What to Pack for a Fall Day at Dollywood

Last week, we visited Dollywood for the first time this season to take in the Harvest Festival and Great Pumpkin LumiNights. While gathering all of our must haves for a great Dollywood day, my husband joked we should keep a Dollywood bug out bag so we can just grab and go next time. Ha. Little did he know I would do just that! Now when we’re ready to head to Dollywood, we can just grab our bag and go! Here’s what we take for a fall day at Dollywood.

Fall Dollywood Bag

If you’re heading to Dollywood in the fall, you need to pack for two seasons…possibly in one day! Fall in East Tennessee likes to keep us on our toes! With highs in the 90s the first week of October this year, we wore shorts and tanks and needed lots of sunscreen. Now that fall is finally heading our way, we can switch to short sleeve tees and bring a light jacket.

  • Seasonal cup for 99 cent refills
  • Popcorn refill bucket
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses
  • Waterproof phone case
  • Battery pack and phone charger
  • Light jacket (weather depending)


Since we have young kids, it’s easy for us to pack all of this and stow it in the stroller. If you’re not in the season of life that necessitates strollers, you may want to rent a locker. Or you can sunscreen at the car, leave it in the car, and be willing to carry the rest. We always appreciate our discount popcorn bucket for shows. Our kiddos, at 4 and 6, really enjoy the shows. But the popcorn is like an insurance policy; if they aren’t as into the show as we are, they’ll chow down on popcorn and still have a great time.

If you’re traveling from far away, plan to pack layers. The closer we get to November, the cooler the temperatures. You may want to pack a base layer of long pants and tees, with a jacket thrown in just in case. It’s also helpful to pack a pair of shorts- just in case. If you do get caught unawares, Dollywood has loads of great shops with cute clothes for every fashion style.

If you wind up needing to cool down, the water rides are open through October 19. We hit both Daredevil Falls and Smoky Mountain River Rampage to cool down, since the day we went the high hit 96! In October! The water rides definitely cooled us down a lot. Later the kiddos splashed around in the Wildwood Creek, and we had just as much fun watching them as they did playing!

Need a Break from the Weather?

If the weather takes an unexpected turn and you need to warm up or cool down, there are plenty of options. We just recently took our kiddos for a tour of the Chasing Rainbows museum, and they LOVED  it. They may just be some of Dolly’s youngest fans! There’s a hologram of Dolly in Dolly’s attic, as well as the original Coat of Many Colors and plenty of interactive things. They especially liked listening to her songs via headphones. You can find more of my tips for keeping cool or staying warm at Dollywood here.

What do you keep in your Dollywood go bag?


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