While planning a family vacation with toddlers can sometimes be a tricky endeavor, that isn’t the case in the Smoky Mountains! The cities of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg are home to a wide variety of toddler-friendly attractions that your little ones are sure to love. Best of all, these awesome activities are a lot of fun for older kids and adults too! To help you make the most of your next getaway, Timber Tops Cabin Rentals has put together a guide to seven of the best things to do in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg with toddlers.
No trip to Pigeon Forge is complete without a visit to Dollywood! This amazing theme park offers a number of kiddie rides that are perfect for toddlers, such as the Amazing Flying Elephants, Busy Bees, Lucky Ducky, Piggy Parade, and Lemon Twist. If your kids are crazy about trains, they will absolutely love riding on the Dollywood Express, the park’s old-fashioned steam engine.
Of course, toddlers who are wary of rides will still have plenty to do at Dollywood. The theme park boasts two great play areas, the Firehouse Fun Yard and the Lil’ Pilots Playground, along with a fantastic collection of shows. When it is in session, be sure to stop by The Little Engine Playhouse, a theater that produces 20-minute musical adaptations of classic children’s books. Please note that Dollywood is open from mid-March through the end of December each year.
2. Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies
Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is guaranteed to be a hit with your little ones! This hugely popular attraction is full of hands-on exhibits that are ideal for toddlers. Young guests can crawl through transparent tunnels in the Penguin Playhouse, pet a real live stingray at Touch-A-Ray Bay, and explore a new 4-story play structure. During the summer months, Ripley’s even hosts special mermaid shows, in which expert swimmers wearing realistic mermaid tails dive into the aquarium’s tanks.
3. Titanic Museum Attraction
Visiting the Titanic Museum Attraction is another one of the best things to do in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg with toddlers. While the historical information will go over their heads, your kids will love coming aboard a giant ship. The museum even features a special Tot-Titanic area, complete with a tiny Captain’s Wheel and an interactive talking polar bear.
4. Pancake Pantry
If your toddler has a sweet tooth (and most do!), breakfast at the Pancake Pantry is an absolute must. This legendary restaurant in downtown Gatlinburg has a wonderful Kids Menu with a variety of fun hotcakes for your little ones to choose from. Some of the most popular varieties include Bears in the Snow (bear-shaped pancakes covered in powdered sugar), M&M pancakes (served with peanut butter syrup), and Chocolate Chip Pancakes.
5. The Island in Pigeon Forge
The Island in Pigeon Forge is a great place to enjoy some downtime with your toddler. Located right off of the Parkway, this shopping and entertainment complex is home to a mesmerizing show fountain with geysers of water that “dance” to hit songs. Trust us, your kids will be transfixed by this beautiful fountain! Other highlights of The Island include free bluegrass music outside of the Ole Smoky Moonshine Barn and the Great Smoky Mountain Wheel, a 200-foot tall Ferris wheel that lights up at night.
6. Ober Gatlinburg
The Ober Gatlinburg Ski Area & Amusement Park is home to a number of excellent toddler-friendly activities. Kids will enjoy seeing black bears, bobcats, otters, owls, and other critters at Ober’s Wildlife Encounter. The amusement park also features a Kiddie Land, carousel, arcade, and an ice skating rink.
7. TopJump Trampoline Park
Your toddler will have a blast at TopJump! This fantastic trampoline park has a special area for kids who are under 42” tall, so your little one can jump around without fear of being accidentally jostled by bigger kids. Featuring trampolines, a ball pit, and a foam pit, the Kid Zone at TopJump is a ton of fun.
Where to Stay in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg
When you stay with Timber Tops Cabin Rentals, you will be near all of the fun things to do in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg with toddlers. With everything from 1 bedroom cabins to 15 bedroom lodges, we are sure to have the perfect property for your escape. To start planning your getaway, browse our selection of cabins in Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg!