5 Tips to Make your Pigeon Forge Campground Experience Kid Friendly

RV there yet?

There is nothing more exciting than the thought of getting away from the busyness of our daily lives, packing up the family, and going on a grand camping adventure. Even better is when you can take the comfort of home, by going on an RV camping trip. We’ve taken all of our camping experiences to come up with the top 5 tips on how to make your Pigeon Forge campground experience kid friendly, to create memories to last for years to come.

1. Pick the Best RV Camping Park:

With a myriad of campgrounds to chose from, it can be easy to get lost in the amount of choices available. Some things to look for specifically are, location, amenities, and customer service. Location is incredibly important, because you don’t want to go somewhere that is either so crowded and noisy that the whole trip becomes more stressful than your daily life, and you also don’t want to be somewhere that is so secluded and far away from everything that you begin to feel stranded. Camp Riverslanding offers the best of both worlds by being located within minutes of your favorite Pigeon Forge spots, but secluded enough to provide an environment free of traffic noise, and filled with the melodious sounds of birds chirping and leaves rustling. Not only that, we also have the absolute best river access. It’s so awesome that we’ve included river tubing as one of our many great amenities!

2. Create a Checklist:

Now that you’ve picked the best campground in the area (dare we say world?) it’s time to create a checklist to provide the smoothest trip, with no “Oh no, I forgot…” moments. This checklist will house all the items that you need to pack and bring on your RV camping adventure, the essentials, and miscellaneous things you may need. It’s fun to include the kids in this to let them have a sense of having an important role in helping out for the trip. And also making sure that they won’t forget their favorite plush toy.

3. Make an Activity List:

To make sure that there is something fun to do for every day of your trip, try creating an activity list of the things the whole family would like to do! Include your kids in the planning, and see what sort of adventures they would like to do together. Pigeon Forge is filled with exciting and fun places to have days upon days of fun. There are practically endless trails to go on (check out Five Trails you have to Hike when you’re Camping in Pigeon Forge) Camp Riverslanding also offers great amenities for those day when you just want to take a break and relax, including tubing, arcade, basketball court, and even a spa for those sore muscles! Make sure to check what sort of weather to expect to plan accordingly. Every day can be filled with fun, even rainy days! You can have a fun indoor day by playing board games together, taking turns telling stories, and even drawing some of the experiences you’ve had together on the trip!

4. Plan Delicious Meals

While it can be fun to eat out every day you’re on vacation, you can also make really easy meals that the whole family can have fun putting together. Cooking as a family has always been a wonderful bonding experience, and cooking fun meals over a bonfire is such a fun memory to make. Involve your kids by asking them what kind of meals they would like to have on the trip, and even getting them to participate in easy preparation tasks. A good tip to use is creating pre-measured meals in bags that can be easily cooked over fire, or in a crockpot in your RV. This will save a lot of preparation time. Simply prepare everything before the trip, throw it in a bag, and label it! You can even half cooking them to cut down the cooking time.

5. Make the Nights Memorable

After a long day of adventures, spend some quiet quality time with your kids by talking about the day around a bonfire, while stargazing, or in the comfort of the RV. Ask them what their favorite parts of the day were, and go over what you’ll be doing the next day, and even what they would like to do. Tell them a story about the area you are in to immerse them into the experience of the area even more.

By following these tips your camping trip will be a smooth, fun filled family adventure that you and your kids will remember for years to come. If you have any questions about how Camp Riverslanding can make your family vacation unforgettable, give us a call!

3 Ways you can Help the Smokies after the Fire

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To get a tshirt with this design visit smokiesstrong.org

November 28 is a day many will remember in the Gatlinburg community. In a wildfire like none other in the city’s past, more than 2400 buildings and homes were damaged or destroyed. 14,000 people were forced to evacuate from the place they called home, and 14 people lost their lives. When terrible tragedies happen like this, many experience overwhelming emotions of sadness for those who have been affected, but more importantly, a desire to help in any way they can. However, many people are often unsure of what they can do.

Although the wildfire has devastated the Gatlinburg community, it has been immensely inspiring to see the incredible amount of people who have taken matters into their own hands, and offered their help. The spirit of the state’s volunteer nickname has held true in a time when it’s needed the most. This portrays the incredible strength at the heart of the community. Here are 3 ways that you can be a part of helping the Smokies after the fire.

Don’t Stop Coming to the Smoky Mountains

Gatlinburg has been a favorite vacation place for millions of people over the years. This has created a thriving and growing community that provides livelihoods for the people who call Gatlinburg home. If you have vacationed there in the past, or were planning on visiting, one of the ways you can help is to keep coming back! Gatlinburg relies on tourists to keep its flourishing city going, and now as they try to rebuild the areas that were lost, it’s even more important to support the growth. Today, December 9th marks the first day of Gatlinburg being open to the public, get out there and support the community by going to your favorite shops, buy local Christmas gifts, eat at your favorite local restaurant, and before you go, get some candy goodies to take with you on your way back.

Volunteer

While there have been many people who have worked together to help the Gatlinburg community, there is still much work to be done. No matter what your abilities are, there is a way you can help. Local news station WBIR has released a list that is continually updated on the many different places that need volunteers to help out. Click through to find how you can help. http://www.wbir.com/news/local/how-to-help-gatlinburg-pigeon-forge-fire-evacuees/357810685

Donate

While there are numerous ways to help by volunteering, monetary donations also help immensely in the rebuilding of the community. Families who have lost everything are being supported by the generous help of the community, and many local companies are rising to help out. You can support the cause by donating to funds such as Dolly Parton’s My People Fund which will provide families who have lost everything in the fire $1000 a month for six months to help them get back on their feet. You can check it out here https://dollywoodfoundation.org/.
Other local places supporting their community include mountaintough.org, and GoFundMe has several campaigns raising money for individual families affected by the fire https://www.gofundme.com/Tennessee-Fire-Relief.

In a world where tragedy, violence, and greed seem to rule the news reports, it’s inspiring to see the beautiful, selfless side of humanity that has pulled their strength together to help their fellow neighbors. Let’s be part of this noble force and use our abilities to help rebuild the wonderful, mountain strong community of Gatlinburg, TN.

The Best Campground Dessert

Camping is truly one of life’s most wonderful simple pleasures. You can get away from the world and take a moment to soak up the beauty of nature. You can gaze at the stars and fall asleep to that magical view.
You know what else is pretty magical? Dessert. There’s nothing more satisfying after a good, hearty meal than finishing it off with a decadent dessert. What’s great is that most of your favorite dessert recipes are totally doable even when you’re camping.

Dessert is taken to a whole new level when it’s cooked in an open fire, or even in a grill in the great outdoors. There’s something so great about being able to come up with a tasty treat when you’re out in nature. Imagine gazing up at the stars while indulging in an unforgettable sweet delight, remembering all the awesome moments you had that day. This is how memories are made. We found two of our favorite sweet delights that will satisfy any sweet tooth cravings inspired by exploring and adventuring out in the world.

Grilled Caramel Apple Crunch

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INGREDIENTS
1 cup chopped apple per person
Sprinkle of cinnamon (this should be called the sprinkle of magic)
2 Tbsp. caramel ice cream topping (keep it cool in a cooler)
1/4 cup granola

INSTRUCTIONS
Get your grill going at a medium heat (around 350º).
Get 2 pieces of aluminum foil, around 8 inches square each.
Place the chopped apples in the center of one piece of foil.
Sprinkle with cinnamon (the magical ingredient)
Drizzle caramel over the apples
Sprinkle with granola

Once all of your ingredients are in, place the other foil square over the top, and roll the foil packets snug together. Start with the corners, and then roll up the edges, allowing it to seal really well.

Then, place your little roll of magic in the grill, over some coals, or in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until you see that the apples are soft.

Be careful when you open the foil packet, and be sure to open the side farthest away from you first, that steam comes out fast and can burn.

After all that thrill is over, serve with whipped cream or ice cream. And voila!! A treat to be remembered for years to come.

Grilled Strawberry Pie

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INGREDIENTS

1 lb of delicious fresh strawberries (about 2 2/3 cups), quartered

1/4 cup strawberry preserves

1/4 of cup sugar

1 tablespoon of cornstarch

1 pie crust, softened as directed on box

2 (9-inch) disposable foil pie pans

 

INSTRUCTIONS

Who said making pie out in the great outdoors couldn’t be done? Let’s prove them wrong. Start by heating up the gas or charcoal grill to medium-high heat. Aim for the heat to be around 400°F.

In medium bowl, mix strawberries, sugar and cornstarch; set this yummy filling aside for later. Unroll pie crust. Place in an ungreased pie pan.

With the back of a spoon, spread the preserves evenly on crust.

Then, spoon the strawberry mixture on top. Slightly fold crust over filling. It makes for a really pretty little design.

Place the second pie pan upside down on the grill to create an elevated surface. Innovation!

Place the pan with the pie on top so it is elevated off grill. This will allow it to cook slowly.

Cover grill and let it cook for about 20 to 25 minutes or until crust is that unmistakable golden brown and the decadent filling is all nice and bubbly. Then remove it from grill and let it cool 10 minutes before serving. Its indulging time!!

The Best Campground Dinner

After a long day of being out and one with nature, there is nothing quite as comforting as coming back to your campsite and cooking up a good and hearty meal. It truly makes the whole day feel complete to just sit and eat with the family. Camping makes everything you do feel adventurous, and cooking is no exception. The great thing is, you’re not just limited to eating hot dogs or canned pinto beans. Whether you want something quick and easy that doesn’t require a lot of effort, or want a more elaborate and indulgent meal, there are almost no limits to what you can cook up.

Instead of hitting up a local restaurant, make it a fun family cooking night that everyone can participate in. Nothing beats eating an amazing meal under the wonder of a night filled with stars. Seriously, you’ll remember nights like this forever. Great food with awesome people and interesting conversations are what memories are made of. With just a few twists and tricks, you’ll be surprised at the awesome meals that you can make in the great outdoors. Pretty much anything you can make at home has a place in a camping dinner too. Here are some of our favorite campfire recipes that are sure to be fondly remembered for years to come. Remember to put away all of your food things after eating so bears don’t get it!

Walking Tacos

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INGREDIENTS

Corn chips or Doritos in personal packages

2 pounds of cooked ground beef (use your favorite seasoning)

2 large cans of beans

Chopped Tomatoes

Chopped Lettuce

Sharp cheddar, or your favorite shredded cheese

INSTRUCTIONS

Serve all of the toppings in little bowls for everyone to pick their favorite toppings. Have everyone get their own bag of chips and put in whatever toppings they want! It doesn’t get much easier than this.

 

Cubed Steak with Roasted Rosemary Potatoes

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INGREDIENTS

1/2 lb Cubed Steak, cut into 1″ pieces

3 Potatoes, chopped

1 Cup Green Peas

1 Cup Baby Carrots

1/2 Onion

3 – 5 Sprigs of Rosemary

3 – 5 Teaspoons Garlic Powder

Salt & Pepper, to taste 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

INSTRUCTIONS

Make two large double layers square of foil. Spray with non-stick cooking spray.

Divide all of the ingredients evenly between both foil packets.

Place the sliced potatoes in a thin layer to make a base.

Season with 1/3 of the salt, pepper and garlic.

Place the cubed steak on top of potatoes.

Season meat with 1/3 garlic, salt and pepper.

Layer peas, carrots and onion on top of meat.

Season with the remaining 1/3 of garlic, salt & pepper.

Place rosemary sprigs on top and drizzle olive oil over all ingredients.

Wrap and seal the aluminum. Make sure to leave some room in the packet to allow air to flow through as it cooks.

Cook on coals for 20 minutes. Flip about half-way through.

Open carefully, steam comes out fast and can burn. After this, the waiting is finally over. Find a beautiful spot, and enjoy your delicious meal!

The Best Campground Breakfast

Camping seems to make any activity you usually do feel like a whole new experience. An early mug of coffee accompanied by the relaxing sounds of nature, birds chirping in the air, and the smell of a smoky mountain morning is simply magical. Cooking while camping can also be a new and exciting experience. The great thing is, that you’re not just limited to a PB & J sandwich while you’re out in the wilderness, you can choose to make something as easy or as elaborate as you so desire.

Here are some of our favorite fueling breakfast ideas for any camping morning situation you find yourself in. You’re up and ready to go but need some fast fuel? We got it. You want to treat your loved ones to an indulgent and memorable breakfast? Check. Whatever you do, make sure you eat a good hearty breakfast so you can have the energy to explore the wild outdoors!

 

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Blueberry Muffins in Orange Wraps

INGREDIENTS:

Blueberry muffin mix
Oranges (2 for each person)
Aluminum Foil

INSTRUCTIONS

Whip up a blueberry muffin mix according to the package directions.

Cut an orange in half get all the orange flesh out. Maybe make some yummy juice with the leftover pulp, or you could even mix it into the mix for some more orange flavor.

Then, fill one half of the orange with the mix. Put the other on top, and tightly wrap them with the aluminum foil. After that, just toss them in the fire! They won’t burn. The orange peel works as an insulator to keep the muffin mix from burning up, and it’ll cook inside with all sorts of delicious orange goodness.

Just make sure to turn the aluminum balls in the fire, about every minute. Keep it on there for around 10 minutes, but check on them every once in a while until they are totally firm in the middle.

These are really great for being portable if kept within their wraps. Once you’re ready to eat just unwrap, and enjoy!

 

Lumberjack Breakfast

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INGREDIENTS:
Sausages or bacon
Frozen hash browns, or diced cooked potatoes
Eggs
Chopped tomatoes and green onions, or any other vegetables you like.
Shredded cheese, pick your favorite!
Cooking spray and foil

INSTRUCTIONS:

Spray some foil with cooking spray or some butter you have on hand, and make a double layer my folding it. Lay the sausages or bacon on the bottom so it gets the most direct heat from the grill to let it cook properly. If you don’t care for meat, just put in some hash browns and lots of butter.

On top of the sausages or hash browns, start layering the eggs, diced tomatoes, green onions and any other veggies. After this, you can add salt and pepper, as well as any other spices your family likes.

You’re all ready to wrap up your packet of deliciousness, and place it on a hot grill or fire for around 15-20 minutes or until you see that the meat is cooked all the way through. After its been in there and everything is done I like to add some cheese and take a few more minutes to melt the cheese. After this, its ready!

This can work for breakfast or brunch, and makes for a very filling meal!