The Smoky Mountains are a top destination for family vacations! Part of the reason for that is all the amazing family-friendly attractions in the area. The little ones especially will have a great time on kid-friendly rides and exploring attractions that are geared more toward kids. To help you guarantee your kids have an amazing time on vacation, we’ve come up with the top 10 things to do in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge with kids.
It’s no surprise that Dollywood is at the top of the list. This family-friendly theme park has something to do for guests of all ages. Kids always have a blast at Dollywood, whether it’s riding rides or snacking on a tasty treat. There are a number of rides designed just for the kids, such as Amazing Flying Elephants, where they’ll soar around in the seat of a smiling elephant, and Piggy Parade, where they’ll sit in adorable “piggy” cars and circle the track. There’s even a playground the kids can enjoy!
2. The Island in Pigeon Forge
The Island in Pigeon Forge is full of affordable family fun! It’s your one stop for shopping, dining and entertainment. And there is plenty of fun for the kids! They can play bumper cars, ride on the carousel, complete a kid-friendly ropes course, or play in the Thunderdome, which has 4 trampoline-based bungy jumps. There are even rides for them to enjoy, such as Funny Cars and Happy Swing!
3. Mad Dog’s Creamery
All the kids scream for ice cream! Satisfy all your kids’ sweet teeth at this delicious ice cream shop. Mad Dog’s Creamery has a full selection of hand-dipped premium ice cream, soft serve, sundaes, banana splits, milkshakes and funnel cakes! You can even get doughnuts! With more than 24 flavors of ice cream, you won’t be disappointed. And the best part, Mad Dog’s is dog friendly, so if you’re staying in one of our pet-friendly cabins, you can bring your four-legged friend along to the ice cream shop.
Everyone loves a good arcade, and the best in the area is located right in Gatlinburg! You can find Arcadia at the base of the Gatlinburg Space Needle, so after you finish seeing the sights, head back down to choose from more than 100 of the hottest games. It also has the area’s largest redemption center, so you can win amazing prizes to take back home!
5. Go for a Hike
Hiking is fun for everyone! Take the whole family out for a hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to explore all the beautiful sights. One of the best kid-friendly hiking trails is Porters Creek Trail. It’s a flat trail that provides great opportunities to see the Smoky Mountain wildflowers during the spring and summer.
6. Crave Golf Club
Crave Golf Club has Pigeon Forge’s only 19-hole indoor mini-golf course and 19-hole rooftop course! That means rain or shine, you’ll be able to have a fun time playing mini golf. The indoor course will take you through a dreamland of cocoa cliffs, ice cream sculpted canyons and a sugar safari. The rooftop course is a two-tiered outdoor course with multi-challenge holes that are fun for the whole family. You’ll get to play through Rock Candy Mountain, Bubblegum Garden and Jellybean Jungle! After mini-golf, treat the kids to a signature shake from the milkshake bar.
7. Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies
At Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, kids have the chance to interact with their favorite aquatic animals! Take them through a stroll beneath the underwater tunnel where they can see sharks, a green sea turtle, giant stingrays and more. They’ll even have the chance to touch a jellyfish or a horseshoe crab in the Discovery Center! Kids always have a great time at the aquarium, and parents love it too.
WonderWorks is an indoor amusement park in Pigeon Forge that offers a combination of both education and entertainment. There are more than 100 hands-on exhibits for kids to enjoy that challenge their minds and allow them to use their imaginations. There is even a glow-in-the-dark indoor ropes course for them to try and laser tag that’s played in a black-lit maze!
9. Hollywood Wax Museum
Take the kids straight to Hollywood when you visit the Hollywood Wax Museum. They’ll be able to stand with wax figures of their favorite celebrities that look so real you’ll find yourself double-checking to make sure they’re not! You can get photos with each of the stars to take back home as a souvenir. The kids will feel like stars themselves as they walk through the two-story museum.
10. Ober Gatlinburg
It wouldn’t be a complete list if we didn’t mention Ober Gatlinburg. Ober Gatlinburg is full of excitement for people of all ages. Kids will love riding the Ski Mountain Coaster with Mom or Dad, or seeing all the different animals in the Wildlife Encounter! But that’s not all — don’t forget to take them to Kiddie Land! This fun-filled playground has tunnels to explore, swinging bridges to cross, slides and more. There is also mini golf, a chair swing, a maze and more!
When you stay in our Smoky Mountain cabins, you’ll 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.