KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Going back to school can be a bummer, but not if you’re exploring the outdoors at Dollywood.
The amusement park has opened its 160-acre classroom to students during its annual Homeschool Days through Sept. 21. Participating homeschoolers and accompanying adults can get discounted tickets for the event, the company says in a press statement.
The special ticket event is expected to be a resource for parents who have opted to homeschool during the coronavirus pandemic. Dollywood has taken more than 700 steps to make the park safer and slow the spread of the virus. Everyone in the park must follow Dollywood’s Play Safe plan to comply with COVID-19 precautions.
Making learning fun
There’s no limit to what you can learn during Homeschool Days and a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains.
Students will study the principles of physics while riding rollercoasters, the law of conservation of momentum while bouncing into bumper cars, and more in the one-of-a-kind “classroom.”
Dollywood headmasters have created curriculums based on the park. Downloadable lesson plans, workbooks, worksheets and more are available at dollywood.com/groups/education.
The “Science in the Park” syllabus guides homeschool groups through Dollywood to demonstrate gravity, speed, velocity and more on the park’s most popular rides.
Homeschoolers will also have the opportunity to get an ornithology lesson at Dollywood. The American Eagle Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to the preservation of bald eagles and other birds of prey, is headquartered in the park. The organization’s Eagle Mountain Sanctuary, a 1.5 million-cubic-foot natural outdoor aviary, is home to the country’s largest collection of non-releasable bald eagles.
Dollywood’s Wings of America show provides an up-close look at other bird species including hawks, vultures, owls and golden eagles.
TVA has partnered with Dollywood to develop STEM activities related to the park’s attractions and place educational signs with facts throughout the grounds. Online modules that teach students about water conservation, saving energy and other sustainable habits are available at TVAstem.com/Dollywood.
Dollywood’s daily craft demonstrations take homeschoolers back in history to see trades like glass blowing, blacksmithing, leather crafting and more.
Tickets and other discounts
Homeschool Days tickets for students in grades K-12 cost $37 plus tax. Tickets for accompanying adults are $47 plus tax. Groups must call the Dollywood group sales office at 888-428-6789 Monday-Friday to purchase tickets. Tickets must be bought at least 3 days before guests visit, and they are not available at the park’s front gate.
More information about Homeschool Days and educational materials are available at dollywood.com/groups/education.
Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort and Spa is offering special rates for overnight groups. Ask about booking at the resort when calling to purchase their tickets to stay for $129 a night (Sundays-Thursdays only). This deal is available for homeschoolers now through Sept. 24.
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This article originally appeared on Knoxville News Sentinel: Dollywood transforms, provides Homeschool Days amid COVID-19