayaking and paddleboarding. Parents can paddle across the lake with the younger kids, over to the floating obstacle course to wave hi! That way everyone gets some time out on the water. This is a great way to practice in a controlled environment if you are considering investing in paddlesports for your family (which we encourage!)

Dry Land Activities at SouthTown Wake Park

In addition to all of the fun on the water that is offered at SouthTown, they also have things that don’t require you to get wet. Land-lovers can enjoy a game of disc golf or cornhole. There are picnic tables to sit at and the pro-shop offers soft drinks and ice cream for sale.

The $64 First Time All Access Pass is the best deal for those new to wakeboarding and gets you everything you need for an entire day at SouthTown Wakepark!

  • a 20-minute one-on-one Getting Started Lesson on our training cable
  • 2 hours of wakeboarding or kneeboarding on the main cable
  • 45-minute session on the Aqua Park
  • access to the kayaks
  • all required gear
  • disc golf course and other activities

SouthTown Wake Park
255 E Rambo Rd Rock Hill, SC 29730 | 803.324.3020

Our complimentary fun at SouthTown Wake Park was arranged by Visit York County, all words and opinions of the writer are honest and genuine. All the info you need to make the most of a trip to York County, South Carolina can be found on Kidding Around!

For a Beach Vacation With Smaller Crowds Visit the Outer Banks, NC

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Have you visited the beaches on North Carolina’s Outer Banks? Many of the Upstate’s favorite beaches are just a few hours away on the South Carolina coast, but many of those beaches have large hotels and a big entertainment scene making those beaches more crowded. The Outer Banks of North Carolina have a very different feel with mainly vacation rental homes for lodging plus long skinny islands with huge lengths of beautiful beaches. Here are some of our favorite things to do and places to eat in the Outer Banks.


Educational Travel: Vacations and Day Trips Where You’ll Have Fun and Learn Something New

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Thinking about turning a vacation into an educational adventure? The Kidding Around team loves to learn on the road. From our nation’s capital to national parks, to coastal ecology tours and science and history adventures close to home, there is so much to see, memories to make, and things to learn. Here are some of the places we’ve traveled to where your family can learn something new!

This article includes:
Educational Vacations
Educational Day Trips from Upstate, SC


The Ultimate Guide to Day Trips

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Are you looking for day trip ideas near the Upstate South Carolina area? You have found our official Kidding Around Day Trip Headquarters! We have compiled our ever-expansive list of day trip offerings to one page, where you can easily find your desired trip, fuel your wanderlust and still have the kiddos back by bedtime! Happy adventuring!

This article includes:
South Carolina Day Trips
Upstate, SC Day Trip Destinations
Day Trip to Columbia, SC
Charleston, SC Day Trips
North Carolina Day Trips
Day Trips in Western North Carolina
Charlotte, NC Day Trip Ideas
Georgia Day Trips Ideas
Tennessee Day Trips
Educational Day Trips
Day Trips by Season
Holiday Day Trips


You Can Fly Like a Bird (but without wings) in Concord, NC

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Have you ever thought that it would be cool to fly (not in a plane) but like a bird? Well, that dream can be a reality now just under 2 hours from Greenville at iFLY Indoor Skydiving in Concord, NC. Not only will we give you all the details, but we tried it ourselves so we also have the inside scoop on what to expect and how to prepare your kids.

Thank you to Visit Cabarrus for hosting us and iFLY for providing us with this experience.

Man experiencing indoor skydiving at iFly.

What is iFLY?

iFLY is an indoor skydiving simulator where you enter a wind tunnel that is strong enough to allow you to float in the air. In fact, experienced flyers can even perform tricks such as flips.

How does iFLY work?

To fly, you reserve a time online and sign a waiver. Kids 3 and up with a parent are allowed to fly, but it may be a little frightening for some children (more on that later).

Once it’s your turn, you will be suited up in a protective suit, protective eyewear, and helmet. Be prepared to remove all jewelry (including rings) and anything that could come off of your person. You also will not be able to take your phone or camera into the wind tunnel area (this is a safety precaution).

Your flight instructor will then go over basic safety instructions with you and you will watch a short orientation video followed by a review with your instructor. This time mostly focuses on teaching you how to position your body and what hand signals your instructor will use to communicate with you.

After you are ready, you will be escorted into the wind tunnel lobby. This area is sealed off for safety and has a bench where your group can watch the flight. Your instructor will then demonstrate how to enter and exit the tunnel.

Your instructor then allows you to go in the tunnel one at a time. He will hold you and keep you in position until you are steady enough to float. The first flight is often focused on helping you figure out how to position your body. Many people fly more than once in order to gain confidence and the ability to move around in the chamber.

We each had one minute in the tunnel. It did seem really short but it was a neat experience.

Two children in iFly suits, ready to indoor skydive.

Will kids enjoy iFLY?

Our children were 11 and 8. Our 11-year-old really enjoyed it but our 8-year-old became frightened during the experience. The instructor noticed that she was distressed and removed her from the tunnel.

The air does blow extremely hard, and my 8-year-old felt like she couldn’t breathe. It was just the sensation of the air but it was frightening for her.

The instructor did convince her to go back in after our family had finished. They turned down the fans so that she could walk around the chamber and so that she wasn’t frightened. I was glad that they did this so that she could finish with a positive experience.

Pricing and Location

iFLY is not cheap, but it is an interesting and unique experience and we were impressed by the knowledge and care of the staff.

We only had one flight each, and I would recommend purchasing at least two so that you have a chance to get familiar with the process first and then can utilize those skills.

You can find pricing on the iFLY website. There are a number of packages which allow you to get more flights for a discounted cost.

Where to Stay near iFly

7840 Lyles Lane NW
Concord, NC 28027


Have you ever visited iFLY before? What was your opinion?