Thursday, January 20, 2011

Smoky Mountain Attractions Welcome Homeschool Families

As a homeschool family that loves to travel, I’m always on the lookout for attractions that offer great deals and discounts to the homeschool community. Recently, our homeschool cover school announced that two Smoky Mountain attractions offered specific discounts to homeschool families. Well, that certainly got the gears in my brain in motion! I’ve been waiting for a good excuse to visit the area and that was just the push I needed to begin planning our fun, family, homeschool field trip!   

Aquarium- Smoky Mountain Attractions

Ripley Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg, offers homeschool students and their immediate family (living in the same household) a discounted rate of $7.00 per person. You can purchase your tickets from Guest Services when you arrive at the aquarium. Be prepared to display your homeschool membership card or attendance record. If you have any questions, you can contact the aquarium’s education department.

This was a great deal for my family since we pay adult prices now that my children are all over the age of 12, but if you have children between the ages of 2 to 5, you’ll get a better rate if you pay for them separately (don’t forget you can save $2 per ticket if you purchase them online before you arrive).    

WonderWorks, a Smoky Mountain Attraction

WonderWorks Science Museum in Pigeon Forge is not only one of the top rated Smoky Mountain attractions, it is also one of the best science museums we have ever visited! 

If you contact Andrea, the Educational Director, at least 24 hours prior to your arrival she will alert the box office of your visit so you’ll receive the discounted rate of $14.50 per person upon your arrival. When you contact her include your full name and number of people in your family and make sure you have your homeschool I.D. card handy in order to receive the discounted rate. If you don’t have an I.D. card, The Homeschool Buyers Co-op offers a free template that will allow you to create your own. 

Homeschool rates for 2011 are valid Sunday- Friday with prior reservations throughout the year, excluding holidays. However, February is homeschool month so everyone in your party with a homeschool I.D. can enter for only $10! No reservations are required for the month of February only.   

Purchasing the souvenir book at the box office for $3, will give you a coupon for buy one, get one free for laser tag (which normally costs $5.50 a game). If you have four in your family that want to play, you’ll want two books in order to get two free coupons. The souvenir book also has a fun scavenger hunt in the back that your children will enjoy as they make their way through the exhibits.     

Titanic Museum, a Smoky mountain attraction

There was one other Smoky Mountain Attraction that I didn’t want to miss out on while on this trip, The Titanic Museum!  I wasn’t aware that they offered a homeschool discount, but I thought it certainly wouldn’t hurt to ask if one was available. Guess what? It turns out that they offer a family pass of $64.50 for advance reservations (includes tax) or $66.50 at the door- though  this offer is not specific to homeschool families, it is a great deal for families with older children that would normally pay $20+ per person for the individual ticket rate (for those over 12).

We had studied The Titanic in the past so we didn’t spend a lot of time looking over the website, but if you need to brush up before your visit, the educational resource page is a great place to start.  

We had a great weekend and I can’t wait to tell you about each individual attraction, but in the meantime, maybe you can begin planning your own homeschool field trip to the Smokies!

Are you aware of any other Smoky Mountain attractions that offer discounts to homeschool families?


  1. Hey Tonya, I'm just catching up on my blog reading and was excited to see that you had some Gatlinburg info! We're planning a trip there later this summer and I had almost forgotten about the WonderWorks Museum!

    Thanks for the reminder. Love your blog!

  2. Hey Nancy! I'm so glad to see you stopping by. You know, I never have made
    it to your area to see that Round Table. One of these days! We'll be heading
    back to Gatlinburg this summer too. It snowed on our last visit and many of
    the mountain roads were closed so we hit the indoor attractions. Next time
    we're looking forward to Sugarlands Visitor Center and Cades Cove. Missed
    those this time around.

    Have you been to a WonderWorks Museum? My family LOVED it!

  3. No, we haven't been to WonderWorks yet. I have read wonderful things about it via blogs, but this summer will be our first time in Gatlinburg as a family in 8 years I guess. Last summer JUST Tony and I went for our anniversary, but we really didn't hit the educational attractions that time. Ha! But we did do the Sugarlands Visitor Center and Cades Cove, and saw a BUNCH of bears. It was SO fun!

    I hope that you all do stop by sometime to do the Round Table, and of course, we're known for the Trail of Tears as well. My youngest was just asking me about that story again a few days ago. Sometimes I forget that he was too little to remember when we did those field trips and that I need to repeat them!


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