We love the Smoky Mountains every time of the year.
For fall foliage, the high elevations and beautiful light of the Smoky Mountains make the colors spectacular to see. And in the winter time, we love to have a getaway end enjoy Valentine’s Day with the people we love.
The truth is, we never need an excuse to take a great trip to the Smoky Mountains. Half the fun is getting away and traveling there.
A great activity, while you’re in the Smokey Mountains, is to play a local game of wildlife bingo. We’ve found it helps us keep an eye out for all of the beauty and surprises the region has to offer.
Perfect for kids, and great for romantic getaways, wildlife bingo is a lot of laughs. Plus, we’re always looking for ways to get the kids outside and enjoying nature.
Researchers say most kids aren’t getting enough time in nature. They suggest time with nature to treat all sorts of difficulties children may have.
Wildlife Bingo will have you and your loved ones raring to go each day. You may just be surprised at what you see along the way!
Let’s get you started. Wildlife Bingo is easy to play.
The first thing to do is make a playset. Here we go:
Make Your Wildlife Bingo Cards
You can easily make your own Wildlife Bingo cards before your next trip to the Smokey Mountains. One of the things we love to do is think about our next getaway and all we are going to see.
Prepping for a game of Wildlife Bingo makes trip planning more exciting. You will want to use cardboard from a box for durable game cards.
Depending on how many players you have, you may make a number of cards. Wildlife Bingo is great for groups and families.
Next, draw a grid on the cards. 5 x 5 or 4 x 4 is a great place to start.
Then you will want to place wildlife at random in the squares. You can write the names, or get creative and print out photos from your computer’s printer at home.
If you have kids, they will love seeing the wildlife ahead of time. It will help them know what to look for.
You can do the same for playing pieces. Then it is like a match game where each player works with their deck of cards to match the wildlife to their Bingo card.
One idea we love for extended trips is to place “free squares” at different intervals on the cards as well. For example, rather than placing an animal in a square we might place a picture of sunscreen with a corresponding card.
When traveling with loved ones, they only get the “free” square if they put on their sunscreen that day.
Remember, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) encourages people who are going to be spending time outside to put on at least SPF 15 sunscreen. This includes cloudy days with little sun.
You can do the same with “no cell phone” or “ate fruit.” Get creative with the game and expand the squares to include as many as you like.
Using free squares like “picked up trash” might help preserve the wildlife too. It’s dangerous to the wildlife to leave food and human trash laying around.
But beyond creative fun ideas, there are plenty of beautiful animals to put on your wildlife bingo cards.
The American Black Bear
Every time we go the Smokey Mountains we hope to see an American Black Bear. Experts say that 1,500 of these animals live in and around the Smokey Mountains.
Don’t just look out for the color black though! National Geographic explains that “despite their name, black bears can be blue-gray or blue-black, brown, cinnamon, or even (very rarely) white.”
Speaking of National Geographic, doing a search for any of this wildlife on the National Geographic Your Shot site will give you and your family plenty of inspiration for your game pieces.
There is no shortage of animals to choose from for your Bingo game.
In the Great Smoky Mountains National Park alone there are an extraordinary number of species and animals to see. You can even use the National Park’s Species Mapper tool before your visit to find where each animal is most likely to reside.
You can get as simple as “bear” for your wildlife game, or as specific as “American Black Bear.”
The same is true for all the wildlife in the Smokey Mountains. There is an amazing variety of mammals, reptiles, birds, and fish to see.
You can be on the lookout for:
- White-Tailed Deer
And that’s just to start! Doing some research with your loved ones will reveal hundreds of species to choose from in the Smokey Mountains.
Don’t forget to pack your camera, your binoculars, and stay a safe distance from wildlife. Remember, you are visiting their natural habitat.
Make sure you leave it safe and comfortable for the beautiful animals we get to enjoy.
There’s So Much More To Do
We know you and your family will love animal bingo. Let’s get you playing as soon as possible!
Are you looking for the perfect place to stay on your next trip to the Smoky Mountains? There’s nothing better than having a base camp to explore from during your trip.
Or maybe you’re planning your next visit and want to coordinate around fun events in the Smoky Mountains region. When it comes to Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, and the Smoky Mountains, we’ve got your covered.
If there’s one bad part of our travels to the region it’s this: There’s always so much to do.
From the hottest deals to new restaurants, cabin rentals, and the newest attractions there’s always something new to learn about when it comes to Smokey Mountain travel. Patriot Getaways can help. You don’t have to plan your next trip alone.
Patriot Getaways can help. You don’t have to plan your next trip alone.
And you don’t have to wait either.
Click here now to find out all about the latest local deals to plan a great getaway.