The Best Things To Do In Gatlinburg for Kids & Family

Gatlinburg is a beautiful area to explore, but sometimes all of that scenic beauty doesn’t keep everyone in the family entertained. If you’ve got kids or extended family that you’re taking a Gatlinburg vacation with and you need help finding things to do that will keep everyone entertained, check out this list of amazing options to keep everyone happy.

Image courtesy of Anakeesta

Anakeesta Mountaintop Fun

With a themed village to explore and plenty of activities to keep people of all ages entertained, Anakeesta is a popular option for many visitors to the Smoky Mountains. Dining, shopping and outstanding views on top of Gatlinburg are combined with unique characters at the mountaintop retreat.

Hop in a Go Kart

If you’ve got a racing or driving fan, Go Karts can provide easy entertainment for an hour or two, or an entire afternoon, depending on how much time you’ve got to spend. Check our guide to the top Go Kart Tracks in the area.

Top Jump Trampoline Park

Go up, up and away with this awesome trampoline park in Pigeon Forge, guaranteed to help burn off some of your kids’ energy and give you a more sedate evening or afternoon. There’s also an amazing climbing center, giving additional options for those who don’t jump. See our feature page on Top Jump.

Rainforest Adventure Zoo

If you love animals, you’ll adore the Rainforest Adventure Zoo. With a wide range of colorful and exotic animals, this small zoo is a hidden secret in Gatlinburg, providing hours of entertainment and enjoyment. Live shows, petting zoos and an indoor environment make it a great choice for all.

Go Mini-Golfing

Fore! Whether you’re seriously into golfing or just want to goof around for a couple of hours, there are a ton of very unusual mini-golf courses around the Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge area, providing plenty of activity in a range of environments. See our guide to Mini-Golf Courses in the area.

Rowdy Bear Downhill Adventures

If you like roller coasters, Rowdy Bear Downhill Adventures in both Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge may be a great option to consider, providing you with a gravity-fed system to enjoy spring, summer or fall. With a second venue, a tubing one that is open year-round, you’ll be able to get in quickly and have a great time.

Splash Country

Attached to Dollywood, Splash Country is the theme park’s water park side. Though you may want to plan your visit during the hottest parts of summer, it can be enjoyed for many warm months with a range of rides and activities open from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Smoky Mountain Llama Treks

If you’re looking for an active family option that’s out of the ordinary, Smoky Mountain Llama Treks provides a great way to break away from the crowd and try something a little different. The llamas carry your gear while you get a great hike in, with experiences to match virtually all fitness levels.

Try a Ropes Course

With all those trees, the Smoky Mountains offer a range of different ropes courses that mostly provide a lot of fun for the family, and some courses provide a challenge also. With a range of difficulties, there’s something for everyone, making it easy to find a course that fits your needs. See our guide to the Ropes Courses in the area.

Dollywood

What trip to the Smoky Mountains would be complete without a visit to Dollywood? This theme park, co-owned by everyone’s favorite local Dolly Parton, provides plenty of exciting thrills, chills and adventures for all ages, from easy kids’ rides to thrilling roller coasters. And the shows and spectacular features make memories for life.

TIP: Some of the activities mentioned here are eligible for a Free Ticket  from our Trip Cash book of coupons to the best local attractions that comes with every cabin booked. See more in our Gatlinburg Coupons or our Pigeon Forge Coupons pages, and check out the Trip Cash Web Story for some eye candy on the giveaways.

For more things to do in the area, any time of year, check out our guides to Things to Do In the Smoky Mountains, Smoky Mountains Activities and the all-important Things to Do In Gatlinburg With Kids. Also see our own listings of annual festivals in the area in our Gatlinburg Events guide.

And wherever you prefer to be in the Smokies, you can find one of our cabins nearby to make your adventure base. See our Wears Valley cabins, as well as our Gatlinburg cabins and our Pigeon Forge cabin rentals. Remember too that we have of pet friendly cabins in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge.

About Tony Perez

I'm a people person, and I enjoy the atmosphere that working with Cabins Of The Smoky Mountains entails, interacting with different types of people and trying to relate to each one uniquely. From Michigan originally, I've been coming to the Smoky Mountains since I was a child, with family in Wears Valley. Summer fun for me is exploring the Cades Cove area, swimming in the creeks, and hiking Mount LeConte and many other trails. I love the Smoky Mountains.