Take On The White Water With Noc
Nantahala Outdoor Center offers whitewater rafting trips for almost every age! Guests as young as 3 years old can raft on the Lower Pigeon section of the Big Pigeon River. Its a short family-friendly float trip with gentle rapids, swimming holes, and beautiful scenery.
For more advanced adventurers, take on the Class III rapids with a white water rafting trip down the Upper Pigeon with full-on excitement, and the Smoky Mountain scenery in the background.
Things To Do With Small Kids In Gatlinburg
There is traveling and then there is traveling with toddlers. That is why we created a great list of the top 5 things to do in Gatlinburg with small kids. These attractions have been toddler approved, with a few of them being completely free!
The Smoky Mountains is a top family vacation destination for a reason. That is because they have perfected family travel down to an art. While deemed touristy, there are endless attractions, shows, and activities to do in Gatlinburg with kids. As yearly visitors, we have deemed these seven activities the best for those traveling with small children.
We were provided complimentary admission into these Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge attractions to show you how toddler-friendly these attractions are.
Hook A Fish With Smoky Mountain Anglers
As the oldest fly shop in Gatlinburg, The Smoky Mountain Angler is the first place to head for trout fishing gear, guided trips, and information. They are a Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency license agent and can get you licensed for fishing.
Insider Tip: When you stop by, ask about the kids only designated areas in the city of Gatlinburg stocked weekly. They also provide guides for experienced fly fishermen to have a trip to remember.
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Pose For A Photo With A Stars Car
The Hollywood Star Cars Museum offers the best cars from movies and TV in recreated settings complete with sound, lights and action.
The most famous car of the collection is the Batmobile from the 1966 TV show, but other cars include The Ghostbusters Ecto-1 , and General Lee from The Dukes of Hazzard.
Cars from every generation are represented from the Beach Boys 1955 Thunderbird to The Fast and the Furious and even the future, with the Back to the Future DeLorean. FREE entry for children under age 6.
The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel
It’s easy to stay on budget when you’re taking the family for a vacation in Pigeon Forge. The Island in Pigeon Forge is one of the most affordable kid-friendly attractions in Pigeon Forge. General admission and parking are free!
You must not miss the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel during your trip to The Island in Pigeon Forge. This 200-foot observation wheel provides riders an unparalleled view of the world-famous Smoky Mountains. Each glass-enclosed gondola can fit up to 8 people at a time, so there’s more than enough room for the family!
Pro Tip: Catch a ride during the evening! You’ll be just in time to witness a mesmerizing 24,000 LED-light show.
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Things To Do With Toddlers In Pigeon Forge
Looking for toddler activities in Pigeon Forge? The Light & Sound Zone and Imagination Lab are just two areas to explore with the little ones at WonderWorks Pigeon Forge. Let your toddler jump from key to key on a giant piano and, quite literally, play music with their feet!
Meanwhile, the interactive sandbox encourages toddlers to make their imaginations come to life. Guide their tiny hands as they dig ocean trenches, build Jurassic mountains or create safari flatlands.
Ripleys Aquarium Of The Smokies
Next we crossed the street to visit Ripleys Aquarium of the Smokies with the kids. Despite its distance from the ocean, the Gatlinburg Aquarium has been named among the best aquariums in the USA.
Most aquariums are in places near the ocean and they are filled with local sea life, with a few big ticket items to help draw in the crowds. What I liked best about Ripleys Aquarium of the Smokies was that it was chock-a-block full of crowd pleasers. They have sharks, stingrays, hundreds of clown fish , penguins, octopuses, sea horses, etc, etc, etc.
From the moment you enter the Gatlinburg Aquarium you can see how kid-friendly it is. There are fish tanks the kids can climb inside of, two giant playgrounds, an area where they can touch jelly fish and horseshoe crabs, many hands-on exhibits for the kids to tinker with and much more.
Our kids loved the Ripleys Aquarium of the Smokies. They had fun from the second they walked in the door to the second we had to drag them out of the gift shop.
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More Things To Do In Gatlinburg And Pigeon Forge Tn With Kids
These are just some of the amazing things to do in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge TN with kids! You can also visit Ripleys Believe It or Not! in Gatlinburg, go see a family-friendly show in Pigeon Forge, experience the magic of the mountains at Anakeesta, and so much more. With our Luxury Pass, you can get free tickets to some of these attractions and more!
When you stay in our Smoky Mountain cabins, youll be just minutes away from all the amazing things to do in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge with your kids. Browse all our cabin rentals and start planning your vacation today.
Dolly Parton’s Stampede Dinner Attraction
There are multiple dinner shows in Pigeon Forge, but none are as entertaining as Dolly Parton’s Stampede Dinner Attraction!
This engaging Pigeon Forge dinner show wins high marks with kids. Everyone will enjoy the audience participation segments as well as “stampeding” their team to victory. Kids also think eating with their hands is a lot of fun. Who would’ve thought?
Simply put, you’ll be attending a family feast and fantastic show that is fun for all ages. Thrilling horse-riding stunts, spectacular special effects, and phenomenal music productions over a mouth-watering four-course dinner will keep the family enthralled all evening.
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Meander Down The River Walk Path
Set back from the Parkway, Gatlinbergs scenic River Walk runs along the Little Pigeon River. Its lined with festive flower boxes, which add to the country charm.
This peaceful path is a great spot to feed the ducks, fish for trout, or just take a relaxing stroll. There are benches along the way for resting and soaking in the sights.
Soar To New Heights At Ober Gatlinburg
Ober Gatlinburg offers so much to do in every season making it a great place to visit!
The Ober Gatlinburg Aerial Tram departs from Downtown Gatlinburg to the Ober Amusement Park and Ski Resort. The tram takes you on a 2-mile, 20-minute ride up the side of the mountain in the counter-balanced tram car. The views from the tramway are glorious, and its a quick way to get to the activity area without having to drive there. Thats especially helpful for those who have already paid to park in the downtown area.
In the winter, the Ski Area offers access to the ski slopes for a single session of skiing or snowboarding during day or night sessions. For families hitting the slopes for the first time, there are ski classes for children and adults, as well as snowboarding classes. A limited number of jackets, pants and helmets are available for rental.
We visited in summer and loved the Ski Mountain Coaster, which climbs 1000 feet uphill before racing downhill to almost 3000 feet of turns, dips, zip-zags and corkscrews. The ride is perfect for any age, and each 2-person pair chooses how they want to experience it. You can zoom at up to speeds of 25 MPH or use the handbrakes for a more relaxed pace.
We also enjoyed the childrens maze, mini golf, ice bumper cars, indoor-ice skating and more.
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Pancake Breakfast And Cades Cove Tour
Everybody loves pancakes, so your first morning in Gatlinburg begins at one of our famous pancake houses. There are several pancake houses around town that are within walking distance of hotels and condominiums downtown, so you and your family can do some sightseeing around Gatlinburg on your way to breakfast. When you pick a pancake house, gather the family around a table and order up a short stack, a warm cup of coffee and eggs cooked just the way you like them.
When you finish your pancakes, pack a picnic and hop in the car. Youre going for a scenic drive through one of the most popular places in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Cades Cove. Leisurely drive along the Coves 11-mile loop, but remember to keep your eyes open for black bears and other wildlife! There are several places to park so that you can take your family along some of short trails in the Cove.
The Best Things To Do In Gatlinburg With Kids
Gatlinburg, TN prides itself on its hospitality and role as a tourist and resort destination spot. Few places are as family-friendly as Gatlinburg, and if you are like most people, you will run out of time before you run out of places to go and enjoy.
Here is a rundown of the 18 best things to do in Gatlinburg with kids, plus some details you will need to know before you get there.
Or if youre still looking for accommodation, check out our guide to the best hotels in Gatlinburg for families to help plan your trip.
Gatlinburg, TN 37738
The moving theater is in downtown Gatlinburg and is adjacent to the other Ripley properties. It offers an immersive 5D experience with vibrating seats, chairs that twist and turn to screen action, and special effects that simulate the weather in the movie. There is also a steady diet of kids movies that will keep your kids entertained for hours.
There are a few rules and some advice for potential participants. Children must be at least 43 inches tall to enter the theater. Expecting mothers or guests with pre-existing medical conditions are advised to not participate. Children sensitive to noise, rapid movements, flashing lights, or sudden movements might want to forego this experience.
There is an option to enjoy the movies from a traditional seat that does not have the 5D special effects.
Gatlinburg, TN 37738
Gatlinburg, TN 37738
Gatlinburg, TN 37738
Gatlinburg, TN 37738
Gatlinburg, TN 37738
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Head To The Mountains By Car
Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail is a 5-mile loop driving trail that takes its name from the stream next to the trail Roaring Fork. You can choose your own pace, and take in the wooded views and a partial history of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on this popular drive.
There several spots to pull off the trail and enjoy the mountains while you capture a picture, or you can drive straight through the choice is yours.
Challenge Yourself At The Guinness World Records Adventure
631 Parkway, Gatlinburg, TN
Get inspired by record-holders young and old.
You can learn fun facts about previous Guinness World Record holders, but the best part is all of the hands-on exhibits and games within the attraction that the whole family will enjoy.
I suggest allowing extra time in your schedule so that your kids dont feel rushed and have plenty of time to play what they are interested in.
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Glass Bottom Boat Tour At Ripleys Aquarium Of The Smokies
For an additional fee, you can take a glass-bottom boat tour over the aquarium tank. Spaces fill up quickly so I would recommend making a reservation ahead of time.
The Tails & Teeth educational class is another great opportunity to learn more about sharks in a classroom environment.
One of my favorite features of the aquarium is the 40-foot long glidepath that takes you through an underwater tunnel where you will see sharks and other sea life from below.
The glide path ensures that everyone has an up-close view of the tank.
Another area that kids will love is the penguin exhibit where kids or brave adults can climb through a tunnel and see the penguins above or below for a closer view.
Or you can just watch a penguin feeding instead.
If your kids need to burn off some energy there are plenty of hands-on exhibits and a large indoor playground for them to explore.
An Insiders Guide To The Best Rides At Dollywood
Dollywood is far and away the top attraction in Pigeon Forge, and its definitely one of the top amusement parks in the nation, if not the best. With that fame, however, comes long lines for many rides, so weve developed this slick guide to help you figure out which ones you absolutely have to hitRead more »
Ripleys Believe It Or Not & Other Ripley Attractions
A total transformation has made this Gatlinburg attraction better than ever! Its Odditorium has been completely renovated and new items added . Ripleys Penguin Playhouse in the Ripley Aquarium is the best place to see penguins according to the USA today and their Marvelous Mirror Maze and Candy Factory is a great way to get lost without losing your cool. For information on Ripleys a host of family-fun-and-friendly activities or to buy an ultimate fun pass, visit Ripleys Gatlinburg. Address: 800 Parkway.
Take The Gatlinburg Trolley Across The City
The Gatlinburg Trolley is FREE and it runs every day of the year. Visitors in the area can board a Trolley at any stop in Galtinburg. All Trolleys stop at the Mass Transit Center, located at Ripleys Aquarium of the Smokies.
Its an easy way to get into downtown without the hassle of driving into Downtown and finding a parking spot. You can use the Park N Ride Lot at the Gatlinburg Welcome Center. Board a trolley and be in downtown Gatlinburg in a matter of minutes!
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Kid Friendly Things To Do In Gatlinburg You Cant Miss
When you bring your family to the Smoky Mountains, you want to find activities everyone will enjoy! Gatlinburg is full of kid friendly attractions you wont want to miss out on, including the aquarium, arcades, and thrill rides! Check out these 6 kid friendly things to do in Gatlinburg you cant miss:
Get Interactive At Wonderworks
Kids of all ages find WonderWorks to be engaging, entertaining and educational. Dubbed an amusement park for the mind, the attraction lets you experience an earthquake and hurricane, design your own roller coaster, explore outer space, ride an extreme 360 bike and so much more. There?s even a ropes course and laser tag course where families can challenge each other.
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Hollywood Star Cars Museum
If you love movies, TV shows, and cars, then you have to take your family to the Hollywood Star Cars Museum! This attraction is popular with people of all ages because you get to see real vehicles that were used in movies and TV shows. You can even pay an extra fee to take a photo in one of your favorite cars! Some of the highlights in the museum include cars from the Fast and the Furious franchise, Batmobiles, and a few vehicles from Transformers.
A New Unique Glamping Option Near Gatlinburg
1015 Laurel Lick Rd, Pigeon Forge, TN
During our visit, we had the opportunity to tour the newest glamping site in the Smoky Mountains located 10 miles from downtown Gatlinburg called Under Canvas.
Under Canvas is located 3 miles from the Smoky Mountain Zoological Park and 8 miles from the Laurel Falls Trail. This is a great option for guests seeking a more rural overnight experience.
You can choose your comfort with airy permanent tents. The tents are designed with safari-chic decor, wooden floors, en-suite bathrooms, wood-burning stoves, and private decks.
You also have the option to go more basic with fewer amenities in your sleeping quarters
Under Canvas is a great option if you want an elevated camping experience.
My favorite feature was the sky view over the bed in one of the canvas bedrooms.
There is food service on-site if you want to grab a bite to eat during your stay and dont feel like driving into town.
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Zip Through The Smokies
Looking for a Pigeon Forge zipline adventure? Few Pigeon Forge area vacation adventures compare to the thrill of a ziplining tour. The adrenaline rush of flying above the treetops on a wire while secured in a harness is pure exhilaration. The joy of ziplining provides a fun-filled, action-packed excursion for not only the kids, but the entire family.
Picnic In The Smokies And Kid
Head over to the Chimneys Picnic Area in Great Smoky Mountains National Park for lunch. This picnic area has restrooms, tables and grills available, so take your time and enjoy being with your family in one of the most beautiful parks in the country. Picnic next to the Little Pigeon River and make memories that your family will remember forever.
Before you go back to Gatlinburg, take a short hike. Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the country and features more than 800 miles of hiking trails! Even if youre not an experienced hiker, you and your family can have a blast walking along the parks kid-friendly trails, including the Kephart Prong Trail and the Porters Creek Trail. If you need hiking gear or tips from a local expert, stop by one of our local outdoor stores.
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