Things to do with Kids in Gatlinburg, TN
Ripley’s Aquarium – No wonder this place was voted the best U.S. aquarium! Ripley’s has penguins, a walk through shark lagoon, glass bottom boat ride, and a 4 story play structure. You will also find touch tanks with jelly fish, crabs, and string rays! By far, the BEST aquarium I have been to!
Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster – The Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster was really fun and really fast. You can reach up to 35 mph on these! I love how they had the option of single riders or double cart to ride with the smaller children. My youngest was screaming with her hands in the air on these! So much fun!
Great Smoky Arts & Crafts Community – This 8 mile loop features awesome handmade arts & crafts. A great place to purchase some souvenirs to bring home!
Anakeesta – Zip-lining, shopping in firefly village, children’s playground in the mountains, a canopy walk and so much more! This is one of Gatlinburg’s newer attractions! Look for new additions, such as the Alpine slide and a restaurant with outdoor patio and bar, coming Spring 2018!
Ober Gatlinburg – Snow tubing, alpine slides, skiing, ice skating, aerial tram, animal encounters, dining, shopping and so much more. No matter what the season is, Ober Gatlinburg has tons to do for all ages!
Ripley’s Mirror Maze – We had so much fun getting lost in the mirror maze together. The kids laughed the whole way through!
Gatlinburg Space Needle – Catch a 360 degree view of Gatlinburg in the Gatlinburg Space Needle. Open day and night for two different views of the city!
Candy Shops – Gatlinburg has so many candy shops and they are all delicious! Treat the kids to a delicious treat, or five! Our favorite was the Mountaineer Kandy Kitchen where the aerial tram boards to Ober Gatlinburg!
Rowdy Bear Mountain Coaster – We did this mountain coaster at night. So much fun and also fast with the track all lit up! Rowdy Bear also has a glider coming soon.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park – Fishing, hiking, camping, or a scenic drive through the Great Smoky Mountains. This national park has something for everyone.
Ripley’s Moving Theater – My Kids LOVED this moving theater. The seats move in sync with the short movies they show. We saw “Looney Tunes” and “Angry Birds.”
Hillbilly Golf – This is a favorite from my childhood! Ride the mountain car to the top where you can pick from two different 18 hole mini golf courses.
Gatlinburg Skylift– Amazing views for the whole family to enjoy from the Gatlinburg skylift chairs!
World of Illusions – Make sure to take your time and view all the illusions. A lot of really cool illusions happen right before your eyes!
Ripley’s Guinness World Records – Can you break a world record? Tons of interactive games involving world records. My kids could have stayed and played all day in here.
Rafting in the Smokies – Great family fun for the warmer months in the Smokies!
Hollywood Stars Car Museum – A fun museum full of cars from famous movies from the last 50 years!
Most attractions are within walking distance of each other. Gatlinburg also has a trolley system with many different stops. At only .50 cents per ride, per person the trolley was a great option for us to get around town. We even rode the trolley one night in a full route loop just to sight see. The trolley can also be tracked on your smart phone. This made locating stops and pick up times super easy! I highly suggest taking advantage of the Gatlinburg Trolley while in town.
Kid Friendly Dining in Gatlinburg
Log Cabin Pancake House – Only open 7am-2pm this was our go to brunch spot! So many options including a hot buffet and a fresh salad bar. The breakfast plates were awesome and lunch was just as delicious!
Peddler Steakhouse – As the employees at the hotel put it, “Peddler Steakhouse is Gatlinburg’s finest,” and the Peddler sure did not disappoint. They have an amazing salad bar, steaks are pt right at your table by the peddler. The kids meal is priced per age here, $1 for each year of the child’s age. So my 8 year old was $8, my 12 year old was $12 and the kids meals included the salad bar!
Big Daddy’s Pizzeria – Delicious brick oven pizza the whole family enjoyed!
Bennett’s Pit BBQ – This delicious BBQ joint is connected to Big Daddy’s Pizzeria. BBQ ribs, chicken and so much more!
Smoky Mountain Brewery – Craft beer, pizza, wings, burgers and so much more! Everything we ordered at Smoky Mountain Brewery was delicious, and don’t let the name fool you. This was a very kid friendly dining option!
Old Dad’s General Store – Old Dad’s is a mix of an old time general store with a delicious deli. You can find everything from camping needs to souvenirs in the store and sandwiches, burgers, and desserts at the deli counter.
Texas Roadhouse – One of our favorites from back home. Delicious steaks, fresh salad, and warm bread. Texas Roadhouse is one of our favorites!
Bubba Gump – Delicious lunch or dinner spot. So many yummy shrimp options. I really enjoyed the Cajun shrimp appetizer!
Where to Stay In Gatlinburg
Gatlinburg has many lodging options, from private cabins to creek side hotels. We fell in love with Bearskin Lodge on the River during our stay in Gatlinburg!
Winter trees & icy river, view from our balcony
We had an amazing time in Gatlinburg! I really do feel that Gatlinburg is the perfect vacation destination for families! We were there almost a whole week and still didn’t get to do more than half of the things Gatlinburg has to offer. I hope to make it back to Gatlinburg during the warmer months to experience the rest of Gatlinburg! I can’t tell you how many people I spoke to who told me they come back year after year, that should give you an idea right there just how amazing Gatlinburg is!
Want to learn more about Gatlinburg and things to do in Gatlinburg? Visit the Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau Website!
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