Fall Family Fun!

Gatlinburg is in full swing with smell of the seasons in the air! The colors are changing and providing the perfect backdrop for family fun activities! There is no shortage of things to do here in the Smokies, and we will let you in on the scoop.



Why not plan a trip out to Kyker Farms in Sevierville for an afternoon on the farm? This family operated farm is located in Sevierville, TN. They offer a multitude of activities for all ages. Enjoy a relaxing hayride around the farm or take a stroll through the pumpkin patch. They even have three different corn mazes to choose from. For the kids they offer many different activities such as a playground, petting zoo, and jump pad.


Ober Gatlinburg is kicking off their Oktoberfest. Running through October 30, 2016, they will have The Bavarian Fun Makers Oompah Band performing traditional folk songs and dances outfitted in authentic lederhosen. They will also be serving traditional Bavarian food in the restaurant. Also, look for the Bier Garten, which will be featuring different beers to patrons 21 or older. For more information visit their website here.


Take a hike (or drive!) through the park to experience the wonderful views that the Smokies has to offer. With the fall colors setting in, it’s the perfect time to get out there and enjoy all that nature has to offer. A few of our favorite places to drive through and snap some photos are Clingman’s Dome, Foothills Parkway, and the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. Some great hikes that can lead you to and through the foliage are Andrew’s Bald, Charlie’s Bunion, and of course Mt. LeConte.


LOGO with text

This blog is sponsored by ERA In The Smokies Realty and Rentals
located at 207 Parkway in Gatlinburg. For more information on a Gatlinburg Cabin for your Smoky Mountain Vacation or all the reasons to move to the Smokies, call 865-430-3366. ERA In The Smokies is a leader in chalet and Log Cabin Rentals and Real Estate Sales in the Gatlinburg area.

Parrot Mountain and Gardens

parrot mtn 2

Parrot Mountain is a wonderful place to experience the beauty of the Smokies. Nestled on four acres of beautifully landscaped gardens, you can see hundreds of tropical birds and thousands of flowers, plants and trees. Parrot Mountain is the largest eco-tourist bird park in the Southeast. It is conveniently located next to Dollywood and Dollywood’s Splash Country. There is also a gift shop at the bird park where you can purchase an item to remember your majestic experience. Admission to the park is $16.96 (Adults 12+), $8.95 (Children 2-11) and $13.95 (Seniors 65+). Group rates are offered for groups of ten or more at $9.95 (Adults 12+) and $6.95 (Children 2-11).

While at Parrot Mountain you can join the  “Sponsor a Bird” program and help the birds you visited.

“By sponsoring a Parrot Mountain bird, you are helping feed the many donated birds that are taken in for life. Neglected and abused birds or birds that just need a home are brought to Parrot Mountain. With your help in sponsoring a bird it will enable us to continue to give these birds a home here and give them the proper nutrition and care they need. With a donation mailed to us and your help sponsoring a bird we can help make a difference for these birds. A picture of the bird you are helping sponsor will be mailed to you when we receive your donation. Thank you for your support.” -Parrot Mountain

The operating schedule for Parrot Mountain this year is: parrots

March, April, May: 10am-6pm daily

June, July: 10am-6p daily

August, September, October: 10am-6pm daily

November: 10am-5pm daily

Parrot Mountain also hosts numerous events such as birthday parties, reunions, corporate events, and church groups. At your child’s birthday party on Parrot Mountain he or she will not forget the Parrot Finders Scavenger Hunt. With the birthday child leading, he or she and their team of  friends will go strolling down jungle like trails on the Parrot Finders Scavenger Hunt. The birthday child and team will be given the opportunity to pet and feed the birds and will receive a keepsake photo with a bird of their choice. At the end of the Scavenger Hunt the birthday child will receive a certificate of participation.

Review from “TripAdvisor”:

“This was totally worth the entrance. From the way we were greeted to the wonderful & helpful staff it was a most positive experience. I was truly amazed at the magnitude of this property. The landscaping and the birds are well manicured….not to mention fun as heck!”

“Laughing Bird”

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies events!

ripleys aquarium

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies offers exclusive events year round. This summer join them in exploring various wonders of the deep and of our very own Great Smoky Mountains National Park! Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is a great place for families to learn about nature and make memories to last a lifetime!

Upcoming events:

family aquarium

Family Night Out- Explore Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies and participate in a variety of family fun scienceexperiments and activities. The staff of Ripley’s Aquarium will teach you and your family fun facts about animals of the sea and are even known to bring live animals out in past demonstrations! This is a great opportunity to be educated while on vacation and take home knowledge to share and awesome family memories. After a night of family fun, you will set up camp in Ripley’s Aquarium Penguin Playhouse and sleep among the arctic birds. This family camp (ages 3 and up) includes Aquarium admission, activities, a late night snack, breakfast and a certificate of participation. The dates this summer for this camp are June 23, 2013, July 14, 2013, and July 28, 2013, lasting from 8:00pm to 9:00 am the next morning. The cost of this camp is $45 plus tax per person, but the cost of the experience gained is priceless.

national_park_service_logoEcoVenture Camp- Explore and learn about environmental issues while inside the Great Smoky Mountain National Park for an ecoventure! A member of the Ripley’s Aquarium staff will lead you through the park and discuss various environmental issues facing us today. Team up with other campers and calculate your carbon footprint, investigate nature and discover how you can help change the world! This is a one of a kind, life changing experience offered by the Aquarium is one you don’t want to miss! This camp includes admission to the Aquarium, activities, four meals, an ecoventure notebook, a guided youth hike into the Smoky Mountains and a token of participation. The ages for this camp are 11-17. The dates are July 18, 2013, July 25, 2013 and August 1,2013 from 10:00am to 4:00pm. The cost of this adventure is $120 plus tax/ person and $110 plus tas for annual pass holders.


Dinosaurs!- As junior Paleontologists, dig for fossils and follow the path of a Paleontologist. Guests also will get to make their very own fossil to take home! After a day of digging, snooze next to creatures at the Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies! This camp includes admission to the Aquarium, activities, three meals, a field trip the the Gray Fossil Site in Gray, TN and a token of participation. The dates for this camp are July 16, 2013, July

23, 2013 and July 30,2013 from 10:00 am to 9:00am the following day. Ages for this camp are 6-14 and the cost is $99 plus tax/ person and $89 plus tax/ annual pass holder.


Mermaids Swimming Daily!- For a limited time only, Mermaids will be featured in Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies! In the months of June and July mermaids can be seen at 12:00 noon,2:00 and 4:00 daily. Meet the mermaids and have your photo taken with them at 11:00am, 1:00 and 3:00.

Ripley’s Aquarium is also featuring “Ripley’s Kid’s Fin-tastic Summer” Monday- Friday from June 21,2013 to July 26, 2013 11:00am-3:00pm. There will be free activities, arts and crafts, games and special performances and appearances on the plaza. Every Friday at 9:00pm there will be free movies under the stars on the plaza (weather-permitting- subject to change). For a calendar of events: ripleysaquariums.com

Stay with ERA In The Smokies and walk downtown to the Smokies Aquarium plaza and join in on all the summer fun!

Family Summer Camp


Reserve your cabin with ERA In The Smokies now and join the Bass Pro Shops in Sevierville, TN every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from June 8,2013 to July 14,2013 Noon to 5 P.M.. There are numerous activities for the whole family and the best part is they are all FREE! Bring the family together to learn about nature and make lasting memories in the Smokies.

“This is our way of helping families enjoy affordable, fun activities together and create lifelong memories. Bass Pro Shops is committed to helping adults and children out away their laptops, video games and cellphones this summer and head outdoors.” -President Jim Hagale

Activities being featured this summer are:active-pic-cast

  • BB Shooting Range- New in 2013
  • Carousel- Let the kids enjoy a ride while dad shops for new gear!
  • Casting Challenge- Test your skills using a fishing rod and reel at the target casting area.
  • Homemade Ice Cream- Saturdays only 5-6 P.M. while supplies last.

Free Workshops:

  • Archery- Learn about bowhunting, equipment and safety tips and more about bowfishing.
  • Birdwatching- Learn about the function of different types of feathers.
  • Backyard Adventure- Learn about insets and animals that could be in your backyard and what they eat and if they help of hurt your backyard.
  • Fishing- Saltwater vs. freshwater
  • Camping- Learn about the animals you might see while camping.sc-workshop-pic-archery
  • Wildlife Exploration- Learn about mammals, reptiles, amphibians and arthropods.
  • Exploring, shooting and hunting- Learn about the history of hunting and conservation benefits and safety tips.
  • Water Safety- Learn about safety while swimming and boating.
  • Outdoor Discovery and Conservation- Get tips on how to enjoy the outdoors and hiking, discuss comfort, safety and ways to conserve the beauty of the outdoors.

Free Crafts

  • Make dad a bobber key chain-June 18, 20
  • Color your own slap bracelet- June 22, 23, 25, 27
  • Design a lizard door hanger-June 29, 30, July 2, 4lizard door hanger
  • Create a popsicle stick fish- July 6, 7, 9, 11
  • Paint a deer track- July 13 & 14


While you’re here take the family fishing in the Great Smoky Mountains area! Click the picture above for a link to more information.