Dollywood’s Harvest Festival is in full swing, and it’s not over yet! Even though we are closing in on the end of October, the Harvest Festival runs through Nov. 3, so you’ve got plenty of time to plan your family’s trip! I asked my fellow Dollywood Insiders what some of their “must do” items were during the festival, and it was great to see the variety of ideas they shared. These are the top seven things you need to see before the Harvest Festival ends!
See Great Pumpkin LumiNights
What kind of Dollywood Insider would I be if I didn’t mention the amazing Great Pumpkin LumiNights display? This year’s display has doubled in size from last year, and might just take up all your time if you let it. Artisans have crafted and carved thousands of pumpkins in incredibly unique displays. My personal favorite is the giant pumpkin guitar! Fellow Insider PJ says, “Be sure to take a family photo at the beautiful cornucopia. We do this every year and compare.” What a great family tradition!
Take in a Show
Unique to the Harvest Festival, stop and sit a spell for one of the many acts you can see during the Southern Gospel Jubilee. The Southern Gospel Jubilee is the largest Southern Gospel celebration in the world. Insider Kelly H. said, “The thing we did unique to the Harvest Festival (besides seeing the pumpkin displays) was go to two shows – we weren’t familiar with the groups, but wow! We enjoyed them both so much!” Guests can see many different singing groups throughout the various stages in the park. Make sure to check the performance schedules daily for showtimes and locations! All performances in this festival are included with your admission.
Specialty Crafters and Artisans
If you’re anything like me, I usually don’t take enough time to stop and “smell the roses.” My family loves to ride, ride, ride, but during the Harvest Festival, it would be a great time to stop and see what else Dollywood has to offer. Throughout the park, guests will be able to see unique crafters and artisans from all over the country. While you’re at it, check a few items off your holiday shopping list and pick up great finds like pottery, jewelry, and hand-painted glass!
Try Something New to Eat
So many of my fellow Insiders said the food at the Harvest Festival was on their “must do” list! Erica said that the Apple Cider Float was a must for her. When I asked why, she said, “The Apple Cider float reminds me of an apple pie in a cup. It’s the perfect balance of sweet with notes of spice and creamy vanilla ice cream. A root beer float has nothing on this treat!” Yum! We also had a lot of votes for the pumpkin spice funnel cake and candy corn shaped Rice Krispie treats.
Watch Pumpkin Carving Masters
Did you know there was such a thing as master pumpkin carvers? Neither did I until I heard about them at Dollywood’s Harvest Festival! Every day of the festival, from 1 – 9 p.m., watch master carvers create intricate, detailed designs that will be proudly added to the display that fills Timber Canyon.
Glow Like a Pumpkin
Kids (and adults) will love the unique glow-in-the-dark face painting opportunities during the Harvest Festival. Get yourself or your child painted during the day, and watch your glow come to life at night! Artists also will be creating paintings throughout the day that will add to the incredible ambiance of the park at night.
Make a New Friend
Finally, don’t pass up the opportunity to make a new friend! Harvey the Pumpkin, Vine Vinny, and all of their friends are ready to greet your family in Wilderness Pass. Meet them daily during the Harvest Festival from 4 – 9 p.m. at the giant pumpkin tree in The Plaza at Wilderness Pass. Make this photo stop a yearly tradition for your family, and you’ll have memories that will last a lifetime.
I hope you don’t pass up the opportunity to visit the Harvest Festival before it ends on Nov. 3! What are some of your family’s “must dos” at the Harvest Festival?