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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 02, 2016 - Oct 22, 2016

When: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm, Monday - Saturday

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

Swain County Farmer's Market

Date(s): May 06, 2016

When: 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Where: Island Street, Bryson City

Swain County Farmer's Market

Every Friday morning, May - October. Stop by the old barn on the river for local, homegrown produce as well as baked goods, jellies and preserves, and craft items. Can't make it on Friday morning? Try out the Tuesday evening market: June 14 - August 16, 5-8 pm.
(Island Street is the first street north of the Everett Street bridge)
800-867-9246

 

Wine & Dine Evening Train

Date(s): May 07, 2016

When: 6:30 pm

Where: Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, Bryson City

Wine & Dine Evening Train

A specialty train experience featuring wines selected to pair with your meal. Full service all-adult first class ride. 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. 800-867-9246 or click here

West Swain Fire Department 22nd Annual Bass Tournament & BBQ Dinner

Date(s): May 07, 2016

When: 7:00 am - 6:00 pm

Where: Almond Boat Park, Off Hwy 28 North, Almond Boat Park Road, Bryson City, NC

Annual Bass Tournament & BBQ Dinner - all procedes benefit the West Swain Volunteer Fire Department. Entry Fee $100 per boat, includes meal, big fish pool & launch fee. 1st Place - $1,500 plus $1,775 in 9 additional cash prizes.

To register call Jim at 828-488-6423 or Chris at 828-488-2424 or by visiting Clampitt Ace Hardware (111 Main St., Bryson City), Smoky Mtn. Lakes & Marine (Hwy 74 West) or Almond Boat Park (Hwy 28 North)

**Raffle Prizes** BBQ Dinner served from 11:00 am - 6:00 pm. Includes BBQ, Slaw, Baked Beans, Roll, Dessert & Drink. All You Can Eat Plate - $10, Adult Plate - $8, Children (under 12) - $5

Nelson Illusions

Date(s): May 07, 2016

When: 7:30 pm

Where: Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts, Franklin

Nelson Illusions

This a one-of-a-kind theatrical spectacle combines rare & original illusions from around the world with award winning, jaw-dropping magic. The show features 4 Master Magicians, each with an exciting, engaging, original style combining a thoroughly entertaining blend of mystery, drama, romance, & comedy with some of the most beautiful & astonishing stage magic in existence today. More info

Mothers Day 5K Run/Walk

Date(s): May 07, 2016

When: 7:30 am

Where: Kituwah Mound, Hwy 19N

The course is perfect for seasoned runners, first timers and walkers with a combination of road, farm road and trails offering a complete review of the historic Kituwah Mound, sacred Mother Town of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. 100% of race proceeds benefit the Cherokee Dialysis Support Group / Dialysis Center. Schedule / registration

Back Porch Old Time Music Jam

Date(s): May 07, 2016

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

Friends of the Smokies Classic Hike Series: Hyatt Ridge

Date(s): May 10, 2016

Join Friends of the Smokies for monthly guided hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park featuring interpretation and leadership by author and hiking expert Danny Bernstein. Each hike highlights an achievement or cause that Friends of the Smokies has supported in the Park.
This month's hike is Hyatt Ridge; a 9.5 mile (round trip) trail of 2,000 ascent and strenuous difficulty. Hyatt Ridge features profuse wildflowers and water crossing. The theme of the hike will be parks as classrooms.
To register or for more information: AnnaLee@friendsofthesmokies.com, 828-452-0720, or click here

Swain County Farmer's Market

Date(s): May 13, 2016

When: 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Where: Island Street, Bryson City

Swain County Farmer's Market

Every Friday morning, May - October. Stop by the old barn on the river for local, homegrown produce as well as baked goods, jellies and preserves, and craft items. Can't make it on Friday morning? Try out the Tuesday evening market: June 14 - August 16, 5-8 pm.
(Island Street is the first street north of the Everett Street bridge)
800-867-9246

Taste of Home Cooking School

Date(s): May 14, 2016

When: 6:30 pm

Where: Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts, Franklin NC

Taste of Home Cooking School

America's leading cooking school program inspires more than 300,000  consumers each year at 300 events across the country. You'll experience a 2-hour demonstration of exciting recipes, cooking tips and innovative products. The Culinary Specialists will show step-by-step instructions on how to create satisfying and flavorful dishes to enjoy at home or while entertaining. Additionally, everyone will receive a gift bag full of recipes, coupons and sample products. More info

Swain County Farmer's Market

Date(s): May 20, 2016

When: 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Where: Island Street, Bryson City

Swain County Farmer's Market

Every Friday morning, May - October. Stop by the old barn on the river for local, homegrown produce as well as baked goods, jellies and preserves, and craft items. Can't make it on Friday morning? Try out the Tuesday evening market: June 14 - August 16, 5-8 pm.
(Island Street is the first street north of the Everett Street bridge)
800-867-9246

Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard

Date(s): May 21, 2016

When: 7:30 pm

Where: Harrah's Cherokee Casino Event Center

Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard

Willie Nelson and Family in concert with Merle Haggard! Two music legends on one stage for one night. Willie Nelson is one of the most successful country music singer-songwriters in history, releasing 68 studio albums and 10 live albums.   More info

Chonda Pierce

Date(s): May 21, 2016

When: 7:30 pm

Where: Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts, Franklin

Chonda Pierce

Armed with an abundance of unpretentious Southern charm and laser sharp wit, Chonda Pierce has been entertaining audiences from coast to coast for more than a decade. An in-demand stand up comic, television hostess and author, Pierce has parlayed her gift for storytelling into a multi-faceted career. Pierce has authored eight books with most recent being, Laughing In the Dark. More info

Strawberry Festival

Date(s): May 21, 2016

When: 9:00 am - 2:00 pm

Where: Cherokee Indian Fairgrounds

Fresh berries, delicious recipes, strawberry products, children's activities, demonstrations, contests, entertainment. Sponsored by the North American Indian Women's Association. More info

Back Porch Old Time Music Jam

Date(s): May 21, 2016

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

Bluegrass Festival

Date(s): May 21, 2016

When: 11:00 am - 5:00 pm

Where: Stecoah Valley Center

Bluegrass Festival

Arts & craft vendors on the grounds, and bluegrass music and dance on the outdoor stage. The Schoolhouse Cafe will be open all day.  More info

Cherokee's Memorial Day Trout Tournament

Date(s): May 27, 2016 - May 29, 2016

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

Rascal Flatts

Date(s): May 27, 2016

When: 9:00 pm

Where: Harrah's Cherokee Casino Event Center

Rascal Flatts

As the most awarded Country group of the past decade, Rascal Flatts has also earned over 40 trophies from the ACAs, ACMs, AMAs, CMAs, People's Choice Awards and more. More info

Swain County Heritage Festival

Date(s): May 27, 2016 - May 28, 2016

Where: Riverfront Park, Bryson City

Swain County Heritage Festival

Friday night entertainment (6-9 pm) is loaded with local talent featuring an emphasis on old-time gospel. Saturday entertainment (9:30 am - 6 pm), features classic country, bluegrass, and clogging. In addition to music, the festival offers local arts and crafts, food, games for the kids, log-sawing contest, sack races and fun for the whole family.

At 1 pm on Saturday, take a chance - or more - on Ducks on the Tuck, a fundraiser for the New Century Scholars program. This program provides tuition and extra support to deserving students in 3 counties that attend Southwestern Community College. Ducks may be "adopted" for $5 each. There are excellent prizes for the first ducks across the finish line. Schedule

Cherokee Bonfire & Storytelling

Date(s): May 27, 2016 - Oct 01, 2016

When: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm, Fridays & Saturdays

Where: Oconaluftee Islands Park

Fridays & Saturday only, also open the week of Monday, June 27 - Saturday, July 2. Relax by the bonfire and river, and enjoy some of Cherokee's best storytellers entertain you and your family with Cherokee myths, legends and passed on stories. More info

The bonfire is FREE for the entire family! More info

Swain County Farmer's Market

Date(s): May 27, 2016

When: 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

Where: Island Street, Bryson City

Swain County Farmer's Market

Every Friday morning, May - October. Stop by the old barn on the river for local, homegrown produce as well as baked goods, jellies and preserves, and craft items. Can't make it on Friday morning? Try out the Tuesday evening market: June 14 - August 16, 5-8 pm.
(Island Street is the first street north of the Everett Street bridge)
800-867-9246

NRC Family Whitewater Weekend

Date(s): May 28, 2016 - May 29, 2016

When: 10:00 am

Where: Nantahala Outdoor Center, Bryson City

NRC Family Whitewater Weekend

Families and youth paddlers gather in the Nantahala Gorge for a weekend of flat and whitewater activities, games and camaraderie. Participants are encouraged to challenge themselves to develop and use new skills in a fun, supportive environment and try their hand at slalom, freestyle and downriver. More info

Adventure Dash For All Ages

Date(s): May 28, 2016

When: 4:30 pm

Where: Nantahala Outdoor Center, Bryson City

Adventure Dash For All Ages

Participants negotiate a series of challenge elements while racing to the finish in this family-friendly adventure race along the Nantahala River near Bryson City, NC. Choose between the 5K Dash or a 1K Fun Run.

Kids aged 12 and under race free with a participating adult. More info

BBQ & Brews Dinner Train

Date(s): May 28, 2016

When: 7:00 - 9:00 pm

Where: Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, Bryson City

BBQ & Brews Dinner Train

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. Adults-only & family friendly seating. 800-872-4681 or click here

Unto These Hills Outdoor Drama

Date(s): May 28, 2016 - Aug 13, 2016

When: 8:00 pm performance, Monday-Saturday

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 7:30 pm. Main performance at 8:00 pm. More info & ticketing