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8 Fun Things To Do In Gatlinburg With Kids

Gatlinburg, Tennessee, is a wonderful vacation destination for families with kids of all ages. Whether you’re looking for outdoor activities like hiking and exploring the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, or indoor attractions like Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, there is something for everyone to enjoy in Gatlinburg. 

8 Fun Things To Do In Gatlinburg With Kids

This blog post will share ten fun things to do in Gatlinburg with kids to make your family trip memorable. From exploring a natural wonderland to visiting amusement parks, you’re sure to have a blast in Gatlinburg!

1) Gatlinburg Space Needle

The Gatlinburg Space Needle is basically a 407-foot-tall observation tower providing stunning views of the city and the surrounding Great Smoky Mountains. Located on the iconic Strip, the Space Needle has become a landmark of the city and is one of the most popular attractions in Gatlinburg. The observation deck of the Space Needle offers 360-degree views of the Smokies, and visitors can get an unbeatable view of downtown Gatlinburg from its top. 

Once visitors have taken in the beautiful sights from the observation deck, they can head to the Arcadia – an interactive, three-story amusement center located at the tower’s base. Visitors can experience various attractions such as arcade games, bumper cars, laser tag, virtual reality games, and more. The Space Needle also offers amazing family dining experiences on-site and a gift shop. 

2) Ripley’s Mountain Coaster

Take your family on a thrilling adventure with Ripley’s Mountain Coaster! Located in the heart of Gatlinburg, Ripley’s mountain coaster is an exciting and unique way to explore the Smoky Mountains. Guests can race side-by-side on two separate tracks, winding and dipping through beautiful scenery as they enjoy an adrenaline rush. Kids will love experiencing the thrills of this coaster, while adults can relax in the comfort of their cars, going at their own pace. The cars are even equipped with handbrakes for more control. With 1,000 feet of track and amazing views, Ripley’s mountain coaster offers an unforgettable experience for the whole family.

3) Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies

Located in the heart of downtown Gatlinburg, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies is one of the top attractions in the area. With a variety of sea creatures, interactive activities, and educational exhibits, it’s the perfect spot for the whole family to enjoy.

Take a journey through the depths of the oceans and explore up close some of the most amazing creatures of the deep. Be sure to check out the Tropical Rainforest exhibit, which houses some of the most beautiful and diverse fish from around the world. At Shark Lagoon, you can observe various shark species, such as nurse sharks, sand tiger sharks, and even hammerheads. If you’re feeling brave, take part in the Penguin Encounter and take a selfie with one of the resident African Penguins.

4) Ober Gatlinburg

Ober Gatlinburg is the perfect place for kids to enjoy the best of the Great Smoky Mountains. This family-friendly amusement park offers ski slopes and various attractions, including an alpine slide, chairlift, carousel, and more. Kids will love the interactive Wildlife Encounter show, which features live animals from around the world. The Ice Skating Rink is open during winter and offers lessons for all skill levels. Ober Gatlinburg also features a variety of restaurants, snack bars, and shops for visitors to enjoy. Whether you are looking for a fun activity or just a day out, Ober Gatlinburg is the perfect place for your family to have a great time!

5) Great Smoky Mountains National Park

One of the top attractions in Gatlinburg is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This park offers over 800 square miles of outdoor activities and breathtaking views. From hiking trails to waterfalls to some incredible wildlife, you can find something for everyone to enjoy.

Laurel Falls is a popular choice for those looking for an easy hike. This 1.3-mile round-trip hike will take you through lush forests, leading up to the 80-foot waterfall at the end. If you’re looking for a more challenging hike, try the Mount LeConte Trail. This 5.5-mile round trip is rated difficult and takes you to the peak of Mount LeConte at 6,593 feet, where you can enjoy stunning panoramic views of the Smoky Mountains.

6) Gatlinburg Sky Lift Park

Gatlinburg Sky Lift Park is one of the most popular attractions for kids and families. The ride to the top of the mountain is a must-do for any visitor to the area. From the top of the mountain, you will have breathtaking views of the Smoky Mountains.

At the top of the mountain, you can explore several different areas with plenty of activities for everyone. The Gatlinburg Sky Trail is a great way to get a birds-eye view of the area while enjoying an exciting walk along a suspended bridge. Another highlight is the chairlift ri rel=”follow”de that offers an up-close look at the beautiful trees and mountains below.

7) The Village Shops 

Kids of all ages will love exploring the many shops and attractions of The Village Shops — Downtown Gatlinburg. Here, you’ll find various quaint stores, souvenir shops, and restaurants, all located in one convenient location. Kids can explore the colorful streets of the area and admire the local architecture. They can also spend some time playing games in the arcade, watching movies in the mini-theater, or even riding the carousel. There are plenty of opportunities for your kids to have fun while you relax and enjoy some shopping. Whether you’re looking for a quick snack or an afternoon of shopping, The Village Shops — Downtown Gatlinburg offers you everything.

8) Wild Bear Falls Waterpark 

If you’re looking for an exciting and fun day out with kids, look no further than Wild Bear Falls Waterpark. This waterpark is the perfect place to cool off and have a great time in Downtown Gatlinburg.

The park features thrilling slides and rides for all ages, including a lazy river, a four-story interactive treehouse, a 350-foot tall tube slide, and more. Kids will love splashing around in the interactive children’s area, complete with mini slides and spray guns. With plenty of seating and tables, it’s easy to relax and keep an eye on the little ones as they explore.

Whether you’re taking a break from exploring the Smoky Mountains or simply looking for a fun day out with the family, Wild Bear Falls Waterpark is a great place to enjoy yourself and beat the heat.


Gatlinburg is an amazing family-friendly destination with plenty of fun things to do for all ages. From the Gatlinburg Space Needle and Ober Gatlinburg to Wild Bear Falls Waterpark, there are lots of exciting activities to choose from. 

For even more entertainment, try some mini golfing on one of the city’s courses or catch a movie at one of its theaters. If you want to get up close and personal with nature, take advantage of the many guided horseback riding tours available around town. Whatever your interests, you’re sure to find something fun and exciting to do in Gatlinburg! 

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