cal ripken pigeon forge

Cal Ripken Pigeon Forge (6 Fun Things To Do)

cal ripken pigeon forge

Dive into the world of baseball at the Cal Ripken Experience in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Located amidst top tourist attractions, this premier facility offers young players a unique blend of professional gameplay and local adventures. In this guide, we’ll uncover the magic of the Ripken Experience and highlight fun activities to make your stay even better.

Key Takeaways

  • The Cal Ripken Experience in Pigeon Forge is a top-rated baseball tournament destination with state-of-the-art facilities and interactive tournaments.
  • The facility is designed to provide a baseball experience of a lifetime to players of all skill levels, ages, and genders.
  • With its top-notch facilities, expert coaching, and competitive tournaments, The Ripken Experience in Pigeon Forge is an ideal destination for players, coaches, and families looking to experience the game of baseball like never before.

What Is The Cal Ripken Pigeon Forge Experience?

Cal Ripken Experience in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Developed in partnership with Pigeon Forge, the Ripken Experience is a first-class facility that offers a unique baseball experience tailored for players across all ages and skill levels.

The Visionary Behind the Complex

As the name suggests, the legendary MLB player, Cal Ripken Jr., co-founded this facility. Recognizing a gap in high-quality baseball facilities for young players, Ripken launched the third Ripken Experience in 2016 to share his love for the game.

Facility Highlights

Located near the picturesque Smoky Mountains, the complex has:

  • Six current turf fields, each mirroring famous ballparks from around the nation.
  • Tournaments that recreate a big-league atmosphere, giving young baseball players a taste of the majors.

2023 Expansion

The facility will undergo a $3 million renovation project. This expansion will also see the addition of four more fields at Wear Farm City Park. Designers will model the new additions after Major League Baseball parks, including:

  • St. Louis’s Busch Stadium
  • Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Stadium
  • Philadelphia’s Veterans Stadium
  • Cincinnati’s Riverfront Stadium

A Diverse Range of Baseball Experiences

The Ripken Experience in Pigeon Forge isn’t just about the fields. It offers week-long experiences where players can deeply immerse themselves in the game, refining their skills. Catering to age groups from 9u to 14u, the facility promises a baseball experience that remains unparalleled in the region.


What To Do At The Cal Ripken Pigeon Forge Experience

Let’s discuss six fun things to do at Cal Ripken Pigeon Forge in further detail!

1. Play Baseball At One Of Cal Ripken Pigeon Forge Fields

One of the main attractions of the baseball facility is its six youth fields designed to replicate Major League Baseball ballparks. For instance, Camden Yards recreates the iconic stadium that’s the home of the Baltimore Orioles.

Other fields in the facility include Isotopes and Engel stadiums, Fluor Field, as well as Winston-Salem, and Calfee Park. Similar to Camden Yards, those facilities also replicate historic professional ballparks.

The baseball fields feature lights, have 15 batting cages, and also contain 12 bullpens. You can also warm up in two areas. What’s more, all ballparks have synthetic surfaces similar to those used by professional teams, so you can get a feel for what it’s like to be a pro ball player.

You can also register for one of their baseball spring training camps or participate in the Ripken Pigeon Forge skills competition during your team’s stay.

2. Watch A Game

Even if you’re not a baseball player, you can still enjoy watching various baseball games at The Ripken Experience. After all, the complex contains multiple fields. So, there’s sure to be a game you can enjoy watching at any given time.

For those who want to enjoy the Cal Ripken Pigeon Forge Experience but can’t travel to the Ripken baseball complex, no worries. The Ripken Pigeon Forge partnered with a streaming service so that you can catch the live action from the comfort of your home.

Not only does that give you a chance to watch live games, but it’ll also give you an overall idea of how the ballpark complex feels. So, you can make an informed decision before booking a family vacation or tournaments at the state-of-the-art baseball facility.

3. Book A Cal Ripken Pigeon Forge Tournament

Cal Ripken Pigeon Forge offers teams from all over the US the opportunity to register and participate in its tournaments. That gives a chance to the young ballplayers to live their Big League moments. 

So, what does the event include?

Aside from the professional baseball fields, you get to experience hearing your name in the player announcements. Walk-up music also plays as the baseballers enter the field, just like in the MLB.

Additionally, the facility supplies baseballs and referees for the games. The best part is that the Ripken baseball tournaments require age verification. That’s to ensure the young athletes’ safety and provide a fair playing environment. Nothing is more discouraging than finding out after the game that your team of 10-year-olds is playing against a bunch of 12-year-olds trying to pass as younger kids. (cough, cough, Franklin Bulldogs).

You can bring your family to watch the game, and you don’t have to worry about paying gate or parking fees. For additional information, be sure to check out the Ripken tournament schedule.

The views are unbelievable and the feeling you have when you experience our complex is special. The demand to play here is through the roof. This is an exciting opportunity to expand and welcome even more baseball families to Pigeon Forge.

Cal Ripken

4. Nearby Activities

Sure, Cal Ripken Pigeon Forge mainly revolves around baseball. However, the place offers other fun activities that don’t involve baseball.

Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg are two nearby towns that offer plenty of attractions for visitors to the Cal Ripken Experience. Pigeon Forge is a popular tourist destination and home to many family-friendly activities. Gatlinburg, located just a short drive away, is a charming mountain town with a variety of shops, restaurants, and attractions.

Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg

Pigeon Forge boasts numerous entertainment options, such as Dollywood theme park, the Titanic Museum, and the Hollywood Wax Museum. Visitors can also enjoy go-kart racing, miniature golf, and arcades. Gatlinburg offers a variety of outdoor activities, such as hiking, fishing, and horseback riding.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

The Cal Ripken Experience sits close to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, renowned for its stunning landscapes and diverse wildlife. Visitors can hike on over 800 miles of trails, go camping, or drive the scenic loop through the park. The park is also home to historic buildings and exhibits that showcase the area’s rich cultural heritage.

NASCAR SpeedPark

The NASCAR SpeedPark is a family-friendly attraction located in Sevierville, just a short drive from the Cal Ripken Experience. The park features eight tracks for go-karts, as well as mini-golf, bumper boats, and an arcade. Visitors can also enjoy a variety of rides, such as the SkyScraper and the Smoky Mountain Speedway.

Whitewater Rafting

The Pigeon River, located near the Cal Ripken Experience, offers whitewater rafting trips for visitors of all skill levels. Experienced guides lead groups on rides through the rapids, which range from Class I to Class IV. Visitors can choose from half-day or full-day trips, and equipment is provided.

Other nearby attractions

There are plenty of attractions in Pigeon Forge to keep families entertained when they are not at the baseball fields. Some other top attractions in the area include:

  • Soaky Mountain Waterpark: A waterpark that features thrilling water slides, a lazy river, and a wave pool.
  • Crave Golf Club: An indoor and outdoor mini-golf course that features 19 holes of fun and challenging obstacles.
  • Escape rooms
  • The Island in Pigeon Forge was voted the #1 attraction to visit in Tennessee.
The Island Pigeon Forge
The Island In Pigeon Forge

Lodging Options

Pigeon Forge offers a wide variety of lodging options, from budget-friendly hotels to luxurious resorts. Some of the top options include:

  • Margaritaville Island Hotel: A luxurious hotel that offers comfortable rooms, an outdoor pool, and a rooftop bar.
  • The Inn at Christmas Place: A hotel that is decorated for Christmas all year round and offers a variety of amenities, including an indoor pool and hot tub.
  • Wilderness at the Smokies: A resort that features an indoor waterpark, outdoor waterpark, and a variety of other amenities.

5. Enjoy Delicious Food

When it’s time to take a break from the action, head to some of the baseball complex’s dining partners to refuel. You’ll find various restaurants in the area that mainly offer American cuisine. Some of the dishes you can enjoy in those restaurants include steaks, short ribs, burgers, buffalo wings, and southern-style BBQ. You can also make group reservations to dine with your team.

The best part is that The Cal Ripken Baseball Experience allows you to bring outside food and non-alcoholic beverages. So, even if you’re not a fan of the partner restaurants or crave other cuisines, you can still buy from local restaurants outside the complex.

Local Restaurants

Pigeon Forge is home to a wide variety of restaurants that cater to all tastes and budgets. From classic American cuisine to international fare, there is something for everyone. Some of the top-rated restaurants in the area include:

  • The Old Mill Restaurant: A classic Southern-style restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  • The Peddler Steakhouse: A fine-dining steakhouse that offers a romantic atmosphere and delicious food.
  • Blue Moose Burgers & Wings: A family-friendly restaurant that serves up delicious burgers, wings, and other pub fare.

6. Shop at the Gift Stores

Any vacation isn’t complete without gift shopping, right? You can find plenty of local gift shops near the baseball complex to make your trip more memorable.

For instance, after an exciting day at the theme park, you can pick up some Rowdy Bear souvenirs, such as t-shirts, jewelry, and more.

You can also shop for official merchandise, including jerseys, hats, accessories, and other memorabilia, at the baseball facility.


Facilities and Features

Baseball Complex

The Cal Ripken Experience in Pigeon Forge boasts a state-of-the-art baseball complex that is perfect for hosting baseball tournaments and spring training sessions. The facility also features six well-lit synthetic turf fields that are modeled after Minor League and MLB stadiums. The complex is designed to accommodate 12U, 11U, and 10U baseball teams, and it has plenty of space for spectators to watch the games.

Batting Cages and Bullpens

The Ripken Experience in Pigeon Forge also has batting cages and bullpens available for use. Additionally, these areas are designed to help players work on their skills. The batting cages feature multiple pitching machines that can be adjusted to throw various types of pitches, including fastballs, curveballs, and sliders. The bullpens are equipped with pitching mounds and catcher’s gear to help players practice their pitching.

Synthetic Turf Fields

All six of the fields at The Ripken Experience in Pigeon Forge are covered in synthetic turf, which provides a consistent playing surface that is safe and durable. The turf is designed to mimic the look and feel of natural grass, and it is ideal for baseball because it allows for consistent bounces and hops. Additionally, the turf is low-maintenance, which means that it can be used year-round without the need for extensive upkeep.

Two-Level Clubhouse

The Ripken Experience in Pigeon Forge features a two-level clubhouse that spans over 14,000 square feet. The clubhouse is equipped with modern amenities, including a full-service restaurant, a pro shop, and a game room. Additionally, the clubhouse has ample space for players and coaches to relax and socialize between games.

Training Areas

In addition to the baseball complex and clubhouse, The Ripken Experience in Pigeon Forge also has several training areas available for use. These areas are designed to help players improve their skills and prepare for games. The training areas include a weight room, a cardio room, and a stretching area.

Parking Facilities

The Ripken Experience in Pigeon Forge has ample parking facilities available for players, coaches, and spectators. The parking lot is also located adjacent to the baseball complex, which makes it easy for visitors to access the fields and clubhouse. Additionally, the parking lot is well-lit and secure, which helps ensure the safety of visitors and their vehicles.


Frequently Asked Questions

How much does the Cal Ripken experience cost?

At the time of this writing, the Cal Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge costs $650 per player. The package for the week-long experience includes a minimum of 6 games with a maximum of 9, an opening day ceremony and skills competition, gifts for each player and coach, a private Q&A with an MLB tournament ambassador, an entertainment package, and no gate or entrance fees.

When was the Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge built?

Ripken Pigeon Forge opened to the public in 2016

Where is the Ripken Baseball headquarters?

The Ripken Baseball brand is based out of Baltimore, Maryland.

What’s the area like around The Ripken Experience Pigeon Forge?

The Cal Ripken Experience in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee is nestled in the scenic Great Smoky Mountains. The area boasts attractions like Dollywood, the Titanic Museum, and outdoor activities like hiking. It’s an ideal spot for families blending baseball with other adventures.

How many hotels will I be able to find near The Ripken Experience – Pigeon Forge?

With all of the area attractions, there is no shortage of hotels near the Ripken Experience – Pigeon Forge. Campgrounds and cabins are also very popular lodging options for families in town for tournaments.


Final Thoughts On Cal Ripken Pigeon Forge

As you can see, the state-of-the-art complex isn’t your regular youth baseball field. The place also contains professional ballpark replicas, offers training, and hosts Major League-like tournaments—all to help you live out your MLB aspirations.

You can also do other non-baseball activities there, like shopping, dining, rafting, and visiting entertainment facilities.

So, whether you’re looking to take your game to the next level, enjoy a fun family vacation, or simply appreciate the beautiful surroundings, the baseball complex is the perfect destination to visit.

Chris F.

Chris F.

Chris Forbes is the founder and editor of BaseballMode.com, a leading blog in the youth baseball space. As a lifelong baseball player, coach and fan, he decided to team up with his young son to offer advice and share their experiences with the sport they both love. Chris lives in the Boston area with his wife and three children.
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