Kid-Friendly Cabin Rental: The Putt-Putt Hideaway in Tennessee
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This Kid-Friendly Cabin Has Its Own Pirate Ship

The "Putt Putt Hideaway" in Tennessee has something for vacationers of all ages.

Written by David Woods
Photos: Courtesy Putt Putt Hideaway
When Justin and Gennifer Mix visited the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area in 2006, they had two young children and Justin was serving in the Army. The thought of owning their own cabin in the area was a distant dream. Fast forward 12 years to 2018. Justin retired after 23 years of service, and their two children had grown up. It was time to look for the next adventure: owning their own vacation rental cabins.
The first cabin they bought was a four-bedroom, three-bathroom cabin with amazing views. And as good as that is, they wanted to find something a little different for their second rental cabin. 
The Mixes knew the importance of quality family time from personal experience. So in planning this next cabin escape, they wanted to create something that would be the perfect place for parents and grandparents to relax with their kids or grandkids. Think: a place where families can enjoy the outdoors, surrounded by all the beautiful scenery that the Smoky Mountains have to offer.

Luckily, Gennifer is a real estate agent who specializes in vacation cabins. So she set out to find the ideal place to create such a getaway. When she first saw what is now "Putt Putt Hideaway," she knew it was the perfect cabin to bring her vision to life. Justin, on the other hand, was not as impressed. He was concerned that it would be a money pit; there was water damage on the subfloor, a leaking window and a long to-do list to get the cabin habitable. But they had the vision, and they went for it anyway.
Just two weeks after Justin and Gennifer closed, it rained so much that the yard flooded. In a stroke of luck, the cabin was unaffected and they seized the opportunity to have an excavation crew come in and divert the water, therefore making a new creek at the back on the property.

They pressure-washed and stained the cabin, resealed the windows and tackled the interior to-do list to bring the cabin back to life. The goal was to hold onto as much of the rustic charm as possible while updating where necessary. This meant new kitchen appliances, ceiling fans, carpets, bathroom vanities, sinks and toilets, as well as furniture inside and out. From the magnetic tic-tac-toe on the stairs to the stylishly decorated rooms, Gennifer used her creative skills to create a home that’s equal parts practical, playful and luxurious.


Outside the cabin, they filled in a large pit that was likely a pond a one point. While considering what they could put in this newfound yard space, Justin came across Pirate Play Ships of Nashville. They immediately knew it’d be the perfect thing for a cabin that’s all about fun. But it doesn’t end there. In addition to the pirate play ship, there’s also a private miniature golf course and a catch-and-release pond just a five-minute drive away. Inside, the cabin boasts an arcade, an air hockey table and plenty of board games. For guests of the Putt Putt Hideaway, a good time for all ages is guaranteed.

To learn more about the two-bedroom, two-bathroom Putt Putt Hideaway and book your own play-filled getaway, check it out on Airbnb here. You can also learn more about out their other properties here. 

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