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Kid Friendly Things To Do In Chattanooga

The Passage At Rosss Landing

5 MUST DO ACTIVITIES in Downtown Chattanooga Tennessee

This spot along the Tennessee River marks the beginning of the Trail of Tears, an infamous and deadly route the Cherokee people were forced to travel after the federal government forced them from their homelands.

A cascading water feature known as the weeping wall serves as a reminder of the many tears that were shed by Native Americans along their arduous journey west. There are also a variety of sculptures that pay homage to traditional Cherokee culture.

Get Fishy At The Tennessee Aquarium

Families come from all over, not just Tennessee, to check out this remarkable aquarium on the banks of the Tennessee River. It has all the ocean-loving exhibits you might expect, with mammoth glass windows and saltwater tanks. But the real gems are the exhibits about the marine life youd see in freshwater rivers, including the one right in front of you. The music playing inside is the same music youd hear in the region of the world where youd find the fish you see. Out front, find a splash fountain and other ways to run off energy.

Chattanooga Duck Boat Tours

Duck boat tours will give you a new perspective on Chattanooga, literally! These renovated WWII amphibious duck boats take passengers for a narrated tour around Chattanooga before heading nose-first into the Tennessee River.

Hours: Tour times change by season call ahead for tour times

Address: 151 Riverfront Parkway, Chattanooga, TN 37402

Phone: 756-3825

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Go Climbing At High Point Climbing & Fitness

This isnt your ordinary climbing wall. High Point Climbing & Fitness has a whopping 30,000 square feet of walls and so many routes you couldnt possibly get bored. High Points Kid Zone has climbing specifically for kidseven as young as 3to enjoy and challenge themselves. The 3,000 Sq. Ft. area offers 15 auto belays and a 10 foot tall kids boulder.

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Fun Things To Do In Chattanooga With Kids

10 Kid

Chattanooga occupies a prime spot along the banks of the Tennessee River. Surrounded by Lookout Mountain and Raccoon Mountain, this vibrant southern city effortlessly blends family attractions, outdoor pursuits, intriguing history, enticing art and a tasty dining scene. An easy road trip north from Atlanta or south from Nashville, youll find plenty of fun things to do in Chattanooga with kids.

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As an original Chattanoogan, watching the city emerge from the days of air pollution in the 1970s into the beacon its become makes me happy. With my parents still in town, our family often heads to Chattanooga for our annual reunion. Spanning four generations, we definitely have varied interests. Yet, Chattanooga keeps the whole family busy. I prefer spending most of my time with the grandkids, of course. Here are some of our favorite things to do.

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Best Things To Do With Kids In Chattanoogaview All

Some of the best things to do with kids in Chattanooga range from famous landmarks and top tourist attractions to local favorites and hidden gems. Plan an affordable day of adventure in Chattanooga with these fun kids activities:

  • Kayak the abundant Chattanooga waterways with River Drifters Chattanooga
  • View animals ranging from otters to sharks at the Tennessee Aquarium
  • Take a sightseeing tour narrated by a local historian with the Southern Belle Riverboat
  • Shop local at the Chattanooga Market with more than 300 vendors in an open-air setting
  • See views of Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama on the Incline Railway at Lookout Mountain

Our Stay In Chattanooga

We stayed at Raccoon Mountain Caverns and Campground which was a great campsite about 15 minutes outside of downtown Chattanooga. After the not fun trip into Gatlinburg we made sure to leave early in the day so we could pull into Chattanooga in the day light.

We got there with no issue and pulled in literally since we had a pull through site those are AWESOME!! If you have ever backed in an RV you would understand not that I have but I have helped Craig multiple times as he has backed into some tight spots! A pull through is so easy!!

Right in front of our campground was a large field SCORE. The kids love that. They love the space to just run. When you are on a campsite your space is actually pretty limited so we have learned that open fields next to our campsite are a great fit for us!

On Saturday we just had a lazy day where we hung out at the campground, got everything organized from the drive, and just let the kids run and play. The weather was really nice so it worked out great.

We also celebrated Indy and Odins Birthday! I cant believe that they are 9 and 10 already! It seems like they have been enjoying the trip and all the new smells at the new places we go!

Then on Sunday we drove into Chattanooga to check it out.

After a couple of breakdowns we just headed for the car. However, The Chattanooga Market is really cool and big and I would like to go back again in the future.

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Ride A Vintage Train Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum

Vintage trail lovers will enjoy an hour train journey on the restored vintage trains at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum located east of Chattanooga.

We took the Missionary Ridge trip from Grand Junction Station along 3 miles of the original railroad lines in Chattanooga.

Savannah really enjoyed this family friendly Chattanooga attraction especially her bucket of popcorn to enjoy it with.

Hike Around The Chickamauga Battlefield National Landmark

Kids Travel Show | Chattanooga Tennessee Things to Do Travel with Kids

While staying at The Crash Pad Hostel, we asked our host about great hiking trails and good views. Our host recommended that we check out Chickamauga Battlefield. He printed out directions for us to the Battlefield, which actually has a fantastic view of Chattanooga similar to Lookout Mountainonly this view is free! Since we enjoy a bit of history and a good hike, Chickamauga sounded perfect.

Within a few minutes of downtown Chattanooga, we had made our way up the mountain and to the battlefield lookout point. Its actually on the road to Ruby Falls, but you continue to go up beyond that attraction. Once up there, not only will you find historical Civil War markers and bulidings, but miles and miles of great hiking trails all around the mountain. The hard part is just decided which trail to take.

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Why You Should Go

Though the list ends here, there are still a hundred more things to do in the wonderful city of Chattanooga. From dining out to exploring wildlife, to stepping into the time machines that are Chattanoogas many museums, its the perfect Tennessee vacation for the entire family! When planning your Tennessee Vacation check out, for a ton of great planning tips and ideas for your Tennessee Vacation.

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The Chattanooga Zoo At Warner Park

Entry ticket: $10.95 for adults, $7.95 for children

Address: 301 N Holtzclaw Ave, Chattanooga, TN 37404

Why you should go: Established in 1937, the Chattanooga Zoo is a 13-acre zoological park. It is found in Warner Park and is home to a variety of animals.

The zoo is widely recognized for its wildlife conservation efforts, especially for endangered species.

The zoo hosts several exhibits, with its Himalayan Passage exhibit hosting the worlds grandest indoor red panda exhibit. All exhibits here host different animals based on their themes.

Things to do: The zoo is a family-friendly facility and is an ideal attraction site for both adults and children.

Explore the four themed exhibits and learn about all the animals found in each. The Makazi ya Twiga is home reticulated giraffes.

The Walkin the Tracks exhibit is home to North American animals like the white-tailed deer and prairie dogs. The Gombe Forest is an indoor and outdoor exhibit thats home to chimpanzees.

The whole family will enjoy seeing all these animals, learning about their habitats, and how you can contribute to the conservation of the environment. It is a great way of introducing the young ones to wildlife conservation.

  • It is 13 minutes away from Chattanooga Airport.

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Moccasin Bend National Archaeological Site

At Moccasin Bend National Archaeological District ancient artifacts have been found dating as far back as 10,000 B.C.

One of the most popular attractions at this site is Browns Ferry Federal Road Trace, a hiking trail lined with wayside exhibits that provide more in-depth information about historical events in the area, including the Trail of Tears and the Civil War.

Follow The River & The Ocean At The Tennessee Aquarium

10 Family Friendly Activities in Chattanooga

Located on Broad Street in Downtown Chattanooga, the Tennessee Aquarium offers both a River Journey and an Ocean Journey. Innovatively designed, the River Journey traces the path of a single raindrop from the mountains to the sea. The Ocean Journey picks up the story showcasing sharks, stingrays, butterflies and those adorable penguins. And, in the River Journey, turtles, alligators and delightful river otters entertain the whole family. Scuba divers also interact with guests during scheduled shows. Definitely add this to your list of things to do in Chattanooga with kids.

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Where To Grab A Bite To Eat In Chattanooga With Kids

Beast + Barrel

After exploring the charming little downtown Chattanooga, you and your family are going to be craving a good bite to eat. Do your taste buds a favor and check out one of Chattanoogas best restaurants: Beast + Barrel. The service is just as great as the food, especially if youre a big fan of meats.

The Big Katz pastrami sandwich is one to die for, and the BLT with added salmon and pastrami is one-of-a-kind. Try the chicken in a biscuit too if youre feeling a bit more southern traditional.

Kid Friendly Things To Do In Chattanooga Tn

1. Children will love the Creative Discovery Museum. With two floors of fun, there are plenty of hands-on exhibits for kids who love to play, climb, and touch everything they see! Featuring an impressive water play area, an indoor playground, and a rooftop exhibit, kids will have a great time in this museum built just for them.

2. Be sure to walk the Walnut Street Bridge connecting the art district to the Northshore area that are located on the banks of the Tennessee River. After youre done walking the bridge, walk down the hill to Coolidge Park to ride the carousel. If youre visiting Chattanooga in the summer, be sure to let your kids wear their bathing suits and jump in the fountains.

3. The Tennessee Aquarium is a must-see. With two buildings , the aquarium will take you the better part of a day to get through. Once you have seen all of the fish, touched the stingrays in the touch tank, and walked through the butterfly garden, head outside to walk in the water step fountains. This is another great thing to do during the summer.

4. You cant go to Chattanooga without seeing the famous Rock City. Located at the top of Lookout Mountain, Rock City is a classic Chattanooga experience. At the overlook, youll be able to see seven states with the binoculars! If you are visiting Chattanooga in the winter time, you could go at night and see the Festival of Lights with thousands of Christmas lights set up all over the famous attraction.

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Chattanooga Whiskey Experimental Distillery

Entry ticket: $14.50 per person

Address: 1439 Market St, Chattanooga, TN 37402

Why you should go: Chattanooga Whiskey Experimental Distillery is one of the top-rated attractions in the city.

It is famous for being Chattanoogas first distillery to craft whiskey in 100 years plus.

The facility, located in the citys downtown area, offers one-hour guided tours with a bonus whiskey tasting session at the end of the tour.

The distillery opened in 2015 and offers two forms of tours, the Traditional Tour & Tasting and the Whiskey Flight Tasting.

Things to do: If you are a whiskey lover, you will enjoy exploring this distillery.

It offers guided tours where you will learn the facilitys history, the art of whiskey crafting, and the distillerys secret to being and remaining a unique distillery in the United States.

You will also get a chance to taste well blend quality whiskey as your tour comes to an end.

You should reserve a tour in advance.

  • It is 14 minutes away from Chattanooga Airport.

Where To Stay In Chattanooga With Kids

Fun Family Friendly Chattanooga Activities

With kids, the downtown area near the riverfront close to the Tennessee Aquarium is the place to be. Chattanooga has several hotels within the area and prices are usually exceedingly reasonable.

My family stayed at the SpringHill Suites Chattanooga Downtown/Cameron Harbor which was an excellent fit for families with young children. The rooms are all mini-suites which gave us a little extra space for our toddler who had an earlier bedtime than the rest of the family. The hotel also offered a hot breakfast and refrigerators in every room, all included in the price.

The hotel was within walking distance to the Aquarium and Creative Discovery Museum, but it would be a bit too long of a walk for little ones unless they are still in a stroller. We chose to drive due to rain and found parking in downtown areas to be plentiful and cheap. We also noticed that there was a city bike share rack in front of the hotel, which would be perfect for getting around town with older kids.

Other hotels with ideal family-friendly accommodations and locations include:

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High Point Climbing Gym


Entry ticket: Check their website

Address: 219 Broad St, Chattanooga, TN 37402

Why you should go: If you love rock climbing or are seeking to learn a new outdoor activity you should pay a visit to High Point Climbing Gym in downtown Chattanooga.

The gym boasts over 30,000 sq. ft. of outdoor and indoor climbing space.

It is an ideal space for learners, adults, and children as it offers different challenges for all ages and expertise.

Things to do: High Point Climbing Gym offers a wide range of activities. Apart from rock climbing, you can also do yoga, bouldering, and cardio, spin classes, and fun kid activities at the designated Kid Zone.

Visit this facility to find out why it is considered the best rock climbing spot in Chattanooga.

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Chattanooga Downtown

Another great option for family-friendly lodging in Chattanooga is the Holiday Inn Express downtown. They offer a complimentary breakfast buffet, fast-charging stations so you dont miss a minute of your kids goofy grins throughout your weekend, and free WiFi hooked up to the Gig Citys famously fast fiber optic internet.

If you want to Skype with friends and family back home or just make sure all your Instastories make it to the gram, Holiday Inn is an excellent choice. The kids, meanwhile, will think this is a Chattanooga childrens attraction in its own right, with an indoor heated pool to splash in. Outside, its just a mile to fun destinations like the Chattanooga Lookouts ballfield, Creative Discovery Museum, and the Southern Belle Riverboat!

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Family Fun Things To Do In Chattanooga Downtown Area

One of the things I loved about Chattanooga is how close everything was to each other. You can have a full day of activities and never once have to use a car. Everything in downtown Chattanooga is pretty much within walking distance, so its perfect to check off your things to do in Chattanooga bucket list.

Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center

My Top 4 Family

Entry ticket: $10 per person

Address: 400 Garden Rd, Chattanooga, TN 37419

  • Botanical garden.
  • It opened in 1956.
  • Non-profit institution.

Why you should go: Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Garden is a nature center in Chattanooga with a botanical garden, hiking trails, woodland gardens, and ponds.

It sits on 317 acres of land and boasts over 150 tree species and over 1,000 plant species.

The center focuses on the study and preservation of plant and tree species.

It is one of the most serene places in Chattanooga to have a nature walk and get lost in lush green woods.

Things to do: If you are an outdoors and nature lover, this botanical garden will blow your mind. It has over 15 miles of hiking trails.

Its tree and plant population creates an ambiance that ensures your hike is enjoyable and comfortable.

For those who love driving in the woods, the center boasts a 3-mile driving loop. Take an early morning or evening drive to enjoy views of sunrise or sunset rays as they seep through the tall trees.

You can choose to take a walk around the garden to admire the massive flora and educate yourself on plant species.

  • It is 16 minutes away from Chattanooga Airport.

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The District Three Hotel

The District Three Hotel, an Ascend Hotel Collection Member, offers a free hot breakfast, a pool, and a fitness center, plus a prime location in the middle of downtown, which is somehow both historical and trendy. Youre right near restaurants, shops, and attractions like the Discovery Museum and the Aquarium. Plus, its pet-friendlywhy shouldnt Scooter get to enjoy Chattanooga, too?

Picnic And Play At Coolidge Park

If you need a rest break, a picnic spot, or a place for the kids to run around, head to Coolidge Park on the North Shore banks of the river. Find a grassy spot and soak up the scenic views.

You are close to a couple of restaurants and breweries here as well. During the warmer months, the fountains offer a refreshing way to cool off.

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