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Family Friendly, Fun & Free
Top ten things to do in Bryson City & the Smokies. (pdf)

Here's What's Happening

Oconaluftee Indian Village

Date(s): May 01, 2015 - Oct 17, 2015

When: Mon-Sat, 10 am - 5 pm. Closed Sundays.

Where: Oconaluftee Indian Village

Mon-Sat; closed Sundays. As you step into the Oconaluftee Indian Village, you’re transported back to witness the challenges of Cherokee life at a time of rapid cultural change. Tour guides help you explore the historic events and figures of the 1760's. Visitors can interact with villagers as they  participate in their daily activities. The Village also hosts live reenactments, interactive demonstrations, and Hands-On Cherokee Pottery for Kids classes. More info

Unto These Hills Outdoor Drama

Date(s): May 30, 2015 - Aug 15, 2015

When: Mon-Sat, 8:00 pm performance. Closed Sundays.

Where: Mountainside Theater, Cherokee

Unto These Hills Outdoor Drama

Mon-Sat, closed Sundays. This acclaimed outdoor drama traces the Cherokee people through the eons, through the zenith of their power, through the heartbreak of the Trail of Tears, finally ending, appropriately, in the present day, where the Cherokee people, much like their newly re-scripted drama, continue to rewrite their place in the world ...a place based on traditional Cherokee values and modern sensibilities.  Preshow at &:30 pm. Main performance at 8:00 pm. More info & ticketing

Singing In The Smokies - Inspiration Park

Date(s): Jul 02, 2015 - Jul 04, 2015

When: All programs begin at 11:00 am

Where: Inspiration Park, 1130 Hyatt Creek Road, Bryson City

Join The Inspirations for their annual Independence Weekend Festival featuring some of the biggest names in southern gospel. For more information call 828-497-2060 or click here.

NOC’s Sizzlin’ 4th of July

Date(s): Jul 03, 2015 - Jul 05, 2015

Where: Nantahala Outdoor Center, Bryson City

NOC’s Sizzlin’ 4th of July

This 4th of July weekend, celebrate with family-friendly outdoor events in Bryson City, NC. With free live music, sizzlin' sales at NOC's Outfitter's Store, and all-ages activities on and off the water, you'll hit it out of the park at NOC this holiday. More info

Independence Day Celebration at Fontana Village

Date(s): Jul 03, 2015 - Jul 05, 2015

Where: Fontana Village Resort, Fontana Dam

Join us in celebrating everything that made America the great nation that she is. There will field & water games, hometown parade, boating, BBQ cookouts, live entertainment throughout the weekend and much, much more. Experience the best fireworks ever on the Village Green at 10pm on the 4th. For more information call 800-849-2258 or click here.

Ricky Skaggs in Concert

Date(s): Jul 03, 2015

When: 7:30 pm

Where: Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts, Franklin

Ricky Skaggs in Concert

By age 21, he was already considered a "recognized master" of one of bluegrass, but his career catapulted him to popularity and success in the mainstream of country music. Ricky is a 14-time Grammy Award winner and continues to do his part to lead the recent revival in Bluegrass music. More info

Annual 4th of July Powwow

Date(s): Jul 03, 2015 - Jul 05, 2015

Where: Cherokee Indian Fair Grounds

Annual 4th of July Powwow

Traditional, jingle and grass are but three of the types of dances world-champion Indian canders perform. For 3 days the ground erupts with a stirring spectacle of majestic tribal regalia, drum and son in a sea of twirling color. Fireworks on the 4th at 10 pm. More info

Traditional, Jingle, and Grass are but three of the types of dances world-champion Indian dancers perform. For three days the ground erupts with a stirring spectacle of majestic tribal regalia, drum, and song, in a sea of twirling color. - See more at: http://visitcherokeenc.com/events/detail/40th-annual-4th-of-july-powwow/#sthash.Vui8BxJe.dpuf
Traditional, Jingle, and Grass are but three of the types of dances world-champion Indian dancers perform. For three days the ground erupts with a stirring spectacle of majestic tribal regalia, drum, and song, in a sea of twirling color. - See more at: http://visitcherokeenc.com/events/detail/40th-annual-4th-of-july-powwow/#sthash.Vui8BxJe.dpuf

Freedom Train Dinner Ride

Date(s): Jul 04, 2015

When: 7:30 pm

Where: Bryson City Train Depot

Spend the day in Bryson City enjoying the annual Freedom Fest celebration then board the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad for a beautiful evening ride. Enjoy a BBQ meal, a visit with Uncle Sam and be back in Bryson City in time for the evening fireworks show. For reservations call 800-872-4681 or visit website.

Back Porch Old Time Music Jam

Date(s): Jul 04, 2015

When: 1:00 - 3:00 pm

Where: Oconaluftee Visitor Center, Cherokee

First and Third Saturdays, all year. Bring an acoustic instrument and join in on this old-time jam. Or just sit back and enjoy the sights and sounds as others play traditional Appalachian Music. On the covered porch at the visitor center. More info

Freedom Fest & Fireworks

Date(s): Jul 04, 2015

When: 10:00 am - 10:30 pm

Where: Downtown Bryson City

Celebrate your Fourth of July in a small town that does it right! Our old fashioned street festival begins with a dedication by the local VFW Post and continues with great local music throughout the day. The music is complemented by an amazing array of handcrafted arts and a children's area that is sure to keep the little ones occupied. And don't forget the P.A.W.S. dog show, watermelon eating contest, and hula hoop off. Stay for the full day or return later to enjoy the spectacular fireworks show at 10 pm. More info

Sponsors: Duke Energy, Bryson City Cabin Rentals, Swain County Tourism Development Authority.

Buncombe Turnpike in Concert

Date(s): Jul 04, 2015

When: 7:30 pm

Where: Stecoah Valley Center

Buncombe Turnpike in Concert

Buncombe Turnpike plays a variety of heartfelt tunes ranging from traditional and contemporary bluegrass to gospel and handcrafted originals. With their crowd pleasing demeanor, seasoned musicianship, and powerful vocals, the band has made a name for themselves among traditional and contemporary listeners alike. More info

Free Concert Featuring Somebody's Child

Date(s): Jul 11, 2015

When: 6:30 - 8:00 pm

Where: Bryson City Train Depot

Free Concert Featuring Somebody's Child

Great guitar and harmonies from Bryson City's own Ashley Claxton & Cola Williamson. Influences include Jack White, Gilliam Welch and the blues (in general). More info

The Music in the Mountains free concert series is held every Saturday evening, June 6 -  October 31 in Bryson City. Full Schedule

Concert Series sponsors: Duke Energy, Bryson City Cabin Rentals, Swain County Tourism Development Authority.

BBQ and Brews Dinner Train

Date(s): Jul 11, 2015

When: 7:00 pm

Where: Bryson City Train Depot

Board the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad and enjoy the ride along with slow-cooked BBQ prepared fresh and beer tastings showcasing the Nantahala Brewing Company of Bryson City. Tickets start at $69 and include a souvenir tasting glass for three samples of finely crafted beer selections. Call 800-872-4681 or click here.

Town Mountain in Concert

Date(s): Jul 11, 2015

When: 7:30 pm

Where: Stecoah Valley Center

Town Mountain in Concert

his hard-driving Carolina string band has collaborated and/or performed along with Doc Watson, Jim Lauderdale, Steep Canyon Rangers, Acoustic Syndicate, Keller Williams, Larry Keel, David Grisman, and The Infamous Stringdusters. In 2013 the IBMA gave them two Momentum Awards. More info

Cherokee's Dog Days Trout Tournament

Date(s): Jul 17, 2015 - Jul 18, 2015

Where: Cherokee Indian Reservation

$11 entry fee and $10,000 in tagged fish in the rivers on the Cherokee Reservation (excluding the 2.2 miles of catch and release waters) Hundreds of specially tagged fish will be stocked in the Cherokee public fishing waters. Open to all ages and for all legal fishing methods. Registration necessary to redeem cash prize. More info

Dinosaur Train

Date(s): Jul 17, 2015 - Jul 19, 2015

Where: Bryson City Train Depot

Friday & Saturday departures, 11:30 am & 3:00 pm, Sunday departures, 3:00 pm.

Based on the popular PBS Kids Television series, enjoy Jim Henson's Dinosaur Train™ ride on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. All ages are sure to enjoy this adventure filled train ride with music, stories, Nature Trackers Club guidebook and activities area! Plus, an opportunity to meet your favorite T-Rex, Buddy! For reservations call 800-872-4681 or visit the website.

Toby Mac in Concert

Date(s): Jul 17, 2015

When: 7:30 pm

Where: Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts, Franklin

Toby Mac in Concert

With 11 million career albums sold and 6 GRAMMY Awards to his credit, TobyMac remains passionate about his desire to write songs where life and spirituality collide. From his early days in influential group dcTalk to his very first solo album, Momentum, Toby has worked hard to inspire with words of conviction, hope, empowerment and the redemption found in his faith in God. More info

Free Concert Featuring Liz & AJ Nance

Date(s): Jul 18, 2015

When: 6:30 - 8:00 pm

Where: Bryson City Train Depot

Free Concert Featuring Liz & AJ Nance

With a voice that is absolutely amazing and an extensive repertoire ranging from folk to rock and roll, it's no wonder that Liz is a favorite of crowds throughout Western North Carolina. More info

The Music in the Mountains free concert series is held every Saturday evening, June 6 -  October 31 in Bryson City. Full Schedule

Concert Series sponsors: Duke Energy, Bryson City Cabin Rentals, Swain County Tourism Development Authority.

Back Porch Old Time Music Jam

Date(s): Jul 18, 2015

When: 1:00 - 3:00 pm

Where: Oconaluftee Visitor Center, Cherokee

First and Third Saturdays, all year. Bring an acoustic instrument and join in on this old-time jam. Or just sit back and enjoy the sights and sounds as others play traditional Appalachian Music. On the covered porch at the visitor center. More info

The Snyder Family in Concert

Date(s): Jul 18, 2015

When: 7:30 pm

Where: Stecoah Valley Center

The Snyder Family in Concert

Backed by their dad, on upright bass and mom Laine on harmony, Zeb and Samantha Synder have delighted and surprised audiences at venues including Merlefest, Bristol Rhythm & Roots, the Ernest Tubb Midnight Jamboree, the Musicians Against Childhood Cancer Festival in Columbus, OH, and the Red White and Bluegrass Festival in Morganton, NC. More info

Rail Line Wine Experience: The MacNeill Uncorked

Date(s): Jul 18, 2015

When: 10:30 am

Where: Bryson City Train Depot

Rail Line Wine Experience: The MacNeill Uncorked

A specialty train experience featuring wines selected by French Broad Vignerons to pair with your meal. Full service all-adult first class ride in the McNeill car. Narrator onboard to discuss the 6 wines selected to accompany an exclusive sampling of local cheeses, a freshly made entree and a chef-selected dessert. All passengers receive souvenir stemless wine glass and tote bag. The Cottage Craftsman, located across from the depot will have all of the sampled wines available for purchase. Age 21 and over only. More info

Folkmoot USA

Date(s): Jul 21, 2015

When: 7:30 pm

Where: Swain County Center for the Arts, Bryson City

Folkmoot USA, The State International Festival of North Carolina, features performers demonstrating cultural heritage through colorful, authentic, and original reproduction costumes, lively dance, and traditional music.

Adult tickets are $16 and children 12 and under are Free. Tickets are available at the Chamber of Commerce, and will also be available at the door beginning at 6:30 pm with show time scheduled at 7:30 pm. Swain County High School, 1415 Fontana Rd., Bryson City. More info

Dinosaur Train

Date(s): Jul 24, 2015 - Jul 26, 2015

Where: Bryson City Train Depot

Friday & Saturday departures, 11:30 am & 3:00 pm, Sunday departures, 3:00 pm.

Based on the popular PBS Kids Television series, enjoy Jim Henson's Dinosaur Train™ ride on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. All ages are sure to enjoy this adventure filled train ride with music, stories, Nature Trackers Club guidebook and activities area! Plus, an opportunity to meet your favorite T-Rex, Buddy! For reservations call 800-872-4681 or visit the website.

Whitewater Junior Olympics

Date(s): Jul 24, 2015 - Jul 26, 2015

When: 10:00 am

Where: Nantahala Outdoor Center, Bryson City

Whitewater Junior Olympics

Nantahala Racing Club hosts the Whitewater Junior Olympics on the Nantahala River. This national-level youth event featuring slalom, downriver and freestyle competition as well as just-for-fun on- and off-the-water events such as duckie-cross, SUP Head-to Head and a cornhole tournament. Family-friendly and fun for beginner through advanced paddlers, the Olympics are a great opportunity to meet young paddlers and get inspired about whitewater. More info

Shrek The Musical

Date(s): Jul 24, 2015 - Jul 25, 2015

When: 7:30 pm

Where: Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts, Franklin

Shrek The Musical

This Tony Award-winning fairy tale adventure features all new songs and a sidesplitting story: the tale of an unlikely hero who finds himself on a life-changing journey alongside a wisecracking donkey and a feisty princess who resists her rescue. Presented by the Overlook Theatre Company. More info

Free Concert Featuring Scenic Roots

Date(s): Jul 25, 2015

When: 6:30 - 8:00 pm

Where: Bryson City Train Depot

Free Concert Featuring Scenic Roots

The Music in the Mountains free concert series is held every Saturday evening, June 6 -  October 31 in Bryson City. Full Schedule

Concert Series sponsors: Duke Energy, Bryson City Cabin Rentals, Swain County Tourism Development Authority.

The Walking Roots Band in Concert

Date(s): Jul 25, 2015

When: 7:30 pm

Where: Stecoah Valley Center

The Walking Roots Band in Concert

The Walking Roots Band has settled into a roots-music sound, with instrumentation including different combinations of guitar, banjo, mandolin, harmonica, violin, acoustic bass, and accordion. A love of rhymes, lyrics, and wordplay manifest themselves in some clever, lyrically-driven folk songs, as well as the pioneering of the up-and-coming genre "folk-rap." More info

Dinosaur Train

Date(s): Jul 31, 2015 - Aug 02, 2015

Where: Bryson City Train Depot

Friday & Saturday departures, 11:30 am & 3:00 pm, Sunday departures, 3:00 pm.

Based on the popular PBS Kids Television series, enjoy Jim Henson's Dinosaur Train™ ride on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. All ages are sure to enjoy this adventure filled train ride with music, stories, Nature Trackers Club guidebook and activities area! Plus, an opportunity to meet your favorite T-Rex, Buddy! For reservations call 800-872-4681 or visit the website.

Shrek The Musical

Date(s): Jul 31, 2015 - Aug 01, 2015

When: 7:30 pm

Where: Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts, Franklin

Shrek The Musical

This Tony Award-winning fairy tale adventure features all new songs and a sidesplitting story: the tale of an unlikely hero who finds himself on a life-changing journey alongside a wisecracking donkey and a feisty princess who resists her rescue. Presented by the Overlook Theatre Company. More info

Talking Trees Children's Trout Derby

Date(s): Jul 31, 2015 - Aug 01, 2015

Where: Oconaluftee River Islands Park, Cherokee

Talking Trees Children's Trout Derby

Free fishing event for children aged 3-11. Enjoy free food, music, prizes and fun. Pre-register on Friday to guarantee your child will get gear on Saturday morning if you are in line by 8 am. No tickets given out after 10 am Saturday. 5 trout limit per registered child. Free bait and tackle while supplies last. More info