Traveling with Kids: Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge, TN
Confession: When I was in 2nd grade I formed a fan club. A Titanic fan club. We had a pledge, we had crude membership cards, we had meetings during recess. There were probably 3 or 4 of us in the “club” which we called, um, T.I. (Just in case you are wondering, T.I. stood for Titanic Information.) We were quite the wordsmiths for 7 year olds. Throughout my childhood and even into my teens, I remained fascinated by the story behind the Titanic.
Several recent publications and films have brought many details about the ship and her impending tragedy to light- most notably the movie Titanic starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio which released in 1997.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Titanic, she was a giant ocean liner (the largest and most luxurious of that time period) that embarked on her maiden voyage in 1912. The Titanic was set to sail from Southampton, England to New York City. Tragically, she struck an iceberg just four days into her journey, and ultimately sank. She now rests more than 2 miles below the surface of the frigid Atlantic Ocean. Safety codes in 1912 were not nearly what they are today- and the ship only carried enough lifeboats for about half of her passengers. 1,517 lives were lost when the Titanic sank.
We made sure to put the Titanic Museum at the top of our to-do list while on vacation. The Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge, TN is quite the attraction to visit! Designed to be a 1/2 scale model of the real ship, we were excited to see the inside after one glance! The building itself is designed to look like the inside of a ship. You walk through corridors, suites and other exhibits while really feeling like you are at sea (minus the crazy swaying of an actual ship).
Biker Bob, Lily Bean and I “boarded” the Titanic in the lobby. We were greeted by the friendly crew who were dressed in period costume. Each one of us was given a paper card that contained the name and a short biography of a real passenger on the Titanic. You can go through the museum experience and then see if your passenger survived the sinking or not.
After we gained entry to the “ship” we stood and listened as a member of the crew gave a brief overview of the Titanic’s journey from the day she set sail until the night she sank.
Some of my favorite parts of the museum included the grand staircase reproduction
the first class suite
and the 3rd class cabin. I could not believe that 4 full grown adults would have been crammed in such a tiny room together! Even the beds were TINY!
There was one exhibit that was set up to look just like the bridge of the ship. This is where the officers would have tried steering clear of the iceberg. It was very well done- when you walked out of the bridge, you were face to face with an iceberg! You were able to touch the iceberg and then you could put your hands in water to feel how cold the ocean would have been the night the Titanic sank. It was FREEZING.
Lily Bean had a fantastic time playing around in the interactive kid exhibit, Tot Titanic. Her favorite part? Turning the wheel that steers the ship, of course!
After you wander through the museum and look at the exhibits and the more than 400 artifacts on display, you can visit the memorial wall with the names of every passenger on board the Titanic.
The final portion of the museum contains a large collection of pictures from the discovery and subsequent dives down to the wreckage of the Titanic. They were fascinating to look at- I can’t imagine what it must have felt like to be on the crew that found the ship.
We had a wonderful time exploring the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge, TN. The artifact collection was extremely impressive- there were so many pieces… from letters and pictures to outfits and life jackets. I am so glad that we had the chance to visit!
You can check out the Titanic Museum’s website here.
The Titanic Museum of Pigeon Forge, TN provided us with passes to check out the museum. All opinions are 100% ours. The pictures in this post are property of The Titanic Museum.