While we’re all at home, the travel bug is biting hard. Of course, there are ways to combat it, like taking virtual tours of museums and theme parks. You can even claim your seat on Disney’s virtual rides without being there in person. But if you’re like us and craving the great outdoors, now you can head to the Smokies from the comfort of your living room.
This year’s Smoky Mountains firefly light show is going virtual!
What Is This Firefly Show?
Every summer, Great Smoky Mountains National Park throws a lottery for parking spaces and offers a trolley to safely drive wildlife lovers up to the best view of the fireflies. It’s a huge deal and one of the Smokies’ most lucrative tourist attractions. The biggest event of the summer usually takes place between late May and early June, and last year, visitors caught a glimpse of these pretty lights from May 30 to June 6.
What’s so special about fireflies in the Smokies? They’re actually a different species called Photinus carolinus, aka the synchronous firefly. That means their lights sync up so they all flash at the same time. Every male firefly flashes about six times with a break before starting up again, which makes for a perfectly timed light show people love to watch.
Still craving some adventure? These virtual landmark tours are perfect for putting that travel bug to bed.
Where to Gather for Nature’s Light Show
Grab some warm tea and a blanket, and tune into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park firefly light show on June 1 at 8 p.m. EST. You don’t have to pay for a subscription to watch—the stream will be live for free on YouTube. The stream is presented by Discover Life in America, a nonprofit dedicated to understanding all the quirkiest species of Appalachia, and you can donate to the cause via their website.
We can’t wait to cozy up with this firefly light show! If only we had some s’mores to complete the outdoor experience…
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S’mores Creme Brulee
A big bite into a scrumptious s’more brings back sweet campfire memories. This fancy take on the classic treat is perfect for a fall meal and will be adored by young and old alike. —Rose Denning, Overland Park, Kansas Get Recipe
This luscious dessert is just as wonderfully tasty as the campfire snack that inspired it. It’s a great way to savor a summer classic anytime of year. Our 4-year-old daughter likes it so much that she’s requested it for her next birthday! —Robin Andrews, Cary, North CarolinaGo to Recipe
My daughters and I came up with this treat when planning a candy-making party. The pops also make adorable hostess gifts, are perfect for potlucks and would sell out quickly at a bake sale. —Lisa Haboush, Geneva, IllinoisGo to Recipe
Oatmeal S’more Cookies
I can’t count how many times I have made these cookies—they are our favorites. I love to bake all kinds of goodies with my two daughters, and my husband loves to sample the treats. —Carmen Rae, New Haven, IndianaGo to RecipeTaste of Home
S’mores Stuffed French Toast
I had a craving for something sweet one morning, but all I had around the house was a handful of ingredients. I had to get creative, and this was the delicious outcome. Now I make it all the time. —Diana Palmer, Mammoth Cave, KentuckyGo to RecipeTaste of Home
I’ve spent a few years perfecting this recipe to get the cookie soft and full of flavor and to balance the marshmallow and chocolate without overpowering the cookie. I think I finally got it where I want it!
—Lynsay Benson, Minnetonka, MinnesotaGo to RecipeTaste of Home
S’mores Milk Shake
When cabin fever hits, we whip up a beverage that tastes like s’mores. Oven-toasted marshmallows and a blender make it happen. —Sarah McKenna, Centennial, ColoradoGo to Recipe
S’mores Crescent Rolls
Here’s how to score indoor s’mores: Grab crescent dough and Nutella. Invite the kids to help with this rolled-up version of the campfire classic. —Taste of Home Test KitchenGo to RecipeTaste of Home
Sugar Cookie S’mores
Change up traditional s’mores with the use of sugar cookies and candy bars. The sweetness cannot be beat!—Taste of Home Test KitchenGo to RecipeTaste of Home
Combine marshmallow creme, chocolate, graham crackers and more for a summery delight at any time of year. —Stephanie Tewell, Elizabeth, IllinoisGo to Recipe
My son introduced us to this twist on classic s’mores when we were camping. Have a jar of Nutella around? Slather on the inside of the graham cracker halves before you build this one-of-a-kind treat. —Christina Smith, Santa Rosa, CaliforniaGo to RecipeTaste of Home
S’mores Crispy Bars
My aunt always brought s’mores-style bars to our family’s summer cottage. Plain or frosted, they’re perfect for eating on the run. —Betsy King, Duluth, MinnesotaGo to RecipeTaste of Home
S’mores No-Bake Cookies
There’s no easier way to get that s’mores goodness in your kitchen. Mix these cookies together and chill till you’re ready to share. —Taste of Home Test KitchenGo to RecipeTaste of Home
Cookout Caramel S’mores
These classic treats make a fabulous finish to an informal meal. Toasting the marshmallows extends our after-dinner time together, giving us something fun to do as a family. —Martha Haseman, Hinckley, IllinoisGo to Recipe
Rainbow S’moreo Cookies
Homemade Oreo-style cookies are pretty great on their own, but they’re even better when you add graham cracker crumbs to the cookie dough, stuff them with marshmallow creme, and then roll them in sprinkles. You can change the color of the sprinkles depending on the holiday or occasion you’re baking them for. —Colleen Delawder, Herndon, VirginiaGo to Recipe
Chocolate S’mores Tart
I created this tart for my kids, who love having s’mores on the fire pit. It’s truly indulgent. We simply can’t get enough of the billowy marshmallow topping. —Dina Crowell, Fredericksburg, VirginiaGo to Recipe
Fudgy S’mores Brownies
I combined the perfect summer snack with my favorite brownie recipe to get these s’mores brownies. They’re sure to wow at your next big party. —Judy Cunningham, Max, North DakotaGo to Recipe
Pot of S’mores
Mom’s easy Dutch-oven version of the popular campout treat is so good and gooey. The hardest part is waiting for this to cool so you can devour it. Yum! —June Dress, Meridian, IdahoGo to RecipeTaste of Home
S’mores Monkey Bread Muffins
When it comes to mini versions of anything, I’m sold! These muffins are ooey-gooey individual-sized monkey breads made with frozen dinner roll dough, graham cracker crumbs, chocolate chips and mini marshmallows. They couldn’t be easier to make, and kids just love them. —Tina Butler, Royse City, TexasGo to Recipe
S’more Sandwich Cookies
Capture the taste of campfire s’mores in your kitchen. Graham cracker crumbs added to chocolate chip cookie dough bring out the flavor of the fireside favorite. Melting the cookies’ marshmallow centers in the microwave makes them simple to assemble. —Abby Metzger, Larchwood, IowaGo to Recipe
S’more Pudgy Pie
“Simply sinful” is how testers described this fresh take on s’mores. —Joanne Surfus, Sturgeon Bay, WisconsinGo to Recipe
This sweet and decadent cheesecake features graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows. Enjoy! —Kurt Anderson, Willmar, MinnesotaGo to Recipe
Chocolaty S’mores Bars
One night my husband had some friends over to play poker and he requested these s’mores bars. They polished off the pan and asked for more! I shared the recipe, and now their families make them, too. —Rebecca Shipp, Beebe, ArkansasGo to Recipe
S’mores on a Stick
My kids love to take these for treats everywhere. That’s lucky for me since they are so easy to make. Beside the sprinkles, try mini candies for toppings.—Ronda Weirich, Plains, KansasGo to Recipe