menuTimber Tops logo
mountain landscape

Top 12 Things to Do in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge TN with Kids

outside of Wonderworks one of the best things to do in pigeon forge with kids
January 12, 2024

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. There are so many fun things to do in Pigeon Forge with kids, and Gatlinburg too! To help you guarantee your kids have an amazing time on vacation, we’ve come up with the top 12 things to do in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge TN with kids.

1. Dollywood

Dollywood sign at Showstreet Theater

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! With the Wildwood Grove expansion, kids have even more play areas and rides just for them. It’s no secret why Dollywood is one of the top things to do in Pigeon Forge with kids.

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 bungee jumps. There are even rides for them to enjoy, such as Funny Cars and Happy Swing! Another fun thing to do is check out the old time photo shop to take a memorable picture of your time in Pigeon Forge!

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. Getting ice cream is just one of the fun things to do in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge TN with your kids!

4. Arcadia

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! Not only is Arcadia one of the best things to do in Gatlinburg with kids, the grown-ups have a blast here too!

5. Go for a Hike

Family enjoying things to do in gatlinburg and pigeon forge tn

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. It’s no secret why this is one of the best things to do in Pigeon Forge with kids. Want to know where else you can play putt putt? Check out these
mini golf courses in Gatlinburg

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. Once you visit you’ll quickly realize why it’s one of the best things to do in Gatlinburg with kids!

8. WonderWorks

The WonderWorks is an indoor amusement park that offers a combination of both education and entertainment, which is one of the perfect things to do in Pigeon Forge with kids. 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

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 Mountain

It wouldn’t be a complete list if we didn’t mention Ober Mountain . Ober Mountain 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!

11. Anakeesta

Anakeesta ticket booth and chondola station

Another one of the best things to do in Gatlinburg with kids is visit Anakeesta. This mountaintop attraction is a place for both relaxation and adventure. There are things to do at the park that are designed just for kids to enjoy, like the Treehouse Adventure Play Area and gem mining! Families will also fall in love with BirdVenture, an aviary-inspired adventure zone with 3 larger-than-life birdhouses, a dozen interactive adventure zones, and 7 giant serpentine slides! Other things to do with kids at Anakeesta are ride mountain coasters, enjoy the Astra Lumina walk, walk along the Treetop Skywalk, and go shopping for souvenirs.

12. Pigeon Forge Snow

Does you child love to play in the snow? You'll be happy to know they can do so all year long in Pigeon Forge! Pigeon Forge Snow is an indoor snow park that's the first of its kind. Kids will love racing down the snow tubing lanes and enjoying the thrill without the freezing temperatures. There's also a Snow Play area where younger kids can build snowmen, make snow angels, and have snowball fights! This attraction offers guaranteed family fun.

More Things to Do in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge TN with Kids

A scenic photo of Gatlinburg and the mountains.

These are just some of the amazing things to do in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge TN with kids! You can also visit the Titanic Museum or see a family-friendly show in Pigeon Forge, experience a thrilling rafting adventure with Big Creek Expeditions, 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, 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.

Related Blog Posts

black bear clinging to tree in Cades Cove
April 26, 2022
4 Smoky Mountain Attractions for Animal Lovers
lazerport fun center in pigeon forge
December 26, 2020
5 of the Best Places to Race Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg Go Karts
alcatraz east crime museum in pigeon forge
November 23, 2021
5 Attractions in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge for History Lovers
Crave Golf Club in Pigeon Forge
September 25, 2023
Top 5 Places to Play Indoor Mini Golf in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg