Editor’s Note: During this period of social distancing, Student Group Tour magazine will continue to provide ideas for planning educational travel. Many attractions and destinations are closed at this time; please contact them directly for updated information.

Dollywood, the 150-acre theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, commemorates its 35th anniversary season in 2020.

Packed with rides and live entertainment shows, Dollywood also is brimming with educational resources, said Ellen Liston, senior publicist.

“Students can experience live crafting demonstrations by artisans to explore what life was like in Appalachia in the early 1900s,” Liston said.

Eagle Mountain Sanctuary is a 30,000-square-foot aviary at Dollywood where students can see birds of prey.

“Dollywood proudly exhibits the nation’s largest exhibit of non-releasable bald eagles,” Liston said. “Our Birds of Prey show allows students to dive deeper into the ecology of these majestic animals.”

Dollywood also offers performance opportunities for bands and choirs.

Educators can make physics more thrilling by using the park’s STEM lesson plans that explore the velocity of a roller coaster.

Credit: The Dollywood Company

Dollywood’s celebrated new area, Wildwood Grove, opened in 2019. Earning the 2019 Golden Ticket Award for Best Kids’ Area of any theme park in the world, Wildwood Grove is the perfect place for students of all ages to explore, play and imagine together.

All students on school-sponsored field trips visiting on a weekday receive complimentary lunch vouchers.  

“Dollywood opens the door for students to experience educational material in a fun and stimulating environment,” Liston said. “In a world where our attention is continually vied for by electronics, Dollywood offers an organic way to make learning enjoyable and captivating. We hope to spark the curiosity of young minds and encourage them to learn and love to learn.”

For more information call 865-428-9890 or go to dollywood.com.