Gatlinburg is such a great destination for families with kids. There are so many kid-friendly things to do in Gatlinburg that you'll have no worries about boredom setting in. From attractions to unique museums, there's something for every age group. With so many options for entertainment, your kids will have a blast in Gatlinburg. If you're planning a Gatlinburg getaway with kids, here are seven kid-friendly activities. With wonders of nature, awe-inspiring activities and good old-fashioned fun, Gatlinburg is known for keeping kids entertained and parents happy.
Discover Magic on a MountaintopBack to Top of List
A don’t miss award-winning destination, Anakeesta is a mountaintop oasis in the heart of Gatlinburg that holds equal charm for children and parents. Ride the Chondola to the top of the mountain where you will discover fairytale treehouses, the longest treetop skywalk canopy rope bridge, the very first in the U.S. Astra Lumina enchanted night walk, gem mining and climb to the top of the AnaVista Observation Tower, with breathtaking 360 degree views to boot. Big kids will gravitate to the ziplines and Rail Runner Mountain Coaster, while the whole family will appreciate the numerous dining options and whimsical shopping. Don't miss new attractions coming soon including Birdventure with larger than life birdhouses, seven winding slides and the Hellbender Mountain Coaster - an adrenaline-pumping double rail ride on a steep mountain incline.
Hike to a Waterfall in the SmokiesBack to Top of List
Memories are made in the mountains and what better way to spend quality time with the kids (and get them off their devices) than on a nature hike. There are over 150 hiking trails in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and over 100 waterfalls. Make lifelong memories by taking your kids behind-the-scenes…of one of these waterfalls. At a total of 2.6 miles out and back, the hike to Grotto Falls is the only waterfall in the Smokies that you can literally walk behind. Just minutes outside of Gatlinburg off the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, this is also a great spot for wildflowers and wildlife.
Get in a Game of Golf at Gatlin'sBack to Top of List
Kid-friendly golf may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the mountains but think again! Gatlinburg offers golfing galore, from the classic Gatlinburg Golf Course named “Best Municipal Golf Course in Tennessee” by Golf Digest to mini golf for kids of all ages. Gatlin’s Mini Golf features two, 18 hole award-winning outdoor miniature golf courses that are located on a beautiful, landscaped hillside where you can learn about the history of Gatlinburg with a story told at every hole. Gatlin’s also offers the unique experience of playing mini golf under the sea in their Indoor Black Light Nine Hole Mini Golf Course. Combine 45 holes of mini golf with their Laser Tag and Escape Game. For more mini-golf fun, check out Ripley’s Davy Crockett Mini Golf is also a kid-favorite with two interactive 18-hole courses or Hillbilly Golf which is situated 300 ft on a mountain above the city.
Adventure atop Ober MountainBack to Top of List
Gatlinburg’s favorite ski and snow destination, Ober Mountain packs plenty of fun in the warmer months too. For nostalgic family fun, ride the Aerial Tramway up for gorgeous views and kid-friendly adventure. Ober’s carousel, kiddie umbrella rides, alpine slide, scenic chair lift, rock climbing wall, summer tubing, chair swings, mini golf and mountain coaster will beat out any boredom, while snow-lovers can still experience a taste of winter with ice skating and ice bumper cars. If you're kids are the adventurous type, don't miss Ober's newest attraction - Downhill Mountain Biking that can accommodate riders of all ages with bike rental, safety gear and lessons. There's also ziplining and whitewater rafting to keep the adventure going!
Create Your Own Arts & CraftsBack to Top of List
Make memories and create masterpieces with your little ones under the guidance of Gatlinburg’s resident artists and artisans. For crafty kids, take a drive through the Arts & Crafts Community where you will discover many shops from painters and potters to woodworkers and more. For hands-on creativity, book a class at the Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts or with one of the shops in the Arts & Crafts community with offerings for both adults and kids taught in an immersive environment. If you're visiting Gatlinburg in early May, be sure to attend one of the classes offered during the 3-day Hands On Gatlinburg event.
Explore Under the Sea at Ripley’s AquariumBack to Top of List
No family trip to Gatlinburg would be complete without a stop at one of Ripley’s many attractions. Ripley’s attractions are not only incredibly unique but super fun and pack some serious educational components. Take your kids to Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies where they can see sharks and penguins up close. Touch a stingray, watch live diving shows or ride on the glass bottom boat. Be sure to visit Ripley's other attractions in Gatlinburg including Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, Ripley's Marvelous Mirror Maze & Candy Factory, Ripley's Davy Crockett Mini-Golf, or for something spooky - Ripley's Haunted Adventure.
Slide Down a Mountain CoasterBack to Top of List
Why not release that kid energy in the most straightforward way possible – shooting down a mountain on a gravity-propelled alpine coaster! Riders 3 and up can board the Moonshine Mountain Coaster, which reaches speeds up to 30 mph while winding through the mountain woods. You can also take a ride on Ripley's Mountain Coaster, Rocky Top Mountain Coaster or ride the mountain coasters at Ober or Anakeesta. Your kids will howl in fun and likely retell this act of bravery all the way home.