Downtown Gatlinburg 2012 Trick or Treat Halloween Carnival

Celebrate Halloween in the Smokies

Celebrate Halloween in the Smokies

Carr’s Welcomes Creatures of All Kinds!

Click Here to Find Out About Halloween 2013!

In the Smokies, we celebrate Halloween in a very big way!  Events throughout the month of October lead to a grand finale carnival before witches, ghosts and creatures of all kinds swarm the streets to trick or treat with downtown businesses along the Gatlinburg strip.  Make your reservations and plan to have your most fun Halloween yet with us!

Prior to Halloween night, you can kind plenty of chills and thrills.  Put on your best costume and attend:

Ripley’s Fright Nights – Ripley’s Haunted Adventure presents its 14th “15 Nights of Halloween” with a special show each Friday, Saturday and Sunday in October featuring live actors and a 6:13 p.m. character parade.  “Voodoo Thirteen” will provide fun, frights and screams for all ages 7 and up who dare to enter!  View or Print Event Flyer.

Shocktober – The Gatlinburg Space Needle is hosting a special Halloween show by mind-blowing mentalist Bill Gladwell.  “Shrieks and Mind Freaks” will be presented each night October 17 through Halloween at the Arcadia Theater.  Choose one or both shows including “Hypnotized” and “Head Case” at the 2012 Shocktober!  View 2012 Show Flyer.

Pigeon Forge Safe Halloween Celebration – Be at the Pigeon Forge Community Center on Thursday, October 25 from 6-9 p.m. for a free night of fun and games.  Trick or Treat in the gym with local businesses, play games and win prizes, enjoy the entertainment and hayrides, and participate in the costume contest.  It’s a full night of fun!

Gatlinburg Halloween Carnival – Beginning at noon, the Halloween Carnival at Ripley’s Aquarium Plaza brings live entertainment, games, kid’s craft tables, a costume contest and tons of candy until 5 p.m.  This is the 5th annual Halloween event and it just keeps getting bigger and better each year.  Plan to spend the day at the plaza, have a nice dinner, and be ready for the best trick-or-treat night you’ve ever had along the downtown strip.  Gatlinburg businesses pull out all the stops to decorate, dress up and give out the best treats!  View Halloween Carnival Flyer.

We hope you have a spectacular Halloween in the Smokies!
Click Here to Find Out About Halloween 2013!
The Staff at Carr's Cottages

20th Annual Smoky Mountain Homecoming at Robert Tino Gallery

Come Home to the Smokies

Visitors and locals alike will be gathering this weekend at the annual Smoky Mountain Home Coming sponsored by Artist Robert Tino at the Robert Tino Gallery’s Sunset View Farm location just off Hwy. 66 in Sevierville.  This event has grown in both size and popularity to be a highlight of the fall season!

On Saturday and Sunday, October 6-7 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., you can travel back in time to the days when hard work, homemaking and farm skills were a necessity, and life was just well… simpler.  Children played outdoors and created games from items around the farmhouse, Father’s did woodworking and farmed the land, and Mother’s sewed, cooked, and helped to make whatever house they had a home.  This homecoming weekend unites regional craftsmen and women, dressed in period attire, to demonstrate their Appalachian skills that have been sustained and preserved over time.

October 2012 Smoky Mountain Homecoming

October 6-7, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

This year’s activities and festival highlights include:

Robert Tinos Homecoming Kettle Corn

Ummm… Kettle Corn!

Gospel & Bluegrass Music:
Jimbo Whaley & Greenbrier
The South of the River Boys
The Dulcimer Club

Demonstrations & Exhibits:
Quilting, Soap & Molassas Making
Bow & Arrow
Ole Smoky Moonshine
Robert Tino Artwork

Just for Kids:
Pumpkin Patch
Old Fashioned Kids Games
Face Painting, Petting Zoo
Pony & Wagon Rides
Instructional Art Classes

A new exhibit will be Tennessee’s Largest Antique Tractor and Engine Show, featuring over 100 tractor makes and models to look at.  You’ll also enjoy authentic Appalachian Mountain Arts & Crafts from the East Tennessee Historical Society and other local Mountain Folk, outdoor ironwork, great food including funnel cakes, kettle corn and Buddy’s BBQ.

You’ll want to visit both days, but arrive by 9:15 a.m. on Sunday for an old-fashioned Sunday service under the old oak trees followed by favorite gospel tunes of Jimbo Whaley and Greenbrier.

Admission and parking is free to all.  Children’s activities with small fees will support our local Boys & Girls club.  Food, artwork, souvenirs and crafts available for purchase all weekend.

Please visit Robert Tino’s official Smoky Mountain Homecoming web site for sponsors, a schedule of events, and directions.  We hope you have a barrel of fun!!

2012 Smoky Mountain Celebration Supports Minor Sports

We at Carr’s Cottages don’t normally blog about local fundraisers, but this is one we felt our readers would want to take part in.

Sevier County High School is striving to bridge the gap between the funds that are donated to the usual sports programs such as football and boy’s basketball, and those that are just as important and promote participation and physical well-being to a larger number of students such as girl’s volleyball, wrestling, soccer, golf, and other minor sports.

This phenomenal fundraiser is called Smoky Mountain Celebration and runs now through September 28, with celebration day being September 29.  Tickets are $100 each and ONLY 3,000 tickets will be sold.  Your chance of winning is far greater than any state lottery has ever been – odds are 1:87!  And better yet, winners need not be present to win.  To be eligible for the early bird drawings, purchase your ticket quick—by September 1!

Cash and Prize Awards


The celebration and drawings will be held on September 29 at Smokies Baseball Stadium in Kodak.  There will be free food, free beverages and free entertainment for all ticket holders.  Guests of ticket holders can enjoy the day of fun too with $25 admission.  (Guests will not be eligible for any early bird or prize drawings.)  Gates will open at 11 a.m., and drawings will begin at Noon and continue until 3 p.m.

Over $150,000 in cash and prizes will be given away including:

  • $1,000’s Cash
  • $2,500 Tanger Outlet Gift Card
  • Honda Ranger ATV
  • Viking Stainless Gas Grills
  • Luxury Camper
  • $1,000 Bass Pro Gift Certificate
  • Harley Davidson Softail Slim Motorcycle
  • Chevy 4×4 Truck
  • More!

If you’d like to have a chance at winning a great prize and furthering the sports programs important to so many kids, purchase your ticket or tickets securely online using Paypal or print the mail-in entry form.  Keep in mind, any entries received after 3,000 tickets are sold will be returned.  If you have any questions, please call (865) 453-4666.

We hope to have several winners from our readership!
From Amy's Desk 

2012 Dollywood Southern Gospel & Harvest Celebration in Pigeon Forge

Uplifting Music, Timeless Traditions, and Great Southern Cookin’

Dollywood is doing it again this Fall – inspiring us all with a month’s worth of free gospel music at the biggest Southern Gospel Festival in the Smokies!  Included with the regular park admission price, Dollywood is offering hundreds of outstanding gospel concerts by the genre’s most popular artists, Quartets and bands.  Performances are scheduled daily throughout the park at the Celebrity Theater, Showstreet Theater, Singing News Stage, Robert F. Thomas Chapel, and the Stage at the Back Porch.  View or Download the Dollywood Gospel Concert Schedule.

2012 Dollywood Gospel Harvest Festival

October 3 – November 3

So, what exactly awaits your family’s vacation in Pigeon Forge during the most beautiful season of the year?  Well, while enjoying the park’s autumn décor and fall foliage and listening to the most uplifting gospel singers you will be privileged to hear, how about up-close demonstrations by visiting crafters?  Talented artisans will be making and selling their unique, handmade collectibles and treasures at craft exhibits you won’t find anywhere else.  Artisans from across the USA will be sharing their time-honored skills to introduce you to the arts of quilting, Sorghum and rope making, paper marbling, weaving and spinning, woodworking and glass blowing.  It’s an opportunity to watch, learn and purchase their heirloom quality creations!

And don’t forget, this is also called a Harvest Celebration.  The food at the Southern Gospel & Harvest Celebration won’t disappoint you.  Special dishes all throughout the park, such as Dolly’s signature fried green tomatoes, will showcase the season’s finest ingredients and delightfully unique Southern tastes.  All for your enjoyment!

Make your plans to attend now and purchase your discount Dollywood tickets from our front desk.  You know you don’t want to miss out on Pigeon Forge’s fine fall weather this October, nor the food, fun, artisans, and gospel music experience waiting for you at Dollywood’s Southern Gospel & Harvest Celebration!

Unusual Gatlinburg Museum at Winery Square

Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum at Winery Square

If you thought Guinness World Records Museum was different, bet you never imagined there would be a museum for Salt and Pepper Shakers.  It’s true and Gatlinburg’s got it!  They are not only the home of the LARGEST collection, but the ONLY Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum in the world.  And it’s full.  Over 20,000 sets full!  They also have the largest Pepper Mill collection (1500) from around the world.

Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum Gatlinburg TN

Over 20,000 Sets of Shakers!

Owned and operated by Belgium-born Andrea Ludden and her husband Rolf, Andrea found that as her personal collection grew over the years, so did her enchantment with them.  She just knew she had to open a museum.   With her archeological background, Andrea could discern the societal changes that the shakers represented and wanted to share them with others. As you walk through the museum you will see these changes from ancient times to the 1500’s, 1800’s, 1920’s, 40’s, 60’s all the way to present time.

The salt and pepper shaker collection is delightfully displayed by theme and color.   Frequently, Andrea creates little stories within the displays about the shakers that will delight those young of heart.  There are dozens of penguins, Amish farmers, glowing space aliens, hundreds of chefs and countless variations of every vegetable on the planet.

There are also shakers honoring such eclectic subjects as the Apollo XI moon landing, the Beatles, and McDonald’s menu items.  And of course, there is a bounty of unusual salt and pepper shakers. Some people evidently don’t mind pouring their seasoning out of a toilet or a human foot!

The gift shop sells many of the same shakers that you can see in the museum.  Most of them are duplicates that family and friends would purchase for Andrea as they traveled; unaware that she already had them.  These fun and unique shakers have found their way to the gift shop so you may have the pleasure of a set in your home.

Not only is this museum unusual, so is the admission price.  Children 12 and under are FREE and the $3.00 admission charge per adult goes towards any Salt and Pepper Shaker purchase in the gift shop.  How unique is that?

The Salt & Pepper Shaker Museum is just across East Parkway from Carr’s.  Head across our footbridge to Winery Square and enjoy a little history, a little whimsy, and the great folks eager to share their hobby with you!

Hours: Monday thru Sunday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Cool All Day Fun at Dollywood Splash Country

Dolly’s Splash Country Water Park

It’s summer.  And it’s HOT, even in the Great Smoky Mountains!  For a full day of ‘gettin cool,’  head to Dollywood’s Splash Country in Pigeon Forge.

Splash Country Water Park Pigeon Forge TN

Hurry! Last day is September 3

Dolly’s Splash Country is more than just a water park.  Of course there are exciting water adventure slides and thrill rides – 23 of them – but there are also two interactive children’s playground areas:  the Cascades, an 8,000-sq.-ft. lagoon-style pool that features a cascading waterfall and interactive slides, and Little Creek Falls, an exciting and safe place for the younger kids to play for hours in a pool with slides and an activity center.

There are so many exciting and thrilling rides, you won’t know which ones to try first!   Here are just a few descriptions to “wet” your appetite!

Slick Rock Racer is multi-lane mats slide spanning 300 feet and features four lanes. Positioned belly down on mats, each rider travels head first on a channel that includes an initial dip to build speed. Multiple bumps along the length of the slide allow riders to gain additional momentum that propels them to the finish.

Raging River Rapids is a raft ride that gives you endless adventure and the experience of riding the white waters of the Great Smoky Mountains.  You will get soaked on the 700-foot Raging River Rapids. Each raft holds up to five people, but there’s no limit to the fun on this exciting ride.

Big Bear Plunge - Take the “plunge” on this extreme white water rafting adventure ride that takes you banking through dark caverns with winding bends and steep drops reminiscent of challenging river expeditions. You’ll crash through a wall of water just before sliding down the bumpy cliff that sends you splashing into the pool below.

Splash Country is open every day through August 19, after which it will be open weekends only.  The last day of the 2012 season is Labor Day, Monday September 3.  Hours are 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Discounted Dolly’s Splash Country tickets are available at our front desk through August 12.  After August 12, you can click here to check out your Splash Country ticket options.

Better hurry and make your Carr’s reservations… time sure flies when you’re planning to have fun!!

Spirits of the Smokies – Gatlinburg TN Good Old Mountain Dew

Moonshining in Gatlinburg

Downtown Gatlinburg

Smoky Mountain Moonshine Distillery
Ole Smoky Moonshine Holler
903 Parkway, Gatlinburg TN
(865) 436.6995

Ever wonder if the stories told about moonshine-making in the backwoods of the Smoky Mountains, strangers suspected of being government “revenuers” going up into the mountains—but never seen again—and hot rod cars running a fresh batch of Tennessee “corn liquor” at midnight were true?

Well, they are.  And the Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine Distillery is living proof!  At the distillery, you will be able to see the East Tennessee raised corn that has been transported to the family mill ground and the grains converted into the clear corn liquor this part of the country is famous for:  Good ole Tennessee moonshine!

Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine is run by local families.  Their Scottish-Irish ancestors brought their knowledge of whiskey making, a.k.a. moonshining, with them.  They soon discovered that the conditions in the area were good for growing corn, and it didn’t take long for them to realize a lot more money could be made off of a gallon of corn liquor than a bushel of eatin’ corn.

Many families here share a history of making, running, or selling whiskey for over two hundred years.  Recipes and traditions have been passed down through these generations who have been growing corn and making whiskey even before Tennessee was a state.

Ole Smoky is the first federally licensed distillery in East Tennessee.  Stop in and take home a sample of Tennessee history for all your friends and family back home.  Try Original Moonshine for sippin, White Lightnin’ for mixin, Moonshine Cherries, and seasonal favorites including Apple Pie, Blueberry and Peach.  Be sure to print a copy of Moonshine Recipes to go along with your souvenirs!!

Hours: Every day from 10 a.m. till 10 p.m.
Hours may vary based on the season, so please call ahead.  No alcohol sold on Sundays

Carr’s Cottages and Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine ask that you Shine Responsibly®!

Dollywood Kidfest – Now through July 29, 2012 in Pigeon Forge

Dollyworld Kids Festival

Through July 29, 2012

Dollyworld Festival #3

“There’s nothing to do…..”, “I’m bored…..”   What parent hasn’t heard these statements from the back seat of the car while on vacation?  Well, Dollywood TN has an arsenal of fun things for the whole family to do this summer.  One of them is called KidsFest and it runs June 22-July 29, 2012!

KidsFest is the largest kid’s festival in the South!   Kidsfest features a series of family-friendly musical, comedic, and magical entertainment acts that will please and delight everyone, no matter their age.  All summer long, besides the amusement park rides and live music that is always available at Dollywood, KidsFest will entertain you with puppets, music, dogs, juggling, bubbles, and illusions!  Here are just some of the highlights for 2012:

The Gazillion Bubbles Show is back!  Astounding bubble artistry as you have never seen or imagined takes bubbles from the bathtub to an interactive world filled with lasers, spectacular lighting effects, and jaw-dropping masterpieces of bubble artistry.

The Imagination Playhouse will host the Penguin Players as they bring three storybook favorites to life. Each of the three lively 20-minute musicals has sing-along songs written by Dolly herself!

New for 2012:  Keep a look out for flying dogs! You may have seen Chris Perondi’s Stunt Dog Experience on Oprah or Animal Planet.  Chris’ show consists of a dozen of America’s most gifted canines that defy gravity, perform unbelievable jumps, tricks and stunts!  Beware – every child will leave this show wanting their own dog!

Make your reservations at Carr’s Cottages so that you can head to Dollywood in Pigeon Forge this summer and be a kid—with discounted tickets!! We guarantee you will not hear your kids complaining there is nothing to do!

The park is open every day during the month of July.  Dollywood hours July 5-29 are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. July 29-30.  July 29 marks the beginning of Dollywood Nights with extended park hours through August 12, 2012.

Gatlinburg Girlfriends Getaway at Carr’s Cottages

Girls’ Weekend Away!

You know you have been thinking about it for some time now and have probably even discussed it with your closest girlfriends.  Well, it’s time to do something about it.  The first thing to do is to admit it out loud:  You want a Girls’ Weekend Getaway and the Great Smoky Mountains is exactly the place to go!

You already know about the endless opportunities for relaxing at Carr’s Cottages including a soak in the hot tub, a dip in the swimming pool, or sitting beside Roaring Fork creek with a good book.  You and all of your friends can indulge in plenty of daytime fun and then retreat to Carr’s for some much needed girl time in comfortable accommodations.

And, you also probably already know about the shopping Gatlinburg is famous for.  The downtown strip is filled with handcrafted gifts by local artisans, freshly made fudge and candies, t-shirts, hand-poured candles and Smoky Mountain souvenirs galore.  But there is more!

Here some suggested activities for a great Gatlinburg getaway:


Girlfriends Getaway in Gatlinburg TN

Girlfriend's Getaway Weekend at Carr's

Smoky Mountains Spas
Nothing says “Girls” like the spa experience!  Melt your cares and worries away while you catch up with each other and get the pampering you deserve.  Visit one or visit them all!

Gatlinburg Day Spa:  The area’s most exclusive spa!  Book online and receive special discounts!  Open daily, 362 days a year!

About You Salon:  All the services you would expect at a Gatlinburg spa set in a unique atmosphere, surrounded by the majestic Smoky Mountains.  Retreat to a place that is all about you!

Utopia Spa Retreat:  A full service day spa and salon where each session is personally designed to provide you with a unique, individual experience.  This spa is located in Sevierville.

A Mountain View Spa:  The spa that comes to you!  Yes, you read that right; this spa comes to YOUR cabin or cottage right here at Carr’s!  What could be more relaxing and luxurious than this?

Tennessee Laser & Skin Rejevenation:  Not a spa, but definitely rejuvenating!  Return home and having everyone saying how wonderful and relaxed you look after a microdermabrasion, total FX laser treatment, or even BOTOX.  Who will be the wiser when you return home?

Wine Tours
How about a winery tour with your besties?  Imagine the fun of watching wine being made and then sampling the creations for free!  And you can even sample other Tennessee area products or buy a decorative wine bottle stopper to commemorate your tour.  Ride the Gatlinburg trolley to avoid parking or driving issues after sampling approximately 10 wines at each winery!  There are several wineries through the Smokies, with at least one in each Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville.

Apple Barn Winery, Hillside Winery, Mountain Valley Winery, Smoky Mountain Winery, Sugarland Cellers

Read our previous article for additional winery information.  After you sample the glorious grape and fruit flavors in the Smoky Mountain region at these wineries, head out to dinner and a show!

What better way is there to end a great day with the girls than dinner out and one of the many live shows for which Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are famous?

Dinner & Shows
Comedy Hypnosis with Jon Dee:  Because the show is based solely on audience participation, every show is unique.   Located at the Gatlinburg Space Needle.

Country Tonite Theatre:  One of the longest running shows (16th season!) in Pigeon Forge combines country classics with the latest country hits.

The Great Smoky Mountain Murder Mystery Dinner Show:  This entertaining show infuses comedy by way of an interactive mystery for guests to solve as they dine on a fantastic four-course meal.  Near The Pottery Barn in Pigeon Forge.

So, stop talking about doing something with your girlfriends and y’all come on over and enjoy all that the Great Smoky Mountain area can dish out!  It will be a getaway you will want to repeat for years!

Smoky Mountain Winery Tours – It’s a Sweet Adventure

Wine Tours of the Smokies

Wine Makers in the Great Smoky Mountains

Smoky Mountain Wine Tours

Wine connoisseurs and novices alike will enjoy the wineries of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and Sevierville, TN.  Each winery offers an exciting, out-of-the-ordinary, Southern style experience!  Just like the characteristics of people in the South, many wines made here are on the sweeter side of the spectrum.  Each winery also has skilled staff to welcome you and they are ready to share their special knowledge of producing their wine.

Here is a sampling of just some wineries located in the Smoky Mountain area:

Hillside Winery
229 Collier Drive
Sevierville TN
(865) 908-8482

Hillside Winery in Sevierville TN is the second newest winery in the mountains of East Tennessee.  Winner of 7 “Wines of the South” awards in 2011, Hillside Winery focuses on producing Italian style and Sparkling wines. Many of the varieties of wine available at Hillside are made from grapes and fruit that are locally grown. Also, they cap their wines, as opposed to using corks!  A tour is available for you to experience how they make wine from the crushing and pressing of the fruit, to the moment it is ready to be bottled. Tastings are always free, and other Tennessee products are often available for sampling.

Hours:  Open Daily
January 1st – March 31st
Sunday – Thursday: 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Friday – Saturday: 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.

April 1st – December 31st
7 Days a Week: 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Christmas Eve: Close at 6 p.m.
Thanksgiving Day: Close at 5 p.m.

Mountain Valley Winery
2174 Parkway
Pigeon Forge TN
(865) 436-7551

A national award-winning winery, Mountain Valley Winery in Pigeon Forge, TN, produces 15 kinds of French and German style wines that vary from dry to semi-sweet.  They also offer a great selection of dessert wines. Located just past the Titanic Museum attraction in Pigeon Forge, Mountain Valley Winery is in the heart of the Smoky Mountain vacation area.  During September and October there is a possibility of seeing them bottle wine or crush grapes!  Tours and samples are free!  They also sell a quality selection of Tennessee farm products that complement their wines.

Hours:  Open Daily

January 1st – March 31st
Sunday – Thursday: 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Friday – Saturday: 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.

April 1st – December 31st
7 Days a Week: 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Christmas Eve: Close at 6 p.m.
Thanksgiving Day: Close at 5 p.m.

Sugarland Cellars

1133 Parkway
Gatlinburg TN
(865) 325-1110

Sugarland Cellars is an elegant new addition to the family of wineries in Gatlinburg TN.   Sugarland Cellars is a sister winery of the Rocky Top Wine Trail (Hillside Winery, Apple Barn Winery, and Mountain Valley Winery).  Sugarland Cellars carries a mix of wines from the Apple Barn Winery and the Hillside Winery.  However, Sugarland also offers their own line of fun wine freezers and their amazing Sangria for sale!  Sugarland Cellars offers tours from noon to 6 p.m. and complimentary tastings of all wines available.

Hours:  Open Daily
January 1st – March 31st
Sunday – Thursday: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Friday – Saturday: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

April 1st – December 31st
7 Days a Week: 10 a.m. -9 p.m.

Christmas Eve: Close at 6 p.m.
Thanksgiving Day: Close at 5 p.m.

 *Don’t miss out on The Rocky Top Wine Trail!  Three wineries located within three miles of each other:   Hillside Winery, followed by the Apple Barn Winery, and finally the Mountain Valley Winery. Please plan ahead if you are driving as you will sample roughly ten different wines at each location.  A nice surprise: they usually give out Smoky Mountain souvenir wine glasses after the tastings!