With in-store samples and a massive online inventory of crafting patterns, fabric, and supplies, MMIJA quenches any quilting or sewing thirst with a wide variety of high quality products. The large selection of fabrics and prints is fit for any ambitious project, such as a vintage-style dress, a snazzy pillowcase, or a luxury duplex blanket fort. Sew a patch over tiny scuffed knees with bumblebee fabric from Melly & Me ($9.99 per yard), or amp up your kickball team’s patriotism with jerseys festooned from Old Glory navy striped cotton ($8.99 per yard). A hefty supply of patterns is on hand for fashioning handmade gifts or punching up home decoration. With a variety of sewing and embroidery kits ($20–$78.95) crafters can knit a fashionable tracksuit or expertly fend off swarms of killer quilting bees.
Packard’s Games and Movies fuels friendly competition and hours of virtual entertainment with an eclectic abundance of gently used media. Gamers can fire up current consoles with a collection of used games, such as Halo 3 ($9.99) and Fable II ($7.99), which carry the ghosts of past triumphs to challenge their new owners. Those yearning for pixels of the past can dive into a rich selection of retro games ($2.99+) for vintage systems including Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Guide virtual superheroes as they jump across flames and elude persistent tax collectors with controllers for the Playstation 2 ($9.99+), Super Nintendo ($9.99+) or the Nintendo 64 ($12.99–$19.99). Stacks of previewed DVDs ($4.99) and Blu-rays ($8.99+) provide ample fodder for future movie nights. Each store has a slightly different selection, so call ahead for specific inquiries or simply browse through the cartridge- and disc-packed aisles in person.
At Pigeon Forge Gem Mine, kids get a chance to see what mining for gems was like in the 1800s, when North Carolina miners would divert a stream to search for gems. Visitors sift through a bucket of sand and pull out stones to be examined by the assayer, who determines whether the stone is a ruby, sapphire, or just an unpopped popcorn kernel. At the lapidary, the gem is cut and polished so a jeweler can mount it on a ring or pendant.
The rocks come from all over the world?although staff might playfully claim that they're harvested from the Little Pigeon River by seven tiny, whistling miners. While waiting for their jewelry, visitors can browse the general store or check out the specimens in the free rock and fossil museum.
The sights and sounds of the fictional Hazzard county surround visitors of Cooter's Place, a museum and shop dedicated to the hit television show the Dukes of Hazzard. Ben "Cooter" Jones, the show's famous mechanic, founded the multi-leveled facility and filled every nook and cranny with props, costumes, pictures, and memorabilia from the show. Upstairs, players attempt precise putts around an 18-hole mini-golf course that resembles the Dukes of Hazzard set with fake plants, a wooden cabin, and a massive crew filming everything. The indoor go-kart track gives drivers a chance to chase one-another around a smooth oval in karts made to resemble the series' iconic vehicles.
Best Rest's staff focuses on curating a collection of mattresses from name-brand lines such as Simmons Beautyrest, and furnishing them to customers at the most wallet-friendly prices possible. They allow buyers to test each mattress to see which one will be the most supportive for jump-happy monkeys and they assist in filling out bedrooms with a selection of stylish Acme Furniture pieces. As they steer customers through the warehouse-style showroom, they dispense helpful advice on how to determine an ideal level of firmness and what to expect with a memory-foam mattress.
At Country Bear Factory, youngsters bring plush bears to life in a process both imaginative and official enough to merit a birth certificate. Each certificate commemorates the day visitors brought their stuffed buddies—who can tower up to 16 inches tall—into the world, complete with customized outfits. The factory celebrates not only the birth of each bear, but human youngsters’ birthdays, with hostess-led celebrations where littl'uns caper about with balloon animals and prepare for the witness-protection program with face painters.