One of the many things we love about our little corner of the world, the Smoky Mountains area, is that there’s an abundance of activities, events, and places to visit for people of all ages. From 2 to 92, everyone can find something for them in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Sevierville, and Townsend. However, this one’s all about the kids. If you ever traveled to the area as a child, you know how magical it is — and chances are, a few more activities have popped up around town since then. If you’re looking into planning a vacation to the Smokies with the kids, here’s a quick guide to some of our favorite kid-approved things to do:
For the Thrill Seeker
If your child loves the thrill of an adrenaline rush, there are many places in the Smokies to get his or her fix. For these kids, Dollywood is a given — the theme park features several roller coasters with twists, turns, loops, and drops. Another fun option is trying a mountain coaster, such as the Gatlinburg Mountain Coaster or the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster. Take a lift to the top, and ride your coaster car all the way down the mountain as fast or as slow as you want to go. For even more excitement, try tubing — every season of the year! In the summer, take a thrilling ride down the Pigeon River with us here at River Rat, and go snow tubing at Ober Gatlinburg in the winter. And if that’s not enough thrill for your little one, well, you have your hands full!
For an Educational Experience
There are plenty of educational activities in the Smokies area make learning fun. One of the most popular places to visit for “edu-tainment,” as they call it, is the Wonderworks Indoor Amusement Park in Pigeon Forge. Kids will learn about natural disasters, light and sound, space, and art in this (literally) upside-down building. And after all that learning, they can play in the laser tag arena or the indoor glow-in-the-dark ropes course. Pigeon Forge is also home to the Titanic Museum, where kids can see hundreds of artifacts, view replicas of a first- and third-class cabin, walk up the built-to-scale grand staircase, and dip their hands into the freezing water of the Atlantic Ocean that night.
For the Outdoors Adventure
One big draw of visitors to the Smoky Mountains is the beautiful scenery and wealth of outdoor activities. Between hiking, zip-lining, Zorbing, exploring the caverns, and visiting Cades Cove, if you’re looking for an outdoorsy vacation, you’ve found the right place. You can find more information about these activities in this post.
When vacationing to the Smokies, you can customize your vacation to fit the interests of your kids. Whether your little ones are adrenaline junkies, lovers of learning, or adventurers (or all three!), they’ll find everything they’re looking for. Visit this page for a full list of family attractions in the area.