Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center: Townsend, Tennessee

heritage-center-Townsend-TennesseeThis weekend we went and visited one of our favorite places in Townsend, Tennessee.  The Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center.  We have come here often throughout the years because they have so many great events that our either free or low cost.  One of our favorites is The Blue Ribbon County Fair  which is held every September.  There is a catch the greased pig contest for the kids.  They literally take a can of Crisco, smear it on the pig and let the pig run and the kids try and catch it.  I am proud to say I have 2 greased pig champions in my house!  They also have a rooster crowing contest which my 16 year loves to enter and she won this year.  It is a great day for old timey fun.

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This weekend we explored the museum at the Heritage Center.  They have wonderful exhibits inside that tell the history of the region from the Native American times to the time of the early settlers.  They even have a few interactive computers stations.  My kids loved playing Chunkey, creating a clay pot and shaping an arrowhead on the computers.  There is also a transportation section that tells the history of the different ways people got around in the mountains, and also how they built their roads.  My husband loved this area.

heritage center

 Outside they have a whole Historic Village of old buildings that have been removed from their original spots to the Heritage Center, so we are now able to enjoy them.  Sometimes they have demonstrations going on in these buildings.  I especially love when they are cooking cornbread over the fire and making homemade butter.  Nothing ever tasted so good!

heritage center 2We also enjoy the old church.  It has a working bell that the kids love to ring.  It has a beautiful sound.  The old pump organ at the front of the church still works and I enjoyed playing it.  

Townsend is the quiet side of the Smokies, and we love to explore it.  The Heritage Center is definitely worth a stop and will be one of the highlights of your trip.

Some other fun places to explore in the Smokies!

John Oliver Cabin

Middle Prong Trail



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    What a fun family adventure! We enjoy hiking as a family and this is a great way to experience the mountains and history! Thanks for sharing!

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