September is a month that I always welcome when I see the calendar turn. I know that these 30 days provide remnants of summer and its warm days complemented by a glimpse of the coolness of fall at night all in one package - and it's also a great time to explore Dollywood, the Smokies and this beautiful area that provides so many fun things to do. You may be wondering why I say that. I have several reasons that I'll share with you to answer the "why September" question, especially at Dollywood.
- After Labor Day, most schools are fully back in session, which means the mix and size of the people at Dollywood on any given day is a bit different than during the summer months. Smaller crowds mean you get to enjoy more of what you love in the same amount of time - from soaring on Wild Eagle to the sounds of Dreamland Drive-In to savoring that loaf of ridiculously delicious cinnamon bread. Note that Dollywood is not open every day in September, so be sure to check Dollywood.com before you hop in the car and head to Pigeon Forge.
- If your family homeschools, this is the perfect time to have more time to spend learning about so many subjects! There are history lessons to be learned in Craftsman's Valley and aboard the Dollywood Express, and where else can you experience such a variety of music and culinary options in one place? The outdoor setting in the beautiful Smoky Mountains gives a multitude of opportunities to learn about and appreciate our environment, and Eagle Mountain Sanctuary and the Birds of Prey show offer a one-of-a-kind experience seeing our national symbol, the Bald Eagle, up close and personal. And, be sure to take advantage of Homeschool Days through Sept. 19! I'm ready to go back to school-at Dollywood that is!
- September also brings Dollywood's award-winning Harvest Festival featuring Great Pumpkin LumiNights. Starting Sept. 23, the park turns into a pumpkin paradise combined with a song spectacular and culinary combinations; plus, you still get all of Dollywood's great rides, attractions and craft demonstrations (plus added craftspeople as well, who are part of the Harvest Festival). Weekdays offer smaller crowds and longer days to spend time enjoying all that fall at Dollywood has to offer. Do not miss at least an hour or two after dark to truly experience the shimmer and glow of lights sparkling in rich fall colors, and there are so many pumpkins and pumpkin displays that are a gorgeous experience after the sun goes down. If you can't get to Dollywood starting Sept. 23 when it opens, don't worry - you can visit and enjoy the Harvest Festival featuring Great Pumpkin LumiNights through Oct. 29.
When you plan your September Smokies day or getaway, don’t forget other great area attractions like Pink Jeep Adventures and Dolly’s great dinner shows: Pirates Voyage Dinner & Show, Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Feud and Dolly Parton’s Stampede. These fun experiences all are located in Pigeon Forge not far from Dollywood. This more laid-back month means more availability at premium times either to take a not-to-be-missed ride through the Smokies in a colorful vehicle or enjoy a four-coast feast while watching an amazing show for several hours.
See you in the Smokies this September!